The signature JBL sound is a bit of a twist
With the proliferation of truly wireless earphones in the Indian audio market, we now have a brand new pair of earphones from JBL, the Tune 125TWS which is basically a more featured version of the JBL Tune 120TWS earphones. Earphones are fairly basic and ready for casual music listeners, however, they have some impressive features to note. Priced at Rs 8,499 (now available at a discounted price of Rs 7,499), these earphones are the mid-range offer that competes with the Sony WF-XB700 and a few more. Let’s see how JBL Tune 125TWS looks in our review.
Construction and design
The JBL Tune 125TWS, much like their predecessors – the Tune 120TWS, looks fairly straightforward like truly wireless earphones, with no frills of exceptional design. Still, the earphones are quite compact and the ergonomic and charging case is also quite pocketable. We’ve got black units for review that look very little. On the other hand, the blue and white color options are a bit more different. Still, the design is quite inspiring and the charging case looks quite smooth in terms of design compared to some of the real wireless earphones on the market.
While the charging case isn’t even close to some of the smaller charging cases we’ve seen for real wireless earphones like the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus and the Jabra Elite 75t, the charging case of the JBL Tune 125TWS is still quite pocketable as mentioned above. Made mainly of plastic, the case has a smooth, matte finish that doesn’t look plasticized or cheap. The USB Type-C port is at the bottom of the case, and because of the design, the case does not stand up straight but is flat on a surface. The flip-top lid has a sleek and strong magnet and a status indicator LED (three white LEDs) on the surface of the case. Overall, the case is quite strong and the magnets in the case hold the earbuds securely.
With a semi-matte, semi-gloss finish, the earrings have the JBL logo on the back panel of each bud. Beneath each logo is a physical control button that can be used to control music playback and calls. The earbuds are also equipped with a magnetic point that snaps into the cradle inside the charging case. The tip of the earbud is angled around 45-degrees which provides a secure and comfortable fit.
The earphones use a twist and lock mechanism to sit securely in the ear and are extremely comfortable and snug in the ear. The company offers 3 sizes of silicone eartip for users to choose from. No stability gels or wings are provided, however, because of the already-extraordinary fit we didn’t really miss them. We would listen to music with these buds for about 2-3 hours without feeling any irresistible fatigue. Although due to their shape, they move slightly away from the ears.
Because of the snug and secure fit, the earphones are exceptionally good for passively isolating background noise. Background noise is reduced a bit by wearing earphones. They’re great for reducing clutter in noisy offices and even for deep roars like bus engines.
The JBL Tune 125TWS is quite a barebone in terms of features. They obviously lack premium features like ANC, touch control and on-ear detection, which we don’t expect in sub 10K True Wireless earphones, but they also have some pretty integral features like IP rating and volume control.
The earphones look pretty sporty, so we’ve safely assumed that the Tune 125TWS will pack an IP rating, much like the Sony WF-XB700 earphones that come with an IPX4 rating. However, we are surprised and disappointed that the earphones do not actually come with an IP rating which makes these earphones unsafe to use in the gym even during light rain.
Earphones come with physical controls that can be used to control music playback and calls. Pause the right earbud once to pause / play music or answer incoming calls. Double-tapping on the right earbud will call your device’s voice assistant. Pressing the left earbud once avoids the track and pressing twice will move it to the previous track. There is no control to adjust the volume levels, which is a shame because for long presses on both sides nothing is really mapped and it can be easily mapped to adjust the volume levels.
One place where JBL Tune 125TWS redefines itself in terms of features is battery life. According to the company, the battery life of earphones on a single charge is about 8 hours while the charging case can juice the earphones three times more, bringing the total battery life to 32 hours! In our experiments, the earphones were drained from 100 percent battery in about 7 hours and 45 minutes at about 65 percent volume, which is excellent. The only real wireless earphones that lost JBL’s battery life in the bud were the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus, Sony WF-XB700 and Sony WF-SP800N.
However, JBL outperforms these three earphones in terms of battery life in the charging case, offering 3 extra charges while others offer only one extra charge on the buddies. In our experiment, we were able to easily charge the tuned 125TWS buds 3 times, with some juice left. It is safe to say that we are completely impressed with the battery performance of the earphones.
Playing the same 5.8mm dynamic driver as the JBL Tune 120TWS, the Tune 125TWS offers a frequency range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz. Unfortunately, there is no app support for accessing a customizable EQ, so you have to stick to the sound you get from earphones (unless you use a third party EQ). While the Tune 125TWS’s sound signature is effortlessly base-boosted, which is typically the same as the JBL sound signature, it does bring a bit of a twist here.
Despite the bass and logos receiving a significant boost and being quite prominent in the mix, the midges are also boosted evenly which means that the chances of heavy hearing masking in the middle are reduced. It creates a more balanced and vibrant word signature that packs punchy bass and lively vocals and mid-range instruments. The alloy is sharp and textured and does not deform even at high volume levels, which is impressive.
Low-baritone male vocals sound rich and clear on such tracks The Poet and the Muse By The old god of Asgard High-pitch voices can also feature pretty crisp but sometimes some added sibilance. Lead instruments are reproduced quite accurately and tracks such as The smaller one By Extremely suspicious Highlight the lead guitar and lead vocals nicely.
Some tracks like Hysteria By Muse, The height may be somewhat rigid and small as this frequency seems to be puzzled by the sharp peaks in the frequency reproduction. Even so, owning one is still beyond the reach of the average person. Overall, you get a fairly balanced sound profile, including punchy alloy and clean mid.
Coming to the microphone quality, it was quite decent. The receiver hears what we said during the call (checked via normal network and WhatsApp calling), but our voice sounds a bit distant. Also, environmental sounds are easily picked up and relayed to the audience. However, for calling in a quiet environment, the microphone of the Tune 125TWS is quite decent. Although the unit shows some serious latency problems. When we watched Netflix and YouTube with earphones, the delay between audio and video was quite noticeable, which can be a bit annoying to watch.
The last row
Priced at Rs 8,499, the JBL Tune 125TWS is a good pair of truly mid-range wireless earphones equipped with exceptional battery life, a fairly balanced sound signature and a secure and comfortable in-ear fit. However, they miss some integral features such as an IP rating and volume controls. Additionally, if you watch a lot of videos with your earphones, there is a noticeable latency problem. Overall, we recommend these earphones to users who are looking for mid-range true wireless earphones with great battery life and a nice sound signature.