I’m about to compare two of the best water-resistant true wireless earbuds under $200. Much has already been written about the RHA TrueConnect. And even the newer, JBL Flash has had a few write-ups recently. So, this review is for folks who are already acquainted with at least one of these models but can’t pull the trigger. Which true wireless earbuds will suit your musical taste and lifestyle? Let’s figure it out in this RHA TrueConnect vs Under Armor True Wireless Flash by JBL Review.
RHA TrueConnect vs Under Armor True Wireless Flash Review
In this department, it’s a competition between the comfort of the RHA TrueConnect and the security of the JBL Flash. The TrueConnect buds are easy to pop in your ears, and they feel pretty snug while remaining unobtrusive. I’ve never been concerned about the TrueConnect falling out. But if you’re a heavy sweater or you generally have trouble keeping earbuds in, the Flash is a safer bet. The Flash buds almost work like suction cups. Besides the eartips themselves, the Flash employs ergonomic rubber “Sport Flex” tips that seal within the contours of the ears. So, the sound isolation is fantastic, and there’s no way you’ll lose them. The only downside is that because the seal on the Flash buds is so effective, it’s hard to forget you’re wearing them. So, if you’re looking for an option that’s most forgiving on the ears, the TrueConnect is the way to go.
Based on appearance alone, the Flash seems like the more durable choice. The charging case is made of a heavy aluminum and may withstand more shock than the TrueConnect. The material on the TrueConnect case is also more prone to more scratches, especially if you let it hang out in your pocket with coins and keys. But the earbuds themselves have a similar weight, and both employ a rubbery plastic design. Still, if you’re a sucker for elegance,you can’t get much sleeker than the minimalist design of the TrueConnect.
Now, if you tend to get sweaty paws as well, you may want to consider the Flash, as it has some grip on the sides of the earpieces. And the shape makes them easier to take out if you’re in a slippery state.
Functionality and Controls
What I like about both of these models is that they employ buttons on the earpieces instead of touch controls, which can often be too sensitive. But the Flash provides a little more functionality than the TrueConnect; because the sound isolation on the Flash is so effective, JBL has implemented two ambient modes that allow in sound from the outside environment.
JBL has an app that allows you to control equalizer setting on some of its headphone models. But unfortunately, we just discovered that the Flash isn't one of these models. So, that's something you may want to watch out for when looking through JBL's headphone lineup. The RHA TrueConnect doesn't come with an equalizer app either. And it seems that to get this kind of creative control, you may have to invest with a higher price TW model, like the Sennehsier Momentum TW.
Apart from JBL's added ambient mode, the functionality on both models is similar. The buttons on the sides of the earpieces allow you to play/pause, skip tracks, adjust volume, answer calls, and activate your voice assistant.
Battery and Charging
Both, the TrueConnect and the Flash offer a total of 25 hours of battery life, allowing you to listen for 5 hours at a time before having to put them back in the charging box. RHA also boasts that the TrueConnect can yield a 50% charge in just 15 minutes. No such claims made are made by JBL; the Flash takes 2 hours to fully charge.
As for charging cables, the TrueConnect employs a USB-C connection, while the Flash uses Micro-USB. USB-C is considered the preferable choice because it's sturdier and can plug in from either side, making the cable easier to connect.
The Flash has a higher waterproof rating (IPX7) than the TrueConnect (IPX5). So, if you’re feeling particularly frustrated about your workout, you can throw the Flash into a pond for about 30 minutes. In contrast, the TrueConnect can only withstand about 3 minutes of spray.
The TrueConnect delivers better call clarity than the Flash. This may be due to the TrueConnect’s superior Bluetooth connection and the stems that extend from the earbuds.
The TrueConnect wins in this department, as it supports Bluetooth 5. The Flash is stuck in the older, Bluetooth 4.2 world. How much difference does this make? In theory, you can expect more reliable Bluetooth transmission from the TrueConnect with fewer dropped signals. Though I didn’t experience any connection issues with the Flash, if you live in a crowded city with Bluetooth signals all over the place, the TrueConnect may prove to be more reliable.
You’ll get meaty lows from both of these models, though the TrueConnect has slightly more bass presence. But as mentioned above, the JBL app that accompanies the Flash has an equalizer. So, the bass profile can be adjusted on the Flash, while the TrueConnect can only deliver permanent bassiness. You can expect ample bass punch from both of these models when listening to pop and plenty of low-end warmth on rock and pop-rock tracks. Testing some classical strings, both earphones presented a decent amount of detail. But the TrueConnect conveyed a slightly more realistic tone with a touch more resolve. Still, the Flash offers a cleaner profile in this range, with the lows better separated from the higher frequencies.
The Flash displays a bit more midrange presence. You’ll also hear clearer low mids from the Flash, while on the TrueConnect, the low-mids are slightly overshadowed by the bass frequencies. As a result, listening to big rock choruses, you’ll notice a more all-encompassing feel from the Flash. That being said, the TrueConnect is easier on the ears because vocals sit further back in the mix, minimizing any painful harshness in the upper-midrange. In terms of separation, both models are about equal. But the TrueConnect offers a more cohesive and melodic feel, while the presentation on the Flash can sound a little heavy handed at times. So, in this respect, the TrueConnect offers a more elegant sound profile overall.
Moving back to acoustic instruments, the TrueConnect displays a more natural timbre, highlighting more of the nuances of the instrument. But in terms of transparency, they are almost on par. Returning to pop, you’ll get a little more snap from the Flash because it gives some added crispness and sparkle to percussion instruments in this range. But in the highest registers, I’d say that both models avoid brightness and or any piercing that would fatigue the ears.
You’ll hear a more spacious soundstage from the TrueConnect. But in terms of dimension and gradations in width, depth and height, both models offer a similar level of precision. But if you like a grand and majestic feel, the TrueConnect is the better option in this case.
The TrueConnect is the more skilled and dulcet sounding earphone. And if you’re only a moderate sweater, and you’re looking for something comfortable that sounds better (and isolates better) than the AirPods, the TrueConnect is a perfect choice. But if you exercise heavily and sweat buckets, you won’t find a more secure fit than the JBL Flash.
You can pick up both of the true wireless ladies here: