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Jlab Audio Jbuds Air Review – Still a Good Option?

Last updated: 6 months ago
8 min read
Jlab Audio Jbuds Air reviewed

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Please note: The Jlab Audio Jbuds Air is an older model. For the latest similar options with improved features and performance. Their updated successors are JLab Go Air Pop. Or check our most recent recommendations:

In this Jlab Audio Jbuds Air review, we take a look at how one of the most popular true wireless earbuds compare to the competition. Do they still offer good value for money today?

Jlab Jbuds Air are true wireless earbuds under $50 and are decently comfortable with water protection (IP55). They work well but come with a good battery life of around 5.5 hours.

The upgraded Jbuds Air Icon, which cost around $15 more, have a longer battery life up to 6 hours and touch controls, which are more in line with the current 2020 technology.

Additionally, the Icons have a more reliable Bluetooth connection. The original Airs sometimes aren’t so secure. They’re a worthy upgrade if you’re willing to spend a bit more.

In the end, if you have a small budget of $50, the Jlab Audio Jbuds Air are one of the best true wireless headphones you can buy right now, thanks to a design that works well for sports or casual listening.

Pros & Cons

  • Good water protection IP55
  • Stable fit suitable for sports
  • User-friendly magnetic design
  • Good sound quality for the price
  • Annoying physical controls (Air Icon have touch controls)
  • Can become uncomfortable after prolonged time for small ears
  • Phone calls require the right earbud
By HeadphonesAddict
User Ratings: 7
Our rating
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User rating
  • 3.2
  • 2.8
  • 2.5
  • 3.7
  • 3.8
  • 3.0
  • 4.2

Top Deals:

Last updated: We updated the conclusion.

Jlab Audio Jbuds Air are one of the:

What’s in the Box?

Everything you get in the package of Jlab Jbuds Air.
  • Jlab Audio Jbuds Air true wireless earbuds
  • 3 pairs of silicone ear tips
  • Charging case with attached USB charger
  • User manual

Comfort & Fit

Star Rating
4.0 Great

The Jlab Jbuds Air are quite bulky but don’t protrude out of the ears too much, and thanks to rubber sleeves, stick in the ears well during fast movement. However, they can get uncomfortable when you press the controls and for people with small ears.

Key Points:

  • 3 pair of silicone ear tips
  • rubber sleeves provide good stability for working out

From the first look, you can’t judge these as having a great fit. But they stay in the ears remarkably well due to the ergonomic design and rubber sleeves that surround each earbud.

They’re lightweight, and the only thing that you might complain about is slight discomfort after a while if you have small ears.

Due to the bulky design, small ears don’t like these that much. For normal or bigger ears, that’s a non-issue.

Jlab Audio Jbuds Air wet earbuds
With large silicone eartips.

You get 3 pairs of silicone eartips (S, M, L), with the large ones being bigger than usual. Nonetheless, you can be sure to get a fit that suits you.

The only time that you might curse the Jbuds is when you use the controls. Because they have physical buttons that you have to press in strongly, you irritate your ears every time you want to change a song. Though you get used to it in a while.

Noise Isolation

Star Rating
4.0 Great

Passive noise isolation is above average with the right ear tips compared to most headphones. Also, the wind noise is a lesser problem due to non-protruding design.

Like with most in-ear headphones, the Jlab Jbuds Air true wireless earphones offer a good amount of noise isolation.

Pick the right size of ear tips, and you can peacefully enjoy your music at your local gym.

Jbuds Air earbuds with ear tips
The rubber sleeves are prone to acquiring dead skin (white particles).

Now, most of the modern wireless earbuds under $50 suffer from a bulky design that is great for creating wind noise.

Thankfully, these make it less of a problem though it’s still present in a windy situation.

If you drive a bicycle, these are more suitable for the job, but know you’ll still hear some of that pesky wind.


Star Rating
2.5 Average

Bluetooth connection is mostly reliable, though you might get short interruptions if you put a wall in between your Jbuds and smartphone.

Key Points:

  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Standard 33ft (10m) of range without obstacles
  • Auto-connect when you open the lid
  • SBC, AAC Bluetooth codecs

The Jlab Jbuds connect automatically when you open the lid on the charging case (after initial connection).

If you keep your phone close nearby, you won’t get any problems, but if you go to another room with a thick wall, you are likely to get some short interruptions. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it could be better.

When you put 2 walls in between, the music stops as is usual for most Bluetooth earbuds.

When it comes to Bluetooth codecs, they only support the basic SBC and AAC codecs. For the price point, that’s fine, though some cheap true wireless earbuds do come with aptX, too.

Is there a video delay?

There’s minimal video delay when watching YouTube, but it’s tolerable. Due to basic codecs, the response time might be a bit longer; however, not super annoying.

How do I fix Jlab Jbuds Air connection?

Are your Jlab headphones not connecting properly?

We had a problem getting both earbuds to pair with each other. So, we did a resync.

  1. Disconnect and turn off both earbuds
  2. Put them in the charging case, but keep it open
  3. On the right earpiece, press the button 4 times quickly until you see a blue blinking light
  4. Do the same on the left earpiece; press 4 times in a row
  5. After both are blinking blue, take them out of the case and keep close together (2in/5cm)
  6. Once they sync, the left side shines solid white, and the right side blinks blue and white.
  7. If the synch fails, repeat the steps again

Here’s how to pair JLab earbuds step by step.


Star Rating
4.0 Great

The battery life per charge is solid 5.5 hours. With about 15 hours more in the case.

Key Points:

  • Overpromised battery on the box, in reality, you get 5 to 5.5 hours per charge
  • USB cable attached to the case

The promised battery life is overrated. You don’t get the 6 hours per charge as it says on the box.

You get a little bit less. From 100% battery to shut down due to battery capacity, we got 5 hours and 40 minutes at half volume.

Manufacturers often overpromise to make sales. Plus, you have to assume that over time, the battery capacity will become lower.

Jlab Audio Jbuds Air charging the case
Charge them with attached USB cable.

Nonetheless, 5 hours is more than enough for most people as few spend more than 1 hour in the gym.

You charge the Jbuds in a charging case with an attached USB cable. It’s tucked under the case, and you can’t remove it. It takes less than 2 hours to charge them fully.

All in all, it’s a great battery that works well for an average user.


Star Rating
4.0 Great

Jbuds Air are fully plastic but durable and come with IP55 dust and water protection. This makes them great for sports and general use.

Key Points:

  • IP55 (IPX5) water protection
  • Plastic but durable
  • 2-year limited warranty

Plastic is the go-to material for true wireless earbuds, no matter the cost. Even the more expensive models are often fully plastic. Hello PowerBeats Pro.

But that isn’t a bad thing because the plastics is hard and durable, as if you paid over $100 for these.

The only part that’s scratch-prone are the glossy logos on top of the control buttons. And even then, they aren’t visible.

There’s not much to complain about when it comes to build quality, especially for the price.

Jlab Audio Jbuds Air wet true wireless earbuds
You can easily get them wet thanks to IP55 (IPX5) rated protection.

Sure, IP55 isn’t the best you can get when it comes to the best waterproof Bluetooth headphones but is more than enough for any amount of sweat or even washing under tap water.

Our earbuds have “accidentally” fallen on the floor a couple of times, and they still work fine without any signs of damage.

You can easily use these for working out or daily listening on the go. But the best workout headphones are even better.

The charging case also feels solid with a strong hinge.


Star Rating
3.5 Almost Great

You can make phone calls with a decent microphone but need to use the main right-side earbud. There’re LED indicators on each earbud and battery indicator on the case.

Key Points:

  • Decent built-in microphone
  • Calling requires the right-side earbud. Voice comes through both sides
  • LED battery indicator on the case

On the other reviews, you might read the biggest issue is that phone calls only work through the right earbud. Which is true.

But it’s not such a big problem. You get sound from both.

The right earbud is the main one because it includes all the electronics for calling. So, if you want to make phone calls with just one side, make sure to charge up the right-side one.

Other cheap true wireless earphones might offer calls on both sides, but how often would you use one side only?

If you make lots of calls, just get a dedicated one-side headset. Check the best headphones with microphone.

Still, the mic quality is quite good, and you can have a comfortable conversation even in traditionally unfriendly-to-the-mic places.

Using a voice assistant works well. To activate Siri or Google Assistant is press the control button 2 times.

You can always see how much battery is left on your smartphone when you’re connected to the Jbuds. And for the charging case, there are LED lights that tell you when you need to power them up.

And the second concern is the physical controls. You have to press them in quite firmly, which creates a bit of discomfort after a few song changes.

Touch controls, once you get used to them, are probably a better design decision.


Star Rating
3.5 Almost Great

Jlab Jbuds Air sound good for their price tag of $50 but can’t really compare to higher-end. They make a perfect choice for the gym or casual listening on the go.

Key Points:

  • 3 EQ presets (Jlab signature, neutral, bass boost)
  • The sound is good enough for the low price
  • Can get uncomfortably loud

You can choose from 3 EQ presets. Jlab Signature, Balanced, and Bass Boost. The only “listenable” one that we liked the most is the Signature.

It emphasizes the highs and bass and increases volume for some reason.

When you switch to Neutral or Bass Boost, you lose some of the volume, which is a downer (press the button 3 times to switch). Though the neutral preset does offer more of a balanced sound, you can’t get it as loud.

In the same way, the bass boost preset doesn’t magically create strong, detailed bass, it’s rather subdued with minimal increase in punchiness. Best bass earbuds are much better.

It’s best to stick to the V-shaped Jlab signature preset and forget you’re wearing cheap earbuds.

Also, the soundstage is quite intimate, as is typical for in-ear earphones. But the sibilance isn’t a problem either. What bothers me more are the lackluster highs in general.

Now, to be fair, these belong to the category of super cheap true wireless earbuds. You can’t expect sonic fidelity.

You get decent sound quality that’s enjoyable for going to the gym when you focus on lifting weights or taking a run and watching for the traffic.

But if you want to listen to music in the comfort of your home, be prepared to write a long critique. They aren’t made for critical listening.

Jlab Audio Jbuds Air earbuds in case
Jbuds Air make a good value-for-money choice.

Why buy Jlab Audio Jbuds Air?

If you are looking for dependable sports true wireless headphones that won’t cost you more than 50 bucks, then these are one of the best choices.

Sure, the battery isn’t super long, but they perform decently to well in important categories.

For such a low price, you get a combination of Bluetooth connectivity, decent audio quality, the option to make phone calls, and great stability for sports.

And in case you want to keep up with the latest technology, get the Air Icons for a couple of dollars more to get longer battery life and comfier controls.

Are Jlab Jbuds Air better than Apple Airpods?

In general, no. But considering the Jbuds cost 1/3 of the price, you get much better value for money.

If you need headphones solely for the gym or sports and don’t care about extra features, then get Jlabs. But if you want better headphones for different uses and have no problem paying for them, get Apple’s AirPods.

Jlab Audio Jbuds Air alternatives:

  • Treblab xFit review – have better battery life but less stable fit at the same price
  • Skullcandy Sesh review – suffer from a low 3-hour battery but tick the boxes for fit, Skullcandy sound and price
  • Aukey T10 review – you can spend a bit more at $100 and get overall better TWS earbuds for sports or daily listening


Type: True wireless
Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
Back design: Closed-back
Drivers: 8mm
Frequency range: n/a
Impedance: n/a
Weight: 11g both earbuds
Mic & Controls: Yes, built-in
Water resistance: IP55
Battery life: 6h + 18h in case
Charging time: Under 2h – USB-A (attached)
Active noise cancelling: No
Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC
Wireless range: 33ft (10m)

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