- The JLab Epic Sport offer a fairly secure, comfortable fit
- Great battery life at ~12 hours on single charge
- Custom EQ settings without the need for an app
- Don’t love the cable management system (similar to Powerbeats3)
- No foam ear tips included
- Bluetooth connection and stability is average
- Remote buttons aren’t very clicky or tactile
The JLab Epic Sport are a nice improvement over the Epic 2 wireless earphones. They’re water resistant with a comfortable fit at an affordable price point.
Wireless Bluetooth earbuds are quickly becoming a workout essential. Once you’ve experienced a workout sans phone and headphone cord, there’s just no going back. And as such, companies like Jaybird, Fitbit, Beats, and so many more are producing multiple versions of wireless headphones.
JLab has put out quite a few options for wireless Bluetooth earbuds coming in at varying price points. As of this post, the cheapest options on their website are around $30 and the priciest are around $150. The Epic Sport fall in the middle with an MSRP of $99 [check price on Amazon] and are more than likely going to be their most popular headphones.
JLab Epic Sport Review – Design and Fit
Like most wireless earbuds, the JLab Epic Sports have a simple ear cuff to keep the buds in place while you’re working out, as well as snug-fitting buds with various eartip sizes (although no foam tips are included, unfortunately). In addition to the changeable eartips, the Epic Sports come with Cush Fins of varying sizes, which help to give you a better fit. Between the eartips and Cush Fins you should be able to find a configuration that fits your ears well.
Despite being called “wireless” earbuds, it’s pretty common that there’s still a wire that runs behind your head to connect the two earpieces. JLab does make fully wireless earbuds as well, however. Check out our JLab Epic Air Review for more details there.
To adjust the cable with the Epic Sports, there’s a slide piece, although it still leaves the extra length hanging at the back of your neck. And while that’s a fairly standard design, we actually prefer the way that the Jaybird X3 collect and align the cable to be flush against your head. However, that was our only gripe with the fit of these headphones and it’s a pretty subjective gripe at that. There are plenty of people that love and swear by the design of the Epic Sport earbuds and Powerbeats3.
The Epic Sport also have an IP66 rating, which translates to sweatproof and safe to rinse off after an extra sweaty workout. You’re fine to take them on a rainy day run as well, but you shouldn’t swim with them (Bluetooth doesn’t transmit through water anyway). Bottom line here: workout hard with the Epic Sport… you won’t have issues with sweat.
The controls on these headphones are pretty standard with forward and back arrows on the remote piece. The in-line remote allows you to play, pause, skip tracks, change volume, and answer and hang up phone calls without needing to use your phone. However, the arrows can be a little tricky to use since they aren’t especially clicky. If you have small fingers, you probably won’t have any trouble, but most of us in the office here at RIZKNOWS found the buttons a bit lacking. The less-than-ideal buttons are offset by the fact that the remote itself is very lightweight. It won’t end up flailing near your face and won’t weigh down the cable, as is the case with the Jaybird Freedom 2, for example.
Battery life and Bluetooth – JLab Epic Sport Earphones
One of our favorite things about the JLab Epic Sport Earbuds is their battery life. JLab touts an outstanding 12-hours of play time and we found that claim to be pretty much supported. Of course, it depends on usage and volume levels, but generally speaking, you’ll get close to a full 12 hours out of these headphones. Expect to get about 2 weeks worth of workouts with the Epic Sport before you need to charge them.
And speaking of charging, the earbuds come with a proprietary magnetic USB charger, which is both convenient and inconvenient—let me explain. The charger does snap on quickly and easily, which we found preferable to many other chargers out there, including the system that the Jaybird X3s and Freedoms use. However, since it is proprietary to JLab, it’s just another cable that you’ll have to remember to carry with you in the event that you’re earbuds need a charge. We’re definitely getting a little nitpicky here, but it is frustrating when you lose, misplace, or don’t currently have the right charger for your earbuds… and no other charger will work in its place.
Also, in regards to charging, we were disappointed to see that there’s no quick charge feature like you’d get with the BeatsX Wireless, for example (for the record, Beats calls it “Fast Fuel Charging” because they’re fancy). We don’t necessarily count this as a significant disadvantage, especially considering the impressive battery life, but it would have been nice to have.
The Epic Sports use Bluetooth 4.2 with aptX to connect to your phone. Basically, what that means is that the connection will be better than in previous JLab earbuds and the sound quality will not take a nosedive even though you’re using Bluetooth. Even so, expect a range of between 30 and 50 feet before you encounter signal interference. Also, walls, doors, and people can cause issues with the Bluetooth signal, but this is fairly common amongst most earbuds out there (with the exception of Beats, which generally uses Class 1 Bluetooth that has unrivaled range and stability).
Sound Quality and EQ Settings of JLab Epic Sport Headphones
With the Epic Sport, one area JLab wanted to improve on from the Epic 2s was sound quality, specifically your ability to control it (somewhat). With that in mind, JLab gave users the option to change the EQ settings on the fly just using the remote of the Epic Sport. You have three preset mode options – Balanced, Bass Boost, and Signature. We found the Balanced mode to be a bit shallow and raspy and the Bass Boost to be (unsurprisingly) a bit too bass heavy. However, the Signature setting is nice. It has better mids and highs, although it could stand to have a little more bass.
Overall, the sound quality on these headphones is pretty good, but we’re not overly impressed. In our opinion, the Jaybird X3 [check price on Amazon] still have best-in-class audio. That said, the Epic Sport will certainly be good enough for the vast majority of fitness buffs, especially for $99.
JLab Epic Sport Review – Conclusion
Ultimately, we think the Epic Sport are good Bluetooth earbuds. They aren’t our favorite on the market today, but virtually everyone that we had test the Epic Sport had good things to say. And that goes for very large men and even extra petite woman. And that, I suppose, is a highlight in and of itself. The Epic Sport aren’t overwhelmingly-large nor do they feel flimsy or brittle. We’d say they’re good—not great—but you can’t get mad at the price tag.
If you want to see the earbuds in action, check out JLab’s Epic Sport video: