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HOME / Audio / JLab Epic Sport vs Beats Powerbeats3 vs Jaybird X3
JLab Epic Sport vs Beats Powerbeats3 vs Jaybird X3
These days there are a ton of options out there when it comes to wireless workout headphones but three companies always seem to be mentioned near the top – JLab, Beats and Jaybird. Today, we are going to compare their flagship wireless headphones – the JLab Epic Sport, Beats Powerbeats3 and Jaybird X3. However, before we get into the differences, it’s important to note some their similarities. All three of these headphones are sweat and water resistant, which obviously makes them great for working out. They all come with different size ear tips and ear fins (in Jaybird’s case) so you can find the right fit for your particular ears. All three headphones also have similar track-management systems. They all have in-line remotes where you can pause/play, skip tracks, take calls, access Siri, etc. So with that said, let’s get into some of the major differences between the three. If you want the full details for any of these headphones, make sure to check out our full reviews for that:
Jaybird X3 vs JLab Epic Sport vs Beats Powerbeats3 Comparison: Design and Fit
All three of these headphones have different designs and honestly each are great in their own way. Since fit and comfort is so subjective, we thought we’d quickly cover each one so you can figure out which one is best for you. Because at the end of the day, it really varies by person so we don’t want to take a strong stance on which one offers the best fit. For example, Jeff swears by the Jaybird X3s – they fit him perfectly. Matt on the other hand prefers the Powerbeats3.
The JLab Epic Sport have an over-ear design that is slightly different than most in that the part of the headphones that wrap your ears is not super rigid. Instead, JLab uses what they call their Memory Wire material that is super flexible and malleable. Basically, you can mold the ear hook to whatever shape you want. The actual earbuds are pretty standard though (kind of reminds us of the Jaybird Run earbuds), except the tips are angled to fit better in your ear canal.
JLab Epic Air Are Super Malleable
The Powerbeats3 have a more traditional over-ear design in which the ear hooks are a little more rigid. Don’t get me wrong, they’re still fairly flexible, just not nearly as malleable as the JLab Epic Sport. However, that also means the fit is a little more secure – we’ll discuss this more below.
Secure Fit With The Powerbeats3
The Jaybird X3s, on the other hand, feature ear fins rather than ear hooks. So for those of you that don’t like the whole ear hook design, you’ll most likely want to go with Jaybird here.
Jeff Prefers The Jaybird X3 Design & Fit
JLab Epic Sport Wireless Workout Headphones Are The Cheapest
Honestly, the JLab Epic Sport headphones don’t have that many major advantages over the Powerbeats3 or Jaybird X3s. They come close in a bunch of categories but don’t get the edge ultimately. Really their only major advantage is price. The JLab Epic Air retail for $100 [see on Amazon]. That’s $30 less than the MSRP of the jaybird X3 and $100 less than the MSRP of the Powerbeats3.
However, since the X3s and Powerbeats3 have been out for so long, we regularly see them discounted. We’ve seen the Jaybird X3s as low as $80 before [check price on Amazon] and the Powerbeats3 as low as $130 [check price on Amazon]. So at the end of the day, price really isn’t that big of a factor I guess.
The Powerbeats3 are Beats’ flagship wireless workout headphones. Chances are you’ve probably seen your favorite athlete or Instagram model rocking a pair at some point over the last two years. And besides being somewhat of a status symbol, they’re also pretty solid headphones.
Powerbeats3 Proivde The Best Battery Life
The Powerbeats3 barely edge out the JLab Epic Sport when it comes to battery life. Expect to get around 11-12 hours of playback with each. But the reason why we give the PB3 the edge is due to their fast fuel charging feature – plus the headphones in for 5 minutes and you’ll get an hour worth of playback. That’s perfect for when you’re about to head to the gym but then suddenly realize you forgot to charge them after the last use. Just for reference, the Jaybird X3s provide around eight hours of playback on a full charge.
Super Secure Fit With The Powerbeats3
Now this might be somewhat subjective but we feel that the Powerbeats3 ultimately provide the most secure fit of the three headphones. The PB3s wrap your ears nicely and won’t come off your head no matter how vigorously you move or shake your head. The JLab Epic Sport aren’t bad either since you can adjust that memory wire to fit snug around your ear but at the end of the day it’s just not strong enough to completely stop all movement. As such, we think the PB3s are the best headphones on this list for general gym use. However, running is a different story – we’ll discuss that more below.
Jeff Getting After It In The Gym With The Powerbeats3
Solid Bluetooth Stability With The Powerbeats3
Thanks to Apple’s W1 chip, the Powerbeats3 provide excellent Bluetooth stability. We were able to go around 150 feet before we encountered any disruptions and walls, people, and doors didn’t seem to interrupt the signal either. Bluetooth stability with the X3s and Epic Sport headphones aren’t bad by any means, they’re just not as good as the PB3s.
We are big fans of the Jaybird X3. They’re Jeff’s favorite wireless headphones by a pretty good margin.
Jaybird X3s Offer The Best Audio Quality
In our opinion, the Jaybird X3s have the best audio quality of the three headphones. The X3s offer crisp, clear lows, mids and highs with barely any distortion. And what’s cool about the Jaybird X3s is that you can customize the audio to your specific sound preferences via the Jaybird My Sound app. Basically, within the app, you can add more bass if you want or choose from a number of different preset profiles – it’s pretty cool. And when you change the sound profile within the app, it actually changes the firmware of the headphones so it doesn’t matter whether you switch Bluetooth devices.
Tons Of Preset Sound Profiles To Choose From
JLab doesn’t take a complete loss here though. They offer three preset sound profiles to choose from – Balanced, Bass Boost and Signature. Overall, we liked all three sound profiles, however, we do have a couple complaints. In Balanced mode, we thought the sound was a little shallow and raspy. In Bass Boost, we thought the bass was almost too heavy – it kind of over-powered the music. The Signature profile was just about right though, although it could use a little more bass. The Powerbeats3 offer pretty good audio quality as well but unfortunately, Beats doesn’t offer any sort of sound customization option.
We already stated the Powerbeats3 are the best headphones for general gym use due to their secure fit but when it comes to running, it’s a different story. Since the Powerbeats3 don’t completely seal off your ear canal and protrude from your ears a little, you do get some wind noise when you’re running. The earbuds with the X3s on the other hand lock into your ear canal and isolate sound very nicely. As a result, you barely hear any wind noise. Therefore, we give the X3s the edge when it comes to running.