The JBL Tune 225TWS buds have an AirPods-inspired design, long stems, and a light build. The charging case, which is made of the same strong matte plastic and feels sleek and well-made, is similar. They fit well in the ear, but there is definitely room for improvement, with our main complaint being some slightly sharp edges. This wasn’t immediately obvious the first few times we wore the buds, but they did begin to dig into our ears and cause some discomfort, which isn’t ideal. The buds also lack any kind of silicon tip or wing to hold them in the ear. This makes it impossible to create a strong in-ear seal, which degrades overall audio quality because it lacks the noise isolation required for a strong bass response. These are a good choice if you need to be aware of your surroundings while listening to music. However, for anyone looking to keep outside noise out, there are many better options available at a lower price. Despite the lack of a silicon wing or tip to ‘hold’ the buds in the ear, they remained mostly secure, save for one unfortunate occasion when they became entangled in a face mask, and they’ll likely stay put even in the ears of energetic runners. However, because there is no IP water-resistance rating, there is no guarantee that the JBL 225TWS will withstand a sweaty workout or a rainy jog. With no in-ear seal, the JBL buds were always going to struggle to stand out in terms of audio performance. This is because the physical barrier of an ear tip helps to block sound from leaking into 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 all the way up, which is not recommended due to the potential hearing damage. Given that the marketing touts ‘PureBass’ as a distinguishing feature of these buds, the overall lack of bass is a letdown. If you like a thumping soundtrack to accompany your morning run, these are probably not for you. 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 well in general, but energetic genres that rely on a larger soundstage, such as punk, rock, and dance, aren’t given enough breathing room.

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