To stay safe on a run, you should remain aware of all the honking, revving, and talking around you. But sometimes, you want to shut the world out completely to enjoy your podcast, audiobook, or death metal playlist in perfect isolation. These buds can deliver both total awareness and total escapism—plus every notch in between—with a fully tweakable noise-canceling experience.
The Reflect Aeros have many of the basic active noise-canceling features, like an ambient listening mode and the ability to turn ANC on and off. Additional controls live inside the JBL Headphones app, including the ability to adjust the level of noise canceling that’s applied when ANC is switched on, or to activate an adaptive noise canceling mode that automatically adjusts the level of canceling based on the noisiness of your surroundings. Touch controls can also be tweaked in the app, so you can decide what a tap (and double- or triple-tap) on either bud should control: volume, track playback, or ANC.
They sound fantastic for music, movies, and voice (podcasts, calls, Zooms) with great bass and plenty of volume. The ANC is powerful enough to handle loud train rides and louder roommates. Fin-like wings keep the buds lodged into your ears; our reviewer wore them on two dozen runs with zero fit issues. The battery lasts eight hours, and that drops to six hours with the adaptive noise-canceling on. Our only quibbles are with the case; it’s USB-C (no wireless charging), and getting the earbuds properly aligned so they’ll recharge takes some practice. —Michael Calore