JBL launches AirPods 3 competitors, but with active noise reduction

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JBL presented its Live Flex, wireless headphones without silicone tips, but with active noise reduction and multipoint Bluetooth.

The JBL Live Flex
Les JBL Live Flex // Source: JBL

Although most commercially available wireless headphones now offer an in-ear format, with silicone tips that insert into the entrance of the ear canal, some users are not comfortable with this intrusive design, to say the least. Only, compared to the AirPods 3 or the Nothing ear (Stick), few are the manufacturers that offer headphones in an open format and with adequate sound quality. Not to mention the limits on sound insulation.

However, this is the commitment that JBL has made with its new JBL Live Flex, announced this Tuesday. Like Nothing or Apple headphones, these are headphones on the “open», without silicone tips, so they are placed at the entrance of the ear canal without entering it. Unlike the AirPods 3 or Ear (Stick), however, and just like the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live or Huawei FreeBuds 4, JBL headphones offer active noise reduction.

Bluetooth-enabled multipoint headset

JBL announces a feature “True adaptive noise cancellationCapable, according to the American manufacturer, of automatically adjusting the level of noise reduction among 17 integrated filters according to environmental noise. To do this, the JBL Live Flex are equipped with ten microphones -three per earphone- in charge of both analyzing environmental noise and capturing the voice during telephone calls thanks to beam formation.

The JBL Live Flex are also equipped with large 12mm diameter drivers. If the manufacturer does not communicate about the supported Bluetooth audio codecs, one can easily imagine that Live Flex only offers support for AAC and SBC, as is often the case with JBL. However, the true wireless earphones do support Bluetooth 5.3 and JBL indicates that they will benefit, thanks to a later update, from Bluetooth LE Audio. Rare enough to point out, like the JBL Tour Pro 2, the JBL Live Flex supports multipoint Bluetooth and can therefore be used with both a PC and a smartphone at the same time.

Spatial audio from any source

The JBL Live Flex also benefits from a spatial audio feature, called “JBL Spatial Sound», announced as functional from any audio source.

The JBL Live Flex
Les JBL Live Flex // Source: JBL

As for autonomy, JBL announces that its Live Flex can work for 6 hours with noise reduction (30 hours with the case) or 8 hours of autonomy without ANC (40 hours with the case). The case is also compatible with Qi wireless charging and certified IPX2 against splashes – IP54 for the headphones themselves.

The JBL Live Flex will be available during the month of February in France in four colors: black, blue, silver or pink. They will be offered at a price of 149 euros.

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