JLab Audio JBuds Air ANC Truly Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Reviewed Nov 17, 2020 at 08:01 am
JLab Audio JBuds Air ANC Truly Wireless Picture
7.0
Mixed Usage
6.7
Neutral Sound
7.6
Commute/Travel
8.1
Sports/Fitness
6.7
Office
5.2
Wireless Gaming
5.0
Wired Gaming
6.5
Phone Calls
Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Truly Wireless
Noise Cancelling Yes
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The JLab Audio JBuds Air ANC Truly Wireless are budget-level noise cancelling in-ears. They have an excited, v-shaped sound profile to add thump and sparkle to your favorite tracks and while they don't have a companion app, they offer three EQ presets within their controls. They have a decent battery performance, too. However, their ANC is just satisfactory and does almost the same amount of noise-isolating in the mid to treble-range as when used passively. That said, they're an affordable choice if you're looking for truly wireless headphones with an ANC feature.

Our Verdict

7.0 Mixed Usage

The JLab Audio JBuds Air True Wireless with ANC are decent for mixed use. They're comfortable enough for commuting or wearing at work and offer over eight hours of continuous battery life. They also have an ANC feature to help reduce the ambient noise around you, but they struggle with bus engines. They do a better job of cutting down speech though. That said, they're stable enough for moderate physical activity.

Pros
  • Satisfactory ANC.
  • Three EQ presets available.
  • Lower audio latency mode available.
Cons
  • Disappointing recording quality.
  • Controls aren't the most responsive.
  • No NFC or multi-device pairing.
6.7 Neutral Sound

The JLab Audio JBuds Air with ANC are alright for neutral sound. These headphones have an excited v-shaped sound profile that packs boom and brightness. However, it's not completely neutral. On the upside, their controls offer three EQ presets so you have a little more control over your audio experience.

Pros
  • Three EQ presets available.
Cons
  • Terrible passive soundstage.
  • No NFC or multi-device pairing.
7.6 Commute/Travel

The JLab Audio JBuds Air with ANC are good for commute and travel. These in-ears are quite small and lightweight, which makes them easy to take with you. They're also comfortable and have a continuous battery life of 8.4 hours. Unfortunately, their ANC feature struggles to cut down bass-range noise like bus or plane engines. It fares better when reducing ambient chatter.

Pros
  • Satisfactory ANC.
  • Lower audio latency mode available.
Cons
  • Controls aren't the most responsive.
  • No NFC or multi-device pairing.
8.1 Sports/Fitness

The JLab Audio JBuds Air with ANC are great for sports and fitness. These lightweight, portable, and comfortable in-ears are stable enough for moderate physical activity and have a rating of IP55 for dust and water resistance, although we don't currently test for this. They also don't have any cables that can snag while you're moving.

Pros
  • Stable fit.
Cons
  • Controls aren't the most responsive.
  • No NFC or multi-device pairing.
6.7 Office

The JLab Audio JBuds Air True Wireless with ANC are okay for office use. They're decently comfortable and can block out a great amount of ambient chatter around you. They also don't leak too much sound and their 8.4-hour battery life should be enough to get you through your 9-5 workday.

Pros
  • Satisfactory ANC.
Cons
  • No NFC or multi-device pairing.
5.2 Wireless Gaming

The JLab Audio JBuds Air True Wireless with ANC aren't recommended for wireless gaming. While you can connect them to a Bluetooth-enabled PC, the latency is likely to be too high for gaming. They also aren't compatible with Xbox One or PS4 consoles.

5.0 Wired Gaming

The JLab Audio JBuds Air with ANC are Bluetooth-only headphones that can't be used on a wired connection.

6.5 Phone Calls

The JLab Audio JBuds Air with ANC are acceptable for phone calls. The integrated microphone has a disappointing recording quality and your voice seems muffled and dark. It also struggles a bit to separate your voice from moderately noisy environments. On the upside, it has an ANC feature that can reduce some noise around you so you can focus on your call.

Pros
  • Satisfactory ANC.
Cons
  • Disappointing recording quality.
  • No NFC or multi-device pairing.
  • 7.0 Mixed Usage
  • 6.7 Neutral Sound
  • 7.6 Commute/Travel
  • 8.1 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.7 Office
  • 5.2 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.0 Wired Gaming
  • 6.5 Phone Calls

Check Price

Black Audio JBuds Air ANC Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.com

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The JLab Audio JBuds Air True Wireless are black truly wireless earbuds with ANC. They look almost identical to the JLab Audio JBuds Air Truly Wireless but have a silver accent on their touch buttons as well as their company logo on both ears instead of black.

7.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.03 lbs
Clamping Force
0.0 lbs

The JLab Audio JBuds Air True Wireless with ANC are decently comfortable. They don't go that deeply into your ear and are angled to give you a more comfortable fit. However, using the controls can put a bit of pressure on the ear canal and the cush fin can move around when you're putting the earbud on your ear. They come with three pairs of differently-sized silicone ear tips and one pair of foam ear tips.

7.1
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Mediocre
Feedback Okay
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control On/Off
Talk-Through
On/Off
Additional Controls Presets + Voice Assistant

These headphones have decent controls. There's one button on each earbud but they can be a little confusing. The left bud lowers the volume when tapping the left side of the button, and a double-tap activates voice assistant. Holding this button allows you to turn ANC on/off or use talk-through mode. The right bud raises the volume with a tap on the right side of the button or answers calls. You can press and hold one second to reject calls, double-press to hang up, and double-tap twice to play/pause. You can press and hold for one second to skip tracks forward or press and hold for three seconds to turn them on. You can cycle through EQs by triple-tapping either bud or change modes between movie and music by pressing and holding both earbuds for three seconds.

Unfortunately, there's no feedback when adjusting volume and the touch buttons aren't always responsive. The EQ can also only be changed if audio is playing.

9.4
Design
Portability
L 1.1 "
W 1.3 "
H 1.1 "
Volume 1.5 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

Just like many other truly wireless earbuds, these headphones are outstandingly portable. You can easily put them in most pockets. They also come with a slightly bulky carrying case but it can be put in a bag or a larger pocket.

7.0
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 3 "
W 1.7 "
H 1.5 "
Volume 7.2 Cu. Inches

The JLab Audio JBuds Air with ANC have a decent carrying case. It's made from hard plastic and has a magnet to keep the earbuds in place. It also has a built-in USB charger that stores at the bottom of the case. There are three LED light battery indicators that turn blue when charging as well. However, there's no locking mechanism to keep the case from accidentally opening. It also doesn't support wireless charging.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The JLab Audio JBuds Air True Wireless with ANC have a good build quality. Although they're mostly made out of plastic, they feel solid. They also have an IP55 rating for dust and water protection. However, we don't currently test for this.

7.5
Design
Stability

These headphones have good stability. While they may fall out of your ears if worn during intense physical activity, they shouldn't fall out if you're jogging or working out. They also come with three differently-sized silicone ear tips as well as a pair of foam tips to help you get a suitable fit.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • JLab Audio JBuds Air earbuds with ANC
  • Charging case
  • 3x silicone tip sizes
  • 1x foam ear tips
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
1.09 db
Treble Amount
-0.64 db

These headphones have an excited v-shaped sound profile, which helps to bring out a boomy, sparkling sound. While they don't have a companion app, they offer three different EQs via their physical controls.

9.1
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.18 dB

The frequency response consistency is outstanding. If you're able to achieve a proper fit and an air-tight seal using the ear tips that come with these earbuds, then you'll get consistent bass and treble delivery every time you use these headphones.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
6.8
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
4.48 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
1.31 dB
Mid-Bass
5.6 dB
High-Bass
5.96 dB

The JLab Audio JBuds Air True Wireless have alright bass accuracy. They're overemphasized across the range, resulting in a thumpy boomy sound. However, some users may find this bass overwhelming and muddy.

8.8
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.65 dB
Low-Mid
1.62 dB
Mid-Mid
0.32 dB
High-Mid
1.67 dB

These headphones have great mid accuracy. Although there's a slight overemphasis from the bass range, the rest of the response is flat and neutral, resulting in clear and detailed vocals and lead instruments.

6.9
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
4.09 dB
Low-Treble
3.53 dB
Mid-Treble
3.74 dB
High-Treble
-3.7 dB

The JLab Audio JBuds Air True Wireless have alright treble accuracy. They're overemphasized across the range, resulting in harsh as well as bright vocals and lead instruments. Sibilants like S and T sounds are also piercing.

7.3
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.89 db
Dips
1.06 db

The JLab Audio JBuds Air True Wireless' peaks and dips performance with ANC is decent. There's a bit of unevenness in the bass range, resulting in a bit less thump and rumble, but more boom. There's also a dip between the low to mid-mid which nudges and slightly thins out vocals and lead instruments. There's a peak in the low-treble and another one in the mid-treble too, so vocals and lead instruments sound harsh and piercing while sibilants are piercing.

6.5
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.17
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.91
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
0.85
Weighted Phase Mismatch
57.36

The imaging is just passable. The group delay response stays well below the audibility threshold, suggesting a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. The L/R drivers of our test unit are also well-matched in frequency and amplitude. However, the phase response mismatch is extremely high, which affects the placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, video game effects) in the stereo image. However, these results are only valid for our unit and yours may perform differently.

0.9
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
3.0
Acoustic Space Excitation
1.1

The JLab Audio JBuds Air True Wireless with ANC have a poor passive soundstage. An important part of creating an out-of-head and speaker-like soundstage is activating the outer ear with resonances. However, in-ear earbuds bypass the outer ear altogether and don't interact with it, resulting in a closed soundstage that feels like it's coming from inside your head rather than from out in front of you.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No App

These earbuds don't have any virtual soundstage features.

8.3
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.173
WHD @ 100
0.070

The weighted harmonic distortion performance is great. The entire frequency range falls within good limits, resulting in clean and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
Unknown
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.0
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
JLab SIGNATURE
ANC
On
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
Integrated

The JLab Audio JBuds Air True Wireless with ANC's results are only valid for these settings. However, we were unable to determine the firmware version. If you own these headphones and know where to find it, let us know in the discussions.

Isolation
7.0
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-17.36 dB
Bass
-11.48 dB
Mid
-15.88 dB
Treble
-25.07 dB

The JLab Audio JBuds Air's noise isolation performance with ANC is satisfactory. Their ANC feature can cut down some bass-range noise but it may not be enough for bus or plane rides. The ANC also performs very similarly to these earbuds' passive noise isolation. Mid-range noise like ambient chatter is reduced while treble-range sounds like the hum of an AC unit are also cut down.

9.0
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
26.94 dB

The leakage performance is outstanding. Their leakage is concentrated in the treble range, so if you're listening to your audio at max volume, others may hear it. However, it sounds thin.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No

These headphones have an integrated microphone.

5.3
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
92.43 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
4.5 dB
HFE
1280.0 Hz
Weighted THD
1.191
Gain
1.97 dB

The integrated microphone's recording quality is disappointing. Your voice sounds dark, muffled, and lacking in detail.

7.7
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
25.86 dB

The microphone has good noise handling. It can separate your voice from background noise but it struggles a bit more in louder environments. You should be heard clearly if you're speaking in more quiet environments though.

Active Features
7.2
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
8.4 hrs
Additional Charges
3.0
Total Battery Life
25.2 hrs
Charge Time
1.3 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Auto-Off Timer
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB Type A

The JLab Audio JBuds Air's battery performance is decent. With their ANC on, they last over eight hours on a single charge. Their carrying case also offers three additional charges and they charge in just under an hour and a half. They also have an auto-off timer to help conserve battery life.

0
Active Features
App Support
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No

These headphones don't have any app support. For in-ears with a companion app that lets you customize their sound, check out the JBL CLUB PRO+ TWS True Wireless.

Connectivity
7.1
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.2
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
221 ft
PC Latency (SBC)
116 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
7 ms
Android Latency
114 ms

These headphones have decent Bluetooth connectivity. They support Bluetooth 5.2 but lack NFC or multi-device pairing, which is a little disappointing. They offer two different latency modes though. 'Movie Mode' offers the lowest latency for all devices, and is especially low for iOS devices at 7ms. The other mode is 'Music Mode', and with this setting on, there's 224ms of latency on PC and 167ms of latency on Android, which is a little high if you like to watch videos. While it's a bit lower on iOS at 130ms, it's still likely too high. However, some apps can compensate for this so your mileage may vary.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A

The JLab Audio JBuds Air with ANC are Bluetooth-only earbuds.

0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length N/A
Connection No Wired Option
Analog/USB Audio Latency
N/A

The JLab Audio JBuds Air with ANC are truly wireless earbuds and can't be used wired. Their carrying case charges via a built-in USB cable.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
No
PC/PS4 Wired USB
No
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No

These earbuds aren't compatible with the PS4. While you can use them on PCs that are Bluetooth-compatible, they have a high enough latency that could interrupt your video streaming or gaming experience.

Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No

The JLab Audio JBuds Air with ANC aren't compatible with the Xbox One.

2.2
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
Charging Case
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
Yes
Power Supply
USB

The JLab Audio JBuds Air True Wireless with ANC have a charging case that offers around three additional charges. It doesn't have any inputs.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The JLab Audio JBuds Air True Wireless with ANC come in one color variant: Black. You can see the label for the model we tested here. If you come across another variant, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The JLab Audio JBuds Air True Wireless are sleek noise cancelling in-ears. They have a satisfactory ANC feature but it falls a bit short when compared to other truly wireless headphones like the Amazon Echo Buds Truly Wireless. While they don't have a companion app, they offer three EQ presets via their controls so you can tweak their excited sound a bit more. Check out our recommendations for the best true wireless earbuds, the best noise cancelling earbuds and in-ear headphones, and the best noise cancelling headphones.

Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless

The Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless are better truly wireless headphones than the JLab Audio JBuds Air ANC Truly Wireless. The Apple are more comfortable and feel better-built as well as stable. They also have a more neutral sound profile and their ANC can isolate more noise. However, the JLab have a better performing integrated mic as well as battery performance. They also have lower latency on iOS, although they don't have an H1 chip.

JLab Audio JBuds Air Truly Wireless

The JLab Audio JBuds Air ANC Truly Wireless and the JLab Audio JBuds Air Truly Wireless are similarly-designed in-ears. The biggest difference in features is that the JBuds Air ANC have an ANC feature but it doesn't perform as well as the JBuds Air's passive noise isolation. The JBuds Air ANC also has longer continuous battery life at the trade-off of having fewer additional charges. They also have a lower latency Movie mode, have a better-balanced sound profile, and come with a pair of foam tips.

JBL CLUB PRO+ TWS True Wireless

The JBL CLUB PRO+ TWS True Wireless are better headphones than the JLab Audio JBuds Air ANC Truly Wireless. The JBL are better-built, more comfortable, and they have better noise isolation. Their sound profile is more neutral out-of-the-box, though some listeners may appreciate the JLab Audio's bass-heavy sound profile. However, the JBL have a parametric EQ and presets so you can customize their sound, unlike the JLab Audio.

Anker SoundCore Liberty Air Truly Wireless

The Anker SoundCore Liberty Air Truly Wireless are slightly better headphones than the JLab Audio JBuds Air ANC Truly Wireless. The Anker have a better-balanced sound profile and they can isolate more noise passively than the JLab with ANC on. However, the JLab are better-built and offer a longer continuous and total battery life. The JLab also have less latency on PC, iOS, and Android, although some apps compensate for latency differently.

Amazon Echo Buds Truly Wireless

The Amazon Echo Buds Truly Wireless are better truly wireless headphones than the JLab Audio JBuds Air ANC Truly Wireless. The Amazon are more stable, have a more neutral sound profile, and comes with a companion app that offers a graphic EQ. Their ANC feature can reduce more noise too. However, the JLab have better controls and their integrated mic offers better performance overall too. They also have lower latency when using their Movie Mode.

Jabra Elite Active 65t Truly Wireless

The Jabra Elite Active 65t Truly Wireless are better truly wireless headphones than the JLab Audio JBuds Air ANC Truly Wireless. The Jabra have a more neutral sound profile, their integrated mic has a better recording quality, and they have a companion app that offers a graphic EQ plus presets. They can also passively isolate more noise than the JLab, even with their ANC on. However, the JLab are more comfortable, have a better battery performance, and come with a lower latency Movie Mode.

Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2017

The JLab Audio JBuds Air ANC Truly Wireless and the Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2017 are two very different headphones with different strengths. The Astro are better suited for wired gaming as they're more comfortable, feel better-built, and come with a MixAmp, which offers more gaming-specific controls. They also have a better overall microphone and have companion software to further customize them. However, the JLab are better suited for casual use as they have a more stable fit, come with a decent ANC feature, and have a wireless design that lasts over eight hours on a single charge.

+ Show more
Price trend (United States Last Year)
Retailers' prices Amazon.com BestBuy.com B&H
Black   Audio JBuds Air ANC Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
SEE PRICE
Unavailable
Deals

Recommended Articles

LOG IN

JOIN RTINGS.com

Be part of the most informed community and take advantage of our advanced tools to find the best product for your needs.
Join our mailing list:
Become an insider
EARLY ACCESS

Gain early access to all tests results for new products

Early Access UI
PRICES LISTED

Prices will now be listed directly in reviews and tables

product prices UI
MORE VOTES

Have 5 votes per product category to choose which product we’ll review next

Additional votes UI
UNLIMITED ACCESS

Gain unlimited access to detailed test results in tools and results (no blurred results)

test table UI

Create Post

Create Deal