JLab JBuds Air Pro: Great lightweight earbuds at a reasonable price

The case has a built-in USB connector, so you won’t have to hunt for the charger when you exhaust the 36-hour battery life

JLab JBuds Air Pro
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Price: €80
Where To Buy: HarveyNorman.ie

We are inundated with options for earbuds these days. From mobile makers such as Apple and Samsung getting into the game to the more traditional audio companies such as Sennheiser and Bose, there is a set of wireless earbuds that will suit almost any lifestyle, aesthetic preference and budget.

So where do the JLab JBuds Air Pro fit in? Probably the budget-conscious convenience category. They bring all the basics, with great audio and touch controls, and all for under €100.

The JBuds Air Pro most resemble the Samsung Buds or Sony’s WFC500 wireless offering. They are compact, with no stem hanging down, and fit snugly inside your ear. They don’t feel weighty either, and stay put during exercise. Each bud has a touch-sensitive panel that you can use to control audio and other functions, so you never need to touch your phone while out and about.

The buds come in a small, pill-shaped charging case. On the front of the case are three LEDs that light up to signify the charging state. You’ll get about nine hours of listening out of a full charge, and that is boosted by more than a full day – about 27 hours – with the fully charged case taken into account. That battery life will vary depending on volume and so on, but with no ANC to drain the battery, the Air Pro come fairly close to what JLab says.


The lower price means you sacrifice a few things. The lack of ANC may be a deal-breaker for some, although I barely noticed its absence because the swappable silicone tips give a good seal and keep external noise to a minimum.

Wear-detect sensors mean the music, podcasts and other audio will pause automatically when the earbuds are removed from your ears

There is an awareness mode – JLab calls it Be Aware – that will let some external noise in. This is handy when you are out walking or running and want to be more aware of your surroundings or to hold a conversation without turning off your music completely. I find it too distracting to hold any sort of conversation, though it works well when dealing with areas where there is traffic I need to be more conscious of.

The Air Pro don’t include wireless charging for the case, but JLab has a solution. The USB cable is built into the case itself, popping out from underneath. You are never without it, so there is no cable to misplace or leave behind. If you have the charging case, you have the means to keep your ear buds powered up – as long as you can find a USB-A-compatible plug or port. It’s not the most difficult of tasks. It is a little short, though, so you would be better off plugging it into a computer rather than leaving it hanging out of the wall.

Wear-detect sensors mean the music, podcasts and other audio will pause automatically when the earbuds are removed from your ears. If you prefer not to have this, it can be switched off in the accompanying app.

My phone is becoming increasingly cluttered with apps for headphones and ear buds, but unless you really want to customise touch controls, you don’t need the app at all.

You can switch between the three preset equaliser modes with a few taps, opting for the JLab Signature, Balance or Bass Boost modes. Balance seems to be the best all-rounder of the three, in my experience. Bass Boost provides a bit more kick without going overboard if that is more your audio preference.

The earbuds also facilitate multipoint connections, so you can move from device to device easily. You could be listening in on a work conference call on your laptop before switching to your phone, so you can have two devices connected at the same time. It’s a small extra that makes life more convenient.

Call quality can vary, with background noise bleeding into the call significantly at times.


JLab JBuds Air Pro offer great audio at a reasonable price. At less than €100, the lightweight earbuds are a great budget option that doesn’t make too many sacrifices on the important stuff: audio quality, comfort.

The case has a built-in USB connector too, so there is no hunting for the charger when you exhaust the 36-hour battery life of the buds and the case combined.


No active noise cancelling, but a good seal on the earbuds means you don’t miss it that much. The case also lacks wireless charging, but it is a small sacrifice to get to the sub-€100 price.

Everything else

The JBuds Air Pro are sweatproof and dust proof, with an IP55 rating. While you wouldn’t go swimming with them in, you can be sure they will stand up to a bit of sweat or rain without dying from water damage.

Both earbuds have a built-in MEMS microphone so you can make and take calls with clear audio, either with both in or just a single bud in your ear. Be aware of the background noise, though.


Budget friendly with great audio, the JLab JBuds Air Pro are a great buy.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist