JLab buds first to feature Knowles Preferred Listening Response Curve
San Diego's audio gear brand JLab already sells inexpensive but capable true wireless earphones, but is now going premium with the launch of the Epic Lab Edition buds, which feature Bluetooth LE Audio and Knowles tuning.
"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," said JLab CEO, Win Cramer.
"We’ve shown the world the amazing things that can be done in the under $100 category, and now we’re going full throttle with our most premium sound experience yet. JLab’s Epic Lab Edition elevates our portfolio of audio products with new technologies, including specialized balanced armature drivers to match the Knowles Preferred Listening Response Curve, something no other brand has right now."
The Knowles response curve was developed by analyzing 200 recordings from 20 years of Billboard Hot 100 tunes and conducting blind listening tests to determine what kind of sound music consumers prefer. It was found that most listeners had a preference for a boost of 12 to 21 decibels at 10 kHz and higher, and Knowles created a reference response curve to match.
Achieving this kind of treble boost in earphones employing single drivers is reported to be quite challenging, so JLab took a dual-driver approach – using a Knowles balanced armature driver to handle the higher frequencies plus a 10-mm dynamic driver "for rich bass and low frequencies."
The earphones ship with a USB-C dongle that can be plugged into a source device that supports Bluetooth LE Audio for enhanced listening. The standard SBC audio codec is joined by the new L3C flavor for the promise of a quality bump, and high-resolution streaming is possible thanks to the inclusion of LDAC technology for Android listeners and AAC for iOS. There's also support for Dolby Atmos, Tempest 3D AudioTech and Windows Sonic too.
Smart active noise cancellation is also cooked in, which automatically adjusts the ANC level depending on what's going on around the earphones. And there's a companion mobile app for tapping into 10-band EQ, controlling playback and adjusting settings.
Per-charge battery life for each earbud is 9 hours with ANC on or 13 hours with ANC off, with the charging case providing for more than 56 hours in total for ANC use or 36 hours without – with wireless charging supported when the case itself needs a top-up. The buds are also sweat- and dust-proof to IP55 standards.
The Epic Lab Edition earphones are available now for US$199.99, with black being your only color choice.
Product page: JLab Epic Lab Edition