JBL Endurance Peak II review: almost the perfect workout headphones

The JBL Endurance Peak II are almost the perfect workout earbuds

JBL Endurance Peak II
(Image: © Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

TechRadar Verdict

The JBL Endurance Peak II are almost perfect workout headphones. They’ll stay secure and in place, have a bass-heavy (but not too bass-heavy) sound to keep you motivated during your workouts, and won’t break the bank. Of course, they’re somewhat light on features, most notably ambient mode, and aren’t comfortable for long periods.

Pros

  • +

    Pretty affordable

  • +

    Very secure fit

  • +

    Good sound quality with a pronounced bass

Cons

  • -

    Slim on features like ambient or transparency mode

  • -

    Not comfortable for long listening periods

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JBL Endurance Peak II: One-minute review

The JBL Endurance Peak II are serious earbuds for serious workouts. They provide the fit and comfort that will get you through just about any exercise routine without having to adjust or mess with them. And, the sound quality with its big bass will keep your heart pumping to get through that last rep or the last 100 yards of a difficult run.

In essence, they do just enough right that most people in the market for the best running headphones or the best workout headphones will be happy with them. Of course, the JBL Endurance Peak II aren’t perfect as they lack a lot of the features that we’ve come to expect on the best earbuds such as active noise cancellation or app support. But, considering their sub-$100 price, these omissions are necessary evils. And, if you’re using these exclusively for workouts, they’re generally not missed.

JBL Endurance Peak II: Price and availability

  • How much does it cost? $99.95 (£104.99 / AU$149.99)
  • Where is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, the UK, and Australia
JBL Endurance Peak II: SPECS

Interface: Bluetooth 5.0
Battery life:
6 hours per earbuds, 30 hours total with case
Noise cancellation: Passive Noise Cancellation
Water resistance: IPX7
Weight: 0.5 oz (13g) per earbud

Though the JBL Endurance Peak II aren’t going to break any records when it comes to budget workout headphones, an imaginary award we would give to an offering from JLab, their affordable price tag of $99.95 (£104.99 / AU$149.99) makes these earbuds a much more accessible pair than a lot of the competition.

The Beats Fit Pro, which we’re big fans of, do come with many more features such as active noise cancellation and ambient or passthrough mode but will also cost you twice as much at $199 (£199 / AU$299.95). If you want to stick with JBL, the JBL Reflect Aero are also much more feature-filled than the Endurance Peak II and aren’t that much more ($149 / £119), especially for those in the UK. However, they don’t come with those ear hooks for the incredibly secure fit that the Endurance Peak II have.

  • Value: 5 / 5

JBL Endurance Peak II

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

JBL Endurance Peak II: Design

  • The fit is incredibly secure and mostly comfortable
  • They’re light on features like ambient or transparency mode

What sets the JBL Endurance Peak II apart from most other earbuds are those large hooks that go around the ear. Sure, you can get these earbuds in three colors: black, blue, and white. But, these JBL earbuds are generally utilitarian in aesthetics. If you’re looking at these, it’s for functionality during a workout. And, thanks to those ear hooks, the Endurance Peak II are instantly among the better options out there, no matter how intense the workout.

JBL Endurance Peak II

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

The ear hooks are rubberized appendages that have enough give to comfortably fit around different size ears yet stiff enough that once secured, they won’t budge. In our testing, we can say that these didn’t move at all. And, we’ve tried out all sorts of earbuds including the traditional variety and those with wings such as the aforementioned Beats Fit Pro.

Of course, as solid and secure as that fit is, its comfort comes with a time limit. Since these earbuds are essentially locked into place around the ear and push the ear tip into our ear, it does start to exert some pressure after an hour or so. It’s a bit of a necessary trade-off. However, if you’re looking for a pair of earbuds to also use for everyday use whether on a commute or around the house, you might want to look elsewhere. But, for workouts, this tight fit is worth it.

While the JBL Endurance Peak II is light on a lot of features that we see on mid-tier earbuds such as active noise cancellation or app support, the only real feature we miss is some kind of ambient or transparency mode. Passive noise cancellation is more than adequate to block out noise, but when we’re out and about for a job, being able to hear traffic is critical to stay safe.

JBL Endurance Peak II

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

Yet, these earbuds are not devoid of features. They come with capacitive touch controls so you can pause music, adjust volume, answer a call, and more. And, they can be used in mono mode as well. You can use either earbud on its own to listen to music or jump on a call.

Lastly, as these are meant to weather the elements of most workouts, they come with an IPX7 rating. While that’s considered waterproof, don’t go swimming with these as they can’t survive long bouts underwater (you need an IPX8 rating for that) but they’ll handle sweat or brief submersion without taking on any damage.

  • Design: 4 / 5

JBL Endurance Peak II

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

JBL Endurance Peak II: Performance

  • Good but not great sound quality
  • Above-average battery life

Though the JBL Endurance Peak II won’t win any awards for audiophile-like audio quality, they sound pretty good, especially for the price. There’s quite a bit of low-end though not much sub-bass extension, the mids are balanced enough that they sound full without sounding too rich, and the high end is present without sounding harsh though we do find it a bit indistinct sounding, as it doesn’t have as much detail as we would like.

Going back to that low end, it’s intentionally bumped up to help you with your workouts. While we prefer more neutral-sounding headphones, that low-end is not egregiously out of balance. However, if you want to tame it, you’ll have to use a third-party EQ or built-in EQ on your phone to do so.

JBL Endurance Peak II

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

Though we’ve described these earbuds as being light on features, they thankfully still include the capability to take calls. And, they’re not bad. Our experience has generally been that almost all headphones and earbuds (excluding headsets with a boom mic) sound worse than speaking directly through a phone and rating the quality is a matter of how big that gap in performance is. So, with the JBL Endurance Peak II, the speaker does sound a little hollow and a little far away but is still very audible to the listener. In our estimation, that’s above average for a pair of earbuds.

Another feature that we consider to be above average is their battery life. The earbuds’ six hours of use without needing a charge is hardly world-beating but is inline with the Airpods Pro (with the Airpods’ ANC off). And, the additional 24 hours that the case provides is similarly on par. And, considering that these should mainly be used for exercising, that’s more than enough for anyone not running a triathlon.

  • Performance: 4 / 5

Should I buy the JBL Endurance Peak II?

JBL Endurance Peak II

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

Buy it if...

You need a secure fit for a workout
The ear hooks are so stable you would have to get hit by a bus for them to pop out. These will stay in place through the most intense workouts.

You have a limited budget
If you can live without some features, spending $100 / £100 for a pair of earbuds that can get you through any workout is quite a deal.

You want a little more bass to motivate you
If having a little more oomph to your music helps get your heart pumping, then the JBL Endurance Peak II have the ideal sound for you.

Don't buy it if...

You need certain features
If you need app support, active noise cancellation, or an ambient mode, then you should look elsewhere.

You plan on wearing these for long periods or different occasions
These are great for workouts. But, if you want a pair that you can use while on the plane or commuting, they get uncomfortable when worn for long periods.

Also consider

Image

Beats Fit Pro
One of the best workout earbuds available right now, the Beats Fit Pro have a lot of the same functionality and qualities as a pair of Airpods Pro. However, they also have wings for a more secure fit and play nice with Android phones.

Read our full <a href="https://www.techradar.com/reviews/beats-fit-pro" data-link-merchant="techradar.com"">Beats Fit Pro review

Image

JBL Reflect Aero
What other workout headphones come with three different size wings? The JBL Reflect Aero are not only customizable for different ear shapes, but they sound good, have excellent touch controls, and are waterproof.

Read our full <a href="https://www.techradar.com/reviews/jbl-reflect-aero" data-link-merchant="techradar.com"">JBL Reflect Aero review

JBL Endurance Peak II: Report card

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ValueAt just $100 / £100, the JBL Endurance Peak II are very affordable, especially compared to much of the competition.5 / 5
DesignThe JBL Endurance Peak II have an incredibly secure fit. If only they also come with ambient mode.4 / 5
PerformanceThe sound quality, call quality, and even battery life are all good but not great.4 / 5
TotalThese earbuds are affordable, will make it through just about any workout, and offer solid performance. If only they came with some extra features, particularly ambient mode.4 / 5
  • First reviewed December 2022

How we test

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James Holland
Freelance writer

James Holland loves audio gear! So much so that he covers all the ins and outs, good and bad for TechRadar and T3. Where does that so-called expertise come from? Not only is he a lifelong music-lover but he also works in the music industry and is a musician. When not testing headphones or listening to music, he loves to travel, rage at the latest PC games, and eat off-the-beaten-path but not too off-the-beaten-path food.