Our review

Designed to be your gym buddy, the JBL Reflect Mini NC are a solid pair of water-resistant earbuds that will not budge.

Pros

  • Active Noise Cancellation
  • Compact charging case
  • Comprehensive water resistance
  • Secure fit

Cons

  • Uncomfortable over long periods

A good pair of workout earbuds have to tread the line of being secure enough not to fall out without infringing on comfort. Hoping to get this balance right, the JBL Reflect Mini NC are one in the latest string of affordable wireless earbuds.

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Launched earlier this year, the JBL Reflect Mini NC are design to be your companion in the gym with a comprehensive IPX7 water resistance rating and earfin stabilisers to help keep the earbuds in place.

We put the sport wireless earbuds to the test, covering everything from design and sound quality to features such as water resistance and battery life. Each category is given a rating out of five before being weighed up against their price to decide whether you should part with your cash.

Find out how they fared in our JBL Reflect Mini NC review.

Want to see how other earbuds compare? Read our Grado GT220 review and Apple AirPods Pro review. Or read our best smartwatch guide for more workout tech. And if you want to see how these earbuds compare to other, cheaper options, read our pick of the best budget wireless earbuds.

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JBL Reflect Mini NC review: summary

The JBL Reflect Mini NC have a lot of features that make them a brilliant choice for earbuds to workout in. The IPX7-rated water resistance means that you can use them in the heaviest of downpours and would survive being dropped in water. This protection is a lot more comprehensive than most wireless earbuds. The earfin stabilisers also work; they keep the earbuds secure in your ear throughout runs, HIIT and yoga no problem.

However, there are a few flaws that you might want to consider. First, the stabilisers may ensure the earbuds don't budge, but they do become uncomfortable over longer periods of time. And second, we did have a couple of connection issues. These aren't dealbreakers but did stop us from giving the earbuds a higher rating. However, for the price, the JBL Reflect Mini NC are a good pair of ANC earbuds and worth considering if you do need a new pair of earbuds to throw on before heading to the gym.

Price: The JBL Reflect Mini NC are available for £129.99 at Amazon, Currys and Argos.

Key features:

  • Active Noise Cancellation
  • IPX7 water resistance
  • Customisable EQ settings via My JBL Headphones app
  • In-ear detection to automatically stop music playing when removed
  • Voice control via Google Assistant and Alexa

Pros:

  • Active Noise Cancellation
  • Compact charging case
  • Comprehensive water resistance
  • Secure fit

Cons:

  • Uncomfortable over long periods

What are JBL Reflect Mini NC?

JBL Reflect Mini NC review

The JBL Reflect Mini NC are one of the brand's newest sport-focused wireless earbuds model. Designed to be used while exercising, the earbuds are water-resistant, offer Active Noise Cancellation and a secure fit thanks to earfin stabilisers. At £129.99, the earbuds are a mid-range offering but a good price considering that they offer features such as ANC that do tend to make earbuds more expensive.

What do JBL Reflect Mini NC do?

The JBL Reflect Mini NC offer an extensive range of features, including touch controls, pre-set audio modes and a fast charge time (of two hours from empty). You are getting a lot of good, and often expensive, features for a pretty reasonable price of £129.99.

  • Active Noise Cancellation
  • IPX7 water resistance
  • Customisable EQ settings via My JBL Headphones app
  • In-ear detection to automatically stop music playing when removed
  • Voice control via Google Assistant and Alexa

How much are JBL Reflect Mini NC?

The JBL Reflect Mini NC are available for £129.99 at Amazon, Currys and Argos.

Are JBL Reflect Mini NC good value for money?

At £129.99, the JBL Reflect Mini NC are a more affordable option for those who know they want Active Noise Cancellation. Along with ANC, the earbuds have a lot of the features you'd expect with a more premium model. These include decent water resistance, voice control via Google Assistant and Alexa, and customisable EQ settings with the My JBL Headphones app. Even with a couple of functions not working as smoothly as we would have liked, there's no doubt that the JBL Reflect Mini NC are good value for money.

JBL Reflect Mini NC design

JBL Reflect Mini NC review

Available in three colourways; black, white and blue, the JBL Reflect Mini NC come in a compact charging case with the brand's logo embossed on the top. The light on the front of the case will indicate how much battery life remains. This is useful if you just want to check the battery life at a glance.

An addition not found with many wireless earbuds is the strap on the charging case. Not a life-changing feature but a good size to fit around your wrist if you want that added security while out running.

The only problem we encountered with the JBL Reflect Mini NC was how uncomfortable the earfin stabilisers became over long periods. This discomfort will obviously vary depending on the shape and size of your ears, but even with the right size tip and stabiliser, we struggled to wear the earbuds for longer than three hours.

If you only intend to use the earbuds at the gym, this is unlikely to become an issue but might be a consideration if you want earbuds for commuting or everyday work. That being said, the earfin stabilisers are there to ensure the earbuds don't budge during workouts and they do the job well.

  • Style: The metallic finishes on the earbuds make them look more premium than they are. These details aren't always included on the sporty models, so it's a welcome extra.
  • Robustness: The earbuds feel sturdy and well-made. We'd have no worries about throwing the case into our bag, and the matte finish on the case doesn't mark easily.
  • Size: Both the earbuds and charging case are pretty compact. There is also the option of three sizes of earfins and tips to get the best fit.

JBL Reflect Mini NC features

Along with the touch controls, the JBL Reflect Mini NC can also be controlled via Google Assistant or Alexa. The voice assistants aren't 'always-on' but holding down on either earbud will activate the feature. And, as we've come to expect from Google Assistant and Alexa, they're extremely accurate.

The stand-out feature of the JBL Reflect Mini NC is the IPX7-rated water resistance. This means that the earbuds can handle being immersed in water for a maximum of 30 minutes at a depth between 15cm to 1m, so a sweaty workout or downpour of rain should be no problem.

The battery life is a little more average, but it isn't bad. On a single charge, expect to get six hours of battery life with ANC on, and that stretches to seven without noise cancelling. There's also an extra 14 hours in the charging case, and charging is fast. From empty, the charging case will be fully charged within two hours, or you can get an hour battery life from just 10 minutes of charging.

JBL Reflect Mini NC sound quality

The sound quality of the JBL Reflect Mini NC is good if nothing special. Music sounds well-balanced but isn't as rich as what you'd find with the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1+ or Grado GT220. It is a similar experience when it comes to podcasts. Speech is clear and easy to understand, and this is also where the Active Noise Cancellation best performs.

ANC made a significant difference when listening to speech radio and podcasts, whereas it is a lot less noticeable for music. However, we liked the Ambient Aware Mode that provided hear-through so you could hear surrounding noises and traffic when need.

In-ear detection is also included so that music will automatically stop playing when the earbud is removed from your ear. It's accurate with the JBL Reflect Mini NC and always a useful addition.

JBL Reflect Mini NC set-up: how easy are they to use?

JBL Reflect Mini NC review

Setting up the JBL reflect Mini NC is much the same as any true wireless earbuds. With Bluetooth settings on, take the earbuds out of the charging case. This should trigger a pairing notification to appear on the screen of your smartphone. To connect to any other devices, go into the Bluetooth settings to pair.

We would also suggest downloading the accompanying app, My JBL Headphones, to give you better control of audio settings. The app doesn't require you to set up an account, either, so you can get straight to customising settings with no fuss.

Along with allowing you to customise the EQ settings, the app also features a number of pre-set audio modes, including for watching video. However, the experience of using them isn't particularly smooth. When activating any of these modes, the effect isn't immediate and instead requires the earbuds to be disconnected and reconnected to work. We found this quite jarring and not necessarily worth the hassle.

What is handy about the JBL Reflect Mini NC is that you can use either earbud on their own. The same touch controls will work on either earbud, and it allows you to listen to music or make a call with only one earbud while the other is charging in the case. The touch controls allow you to play and pause music, skip songs, answer calls and activate the voice assistant without reaching for your phone.

What is the difference between JBL Reflect Mini NC and Powerbeats Pro?

When choosing a new pair of workout earbuds, there is now a good range of options. One of the most popular models is the Powerbeats Pro. Powered by Apple's H1 headphone chip, the earbuds feature a nine-hour battery life, smooth iOS compatibility and sweat-resistance. But, how do they compare to the JBL Reflect Mini NC?

Let's address the obvious first. The Powerbeats Pro are a lot more expensive, with an RRP of £219.99. Despite the higher price, they don't have any Active Noise Cancellation either. What they do have is a slightly longer battery life of nine hours (compared to seven-hour for the JBL Reflect Mini NC) and a quick set-up with Apple devices because they're part of the Apple eco-system.

And yes, they do have water resistance, but it is only IPX4 rated. While this means that the Powerbeats Pro can handle water splashes from any angles, it is not as comprehensive as what the JBL earbuds offer. That being said, both have enough protection to be used during a sweaty workout or in light rain, so it's about considering what level of protection you really need.

Our verdict: should you buy JBL Reflect Mini NC?

If you're looking for a new pair of workout earbuds, the JBL Reflect Mini NC are definitely worth consideration. Despite their fairly affordable price of £129.99, the earbuds offer a lot of great features. The IPX7-rated water resistance means that you can use them in the heaviest of downpours and would survive being dropped in water. This protection is a lot more comprehensive than most wireless earbuds. The touch controls are simple and easy to use, and we couldn't fault the voice control via Google Assistant.

However, there are a few flaws that you might want to consider. The major one is that while the earfin stabilisers ensure you won't lose an earbud during a workout, they do become uncomfortable over long periods of time. We also had some minor connection issues while using the audio modes via the My JBL Headphones app. But these issues won't bother everyone, and there's no doubt that the JBL Reflect Mini NC still offer brilliant value.

Rating:

Some categories (sound quality and features) are weighted more heavily.

Design: 3/5

Features: 4/5

Sound quality: 4/5

Set-up: 3/5

Value for money: 4/5

Overall rating: 3.5/5

Where to buy JBL Reflect Mini NC

The JBL Reflect Mini NC are available at a number of retailers.

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