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JBL Tune 120TWS Review - Premium True Wireless audio without breaking the bank

OPPO
Huawei
JBL recently introduced a new True Wireless Stereo (TWS) earphones; the Tune 120 TWS. With an astounding 16 hours of battery and an attractive SRP of PHP 5,999.
JBL Tune 120TWS Review - Premium True Wireless audio without breaking the bank
JBL Tune 120TWS

So, how does it fare? Here's our review!

The packaging of the Tune 120TWS is pretty much the norm packaging of JBL. A white and grey colored box with the definition prints on the front and a display slot at the back to be able to see the earphones.

Inside you will find a small charging cable in JBL orange color, a quick start guide and a warranty booklet, a black charging case, and 2 ear nodes, and rubber node replacements. There are no wall outlet chargers provided.

Build Quality/Design

The charging case
The charging case

The build of the ear nodes and the charging case are made of plastic covered in black paint. The built of the ear nodes and the charging case feels sturdy and a bit on the heavy side compared to other true wireless ones I have tried before.

The charging case has a hinge swivel top cover the closes on top of the LED light indicators which I believe could be a problem in the long run. The slightly matte plastic finish is a bit prone to scratches and the whole thing is almost the size of a bar of soap which I believe is attributed to the battery aspect.

Below you find a covered micro USB charging socket. Inside, you will find the dock for the left and right earpieces.

Take note that they cannot be interchanged due to the magnetic charging panels. The ear-nodes, as I have mentioned, have a little weight to it.
Filter
Filter

The rubberized button interfaces that are found on both nodes are easily felt and identifiable. It has a glossier and sleek look compared to the charging case.

There are left and right indicators found on each node. The orientation is easy to remember also because of the charging case magnet setup I mentioned earlier.

The magnets also help in the scenario you pocket your earbuds directly, the magnetize and stick to each other so you’re not going to miss anything.

Comfort/Isolation

Comfy to use
Comfy to use

The rubber nodes can be replaced with other size options that come with the packaging. Given that the fit can be adjusted accordingly. As I said, there is some weight to them but it would be a bother. The overall fit is amazing.

Noise cancellation is great but not exceptional. It is an in-ear monitor so noise-canceling is expected.

Battery

The Tune 120TWS promised 4 hours of listening time before you need to charge it which they stay true. The charging case can be used to charge the nodes 3 to 4 times which adds up to an addition 12 hours. Using 50 to 70 percent of the volume keeps the stats on the mark.

The charging time for each node is within an hour from 0 to 100. The case’s charging time is 2 hours from depletion to full. Both measures are actually good values. The LED indicators both on the buds and the case provide warning alerts when the batteries are low.

Features

Bluetooth pairing for the Tune 120TWS is relatively easy. You just need to remove the nodes from the charging case and do a Bluetooth pair to JBL TUNE120TWS.

Once paired to any device, the succeeding connections are as easy and seamless as just removing them from the case.

Surprisingly the device still pairs on Bluetooth 4.2 which is an old version compared to other TWS in the market today. Given that, I rarely encountered drops or fluctuations in signals.

The Tune 120 TWS is compatible with laptops, Bluetooth music players and the ol' handy phone. In terms of playback controls, the left node covers the forward and next commands while the right one does the stop/play and the corresponding call accept and drop functions. Holding it down for 3 seconds while on the call mutes the mic as well. Both nodes have power on/off functions as well.

I actually like the option they took of using rubberized buttons instead of touchpads. Given this is meant to be used in active situations, the touchpads may be too sensitive to dust and sweat resulting in it being either too sensitive or the lack thereof.

Audio

Good audio as advertised
Good audio as advertised

The audio experience with the Tune 120TWS is as advertised. As for my experience with it, it has been nothing short of amazing. It should be noted that the buds run on 5.8mm dynamic drivers. Unfortunately, this does not offer an app that allows you to control the EQ of the device. So basically, the sound you get… is the one you get.

However, the capabilities of this headset far from disappointing. Given the price, the Tune 120 TWS performs wonders with minimal setbacks.

The device delivers a bit of underhanded low bass response. The grippy and warm touch of it though can be still be appreciated by pop and hip-hip song fans. Rock and Funk lovers would also appreciate the same the device offers as the bass is not overpowering and the rest are very fluid.

The low bass may not be ear thumping that other people may prefer but it doesn’t mean it takes away from what this device offers.

The Tune 120 TWS performs wonders with minimal setbacks

The mids are rich and crisp. A bit lacking on the body and vastness which a lot of those loving the ballad hooks. Surprisingly there are no noise and distortion that I found noticeable in this aspect. The instrumentation sounds good. The separations are noticeable and clear.

However, the vocal distinction and its separation from supporting notes are definitely the more spot-lit aspect of the mids.

The highs are great. It finds that snug point where it is not that bright and not that peaky either. The highs provide enough to be appreciated without overdoing it. And on the flip side, those with sensitivity to high frequencies will find this sound signature forgiving on the ears.
In terms of soundstage, it seems to be a little compact. There are definitions of the dimension in terms of height and width though. The stage is narrow but still provides great depth. And that’s about all you can expect from wireless pair of earphones at this price point.

The mic was average. Of course, as with other true wireless node headsets, it gets some environmental noise and usually, you would be getting some of the Bluetooth fuzz and muffled sounds. Though through a recording test, I was able to hear clearly every word I spoke.

Pros - Close to lag-free connectivity, fast reconnection speed, amazing audio quality for the price range rubberized button setup, superb noise-canceling and fit, amazing battery life.
Cons - Exposed hinge for the cover could get loose in the long run, charging case is a bit bulky

JBL Tune 120TWS Specs

Driver: 5.8mm dynamic
Frequency response: 20Hz to 20KHz
Impedance: 15mW
Sensitivity: 96dB
Microphone: Yes
Bluetooth: 4.2, A2DP 1.3, AVRCP 1.5, HFP 1.6
Battery: 12 hours (case), 85mAh 4 hours (per earpiece)
Weight: 73 g
Price: PHP 5,999

Verdict

JBL provided a definitive choice for those looking for the sturdy in-ear true wireless buds on a relatively slim budget, JBL Tune 120TWS.

At the PHP 5,999 price range, the Tune 120TWS blows out the majority of the competition and it’s no surprise if it will win a lot of awards this year.

For us, this would be an amazing buy for anyone looking for that true wireless gym and commute companion.
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