One of the biggest challenges for people buying headphones is getting to experience them first, and of course, that’s not going to be easy – that’s my job:) . And to be frank I worry about the sound quality of headphones as the prices go down.
So this week I’ve been testing the JBL Reflect Contour headphones – at $169 you should get a decent sound – I’d consider that mid-tier pricing. These are in ear, Bluetooth headphones with a single wire from ear to ear.
Now before we talk sound, lets talk comfort. These things aren’t going anywhere. Like any really good active sports headphone, they go in ear and wrap over the ear like a hook.
Additionally, the JBL Reflect Contours also have a narrowing sound edge that points into the ear, and the ear lobe hook, so you get three levels of “support” – over the ear, in the ear, and hooked on the inside of your ear lobe. I found this strange at first, but then realised it offered the ultimate comfort and assurance.
The short wire between each ear runs behind your neck, with the power and volume controls under the left ear. THis does make reaching those controls slightly awkward, but there’s always some reach to the ear required with modern style headphones.
Then you pair them and play some tunes. I’ve gotta say, for a sub-$200 headphone – these offer exceptional sound quality. Only the $399 Sony WF-1000X, or the Beoplay E8 ($449) have really offered me an in-ear sound that I could live with before now – but man these sound great.
For the regular walker or runner, I’d favour these over those more pricey models every day just for the utterly snug fit. At $169 they are a no-brainer for any fitness fan who want’s some decent sound in their lives.