JBL Reflect Mini 2 review: A lightweight Bluetooth sports headphone that shines at night
JBL's Reflect Mini 2 ($100, £90 or AU$150) has a couple of things going for it. For starters it's a lightweight set of sweatproof in-ear wireless sports headphones that should fit most people's ears comfortably and securely. And like the previous model, the cord is reflective, which means it will glow at night when it catches the light. That safety feature could reassure nighttime runners or walkers.
The headphones are available in a black, lime green, teal and blue. They include a few different silicon tips and wings to help you get a good fit. A nice compact rubber carrying case is also part of the package, but unlike Apple's AirPods, for example, it doesn't charge anything itself. For that you'll use the included USB cord.
Battery life is rated at 10 hours, which is pretty good for this type of headphone, and there's a quick-charge feature that gives you an hour's worth of juice from a 15-minute charge. I also liked the well-designed inline remote.
Although the earphones stuck out from my ears slightly, overall JBL has done a good job upgrading the design of the original Reflect Mini, making it seem a tad more premium. They fit me well, and when you're dealing with noise-isolating headphones like this, a tight seal is crucial to maximizing sound quality. As usual it's worth noting that in passively sealing out noise, you'll have trouble hearing traffic while running outdoors.
The truth is if these earphones sounded a little better, they'd be an excellent set of sports headphones. It's not that they sound bad, but they're just a little dull. By that I mean they lack clarity and aren't terribly dynamic. In other words, they sound like a middle-of-the-road Bluetooth headphone. Most people will probably be satisfied with the sound, but it's my job to be a little nitpicky.
In addition, I got some mixed reviews when I used them as a headset for making phone calls. Some people said I sounded "pretty good" while others had a harder time hearing me clearly. I had to repeat myself sometimes.
If they cost $60, I'd say give them a shot for the design alone. But their $100 list price give me pause.
The bottom line is you should probably wait for them to go on sale. They are good. Just not necessarily $100 good.
Here are the Reflect Mini 2's key features, according to JBL:
- 5.8mm driver
- 10-hour battery life with Speed Charge
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Three-button remote with microphone to easily control music and calls
- Ergonomic ear-tips and enhancers in interchangeable sizes for a personalized fit
- IPX5 sweatproof
- Lightweight aluminum construction
- Reflective cable for visibility at night
- $100, £80 or AU$150