JBL is a household name for folks who love all thing audio. The company uses their nearly 75 years in the industry to produce both consumer homes products such as headphones and speakers as well as professional use products like studio monitors and PA systems. JBL is one of the most universally recognized manufacturers of audio equipment and most of their products come with rave reviews.
Today we are going to be reviewing the JBL Inspire 700. This product joins JBL’s Inspire line of sports-specific headphones made for use during workouts. The 700 joins the Inspire 100, 200, 300 and 500 as an option for music lovers who need a decent pair of headphones to take along with them for their sweatiest workouts. We took a deep look at this product to see if it’s worth the price associated with it if the sound quality is up to what we have come to expect from JBL and to see if this Inspire 700 lives up to its name. Let’s take a deep dive to see what this product has to offer and if we recommend it to our readers.
These headphones are designed to be used during activities. Though they are meant for use during workouts, the Inspire 700 seemed to struggle to live up to the expectations that other sports headphones have set. Despite the design of the earpieces that are supposedly meant to ensure in-ear stability
and comfort many users found that buds still fell out mid-run or workout. These issues, of course, could be due to user error, for example not putting the buds in properly
or the simple fact that not every ear size and shape works well with all styles of headphones. Despite the fact that these are marketed as sweat and waterproof headphones, some users found that they still slipped out of their ears during particularly sweaty workouts, effectively making the headphones kind of useless. You don’t purchase a set of sports headphones to only have them slip out of your ears when you really need them to perform. There were some reviewers that were satisfied with the Inspire 700’s ability to perform during workouts, but it seems the negative comments outweigh the positive ones in this regard.
When it comes to features, the Inspire 700 is about as basic as wireless headphones
come. They have a 3 button microphone remote found on the cord. This feature is present for an added level of convenience as users will not need to grab their device to change songs. The remote allows consumers to change tracks, adjust the volume of their audio and control their phone calls right from their headphones. This is a pretty common feature among most wireless headphones but it’s one thing that the Inspire 700 got right so we figured it was worth mentioning. They are marketed as providing eight hours of maximum talk time which we didn’t feel was as important of a feature in a sports headphone, but figured it was worth a mention.
The Inspire 700 is marketed as sweat and water resistant headphone
option. We weren’t able to find any particular IP rating, however, which leaves one to wonder just how sweat and waterproof this product really is. JBL says it can stand up to sweat, rain and water so take that as you may. The portable charging case
is a unique addition to this product. It allows users to have a rugged sort of protection for their headphones while also boosting the overall battery life of the product.
The Inspire 700 was equipped with JBL Signature Sound with Pure Bass
. The best way to describe the sound that is meant to be provided by these headphones is big and loud. The sound is clear, the mid-range is relatively strong and overall, quite powerful. Or, at least that’s how these are marketed and what JBL would lead you to believe. Our research shows that the Inspire 700 might not live up to the name JBL has carved for themselves in the audio industry. Most current users we heard from commented that the sound provided here is much less than expected from JBL. Despite there being q relatively good seal if you can get them in your ears properly, they lack bass and nearing max volume will create a staticky rumbling noise. The headphones easily make scratchy sounds if you move too much cause the cable to jump - definitely not a feat you wanted a pair of headphones supposedly made for working out. Overall it seems most current users who are JBL fans were disappointed with how poorly these performed when it comes to the sound quality.
These headphones are connected to any of your compatible devices via Bluetooth 4.1 technology. They are simple to pair, another feature that the Inspire 700 has going for it, and the connection is relatively well most of the time. We found that certain movements (I.e., plyometric exercises or sprints) caused the cable to bounce and the connection to falter a bit. Of course, this is an unfortunate side effect for a sports headphone to have as they are supposed to be designed to provide a stable listening experience during your workouts. We found the listed 33 feet of wireless range to be accurate during our test run of this product. Dual-connectivity is an option with this product, allowing users to connect their headphones to two devices simultaneously.
That Inspire 700 features JBL’s FlexSoft technology in an attempt to add a level of comfort for users. They are ergonomically designed to provide a custom fit that avoids all sensitive and nerve-rich areas of the ear. They’re made from soft silicone that is flexible and supposedly meant to provide a comfortable fit for hours. All that said, however, it seems that the Inspire 700 has not been well-received by users when it comes to the overall comfort level provided here. JBL markets these as “guaranteed” to be comfortable and they say they will never fall out, but most reviews we came across said these were the most uncomfortable earbuds they have ever worn and that they were constantly battling with the earbuds to stay in. It seems that these work best for certain ear sizes and shapes, so we suggest to really take that “ guaranteed comfort” with a grain of salt. During our own test runs, once we were able to find a comfortable fit with the earbuds, we found them to stay in place relatively well though this is definitely not the case for every user. If you know you don’t have success with in-ear headphones, you may want to skip right on by these.
The Inspire 700 is an in-ear wireless headphone. They utilize JBL's patented TwistLock technology, designed specifically for use during intense workouts. This technology is meant to provide a secure in-ear feel so that users don’t need to fret about the earbud popping out in the middle of their runs or mid-set. They are available in either black or teal with the teal option being marketed as a women's version as it’s designed for smaller ears. There is a 3 button microphone found on the cord of the right earbud. They don’t look any different than any similar product on the market and we definitely don’t think that JBL set out to blow anyone’s mind with the aesthetic design of this product.
There definitely seems to be some concerns regarding the durability of this product. It seems that some users have problems with the headphones dying well before their time. The silicone ear tips up have been known to just fall off when the earbuds
pop out of users ears, getting lost in the ether in the meantime. There didn’t seem to be any issues with the plastic or wire components, however, so at least the Inspire 700 have that going for them.
Ease of Use
The Inspire 700 is a fairly basic run-of-the-mill sports headphones. There aren't very many complicated features here so most users should find them incredibly easy and intuitive to use and operate. Simply pop them in, pair them and go. One thing we will , however, is that when you go to pair these, it comes up on your device as Inspire 500 instead of Inspire 700. This issue did confuse a number of current users so we felt it was worth mentioning. It is such a small seemingly easy to solve the issue that JBL should have taken into account to really be able to boost the ease of use of this product.
The Inspire 700 retails on the JBL website at $87. At the time of publication, however, we were able to find these for about half that price on Amazon. Savvy shoppers should definitely shop around in order to ensure they are getting the best price possible if they choose to invest in these headphones. We wouldn’t suggest paying retail price for these as most users will find they’re not getting their monies worth.
The JBL Inspire700 offers eight hours of listening time. This is a pretty standard battery life amongst most sports headphones
currently in the market. They arrive with a handy charging case, however, that can extend that battery life to closer to 16 hours. It takes around two hours to charge the headphones to full battery. Despite the marketed playback time of eight hours, most users complained that they were only able to squeeze closer to five hours of use out of these headphones. The lithium polymer battery is charged via a micro USB cord.
-Equipped with JBL's Signature Sound and Pure Bass
-TwistLock technology meant to help keep the earbuds in the ears for a secure feeling fit
-Inline remote for access to audio controls and calling taking purposes
-Bluetooth 4.1 technology
-Water and sweat proof
-FlexSoft technology featuring silicone tips for a soft and comfortable fit
We are going to be straight with you - these are not worth the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Priceand we would not recommend purchasing at that outrageous price tag. If you are a diehard JBL fan and want to add these to your repertoire, keep your eye on sales and grab these when they’re offered at a much more budget-friendly price. Even though $85 isn't really that expensive of a price tag, when we look at what you’re being offered with this product, we think there are better options on the market you could spend that money on and receive more in return from. Though we typically do love JBL and think their products are outstanding, it seems that the company dropped the ball with this product. The sound quality is subpar compared to what we are used to from JBL. They are not as comfortable as they are marketed to be. There seems to be a lot of issues when it comes to durability. Most reviews we came across in our research suggest that users are not happy with the price tag of the Inspire 700, especially considering all of the issues that come to light once you do make the purchase. These headphones are quite basic and not worth that high price tag. These would be better off in the $20-$40 range as we feel they value they provide makes them suited to a more budget-friendly price range.