Epic Labs Monster High
There are wireless earphones, and then there are Bluetooth earphones designed specifically for exercise. Typically, the latter category has three defining traits: a moisture-proof design with a behind-the-head cable, and big, booming bass response. The JLab Epic delivers on all of these fronts, and comes with a plethora of useful accessories, including a pouch that will hold most cell phones during a workout. For $99.99, it delivers distortion-free, powerful audio with seriously boosted bass that will appeal to low-end lovers and terrify purists.
Offered in black, the in-ear Epic Bluetooth runs its cable over the ears and behind the head. Despite the name, these earphones are thankfully not actually earbuds, which are flat and don't enter the ear canal. The Epic's eartips do enter the canal. A moldable cable just above the earpieces, as well as the plethora of included eartips, offer a secure, workout-friendly fit. The IPX4 rating means the Epic is splash-proof, though it would be unwise to submerge the earphones in water.
An inline remote control is situated close to the right earpiece, with controls for Power/Bluetooth Pairing/Call Answer/Call End all in one button, and two arrow buttons that act as both Volume Up/Down (which work with, not independently of, your phone's controls) and Track Navigation Forward/Back depending on whether you tap them or hold them. The remote also houses the microphone and a status LED, as well as a port with a snap-shut cover on the side panel for the charging cable.
The Epic Bluetooth ships with a generous selection of six pairs of gel eartips in various shapes and sizes, as well as two mini cable clips for pinching and adjusting the fit of the cable so it stays off the back of your neck. There's also a useful zip-up pouch that, in addition to the earphones, will fit all but the most massive of cell phones and has multiple compartments inside for the eartips and accessories. It also comes with what may be the shortest micro USB charging cable I've seen, which is somewhat inconvenient to use. An additional included accessory converts the pouch into a belt clip, so you can wear it while moving around.
Pairing with an iPhone 5s was quick and simple, and the Epic Bluetooth will automatically pair with the last device it was paired with upon powering up. JLab estimates the battery life to be roughly 10 hours, but your results will vary depending on how loudly you play your music back. A full charge from a dead battery takes about 4 hours.
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