JBL excels at making budget-friendly wireless earbuds and headphones that generally look and sound great. And in terms of value for money, they’ve been making particular strides in their true wireless game. Today, we’ll be reviewing the Vibe Beam, a competitor to its own JBL Vibe Buds, which I recently tested and loved. So, what can you expect from the Vibe Beam with respect to sound and design?
What’s in the Box?
JBL Vibe Beam Earbuds
USB-C Charging Cable
Spare Pair of Ear Tips
Look and Feel
The Vibe Beam is modeled after the likes of the Apple AirPods, with stems coming down from the earpieces. With a standard, no frills case, these lightweight, plastic earbuds don’t scream fancy. In fact, they kind of look like all the other super affordable buds on Amazon. That being said, the fit is very comfortable and the secure seal provides some great sound isolation.
Design and Functionality
The Vibe Beam employs touch sensors on the earbuds, which allow you to control a host of features, such as play/pause, track skipping volume control.
The earbuds give you a full day of music with 8 hours of battery life, while the case offers an additional 24 hours. And when you need a quick boost, just 10 minutes of charging gives you an extra two hours of playtime.
One of the most impressive features is the equalizer that comes with the accompanying app. At this price, it’s rare to have this much control over your earphone’s balance.
Finally, even though these earphones don’t have ANC technology, JBL has still implemented an ambient mode, which allows in sound from the outside environment.
The JBL Vibe Beam offers a grandness to the soundstage. And while there may not be a lot of vertical dimension, with only a slight height to the soundstage, the instruments are accurately placed on the horizontal axis, creating a nice sense of space between them. However, the depth of the soundstage may not be as pronounced, with instruments meant to sit forward and behind often falling on the same plane in the stereo field. Despite this, the soundstage still offers a sense of immersion and spaciousness, allowing the listener to feel as if they are in the midst of the music.
The low-end of the Vibe Beam is punchy and tight, giving ample impact to pop tracks. And the sub-bass response is visceral, deep and impactful, adding weight and power to music. The bass is warm and rich, but not overpowering. So, it never bleeds into the higher frequencies or overtakes the mix.
A well balanced sound here, with an emphasis on the low-mids, adding a sense of fullness and richness to the overall character. The upper-mids are also tuned to avoid being too forward, which ensures that vocals and other midrange frequencies are not harsh or overwhelming. So, it’s an easy-listening and satiating profile in this range. Still, it presents a clean sound and even shows great definition in the lower-midrange.
The highs on the JBL Vibe Beam are smooth and gentle. They are a little rolled off, providing a subtle warmth to the sound without being too bright or harsh. The balance is just right, with enough detail and clarity to hear all the nuances of the music, yet still easy on the ears, preventing any listener fatigue. The vocals in the highs are particularly noteworthy, with a rich texture that feels soft and fluid.
The Vibe Beam earbuds may not be a sleek as other earbuds in the price range, such as the equally priced Vibe Buds, but they sound great, have a long battery life, and come with an equalizer. And if you just need a solid pair if earbuds to get you through your commute, these will do the trick. I have no complaints here.