JBL Reflect Flow Pro in the test: Spectacular sports earphones

JBL Reflect Flow Pro

RRP $ 180.00

“Many functions and a powerful sound make them perfect training friends.”


  • Firm, secure fit

  • Excellent noise cancellation

  • Choice of hands-free voice AIs

  • Completely waterproof

  • Wireless charging


  • Limited control

  • No quick charging option

JBL isn’t always the most enduring company when it comes to personal audio. Sometimes like his Tour Pro + earbuds and Tour One ANC headphones, it absolutely nails it. Sometimes it comes up short, as I felt with his flagship Club One Cans. But there have been more hits than misses lately, and that certainly goes for JBL’s newest active lifestyle real wireless earbudswho have favourited $ 180 JBL Reflect Flow Pro, a product that competes with the $ 200 Beats Fit Prowho have favourited $ 180 Jabra Elite 7 Active, and JBL’s own $ 150 Reflect Mini NC. How good are the Reflect Flow Pro? Let’s take a look at them.

Great fit without Frankenstein

JBL Reflect Flow Pro.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

The Reflect Flow Pro are theoretically the successor to the company’s own Reflect flow Model, a comfortable and waterproof set of sports earbuds that unfortunately had some drawbacks. They were huge – often sticking out of the ears and giving off what I consider a Frankenstein monster look. Their physical buttons were a little difficult to press, their sound quality was uneven, and their transparency mode (ambient mode) was limited.

But if you look at the design of the Reflect Flow Pro, it becomes clear that despite its name, it is actually the Pro model of the Reflect Mini NC and not the Reflect Flow. The Reflect Flow Pro are smaller and lighter and fix practically every bug we found with the original Reflect Flow.

The Reflect Flow Pro comes with three sizes of silicone earbuds and four sizes of wingtips (“power fins” in JBL parlance) that range from large to barely available, which means that more people are likely to find a suitable combination. This is in stark contrast to the Beats Fit Pro, which has a single, permanently installed set of wingtips.

Package contents of JBL Reflect Flow Pro.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

According to JBL, the fit is secure enough to go surfing with the Reflect Flow Pro. I respectfully disagree. Yes, they are very secure, but no, I wouldn’t risk finding out the hard way they couldn’t be wiped upside down. But as long as they stay in place, they won’t have a problem dealing with all that water – one Degree of protection IP68 In terms of dust and water resistance, they’re pretty much the toughest earbuds you can buy.

The charging case is neither waterproof nor dustproof, but well made and quite robust. The integrated carrying loop is just big enough to guide the bag through the loop and attach it to a bag strap or even a belt loop on the trousers.

From zero to hero

The Reflect Flow Pro not only improves the design of the Reflect Flow, it is also packed with features. Wireless charging, wear sensors, a choice of voice assistants, active noise cancellation (ANC), transparency mode, custom controls and EQ. It’s like JBL defies us to find something that’s missing, and frankly, it’s hard to find bugs at all. And that’s before we dive into things like sound quality, call quality, and practical extras (but don’t worry, we’ll cover those too).

Hours of power

JBL Reflect Flow Pro charging case.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

What the original JBL Reflect Flow did right was its impressive power capacity: 10 hours per charge and two full charges in the case’s battery. The Reflect Flow Pro doubles these numbers when ANC and transparency are disabled. But even when you use these features, you still get up to eight hours on a single charge. That’s better than either Beats Fit Pro and the Beats Powerbeats Pro.

The only thing missing here is a quick charging option. Ordinarily I would call JBL about this omission, but if you can offer people up to 10 hours per charge, the need for fast charge is greatly reduced. In addition, the charging case of the Reflect Flow Pro supports wireless charging of Qi, something that Beats products have not yet been able to do.

Sound that moves you

Man with JBL Reflect Flow Pro.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Punchy and powerful bass can be fun no matter what you’re doing while listening to music, but it’s a great benefit for people who need exercise motivation. The Reflect Flow Pro won’t disappoint: you sound great right out of the box, with lots of low-end boom and decently clear mids and highs. Put on a track like Billy Idol’s Rita Hayworth and the Reflect Flow Pro delivers a high-octane sound attack that is guaranteed to get you moving.

Subtlety isn’t their forte – these aren’t the earphones for finding lost details in your favorite jazz ensembles – but they’re not a blunt instrument either. The headphone app from JBL offers a very powerful EQ tool that rewards patience and experimentation with many tuning variations. My only gripe is that the company doesn’t have a few more built-in presets – you only get three: bass, jazz, and vocal.

Quiet or talkative

JBL Reflect Flow Pro.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

The noise cancellation of the JBL Reflect Mini NC impressed me quite a bit, but the Reflect Flow Pro are even better. So good that I saw almost no difference when I compared it to the Beats Fit Pro (which have a great ANC). Outside, traffic noise was kept well at bay so I could hear my podcasts clearly without turning up the volume. Inside was the bathroom fan, which is two meters from my desk – but which can sound like it’s next to my head – almost completely neutralized.

The transparency mode is really good too, with the option to choose between two versions: Ambient Aware (for general ambient noise) and TalkThru (for conversations). Both can be quickly triggered with a single or double tap on the earbuds, which makes them very convenient.

The illusion of control

Controls are the only area in which JBL still has a lot to do. The touch controls on the Reflect Flow Pro are excellent – they respond quickly and accurately to touch and a small tone confirms when a touch is made, which is an important form of feedback when a physical click is not available. The problem is that at JBL you can choose from four possible control “groups” and you can only have two of them active at the same time.

For example, you can choose between playback control, ambient noise / ANC / TalkThru, volume control or voice assistant. If you want playback and volume control, you cannot use Ambient Noise / ANC / TalkThru or Voice Assistant. If you want playback controls and voice assistant, you cannot use Ambient Sound / ANC / TalkThru or volume control.

If this has anything to do with real wireless earbuds I wouldn’t be complaining, but it’s not: Jabras Elite series earbuds give you complete control over every gesture without having to choose between mutually exclusive options.

I also wish there was a way to turn off voice feedback. The quick toggling from ANC to Ambient mode is great, but it’s a little less convenient with your earbuds saying “Ambient mode on” or “Noise canceling on” all the time.

Speak and be heard

The call quality with the Reflect Flow Pro is generally very good. You can struggle a little in very noisy situations, but few earbuds excel in these conditions. More importantly, they handle wind noise better than most of the earbuds I’ve tried, and that’s helpful as they’ll be good choices for runners or even cyclists. You will be perfectly heard in relatively quiet conditions.

But with these earbuds, you can also use your voice to summon various assistants – a rare feature that comes in very handy. iOS users can use “Hey Siri” in the same way as with Apple’s H1-based products (AirPods, Beats Fit Pro, Powerbeats Pro etc.) and there is the option to work with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant instead – both work with their respective hands-free wake-up words.


If you’re the type of person who keeps misplacing items, the JBL Headphones app can force the Reflect Flow Pro to emit a loud beep. Each earbud can beep independently, but the feature will not work when docked in the charging case. There is also no map showing their last known location, which some other earbuds (AirPods, Jabra Elite, etc.) do.

The app can also help you find out if the size of your earbuds you choose offers good protection from the outside world. If you’re not getting the sound quality you expected – especially if the bass is poor – this is the place to start.

Our opinion

With great protection from the elements, great sound and noise cancellation, and great battery life, the JBL Reflect Flow Pro are the perfect alternative to the Beats Powerbeats Pro and Fit Pro for people looking for a killer workout companion.

Is there a better alternative?

I think the best alternative to the Reflect Flow Pro is JBL’s Reflect Mini NC. It’s less expensive, has a smaller charging case that puts it in your pocket better, and has practically all of the features of the Pro. You won’t get the same caliber of sound quality, noise reduction, or call quality, but for some people this is a perfectly acceptable tradeoff.

If you want a smaller earbud, Beats Fit Pro will do fine, and if you want a much more secure fit, pull that Powerbeats Pro.

How long will they last?

With an IP68 degree of protection and a very long starter battery life, you should get many years out of the JBL Reflect Flow Pro. They are solidly built, as is their charging case. JBL supports them with a one-year guarantee.

Should you buy it?

Yes sir. If you’re looking for a sturdy set of training buds that can handle anything you throw at them – and that come with solid features and great sound – this is it JBL Reflect Flow Pro are an excellent choice.

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