JBL T290 Product Review

With so many headphones available in today’s market, it can be difficult to know where to begin when you’re trying to buy headphones of your own. Shopping around can be difficult when you don’t know what you’re looking for. It can be hard to know which devices are worth the money and which should be left on the shelf. In this article, I will review the JBL T290 in-ear headphones, making a note of the pros and cons so that your life can be made just a little bit easier.

Value For Money

Ease of Use

Quality of Build


The price of is good value for money for headphones, although some customers have complained that the materials feel cheap, and that in some cases the headphones do not last for more than three to five months use.

As long as the user is familiar with basic inner-ear headphone technology, they should find the JBL T290 easy to use. If the bass needs adjusting, the user may need knowledge of how to adjust sound levels, which is why this rating is a 4 instead of a 5.

Customers have complained that the headphone cables do not live up to JBL’s tangle-free claim, and that the plastic material of the headphones feels cheap. In some cases these headphones fail after three to five months use.

The JBL T290 has tangle-free cables, an embedded microphone, and a button that allows the user to skip forwards and backwards through their listening material and answer or end phone calls hands free.

What we like

  • The high quality of sound that has made JBL speakers so popular
  • The versatile universal button that allows users to access their phone’s function without needing to touch it
  • The tangle-free headphones
  • The three different sizes of eartips which allow customers to have a spare or to adjust the size according to comfort

What we don’t like

  • Playing quality roulette with the headphones - whether they will last over 5 months or not
  • The user’s inability to alter the volume of the sound without having to touch their phone or the device that they’re listening on
  • Some customers have struggled with the headphones
  • Some users have experienced the headphones falling out regardless of the eartip size, and have experienced discomfort when wearing the headphones

What is the JBL T290?

The JBL T290 is a set of inner-ear headphones made with flat tangle-free cables, a built in microphone, and buttons that allow the user to skip forwards and backwards through their music collection. As well as this, the button lets you answer or end calls without looking at your phone.

The product is available in black, gold, rose gold, or silver, with black rubber eartips with a red inside or translucent white headphones with a pink or orange inside.

The headphones have a 8.7 millimetre dynamic driver which delivers a mid-range bass sound. This sound is punchy and lives up to the advertisement of “pure bass” on the outside of the packaging. Compared to other options this bass isn’t particularly invasive, so if you listen to a variety of music but prefer bassier sound, these may be ideal for you.

Who is this product for?

The JBL T290 headphones are part of JBL’s more reasonably (that is, cheaply) priced range. From Curry’s, the price of the JBL T290 would be £14.97 from Curry’s, whereas from Amazon it would come to £24.99. Neither of these prices put the headphones out of the price range of the casual music listener.

If you are a fan of the bassy sound that JBL is so well renowned for, this product may be ideal for you and will cost less than the larger JBL speakers - you don’t have to share your music with the outside world to enjoy it!

Some minimal knowledge of how to adjust sound levels might be useful for you to get the most out of this product, as the best sound can be accessed when the bass is adjusted to your personal preference. However, these headphones will still work without adjustment!

What’s included?

The JBL T290 comes with a soft pouch to keep and carry the headphones in, although the bag would offer little protection if they really needed it. The headphones also come with extra pairs of eartips, extremely useful if you want to share the headphones or if you lose an eartip. Also in the box is the product’s warranty card and the warning card.

What features do the JBL T290 headphones have?

These attractively designed headphones revolve around convenience for the user. The customer can choose from four different colours - gold, silver, rose gold, and black.

The headphone cables are designed to be flat and tangle-free. Regardless of whether the device the JBL headphones are paired with are android or apple, the universal button embedded in the cable will work with both android and Apple devices.

The single button lets you use parts of your phone without needing to look at the screen - you are able to answer calls, and play, pause or skip your music. The built in microphone will also let you take these calls without needing to use your hands to access your phone - ideal for multitasking! This button does not, however, allow the user to adjust the volume.

The eartips are mostly comfortable and fit well in the ears but will occasionally fall out. Adjusting your chosen eartip size may help this but lots of customers have said that the headphone eartips are one of the biggest drawbacks for the T290.

These headphones are also not Bluetooth enabled, waterproof, sweatproof, wireless, or designed for sport. If you are looking for this specific type of headphones, the JBL T290 is not the product you’re looking for.

JBL T290 Premium in-Ear Headphones

These headphones are small and lightweight, but made with durable aluminium. They produce the same sound that larger JBL speakers are renowned for, a deep and punchy bass that will allow listeners to enjoy their music on a smaller product without compromising quality.

The sound is also clear and balanced, although the sound does bleed slightly in comparison to other JBL headphones. These headphones are also not noise cancelling and so would be better suited to a listener who wants to remain alert and aware of their surroundings.

Another slight negative of these headphones is that if the cables are jostled or touched you can hear it through the headphones. This, however, is a common problem when using inner-ear headphones with rubber cables.

Some people have reported that after three to five months use of these headphones, one or both speakers of the headphones have stopped working. While JBL do offer a warranty against this, this is a big drawback and you might want to look further afield for more reliable headphones.

Other users have complained that the materials used to create these JBL headphones can feel cheap, and that the aluminium housing around the headphones can be initially unpleasant when worn against the skin because of its cold temperature.

How do I use your JBL T290?

As with most headphones, you can use this product simply by connecting it with an Android or Apple device through a headphone jack. After doing that you can then listen to your music, videos, podcasts, and take phone calls - listen to all of your device sounds as you usually would.

Because the design similarity between the JBL T290 and other headphones, most people who have used similar products will be able to use this one with no difficulty. There are tutorials available on YouTube if you have difficulty with changing the eartips.

What alternatives are there?

Alternatives to the T290 may be other JBL headphones, such as the JBL C300SI. These are on-ear headphones rather than in-ear headphones, which may be more comfortable for the listener as the ear cups will not fall off their ears. JBL’s signature bassy sound can be found in this product too.

If you like the JBL T290 headphones because of their cheap price, you could search within JBL’s affordable range of speakers, which will give you options of other, similar headphones. A couple of examples of these options are the JBL T210 (£26.19 from JBL) and the JBL T110 (£19.95 from Amazon).

The JBL Live 100 is pricier than the 290 - £31.95 on Amazon - but has a 4.2 approval rating on the JBL website, as opposed to the JBL T290’s rating of 3.3.

One of the largest differences between the JBL T290 and the JBL Live 100 is the cable material. While the JBL T290’s cables are flat in order to avoid tangling, the JBL Live 100’s headphone cables are made from an anti-tangle material.

If you are less bothered about the bass quality of your headphones, the Skullcandy Jib in-ear headphones offer a microphone and call and track control for significantly less money than the JBL T290. Coupled with a two year warranty, this offer may be more attractive to a would-be customer.

If the customer would like to use noise cancelling headphones, alternatives such as Bose headphones are available.


In conclusion, for the price, these JBL headphones are ideal for you if you’re a casual music listener. However they are not ideal for a more serious music listener or for somebody in the music industry. The reported durability of the headphones being so low may steer any potential buyers in another direction, but if the user wants good, clean sound for a relatively low price the JBL T290 may be ideal

About the Author Christina lee

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