JBL Free X – Truly Wireless Earbuds Review

JBL Free X – Truly Wireless Earbuds Review

The “Truly Wireless” in-ear headphones JBL Free x with Bluetooth 4.2 are available in a white or black version for a fair 129 EUR – in the official JBL store. The earbuds are splash-proof (IPX5), sweat-resistant and reproduce frequencies from 10 Hz to 22 kHz. Two 5.6 mm drivers are installed. The earbuds last four hours on one charge, then it goes into the case to charge. You can then recharge it for another 20 hours, i.e., five times. A quick charge function is also built-in: 15 minutes, then listening to music for 1 hour. If you want to charge the case fully, the fun lasts 2 hours. 

PROS:

  • Bass-friendly sound with pleasant mids and highs.
  • Good wearing comfort
  • Problem-free handling
  • Long playing time with charging case

CONS:

  • Volume cannot be adjusted on the handset
  • Relatively large charging case

The hands-free system only works on the right earbud ex-works, and that is what we want. JBL speaks of a “natural conversation experience” in mono operation. You can understand the conversation partner without any problems. The quality is completely satisfactory. If you end the call and return to music playback, playback is immediately back in stereo. By the way: The JBL Free x paired immediately with our iPhone XS Max. There were no unsightly malfunctions. 

For a purchase price of 129 EUR, I can’t criticize the quality. Apple’s AirPods do not look higher quality here. Only the Apple case appears more elegant and is at the same time even more compact. A real show is pulled off when it is dark, and the JBL Free x are in the charging case: 

Contents of the package:

  • JBL Free 2 x earbuds – optionally in white or black version
  • Charging box – earbuds hold magnetically in it
  • Two gel covers (M and L) – ideal for sporting activities
  • Three ear tips (S, M, L) – should fit 90 percent of all users
  • Charging cable in orange (micro USB)

Now the JBL Free x must convince in everyday handling and terms of sound quality. Will it succeed?

Playback and sound quality

We start with the preparations. First, you select the ear tips that best fit your ear canals. Next, the JBL Free x must be correctly installed in the ear. Then they sit perfectly and do not fall out, even with violent head movements. And the bass reproduction is then as it should be – if the earpieces fit, for example, too small, then the whole sound is not balanced. In our case, we used the “L” earplugs, so everything went well. What about the options during playback?

  • Press once (real pressure point available!) Right earbud: playback stops. Press it once again: playback continues.
  • Press right earbud twice; Voice control (Siri) is activated. 
  • Press the left earbud once: Jump to the front.

Press the left earbud twice: The current track is repeated from the beginning.

We start with “Diamond Heart” by Alan Walker. Here the JBL Free x surprises us with a spatial sound that seems free and lively, even during the intro. When it “gets down to business,” the voice reproduction is very balanced. The bass is not as emphatic as we are used to from JBL – but it could also be due to the title because the Free x is about to stir up a lot of dust in the bass area. 

And again, a new version of the Guru Josh classic “Infinity,” this time by Sean Finn. Again, the saxophone comes out very well initially, and the differentiation from the voice is also flawless. Then the bass insert, which is precisely on the point, and hard – if the earbud fits perfectly, then the bass pulls right through—very good performance for 129 EUR. 

Wind It Up (Rewound / Remastered “by The Prodigy suits the Free x. As is typical for JBL, it bangs again in the bass range, which we are very happy about. The maximum levels that can be achieved are very good and hardly worthy of criticism, a bit sharper, but never to a dangerous extent. The dynamics are excellent. The hectic breakbeat rhythm does not pose any problems for the Free x. 

Classic Eurodance chart hit from the 90s: “Happy People” by Prince Ital Joe and Marky Mark. And here, too, the Free x pulls away many competitors: Sure, with substance and a really good space. The earbuds fit perfectly without pressing and allow for real listening pleasure. Combined with the low purchase price, the Free x also demonstrates their competence here.

It remains classic – with “Ready Or Not” from the Fugees. The vocal use takes place cleanly, and the rap part with the hard bass also satisfies high demands with confidence. The bass is absolutely precise and does not soften even at high volume. What stands out again: the good spatial feeling and the very good dynamics.

Well known from advertising: “Can You Feel It” (The Jacksons). Despite the only average recording, the Free x “really works” with success and scores with a concise voice reproduction that is at the same time very well integrated into the overall tonal structure. The bass is tight and powerful, but other acoustic components are not covered. 

Not to be missed – at this time of year: “Last Christmas,” a show-stopper for that “special feeling” under the Christmas tree. No matter what you think of the song, the JBL Free x can convince: With a successful vocal presence and impulse-faithful reproduction of the rhythm. The JBL Truly Wireless In-Ear performs well with every style of music. So we can report this with a clear conscience.

Really with every style of music? We push the pace again. “Land Of Konfusion” in the cover version of Disturbed demands everything from the Free x again. The drivers operate close to the maximum stroke but remain on the safe side. The JBL pushes the voice as well as the electric guitar with the appropriate aggressiveness. Again a top performance and a successful end to the test. 

Competition comparison

Apple AirPods: The AirPods want to distinguish themselves with even more convenient functions and a somewhat more relaxed sound at a high level. In addition, they stretch in an excellently processed and extremely compact case. The battery life of the AirPods is one hour longer at 5 hours. On the other hand, the AirPods are more expensive and less dynamic than the Free x.

Save money but still rely on JBL? Is also possible. The classic Bluetooth in-ears JBL Everest 110 are at 80 to 90 EUR market prices and sound decent. Not that much more expensive, but much “cooler” are the Free x, which also appear to be an idea of ​​higher quality than the well-made Everest 110. 

Elexyr Audio Truly Wireless Earbuds: Available from around 80 EUR, depending on the color, the earbuds don’t sound bad at all, but rather pleasant and homogeneous. Unfortunately, the high-quality plugs do not run as smoothly as the JBL Free x, and compatibility problems depend on the iOS version of the iPhone. 

Conclusion

Well done, JBL. After it took another year (the Free was presented at IFA 2017), the JBL Free x is proven to be well-engineered, excellent, and stable. Truly Wireless In-Ears are neatly made and boast high-quality materials. Splash-proof and sweat-resistant, they are even suitable for jogging, for example. Once the earplug’s correct size has been found, the two elements fit perfectly, do not fall out of the ear, and do not squeeze. A chic design, a high practical value, reasonable battery life, and a dynamic, spatially dense sound are offered for 129 EUR. 

 

JBL Free X – Truly Wireless Earbuds Review
JBL Free X – Truly Wireless Earbuds Review

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