The predecessor was our favorite for training. Did JBL do enough to defend an upgrade?
Navigating in the jungle of products is difficult no matter what category it is talking about, but rarely is it harder than when it comes to headphones.
This may be especially true when it comes to headphones intended for exercise, where fit is an even more important feature than usual.
One of the signed Universal Recommendations every time I have been asked “What ear plugs should I buy for training?” In the last two years (and it’s not quite a few times) has been the JBL Reflect Mini BT.
They may not have audio that lasts ten out of ten, but the fit has so far been almost unbeatable. They are simply bumping no matter what activities we are doing, and so it has been for everyone I have asked to try them. The price has also not been deterrent and has always “been” for less than a thousand.
Now, JBL has launched the sequel, inventively referred to as Reflect Mini 2. The rider has received a slightly more pronounced color selection, with blue, eucalyptus and a kind of turquoise in addition to the usual black.
In addition, both battery life and sound have improved, plus they have been upgraded from IPX4 to IPX5, which means they’ll be able to withstand far more water splash than before.
At the same time, the first edition costs less than 500 kroner at the time of writing, and we have seen them as far down as 399 this summer. The question therefore becomes whether the upgrades JBL has made makes the tour worth the thousand-dollar store the most demanding.
The JBL Reflect Mini BT 2 has earplugs that make it more firm than any other ear plugs in the ears of the undersigned.
Plastic has become aluminum
Outside, there is not much that separates the newcomer from the original. The houses themselves are upgraded with aluminum, which was previously plastic, and JBL has attached a small clip on the cord so that you can shorten it down if you want.
Reflect Mini BT 2 left, original right.
At the same time, the cord is so thin and flexible that it rarely presents problems, so for the signature part it’s best to just let it hang. We have previously questioned the durability of the thin cable, but the undersigned’s own edition of the Reflect Mini BT is still in good working order. Cable wear on headphones has mostly occurred in the transition to the mini-jack plug, and it is not known here.
The fit is still very good, although the new wings apparently do not fit perfectly in the ears of the undersigned like the previous ones. It nevertheless comes with three sizes of wings and three sizes of silicone pads, so it should be possible to find a combination that works.
For exercise they are still top. They are fabulous in place, and a bonus is that the cord has no tendencies for so-called microphone stand, that is, you hear the ripple of clothes and the like through the music. As mentioned above, water protection has also improved, so you should be able to run these in the rain without problems.
If you do not like the pale green color, luckily there is still a black variant.
The only negative may be that the slightly stiff ears can still make the plugs get a little weary to wear over long periods of time. However, in the ears of the undersigned, it seems to take some more time before it occurs with those than the predecessor, so it is possible to track a slight improvement. At the same time it is extremely individual, we will believe.
Better sound – albeit just a bit
Soundly let the one quite robbed and rockete, but definitely good enough for the vast majority. JBL seems to have made minor changes with the rider. They go a little deeper in the bass and are a bit sharper at the top, but still have the same signature as before. It means a neutral, almost metallic sound, a rich mid-range and a lot of hassle throughout the registry.
We may think that the predecessor is chopped more comfortable to listen to, especially over long periods, since it is a bit more rounded at the top, but the Reflect Mini 2 is more airy and has better separation between the different parts of the sound image. They all sound very engaging and, in addition, very good at training.
Overall, some progress, although both sound good – albeit not entirely on par with our wireless favorites like Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear .
It comes with a small rubber case to keep the plugs in. Not exactly the most solid, but better than just having the plugs lying loose.
A few hours extra battery
As mentioned, battery life has improved somewhat, from eight to ten hours on a load. Battery life has hardly ever been something that has bothered signing with the predecessor either, but the improvement brings Reflect Mini 2 to the top of this kind of wireless ear plugs.
They have also put in place a form of fast charging: 15 minutes connected gives one hour of playback. Nice if you just go out and run a walk and find the earplugs without power.
The remote control is located under the left ear. It could have a bit deeper keys, but each press yields a satisfying click, so it’s still easy to use.
One thing we might have seen was chopped better here was the range. The Bluetooth range is quite smooth, but as soon as a wall or the like pops up, the signal begins to chop.
At the same time, it is also not possible to expect from such a small antenna as this is the place for. In case you stay within range, the signal is completely stable and we have not experienced any outcomes or the like.
The call quality of phone calls is also fine, but there is no advanced noise reduction in the microphone, so the other party will struggle to hear you if you are in a noisy environment. They are also very sensitive to wind.
JBL has definitely not implemented any revolutionary upgrade of the Reflect Mini, but they did not need it either.
Small improvements in sound, better battery life and, not least, better moisture protection only make a very good product even better.
The foremost competitor is strictly the original product, which is still a product we like very well and that has the same fabulous fit.
For so long, the newcomer costs twice as much as the original. We are not completely sure that we had paid. And if you already own the predecessor, you probably may refrain from upgrading for a while.
Simply an improved version of our favorite plugs for training.
- Great fit
- Engaging and airy sound, a lot of bass
- Good battery life
- Very light cable, do not pull the earplugs
- Splash Resistant
- Smart little carry case included
- No huge improvements over the predecessor, which costs half
- The ears gnaw a little after a while
- Not particularly good for conversations in noisy surroundings