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JBL Endurance Sprint review: Budget Bluetooth sports headphones that don't sound cheap

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The Good The JBL Endurance Sprint fits securely and comfortably and sounds very good for a modestly priced Bluetooth sports headphone. It's also fully waterproof and has touch controls.

The Bad Touch controls can be a little finicky and there's some presence boost in the treble.

The Bottom Line The JBL Endurance Sprint is a surprisingly good wireless sports headphone for $50, with only a few small downsides.

7.8 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 8
  • Sound 8
  • Value 8

A year ago, you couldn't get much of a Bluetooth sports headphone for $50. Sure, there were the usual generic brands on Amazon, but anything from a name brand tended to cost a minimum of $80 -- or more.

But things have changed, and JBL is serving up its new Endurance Sprint for 50 bucks (£45 in the UK, not yet available in Australia, but that's around AU$65 converted). They have touch controls, fit comfortably and sound very good so long as you can get a tight seal. They're also fully waterproof with IPX7 certification, which means they can be submerged in 3 feet (1 meter) of water for up to 30 minutes.

These wireless earphones have a different design than a lot of the in-ear Bluetooth sports headphones. Those feature wings or stabilizers that hook into the inner part of your ear to lock the buds in place. JBL's are a modified version of Beats' popular Powerbeats 3, which have a hook that wraps over the top of your ear. The Powerbeats 3 cost more than three times as much as these guys.

What you get in the box.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The earphones come with three different size eartips and a set of notched silicone "enhancers" that cover the base earbud. You're supposed to insert the buds downward at an angle into your ears then twist the enhancer up so the the buds lock in place and the hooks go over your ears.

JBL calls it "Twistlock" technology and it works pretty well. The company says the earphones will never "fall out," which is true but that doesn't mean you'll always be able to maintain a tight seal, which is crucial to maximizing sound quality with these headphones.

It's worth mentioning that the hooks are magnetized and adhere to a slot near the bud, creating a loop. This nifty design touch allows you to clip the buds to your clothing or a strap on a backpack.

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