Over ear headphones have always been my favorite way to consume music. While I can handle earbuds and on-ear headphones fine, I prefer my ears be encased in soft pillows of sound. Now that the iPhone has done away with the headphone jack, you may be looking for a pair. The JLab Flex noise cancelling Bluetooth headphones might be the first place you start and the last place you’ll look. Read on to find out why the JLab Flex is taking a Techaeris Top Pick award for 2016.
The JLab Flex have the following features and specifications:
- Stainless Steel Metal Headband with 1/2-inch Plush Cloud Foam™ Cushion
- 60 Hours Battery Life with Active Noise Cancellation
- 30 Hours Battery Life with Bluetooth™ playtime
- 10 Hours Battery Life with Bluetooth™ and Active Noise Cancellation
- 3/4-inch Cloud Foam™ Earcups with Eco Leather™
- Universal Mic with Track Control
- Carrying Case
- Detachable Flat Cable
- .52 pounds, 7.25 inches x 7 inches
- C3™ (Crystal Clear Clarity) sound technology
- 40mm neodymium drivers
- Battery mAH: 850mAH
- Ohms: 26Ω
- Resistance: 26Ω
- Watts: Rate 20mW/MAX 40mW
- JLab Audio’s world-class service and one-year warranty
Let’s start off with the build quality and materials used on the JLab Flex headphones. Constructed from high quality aluminum, plastics, foam, and rubber materials these do not feel cheap at all but super-premium. JLab has opted for a ear-shaped design rather than a circular design for the cups and I think it looks fantastic. The headband gets some design attention too with a two-tone black and silver aluminum design. The padding on the inner part of the headband is one of the most comfortable I’ve ever used.
The ear cups fold in over themselves to fit snug into the included hard shell case, a very awesome inclusion that some super-high end makers don’t even offer. The ear cups also swivel making it easier to set them on a table or lay them flat for storage. The ear pads themselves are super plush and comfortable, just as comfortable as the headband.
On the right ear cup you’ll find the Micro-USB charging port and charging indicator light. On the left ear cup you’ll find the volume up-down/track fw/rev button, power/pairing button, 3.5mm AUX port and noise cancelling toggle switch. Both ear cups have the JLab logo branding on the side which is tastefully done and blends nicely with the design. Overall, this is a top notch design and the ear shaped cups are super comfortable. The JLab Flex are probably one of the most comfortable pairs of headphones I’ve used at any price point.
Ease of Use
Pairing is simple and easy: Hold the power button down until you hear the pairing indicator, head into your devices Bluetooth settings, then choose the JLab Flex from the list of devices. Simple as that. Once you’re connected, every time you turn the headphones on, they should reconnect to your device straight away. You can also use the JLab Flex with the included 3.5mm AUX cable (even with the iPhone 7’s included Lightning to 3.5mm adapter). Overall Bluetooth accessories are pretty simple to pair these days and these headphones are no exception.
The sound quality of the JLab Flex is stellar to say the least. For the $149.99USD price tag and having active noise-cancelling on board, these cups are amazing. For the most part everything is well balanced here, there’s just a hint of favoring to the low-end with the bass sounding just a bit fuller than other headphones. But it’s not too much that you’re overwhelmed. I prefer the bass to be a little thicker, I think it adds body to the music. I personally like to EQ my tunes with the highs a notch down, the lows a notch up and the mids a notch or two down, that is if I have the option to do so. I felt that the sound here outshines the price being asked for these. Noise cancelling here is really great as well, I have yet to hear noise cancelling as perfect as the Parrot Zik’s but those are double the price. The JLab Flex hold their own in the noise cancelling department and they sound just as good as headphones that are a little more expensive.
Excellent reception and call quality. With the ear shaped design it’s great to not have much if any sound leaking out. I don’t often use headphones for phone calls but these worked splendidly.
Advertised battery life is 30 hours of wireless and 10 hours of wireless with noise cancelling. We got well over 30 hours on wireless at around 50-60% volume and just under 10 hours with noise cancelling. Battery life is dependent on volume as well so you’re mileage will vary. Battery life is great here, especially if you don’t plan on using noise cancelling. Honestly, you do not always need the noise cancelling feature either, these do a good job of keeping noise out without the noise cancelling feature on.
Well worth the $149.99USD being asked. Currently the JLab Flex are backordered on their website but make sure you hit the link and check back frequently.
Apple wants you to buy their AirPods, but for a few bucks less than AirPods you can pick up the JLab Flex and get many more features and a more robust pair of headphones. While there’s a lot of debate on the death of the headphone jack, the JLab Flex are a worthy replacement.