JBL is now a prolific producer of affordable true wireless earbuds, and the Tune 230NC and Vibe 200TWS are two such products that are fairly similar to each other. Is one better than the other though? I have fully reviewed them both and will answer that in this comparison article.
JBL Tune 230NC vs Vibe 200TWS Side by Side
JBL Tune 230NC vs Vibe 200TWS Specs and Features
|Spec||Tune 230NC||Vibe 200TWS|
|release date||Sep 2021||Jun 2021|
|price-tier ⓘbudget: around $30 or less
value: around $30-$60
performance: around $60-$100
premium: around $100-$200
elite: more than $200
|design style||6mm single dynamic driver||8mm single dynamic driver|
|earbuds battery life||10h||5h|
|total + case battery life||40h||20h|
|onboard controls||touch based||touch based|
|active noise cancellation||yes||no|
|EQ app compatibility||yes||no|
|Multipoint 2+ device support||no||no|
|warranty||1 year||1 year|
JBL Tune 230NC vs Vibe 200TWS Fit and Comfort
The Tune 230NC is noticeably bigger and bulkier than the Vibe 200TWS is, but the Tune 230NC still definitely has a more comfortable and secure fit. The Tune 230NC tips might look smaller and shallower, but I actually tend to get a deeper and more secure feeling fit with that narrower trapezoid style rather than the more common rounder style.
I was able to achieve a proper seal that didn’t break at all with the Tune 230NC, but the Vibe 200TWS seal broke quite easily if I moved any part of my head out of the default relaxed position.
JBL Tune 230NC vs Vibe 200TWS Isolation
Not only does the Tune 230NC have better natural isolation than the Vibe 200TWS does, it also has active noise cancellation on top of that while the Vibe 200TWS does not. So, the Tune 230NC is the clear winner when it comes to external noise blocking. While it’s generally true that turning ANC on will significantly reduce battery life, the Tune 230NC has much more battery life than the Vibe 200TWS does anyhow, which makes that fact kind of moot here in my opinion.
JBL Tune 230NC vs Vibe 200TWS Controls and Usability
Both the Tune 230NC and Vibe 200TWS have touch controls that, while they’re a little finnicky, are decently responsive and reliable. You just kind of have to touch the right spot more towards the center of the stem with both of them, which is a little counterintuitive.
The shortfall of the Vibe 200TWS here is that there’s no onboard volume control, which is a basic function that I think most people want their TWS earbuds to have. The Tune 230NC doesn’t have onboard volume control either by default, but you do have the option to swap it in with the JBL app, and you can’t do that with the Vibe 200TWS because it’s not compatible with the JBL app.
JBL Tune 230NC vs Vibe 200TWS Charging Case
The Vibe 200TWS case is a little smaller than the Tune 230NC case, and the Vibe 200TWS case doesn’t have LED battery life indicators like the Tune 230NC case does, but otherwise the cases are basically the same. I will say that the Tune 230NC case lid and hinge feel a little flimsier than those of the Vibe 200TWS case.
JBL Tune 230NC vs Vibe 200TWS Sound Quality
Preliminary note: this page explains how I evaluate the sound quality of headphones and earbuds.
Both the Tune 230NC and Vibe 200TWS sound decent out of the box for their relative price-points. I do think the Vibe 200TWS has slightly better default tuning – its balance, detail, and clarity is a little better while the Tune 230NC highs are a little recessed which makes them overly warm.
However, the Tune 230NC is compatible with the JBL app and EQ customizer while the Vibe 200TWS is not. With merely some slight adjustments to the Tune 230NC, I was able to pretty much fix the default issues and really bring out its full potential, which is better than that of the Vibe 200TWS in my opinion.
Final Verdict: Is the JBL Tune 230NC or Vibe 200TWS Better?
The Tune 230NC is the pretty clear winner here, as its better than the Vibe 200TWS in pretty much every important way – the Tune 230NC has better fit and isolation, better usability, better battery life, and better sound quality potential since it’s compatible with the JBL app EQ customizer. Some people might like the default sound of the Vibe 200TWS better than that of the Tune 230NC, and if you don’t want to deal with EQ apps and happen to find the Vibe 200TWS at a discount it might be the better choice, but otherwise I’d go with the Tune 230NC.
Get the Tune 230NC wireless earbuds on Amazon (affiliate link)
Get the Vibe 200TWS wireless earbuds on Amazon (affiliate link)