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JLab Audio  J5 Metal Earbuds Style Headphones, GUARANTEED FOR LIFE - Black Pearl
Style: earbuds|Color: Black Pearl|Product Packaging: Standard Packaging|Change
Price:$14.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on July 29, 2013
These headphones have decent sound and are attractive, but lasted exactly the length of the warranty and (literally) started to come apart at the seams. I first noticed problems with the microphone and ipod controls about 6 months in. The product became useless after about 13 months, when the headphones stopped producing any sound at all -- probably due to the seal and joints holding the cable to the plug coming apart. If the price is worth a year of use to you, by all means pull the trigger. If you are looking for something more long term, I'd look elsewhere.


The very same day I posted this review, I received a reply to the review from JLab. They assured me that the product was defective and this was the exception, not the rule. They then directed me to the customer support page on their website and it was all too easy to make a claim and receive a replacement set of these defective headphones, even outside of the warranty period. So, although I am pleased with the reasonable customer service of this company, I will revisit my rating of the product only once I have had an opportunity to see if the set I had was one of just a few defective products, or the manufacturing quality on this model simply isn't up to par.


After having these replaced, they have once again suffered the same fate of the first Jlab J5M headphones. At 3 months, the casing from the microphone assembly came undone, leaving part of the assembly to slide up and down the wire. Then, after about 6 months of use, the wire that connects the plug to my iPhone has stopped working properly. If the wire isn't positioned perfectly, the sound stops entirely, requiring random jiggling of the cable to get any sound whatsoever. Very annoying when you're trying to work out. Despite assurances that these defects are the exception to the rule, I am forced to conclude to the contrary. Not saying don't buy them--the price is right, the sound is decent and they fit nicely in the ear--just do so with the awareness that this product is not built to last.
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on August 27, 2014
I ordered a set of these along with a pair of Panasonic RPHJE120K buds as a backup. The sound quality of the pair I recieved was good, but the balance was off a bit towards the left, which generally indicates a volume problem with the right phone. After about ten days of use, the right bud would occasionally stop producing anything other than minimal sound, an intermittent problem that occurred on rare occasion at first, but became more prominent as time went on. I would rate this initial pair as unacceptable due to these problems.

On the positive side, however, registration of the set on the JLabs site was quick and easy, and filing a warranty claim was likewise a simple, streamlined affair, taking no more than about 10 minutes. Within an hour, I received an email saying a new set of buds was on the way, and got the replacements right away.

I've been using the replacement buds for about a week now. Right away the sound was much better, without the balance problem of the previous pair. Sound quality is good for a set of $20 buds, with solid bass, clear mids, and good range highs. These also produce better volume than the Panasonics I got at the same time, with better quality sound overall. They're comparable to the V-Moda bass relief buds that used to be my mainstay phones, but provide a better balance, without the bass-heavy sound.

The fit with the large tips is snug and comfortable, even for longer listening sessions.

Overall, I've been very pleased with the replacement pair. I'm hoping they prove to be more durable than the initial set. The sound quality for the price can't be beat, so long as you get a good pair.
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on April 21, 2017
I ordered these earbuds a long time ago and wasnt very impressed with the mid to low performance. I went through the break in period using their special music file but came away meh about them. BUT some time later something changed. The more I listened to them the better they sounded. Now I leave my fancy beats headphones on the shelf and grab these when I want to listen to music. I am not audiophile, but to me they have an awesome balance between high mid and low -- now. At first they do seem very biased towards the highs -- but hang in there they will loosen up and produce great sound all around.
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on May 1, 2017
I expect ear buds to last me ..... oh ..... 5, 10 minutes ...i.e., generally, not long........ just recently, there's a clicking sound I hear as I drive away from a gas station and?? ... it's my JLab Audio J5s dragging out the driver's side door...... bouncing on the pavement. BUT?? they survived.
......For the price..... the wires and connectors "feel" somewhat more rugged than usual ..... the sound quality is GREAT--and I'm a former broadcaster, spoiled by having full-time engineers on duty to ensure everything from headphones to on-air signals were ...perfection... So, yeah. Worth the money.
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on May 13, 2017
I miss the J2. This is my second shot at J5, the first which I bought years ago and died within six months. I switched to phillips and was happy with those but when they recently broke down, and I saw the J5 price tag, I decided to switch back over to Jlabs for one more go.
Now the sound is very good, but I bought these roughly three weeks ago and already one earbud is dead. I have to move the wire very close to the top of the earbud for it to get reception, and since I move it goes silent right after. Usually when my earbuds break down they do so near the base where it meets phone. This is how I break 99% of my earbuds. This is the first time I have had this defect, and other than taking them to the gym once, they haven't been used anywhere but home. I'm very disappointed, and now I remember why I left these behind in the first place.
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on January 6, 2017
JLAB is a marketing bully that doesn't leave you alone. The $10.00 JLab Audio J5 Metal Earbuds are about worth $10.00. I was not expecting hi-fidelity performance from these and they barely meet the "adaquate" level. It would be a three star review if not for the persistent marketing. Their life time warranty requires you to register with them onsite. Hint - Use IE Explorer, wasted about 15 minutes going through the process with other browsers. The JLAB marketing machine requires you to go online fill out a form that just sits there when you hit register unless you are using IE Exlorer. Once you register, the JLAB marketing machine sends an email confirmation out that requires you to subscribe to their marketing email list. No way around it if you want to register for their warranty. It probably isn't worth the effort of returning these when they break in my opinion, so the 30 day Amazon return policy is good enough. Overall, these earbuds are good enough to use at the gym as throw-aways perhaps when you can't find your real pair of earbuds.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on December 8, 2014
Right ear bud stopped working after a month. I've had these at my desk at work and handled them very carefully.. since I received them I would hear kind of a 'springy' noise in the right ear piece, as if something was moving around in there. The outside construction is very solid, so I don't think any pressure I was putting on them when putting it in my ear could have had any impact on the issue. I know they're cheap, but it was pretty disappointing nonetheless. Audio wasn't too bad when it worked.

2015-01-02 Edit: As an update on this, their RMA procedure involved me mailing the ear buds back to them and receiving an RMA code for a credit on their web site so I could reorder. I'm sure I will end up paying extra above any beyond the credit in order to get the replacements, on top of return postage(they're small so that's not a huge issue.) It's not a big complaint but the process feels a bit like being penalized for receiving a bad product(which wasn't my fault to begin with, unless you consider the original purchase decision my fault, then yes.)

I received the RMA code on Dec 22, in the middle of the holiday season, and didn't have a chance to go reorder right away. Today(Jan 2) I tried to use the code and it says it's invalid. That either means it was never valid, or that it expired after a very short time. I am contacting them again but at this point I do not feel very confident.

2015-01-26 Edit: I did eventually get my RMA turned around. Sitting here at my desk and the right earpiece stopped working on the replacement set. I give up at this point, two failures within a couple weeks shaves off the last star to put it into the 'never again' category for me.

As a bit of fairness here, the reason I bought these to begin with is that I have a set of JLab earbuds that don't have the microphone in them and those actually HAVE been abused a fair amount, and are still working(I'd have no complaints if they stopped at this point.) Both of the failures in this review were in a set that had the microphone, which is along the right earpiece wire. I'm not sure what inherent weakness/trouble they have there.
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on March 17, 2016
I'm very, very disappointed. I had bought JLab JBuds a couple of years ago for $10 and those lasted me for more than a year until I lent it to my brother and he broke them. Then I bought another set, which also lasted me quite some time, but suddenly one side stopped working. I bought a third set, which lasted an extremely short time compared to my previous two. So, recently, I thought I would get an upgrade and purchase this slightly more expensive, fancier looking set. I got these on February 4th, 2016. It is now March 17th, 2016. A little more than a month has passed and already one of the earbuds doesn't work. Until now, they worked fine, they were comfortable. The bass on these earphones was good and the sound was clear, but if they don't last long, then they are a complete waste of money.
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on November 22, 2011
Out of the package these look a lot like the j3s but in a great new package. It's like a foil bag that you just rip open. The 45 degree angle plug isn't quite as good as a 90 but it's an improvement. The stress pints on the cable are beefed up compared to the j3s but not as bulky as the j4s. The wire is plenty long and seems very delicate and its rubbery feeling instead of slick like the j3s. Most of my jbuds last 3 -6 months so we'll wait and see. The mic is in a great place, it's closer to the y in the cable and just feels better using the control functions. They changed their warranty and it sucks now. If you're looking for the best warranty it's skullcandy HANDS DOWN!

These are SUPER comfortable, hardly notice them in my ear. The tips are soft. They feel light in your ears...no tugging or fatigue. I really like the grill on the back. Gives them a good look in your ears. Also great for sleeping because they don't stick out too far.

As for the sound its very good. Very warm sound and crisp highs. Didn't notice any mixing of the mids and bass like the j3s but I haven't been using these long. So far seems very balanced and clear.
If these had a lifetime warranty like skullcandy these would be 5 stars.

Update 12-8-11 After a good 40 hour burn in the sound is quite stunning. They claim 23khz as the high end and you can tell. The highs are very crisp. The separation of the highs, mids, and bass are quite amazing for buds in this price range. They honestly sound as good as my klipsch image s4s. Def a good buy

Update 1-15-12 I've had these less than 2 months and the left earbud tube literally separated from the housing. I have kept these in a samba case at all times and only use them at home. In other words they were well taken care of. The buds still function but when I pull them out of my ears the left one separates. I am going to try their warranty process but my expectations are low. I've had bad experiences with jlab in the recent past. I've heard from friends and here in the reviews that they often reject your return saying nothing is wrong. Guess we'll see. I'll update when I get through the warranty process. Gotta drop the rating a star for durability. If they mess with me on the warranty it'll drop another. I uploaded 2 photos so you could see what happened

Update 1-28-12 Went thru the warranty process and received my replacements fairly quickly. It cost $4 to ship in the defects. Only thing that would have made it better was if they'd have let me pick a diff color like skullcandy does.

Update 7-9-12 Thought it was worth noting the control functions do not work with my android device running 2.2(froyo). They do work with my device running 2.3(gingerbread). So I assume if you're running 2.3 or later you'll be good.
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on July 19, 2014
These are quite the durable ear buds. My daughter loves to twirl, whip, chew, stretch, and other various destructive habits, with her ear buds. I have found the JLab J5M to be extremely durable and a value. Now... When they say they are kevlar reinforced, I believe it to be true! They must be to withstand the abuse I see them undergo each day...and they keep working. She is rather picky about the sound of her ear buds too! I bought her 13 different pair for Christmas because she typically goes through them so fast. Her last set of J5M's lasted until July. So a little over 7 months. Now you may say, "That's garbage! They should last longer than that!" But when I tell you she is abusive, I really mean it. She uses them as a chew toy constantly. Every time I look at her, I have to tell her to quit doing 'something' to her ear buds... Normally, a pair will last her, if we're lucky, a week. So for a pair to last as long as these have, I am impressed. I have not used them, and I am extremely picky with my sound because I used to be a sound engineer. But she is also pretty picky, and for her to say they're good, they must not be bad. Because if they are missing anything, she tells me, and won't use them. These particular ear buds are a good value for the dollar, and are durable. I do recommend them.
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