Out of the box, the JBL Tune 230NC TWS shows an inglorious face in terms of sound performance with an unbalanced reproduction, way too energetic and therefore taxing the resilience of our ears and our brains. Fortunately, we can count on the precision of the equalizer in the companion app to turn the tide and take full advantage of fairly solid acoustic bases.
Indeed, the sound signature requires a good inclusion of EQ to counteract the overzealousness and provide an interesting listening experience. JBL headphones have a particularly heavy hand in two very specific areas, which are regularly flattered by many headphones: the extreme bass and the high-mid/treble. The result of this signature is particularly hard of hearing and only acceptable at low listening volume. The effect is clearly detrimental to enjoying any content: the excess of extreme bass, combined with the lack of responsiveness of the speakers, gives the bass a “buzzing” aspect, invading with too diffuse influences (the orientation towards broad percussion or fast bass drum attacks, for example, are quickly drowned out). The peak in the high mids/trebles brings a grinding noise that we would have done without. To a much lesser extent, despite the very good extension of the earphones, the treble also lacks a bit of hairline, finesse and has a somewhat “brittle” and sparkling appearance that is recognized very quickly on the cymbals.
Under these circumstances, the use of the equalizer is beyond doubt. The intervention has, firstly, the effect of rebalancing the bass by very generously attenuating the zone before 100 Hz, which will also allow to “unclog” it and benefit from a more readable and punchy bass. Small overflows are still noticeable after each attack, but the result is much more convincing and pleasant. By actively attacking the area around 2/3 kHz, the timbres, sound image and overall restoration gain in naturalness and softness while maintaining clarity, definition and richness. There is unfortunately not much to do for the treble that retains its minor flaws, but here too we appreciate the treatment reserved for the highest frequencies, which contribute greatly to the good feeling of “air”, to the good reproduction . echoes).