The JBL Under Armour Wireless Headphones offer a powerful, bass-oriented audio experience in a snuggly, sweat-resistant design.
However, you get lots of features for your money, including a Talk Thru button that lets you hear your surroundings and a free one-year MapMyFitness subscription.
What’s in the Box?
The box contains the headphones, of course, but also an extremely sturdy carrying case that protects them more than any other case I’ve ever seen for a headset. It’s big and strong – you’d better have a decent gym bag with you if you want to stash it there every day.
A decent case isn’t a bad thing, however, and this case is high quality and will definitely protect the investment you have made in these headphones.
A micro USB charging cable is also included. There’s also the usual 3.5mm cord that lets you plug your headphones into your device’s headphone jack instead of Bluetooth – if the battery runs out (including JBL / Under Armour you can get 16 hours).
JBL Under Armour Wireless Headphones Reviews
Prices and Availability
These JBL under Armour wireless headphones cost $ 200 and are available through JBL, Under Armor, or Amazon.
The over-the-ear headphones have a rubberized border and heavily padded ear cushions that are lined with a black jersey-like material. The auricles themselves have a rounded, almost octagonal shape, and the underside of the headband is also generously padded, which makes it comfortable to wear.
The non-slip materials used, as well as the ventilated ear cups and headband, should keep you cool and dry during sweaty workouts and at the same time keep the helmet securely in place. This, combined with the noticeable but pleasant pressure of the headband, enables a very secure fit.
According to JBL, the headphones have an IPX4 rating, which means that they can handle splashing water, but cannot really withstand a lot of water pressure (like from a nozzle or spray) and must not be submerged.
In general, this is a relatively low IP rating for sports-oriented audio devices, but on-ear headphones are a little more difficult to fully waterproof. If a more waterproof option is a priority, consider an in-ear pair.
On the sidewall of the right earphone there is an on / off / pairing switch as well as plus / minus buttons for volume control and a central multifunction button that controls playback, call handling, and voice support. JBL also uses the plus / minus buttons for track navigation – hold them down for a few seconds to scroll forward or backward.
An integrated array of three microphones enables TalkThru mode – by pressing the Under Armor logo on the outer right ear cup, your music is melted and you can hear your surroundings without removing the headphones. The microphone offers average intelligibility for voice calls.
Using the Voice Memos app on an iPhone 6s, we understood every word we recorded, although there were some typical blurry Bluetooth audio artifacts. The built-in microphone for the cable provides solid clarity with added bass depth.
There’s also a covered 3.5mm headphone cable jack – an in-line remote and microphone cable is included. Plugging in the cable automatically turns the headset off for passive use. The supplied micro USB charging cable is connected to a covered port on the left auricle.
Together with the cables, JBL contains one of the most beautiful travel cases we have ever seen. The hard case with a zipper has a rubberized outside and an attached carabineer. The headset can be folded inside, which also has a pocket for cables.
A 12-month subscription to the Under Armor MapMyFitness app (otherwise $ 29.99), which tracks your workouts, is also included. You don’t need the app to use the headphones, and in fact, there are no MapMyFitness features built into the headphones themselves – it’s just a free subscription.
JBL estimates the battery life to be around 16 hours, but results will vary depending on the volume.
For tracks with an intense sub-bass component, such as “Silent Shout” by The Knife, the headphones deliver a powerful bass reproduction that should appeal to athletically motivated athletes thanks to the amplified bass. At higher volumes, the bass does not distort and at a more reasonable listening level, it stays quite loud.
On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild” the bass drum loop comes with an ideal presence in the upper mids, so that his attack retains its powerful prominence in the mix. The highs are clearly raised here, as the mostly banished vinyl crackle is brought to the fore. The sub-bass synth hits that underline the beat have an almost subwoofer-like presence in the drivers, and the vocals are delivered with solid clarity and with little additional hiss despite the high mids and sculpted highs.
Orchestral tracks, like the opening scene of John Adams’ The Gospel According to The Other Mary, sound a bit enhanced by the Under Armor Sport Wireless Train – the instrumentation of the lower registers is taken to a supernatural level. It is at least offset by the fact that the high mids and highs are also pretty sculpted, but anyone looking for a sound signature precise enough for classical, jazz, or orchestral tracks will likely be disappointed with the bass approach.
Pros and Cons of the JBL Under Armor Wireless Headphones
- Powerful, bass-oriented audio performance.
- Well-fitting, sweat-resistant design.
- The IP rating isn’t as high as many exercise-oriented audio products.
JBL’s under Armour Wireless headphones offer a solid listening experience with a powerful bass depth that will appeal to those who like to train with a little extra boost in the low frequencies.