Audio

Compare JBL Reflect Flow PRO Vs Apple Airpods Pro

The Comparison of Pro vs Pro

This review compares the JBL Reflect Flow Pro to the Apple Airpods Pro that was launched in 2019. Apple launched the Apple Airpods 3 in Fall 2021, but they have basically stripped-down versions of the 2019 Airpods Pro. Over the past two years, there have been several new and better earbuds released by several brands such as the Jabra Elite 7 Pro, Klipsch T5II TWS and the JBL Reflect Flow Pro sports earbuds.

Also read:
Difference between Jabra Elite 7 Pro and Jabra Elite 85t
JBL Reflect Flow Pro Vs Jabra Elite 7 Active Sports Earbuds
JBL Reflect Flow Pro vs Non-Pro Version
JBL Reflect Flow Pro Vs Sony WF-SP800N Sports Earbuds

Buy JBL Reflect Flow Pro 2021

Compare Weight
Tech SpecsApple Airpods ProJBL Reflect Flow Pro
Weight (each earbud)5.4g7.2g

The JBL Reflect Flow Pro’s is still lightweight even though it is 25% heavier than the Apple Airpods Pros. For heavier earbuds, we recommend those that come with wings or fins, or there is a risk where the earbuds might fall out accidentally during active use. Fortunately, the JBL Reflect Flow Pro has its own version of the earwings, which they call the Powerfins.

Below are the instructions on how to wear the Powerfins which come in 4 sizes, XS/S/M/L. As usual, there are 3 sizes of ear tips as standard.

JBL Reflect Flow Pro PowerFins Instructions

Compare IP Rating
Tech SpecsApple Airpods ProJBL Reflect Flow Pro
Earbuds IP RatingIPX4IP68

The JBL Reflect Flow Pro is a sports earbuds and the IP68 high rating reflects the design is geared towards outdoor activities, especially where sand, dust, water, and sweat are a concern. The IPX4 rating for Apple Airpods is only splashproof and is not certified to submerge underwater at any depth.

On the other hand, the IP68 rating offers water resistance more than 1 meter deep and protection against dust ingress. JBL did not indicate the actual depth that it is certified to. For example, the latest iPhones are certified to 6 meters depth for 30mins based on the IEC 60529:1989 standards.

Compare Controls

Both earbuds use Touch control which is easier to activate earbud functions while on the move or running. For the JBL Reflect Flow Pro, the controls are mainly Tap and Hold, and none uses swipe action.

JBL Reflect Flow Pro Controls
JBL Reflect Flow Pro Controls
Compare Audio Specs
Tech SpecsApple Airpods ProJBL Reflect Flow Pro
Audio (Speaker)
Driver13mm6.8mm
(0.27″)
Frequency Response20Hz-
20kHz
20Hz-
20kHz
Impedance32 ohms16 ohms
Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)YesYes
Transparency (Hear Through)YesYes
Microphone
Microphone per earbud23
Wind Noise Reduction NoYes

The specifications show AirPods Pro with a bigger driver and higher impedance. We researched several sites and concluded that the quality of sound is not dependent on the size of the driver or the impedance.

However, given the same power input, a bigger sound driver should deliver a louder sound and deeper bass than a smaller driver. On the other hand, a lower impedance driver will be more energy-efficient, but it is also easier to damage the earbud if overloaded. Typically, the impedance of the driver has to be higher than the amplifier.

In the case of the AirPods Pro, a larger driver paired with a high impedance should theoretically deliver a louder sound and stronger bass, but at the expense of higher battery consumption.

The JBL Reflect Flow Pro has 3 microphones per earbud, of which two are beamforming microphones while the third is for wind suppression. It is the first sports earbud that we have reviewed, that has a 6 microphone (3 per earbud) design. The other earbuds with 6 microphones are all not specifically designed for sports, and such as the flagship Jabra Elite 85t, Logitech Zone True Wireless, and Soulnation Emotion Pro.

Buy JBL Reflect Flow Pro 2021

Earbuds Stereo and Mono Mode

Both Apple Airpods and JBL Reflect Flow Pro can operate in the “Stereo” or “Mono” mode.

  • Stereophonic or stereo refers to the effect of sound coming from two sources at the same time, so the stereo mode is the audio you hear from both earbuds simultaneously.
  • Monoaural or Mono refers to sound coming from a single source, so the mono mode is the audio you hear when only one earbud is worn.

In the ideal mono mode, either earbud can be used while the other is left in the charging case. This means that either earbud needs to be programmed to allow full control of its operation, such as playing and stopping music or answering a call.

Compare Battery Life
Tech SpecsApple Airpods
Pro
JBL Reflect
Flow Pro
Music Time (ANC Off)5h10h
Music Time (ANC On)4.5h8h
Total Time + Charge Case (ANC On)24h24h
Charging Time 0-100% (Buds)3h 15mins2h
Charging Case Weight45.6g61.5g
USB-C Connector (Case)NoYes
Qi-Certified/Wireless ChargingYesYes
Fast Charge For 1-hour usage5mins10mins
Battery Status LightYesYes

JBL Reflect Flow Pro has closed to double the battery life of the Apple Airpods Pro. The USB-C charging case is also compatible with Qi wireless charging and the weight is still within an acceptable range.

JBL Reflect Flow Pro Charging Mode
JBL Reflect Flow Pro Charging Mode

 

JBL Reflect Flow Pro Earbuds with Casing Blue
Our Verdict

The new JBL Reflect Flow Pro is an excellent upgrade choice for the two-year-old Apple Airpods Pro. The advantages are summarised as follows:

  • The new 3-microphone per earbud with two beamforming and one wind suppression mic will provide better sound quality.
  • Longer battery life: The battery life of the JBL Reflect Flow Pro is doubled that of Airpods Pro.
  •  IP68 Rating: The highest IP Rating gives us additional assurance under all conditions of sand, dust, sweat, and water.
  • The Powerfins: The use of ear wings (fins) provides better assurance that the earbuds will not fall out of the ears if we accidentally brush or hit the earbuds. It is not always easy to recover earbuds if they drop into drain covers or on muddy water and grass patch.

 

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