JBL Free takes on the Apple AirPods

JBL is also making headphones for kids, an updated E series headphones with active noise cancellation, a huge portable speaker and more.

Aloysius Low Senior Editor
Aloysius Low is a Senior Editor at CNET covering mobile and Asia. Based in Singapore, he loves playing Dota 2 when he can spare the time and is also the owner-minion of two adorable cats.
Aloysius Low
2 min read

If you're looking for an Apple AirPod alternative for your Android, here's the JBL Free.

Like the AirPod, the Free does away with cables completely in favor of two tiny (and very easily lost) earbuds. They come with silicon sleeves to help them stay in place at the gym -- because we all know that running around with totally cordless earbuds are a recipe for disaster.

The Free features 4 hours of music playback. If you run out of juice, you can pop them into the Smart Charging Case -- 15 minutes gets you one hour of playback, and the case has enough power for another 20 hours of use. You can also answer calls with one earbud while listening to music on the other. Although I'm not sure when you'd want to use that distracting-sounding feature.

JBL says the Free will include JBL's Signature Sound feature and we'll be sure to check it out soon. The Free won't actually be that expensive, selling for £120 (around $155 or AU$195), and will be available starting Oct. 2017.

Quick specs

  • JBL Signature Sound
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Secure Fit Silicone Sleeves
  • Smart Charging Case 

Besides the Free, JBL also announced a new range of kids' headphones. The JBL Junior comes in both wired and wireless versions. They lock the volume to a maximum of 85db, so you won't blast out your kids' growing ears.

The JBL E65BTNC isn't the most impressive of names, but the £150 (around $195 or AU$245) headphone for the company's E-series line now adds active noise-cancelling features to the mix. 

Other highlights of JBL's announcements include the huge portable Boombox speaker, a pair of in-ear headphones-equipped heart rate tracker and an an exercise-friendly on-ear headphone created with Under Armour.