Super-small, super-light, super-affordable: the JLab JBuds Mini surprised us, not only with their miniature design but also with their functions. Multipoint, 10-band equaliser, transparency mode and app connection – for less than 50 euros, not many competing products can do all this. You can’t expect miracles in terms of sound, but we were still pleasantly surprised!
Are the JLab JBuds Mini the smallest and lightest headphones in the world? We can’t say for sure – just like JLab. But the shape of the charging case and these in-ears are so tiny that we can say one thing for certain: We have never had headphones this small and light in our ears before.
You can buy the JLab JBuds Mini in five colours: black, aqua, magenta, mint green and grey. The plastic design is surprisingly robust, and thanks to IP55 certification, dust and rain won’t bother them that much.
The charging case weighs just 18.5 grams and can also be described as tiny at approx. 43x37x20mm. The lid keeps the in-ears securely inside, but it cannot be opened with one hand. A small fabric loop on the right side of the case allows it to be attached to a key ring or similar, and a key ring is included in the package, along with three pairs of silicone earpieces and a USB-C to C cable (approx. 15 cm).
The JLab JBuds Mini are extremely comfortable to wear. Due to their size, they literally disappear into the ears so that you won’t experience any pressure discomfort even if you’re wearing a cap or hat. There are not only advantages to this: “Blind tests” with family members showed us that there was uncertainty about exactly how these in-ears should be used. As we know, if in-ears are not fitted correctly, the sound is affected, and in particular, the bass range is lost. But more on that later.
Thanks to Google Fast Pair, the JLab JBuds Mini connected quickly and easily with Android devices. When these in-ears were removed from the case, they automatically switched to pairing mode so that even with Apple’s iOS, the setup was quickly completed. The Minis have a modern appearance and are equipped with Bluetooth 5.3, but as they only come with SBC, they lack high-resolution codecs.
Thanks to Multipoint, you can seamlessly switch back and forth between two devices, although the function is a little fiddly to set up and did not always work 100% the first time we tried it. When we switched from a Google Pixel 6a to an iPhone, it worked, but the corresponding app (see below) searched in vain for the headphones.
In practice, we repeatedly had to deal with sporadic Bluetooth dropouts.
The outsides of the JLab JBuds Mini respond to touch commands. You can control your music, change the volume (which is certainly not a given in this price range), select EQ pre-sets, use a voice assistant, switch between music and movie mode and switch transparency mode. However, the implementation of the commands was not always reliable: Due to the size of the earpieces, double or triple taps were not always executed thanks to a lack of accuracy. Also, this tapping on the outside was passed too loudly to my ears for my liking.
At medium volume, the JLab JBuds Mini offers about 5.5 hours of playing time, and together with the case, you get about 20 hours of total playback time. Charging the earphones takes about one and a half hours; the charging case, in turn, is fit for duty again after about two hours. Connecting to power for 15 minutes will fuel about one hour of music enjoyment.
In order to customise the JLab JBuds Mini, the manufacturer (and we) recommend using the accompanying app. It’s not particularly pretty, but it’s functional. Here, you can adjust the sound with a 10-band equaliser or choose between three EQ pre-sets. There is also a music mode and a movie mode, although the manufacturer does not provide any further information about these. In the app, you can also view the battery status, configure or lock the controls, continuously adjust the transparency mode, activate a decibel limit for hearing protection and update the firmware.
When the JLab JBuds Mini are properly fitted in the ears, you get a perfectly acceptable sound – depending on which EQ pre-set is selected. By default, the “JLab-Signature” pre-set is at work, and this tries to get the best out of the small 6-mm drivers.
Bass was definitely evident, and it was present but seemed spongy in the lowest registers. The mid-range was subdued but still brought out voices clearly and distinctly. At higher volumes, sibilants (S-sounds) started to hiss.
They don’t sound as balanced as, for example, the Soundcore by Anker Life P2 Mini, which are about ten euros cheaper.
The variable transparency mode, which can be adjusted via the app, pulled up the background noise significantly. While listening to music at a higher volume, however, the “Be Aware” mode did not provide significant amplification. In any case, we had trouble understanding railway announcements.
The JLab JBuds Mini are remarkable True Wireless in-ears: cheap, tiny and rich in features. They also fit very comfortably and are particularly suitable for small ears. They are not a revelation in terms of sound and the touch control often reacts a little stubbornly, but as an “entry-level” or second pair of headphones that you can always have with you on your key ring, they certainly do a decent job.
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)20 - 20.000 Hz
- Impedance16 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)103dB ± 3 dB
- Weight without cable3,3 each, case 18,5 g
What's in the box
- 3 pairs of ear tips (S, M, L)
- USB charging cable
- Key ring
- Charging case
- Available in Black, Aqua Teal, Mint Green, Pink, Sage Gray
- BTcodecs: SBC
- BT version: 5.3
- BT profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP