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JLab Epic Air ANC review: A lot of earbud for US$99

The JLab Epic Air ANC are well worth the measly asking price of US$99. This is a lot of earbud for the money.

Techaeris Rated 9.6/10

Here we go again, another pair of true-wireless earbuds in for review. I’ve said dozens of times already, and I’ll repeat it. True-wireless is here to stay. I remember the very early brands that pushed TWS earbuds and how bad they were. All of them were plagued with latency and connectivity issues. These days, most TWS offerings are good, and now they’re offering ANC like the JLab Epic Air ANC.

JLab has been one of the most reviewed brands on this site, and they continue to impress me. I won’t say that the company has the best sound in the business, but they do have some of the best value in this category. They consistently deliver amazing sound and features for a price that’s hard to beat. The JLab Epic Air ANC are just another pair of earbuds from the company that exceeded my expectations. Read on for the full review.

Specifications

The JLab Epic Air ANC has the following features and specifications:

  • Speaker: Φ8mm Dynamic, Neodymium Magnet, 20Hz-20kHz, 32Ω ± 15%
  • Output: 110±3db
  • Microphone: 3 left earbud MEMS, 3 right earbud MEMS, – 40dB±3dB
  • Battery Life: 12+ Hours in Earbuds, 36+ additional hours in charging case
  • ANC Battery Life: Single Charge, 12+ ANC Off, 8+ ANC On
  • Input Power: DC 5V, 50mA
  • Earbud Battery: 90mAh lithium rechargeable coin cell
  • Earbud Charge Time: 3 Hours
  • Quick Charge Time: 15 minute charge = 1+hours charge
  • Charging Case Battery: 700mah rechargeable lithium-ion
  • Case Charge Time: 3 Hours
  • Standby Time: 100 Hours
  • Version: Class 1 Bluetooth 5
  • Range: 30+ ft.
  • Support Protocols: HSP/HFP/A2DP/AVRCP
  • Support Codec: AAC/SBC
  • Weight: 7g each earbud, 57g charging case
  • IP Rating: IP55
  • Warranty: 2-year warranty

What’s In The Box

  • JLab Epic Air ANC Earbuds
  • Charging Case w/ Integrated Charging Cable
  • 4 Sets Gel Tips
  • 1 Set of Cloud Foam Tips
  • JLab Warranty and Documentation

Design

I’m going to start this portion of the review with the JLab Epic Air ANC case. I’m still not sure what to make of this case; it’s awkward looking, awkward, and slightly bulky. I guess I can give JLab props for at least making something different?

The front of the case has the JLab logo, and it flips open very easily. The lid is held on with a good strong magnet and the hinge, if you can call it that, is a faux leather material. Actually, that same faux leather goes across to the back as well.

I’ve seen this material used in this sort of application before, and I fear that it could start tearing over time. This is just my feeling, and it could very well hold up. It’s just not my favorite part of the design.

What I do love about the case design is that integrated USB cable for charging. This is something JLab had done well and implemented it on most of their TWS earbuds. The rest of the case is nondescript, with three LED lights in the front to indicate charge and Bluetooth, and that’s about it.

JLab Epic Air ANC
Odd shaped case with flap type cover.

Now, my thoughts on the case design should not turn you away from considering the JLab Epic Air ANC. The actual earbud design is great, and later we’ll get to the sound, which is the real reason you buy earbuds.

The earbud design follows the same design other company’s are using these days—normal-looking earbuds with a stem that houses mics on the ends. The JLab logo is on each earbud, and those double as the controls for playback.

The earbuds look great, and the stem isn’t overly long, but it is noticeable. Overall, the earbud design is nice. The case design is okay; the only thing I question is the material used for the cover. I worry that it may degrade over time. There’s no evidence of it in the short time I’ve had these, so let’s hope it stays that way.

Ease of Use

The JLab Epic Air ANC are super easy to use; these are pretty much like any other earbuds. Take the buds out of the case, remove the plastic stickers that cover the charging pins, press and hold the buttons on both earbuds, and they will go into pairing mode. JLab has this nifty little graphic to show you how to pair and gives you all of the controls as well.

JLab Epic Air ANC review: A lot of earbud for US$99

The graphic really saved me from a lot of typing and making bullet points, LOL. Overall, these are very simple to operate and use, like any other Bluetooth earbuds.

App/Software

The app you’ll need to download and use with the JLab Epic Air ANC earbuds is named after the product. It’s available for both iOS and Android. There’s really not much to the app other than a handy EQ, the ANC control, and firmware updates.

The EQ gives you 4 different presets, but you can tweak any of them to your liking. You can also turn ANC on and off as well as Be Aware. The app gives you options over how to control your earbuds as well. You can change how you interact with the button presses.

Overall, the app is fairly basic and easy to use. Most everything can be done on the earbuds, so you won’t have to use it too often. It is recommended to check for firmware updates before using the earbuds and every so often afterward.

JLab Epic Air ANC
Great sound, just be sure to fit them properly for best noise isolation.

Sound

Out of the box the JLab Epic Air ANC default to EQ1 which I found to be the one I like the most. I tweaked the EQ several times but I found EQ1 most pleasing to listen to.

The soundstage sounded fairly flat, but the EQ showed the bass pushed down slightly with mids up and the treble flat. Still, I loved what I heard. JLab does a phenomenal job of tuning their audio gear, and the price point does not reflect that. These sound better than US$99 earbuds.

The ANC works fairly well, it’s not the best, but it’s acceptable. Be sure to get a good solid fit and seal. This will help with noise isolation and give the ANC a hand.

Be Aware allows you to hear your surroundings while still playing music. I never use this feature, but it’s good for office workers or even joggers and bicyclists. It works well, you can hear everything around you, but it does give a sense of being in a tunnel.

Overall, the sound is excellent, considering the sub-US$100 price point. JLab does an excellent job of making great audio at a reasonable price.

Reception/Call Quality

Bluetooth 5 does an excellent job of keeping reception solid with no drops. Call quality is super great and I experienced no echo or anomalies during phone calls.

JLab built-in power cable
Built-In power cable is excellent!

Battery Life

Battery life is 12+ hours with ANC off and 8+ hours with ANC on. I left ANC on all of the time and managed to get nearly 9 hours and that’s impressive. You also get extra juice from the battery case so you can stay on the go for a good long while.

One feature the JLab Epic Air ANC has to help save battery is auto on/off. Just remove the buds from the case, and they will find your last connected device and connect. Put them back in and the power off, and disconnect.

Overall, Battery life on the JLab Epic Air ANC is excellent.

Price/Value

JLab also offers up their gear at reasonable prices with immense loads of value. Priced at US$99 these things are a steal.

Wrap Up

The JLab Epic Air ANC are great alternatives to Apple Air Pod Pro or any other more expensive TWS earbuds.

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JLab Epic Air ANC

US$99

Design

9.0/10

Ease of Use

10.0/10

App/Software

9.5/10

Sound

9.5/10

Reception/Call Quality

9.5/10

Battery Life

10.0/10

Price/Value

9.5/10

Nailed it

  • Nice earbud design
  • Great fit and noise isolation
  • ANC
  • Great sound for this price point
  • Stellar battery life
  • Amazing value and price
  • Love the integrated charging cable

Needs work

  • Case design is awkward looking
  • Flap material seems like it could wear over time
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