JBL Live 100 Review Facts
JBL has created a wide range of high-quality audio products since its founding in 1946, starting with loudspeaker systems. Since it’s made a series of products for both homes and cars, it’s no surprise that it also makes incredible headphones. One of their more affordable models is the Live 100, which was clearly designed with the average consumer in mind. Buyers are offered the JBL signature sound thanks to this model’s 8mm drivers, and each one is housed inside a premium aluminum ear bud. A single-button remote/mic is attached to the righthand side for hands-free calls and voice commands. This model includes a tangle-free fabric cable to ensure that it’s easy to use and long-lasting. It even comes with a carrying pouch for safe storage and three different sizes of ear tips for a more custom fit. And just like several of JBL’s other headsets, it’s available in a wide range of color options.
To many buyers, the Live 100 is considered to be the perfect set of in-ear headphones for everyday life. Although it doesn't offer the same level of convenience as a wireless set, it's still very lightweight and enables the same access to both hands-free calls and voice command apps such as Siri or Google Now. This is all thanks to the single-button remote on its right-hand side that also includes a built-in microphone
. Buyers seem to use this model most often while traveling, going on casual walks and jogs, and even during their basic indoor workouts. As with other sets that come with a cable, this one may prove to be more challenging to work with during high-intensity training sessions. And the listing on JBL's website has this one measured at close to four feet, which could make things even more awkward.
The Live 100 has a very basic design, which is all that's needed for a set that's meant for the average buyer's everyday life. Its earbuds are made of premium aluminum, which not only gives it a more appealing look but also protects the inner wiring and better resists being accidentally crushed. Each one is marked with either an 'L' or 'R' in white lettering to ensure both a proper fit and ideal music listening. On the right-hand side is a single-button remote control that enables the buyer to receive or end calls. A small microphone is built into this unit for both hands-free calling and voice commands. Its cable is made from a knit fabric material to ensure that it stays tangle-free and easy to use. The 3.5mm audio plug is bent slightly, giving it a banana shape, to ensure that it stays connected and that the inner wires stay intact. Finally, this set comes with a carrying pouch for safe storage as well as three different sizes of ear tips for a more customizable fit.
Since it's designed for the average buyer, as opposed to one with a more active lifestyle, the Live 100 doesn't seem to include any highly advanced features. It has the average headphone frequency range of 20Hz to 20kHz, meaning that it offers buyers the same incredible sound range that they've come to expect from their chosen headsets. Its listing on the JBL website does show that, at an impressive 104bB, it has a noticeably higher sensitivity level than most earphones on the market. Similar models, even those that are designed to be more advanced, usually have a sensitivity level between 90dB and 95dB. Its impedance level, on the other hand, is only at 31 Ohms. Although it could be resistant to potential blowout, it's still not as durable as a more modernized wireless set.
Like other models created by the brand, the Live 100 has what's known as the JBL Signature Sound. Each earbud features an 8mm driver that, according to the brand's website, enables full-bandwidth sound and enhanced bass performance. Based on the reviews, it's clear that most buyers are happy with what it has to offer them. They've claimed that their music
sounds clear and full yet never feels overpowered at any time. With that said, there are quite a few reviewers who say that its sound doesn't live up to their expectations. They claim that its mid-range isn't as strong as its bass or high frequencies. While these responses may have more to do with the buyer's personal preference than the headphones themselves, those that claim its sound either diminishes greatly or stops working altogether after only a few weeks are a little more troubling. Therefore, buyers should definitely keep these in mind and do all the necessary research before making a purchase.
The Live 100 connects to all devices via its 3.5mm audio cable, just like all other headphones that aren't wireless
. Buyers don't have to worry about Bluetooth connectivity or making sure that their set is fully charged before they head out. And the plug is only bent slightly, as opposed to it being L-shaped or straight, so there's less risk of it accidentally disconnecting while in someone's pocket. Of course, there is the complaint that most will feel tied down to their smartphone or tablet whenever they use this headset. On the other hand, some see this as a positive since it means that there's less risk of either the headset or the device getting lost.
Even though several buyers may not be too satisfied with how it performs, they do appreciate how comfortable its wear is. Not only are its earbuds designed to not touch any part of the outer ear, but its silicon ear tips help them stay secure without causing any sort of irritation
. They also come in sizes small, medium, and large to ensure that nearly everyone can have their perfect fit. It should be mentioned that several other in-ear headphones do come with extra sizes, so that's something for the buyer to keep in mind in case this particular set doesn't work for them. And the fact that it's not wireless may make it awkward for those who are more active, especially while they're in the middle of some very intense workouts. Even so, most seem to be very happy with how it feels and how long it's able to stay in place while they go about their daily routines
The Live 100 is quite minimal in design yet still features enough elements to make it an eye-catching set. Its unique audio plug is banana-shaped, as opposed to the standard L-shaped or straight designs. The brand name can be found on the remote/mic unit, as well as on the back of each ear bud. And aside from being tangle-resistant, its cloth cable adds another texture to this set that pairs well with the aluminum and silicon and makes it even more appealing to potential buyers. As with several other JBL models, one of its greatest selling points is that it comes in a wider range of color
options than most headphones on the market. Buyers can find this set in incredible shades of black, blue, red, green, and white depending on their personal style preference. Furthermore, each set's silicon ear tips are the same color as the rest of it for a more monochromatic look.
On the surface, it seems like the Live 100 was built to be more durable than the standard in-expensive headphones found in department stores. Instead of plastic, its ear buds are made from premium aluminum
so the inner wiring stays protected and it can avoid being accidentally crushed or snapped. Most of its cable does away with a flimsy rubber coating and opts for fabric to ensure that tangles are avoided, and its plug is bent slightly so it can avoid possible disconnects and eventual damage to its wires. However, according to several online reviews, these features don't always work as they should. The headphone jack has been known to break off, and some have noticed that the sound diminishes in quality over time. Since its impedance level is listed at only 31 Ohms, it's obviously not as resistant to potential blow out as more advanced models on the marketing, In addition, even though its IP rating can't be found, it's clear from the overall design that this model isn't meant to be sweatproof
or water resistant.
Ease of Use
Another benefit of the Live 100 is that, like all other headphones with the same design, it's incredibly easy to use. Buyers don't have to keep track of its battery life, make sure it's sufficiently charged, or connect it to any specialized apps
. They only have to plug it into their smartphone, tablet, or even computer in order to use it at any time throughout their day. Not only are they able to listen to their music for as long as they'd like, or as long as their device is charged, but its remote/mic unit enables hands-free calling and voice commands. There are some reviewers who feel that it would have been a good idea to include a set of volume controls on this headset, as it would make for an even more convenient hands-free experience.
Just like all other headphones that rely on a cable, the Live 100 derives all of its power from the buyer's chosen device, via its 3.5mm headphone jack. All they have to do is simply plug it into their smartphone, tablet, or computer for a music-listening experience that can last as long as they want it to. There's no need to worry about charging it up or keeping track of its battery level. The only downside, however, is that it does leave the buyer feeling tied to their device as they workout
or run. Even though a holster could help out to some extent, the fact that this cable is close to four feet long still means that it's at risk of getting caught on something as the runner moves around.
The Live 100 is not only better priced than most high-quality headphones, but it's also more affordable than most JBL models. Buyers can find this set on the brand's website, and at online retailers such as Sam Ash or B&H, for only $40. Considering how expensive the more modernized sets can be, especially those that are wireless and connect to specialized apps, these are perfectly priced for a simpler everyday pair. And the fact that buyers can still make calls or access voice commands means that it will be more worth the price to those who frequently use it. Of course, those who enjoy JBL models but still feel that it costs too much can either find some legitimate deals on Amazon and eBay or can purchase the TUNE 210 or the Endurance RUN for only $20. Furthermore, reviews that mention this set's lack of durability and inconsistent sound quality to make some second guess whether or not they should go ahead and purchase it.
-JBL Signature Sound via 8mm drivers
-Premium aluminum ear buds
-Access to calls and voice controls
-Tangle-free 3.94 foot cable
-Three sizes of ear tips
-Carrying pouch included
-Five different color options
When looking at the full package, it's easy to see where the JBL Live 100 got all of its high ratings from. Not only does it offer the buyer incredible sound quality, but it's also very easy to travel with and can be used for everything from basic audio work to casual runs and workouts. Reviewers are also happy to know that it comes with extra ear tips, its own pouch for safe-keeping, and several color options for their own personal tastes. Of course, it doesn't have the same convenience as a wireless headset and might not be as easy for those who are more active. And several consumers have either complained about its lack of durability or claimed that it didn't sound as good as they had hoped. Still, considering all that it offers for only $40, this set has proved to be incredibly useful for the average buyer.