JLab sets its sights on the Sony WF-1000XM5 with its most premium buds ever

Jlab Epic Edition held in-ear shot
(Image credit: JLab)

It seems like everyone is releasing a new pair of headphones in early 2024, and that trend continues with JLab's latest premium newbies. Designed to rival the likes of the Award-winning Sony WF-1000XM5, the new JLab Epic Lab Edition wireless earbuds are positively packed with features, all bolstered by some rather impressive sonic claims. Whether they can topple the best in the business, however, is another matter...

The JLab Epic Lab Edition are teased as the brand's most premium wireless buds ever, and there's clearly been some serious effort put into making them into JLab's most sophisticated yet. The new, Bluetooth 5.3-enabled wireless earbuds sport a hybrid dual-driver design alongside something called a "Knowles Preferred Listening Response Curve". This is a more treble-expanded sound signature designed using feedback from various listeners sharing their sonic preferences. All of this, says JLab, should result in "unparalleled, well-balanced, and crystal-clear sound quality".

The Epic buds feature up to 56 hours of playtime without ANC, with a total of 36 hours (nine from the buds themselves) with noise cancelling turned on. There don't appear to be any fast charging capabilities, but you do get the choice between wireless charging or juicing up via a USB-C cable.

Jlab Epic Edition held in the hand

(Image credit: JLab)

Speaking of ANC, the JLab App lets users customise or switch on/off active noise cancelling, with a "Be Aware" mode featured to allow outside noises to pass through (similar to Sony's Ambient Mode or JBL's Talkthru feature). The app also lets you choose your desired preset sound profile, adjust your individual settings and personalise the buds' on-ear touch control functions. Better yet, the Epic Edition are spatial audio-ready for formats such as Dolby Atmos, while Bluetooth codec support spans AAC, SBC, LDAC and LC3.

There's more, of course. The buds themselves are IP55-rated, meaning they're protected from most low-pressure water jets and some limited dust ingress, with JLab also providing a choice of two different eartip sets – three gel sets and three foam – depending on whether you prioritise comfort or in-ear security.   

JLab's CEO Win Cramer says: “For the Epic Lab Edition, I tasked our engineering team with creating something that brought exceptional sound quality to market and still offered an incredible value compared to similarly priced earbuds. JLab’s Epic Lab Edition elevates our portfolio of audio products with new technologies, including specialised balanced armature drivers to match the Knowles Curve, something no other brand has right now."

The JLab Epic Lab Edition earbuds are available now for £200 in a black finish.

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Harry McKerrell
Staff writer

Harry McKerrell is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi?. He studied law and history at university before working as a freelance journalist covering TV and gaming for numerous platforms both online and in print. When not at work he can be found playing hockey, practising the piano or forcing himself to go long-distance running.