Just because wireless earbuds are the future and a convenience device doesn’t mean wireless earbuds are exclusive for those with a lot of money. We’ve looked at wireless earbuds from a high price point like the Jabra Elite Sport and mid-priced wireless earbuds like the Sudio Niva. Now we’re going to be looking at a low-priced budget friendly earbud. The JLab JBuds Air True Wireless Earbuds. The $50 price tag on the JLab JBuds Air earbuds is easy to get excited about. But the question here is, is it worth it?
The JLab JBuds Air look like your typical wireless earbuds. It has a nice subtle look, chunky in size but also lightweight. Each earbud has a small JLab logo on its outside, which is also a button. It’s easy to find the button as a result of the textured feel of the logo. LEDs are placed under the logo and flash various colors depending on what’s happening. Play a song and it disappears, pause and it comes on. Great for if you ever misplace your earphones when you take them off.
The entire design is covered in a matte black finish. The included case is compact and oval in shape. The Jbuds Air connect magnetically to the case and charges right away. The case features a flip-top lid and battery life LED indicators on the outside panel. A built-in USB charging cable snaps into the bottom. The good thing is here is you’ll never lose the cable. The bad thing is the cable is short, and if it ever stops working, you’ll need a new charging case. JLab rates the JBuds Air at IP55 that number means they offer good protection from particles like dust, and from water and sweat. They can’t be submerged in water and the charging case isn’t waterproof.
The JLab JBuds Air fit well. The chunky size might not be attractive, but when you put on the provided cush-fins, it’s near impossible for the earbuds to be removed unintentionally. I wouldn’t recommend having them on for really rigorous activities, but for most everyday activities they’ll stay in your ears perfectly fine. The control buttons are responsive and work well. The JBuds in-ear is relatively light which makes it comfortable to wear for a few hours. We recommend experimenting with different ear tip sizes to find the best one for you.
The unique feature for me on the JLab JBuds Air is the built-in EQ. Three clicks will cycle through the three EQ modes (Signature, Balanced, Bass Boost), but you need to press the button (on either ear this time) three times to switch to a new mode. Cycling through all three modes involves a series of nine clicks. Some may like it some may not. For me, it would be more convenient to have a companion app that lets you choose. Volume is adjusted by single clicking the left ear to reduce it and the right bud to increase the volume. Play/pause is enabled by double-clicking the left earbud. Moving between tracks is achieved by clicking the left bud button for a second or more to go back and doing the same on the right bud allows you to advance. Double-clicking allows the right bud activates Siri/Google.
I tested out making and taking calls on the JLab JBuds Air. The sound only comes out of one side, but the calls sounded ok. I also sounded pretty clear to the person on the other end of the call. While I would use these often for calling, they do work and you can survive with them.
JLab Audio estimates the JLab JBuds Air get roughly three to four hours of battery life on a single charge which isn’t great, but also standard in the world of truly wireless earbuds. JLab estimates the charging case will get you up to 14 hours of additional battery life, which isn’t amazing when most other true wireless earbuds get at least three more charges from their case. Bear in mind, these estimates will vary with your volume levels.
The headphones connect to your listening device through Bluetooth 5.0, and we found that they held a pretty good connection.
How do they sound?
At $50 it’s hard to expect the JLab JBuds Air to sound great — but in reality, they don’t sound bad at all. Yes, it’s not perfect, but overall, the JLab JBuds Air sounds great for its price point. It’s got a pretty, heavy, and strong bass. At times we found that the bass tipped towards muddy-sounding, but it wasn’t too over the top.
I can imagine the amplified bass is part of the workout aspect of these earbuds to get you going when working out. Let’s look at it this way, if you’re someone who truly cares about sound quality and are used to investing in expensive high-quality headphones then you probably shouldn’t even look at truly wireless earbuds at all. If you’re curious and want to get away from wires then wireless earbuds at this price will not impress you. The average user, you will be happy with the sound of the JLab JBuds Air it’s good enough for most people who care more about the convenience factor of going wireless than the music sounding just right.
Is the JLab JBuds Air Worth It?
With the $50 price tag and it’s truly wireless functionality, it’s almost impossible to critically judge the JLab JBuds Air and tell you they’re not worth it because they are. You get a lot of value for the price. So much value that it’s not a risky investment, you know what you’re getting for the price. They’re well-designed, comfortable earbuds. Perfect if you’re on a budget. We have yet to find better options in this price range.
Where to Buy: JLab Audio