Review: JLab Audio Epic2 bluetooth earbuds
As the tech world moves away from wires, there has never been a better time to make the leap to wireless headphones.
Bluetooth wireless technology has been around for some time now and has come a long way since its early commercial implementations – there is very little fidelity loss and the convenience is hard to argue.
Enter the JLab Audio’s Epic2 earbuds – the vastly improved follow-up to the company’s original Epic earbuds.
When buying wireless headphones there are three main things I consider: audio quality, connectivity and battery life.
The Epic2s offer balanced sound with very good clarity. I was impressed with how much of a song’s detail can be heard.
The bass is decent, though it felt a little thin at times, especially at higher volumes. If you are looking for headphones that really carry a punch there are some better options out there.
Phone calls sounded great, too. Voices sounded crisp and clear and I didn’t have to elevate my voice to be heard by the person on the other end.
The Epic2s can get loud – like, really loud. While this may be great for pumping you up in a gym, be cautious when rocking out on a run as the volume and sound isolation make it very difficult to hear what’s going on around you. Be careful out there.
Wireless headphones are at their best when the user can simply connect them to a device once and never think about it again. JLab has nailed this process with the Epic2s.
The pairing process was a breeze. My iPhone discovered them immediately and in two steps they were ready to rock. The instructions were very straightforward and the audio queues heard through the headphones were a helpful touch.
I haven’t experienced any signal drop while listening to music and was pleasantly surprised by how far I could move away from my device without interruption – a genuinely liberating feeling.
The battery life packed into the relatively small form-factor of these headphones might be their most impressive feat. The company claims the earbuds offer 12 hours of playtime and – while I am often skeptical of company estimates on battery life – they lasted a weeklong trip of moderate use without a recharge.
They pull this off by placing two batteries within the earbuds themselves rather than, say, within the controller which some companies do. While this dual battery setup increases the size of the earbuds I will trade a little added weight for improved battery life every time.
The voice that lets you know your earbuds are connected will let you know the batteries’ status and will warn you when they need to be recharged.
Other important factors
Comfort: The Epic2s are comfortable – though the extra size causes a little irritation during long listening sessions – and haven’t fallen out of my ears even during more intense workouts.
They come with 8 tip sizes which will allow most users to find a secure fit. I have had trouble with some in-ear headphones in the past, but had no trouble finding a sweet spot with the Epic2s. The flexible over-ear hooks add another layer of mobility confidence, though I wish they held their form a little better.
Controls: The controls are intuitive and take very little time to master. Their simplicity is important because the buttons are located behind your right ear and out of sight while in use.
The three-button setup allows you to perform most of the basic functions one should expect: adjust volume, skip tracks, answer phone calls and even start your phone’s smart assistant.
Water resistance: The Epic2s have an IPX5 rating – while you can’t jump in the pool with them, they are sweat-proof, splash-proof and can be rinsed off after a workout.
What comes in the box: Epic2 earbuds, 2 mini cable management clips, USB to micro USB cord, travel case and eight sets of tips.
If you have a new iPhone or are just looking to jump into the wireless headphone space, the JLab Audio Epic2 earbuds are a great choice. You get a lot of bang for your buck: balanced sound, secure fit and industry best battery life.
For those of you ready to revisit that New Year’s Resolution, these headphones will help get you off and running.