In a world where Apple think they’re king by releasing new Airpods every year, it comes as no surprise that manufacturers follow suit. I swear it’s an SEO thing for their website, but JLabs have just launched their JBus Air Pro earphones. Get it? Airpods Pro / Air Pro? Just me? Anyway, they’ve got some new earbuds, and we’ve got them. Let’s get started.
The JLabs JBuds Air Pro earbuds are a chunky-looking piece of kit, which to some may be a bit off-putting if you’re used to super small and slick in-ear headphones. This is mainly due to the size of the 6mm drivers inside, but more on that in a moment. They’re made from plastic to keep them nice and light and have a rubber seal around the outside to give you a nice grip when putting them in your ears but also act as a seal for your ears. There’s another size to try in the box included so make sure to give them both a try before choosing the best for you.. There are several earbud sizes so you can get it right for the seal on your ears. The top is touch-sensitive giving you a number of functions to access which you can see below for the full function list.
The case is nice and small and again is plastic. The lid has a magnet to keep it closed and it’s quite stiff giving an air of quality about it. It’s branded on top and there are several lights on the front so you can see the battery life and status of the headphones inside. What I have never seen before is the fact that the charging cable is built into the case, so you’ve got no need to remember a cable if you’re commuting to work. Just plug the case directly into your laptop using the built-in cable and boom, you’re charging your headphones. It also means there’s no USB port so it gives the case a nice seamless look to it.
The earbuds themselves are IP55 rated which will protect them from a bit of rain and dust, but don’t go swimming with them or drown them in a big downpour. They’re also Bluetooth 5.1, but unfortunately no AptX or AAC or anything like that. You can also connect the earbuds to multiple devices too, so if you get a call on your phone you can answer, and then go back to your Spotify on your laptop. And it’s seamless too with the connection. You’ve also got a fairly generous battery life of nine hours. You’ve got a further 27 hours with the case too. There’s also a partnership in place with Tile in case you lose an earbud. Tile, a free app for your phone will track the earbuds or case so you’ll never lose them again.
JLabs have done a somewhat alright job with the sound reproduction for the JBus Air Pros, though I must say they do like to be a bit heavier on the bass side of things. The bass frequencies here can be pretty overpowering at times, and when I was listening to a bit of Hip-Hop, that kick drum was booming.
There is an EQ that can be adjusted you so desire, which can compensate for this, but you then almost find that there’s an overpower to the highs. There’s a distinct lack of mid frequencies which can produce a very unbalanced audio to your music. This can be changed within the app which can be downloaded on the Android or iOS platforms. I did have to run an update when I first set the earbuds up, but this was quick and simple and didn’t pose any issues. Every time you open the app though, it has to connect to your headphones. Very frustrating if you go into the app a few times during a music listening session, and doubly frustrating when the app crashes on your several times during its loading phase.
The Be Aware setting at the top of the list turns on ambient mode, so you can hear traffic and conversation through your music. It works relatively well. The Equaliser offers three presets: their JLab signature sound, a balanced EQ and a bass boost, which I would avoid like the plague. These headphones love their bass and adding more just really muddies music. You can also customise the controls somewhat for the number of taps for a specific function, and there are so many on there I’m just going to leave this image below so you can check them all out. But you got your usuals like skip track and volume, playing and pausing and activating your voice assistant, being Google or Siri. Finally, you can turn the sensors on and off, and this is where the earbuds detect if they’re in your ears, and stops playing music if you take one out. Quite a nice feature really.
The JLabs JBuds Air Pro earbuds are not too bad given they’ll set you back around £50-60 here in the UK. The sound is really catered for those who enjoy their bass-centric music yet they do offer an EQ to really fine-tune your audio which is nice. The battery life is also fantastic, I’ve got no complaints here. However, the touch controls on the earbuds are a tad confusing to use and there are so many features that can be accessed it becomes a bit of a mess. Especially when you can access the settings on your phone. Also, the app is a bit ropey with its constant loading. But apart from that, not a bad set of earbuds I must say. For more info, check out the JLab website.