The JLab Audio JBuds Air are decent mixed usage truly wireless earbuds. They are a bit on the bass-heavy side and will be better for genres like EDM, hip-hop, and rap. These headphones are decently well-built and are stable for sports. They are fairly versatile as they isolate a decent amount of noise, which is good for commuting and since they barely leak too, you’ll be able to use them at the office. However, they have very high latency, which won’t be great for watching video content and gaming. They also have very short battery life for the charge time. On the upside, they are decently comfortable and offer good overall value.
The JLab Audio JBuds Air are fairly straightforward truly wireless earbuds. They are decently comfortable, but some people may not like the in-ear fit. They are very portable and easy to carry around. Their design also has stability sleeves, which makes them great for sports as well. Unfortunately, while they are well-built, their case has an unconventional design with an integrated charging cable. This means that if you break it, you'd need to buy another case, which isn't too expensive. On the upside, the headphones are rated IP55 for dust and water resistance and are breathable for sports.
The JLab Audio JBuds Air headphones are decently comfortable, but the in-ear fit will not be for everyone. The angled design of the nozzle helps to get a more comfortable fit, but the buds are fairly thick, which means some people may feel pressure being put on their inner ear. The earbuds come with 3 different sizes of tips to help you find the best fit for you, but only one sleeve.
The JBuds Air have a decent control scheme, but it is fairly hard to use as the buttons are stiff and you need to push the earbud even more inside your ear to register commands. On the upside, you get common functionalities such as call and music management, track skipping, volume controls, and triggering your device’s voice assistant. You can also cycle between their 3 EQ presets, although there is no voice prompt that tells you which preset you’re on. However, you do get voice prompts for the pairing procedure and you also get battery information when powering on the headphones, which is nice.
These earbuds are very portable. You can easily fit the two buds inside your pockets or put them in a bag. They are easy to carry around, even when placed in their charging case, although it is a bit bulkier than most truly wireless cases we've reviewed recently.
Update : 04/23/2019 We've updated the text to show that you can purchase a spare case separately, as pointed out by a user.The JLab Audio JBuds Air come with a decent charging case. The case is slightly bulkier than other truly wireless headphones cases and the lid feels a bit plasticky. The case also has an integrated USB charging cable. This is nice since you can charge it easily without carrying around a cable, but it is very short and you can’t replace it if it breaks, which isn’t convenient. You’d have to buy another case, which isn't too expensive thankfully.
The JLab Audio JBuds Air are well-built headphones. The buds are thick and dense enough to survive a few accidental drops without too much damage. However, the case feels a bit cheaper than the earbuds, which is unfortunate. The integrated charging cable is also not ideal as if it breaks, you’ll have to buy a new case. On the upside, these headphones are rated IP55 for dust and water resistance, which is good.
The JBuds Air are very stable in-ears and you should be able to run and do physical activity without a problem. They don’t move much around thanks to their fit, and they also come with a few tip options and a sleeve to help you get a more secure fit. Their truly wireless design also helps since you won’t have a wire that could get stuck on something and yank the headphones out of your ears.
The JLab Audio JBuds Air are okay-sounding truly wireless in-ears. They have a powerful, consistent and extended bass, a fairly well-balanced mid-range, and a good treble. However, their bass is slightly overdone. It is thumpy, which some people may prefer, but it is also noticeably boomy. The mid-range is also recessed, which pushes the vocals and leads to the back of the mix. Additionally, their treble is slightly uneven, which results in a lack of detail and brightness on certain sounds but may also sound overly sharp and piercing on S and Ts. Overall, these headphones will be better suited for bass-heavy genres and won’t be ideal for vocal-centric music.
The bass performance of the JBuds Air is good. The LFE (low-frequency extension) is down to 10Hz, which is excellent. Low-bass is overemphasized by about 5dB, which adds noticeably thump and rumble to the bass, which some may prefer. However, the rest of the response is also over our target curve. This will add extra punch to the body of bass guitars and kicks of drums and excess boominess to the mix.
The JBuds Air mid-range is also good. The response throughout the range is fairly well-balanced, but mostly underemphasized. The 4dB recess in mid-mid will push the vocals and lead instruments to the back of the mix. High-mid being under out target curve also results in a negative effect on the projection of vocals and leads.
The JBuds Air have a good treble range. Unfortunately, the range is slightly uneven. The dip in low-treble will have a negative effect on the detail and brightness of those frequencies, while the high peak around the 10kHz region will tend to make S and T sounds sharp and piercing. However, not everyone hears the treble range the same way, so your experience may vary.
The frequency response consistency is excellent. If the user can achieve a proper fit and an air-tight seal using the assortment of tips that come with the headphones, then they should be able to get consistent bass and treble delivery every time they use the headphones.
The stereo imaging is excellent. Their weighted group delay is at 0.11, which is very low. The group delay graph also shows that the entire response is well below the audibility threshold. This ensures a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Also, the L/R drivers of our test unit were 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.
The soundstage is poor. This is because creating an out-of-head and speaker-like soundstage is largely dependent on activating the resonances of the pinna (outer ear). The design of in-ears and earbuds fully bypasses the pinna and doesn't interact with it. Also, because the JLab Audio JBuds Air headphones have a closed-back enclosure, their soundstage won't be perceived to be as open as that of open-back earbuds like the Apple AirPods 2 2019, Google Pixel Buds, or the Bose SoundSport Free.
The harmonic distortion performance of these headphones is mediocre. While the THD in the bass range is within very good limits, it gets elevated in the mid and treble ranges. There is also a big spike in THD around 1.2kHz, making these frequencies harsh and impure. On the upside, there is no big jump in THD at 100 dB SPL, which could be due to the flexibility of the drivers under heavier loads or could be due to the noise floor of our testing.
The JLab Audio JBuds Air have good isolation performance. If you can achieve a proper fit, they create a good seal that isolates a fair bit of noise. Although they don’t have an active noise cancelling feature, they block out speech and higher-frequency noises like fan sounds fairly well, but might not be ideal for commuting. On the upside, they have excellent leakage performance, which means that if you find they don’t reduce ambient noise enough, you can raise your volume a bit without having to worry about others hearing what you’re listening to.
Their isolation performance is decent. In the bass range, where the rumble of plane and bus engines are located, they reduce outside noise by about 6dB, which is okay, but won’t be ideal for public transit. In the mid-range, which is crucial for blocking speech, they achieve 19dB of isolation, which is very good. In the treble, occupied by sharp sounds like S and Ts and A/C system noises, they also achieve a reduction of 42dB, which is excellent.
The leakage performance is excellent. Most of the leakage is concentrated in a narrow band in the treble range. This makes their leakage very thin and sharp sounding. However, the overall level of their leakage is very low. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage averages around 23dB SPL, and peaks at around 31db SPL, which is far below the noise floor of the average office.
The JLab Audio JBuds Air have a mediocre integrated microphone. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic will sound thin, noticeably muffled, and lacking in detail. However, it will still be decently easy to understand. On the other hand, the microphone will struggle to separate speech from background noise even in moderately loud environments, like a busy street.
These headphones have an integrated Bluetooth microphone with an okay recording quality. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 298Hz and HFE (high-frequency extension) is around 3.5kHz, which means that speech recorded or transmitted with this microphone will sound thin, lacking a bit of detail and noticeably muffled. However, it will still be relatively easy to comprehend, since speech intelligibility is mostly dependent on the 500Hz-4kHz range.
This microphone has mediocre noise handling. In our SpNR test, the mic achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of approximately 10dB, indicating it is best suited for quiet environments and will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise in moderately loud or very noisy situations.
The JLab Audio JBuds Air have sub-par active features. Their battery life is fairly disappointing, with just over 3 hours of playback on one charge. The case gives you about 3 additional charges, but they also take two hours to charge, which is very long for the amount of playback you get, especially when compared to other truly wireless earbuds like the Apple AirPods 2 2019. These headphones don’t have a companion app for customization options, but you can cycle through 3 EQ presets directly on the buds without the need for software.
The JBuds Air have poor battery life. They offer just over 3 hours of continuous playback on one charge, which is a bit short even for truly wireless headphones. On top of that, they take about 2 hours to fully charge, which is very disappointing. They also don’t have any power saving features, so be sure to turn them off or to put them in their case when you are not using them.
The JLab Audio JBuds Air headphones do not have a companion app for customization options and controls. That said, you can cycle through their 3 EQ presets directly on the buds.
The JLab Audio JBuds Air are fairly straightforward truly wireless earbuds. They are Bluetooth-only and their wireless range is quite amazing. They come with a charging case that gives you 3 additional charges. However, they have very high latency and won’t be great for watching video content or gaming. On the upside, they support Bluetooth 5.0, which may give you an overall better performance than what we’ve measured with our Bluetooth 4.2 dongle.
The JLab Audio JBuds Air come with a charging case that gives you a few additional charges, but it doesn’t have any inputs. The case also has an integrated USB power cable that can’t be replaced if broken.
The wireless range of the JBuds Air is exceptional. You should be able to walk around a small apartment or office without too many audio cuts and shouldn’t have any problem if you keep your phone near you when working out. However, wireless range is dependent on your device’s signal strength and many other factors, so your experience may vary.
The JLab Audio JBuds Air are decent truly wireless earbuds, but they don’t particularly set themselves apart for their performance. They are decent in pretty much everything, without excelling in anything, and offer good overall value. However, their case with an integrated charging cable is an interesting concept that we haven’t seen before, but we think it could have been done in a better way. Take a look at our recommendations for the best truly wireless headphones, the best wireless headphones under $100, and the best Bluetooth earbuds under $50.
The Jabra Elite 65t are slightly better truly wireless headphones than the JLab Audio JBuds Air. 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.
The Anker SoundCore Liberty Air are better truly wireless headphones than the JLab Audio JBuds Air. While they don’t have volume control, they have a much better sounding audio reproduction and their fit blocks out more ambient noise, which is good for commuting. They 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 JBuds Air and is slightly less stable for sports.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds are better truly wireless headphones than the JLab Audio JBuds Air. They are more comfortable, have better sound quality, noticeably better battery life, and are also compatible with a good 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.
The SoundPeats TrueFree and the JLab Audio JBuds Air 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 which would force you to buy another pair of headphones if it was to break, although their case lacks a lid to protect the headphones.