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JBL Tune 125TWS Truly Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Nov 19, 2020 at 08:12 am
JBL Tune 125TWS Truly Wireless Picture
7.4
Neutral Sound
7.4
Commute/Travel
7.9
Sports/Fitness
7.0
Office
5.4
Wireless Gaming
5.4
Wired Gaming
6.7
Phone Calls
These headphones were replaced by the JBL Tune 130NC TWS Truly Wireless
Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Truly Wireless
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The JBL Tune 125TWS Truly Wireless are simple truly wireless headphones. They have a well-balanced sound profile, decent passive noise isolation capability, and a compact, lightweight design that makes them easy to carry around. Unfortunately, they lack any sort of sound customization features and have a very limited control scheme, not to mention high wireless latency on some devices. Still, if you're looking for a pair of truly wireless headphones that can be used to listen to most types of audio content, they're a good option.

Our Verdict

7.4 Neutral Sound

The JBL Tune 125 TWS are satisfactory for neutral sound. They have a well-balanced sound profile with just a touch of extra bass, which should give EDM and hip-hop tracks a bit of extra thump and rumble without overwhelming delicate vocals or instrumentals. Unfortunately, they have a very closed-off passive soundstage and don't have a companion app with an EQ to fine-tune your listening experience.

Pros
  • Well-balanced sound profile.
  • Remarkably consistent audio delivery.
Cons
  • Closed-off soundstage.
  • No sound customization features.
7.4 Commute/Travel

The JBL Tune 125 TWS are good for commuting and traveling. They're lightweight and easy to carry around and feel reasonably well-made. While they may not block out the low rumble of bus or plane engines, you shouldn't hear much chatter from other commuters. Unfortunately, their control scheme doesn't support on-the-fly volume adjustments, and their deep in-ear fit may not suit all listeners.

Pros
  • Well-balanced sound profile.
  • Compact, lightweight design.
  • Decent passive noise isolation.
Cons
  • No on-board volume controls.
  • No standby mode to extend battery life.
7.9 Sports/Fitness

The JBL Tune 125 are a very good option for sports and fitness. They're very lightweight and easy to carry around. While they should stay in place during light workouts, they're liable to fall out during intense exercise sessions due to their lack of stability fins. They also don't have any sort of IP rating for dust or water resistance, though that isn't something we currently test for.

Pros
  • Well-balanced sound profile.
  • Compact, lightweight design.
  • Remarkably consistent audio delivery.
Cons
  • No on-board volume controls.
  • No IP rating.
7.0 Office

The JBL Tune 125 TWS are okay for office use. They should block out the chatter of nearby coworkers and leak very little audio. However, they don't have any sort of standby mode to extend their battery life and lack any sort of multi-device pairing capability. They also have high wireless latency on PCs, which could be an annoyance while watching videos.

Pros
  • Well-balanced sound profile.
  • Decent passive noise isolation.
  • Low audio leakage.
Cons
  • High wireless latency on PCs.
  • No standby mode to extend battery life.
  • No multi-device pairing capability.
5.4 Wireless Gaming

The JBL Tune 125 TWS aren't suitable for wireless gaming due to their high audio latency when connected to Bluetooth-enabled PCs and incompatibility with PS4 and Xbox One consoles.

5.4 Wired Gaming

The JBL Tune 125 TWS are Bluetooth-only headphones and aren't compatible with any wired connections.

6.7 Phone Calls

The JBL Tune 125TWS are a fair choice for making phone calls. Their integrated microphone makes your voice sound clear and natural, but also a little thin. They're also decently effective when it comes to filtering out background noise, but their mic can struggle to isolate speech from loud background noise.

Pros
  • Decent passive noise isolation.
Cons
  • Sub-par microphone noise handling capability.
  • 7.4 Neutral Sound
  • 7.4 Commute/Travel
  • 7.9 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.0 Office
  • 5.4 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.4 Wired Gaming
  • 6.7 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Aug 04, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.
  2. Updated Nov 19, 2020: Review published.
  3. Updated Nov 13, 2020: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The JBL Tune 125 TWS are simple-looking truly wireless headphones. They have a low-profile design that doesn't protrude too far from your ears and a conservative monochrome-color plastic casing, accented with the matte finish of their multifunction buttons. That said, you can configure their charging case with a variety of eye-catching color schemes and patterns when you order them directly from JBL's website, but at an added cost.

7.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.02 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

The JBL Tune 125 TWS are decently comfortable. They're lightweight and don't protrude from your ears, but their deep in-ear fit may not suit everyone. Worse still, using their multifunction button could force the buds deeper into your ears.

5.6
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Decent
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control No
Microphone Control Mute/Unmute
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

The JBL Tune 125 TWS have an easy to use but somewhat limited control scheme. You can use the left bud to control music playback, with a single tap skipping forward and a double-tap to go to the previous track. Tapping the right bud once pauses and plays media or answers and ends calls, while a tap followed by a long press mutes and unmutes your mic. A double-tap of this button also turns on your phone's voice assistant. They can be used in mono mode, but you lose the use of playback controls. Unfortunately, you can't adjust media volume via the onboard controls, and the buds don't provide any sort of audio feedback when making an input.

9.2
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 0.8 ยฐC
9.3
Design
Portability
L 1.3" (3.3 cm)
W 1.5" (3.8 cm)
H 1.0" (2.5 cm)
Volume 2.00 inยณ (32.77 cmยณ)
Transmitter Required No

These headphones are exceptionally portable. You can easily store them in a pocket or small bag, and their case is quite compact.

7.5
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 2.7" (6.9 cm)
W 1.1" (2.8 cm)
H 2.3" (5.8 cm)
Volume 7.00 inยณ (114.71 cmยณ)

These in-ears have a good case. It's compact and made of somewhat sturdy-feeling plastic. Like the JBL Tune 120 Truly Wireless' case, the headphones' controls are engraved inside the case, which can be handy if you forget how to make a certain command. The case also features magnets to keep the buds in place when they're stored.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

The JBL Tune 125TWS are decently well-built. They feel reasonably sturdy and dense, but they lack any sort of IP rating for dust or water resistance, though we don't currently test for this.

7.0
Design
Stability

The JBL Tune 125 TWS are decently stable. While they don't protrude too far from your ears and shouldn't move with low-intensity workouts, they lack stability fins to help keep them in place during intense exercise sessions.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • JBL Tune 125 TWS in-ear headphones
  • 3x silicone tip sizes
  • Charging case
  • USB-C charging cable
  • User guide

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
2.22 dB
Treble Amount
0.29 dB

The JBL Tune 125 TWS have a reasonably well-balanced sound profile. Their slightly overemphasized bass response should add a bit of extra thump and rumble to your favorite EDM and hip-hop tracks, but without overwhelming vocals or lead instruments in other genres. Overall, these headphones should suit a wide variety of musical genres and audio content.

9.0
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.21 dB

Like most in-ear headphones, the JBL Tune 125 TWS have exceptional frequency response consistency, though there's some variance in the treble range. Once you achieve a proper fit with the included selection of ear tips, audio should be delivered consistently on separate re-seats.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.1
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.7 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
2.75 dB
Mid-Bass
3.86 dB
High-Bass
1.66 dB

The bass accuracy of these headphones is great. The range is mostly overemphasized but quite flat, which should please listeners who prefer a little more thump and rumble without generating excess boominess. The dip in the high bass range should prevent the slightly exaggerated bass response from muddying vocals and lead instruments.

9.0
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.28 dB
Low-Mid
0.02 dB
Mid-Mid
-1.5 dB
High-Mid
1.19 dB

These headphones offer remarkable mid accuracy. Aside from a minor dip in the mid-mid range, the rest of the frequency spectrum is remarkably flat and well-balanced. This results in clear, full-bodied vocals and lead instrumentals that are present in the mix.

8.6
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.19 dB
Mid-Treble
0 dB
Low-Treble
0.39 dB
High-Treble
1.84 dB

The JBL Tune 125 TWS have impressive treble accuracy. Vocals and lead instruments should be clear and well-articulated while sibilants and high notes should be reproduced without being piercing or harsh.

8.3
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
0.97 dB
Dips
1.33 dB

The JBL Tune 125 TWS have great peaks and dips performance. There's a small dip in the mid-mid range that nudges vocals and lead instruments toward the back of the mix. This is followed by a bump that extends across the high-mid through low-treble ranges, which could yield a slightly harsh quality to some notes. A dip in the low through mid-treble ranges can veil the finer details of some vocals and lead instruments and make some sibilants sound slightly dull and lispy.

9.0
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.41
Weighted Phase Mismatch
1.36
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.71
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
0.7

These headphones have superb stereo imaging performance. Their weighted group delay falls beneath the audibility threshold, resulting in tight bass and transparent treble. Their L/R drivers are well-matched in regards to amplitude, frequency, and phase response, which should ensure the accurate placement of objects like voices and instruments in the stereo image. That said, these results are only valid for our test unit, and your experience may vary.

1.0
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
2.9
Acoustic Space Excitation
1.3

Like most closed-back in-ears, the JBL Tune 125 TWS have a terrible passive soundstage. They bypass any sort of outer-ear interaction, resulting in a closed-off listening experience that causes sound to be perceived as coming from inside your own head rather than speakers placed around you. You may want to consider the JBL Tune 225TWS True Wireless if you're looking for truly wireless headphones with a more spacious passive soundstage, in part due to their shallower earbud fit.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No App

The JBL Tune 125 TWS don't have any virtual soundstage features.

8.1
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.126
WHD @ 100
0.140

The weighted harmonic distortion performance of these headphones is impressive. Distortion at both moderate and high volumes remains within good limits across the frequency spectrum, which should result in clean and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
Unknown
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.0
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings used to test the JBL Tune 125 TWS. Our results are only valid in this configuration.

Isolation
7.1
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-19.81 dB
Bass
-9.93 dB
Mid
-18.25 dB
Treble
-31.98 dB

These in-ears have decent passive noise isolation. They don't block out much ambient noise in the bass range, so you can likely hear the rumble of bus engines or passing construction vehicles. However, they're impressively effective when it comes to filtering out mid and treble-range background noise, so you shouldn't hear the chatter of people nearby or the high-pitched hum of an AC unit.

8.8
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
28.23 dB

The JBL Tune 125 TWS leak very little audio. What little sound does escape occurs in the mid-treble range, which gives leaking audio a slightly thin quality. Still, you should be able to listen to your music at pretty high volumes with little fear of disrupting people nearby.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No

The JBL Tune 125 TWS have an integrated microphone.

7.3
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
380.55 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.67 dB
HFE
6,834.38 Hz
Weighted THD
0.072
Gain
6.62 dB

The integrated microphone delivers decent recording quality. Your voice should sound natural, clear, and mostly free of distortion, but it may also be perceived as somewhat thin.

5.8
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
7.17 dB
Noise Gate
Always On
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
6.0
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
5.5
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

The integrated microphone has middling noise handling. People on the other end of the line may have trouble understanding you if you call from an even moderately noisy environment, like a busy street.

Active Features
5.8
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
6.9 hrs
Additional Charges
3.0
Total Battery Life
27.6 hrs
Charge Time
1.5 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB-C

The JBL Tune 125 TWS' battery performance is somewhat disappointing. They supply just under seven hours of continuous playback, which is relatively decent for a pair of truly wireless headphones, but falls some way short of their advertised claim of eight hours or when compared to alternatives like the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless. Their case holds roughly three additional charges, which should be enough for a couple of days at work. Unfortunately, they don't have an auto-off-timer to help extend their continuous runtime.

0
Active Features
App Support
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No

The JBL Tune 125 TWS don't have a companion app.

Connectivity
6.8
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
249.00 ft (75.90 m)
PC Latency (SBC)
297 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
274 ms
Android Latency
285 ms

The JBL Tune 125 TWS have okay Bluetooth connectivity. They support Bluetooth 5.0, but not NFC or multi-device pairing, which could be annoying if you like to stream music from your phone while remaining connected to your work computer. They have high audio latency on PCs and Android devices but perform slightly better in this regard when connected to iOS devices. It should be noted that apps and devices compensate differently for latency, so your experience in the real world can vary.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A

These truly wireless headphones are Bluetooth-only.

0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length N/A
Connection
No Wired Option
Analog/USB Audio Latency
N/A

These in-ears can't be used wired. They come with a USB-C cable for charging their case.

Connectivity
PC Compatibility
Analog
No
Wired USB
No
Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
PlayStation Compatibility
PS4 Analog
No
PS4 Wired USB
No
PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
PS5 Analog
No
PS5 Wired USB
No
PS5 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No
Xbox Series X|S Analog
No
Xbox Series X|S Wired USB
No
Xbox Series X|S Non-BT Wireless
No

These headphones aren't compatible with Xbox One consoles.

2.2
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
Charging Case
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
Yes
Power Supply
USB-C

The JBL Tune 125 TWS come with a charging case that supplies roughly three extra full charges. It doesn't have any inputs other than a USB-C charging port and doesn't support wireless charging.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The JBL Tune 125 TWS come in four color schemes: 'Black', 'White', 'Blue', and 'Pink'. We tested the 'Black' variant, and you can see its label here. That said, we expect the other color variants to perform similarly.

If someone comes across a different variant of these headphones, let us know in the discussions below so that we can update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The JBL Tune 125 TWS are basic truly wireless headphones but represent a marked improvement over the similarly-designed JBL Tune 120 Truly Wireless. They have a fairly well-balanced sound profile, decent passive noise isolation capability, and reasonably sturdy construction. Unfortunately, they have a very simple control scheme, and they lack any sort of companion software. If you're considering alternatives, take a look at our recommendations of the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds, the best true wireless earbuds, and the best cheap wireless earbuds.

Sony WF-XB700 Truly Wireless

The Sony WF-XB700 Truly Wireless and JBL Tune 125TWS Truly Wireless are closely-matched headphones, and you may prefer one over the other depending on your preferences. The Sony headphones have onboard volume controls, a better build quality, and a longer continuous battery life. On the other hand, the JBL come with a case that can store additional three additional charges, while the Sony's case can only hold one. The JBL also have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, and a better-integrated microphone.

JBL Tune 225TWS True Wireless

The JBL Tune 125TWS Truly Wireless are more versatile than the JBL Tune 225TWS True Wireless. The 125TWS have a more comfortable fit, more consistent audio delivery, far superior noise isolation and audio leakage performance, and a longer continuous battery life. They also exhibit lower audio latency. Meanwhile, the 225TWS have a more stable fit and charge a little faster.

JBL Tune 120 Truly Wireless

The JBL Tune 125TWS Truly Wireless are better overall than the JBL Tune 120 Truly Wireless. The 125TWS have a better-balanced sound profile, superior microphone recording quality, and longer-lasting battery life. Meanwhile, the 120 block out a little more ambient noise.

Apple AirPods (2nd generation) Truly Wireless

The JBL Tune 125TWS Truly Wireless are more versatile than the Apple AirPods (2nd generation) Truly Wireless. The JBL block out far more ambient noise, have an easier-to-use control scheme, deliver a better-balanced listening experience with greater consistency, and last longer on a single charge. That said, the Apple are better-built, more comfortable, and charge substantially faster. Thanks to their open-back enclosure, they provide a far more expansive listening experience.

Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2 Truly Wireless

The Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2 Truly Wireless are slightly better overall than the JBL Tune 125TWS Truly Wireless. The Anker are better-built, more stable in the ear, block out more ambient noise, and leak less audio. They have a much longer total battery life of almost 100 hours, not to mention a battery-saving standby mode. However, the JBL have an easier-to-use control scheme and a better-balanced sound profile.

JBL LIVE 300TWS Truly Wireless

The JBL LIVE 300TWS Truly Wireless are better mixed usage headphones than the JBL Tune 125TWS Truly Wireless. The 300TWS have a more comfortable and stable fit, a more comprehensive control scheme, sturdier build quality, and a companion app with a parametric EQ. However, the 125TWS have a longer continuous and total battery life, lower wireless latency, and a slightly more neutral sound profile.

JLab Audio GO Air POP True Wireless

The JLab Audio GO Air POP True Wireless are better than the JBL Tune 125TWS Truly Wireless for most purposes. The JLab are better-built, rated IPX4 for water resistance, and a much more stable fit. They come with a few EQ presets to customize their sound profile and have significantly better battery performance. Ηowever, while the JΒL don't come with any sound customization options, you may prefer their more neutral default sound profile.

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