JBL Tune 225TWS review

The JBL Tune 225TWS are a no-frills pair of true wireless earbuds

jbl tune 225tws
(Image: © TechRadar)

TechRadar Verdict

The JBL Tune 225TWS earbuds make a good first impression, with a nice design and charging case. But with no ability to create an in-ear seal, a sometimes uncomfortable fit and a general lack of frills, they are less than the sum of their parts.


  • +

    Fuss-free design

  • +

    Sleek case

  • +

    Passable call quality


  • -

    No in-ear seal

  • -

    Bass feels thin

  • -

    Uncomfortable fit

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Two-minute review

The JBL Tune 225TWS true wireless earbuds have a no-frills approach to design and features. This means they’re decent all-purpose buds but most people will find a rival pair will suit them better—often for less money—which is no huge surprise considering they first launched in 2020.

JBL has released a number of wireless earbuds in recent years. With the Tune 225TWS buds, it’s hoping to capture a slice of the mid-range segment. However, this space is hugely competitive and previous JBL earbuds have been fine, but not impressed us enough to truly stand out. 

That’s the case here, too. The JBL Tune 225TWS come with a raft of contradictions: they’re lacking splash-protection when their design is clearly intended for use during outdoor exercise; there’s a focus on bass performance, but this is undermined by the lack of a proper in-ear seal; and the lack of any noise-isolation pretty much rules them out for commuters.

JBL Tune 225TWS Specs

Weight: 57g
Battery life: 5 hours (25 hours with charging case)
Driver type: Dynamic
Driver diameter: 12 mm
Impedance: 32 ohm
Sensitivity: 105dB
Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20000 kHz
Noise-cancelling: No

None of this is to suggest that these buds have nothing to offer. A highlight is the design, especially the charging case, which is light and compact. The buds themselves are plastic, and follow the stemmed design of Apple’s AirPods, against which they appear to be pitted, rather than the in-ear design of models like the Samsung Galaxy Buds.

Like the AirPods, the Tune 225TWS don’t create an in-ear seal. While this makes them useful for those who like to listen to music while remaining aware of their environment, for example when jogging down a busy street, it obviates the inclusion of any active noise cancellation, so these buds aren’t a good option for those working in a busy office or who commute on noisy public transport.

Sound quality is mostly good, given the inherent limitations of the design. With little passive and no active ability to block out noise, or the ability to create a tight in-ear seal, the ‘Pure Bass’ advertised for these earbuds is lacking in oomph.

While the JBL Tune 225TWS are decent all-purpose buds, they don’t serve any particular users—commuter, exercise enthusiasts, or anyone else—well. If you’re invested in the JBL brand, or are looking for a pair of no-nonsense earbuds, these are fine. If you’re looking for the most bang for your buck, however, it’s worth looking elsewhere. Start with our best true wireless earbuds guide or check our our best budget wireless earbuds guide for our top pick of cheap alternatives.

To find out what we thought of them during testing—and to weigh them up against their better-performing rivals—read on for our full JBL Tune 225TWS review.

the JBL Tune 225TWS true wireless earbuds in their charging case against a yellow background

(Image credit: TechRadar)

JBL Tune 225TWS review: price and availability

  • Cost $99.95 / £99.99 / AU$179.95
  • Cheaper rivals available with more features

The JBL Tune 225TWS earbuds are available now with a list price of $99.95 / £99.99 / AU$179.95, though discounts are often available. 

At this price point, they're mid-range true wireless earbuds. But they don't perform well as some cheaper rivals. Take a look at our Lypertek SoundFree S20 review for a more budget-friendly alternative with similar specs. Or the EarFun Air review for more features from buds—including noise cancellation—for less money. 

They're also slightly pricier than more recently-released buds from JBL that we think most people would prefer. Read our JBL Tune 230NC review if you're looking for a similar fit, but better sound and—crucially—noise-cancellation on-board. 


  • No in-ear seal
  • No water resistance
  • Light and compact design

The JBL Tune 225TWS buds sport an AirPods-like design with long stems, and a light (yet robust) build. The same can be said for the charging case, which is made from the same strong matte plastic, and feels sleek and well constructed. 

They sit well in the ear, although there’s certainly room for improvement here, with our main issue being some slightly sharp edges. This wasn’t immediately apparent the first few times we wore the buds, but, over time we found they did begin to dig into our ears a little and caused some discomfort, which is hardly ideal.

The buds also lack any kind of silicon tip or wing to hold them in the ear. This means it’s impossible to create a strong in-ear seal, which is to the detriment of overall audio quality, as you don’t get the kind of noise isolation required for a strong bass response.

If you need to maintain some awareness of your surroundings while listening to music, these will be a good choice. For anyone looking to block outside noise from seeping in, however, there are many better choices available, and for a lower price too.

Though there’s nothing to ‘hold’ the buds in the ear, such as a silicon wing or tip, they mostly remained secure, save for one unfortunate occasion which saw them become entangled in a face-mask—and they’ll likely stay put even in the ears of energetic runners. Saying that, there’s no IP water-resistance rating, so there’s no guarantee that the JBL 225TWS will withstand a sweaty workout or a jog in the rain.

There are a number of nice color choices on offer here, which is rare for a pair of true wireless buds, but not so much for JBL. The JBL Tune 225TWS earbuds are available in blue, gray, white, black, pink and gold.

the jbl tune 225tws wireless earbuds in their charging case on a wooden surface against a blue background

(Image credit: TechRadar)

JBL Tune 225TWS review: audio performance

  • Thin bass
  • No noise cancellation
  • Decent clarity from trebles and mids

With no in-ear seal, it was always going to be difficult for the JBL buds to stand out against the competition in terms of audio performance—that’s because the physical barrier of an ear tip helps to block sound from leaking into to your ears from the outside, as well as leaking out, making bass frequencies sound more powerful. The only way to achieve this to any degree with the JBL buds is to crank the volume right up, which is not advisable due to the potential hearing damage this may cause.

Given that the marketing trumpets ‘PureBass’ as a distinct selling point of these buds, the overall lack of bass is therefore a disappointment. If you like a thumping soundtrack to accompany your morning run, these will likely not cut the mustard.

Thankfully, the picture is a little more positive when it comes to the mid and highs, which are clear and bright , making these buds particularly good for listening to podcasts and audiobooks. Pop is handled quite well in general, but energetic genres reliant on a wider soundstage, such as punk, rock and dance aren’t given enough room to breathe.

Overall, there’s enough detail for most, with the tuning tending towards a more crowd-pleasing sound. Those looking for a little more, whether that’s greater detail, a broader soundstage or more bass, will be best to look elsewhere.

As we’ve mentioned, because these buds don’t offer an in-ear seal there’s no noise-cancellation, either active or passive. When these are in your ears you’ll hear every noise around you. 

For the most part at least the Bluetooth signal was rock-solid, and the compatibility with Google’s Android Fast Pair tech meant that firing up some tunes was never a difficult process. You can also use each earbud separately, if you wish.

the jbl tune 225tws true wireless earbuds laying next to their charging case against a yellow background

(Image credit: TechRadar)

JBL Tune 225TWS review: battery life and controls

  • Physical controls
  • Battery life roughly as advertised
  • No wireless charging

Controls on small earbuds are often fiddly and almost never simple to use. In the race to abandon buttons, touch-sensitive housings and gesture controls  have been adopted by many manufacturers as the main means by which you interact with your music.

The JBL Tune 225TWS buds are an outlier here, keeping buttons at the forefront of the user experience – and they actually work very well. Each bud has a thin button at the top of the stalk, with different control combinations accessed via the left and right buds.

This offered much greater accuracy and fewer false positives than with many touch-sensitive competitors; buttons are a less error-prone form of interaction than gestures. Pausing our music was never a complicated task.  That isn’t to say that they are completely without fault in this area however—we found that it was too easy to power individual buds down when attempting to activate our device’s voice assistant for instance.

Battery life came in at around four hours from the earbuds themselves, with a further 20 provided by the charging case—though that onboard battery life did occasionally come in closer to the five hours advertised by JBL during our tests.

There’s no wireless charging through the case, and although this is something that may have made the case slightly bigger, it’s an unfortunate omission given the price of these buds.

a woman wearing a pair of the jbl tune 225tws true wireless earbuds, she's laughing and stood against a brick wall

(Image credit: JBL)


The JBL Tune 225TWS are a decent pair of all-rounder earbuds that are light and reliable. Ideal if you're looking for a break from bulky over-ear headphones or a second pair of more compact buds for music on-the-move.

However, they're lacking noise cancellation, which might suit those looking for decent exercise buds, as they'll allow you to keep an ear on your surroundings as you’re listening to music while out on a run. Having said that, there's no waterproofing here, which is a shame. And if you want to feel immersed in your music, look elsewhere.

On that note, music sounds fine but not great. That means they're worth considering if you listen to a lot of podcasts and audiobooks, as you're unlikely to notice much of a difference between the JBL Tune 225TWS and a more expensive pair of true wireless earbuds.

If you want a JBL pair of buds or all-rounders without a particular use in mind, these no-frills buds are a solid choice. But there are plenty of other options available at the same price point, and lower, which offer more and look better.

Also consider...

If our JBL Tune 225TWS review has you think about other options, here are three more true wireless earbuds for you to consider instead.


Cambridge Audio Melomania 1
If you're looking for better audio quality, and prefer a more subtle design, then check out these buds from Cambridge Audio. They're comfortable, boast fantastic sound and, importantly, you'll find them for a cheaper price than the JBL Tune 225TWS.
Read our full Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 review


Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
If you have a Samsung phone, then take a look at the Galaxy Buds Pro. They're not a perfect pair or true wireless earbuds by any means. But if you don't like the protruding stems of the JBL Tune 225TWS, would like noise-cancellation (albeit basic) and to take advantage of Samsung-specific features they're top alternatives.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro review


Sony WF-1000XM3
These are no longer the best wireless earbuds from Sony—that title goes to the Sony WF-1000XM4—but we're suggesting the XM3s are you can find them a little cheaper, which means they're worthy (although still expensive) alternatives to the JBL Tune 225TWS, boasting quality sound, noise-cancellation and a comfortable design.
Read our full
Sony WF-1000XM3 review

  • First reviewed in 2020.

Sean is a Scottish technology journalist who's written for the likes of T3, Trusted Reviews, TechAdvisor and Expert Reviews.