UA Sport Wireless Flex by JBL
Company: JBL Harman International
I’m a skeptic when it comes to neckband earbuds and winged eartip stabilizers. I’m also the first person to admit when I’m wrong. This new UA Sport Wireless Flex by JBL has impressive sound and comfort, and makes me a believer. Let’s go through a check list to examine its strengths and a few of my concerns.
Build quality is solid and well-designed. This product is meant to be used and abused in rugged situation for years. First impression is UA Sport Wireless Flex will stand up to the rigors of outdoor and indoor activity, and will provide value equal to its price.
Audio performance is immersive, detailed, and full-spectrum. These are by far the best sounding sport earbuds I’ve heard, as expected from JBL and Harman International. The UA in the name refers to Under Armour, that has chosen a premium partner to develop this workout audio gear. You will hear precision and clarity at all volume levels. Be aware these headphones are super-efficient, so once you get past the 50 percent volume level you are approaching the limits of safe listening. Treble and midrange spectrums are upfront gorgeous, and the subtle bass gently rolls off like in traditional premium consumer speakers, and unlike so many current bass-heavy competitors. The treble-midrange emphasis is especially welcome when doing a workout in a noisy location. Tweaking the equalizer (EQ) on your music playback source will yield direct improvement in your Sport Wireless Flex listening experience. Compressed music tracks, in Deezer or Spotify for example, will sound as good with these earbuds as they are capable of being. Stereo separation is good but not excessive; music feels like it’s originating naturally inside your head, which is a good thing.
Ear comfort is surprisingly pleasant, especially with only one size of winged eartips provided. The wings are extensions that lock the earpiece into the user’s ear canal. I have never previously been able to use similar winged stabilizers with satisfaction, even when companies typically provide three different sizes of replaceable or integrated ear stability wings.
Ambient sound isolation is dangerously good. Do not run or cycle wearing these headphones in any public places where you need to pay attention to traffic or people. You can’t hear much of anything external when your music is playing during outdoor activity while using the winged tips, and I don’t want you to be a statistic of the wrong type in tomorrow’s news. Perhaps the included regular ear tips are more sensible in these situations.
Neckband discomfort and bulk are minimal, and the flexible side segments allow users to adjust the neck piece for individual preference. From looking at this product you will think the plastic neck bar will be uncomfortable, but it is not.
Battery life is wonderful, and a quick charge feature provides enough power for most exercise routines when you find out the battery has lost its juice. At full charge these headphones will play all day, up to 10 or 12 hours.
Bluetooth connectivity is outstanding, again as expected from these brand name companies. There is no lag with music playback.
Magnetic buds come in handy, so use them to keep the speaker housings together when not being used.
RunSafe LED flashing illumination is part of the neckband for safety when you are out and about.
Printed instruction manual is tiny with microscopic type and graphics that are not easy to understand. Give us a much larger booklet, please, and have some older athletes with failing eyes assist with your publication design.
Multifunction controls are awkward and difficult to use even in bright light while I’m sitting down. I understand that UA-JBL-Harman have confidence in the mental and physical agility and dexterity of their athletic, music-loving customers, but I don’t like these front-facing multi-buttons. They are not easy to use for some of their purposes, and after many attempts to master these buttons I’m not much better with them than when I began this evaluation.
Running and jogging stability is awkward, with the neckband bouncing and jiggling with your incessant movements.
Our MyMac Review Rating is 8 out of 10. It is a pleasure to be active or stationary and listening to UA Sport Wireless Flex by JBL, with their super sound, carefree comfort, and impressive isolation.