Searching for the right wireless earbuds is no easy task. There are literally thousands of different options to choose from, and so many features to look out for. Whether you’re selecting a pair for working out or simple casual listening – comfort, sound and overall build quality are typically the priority.
Earbuds, in specific, are usually the ideal option. Rather than over-ear headphones, they aren’t as bulky or heavy and tend to be better for on-the-go use. Although there are definitely some drawbacks, most individuals opt for earbuds that are both high quality and minimalist in their design.
Take the new Treblab J1’s for instance. These earbuds are the new 2017 model that Treblab recently released. By taking a single look at them, you can tell that they carry a unique in-ear design and a minimalist approach. They’re very similar to the RF100 earbuds, but in our opinion, have a much smarter design.
We took it upon ourselves to test them out for a solid week. In that time, we’ve had plenty of opportunity to put them to use and rigorously test their sound quality, functionality, noise cancellation, etc. We’re here to review them and share our findings with you. In turn, this should help you make a more educated decision on whether or not they’re the right earbuds for you.
Upon their arrival, the Treblab J1 earbuds came included with a wide array of accessories. Multiple sized ear hooks and tips, carrying case, cable clip, instruction manual and warranty card. Holding them in your hands, you’ll likely first notice their lightweight design. Weighing in at just under 4 ounces, you can immediately tell that they were specifically designed for working out. The earbuds themselves are quite small, and each one is magnetically attracted to the other so they can be worn around your neck like a necklace while they’re not being used. The cable is flat and not too long – meaning that it shouldn’t tangle very easily or become a mess in the future.
As with any set of earbuds, setting them up to fit your specific ears is a crucial step. First, attempt to place them in your ears, making certain that the correct one goes into the correct ear. Take note on which is the right earbud and which is the left one. You’ll see a small “L” or “R” imprinted right near where the cable connects to the earbud itself. If you achieved a snug fit right out of the box, great! If not, take a couple minutes and play around with the included hooks and tips. Change them out until you find the combination that holds securely within your ear. Not too tight, but not too lose. You should be able to shake your head and not have them fall out. Additionally, they shouldn’t cause undue pressure points or any discomfort after continuous use.
If you’ve owned a pair of Bluetooth headphones in the past, you’re likely familiar with the process involved to get them wirelessly communicating with your smartphone or tablet. Known as “pairing”, this only needs to be done one time per device. First, make sure that the J1 earbuds are turned on and in your ears. Right away, they’ll be searching for a Bluetooth connection, so make sure Bluetooth is turned-on and activated under your device’s settings. If it is, you should see “Treblab J1” show up on the list of nearby available connections. Select it and you’re good to go. It’s a simple process that takes only a minute to configure. Once you’ve done that, this process won’t need to be repeated as your smartphone or tablet should remember the earbuds next time they’re powered on.
Being that earbuds tend to be much smaller and more minimalist than their counterparts (over-ear headphones), they have more working against them. A small design means less space for the manufacturer to work with, meaning that sound quality can ultimately be sacrificed. This is typically true of earbuds, so we always have to keep this in mind while we’re reviewing them.
However, the Treblab J1’s left us quite pleased. The incorporation of aptX technology and the latest Bluetooth 4.1 version gives them the upper-edge on the competition. Right away, we noticed a crispness about these earbuds that we’ve rarely experienced with other in-ear headphones that we’ve thoroughly tested in the past.
Using them with a variety of genres like rap, rock and classical music, they seemed to excel at everything we threw at them. Additionally, high volumes weren’t sacrificed. When we crank them up all the way, they get LOUD! Pretty much to the point that you’d likely never need them turned up so high. Distortion was never a problem, unless the track or music-source played a poor quality recording with a low bit rate. While the sound was nice, the bass wasn’t overpowering, even with genres that require heavy low tones. In fact, the treble seemed to provide an ideal balance between crisp lyrics and certain melodic tones and play very well with the bass – something that we always look out for when testing headphones.
Another thing that’s worth mentioning is the passive noise cancellation. It’s not a very unique feature, as most manufacturers tend to put something like this into their design, but it’s definitely nice to have. The very nature of the foam ear tips provide a snug and secure seal between your ear canal and the earbud – right where the sound is coming out of. It seems to add an element of privacy so you can immerse into the sound with more enjoyment – keeping background noise and distractions to a minimum.
As with any pair of Bluetooth headphones, the available wireless range is worth taking into consideration. With the Treblab J1’s, you can expect around 10 meters or 33 feet of range before poor transmission becomes an issue. This is a rough estimate based on a good line-of-sight between the headphones and your source device (tablet or smartphone). Keep in mind that this will drastically be affected based on the setting you’re in. If there are objects, walls or obstructions in the way, expect the wireless range to be negatively affected.
Truthfully, the wireless range isn’t all that impressive. It leaves you with enough freedom to become un-tethered from cables and fully enjoy your music without the hassle of wires. But the 10 meters of range is very standard and nothing surprising. However, until Bluetooth 5 comes out, this is likely just a limitation that’s to be expected.
Charging and Battery Life
Built into the Treblab J1’s is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. While the exact capacity isn’t listed anywhere we could find, it does a great job at keeping the earbuds powered for a long time. Upon a full charge (which takes roughly 2 hours), you can expect up to 9 hours of battery life become they need recharging again. We found this to be true to spec in most instances, with a low-battery warning appearing after 7 to 8 hours. Many factors are to be considered when it comes to battery life. Most notably, the volume you’re listening at and the wireless range. The louder you listen or the further you are away from your paired smartphone or tablet, the more strain it’ll put on the battery.
To increase the longevity of the internal battery, it’s crucial that you don’t overcharge them. Don’t let them sit on the charger for more than 2 hours and you should be fine. When you leave them charging for longer than that, it’s said that overheating can become a real problem.
Another important feature to look out for is the durability. Most importantly, how are they going to hold up to normal wear and tear? Luckily, it seems that Treblab took many precautions when they planned out the J1’s. Holding them in your hands, it’s obvious that they were crafted well. No finicky parts, cheap plastic or other shortcuts seemed to be taken. Most notably, the inclusion of IPX6 water resistance means that they will hold up well during rigorous workouts or outdoors. This standard means that sweat and moisture won’t ever affect them and that you can bring them outdoors and never worry about them. Additionally, the included carrying case is padded and zippered – keeping them securely protected while not in use.
Treblab has become a very popular manufacturer for Bluetooth earbuds over the past couple of years. From their initial release of the XR100’s, to the XR500’s, X11’s and RF100’s, we’ve been able to watch them grow with each new release.
The new Treblab J1 Bluetooth Earbuds are a welcome addition to their growing product-line. They boast a much smaller profile but don’t sacrifice any of listening capabilities. Truthfully, they sound excellent and provide lasting comfort, sound quality and noise-cancellation to keep out unwanted background noises. The unique winged design holds snug and seemed to excel with movement – a great feature to have for workouts. Whether you’re an avid listener or just a casual one, we’re sure that you’ll find comfort in their feature-rich design.