JBL Soundgear Sense Review Earbuds with Adjustable Ear Hooks

Monday, April 01, 2024

Wireless headphones have become a must-have in our everyday routines, offering convenience and hassle-free movement without sacrificing sound quality. Today, we're diving deep into the JBL Soundgear Sense - a set of open-ear earphones with ear hooks and detachable neckband that is all about giving you the flexibility to listen to your music while still being able to hear what's going on around you. 

Whether you're out for a hike or navigating through the city, the JBL Soundgear Sense are perfect for keeping you entertained while staying aware of your surroundings. The JBL Soundgear Sense earbuds feature a distinctive open-ear sports ear hook style, complemented by a unique detachable neckband design for added versatility. This design allows you to connect the ear hooks to the neckband effortlessly. 

Assembly is straightforward: just slide the bottom side of the ear hook stem into the neckband hole openings. The ear hooks securely attach to the neckband through snug friction, making it easy to remove the earbuds by simply pulling. Another distinctive feature of the JBL Soundgear Sense is its dual-purpose ear hook swivel joint, which enables the earpiece to adjust both horizontally and vertically. This feature significantly enhances the likelihood of getting a comfortable fit.

In terms of materials, the earbud ear hooks are crafted from soft, flexible silicone rubber, providing a comfortable yet sturdy fit. The neckband is constructed from matte plastic with rubber accents, offering durability and comfort during wear. The earbud body shell combines matte plastic with metal mesh accents for a sleek aesthetic.

The Soundgear Sense charging case features a matte plastic build and incorporates a spring-loaded hinge that automatically flips the lid open while preventing any wobbling. Positioned on the front of the case is a large status LED light, with a USB-C charging port located on the backside for convenience. Additionally, the earbuds include a Bluetooth status LED light, which intermittently blinks, though there doesn't appear to be an option in the app to disable it.

The earbuds can be connected whilst inside the charging case and stay securely inside the magnetic docking area. The  earbuds reconnect instantly so, no reconnection delay when switching between earbuds from stereo to mono listening. The charging case is fairly bulky and large measuring 10cm long x 5.5cm deep x 2.5cm thick. The charging case weighs 73 grams, while each earbud weighs 13 grams.

Wearing the JBL Soundgear Sense earbuds for 1-2 hours feels comfortable, primarily due to the flexible silicone earhooks that provide a secure fit on the ears. The detachable neckband adds an extra layer of security, ensuring the earbuds stay in place, which is particularly reassuring during workouts or when using machinery. Additionally, their IP54 rating guarantees durability, allowing you to sweat in them, run with them in the rain, or wear them in dusty environments.

The JBL Soundgear Sense stands out in terms of audio quality, defying the usual drawbacks associated with open-ear designs. It offers impressive volume levels, clear and balanced sound, and noticeable bass presence, though not as deep as what's commonly found in in-ear earbuds such as the JBL Tour Pro 2 and JBL Quantum TWS

However, the trade-off is that you're able to remain aware of your surroundings, which enhances safety and awareness, especially while on the go. Additionally, the open-ear design of the JBL Soundgear Sense amplifies the soundstage, resulting in a wider and more immersive audio experience that's both enjoyable and less fatiguing. As far as calls, the built-in microphones work well at delivering clear and understandable voice calls, even with windy and noisy background.

The JBL Soundgear Sense earphones prioritize user experience and convenience, offering intuitive touch controls and seamless switching between earbuds from stereo to mono listening. The JBL Headphones app allows you to customize EQ settings, enable low latency video mode, adjust left/right sound balance, enable volume limiting, adjust auto power off, "find my buds", update firmware, and change voice prompt language Touch controls are unfortunately not remappable.

Selling points
  • Mobile app with 10 band EQ
  • Detachable neckband
  • Remapable touch controls
  • Satisfying audio performance
  • 4hr play time from 15 min fast charge
  • Responsive touch controls
  • No need for eartips

Potential deal breakers
  • Flashing bluetooth status light
  • No on ear detection for auto play/pause
  • No reconnection delay
  • Bulky charging case
  • Bluetooth AAC codec support
  • No travel case or pouch included to store the neckband
  • No ANC

Included accessories with the Soundgear Sense are a JBL branded flat orange cable and the previously mentioned neckband. You can buy the Soundgear Sense from JBL and amazon

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