As a runner, one thing that keeps you motivated on long runs is listening to music or podcasts, which is why you have to find the perfect earbuds that could soundtrack your way to fitness. Epic Air Sport earbuds from JLab are slowly making a name in the already overcrowded earbuds niche.
JLab may be a relatively newer brand, but they have been consistent in making comfortable earbuds, and Epic Air Sport is no exception. These sport-oriented versions look good with a low-profile design.
But does it walk the talk? Keep reading our JLab Epic Air Sport review to learn more about these earbuds for running.
JLab Epic Air Sport True Wireless Earbuds Review
- 15-hour Battery Life and 55+ extra hours in the case to keep you entertained throughout your long runs
- Quick charge time
- Active Noise Cancelation to give you a distraction-free experience
- Movie Mode to enable you seamlessly stream videos
- Three noise control modes including low ANC, high ANC, and Be Aware
- JLab Air ANC app to help you customize touch controls, sound, and ANC settings
- Speaker: 8mm Dynamic
- Colors: Black
- Weight: O.3 ounces per bud
- Size: 2.4 inches by 1.7 inches by 0.9 inches
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
- Connection: True wireless
- Water Rating: IP66
- Compatible with smartphones
- Bass control
Factors That We Considered For This Review
Before we get deeper into this JLab Epic Air Sport review, here are the factors we considered:
The design of a wireless earbud matters a lot. You don’t want to wear something that is not comfortable on your ears. Quality earbuds shouldn’t be too big. Fortunately, the Epic Air Sport comes with multiple sizes of ear tips.
When buying a new pair of earbuds, you will want one with several standout features. Our review looked into the features that suit runners more, such as reliable connectivity and battery life.
Quality TWS earbuds should have a balanced sound that doesn’t compromise the bass. The 8mm drivers are decent and will give you rich sound.
This is another crucial factor we considered. The more battery capacity buds have, the longer it will keep you entertained during your running sessions. Fortunately, JLab Epic Air Sport has decent battery life.
These are the main factors we looked into when analyzing this bud, and here are our findings.
Design and Fit
It’s impossible to have a universally accepted ideal shape for earbuds as different tips depend on many variations of ear shape, size, and personal taste.
Luckily, the Epic Air Sport ANC comes with different sizes and shapes of tips. The large-sized tips cater to users who have taller ears, while the medium and small tips are meant for people with medium-sized and smaller ears.
Keep in mind that wearing a tip not meant for your ear size will either not block out background noise or feel uncomfortable.
The Epic Air Sport is pretty similar to Apple’s first generation of earbuds released in 2016 in terms of design. Besides having a shape resembling AirPods, this earbud has an ample battery capacity, but we will talk about this later on.
Coated in pleather, the case bulges slightly on the side and thus won’t sit flat in your pocket. The JLab logo glams the front and center parts.
Still on the case, you will find a built-in charging cable, which folds neatly on one side. The wireless charging point on its rear will serve those who are more into tech. On the downside, we found the case a little too bulky to carry in a trousers’ pocket.
Another thing, the buds have an ear hook, a feature that will appeal to most runners. After all, who wants to keep putting their earbuds in place while concentrating on hitting your reps in an intense workout or running?
The Epic Air Sport is made to hold in your ears no matter how shaky things get. There are foam tips included to help ensure the buds fit in a tight, comfortable manner.
Away from the case, the buds are made of tempered plastic. Although quite large, they are comfortable in the ear, thanks to the memory foam tips. However, it can be tiring to keep them in your ear for extended periods due to their size.
JLab describes the Epic Air Sport as weather-resistant and has slapped an IP66 rating, which means they can survive a sweaty running session or a splash of rain.
However, you cannot go to showers or swimming with them. After a sweaty workout, make sure you wipe them clean and keep them in the case when fully dried.
Controls and Battery Life
Budget true wireless buds always have one thing in common – their touch controls are not the most effective. Unfortunately, JLab didn’t seem to solve this problem in their Epic Air Sport ANC.
It’s disappointing that there were no physical buttons in these earbuds. When running, the touch controls prove to be challenging to control. Although it may seem pretty straightforward since each bud is home to a single touch sensor, in practice, it becomes problematic.
You try to skip a track – and boom, you pause the music. Try to raise the volume, and Siri is asking you what you want. We experienced these things regularly with this earbud. But to speak the truth, touch controls on earbuds are often like this – rarely will you find touch controls in budget true wireless earpieces that work seamlessly, especially when you are on the go.
Fortunately, JLab has tried to solve this problem by allowing you to remap some controls and remove others entirely to avoid the complexity of the touch interface. By allowing you to adjust various features and altering the EQ settings, you will find it easy to use the touch interface for what you want.
As for the battery life, JLab did an excellent job here. They squeezed whatever capacity that could fit into the case, resulting in 70+ hours of total time.
Turn the Epic Air Sport earbuds on, and they will give you up to 15 hours of playtime per charge without ANC and 11 hours with ANC on. In the case, you get an extra 55 hours. Keep in mind that the volume level will affect the battery life.
The sound quality was excellent, especially when you have fitted the included memory foam tips. High-energy genres such as rock and pop had the punch and details you can expect even in the default EQ level.
The bass was perfect, and it wasn’t overbearing. We were surprised here as we expected the Epic Air Sport to have poor sound quality at its price since this is common with budget true wireless buds.
Overall, if you often use your buds while working out, running, or commuting, the musical prowess of the Epic Air ANC buds will suit your needs.
However, if you are an audiophile looking for true wireless buds to replace your premium-wired headphones, we advise you to look elsewhere.
The microphone quality of this earbud was not the best, although it was clear on the other end. From our test, our callers found our voices pretty distorted, and we sounded robotic. However, there were no issues with reception.
There were audio latency issues when using the buds for video calls, making them not ideal for this purpose.
For its price and size, Epic Air Sport does an excellent job of actively canceling out noise. It can block out human traffic or allow a little bit of it depending on the noise cancelation mode that you choose.
The pass-through mode will allow you to hold slight conversations with people. However, switching between modes using the touch controls was an extreme sport for us, but you can always do this using the app.
What We Liked
- Battery Life. JLab claims to give you up to 15 hours of playtime and 55+ additional hours in the charging case. Rarely will you run out of battery on your long runs.
- A Choice of Seven Tips. JLab offers several options to cater to people with smaller and bigger ear canals. All of them have good noise blocking abilities
- Bluetooth Connectivity. Although these buds don’t connect as fast as high-end earbuds, the good thing is that they don’t lose connection.
- Secure Tips. All the tips come with a small plastic circle in them to allow for a snug fit on your ear. Rarely will you lose any earbuds thanks to their secure fit
- Sweat Resistance. Even if you sweat buckets when running, you can rest assured that these earbuds will still be fine.
What We Didn’t Like
- Charging case size. Measuring 4.5 by 1.5 inches, you will find the JLab Epic Air Sport pretty big to keep in your pocket during runs
- Difficult controls. Controlling volume is easy as you just need to tap on one earbud to raise it and the other bud to lower it. However, we found it challenging to change track as we needed to press and hold the earbud for a second.
- Ear hooks. If you like running with your sunglasses on, you will find the ear hooks unnecessary.
JLab Epic Air Sport True Wireless Earbuds Comparisons
Epic Air Sport vs. JBuds Air Sport
If you are looking for a more economical option, the JLab JBuds Air Sport is a better option compared to the company’s Epic Air Sport, as the latter is made to compete with PowerBeats Pro.
Let’s start with how similar these two models are: Both have an IP66 rating and use Class 1 Bluetooth 5.0.
Also, both have a Be Aware mode for when you are running in a busy street to allow for ambient awareness. Additionally, they both have touch panels.
The Air Sport has an advantage over Epic Air Sport when it comes to quick charging time, something the Epic Air struggles with.
The JBuds Air Sport performs better in terms of raw functionality, but the Epic Air model seems to have the upper hand for convenience in charging and comfort.
Epic Air Sport vs. Jabra Elite Active 75t
Both these wireless earphones suit folks who spend a lot of time working out or running, thanks to their rugged design.
So, how do they compare? Both have commendable water-resistant ratings, but the Epic Air Sport seems to have the upper hand in this aspect thanks to its IP66 rating compared to the Elite Active 75t’s IP57 rating.
In terms of modes, both have different noise cancellation modes. For instance, the Epic Air Sport has a pass-through mode for quick interaction, while the Elite Active 75t has a transparency mode allowing you to hear the world around you.
Both modes help you to stay aware when running in busy streets. In addition, both have potent noise cancelation (ANC), making them even better for your commute and runs.
Sound-wise, the two are known for their heavy bass signature, and to make things better, both have an app to allow you to set the ideal equalization setting for your playlist.
The Epic Air Sport has an advantage for battery capacity since it allows a playtime of over 10 hours compared to the 7 hours offered by Elite Active 75t.
For people who like physical buttons, the Elite Active 75t will suit them more. It has playback controls that are easy to press yet firm enough to prevent accidental presses when running.
Overall, this Jabra model’s intuitive controls and customization give it more points than the JLab model.
In terms of fit, JLab offers different tips to suit different ear sizes and shapes, something Elite Active 75t fails to address. The Jabra’s earbuds are perfect for people with smaller ears.
Either way, both models are durable and great for everyone, especially runners and folks who work out.
While not the perfect earbuds, the JLab Epic Air Sport have their upsides including stellar battery life, dependable connectivity, and versatility.
If you need mid-range buds for your runs, workouts, or commute, the Epic Air Sport will suit you thanks to their active noise cancellation and decent sound that packs a punch.
These are a good bet for people who want earbuds with a noise cancellation feature on a budget.
However, we wouldn’t recommend them to people looking for audiophile sound as the buds won’t offer the same features and customizations as premium over-ear headphones.
Also, if you hate touch controls, you will find the JLab Epic Air Sport pretty annoying.
Marko Rakic is a trail runner and fitness enthusiast from Sydney, Australia. He is the lead writer for The Ultimate Primate and believes the best way to live a happy life is to take a holistic approach to fitness and health.