The audio market in the country is heating up, with a new pair of Truly wireless buds launching almost every other week. Not only newage brands, but also name and legacy audio brands, have jumped on board and created products tailored to the Indian market. JBL is one such brand, which has become somewhat of a household name in the country and is well recognised for its bass characteristic.
JBL has two new products for our market: the JBL Tune 130NC and Tune 230NC. Both items are reasonably priced and include Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). We’ve had the Tune 130NC for a little over a week now. This pair of buds is priced at INR 4,999 in the market and claims to provide a lot of features for that price. So, should you get these as your next pair of TWS earphones? Let’s find out in our comprehensive review.
JBL Tune 130NC TWS Features
Here are some essential specifications and features of the device.
- Bluetooth Version – 5.2
- Drivers – 10mm Dynamic Drivers
- Controls – Touch Controls
- Earbud Weight – 4g
- Claimed Battery Life – Up to 10 Hours/ Up to 30 hours with the case
- Number of Microphones – 2 (each side)
- Rating – IPX4
- JBL Tune 130NC TWS
- Quick Start Guide
- Charging Case
- USB Type C charging cable
To begin with, these have a button-style layout and an in-ear design. The Tune 130NC earpieces are compact and come in black, blue, or white. They fit snugly, however you might have to tinker with them a little to obtain a proper seal. The set includes three pairs of silicone ear tips (small, medium, and large). The casing is matte and robust, with a large JBL logo stamped on the front.
The buds have a similar design; they are likewise lightweight and made of high-quality polycarbonate. The contact areas are textured and include an embossed JBL logo. The contact regions have a textured feel with an embossed JBL logo. Although the JBL logo is discreet, the sheer magnitude of it may turn off some purchasers. When opening or shutting the case, the lid makes a pleasing click. The control panels on the exterior of each earpiece are touch-sensitive and easily set off when you place the earpieces in your ears or in the charging case. The casing is powered by a USB Type-C connector on the back, and there are notification LEDs within the case.
The pairing process is straightforward, and the earphones turn on as soon as they are removed from the case. The buds must be linked to the JBL Headphones app (available for both Android and iOS), which unlocks a host of capabilities. The app allows you to switch between ANC and Ambient sound modes, as well as access the EQ. The EQ has a plethora of presets. The programme also provides the user with options such as audio mode (which prioritises audio fidelity), standard mode (which prioritises connection stability), and video mode (which cuts down on latency).
A single tap on the left earpiece toggles between ANC and Ambient modes by default, while a single tap on the right earpiece controls playback. TalkThru mode is activated by two touches on the left ear, which lowers the music volume and lets you hear your surroundings. Both forward & backward track control are controlled by double and triple taps on the right ear, respectively. A double-tap on each earpiece answers or disconnects calls. To activate your device’s voice assistant, press and hold on either earpiece. Now, these controls are default and can be changed within the JBL Headphones app.
Moving on to the audio performance, the Tune 130NC has 10mm drivers on both sides and a pair of ANC microphones. The 130NCs pack a punch for the price and provide access to basic protocols such as AAC and SBC. In our tests, we found the sound stage was balanced, with a modest focus on the bass, as advertised by the company in their promotional materials. Indian audiences prefer audio goods with a good level of bass, and they should satisfy the majority of customers. While the sound stage is balanced, the drivers have a little depth for their size. We didn’t observe any static noise, which is rather frequent with TWS units. The touch-sensitive areas are appropriately sized, and the touch commands work as intended.
In terms of Active Noise Cancellation performance, we found it to be only average in most usage cases. To begin with, it is quite soft, which is to be expected from a pair of INR 5,000 buds. They could eliminate minor rumbles from the fan or air conditioner, but they couldn’t do much in a crowded environment. In terms of battery life, with volume levels set to 50%, the buds lasted just shy of 9 hours on a single charge and a total of 25 hours with the ANC turned off; with the ANC turned on, the buds lasted us only 6 hours. These values are now roughly in line with the advertised ones. It took around 2 hours to fully charge both the buds and the case.