JBL Reflect Aware review: Amazing Lightning connector headphones

Audio / Audio Hardware Reviews / iOS / Mobile / Reviews / Top Picks
Reflect Aware

One of the first sets of Lightning Connector headphones and JBL made some amazing ones out of the gate.

If you’re an Apple iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus user then you might be looking for a new pair of wired headphones. The JBL Reflect Aware are one of the first pair of headphones that comes with a Lightning Connector allowing you to use the Lightning port for sound. Of course we all know this change hasn’t gone over well with everyone. But if you’re one of those who doesn’t care that Apple removed the headphone jack and are just looking for some new headphones that work with your Lightning port, then read on and find out why the JBL Reflect Aware headphones are grabbing a Techaeris Top Pick Award for 2016.

Specifications

The JBL Reflect Aware headphones have the following specifications and features:

  • Frequency Response 10 Hz-22 kHz
  • Drivers 14.8mm Dynamic drivers
  • Connection Apple Lightning Connector (8 pin)
  • Noise Cancellation
  • Adaptive Noise Control
  • Sweat Proof
  • Reflective Cable
  • Ergonomic Ear Tips

What’s In The Box

  • 1 pair of JBL Reflect Aware™ earphones
  • 3 sizes of ergonomic sport ear tips
  • 3 sizes of regular ear-tips
  • 1 carrying pouch
  • 1 Quick Start Guide
  • 1 Safety Sheet

Design

The Reflect Aware design is unique with the ergonomic ear tips front and center and the noise cancelling units easily noticeable. Right and left are marked clearly and the control unit which has the volume up/down, track ff/rev and noise cancellation button is a nice size and easy to use. The headphones themselves aren’t huge, but they are a bit bigger than normal earbuds, and the reflective wire is a nice addition for those who might want to jog or walk at night. These are also sweat proof which is great for those who work out, and from my use these stayed put in my ears so I would expect runners to be okay using these. Overall, this design is nice and the highlight are the ergonomic ear tips which I appreciated as most ear tips on these types of headphones aren’t very comfortable.

Sound

First I will say that using a Lightning connector over the 3.5mm headphone jack produces no audible difference in sound quality to my ears. That being said, the sound produced by the Reflect Aware is absolutely top notch but you will have to tweak the EQ to get the sound you want. Out of the box the Reflect Aware are a bit flat so you’ll need to download the My JBL Headphones app from the app store. The app will give you control over two aspects of the headphones, the noise cancellation and the EQ.

Once you have the app installed and the EQ set to your preferences and the noise cancellation tweaked to low, mid or high (you can also choose to have NC on only one side) you’re ready to go. The nice thing about the EQ is you can tweak the settings and make an EQ for every type of music you listen to. If you know one genre is bass heavy you can tweak that EQ for the low end and do the same for music that favors mids and highs. Overall the versatility is great with the EQ and the sound produced from these once you have the EQ where you want it is amazing.

Call Quality

Call quality is exceptionally awesome on these headphones. I never say that because I don’t use headphones for calls, but I felt these sounded really amazing. Callers could hear me equally clear as well and the noise cancelling helps with hearing callers.

Price/Value

Okay, $159.99 isn’t at all cheap but let’s face it, some of that cost is due to the MFi certification that costs every manufacturer who makes certified Apple products. I think you’re getting your money’s worth with these headphones, you’ll have to decide if your pocket is prepared to part with the money.

Wrap Up

Excellent sounding Lightning headphones with amazing EQ versatility, noise cancellation and sound. If you can part with this much cash these are a sure bet for iPhone users. One other note, I did not see any noticeable battery drain while using the headphones.

JBL Reflect Aware
4.8 Out of 5
Nailed It
Great sound, noise cancelling works great, adjustable noise cancelling in app, reflective cable for runners, sweat proof.
Needs Work
For iPhone only, price point may turn some buyers off.
Bottom Line
JBL's Reflect Aware are not only comfortable with the shape of their ear tips but they sound amazing and the noise cancelling is top notch!
Design5.00
Sound4.75
Call Quality4.75
Price/Value4.50
*We were sent a sample of the JBL Reflect Aware for the purposes of this review.
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