JBL Live 300TWS are a pretty average true wireless earbuds that don’t excel in any category. But if you can get them for under $80, you might want to check them out.
JBL is a brand for youth and bass lovers. Most of their products are fun to listen to and have attractive designs.
However, the JBL Live 300TWS simply lack excitement. Right down from the overly bulky charging case to the monotone design of the buds.
The companion app does offer other features, but they feel more like an excuse to sell you the promise of getting them.
Sure, the app offers EQ, but it is impossible to correct the stock tuning.
Even the battery life of 6 hours is only average, and the Bluetooth range is less than optimal.
The original price of $150 is set way too high. However, earbuds are frequently on sale for under $80. So, should you pick them up? Find out if they’re worth your money in the review below.
- Good sound quality
- Durable build with an IPX5 rating
- Comfortable fit
- Companion app with custom EQ
- Peak at 8kHz makes for a bright, tiny sound
- Unimpressive features
- App problems with Samsung Galaxy devices
A slightly V-shaped sound signature with a strong peak around 8kHz makes for a sizzling sound and splashy cymbals. Still, they’re okay if you don’t mind their bright sound.
Check the JBL Live 300TWS Sound Test
JBL signature sound is known to follow the Harman curve, which adds some bass and a bit of treble to make the sound livelier.
However, JBL also loves to boost the region around 8kHz, which ruins the balance of the Harman target curve.
Thankfully, it doesn’t sound as boosted as seen in our measurement. Sure, it isn’t neutral, but it isn’t bloated either. I tried different ear tips but never heard the same boost.
Actually, the bass is even slightly lacking, making vocals sound a bit dull. It offers reasonable control in everything you throw at it, from rock and metal to pop and EDM.
It has a good extension and produces mild rumble. Therefore, if you’re a basshead, you should look at the best bass earbuds to find a more suitable option.
Pretty balanced for the most part, with a slight dip around 2.5kHz. However, the massive peak at 8kHz completely ruins the party.
While most instruments, like guitars and drums, sound good and natural, that peak makes the vocals sound thin. As if a singer had a clogged nose.
Playing with the EQ doesn’t help much since it isn’t precise.
That peak also affects cymbal crashes, which appear splashy and hollow. The treble extension is good and airy, but the treble lacks power and is relatively quiet.
JBL Live 300TWS Frequency Response
In conclusion, these JBL earbuds are a missed opportunity. Sadly, you can’t fully correct the JBL’s mistake in the app, as tweaking the EQ also hurts the dynamics, which aren’t great in the first place.
Also, for the price, the sound could be a bit more detailed, especially in the treble, which is easily the least impressive thing of the JBL Live 300TWS.
Comfort & Fit
While bulkier, JBL Live 300TWS manage to fit comfortably into your ears without poking into your pinna. And detachable ear fins help with stabilization.
Earbuds are similar to the JBL Reflect Mini NC but smaller. A rectangular housing is relatively big yet small enough not to pressure against your earlobes.
Moreover, thanks to the lightweight plastic construction, they don’t feel bouncy in your ears, even when you work out.
As a result, you can wear the JBL Live 300TWS for long periods without experiencing fatigue.
The included ear fins come in various sizes and help stabilize earbuds in place. It’s helpful during sports activities, preventing earbuds from falling out.
Thankfully, if you don’t like the feel of ear fins, you can opt for the rubber sleeve without a fin.
Due to the design, earbuds’ build quality seems durable enough for daily use. Also, they support an IPX5 rating. The case feels good but would probably break if dropped on the floor.
Earbuds have a rectangular shape with no visible weak points like elongated stems. They could probably survive a drop on the floor or a chew by a pet. Find even more rugged models in the most durable earbuds guide.
Moreover, the true wireless earphones are rated for an IPX5 rating. That means you can use them for workouts, outdoor activities, and even showering (they can easily survive light rain conditions).
Note that while they’re water-resistant, they might not survive getting dunked underwater.
Silicone ear tips feel a bit cheap and are firmly attached to the nozzle. I advise not to pull too hard when replacing the tips.
Another silicone part, the stability fins, feels sturdier. They also double as a rubbery sleeve that creates a softer contact between the buds and your skin.
Lastly, the charging case is made of cheap plastic on the outside and has a rubbery coating on the inside. JBL probably did that to protect the earbuds from scratching.
The battery life of 5 hours on a single charge, with extra 14 hours inside the charging case, isn’t awe-inspiring. While the case supports fast charging, it lacks Qi wireless charging.
Nowadays, the average battery life of true wireless earbuds measures around 7 hours per charge. It doesn’t sound much, but it’s more than enough in real life.
The JBL Live 300TWS’s 5-hour battery is enough for a day of use. However, it’s still below average compared to the competition. Also, it’s strangely low, given the size of the earbuds.
Likewise, the charging case holds only 14 hours of additional juice, despite its size. Not sure what JBL was doing, but it definitely wasn’t filling up the JBL Live 300TWS with battery cells.
Additionally, the charging case doesn’t support Qi wireless charging.
Thankfully, there is fast charging support.
- Placing earbuds in the case for 10 minutes will give you a 1 hour boost.
JBL Live 300TWS come with a companion app that offers ambient sound mode and custom EQ. However, they somehow don’t want to connect with Samsung Galaxy phones.
For the current $80, these Bluetooth headphones come with a good set of features. Sadly, you don’t get active noise cancelling, but at least there’s the ambient Aware mode.
When connected to the JBL Headphones app, you can also access control customization and EQ.
Starting with the control customizer, it’s much better than on other JBL earbuds. The app lets you pick a command for each gesture. On top of one, two, and three taps you can also hold and swipe.
The only limitation is that, for some reason, some commands only work for a specific side. For example, you can only use the right side to call a voice assistant (either Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, or Bixby).
Secondly, while it’s nice to have a custom EQ, the one in the JBL app isn’t precise enough to fully correct the sound of the JBL Live 300 TWS.
The app also changes the EQ once you save it, applying different curves, which is annoying.
Major problems with Galaxy devices
Lastly, the user experience on Samsung Galaxy smartphones is beyond frustrating. While earbuds can connect to a Galaxy phone and play music, the app simply doesn’t recognize the earbuds.
Meaning, you can’t access the above-mentioned features.
What’s even more enraging is that the JBL is aware of the issue but can’t find the solution. There’s also no warning for the buyers to avoid the purchase if you own a Galaxy phone.
In my case, the earbuds can’t connect with the app on the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S7, but they can easily connect to the Huawei P30 Pro smartphone.
The call quality in a quiet environment is good for true wireless earbuds, ensuring a clean voice with decent fullness.
Talking in a noisy place makes your voice noticeably muffled. Nevertheless, the performance is still passable for quick replies, but avoid making phone calls in noisy places for the cleanest quality possible.
JBL Live 300TWS microphone test
With proper ear tips, you get a good level of passive noise isolation. Playing with third-party foam tips could increase the isolation even further. On the other hand, the ambient sound mode performance is only decent.
As expected, JBL Live 300TWS are great for passive isolation thanks to their in-ear fit.
Ear tips have a slight mushroom shape, which creates a better seal.
The JBL Live 300 passive isolation is similar to other in-ear headphones and can be improved by playing with third-party eartips.
Foam tips create a stronger seal, as long as you find the ones with a proper fit on the nozzle. The latter is crucial if you don’t want your tips to constantly fall off.
Ensuring excellent passive isolation is vital for JBL Live 300TWS since they don’t offer active noise cancellation.
On the other hand, they boost the background noise with Ambient Aware and TalkThru mode.
The feature doesn’t boast impressive results. It only manages to marginally boost the ambient noise. As a result, if you want to speak to someone, you still have to take off the earbuds.
Despite the Bluetooth 5.0, the connection range is only average, and you might even experience some random audio cuts.
If you want a spotless Bluetooth connection, then JBL Live 300TWS aren’t the best pick.
Despite using Bluetooth version 5.0, their range is about average. When walking around the house, earbuds manage to reach the second brick wall and stop the playback as soon as I try to pass it.
While that’s good for casual use, there are much better earbuds out there in this category.
How to pair JBL Live 300 TWS?
- For pairing, the Live 300TWS use the Google Fast Pair option. You can also enable pairing mode by placing the two earpieces out of the case and finding them in the Bluetooth menu.
- For second pairing, place both buds in the charging case and hold the multifunction button until the notification lights start blinking red. After resetting the buds, they should appear in the Bluetooth menu.
Be aware that the Google Fast Pair feature doesn’t connect properly with Samsung Galaxy devices. While you can pair them via the Bluetooth menu, you can’t connect them with the app. More on that in the Features section.
Furthermore, JBL Live 300TWS headphones seem to experience random connection issues. Sometimes, when I stop playing music for a couple of minutes and try to resume it afterward, only one earbud works.
Once, the audio froze while watching YouTube on my smartphone. I switched the audio output to the phone’s speaker and then back to the earbuds to wake them up again.
Also, they lack multipoint feature.
What Bluetooth Codecs Do They Use?
Earbuds use basic SBC and AAC codecs to cover Android and iOS users. For the price, JBL could’ve included an aptX codec.
Is There an Audio Lag?
When watching YouTube on a smartphone, the audio is completely in sync. However, the delay is more noticeable when playing mobile games or paired to a laptop.
Should You Get JBL Live 300TWS?
They are a pretty decent option since the price has dropped down to $80 (or even lower, depending on the color you want).
However, the sound is a bit too bright, the Ambient Aware is mediocre, the battery life is only average, and the earbuds lack active noise cancelling. If you search for the latter, find suitable models in the best noise cancelling headphones under $100 guide.
Furthermore, you should avoid them entirely if you own a Galaxy device since, for some reason, earbuds don’t want to work with them.
Overall, JBL Live 300TWS are a decent pair of earbuds but a bad deal compared to their competition.
How do JBL Live 300TWS compare to competition?
- JBL Live 300TWS have an IPX5 rating, which is comparable to the competition.
- The sound quality is average for the price, and you can get better audio performance from the competition.
- The battery life of 6 hours on a single charge is also below average, especially compared to the competition, which can pump up to 8 or 10 hours per charge. Also, the case lacks Qi charging.
- Earbuds only support ambient sound mode, whereas the competition also has ANC and some other features as well.
JBL Live 300TWS Alternatives
EarFun Free Pro 2
You get less accurate but livelier sound with better detail retrieval for a similar price.
Earbuds are also smaller and more lightweight, which could be important for users with smaller ears.
More so, you get both active noise cancellation and ambient sound mode but no companion app for EQ and custom touch controls.
JBL Reflect Mini NC
Expect a more dynamic sound with more serious power and a fair amount of bass boost that you can tweak inside the JBL Headphones app.
Wireless headphones have noise cancellation, but it works poorly. Otherwise, the app offers similar customization options.
They’re more durable (IPX7) and have a slightly longer battery life (7 hours per charge). On the other hand, they’re bulkier, making them unsuitable for users with smaller ears.
The combination of dynamic driver and balanced armature creates a very competent sound. Low frequencies don’t overwhelm the mix, whereas the mids and treble are neutral.
However, they boast around 10 hours on a single charge and have a Qi wireless charging case.
What’s in the Box?
- JBL Live 300TWS true wireless earbuds
- Charging case
- USB-C charging cable
- Three pairs of silicone ear tips (S, M, L)
- Four pairs of ear fins
- User guides
|Weight:||0.48 oz (13.6g) both buds|
|Mic & Controls:||Yes|
|Battery life:||6h + 14h in case|
|Charging time:||2h + quick charge – USB-C|
|Active noise cancelling:||No|
|Bluetooth codecs:||SBC, AAC|
|Wireless range:||33ft (10m)|