JBL has established itself as one of the dominant forces in sports headphones, and for good reason. Many of the company’s offerings are well-designed, comfortable, and they sound pretty good too. We recently reviewed the JBL Endurance Sprint wireless sports headphones, and quite liked them. Now, we’re taking a look at the wired version of the headphones — the JBL Endurance Run.
The headphones are relatively simple, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth buying — after all they do have a measly $20 price tag. Are they worth the cash? We put them to the test to find out.
As with any new product, the first thing to notice about the JBL Endurance Run headphones is their design, and they’re not bad-looking at all. The headphones are available in a few different colors, including black, blue, red, and light blue. We’re reviewing the dark blue version, and they look pretty nice.
The headphones are built to be usable in two different ways. First, you can use them like standard earbuds, with the wire dangling down from your ears. Alternatively, you can wrap the wires around your ears and put the headphones in upside down, which may keep them more securely in your ears when you’re running or moving around a lot. The headphones have left and right indicators for both styles, which is a nice touch.
In the box, you won’t get much — though that may not be too much of an issue for you. You’ll simply get the headphones and two extra pairs of ear tips. A carry pouch would have been nice.
As mentioned, the headphones are designed to be worn in two different styles, though we found that they tended to fall out more often when they were worn with the cable wrapped around the ear. That’s a little counter-intuitive — as generally speaking you might wear headphones like that to keep them in better.
Still, in general, when they did stay in they were pretty comfortable. We were able to wear the headphones for a few hours without them getting overly uncomfortable, which is good news for those that run or workout for long periods of time.
Of course, the most important thing to consider is how the headphones sound — and for a pair of $20 headphones, they actually sound very good.
The bass is present, but it’s not overly boosted like some might like. In general, the bass seemed to be a little more laid-back, which we actually quite liked most of the time. Of course, that’s not to say that the bass isn’t there — just that it’s a little more natural than boosted.
The mid range also sound very natural. The low mids were warm and full, while the high mids offered enough presence for things like guitars and vocals to shine through a mix easily.
The high end was present, though a little more high end extension would have been nice. High end was pretty clear and detailed for a pair of $20 headphones, which was nice to see.
The JBL Endurance Run headphones are a great way to get a good sound at a low price. If you’re looking for a pair of sport-focused headphones and don’t want to spend a ton, then these are an excellent option — provided you’re not looking for wireless headphones.
But are there any better options? Well, in this price range, not really. If you want to spend around $20 and are looking for a great pair of wired in-ear headphones, these are the way to go.
In fact, because of their excellent value for money, we’ve awarded the JBL Endurance Run headphones the Headphone Review Bronze Medal.