If you read my last review on the JLabs Air Executives, you’ll see that I enjoyed those headphones a lot and I used them as my daily driver for about a year. Throughout that time, I really found some features that I enjoyed, and some I wanted to see improvement on. Well, these new Epic Air ANC solves (almost) every issue that I had with the Air Executives making these feel like a serious upgrade to the 1-year-old (at the time of this writing) Air Executives. This review will be a little shorter as not only is this a first look review, but most of the core functionality that worked well in the Air Executives have migrated and remained the same or were enhanced in the Epic Air ANC. So without further ado, here are my thoughts after having these headphones for 24 hours.
Comparison of Epic Air ANC and Air Executives
|Features||Epic Air ANC||Air Executives|
|Custom EQ Sound||Yes||Yes|
|Battery Life||12 hours|
|Wear Detect Sensor||Yes||No|
|IP55 Sweat/Water Resistance||Yes||Yes|
|Weight||58g (no earbuds)|
71g (with earbuds)
|61g (no earbuds)|
72g (with earbuds)
**Max hours the charging case supplies per charge
The design of the headphones remains relatively the same as the Air Executives. The main differences lie in aesthetics. The touch sensors are raised rather than a flat and smooth feeling sticker, the microphone openings have enlarged, LED illumination is on the front rather than the top and the charging port is on the stem rather than the inside of the main body of the earbud.
Improvements over Air Executives
- Opening the case
Opening the case of the new Epic Air ANC is a lot easier with the addition of a simple but useful notch below where the lid closes. This was absent on the Air Executives
The new Epic Air ANC weighs less in both just the case and with headphones in the case with a drop in 3g and 1g respectively.
- General Volume
It’s hard to tell if the actual volume levels have increased but they feel louder with the addition of ANC. Because of the increased noise cancellation, volumes feel louder.
- No more tinny-ness
This was instantly noticeable when turning on the Be Aware mode and turning the volume on the headphones to the max and turning the volume on the phone to anywhere above 60%. Depending on the type of music being played, sounds in the mid-high frequencies (usually the snare drum in any song) came through with a metallic-like ring. That is now gone from what I can hear.
- Adjustable Be Aware
I cannot test this as of the time of writing, but according to images from JLabs website, the app that will be released alongside these headphones will allow for adjustable levels for the Be Aware and ANC levels.
- Wireless Charging
This is a very nice touch. I have not fully jumped on the wireless charging train yet but I do have two wireless chargers for casual charging and it does work very well, definitely better compared to the lack of any wireless charging on the Air Executives.
- General Speed
Everything feels faster on these headphones. The ability for the headphones to connect to your phone first time and the auto-reconnect is blazingly fast. Once I take either one of the headphones from out of the case, by the time it reaches my ear, the sound is already playing. Within 1 second of taking a headphone out of my ear (assuming both are in and music is playing), the Wear Detect Sensor, which is essentially an IR scanner, kicks in and the music in the other earbud automatically pauses. Placing the earbud back in the ear resumes the music just as quickly.
What’s new this time around?
I mean, it is in the name of the product so the people over at JLabs must be proud of it and rightfully so. For the first time ever, JLabs have released an earbud with Active Noise Cancellation and it works pretty well. Presuming you have the correct fitting ear tips, the ANC mode will surprise you at how well it worked.
- Dual Connect
I did not know how much I wanted this until I used the headphones for a while. Having only one headphone in is great until it dies, then you can switch to the other…except on the Executives, there was no dual connect so once the right earbud dies, the whole set of earbuds is a no go until the right bud charges again. That problem is now gone (thank God!) and both earbuds can be used independently of each other.
- Wireless Charging
I already touched on this, but having multiple methods of charging devices is wonderful. Even if you’ll use one method primarily, having a choice is always good. If a cable becomes faulty, at least you have wireless charging. If wireless charging isn’t going fast enough, then plug in physically.
- Movie Mode
This mode is a low latency mode that lowers the amount of perceived lag between what is going on on your screen and the time you hear it (think supersonic jet that flies overhead but you don’t hear it until after it passes). Let me preface what I am going to say with this. I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (at the time of the writing) as my daily driver phone. It has Bluetooth 5 technology in-built so I had next to no latency issues when watching movies or YouTube videos when I had the Executives. I tested the movie mode with part of a movie from Hulu and a few YouTube videos and I did not see a difference. If you have an older phone, your mileage will probably vary.
- Wear Detect Sensor
I really like this feature. Taking a headphone out pauses music and placing it back in resumes. Like dual connect, you don’t realize how helpful it is until you have it and use it. Using the Be Aware reduced the amount of time I needed to remove the earbud but just taking it out and pausing the music is fantastic, to say the least.
These headphones are a VERY welcome improvement over the Air Executives. Just about everything that I wanted to get fixed was fixed. This is just a 24 hour review so I have only had them for about 1 day and these are my “honeymoon” impressions. As I use them more, I will edit this review to convey my future thoughts.
If you want to find out more about these headphones, you can click the link below which will take you directly to their website. The link is not an affiliate link.