JBL’s Live Pro+ TWS earbuds are affordable earbuds that can do everything you would want.
They have active noise cancellation (ANC), provide a good customisable sound, are comfortable, and have premium features like Ambient Aware and touch controls.
Everything works well, but they fall short of being great earbuds. When compared to the best on the market, the features here simply aren’t as good. But with that said, the best earbuds on the market are $200 more expensive.
Although they don’t compete with the Apple AirPods Pro’s or the Sony WF-1000XM4s, the Live Pro+ TWS earbuds will do everything you want for only $300, just not as well.
- Customisable sound
- Responsive touch controls
- Not good for exercising
- Not very loud
- ANC more like noise reduction than cancellation
The JBL Live Pro+ TWS earbuds cost $300. This puts them in the middle of the price range for noise-cancelling earbuds.
As comparisons, the Apple AirPods Pro cost $450, Sony’s WF-1000XM4s costs $500, and the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro cost $300.
The Live Pro+ have a hybrid design. They feature a long stem, similar to the Apple AirPods, with a bulb at the top, similar to the Galaxy Buds.
The earbuds are comfortable; however, they don’t guarantee a secure fit and running or exercising with them isn’t as carefree as other earbuds. I constantly worried they would fall out, and on occasion, they did.
The earbuds are plastic, but they feel solid. I didn’t feel like they would break if I dropped them. They have an IPX4 rating, meaning they’re sweatproof and resistant to moisture, which added comfort that they’d survive if I got them wet.
They come with five tips, three regular silicone ear tips and two shorter ear tips and will fit almost any ear size.
They have a small case that works exactly as it should. It’s strong and secure; however, I did find the lid was prone to movement and could’ve had a stronger seal. But I never had any issues with it.
Out of the box, the Live Pro+ earbuds have a bass-heavy default sound. It’s great for EDM and hip hop tracks, and listening to Digging For Windows by Zack De La Rocha sounded punchy and powerful.
This default audio preset didn’t sound as good with other genres like rock or country; however, the JBL Headphones App has an inbuilt EQ that allowed me to adjust the sound to my preference. It worked well, and after some fiddling, I got the sound to a default I liked with all genres.
I found the lower frequencies bled into the mid-range frequencies and slightly muddled vocals in some cases. Equalising did help with this; however, the app wouldn’t always save my EQ selections, so I would have to go into the app and change it every time I used the earbuds.
I found the earbuds don’t get very loud. The Live Pro+ have 11mm drivers, and I often had to have my volume at full for a comfortable experience.
50% volume was very quiet, and although the sound quality was generally pretty good, I constantly had to alter my volume as my environment changed when commuting.
For $300 earbuds, the Live Pro+ have a number of features often only found with premium earbuds.
Paired with the JBL Headphones app, you can access all of these features like find my earbuds, ANC, ambient aware, and you can set up voice assistants.
Most of these work exactly as you’d expect. The Live Pro+’s support Google Assistant and Alexa, and they’re easy to set up. Find my earbuds will play a high-pitched tone from the earbuds and ambient aware allows you to hear outside sounds using the in-built microphones. It all works well.
The ANC is okay. It’s a long way off the best in the market, the Sony WF-1000XM4s. This is partly due to the earbuds not being able to get very loud. I could still quite easily hear sounds when ANC was on. They were just quieter. It was more like noise reduction as opposed to noise cancellation.
The ANC especially struggled with high pitch sounds. Playing the drums with these earbuds in the hi-hats and cymbals were very resonant.
The Live Pro+ earbuds also have touch controls on the stem. These were responsive and worked well. You can skip songs, pause playback, answer calls and turn ANC on/off. It works as it should.
You can also customise what you want the touch controls to do. If you don’t want ANC on/off on the left earbud, you can change that to volume controls instead. Unfortunately, you can’t mix and match the settings. It’s one or the other, but it was a nice option to have.
The earbuds can be used to take phone calls. The mics work well if you’re inside, but they struggle outside as they pick up a lot of noise. If you’re in a windy spot, you’ll be better off just using your phone.
The Live Pro+’s have an okay battery. They have an average 7-hour battery life (6 with ANC on) and 21 hours of charge in the case it’s standard in the industry. It’ll comfortably give you one full day’s use.
The case can be charged via a USB-C port, and the earbuds take 2 hours to charge from empty to full. There’s also fast charging that will provide 1 hour of playback with a ten-minute charge.
The case also supports Qi-wireless charging, but I found this was significantly slower than wired charging, so I never used it.
JBL’s Live Pro+ TWS earbuds are good for their $300 price.
While most of the features here work well, some of the key ones, like ANC, aren’t as good as the best earbuds on the market.
The ANC struggles with high-frequency sounds and feels more like noise reduction as opposed to cancellation. The earbuds don’t get very loud, and they don’t provide a secure fit when exercising.
However, if you’re looking for a pair of earbuds to listen to music or podcasts on your commute and you don’t want to pay $450 or $500 for earbuds, the Live Pro+ TWS earbuds are a good option.