JLab Audio Flex Sport review: The only over-the-ear gym headphones that make sense

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If you’re looking for an over-the-ear pair of headphones that actually make sense at the gym, look no further.

When I was first asked to review a pair of workout headphones, I was skeptical. As many of you who work out know, the headphones you use day in, day out, become a part of you. In almost a spiritual sort of way, they are an extension of your work out.

Find a great pair and your workout seems to elevate to another plane of existence. Spend your whole time struggling to keep your headphones in, and your workout seems wasted. From worrying if your bluetooth headphones to figuring out how to keep the corded variety out of the way, headphones can be more of a hindrance than a boost to working out.

JLab looks to make that a non-issue with the Audio Flex Sport Over-the-Ear Bluetooth headphones. From 20 hours of battery life on a single charge, to no wires to be seen, the Flex Sports look to be a go-to when it comes to jamming out during that work out. But do they deliver? Let’s take a look in our Flex Sport review.

Specifications

The JLab Flex Sport have the following features and specifications:

  • 44mm Drivers
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 3x EQ Settings (JLab Signature, Balanced, Bass Boost)
  • USB-C Charging Port
  • Be Aware Audio

What’s in the Box

  • Flex Sport headphones
  • Travel Pouch
  • 2x Tension bands (FlexFit and FirmFit)
  • Headphone Pad
  • USB-C Charging cable
  • Quick Start Guide
JLab Audio Flex Sport headphones what's in the box
The JLab Audio Flex Sport headphones come with two tension bands, USB-C Charging, removable ear-pads and a handy travel pouch.

Design

When it comes to working out, I’ve always opted for earbuds or some type of in-ear setup. The Flex Sport were the first over-the-ear headphones I’ve used at the gym. I don’t know how many more times I can say that I was skeptical when it came to these but after my first few times a the gym, I was sold.

First and foremost the Flex Sport headphones come with removable (and washable) ear pads. The sweat-wicking pads didn’t get too wet or soggy and when they were damp. I didn’t notice them being wet at all.

The ear pads do have a large L and R to designate the left and right sides. They’re inside the cups, so they’re subtle and not obnoxious at all. The teal on black color scheme is one of my favorites and they look as classy as the function.

JLab Audio Flex Sport Ear Pads Ear Pad
The right and left ear indicators are inside the ear pads and not obtrusive. 

The two tension bands are flexible. In my opinion, this makes them feel more durable. While I haven’t done this yet, it makes the idea of tossing these in my gym bag less worrisome.

The right ear cup houses the controls for the headphones. There’s a volume up, power/play/pause, and volume down button on the back of that cup. The JLab logo on that cup functions as a button that switches between the three EQ settings. It also turns off the “Be Aware” audio feature with just a click of the button. Again, more on that later. The volume up/down buttons function to move the track forward and backwards as well.

Performance

The headphones have a 20 hour playtime rating on a single charge. Something they deliver on. In fact, in the last month that I’ve been using these, I’ve only had to charge them once. When I finally had to charge the headphones, the provided USB-C charging cord had them topped off in roughly two hours. You can use rapid charging to charge them faster, but I haven’t done that yet. I’ll update the article with my results as soon as I do, though.

Even so, having USB-C is a nice touch. I often see rechargeable Bluetooth headphones still use Micro-USB and I’m at the point where I have more USB-C chargers than that of the Micro-USB variety. Adding that made the headphones feel a bit more premium.

I found that these headphones stayed on my head during a variety of workouts. From situps and pushups to running, they stayed in place with minimal movement. With the different tension bands, the Flex Sport will stay in place. It conveniently let me focus on my workout ahead. I was also impressed with the fact that they weren’t too big and bulky on my head. When I pulled the hood of my hoodie over them, it wasn’t a challenge at all.

Sound

I was blown away with the sound these headphones produced. The 44mm drivers put out great sound. From punchy bass, to clear vocals — even at higher volumes — these headphones are a joy to use. I found myself enjoying my music and workouts in a way most other headphones can’t touch.

Bouncing between the EQ settings was as easy as pushing a button. There are three settings and they come in JLab Signature, Balanced, and Bass Boost. I found myself preferring the JLab Signature sound typically as it boosted vocals and added a little bit of bass.

Flex Sport EQ button
The Flex Sport’s three EQ settings were easy to switch between with the push of the JLab button on the side.

Imagine Dragon’s “Whatever It Takes” sounded amazing in that signature sound pumping just bass while keeping vocals at the forefront. I found myself stopping mid-workout just to jam out a little bit more times than I can count. I’ve loved Pop Evil’s “Waking Lions” track and the JLab signature sound brings out the vocals in a way I haven’t heard in other headphones yet. To say I was impressed is an understatement.

Balanced offered a somewhat middle-of-the-road experience. Even so, I found it having great bass response. Obviously Bass Boost offered a deeper bass experience. I enjoyed the boost on certain songs, like Tech N9ne’s “We Won’t Go Quietly,” or From Ashes to New’s “My Name.”

I have to say, this is the first pair of headphones that I’ve used in the gym, or on a run, that have helped me get into the zone for working out. While I’ve listened to music in the gym for years, these are the first pair of headphones where I could put on something from Five Finger Death Punch and get pumped enough for it to help my workout. I always thought I was missing something when it came to that, but thanks to these headphones, I finally get it.

One aspect that I liked was the Be Aware audio experience. With just a tap of the JLab button on the right side, the headphones allowed ambient noise in. This was great when my girlfriend would ask me a question during my workout. It allowed me to keep my headphones on my head and still hear what she had to say. It also made me feel confident enough to go for a run outside without worrying about being struck down by a motorist or passerby.

That aside, I found myself reaching for these headphones in other situations as well. Don’t get me wrong, they’re perfect for the gym, but overall, they’re just a great set of headphones. They’ve been on my head the whole time I’ve been writing this review, and they’ll be my go-to in the future I feel. I keep finding myself pausing whatever I’m doing to just enjoy the music pumping through these speakers. From “1,000 Years” by Gaslight Anthem to Prozak’s “One of These Days,” these headphones will make all types of music sound pretty amazing.

Price/Value

For $99USD these headphones are a steal. Plain and simple. I can’t state that enough. They sound as good, if not better, than headphones two to three times the price. With 20 hours of battery life, you’ll never worry about them being charged when you pull them out of the bag. They’re durable and stay on your head during the most intense of workouts.

Wrap Up

What are you doing still reading this? Go buy these headphones. If you’re looking for an over- the-ear pair of headphones that actually make sense at the gym, look no further. The Flex Sport from JLab brilliantly nails the over-the-ear headphone experience. At $99, you get a pair of USB-C charging, great-sounding, long-lasting headphones that will quickly become a staple of your workouts. You won’t find a better pair of gym headphones at the price.

JLab Audio Flex Sport

$99 USD
9.9

Design

9.5/10

Performance

10.0/10

Sound

10.0/10

Price/Value

10.0/10

Nailed it

  • 20 hour battery life means these will last you a while on a single charge
  • Amazing sound for the price
  • USB-C charging is a nice touch

Needs work

  • $99 might be a bit much for some people
  • Some may not enjoy the idea of having to wash ear pads.
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