How do the JBL Free stack up against the best true wireless earbuds?!
Considering the JBL Live 300TWS’s price and relatively simple design, I expected an equally simple experience—but I shouldn’t have judged a pair of true wireless earbuds on its subdued looks. A couple of weeks on, the Live 300TWS’s features still dazzle me, and the music quality is far better than I expected from buds in this price range.
The 2.7-inch-wide case alone looks as if it could come from a premium set of earbuds. Smooth, compact, and pocketable, its notification lights have a chic air reminiscent of luxury goods: A ring around the USB-C port along the bottom pulses white while the earbuds charge inside—the better to see where to stick the plug in low light—and it shifts to red once the cable is in. The act of opening the case could be more elegant, though; eventually, I fumbled far less with the lid after learning to pull it up from the sides.
The case is also attractive in light of JBL’s estimate that they deliver 14 extra hours of battery life, as you’ll need it. Despite JBL’s claim that the buds will play music for a full six hours, on two occasions they sputtered out before I reached the fifth hour.
Truly Wireless In-Ear Headphones
As for the earbuds themselves, the Live 300TWS fit perfectly in my ear right out of the box. In what was a first for me, I didn’t need to experiment with the two other ear gels or four stability fins. They fit so snugly that they almost doubled as earplugs—they even look a bit like them from a distance. (Or at least as black, blue, purple, or white metallic bolts drilled carefully into your skull, depending on which color model you bought.)
If you’re on a bit of a budget, the JBL Live 300 TWS’s many features, equalizer, and good sound quality (with tweaking) make them a worthy option. The battery life may not be as impressive as JBL advertises, but the case at least allows for a couple of extra charges.