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JBL Tune 125TWS Review

Last updated: 7 months ago
7 min read
Editor
rating
3.0
JBL Tune 125TWS on rock

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JBL Tune 125TWS are fairly simple true wireless earbuds with good sound quality and one frustratingly annoying quirk.

JBL products aim at a younger audience, equipping them with a V-shaped sound signature (bassier version of the Harman curve).

JBL Tune 125TWS follow that to the point, with boosted bass and treble and nicely balanced mid-range.

And, despite their unconventional design, the wireless earbuds are comfortable and secure (more on that later).

However, they’re very light on features and have an unnecessarily big charging case. There are also annoying physical controls, which push earbuds deeper into your ears.

There’s much more to talk about JBL Tune 125TWS. Read the review below to find out.

  • Decent sound quality
  • Great battery life
  • Comfortable fit
  • Occasionally harsh treble
  • Only the most basic features
  • Uncomfortable physical controls
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3
By HeadphonesAddict
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3.2
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CONTENTS (show more)

    Sound

    Star Rating
    3.0 Good

    A bright, peaky treble ruins a pleasantly balanced midrange.

    Check the JBL Tune 125TWS Sound Comparison

    JBL Tune 125TWS Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    Learn how to understand sound comparisons. LISTEN WITH HEADPHONES.

    With little to no surprise, JBL Tune 125TWS share a similar sound signature to many other JBL headphones. They call it JBL Pure Bass Sound.

    You can expect punchy bass and a very typical 8-9kHz peak. However, this time around, there’s something different.

    Bass: Boosted But Not Boomy

    The bass under 200Hz is boosted to a reasonable amount. Consequently, it bleeds into the midrange.

    Thankfully, it avoids being boomy and packs a decent control. It adds nice warmness to your songs without covering the details.

    Pop tracks, such as “Believer” from Imagine Dragons, sound rumbly and impactful, but not to the point of getting a bass-induced headache.

    Midrange: As It Should Be

    For the most part, mid frequencies are neutral. Instruments and vocals sound decently thick and textured, albeit a bit bright due to the boost in the treble. More on that later.

    Any music genre emphasizing lead instruments should sound quite nice and natural.

    Treble: Bright & Sibilant

    From 2kHz to 7kHz, the response slowly drops until it makes a massive peak at 9kHz. See frequency response graf below.

    For some reason, that’s a typical treble tuning for many consumer-oriented earbuds.

    It creates a sense of clarity but also makes everything else very thin. 9kHz peak is even worse than 8kHz peak since it adds harshness and sibilance.

    All of the above-mentioned problems are evident in JBL Tune 125TWS. Female vocals sound thin, while cymbals lack texture and are overly shimmery. To the point where you might start cringing, which is unfortunate.

    JBL Tune 125TWS Frequency Response

    JBL Tune 125TWS frequency response

    Earbuds have a good sense of soundstage and imaging and can portray a decent amount of air.

    Fade-in Effect

    However, there’s one thing about the listening experience that’s quite annoying.

    For some reason, JBL thought implementing a fade-in effect every time you resume playback is a good idea.

    As a result, the volume picks up gradually when you play a song. It takes 5-6 seconds to reach full loudness, which is frustrating.

    While you might argue that this not-so-great feature protects your hearing (if the earbuds are accidentally set to 100% volume), there should be a way to turn it off. Since there’s no JBL Headphone app, it’s impossible.

    Nevertheless, if V-shaped tuning is your jam, the JBL Tune 125TWS sound quality fulfill all your needs. Just be aware of the occasional harshness when pushing the volume higher than usual.

    Comfort & Fit

    Star Rating
    4.5 Almost Perfect

    While bulky, earbuds nicely contour the ears’ shape and provide long-lasting comfort. Stability is great, although not as secure as some sports-oriented models.

    Quite a few JBL true wireless earbuds have big, bulky housings. Thankfully, with an ergonomic and lightweight design, that doesn’t ruin the comfort.

    JBL Tune 125TWS side indicator

    JBL Tune 125TWS provide a comfortable fit for long periods. They’re no sharp corners, nor do they press against your pinna, which could cause pain in the long run.

    The only part where you might feel unpleasant is the pressure you feel upon inserting ear tips into your ear canal.

    The vacuum gets worse when trying to use physical controls. They’re poorly placed right on top of the buds. Consequently, you push the buds deeper into your ears when you press them.

    Stability is good, too. True wireless earbuds offer a secure fit during outdoor activities and don’t seem to budge when you shake your head.

    Of course, you can still feel them bouncing around during intense workouts. For a more stable fit, you might want to consider some of the best workout earbuds.

    However, JBL Tune 125TWS will do their job well enough for regular use.

    Durability

    Star Rating
    2.5 Average

    While the overall build quality feels good, the wireless earbuds lack even essential sweat resistance.

    Earbuds seem built pretty well. Sure, they’re plasticky and lightweight, but they don’t seem like they will burst open when dropped on the floor.

    JBL Tune 125TWS iron hinge
    The reinforced hinge on the charging case. The case has a pearly matte finish.

    However, my main concern is the lack of IP rating. JBL Tune 125TWS were originally selling for around $100. For that price, JBL could’ve sent them for official testing.

    While I don’t believe that excess sweat can harm them, the warranty still isn’t covering repairs if water damage occurs.

    What about the charging case?

    It’s bulky and made of matte black plastic. The only metal part is the hinge, which doesn’t make it any less cheap. It wobbles and makes shaky noises.

    At least the magnets are pretty good at holding the lid down.

    So here’s the deal.

    For casual everyday use, the JBL Tune 125TWS will hold just fine. But don’t expose them to liquids or humid environments, and they should work for a long time.

    Battery

    Star Rating
    4.5 Almost Perfect

    From our battery test:

    The battery life on a single charge exceeds the advertised numbers, lasting 9 hours and 14 minutes. No Qi wireless charging, though.

    JBL Tune 125TWS Battery Graph

    JBL Tune 125TWS battery comparison

    Occasionally, headphones exceed the battery expectations and last for longer than what’s promised by the manufacturer.

    In the case of JBL Tune 125TWS, earbuds pack 9 hours and 14 minutes on a single charge (eight hours advertised). That’s on 50% volume, which is already pretty loud.

    The charging case holds another 24 hours of runtime and even supports fast charging if you need a quick boost.

    You get one hour of additional playtime in a 15-minute charge.

    While the charging case supports USB-C charging, it doesn’t support wireless charging.

    Features

    Star Rating
    2.0 Adequate

    Earbuds pack only the essential features with a basic control scheme.

    The list of features offered by JBL Tune 125TWS is pretty short. Apart from supporting Google Fast Pair and mono mode, there really isn’t much to talk about.

    Even controls are painfully basic, ranging from music playback, answering calls, and summoning voice assistants (like Siri or Google Assistant). No volume controls, whatsoever.

    JBL Tune 125TWS case inside
    The charging case has small engravings to tell what controls are on the right and left earbud.

    And here’s where it all ends. There is no companion app support, EQ profiles, volume control, active noise cancellation, or ambient sound mode.

    That kind of feature-set is more appropriate for cheap true wireless earbuds than something that usually costs $100.

    Microphone Quality

    Call quality is a mixed bag, and it heavily depends on the situation.

    JBL Tune 125TWS Microphone Test

    In a quiet environment, you can expect good clarity from built-in microphones. Your voice sounds a bit thin, but it’s at least entirely understandable.

    Moving into a noisier place, the quality drops severely. The microphone’s noise-canceling feature is unsuccessfully trying to reduce background noise, producing static distortion and making your voice sound robotic.

    The worst part is that some of your words are simply not understandable. Therefore, go somewhere quiet if you have to answer phone calls.

    Noise Isolation

    Star Rating
    3.5 Almost Great

    The passive noise isolation is above average but not quite up there with the best. Thankfully, playing music drowns away most of the ambient noise.

    JBL Tune 125TWS physical button

    Thanks to the in-ear seal, JBL Tune 125TWS do a good job blocking background noise. They can still pass through some of the noise, but it isn’t obnoxiously loud.

    While you can’t use them for hearing protection, the outside noise doesn’t bother you during music playback.

    Bluetooth

    Star Rating
    3.0 Good

    You get a standard Bluetooth performance with a decent range and a mono mode. Using AAC, you will get a slight audio lag when watching videos.

    Using Bluetooth version 5.0, earbuds provide a good strength but an average range. Inside a house, I managed to reach 40 feet and pass 2 brick walls until the audio cut off.

    Sure, these results aren’t bad, but compared to other wireless earbuds, they aren’t exceptional.

    How to pair JBL Tune 125TWS?

    1. The pairing mode initiates when you take the true wireless earbuds out from the charging case. On Android, you’ll see a pop-up message from the Google Fast Pair function.
    2. For any additional pairings, you simply turn off the earbuds and turn them back on. You hold the power button until you hear a beeping sound (or LEDs start flashing).

    On top of that, earbuds support mono mode (using only one earbud at a time) to save energy and keep yourself aware of the surroundings.

    Sadly, they don’t support multipoint.

    JBL Tune 125TWS in the case

    What Bluetooth Codecs Do They Use?

    You can select between SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs. The latter is a default pick for both Android and iOS.

    Is There an Audio Lag?

    Unfortunately, when using the AAC codec, there is. The lag is minimal but noticeable when looking at a person’s mouth.

    • On Android devices, the workaround is to force the SBC codec inside the Developer settings. After doing that, the lag is much improved. However, this solution isn’t permanent. The next time you pair earbuds back to your device, they’ll keep using AAC.
    • On iOS, there are no workarounds.

    Should You Get JBL Tune 125TWS?

    The hefty battery life and a comfortable fit stand out with these truly wireless earbuds. That way, you can wear them for an entire day and not feel any fatigue.

    Also, if you like brighter sound signatures with a pinch of extra bass, the audio quality will be right up to your alley.

    On the other hand, they’re pretty basic on all fronts. For $100, they simply offer too little compared to the competition.

    If you can get them on sale (they’re $50 on Amazon at the moment), you might want to check them out. Otherwise, EarFun Free Pro 2 or SoundPEATS H1 are a far better pick with great sound quality (see links to reviews below).

    How do JBL Tune 125TWS compare to the competition?

    • They have a similar sound signature to most competitors, with a punchy bass and treble.
    • The excellent battery life is on par, if not better, than most competition.
    • Earbuds lack additional features like ambient sound mode and active noise cancellation.
    • Their Bluetooth range is only average, whereas competition does a better job.
    • Most of the competitors have at least a basic IP rating, whereas the JBL’s have none.

    JBL Tune 125TWS Alternatives

    EarFun Free Pro 2

    EarFun Free Pro 2 buds and case

    Sporting a similar tuning, the Free Pro 2 sound livelier and more dynamic, with better detail. They’re in a completely different category.

    Furthermore, they sport an IPX5 rating, Qi wireless charging, ANC, and ambient mode. You can also adjust the volume via touch controls.

    On the other hand, the battery life of 4.5 hours is noticeably worse.

    EarFun Free Pro 2 review

    JBL Live 300TWS

    JBL Live 300TWS earbuds on rock

    While in a completely different price range, paying more gives you an almost identical tuning but better detail and access to more features (custom EQ inside the app).

    While both offer similar comfort, the Live 300TWS offer ear fins for extra stability and an IPX5 rating.

    While 6 hours per charge is good battery life, it’s still lower than the Tune 125TWS.

    JBL Live 300TWS review

    Skullcandy Indy ANC

    Skullcandy Indy ANC earbuds and the case

    Again, you get a similar V-shaped sound but with a good bass slam, appropriate for the best bass earbuds for bass heads.

    On top of that, earbuds support a companion app with 3 EQ profiles. You can also toggle between ANC and ambient sound mode.

    Despite their size, earbuds hold in even better than the Tune 125TWS. However, the total battery life is slightly lower at 5.5 hours.

    Skullcandy Indy ANC review

    What’s in the Box?

    JBL Tune 125TWS accessories
    • JBL Tune 125TWS true wireless earbuds
    • Charging case
    • USB-C charging cable
    • 3 pairs of silicone ear tips (S, M, L)
    • User guides

    Specifications

    Type: True wireless
    Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Back design: Closed-back
    Drivers: 5.8mm dynamic
    Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Impedance: 14 Ohm
    Weight: 73g (with case)
    Mic & Controls: Yes
    Water resistance: None
    Battery life: 8 + 24h in case
    Charging time: 2h + quick charge – USB-C
    Active noise cancelling: No
    Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC
    Wireless range: 40ft (12.2m)
    Microphone: Yes

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