An affordable AirPods Max rival? Budget brand JLAB reveals its 'luxury' over-ears ahead of CES 2024

(Image credit: JLAB)

The AirPods Max are lovely — but they also cost about the same as a US battleship from 1943. They’re made out of the same stuff as well and weigh a similar amount when they’re on your noggin — all things that for some are just a little too much to handle.

It’s that price that puts most people off, however, so finding a pair of decent noise-canceling overhead cans has become a sort of audio challenge. There are loads out there, and we’ve reviewed some of the best wireless headphones to find out how good they are — but now there’s a new player in the game. Or at least an old player with a new controller.

JLAB, which has made some excellent budget headphones and wireless in-ears, is entering the ring with its first pair of ‘premium’ wireless cans — and they could be a doozy.

Premium headphones, attractive price

The JLAB LUX ANC headphones pack some big features in for an extremely low price (which we promise to give you later, but there’s an order to these things). There’s ANC on board to keep those unwanted noises out, Spatial Audio for the stereo tunes, and Bluetooth audio LE connection.

Those aren’t budget features, and yet they still come at a very low price point of $79/£62, making them a bit of an audio bargain. Of course, we’ll be looking to give them a test, but with any luck, they’ll be good enough to recommend alongside the other best wireless headphones. Combine that price with some impressive battery life and even some 40mm drivers, and you might have the recipe for some wicked cans.

Will it be enough to make AirPods Pro Max buyers think twice? Probably not — but if these can get in any way close to the performance of the big boys then we’ll be in for a real treat.

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Tammy Rogers
Senior Staff Writer

As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.