Review: JBL Tune 205BT

Pros

  • Great price
  • Great JBL Sound
  • Reliable connectivity
  • Non earplug

Cons

  • Fitting
  • Cable design
  • Battery life
  • Annoying blue light

Personally I am no fan of in ear buds that plug into your ear. No matter how much I try they are so uncomfortable. Unfortunately that’s all you get these days. Unless your shopping at the cheap sub $20 mark. That’s where you will find the none plug style buds. Those headphones tend to be limited in quality and also limited to wired only. Your other option is to go with Apples white earbuds or the Airpods if you want wireless.

I was fairly excited when I stumbled upon JBL’s Tune 250BT. So far these are the only pair of Bluetooth earphones that are not ear plugs.

To start on paper and on the box these headphones looked good. But the more I used the 250BTs the more faults I noticed. They aren’t major, instead they are little design choices that JBL could of easily addressed if they actually tested these out.

The first issue and I think the main one are the cables. JBL went with flat cables. But in this situation the cables are short so tangling is not really an issue.
The problem with flat cables is the they bend easily one way. So when worn the cables want to bend outwards from your face. Because of this they tend to fall out when you move your head a certain way.

JBL_250BT_03
Flat Cables all through.

In this situation these style buds don’t work. In-ear buds like this work better wired or 100% wireless. When wired gravity pulls the wires down anchoring the buds in place in your ear. When wireless they stay snugly in because there are no wires moving around to dislodge them. All earbuds fall out because of the wire moving around as you move.
When combined with the choice of flat cables you end up with some serious fitting issues.

JBL_250BT_05
Clear JBL branding on the battery and controls.

Another design choice that JBL could of gone with was removing the battery and control housing on the cables. They stand out a bit too much.
JBL should of put them with the earbuds or made them smaller. I think they are supposed to act as weights but when worn they tend to move around as you move dislodging the buds.

When these headphones are on there is this annoying bright blue light that just stands out in the dark. I have used these in bed to watch videos on my phone and all I can see in the corners of my eyes is this blue glow. JBL could of just gone with something more subtle like a red light or made them dimmer.

JBL_250BT_07
This light though.

Bluetooth range is not as strong I can’t tell you exactly but I own JBLs E40BT headphones. I have used them both in the same area and I did notice the 250BTs cutting out more when I walked away from my phone.​

Also the battery life on these aren’t that great; I got around 4-6 hours of use which is expected. Headphones of this style can only fit a small battery. Charging takes around about 1-2 hours via micro USB.

JBL_250BT_08
Micro USB charge cable.

Firstly they are relatively cheap compared to most headphones in this category. Their affordable price tag makes the faults more forgivable.

I know I did say at the start of the These are big on comfort… when they stay in. If you’re like me and you struggle with earplug style buds the 250BT are very comfortable in my ears.

Once connected connectivity is quick and reliable. From what I can recall these have never dropped out on me except when I have gone too far from my phone.

Using the Tune 250BT is easy just has three buttons. A set of plus and minus buttons and one multi use button for calls, playing music and power.

JBL_250BT_06
All in on controls.

There is a benefit to not being 100% wireless. You won’t need to worry about losing a bud and when you turn these off you just throw them to the side. No need to remember to put them back in a case.

ForIf you like the sound of JBLs sound stage you can expect the same with these earphones. These actually sound good, clean even sound with a slight favour towards bass.

JBL_250BT_02
More comfortable style buds. Comfortable.

So do I recommend these headphones?… If you’re on a budget and just want Bluetooth headphones to use on occasion that you can throw around. Then check these out; well-priced with great sound.

With fitting I did eventually get used to the 250BTs by the time I was done with this review. I just had to find that sweet spot each time I wore it and they stayed in place.
Because of the fitting issue I do not recommend these for active use as they will fall out the more you move, there is also the lack of sweat proofing.

JBL_250BT_09
Throw around after use.

If you want something to use daily just remember you will be find yourself grabbing that charge cable more often. Instead look at cans as their battery life can range between 10-24 hours or the 100% wireless buds with the charge cases that can boost the battery life to 24 hours but you will need to shell out some cash for those.

Video below to my unboxing.

Video below to my review.

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