CNET First Look
JBL Reflect Aware: An iPhone 7-friendly Lightning headphone with noise cancelingThis sports headphone has some unique features, including a Lightning cable and customizable audio.
[MUSIC] JBL's Reflect Awar being marketed as noise canceling sports earphones which makes them fairly unique. But on top of that they are one of the first Lightning headphones. That means they have a Lightning connector on the bottom instead a headphone plug and they go right into the Lightning port of IOS devices. No headphone adaptor required. They cost $200 which is pretty pricey, but they do seem well built with a sturdy reflective cord, a nicely designed inline remote and they're sweat resistant. They fit me really well too and have silicon tips and wings that lock the buds securely in place. They reminded me a little of Bose's ear tips, which are really comfortable. On the remote, there's a button for turning the noise-cancelling on and off. The noise-cancelling isn't all that strong and it certainly isn't as good as the noise-cancelling on Bose's QuietComfort 20 headphones. The headphone is called The Aware because it has a feature where you can choose to let more sound in, which is good if you're a runner or biker and want to be able to hear the world around you and traffic in particular. You control the ambient noise setting in the JBL headphone app. That app also allows you to customize the EQ setting which is important because the default setting on the headphone is considerably bassy. It sounds a little muddy. I was able to improve this sound by adjusting the EQ to a more balanced setting. In fact I turned the EQ off. I felt better about the headphone after I did that. It lacks a little clarity, and sounds a little processed, but compared to other sports headphones, it sounds good. Ultimately, the biggest drawback may be that the headphone does draw some power from your phone and will reduce your battery life. I also didn't think the noise cancelling was quite strong enough, so while there's a lot to like about this headphone, there are some drawbacks which hurt its value a bit. I'm David Carnoy for CNET.com. Thanks for watching. [MUSIC]