JLab Audio JBuds Air Truly Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Updated Apr 21, 2020 at 11:37 am
JLab Audio JBuds Air Truly Wireless  Picture
6.9
Mixed Usage
6.4
Neutral Sound
7.4
Commute/Travel
8.1
Sports/Fitness
6.6
Office
5.1
Wireless Gaming
5.0
Wired Gaming
6.4
Phone Calls
Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Truly Wireless
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The JLab Audio JBuds Air are truly wireless earbuds that are fairly comfortable and stable. They're bass-heavy overall and the treble is uneven. While they don't have a companion app to customize their sound profile, they do come with three preset EQs. Their battery life is also very short compared to the amount of time needed to charge them. However, their case comes with 10 additional charges and an integrated USB cable to charge on the go.

Our Verdict

6.9 Mixed Usage

The JLab Audio JBuds Air Truly Wireless are alright for mixed-use. They're fairly comfortable, portable, and stable. They don't reduce low noise like bus or plane engines by much, but they do a better job of cutting chatter. However, these earbuds aren't the best for neutral listening as they have overemphasized bass and uneven treble. They also aren't very suitable for wireless gaming as they have high latency.

Pros
  • Breathable and stable for sports.
  • Integrated USB charging cable in the case.
  • Minimal leakage.
Cons
  • Short battery life and long charge time.
  • No companion app.
  • Very high latency.
6.4 Neutral Sound

The JLab Audio JBuds Air Truly Wireless are passable for neutral sound. They have overemphasized bass that fans of EDM and hip-hop may enjoy but others may find too boomy and muddy. The treble range is also uneven, which makes some sounds veiled and dark while others are sharp and piercing. On the upside, there are three EQ presets built-in.

7.4 Commute/Travel

The JLab Audio JBuds Air Truly Wireless aren't bad for commuting. While they don't reduce a lot of the low sounds made by bus engines, they do a much better job cutting speech. They're also fairly comfortable and easily portable. Disappointingly, their continuous battery life is only 3.3 hours and depending on your commute or travel, this might not be enough. While the carrying case comes with 10 additional charges, it takes a while to charge them.

8.1 Sports/Fitness

The JLab Audio JBuds Air Truly Wireless are great for sports and fitness. They're portable and stable, especially if you're using the included stability sleeves. They're also fairly comfortable and include three sets of differently sized ear tips so you can find your best fit. Their in-ear fit is also very breathable so you shouldn't sweat more than usual as they don't trap much heat in your ear.

6.6 Office

The JLab Audio JBuds Air Truly Wireless are okay for office use. They're fairly comfortable but pressing on the controls can push them deeper into your ear. They reduce a good amount of chatter and you can also turn up the volume without bothering your coworkers. However, these earbuds have short continuous battery life and won't get you through a 9-5 work day. Despite the carrying case holding 10 additional charges, it can take almost two hours for them to fully charge.

5.1 Wireless Gaming

The JLab Audio JBuds Air Truly Wireless are poor for wireless gaming. They can't be used on the PS4 or Xbox One. While they can be used on PC, their high latency, mediocre microphone, and three-hour battery life can limit your gaming experience.

5.0 Wired Gaming

The JLab Audio JBuds Air Truly Wireless are Bluetooth-only headphones and can't be used wired.

6.4 Phone Calls

The JLab Audio JBuds Air Truly Wireless are adequate for phone calls as their recording quality is just okay. You'll still be understandable, but your voice will sound muffled and thin. It struggles to isolate background noise from speech in louder environments. On the upside, if you're taking calls from your office, these earbuds reduce background chatter so you can focus on your call.

  • 6.9 Mixed Usage
  • 6.4 Neutral Sound
  • 7.4 Commute/Travel
  • 8.1 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.6 Office
  • 5.1 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.0 Wired Gaming
  • 6.4 Phone Calls
  1. Update 2/6/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.
  2. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  3. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.

Check Price

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The JLab Audio JBuds Air are all-black truly wireless earbuds. Their central touch buttons are detailed with the company logo on both ears. The earbuds are a bit thick, though, and they protrude out of your ear.

7.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.02 lbs
Clamping Force
0.0 lbs

The JLab Audio JBuds Air are fairly comfortably headphones but their in-ear fit won't be suitable for all users. As they're angled to give you a more comfortable fit, this design can put more pressure on their inner ear, especially when you're pushing the button controls to register a command. JLab includes three differently sized tips to help you find a better fit.

6.3
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Mediocre
Feedback Decent
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

The JBuds Air have unremarkable controls. Located on both ears, these two buttons feel fairly stiff and to register a command, you have to push the earbud deeper into your ear. They have common controls like play/pause, track skipping, and call management, as well as a cycle of three EQs. Unfortunately, there's no prompt to indicate which preset you're on but there are voice prompts for pairing and battery information when first powered on.

9.2
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 0.8 C

The JBuds Air have excellent breathability. As these are in-ear headphones, they won't trap much heat at all. If you like to listen to music while you run, these headphones are a good choice and you shouldn't sweat more than usual while wearing them.

9.4
Design
Portability
L 1.1 "
W 1.3 "
H 1.2 "
Volume 1.7 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

Like many truly wireless earbuds, these earbuds are very portable. They'll easily fit in most pockets. Although their charging case is a bit bulky, if you store your headphones in them, you'll still be able to fit them into larger pockets.

7.0
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 3.0 "
W 1.7 "
H 1.5 "
Volume 7.7 Cu. Inches

The JLab Audio JBuds Air come with an alright charging case. It has an integrated USB charging cable but it's short and if it breaks, the whole case will need to be replaced. Luckily, you can buy a spare case separately if you need it. On the downside, the lid feels a bit plasticky and the case is slightly bulkier than some of the other truly wireless headphones we've tested so far. If you're trying to cut down on cables and like the ease of wireless Qi charging, check out the Sabbat E12 True Wireless.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The JLab Audio JBuds Air have a good build. The earbuds feel dense and should be able to survive drops or impacts without getting too damaged. They also have a rating of IP55 for dust and water resistance, although we don't currently test for it. The charging case feels slightly cheaper, especially the plasticky lid. Unfortunately, if the integrated charging cable breaks, you'll need to buy a new case.

8.0
Design
Stability

The JBuds Air are impressively stable and are a great choice to wear while running or working out. Thanks to their three differently sized ear tips and one stability sleeve, they won't move around too much. As they're also truly wireless headphones, you don't have to worry about snagging a cable on something and yanking them out of your ears.

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

  • JLab Audio JBuds Air earbuds
  • Charging case
  • 3x tip sizes
  • 1x stability sleeve
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
5.9 db
Treble Amount
-1.48 db

Their sound profile is very bass-heavy. EDM and hip-hop lovers will rejoice at the deep, thumpy bass but others will find their mixes to be very muddy and boomy. The treble is also a bit uneven, and its peaks can make instruments like cymbals bright and even piercing.

8.8
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.24 dB

The frequency response consistency is excellent. If the user achieves a proper fit and an air-tight seal using the assortment of tips that come with these earbuds, then they'll be able to get consistent bass and treble delivery every time they use the headphones.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
4.8
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
7.28 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
9.34 dB
Mid-Bass
8.06 dB
High-Bass
7.15 dB

The bass accuracy performance of the JBuds Air is poor. Although it's overemphasized across the range, some users will like the intensity of the thump and rumbles. However, others will find this bass to be overpowering, boomy, and muddy.

8.5
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.05 dB
Low-Mid
2.95 dB
Mid-Mid
0.0 dB
High-Mid
0.51 dB

The mid accuracy performance of these earbuds is excellent. Although there's still some slight overemphasis carried over from the bass range, which can make sounds muddy and cluttered, the rest of the response is fairly flat. Lead instruments and vocals will sound smooth and clear.

8.1
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.59 dB
Low-Treble
-0.09 dB
Mid-Treble
2.83 dB
High-Treble
-1.76 dB

The treble performance accuracy of the JBuds Air is great. Although it's a little uneven, the mid-treble, in particular, is mostly overemphasized. While this can make mixes brighter, some may find it piercing, as sibilants like S and T sounds will sound sharper. A steep peak between the mid and high-treble can also sound hissy.

8.1
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.16 db
Dips
1.21 db

The peaks and dips performance of the JLab Audio JBuds Air is very good. There's a peak in the high bass that'll add a touch of boominess while the dip into the mid-mid will further push instruments to the back of the mix. Another dip in the low treble weakens the clarity of vocals and lead instruments. The two peaks in the treble range can further sharpen sibilants.

9.2
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.11
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.38
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.02
Weighted Phase Mismatch
2.96

The imaging of these earbuds is excellent. 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, amplitude, and phase response. This is important for the accurate 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.

0.6
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
2.6
Acoustic Space Excitation
0.3

The JBuds Air's soundstage is poor. To create an out-of-head and speaker-like soundstage, the pinna or outer ear has to be activated by sound resonances. Since in-ear earbuds are designed to completely bypass the pinna and not interact with it, their soundstage will feel as if it's contained within the listener's head. These earbuds are also closed-back and won't feel as spacious as open-back earbuds such as the Apple AirPods 2 Truly Wireless 2019, the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless, or the Google Pixel Buds Wireless.

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.

6.9
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.500
WHD @ 100
0.322

The weighted harmonic distortion performance of these earbuds is alright. There's some distortion in the treble range, even at moderately loud volumes, but this might not be noticeable to all listeners. The frequencies otherwise fall within good limits, which will result in clear and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
Unknown
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 4.0
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
Integrated

The JLab Audio JBuds Air 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 discussion section below.

Isolation
7.4
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-22.2 dB
Bass
-6.35 dB
Mid
-18.86 dB
Treble
-42.44 dB

The noise isolation performance of these earbuds is decent. They can block out some deep rumble sounds like train engines, but it might not be enough for public transit. The mid-range fares better and will help to cut down voices. Sounds in the treble range, such as the hum of A/C units, are also significantly reduced.

9.7
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
22.8 dB

The leakage performance of these earbuds is outstanding. You should be able to crank up your music in places like an office without others around you hearing it.

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

These earbuds have an integrated microphone so you can't see it.

6.5
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
297.71 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
3.07 dB
HFE
3466.89 Hz
Weighted THD
2.626
Gain
24.59 dB

The JBuds Air's microphone has an okay recording quality. Voices sound thin, muffled, and lacking in detail. However, you'll still be understandable to whoever is on the other line.

5.9
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
10.39 dB

This microphone has sub-par noise handling. It has problems separating speech from background noise, even in moderately noisy situations like an office. However, if you're talking in quiet environments like at home, you should be heard more clearly.

Active Features
5.1
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
3.3 hrs
Additional Charges
10.0
Total Battery Life
36.3 hrs
Charge Time
1.9 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB Type A

The battery performance of the JBuds Air is poor. At 3.3 hours of continuous battery life, they fall short compared to other truly wireless earbuds. While they do offer 10 additional charges from their case, they also take almost two hours to charge and they don't have any power-saving features to help conserve their low 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

The JLab Audio JBuds Air headphones don't have any app support. However, they do offer three preset EQs built into the earbuds and they can be cycled through by triple tapping the left or right buttons.

Connectivity
6.9
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
329 ft
PC Latency (SBC)
339 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
232 ms
Android Latency
273 ms

The JLab Audio JBuds Air are truly wireless Bluetooth earbuds with an impressive line of sight range, allowing you to move around while your device is somewhere else. However, they don't have multi-device or NFC pairing. Their latency is also very high for all devices, and won't be ideal if you like to watch videos or play video games. 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 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

As these earbuds are truly wireless, they can't be used wired.

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 with Bluetooth enabled, their high latency can interrupt your video streaming or gaming experience.

Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No

The JBuds Air 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 have a charging case that offers 10 additional charges. It doesn't have any inputs, but similarly to the JLab Audio JBuds Air Executive Truly Wireless, it offers an integrated USB power cable. However, if it's broken or damaged, the whole case will need to be replaced.

Compared to other headphones

Comparison picture

The JLab Audio JBuds Air Truly Wireless are mediocre Bluetooth earbuds. There isn't anything that sets them apart from other earbuds other than their carrying case's integrated charging cable which can be prone to more damage since it's exposed. The battery performance of these headphones also falls short of other truly wireless competitors as it can take about two hours to charge them while delivering only 3.3 hours of continuous playback time. If you're set on wireless headphones, check out our recommendations for the best truly wireless headphones, the best wireless headphones under $100, and the best Bluetooth earbuds under $50.

Skullcandy Sesh Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Skullcandy Sesh Truly Wireless are slightly better headphones for mixed use than the JLab Audio JBuds Air Truly Wireless. Although they're similar truly wireless in-ear headphones with an equally bass-heavy sound profile, the Sesh are generally better balanced. While the JBuds Air last a little less time on a single charge, their case will give you an additional ten charges, much better than the Sesh's two. Unfortunately the JBuds have an integrated charging cable on their case, which means you'd have to replace the entire case should it get damaged.

TOZO T10 Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The JLab Audio JBuds Air Truly Wireless are slightly better truly wireless headphones than the TOZO T10 Truly Wireless. The JBuds Air are more comfortable, have better controls, and have a slightly more accurate out-of-the-box sound profile. On the other hand, the TOZO's case supports wireless charging, they isolate background noise slightly better, and they have a better IP rating for waterproofing, though this isn't something we test for.

Anker SoundCore Liberty Air Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Anker SoundCore Liberty Air Truly Wireless are better truly wireless headphones than the JLab Audio JBuds Air Truly Wireless. While they don’t have volume control, the Anker have a much better sounding audio reproduction, and their fit blocks out more ambient noise, which is good for commuting. The Anker come with a smaller case and offer better battery life, on top of taking less time to charge. However, their stalk design is a bit more fragile than the dense JLab and is slightly less stable for sports.

Jabra Elite 65t Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Jabra Elite 65t Truly Wireless are slightly better truly wireless headphones than the JLab Audio JBuds Air Truly Wireless. They have a companion app that lets you EQ their sound profile and have a more isolating fit against ambient noise. Their battery life is noticeably better, offering about 2 more hours of continuous playback than the JBuds Air. They can also connect to two devices and have less latency. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more straightforward experience and mostly listen to bass-heavy music, then the JBuds Air might offer better value and be a better choice.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Truly Wireless are better truly wireless headphones than the JLab Audio JBuds Air Truly Wireless. They are more comfortable, have better sound quality, noticeably better battery life, and are have a good companion app that offers customization options and controls. You can also get volume controls if you have the app, or else you won’t have it by default like on the JBuds Air. Their case is also compatible with wireless Qi chargers. On the other hand, if you don’t need an app and like to listen to bass-heavy music, the JBuds Air might offer better value and can be a better choice.

SoundPeats TrueFree/True Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The SoundPeats TrueFree/True Wireless and the JLab Audio JBuds Air Truly Wireless are fairly similar headphones and perform almost identically when it comes to sound. However, the JBuds Air offer volume control on their one-button scheme, which the TrueFree are lacking. The recording quality of the integrated microphone is also better than the TrueFree. On the other hand, the SoundPeats don’t have an integrated charging cable and their case lacks a lid to protect the headphones.

Sabbat E12 True Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Sabbat E12 True Wireless and the JLab Audio JBuds Air Truly Wireless are very similar performing truly wireless in-ears. Both have a dark sound profile and will be better suited for bass-heavy genres, but the JBuds Air don’t lack as much detail in the treble range as the E12. Their fit is also slightly better at blocking out ambient noise. On the other hand, you’ll have slightly more battery life out of the E12 and their microphone recording quality is noticeably better. Additionally, their E12 case supports wireless charging, while the JBuds Air case has a short and integrated charging cable, which can be annoying to use.

Ylife True Wireless Earbuds
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Ylife True Wireless Earbuds are slightly better than the JLab Audio JBuds Air Truly Wireless in terms of mixed usage. The JLab has controls that the Ylife doesn't have, including volume control. However, the Ylife has much better bass accuracy than the JLab and better overall sound quality. If you're looking for user-friendly controls and don't plan on listening to bass-heavy music, go for the JLab Audio JBuds Truly Wireless; otherwise, the Ylife True Wireless Earbuds are a better choice.

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JLab Audio JBuds Air Truly Wireless Price

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