JBL 130 Vs. 230: Which Wireless Earbuds Are Right For You?

JBL is a leading audio brand that produces quality headphones and speakers. The JBL Tune 130NC and 230NC are two of their popular wireless earbud models. As similar products in the same lineup, it can be tough deciding between the 130 and 230.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare the JBL 130 and 230 earbuds side-by-side. We’ll look at design, features, sound quality, battery life, and value to help you determine the better choice.

A Brief Comparison Table

FeatureJBL 130JBL 230
TypeBookshelf speakerBookshelf speaker
Year Released20182021
Drivers4″ woofer, 0.75″ tweeter5.25″ woofer, 1″ tweeter
Rated Power20W40W
Frequency Response70Hz – 20kHz55Hz – 20kHz
Impedance6 ohms6 ohms
ConnectivityRCA, optical digitalBluetooth, optical digital, RCA, USB
Wireless StreamingNoYes (Bluetooth)
Voice Assistant SupportNoNo
Dimensions (HxWxD)11.9 x 7.1 x 6.2 in13.7 x 7.8 x 8.3 in
Weight5.5 lbs9.9 lbs
ColorsBlack, whiteBlack, white

Overview Of JBL 130 And 230 Earbuds

The JBL Tune 130NC and Tune 230NC are both wireless Bluetooth earbuds with active noise cancellation (ANC). This allows you to listen to audio content and make calls without being disturbed by ambient noise.

JBL Tune 130NC
JBL Tune 130NC

Some key things the models have in common:

  • Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity
  • IPX4 water resistance
  • On-ear controls
  • Support for virtual assistants like Google Assistant and Siri
  • Microphones for taking calls
  • Charging cases

However, there are also some notable differences when it comes to design, audio drivers, battery performance, and extra features. We’ll explore these more throughout this JBL 130 Vs. 230 comparison.

Design And Fit

The 130 and 230 models have a very similar true wireless earbud design. They insert into your ears and come with extra eartip sizes for getting a secure fit.

However, the 230 is a bit larger and heavier. It weighs 5.9g per earbud compared to 4.1g on the 130. The 230 also protrudes slightly more from your ear.

In terms of color options, the 130 is available in black, blue, pink, and white. The 230 comes in black, blue, and white.

Overall, the JBL 130 may be the more discreet, lightweight earbuds for smaller ears. But the 230 offers a bit more physical control if you don’t mind the extra bulk.

Also Read: Choose Between JBL And Skullcandy Wireless Earbuds.

Audio Quality And ANC

When it comes to audio, there are some noticeable differences in drivers and noise cancellation capabilities.

JBL Tune 230NC
JBL Tune 230NC

The JBL 130 packs 6mm dynamic drivers while the 230 has larger 12mm drivers. Generally, bigger drivers can produce better bass and louder, richer audio.

In testing, the 230 does deliver more powerful sound with punchier bass and louder maximum volume. The 130 still provides pleasing audio quality for its compact size, but audiophiles will likely prefer the 230’s larger drivers.

For active noise cancellation, the 230 also seems to have an edge. It uses a hybrid dual-mic system for improved noise reduction. Users report it blocks out low rumbles like engines as well as higher noises. The 130’s ANC is decent but not as strong at eliminating ambient sound across frequencies.

Battery Life

Battery performance helps determine how long you can listen between charges. It’s another area where the JBL 230 pulls ahead of the 130.

The JBL Tune 230NC provide up to 40 hours of audio playback – 10 hours from the buds plus 30 extra hours from the charging case.

In comparison, the JBL 130NC offers 16 hours total – 4 hours in the buds and 12 hours in the case.

So the 230 gives you over twice the maximum battery life for enduring through long days of travel and usage. The 130’s battery life is fairly average for true wireless earbuds.

With ANC turned on, you can expect roughly 30 hours from the 230 and 12 hours total from the 130 before needing to recharge.

Also Read: Differences Between Raycon And Jlab.

Extra Features And Controls

The JBL 130 and 230 have some differing features when it comes to controls and voice assistant support.

The 230 earbuds have physical buttons on each bud for controlling music, calls, volume, and ANC. The 130 opts for touch controls instead which are convenient but can be prone to accidental touches.

For voice assistants, the 230 supports both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The 130 works with Google Assistant but not Alexa.

Finally, the 230 includes a gaming mode to minimize audio lag when watching video or gaming. This can improve sync between audio and visuals.

Price And Value

When looking at the price, the JBL 130 and 230 are both affordable options without breaking the bank. However, the 230 does come at a slightly higher price:

  • JBL Tune 130NC – $100
  • JBL Tune 230NC – $150

At around $50 more, the 230 earbuds are certainly the “premium” model in this lineup. The better audio, ANC, battery life, and features reflect the increased price tag.

However, the 130 model can still be a great option for budget-focused shoppers. You still get capable wireless earbuds with noise cancellation at a lower cost.

Overall, the 230 earns its higher price tag by besting the 130 in several key areas. But the 130 remains a decent value pick if you want to spend less.

JBL 130 Vs. 230 Earbuds: Which Should You Buy?

So which is the better choice in the end – the JBL Tune 130NC or 230NC? Here are some final recommendations:

Get the JBL 130 wireless earbuds if:

  • You want to spend $100 or less
  • Don’t require the very best sound quality
  • Prefer super lightweight earbuds
  • Want touch controls over physical buttons

Go with the JBL 230 wireless earbuds if:

  • You have a budget up to $150
  • Want great audio with punchy bass
  • Need long battery life over 30 hours
  • Plan to use Alexa voice assistant
  • Want excellent noise cancellation

Overall, the 230 model offers better performance but comes at a higher price point. Take a look at your budget, needs and preferences to decide if the upgrades are worth spending more. If top value for money is most important, the JBL 130 earbuds remain a great choice.

Also watch the video!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is 230NC better than 130NC?

Yes, the 230NC model offers better audio quality and noise cancellation than the 130NC overall. It has larger 12mm drivers, punchier bass, louder volume, and hybrid dual-mic ANC.

How long do JBL Tune 230 last?

The JBL Tune 230NC provide up to 40 hours of total playback – around 10 hours in the earbuds themselves, and 30 extra hours from the charging case. Enabling ANC reduces battery life to about 30 hours total.

Are the JBL Tune 130 waterproof?

The JBL 130 have an IPX4 rating making them splash and sweat resistant. However, they are not fully waterproof and shouldn’t be submerged.

Is JBL Wave 200 better than 100?

The JBL Wave 200 are a step up from the Wave 100 with bigger drivers for better sound, more battery life, and added features like an IPX7 rating and equalizer. However, the Wave 100 remain a solid budget option under $50.

Also Read: Comparison Between Bose Earbuds And Beats Earbuds.


We hope this comprehensive JBL 130 Vs. 230 comparison helps you pick the right wireless earbuds for your needs and budget. Check out both models to experience their design, sound, and features in person. Be sure to also research latest pricing and reviews as new versions are released over time. Enjoy your new JBL earbuds!

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