Presented at CES 2021, the JBL it didn’t take long and I already brought the Bluetooth headset Tune 215TWS to Brazil. It has a robust design, Bluetooth 5.0, can activate virtual assistants and promises interesting autonomy for those who do not want to keep hunting (25 hours of playback with the case).
In the same price range as Sony WF-XB700 and Samsung Galaxy Buds, is it worth investing in the latest JBL model? How does it sound? I have tested the Tune 215TWS in the past few days and I share my experience in this review.
Review of JBL Tune 215TWS on video
THE Tecnoblog it is an independent journalistic vehicle that helps people make their next purchase decision since 2005. Our analyzes are not intended for advertising, so they highlight the positive and negative points of each product. No company has paid, reviewed or had early access to this content.
The Tune 215TWS was provided by JBL as a donation and will not be returned to the company. For more information, visit tecnoblog.net/etica.
Design, comfort and case
The JBL Tune 215TWS is a very big headphone, but it doesn’t weigh enough, which is a good start. Unfortunately, only the middle tip fit my ear better. And yet, it was a little difficult to keep the headphones steady – I always had to regulate them so they wouldn’t fall off during use. It may not happen to you, but I better reinforce it here, and JBL only sends three pairs of tips in the box.
In the construction, I tested the black version which does not bring anything very special, but it is also not ugly. The device is all plastic, while the sides received a frame, also plastic, shiny. JBL added physical buttons on the outside and an LED that assists in pairing and charging the battery.
Although it is large, the JBL Tune 215TWS case is beautiful and this slender look means that it does not take up much space in the bag or backpack. The company introduced three LEDs on the front for the user to monitor the charge level and, behind, there is a USB-C input to supply the 660 mAh battery, which can also explain the 51.3 grams of the case.
Features and connectivity
In terms of features and connectivity, a dedicated app is needed to equalize, configure the headphones and check the battery level. Fortunately the iPhone 11 battery widget, a device I used most of the time to test the Tune 215TWS, reports the percentage of devices, which helped me keep track of autonomy.
The phone has Bluetooth 5.0 and, in practice, communication remained stable, even though I walked around the house with some walls on the way. For those who play, the Tune 215TWS is not highly recommended for this purpose due to the somewhat high latency; this delay is also felt in videos.
To control the tracks, the left handset button allows you to skip to the next song by pressing it once or going backwards by pressing it twice. The button on the right phone, in turn, lets you pause and can trigger virtual assistants when you press it twice in a row (the model is still capable of invoking Google Assistant and Samsung’s Bixby).
Sound and battery quality
The sound quality of the JBL Tune 215TWS should not please everyone, given that it does not have a balance between frequencies like the Realme Buds Q, which delivers balanced mid, bass and treble. For comparison, the JBL gadget has a 6 mm driver, while the Chinese product has 10 mm with a bass boost.
The 215TWS, however, reminded me of the Beats Flex, a model I evaluated here at Tecnoblog and that, although I leave the beats in the background, I came to like the performance. The JBL phone tries to follow this path: the mids are well defined and the extremely high treble of singer Sia, in Chandelier, sound clearly, but performance drops considerably at high volume – you can feel some noise and the sound is shrill.
An energetic band, like Back In Black, from AC / DC, is reproduced with the midrange more prominent than the other frequencies. The sound of the drums is not prominent, as well as the kick drum, but the guitar gains emphasis during the 4 minutes and 15 seconds of music. Levels, by Avicii, sounds good, being possible to feel every detail of the track, but it would be even better if the bass gained a little more prominence.
At least the passive noise cancellation is decent and can drown out even the loudest noises on busy streets. In phone calls, the performance, again, was satisfactory and I was able to hear and speak without difficulties during the tests; the audio is clear, free of interference and not metallic, which is great for video calls.
The battery is the great attraction of the JBL wearable, after all it is 5 hours of playback with the headphones and another 20 hours with the case. This shows that the gadget can easily serve those consumers who use headphones frequently throughout the day. It is also worth noting that a charge of just 15 minutes ensures an additional hour of sound. Around here, I managed to get close to six hours of playback, before the Tune 215TWS shut down for good, so a result above the agreed; great!
JBL Tune 215TWS: is it worth it?
Analyzing the current scenario with good headphones accessible on the market, I see that the JBL Tune 215TWS only makes sense for those who like it and already know the TWS profile of the brand. Without delivering an application, without a differential to stand out in the middle of the competition and with a little shy sound, this is not the model I would choose now, but it can be worth it when prices drop.
Considering its price range of R $ 500, I would analyze the Galaxy Buds which, although it is older, delivers battery with six hours of playback, dedicated application, allows to equalize and is R $ 100 cheaper than the 215TWS. Realme Buds Q did very well in the tests of the Tecnoblog and it is another product that I recommend: it is accessible and has a sound to please many people.
The JBL Tune 215TWS is not a bad phone, far from it, but considering the brand and the price a little high, I must admit that I expected more and hope that they can do it in the next generation.
JBL Tune 215TWS Bluetooth Headset
- Autonomy with the case is excellent
- Midfielders are balanced
- Efficient connectivity
- Beautiful case
- High price
- Comfortable, but easy to fall from the ear
- Could have more serious
- Missing a dedicated app