We’ve reviewed Jabees earbuds previously with the Jabees BTwins. We were very happy with the audio from the units but if only they had an ear hook. This is exactly what Jabees has delivered with the Shield units. The Jabees Shield ear buds should allow would be gym goers hours of music playback without the worry of them just falling out. Let’s see how they got on in our full review.
Let’s start where it makes logical sense to, with the unboxing experience. You can check out a short video below, but the package contents are plentiful!
- 1 X Pair of Shield True Wireless Fitness Earbuds
- 1 X Power Pouch(450mAh)
- 2 X Removable earhook
- 2 X Earhook Caps
- 3 x Eartips Bullet-shape(L,M.S)
- 3 x Eartips Bowl-shape(L,M.S)
- 1 x Micro USB Cable for charging the power pouch
- 1 X User manual
Phew – lots!
Specifications – Jabees Shield
- Bluetooth V4.1 chipset,
- Colours: Full Black, Black&Blue, Black & Hot Pink
- Weight: 5.2g
- Dimensions: L29.8 x W19.2 x H25.5mm
- Bluetooth profiles: HFP /HSP/A2DP/AVRCP
- Support Noise Reduction(waterproof) with IPX4 and sweatproof
- Capacity: 55mAh + 55mAh
- up to 3 hours music playback time
- up to 4 hours of talk time
- up to 50 hours standby time
- Voice prompt in English, Chinese
Performance & Use – Jabees Shield
Design wise I really like these. The Blue colour variant we have is a nice accent, and it’s plastic design feels a step up, ironically, from the metallic materials used on the BTwins. The ear hooks are sufficiently malleable but rigid enough to stay put once contorted to your requirements, and they seem hardy in my testing so far. Then there’s the charging caddy. Again, a step up from the Jabees BTwins effort, with a zip to enclose the buds when docked, and a reliable notification mechanism for charging.
The ear hooks are the change I’m most happy with in the Shield however. As I mentioned at the top of the review, I was happy with the Jabees BTwins audio profile, but they just wouldn’t stay in my ears too well. Well, as you can probably guess, there are no such issues with the Jabees Shield buds. Firstly, they seem more ergonomic on their own anyway, without the ear hooks, but with the ear hooks they stay nice and tightly fitted.
A quick not on the Charging Case here. The buds click in to the 450mAh-powered caddy with a satisfying click thanks to magnetic guides. There’s a faux brushed metal finish inside, with a power button that can kick off the charging process, with a microUSB port to charge the caddy on the edge of the case. When charging the buds give a red LED notification light and the whole delivery is just more simplistic and functional than their last effort.
The Jabees Shields are powered on, and control by the capacitive fascia on each bud. Turning the units on is as simple as tapping and holding to pair/power on. I don’t like the implementation and always prefer a tactile button when controlling such functions, but it works acceptably well.
All that really remains is the audio, right? Well, here we go again, it’s groundhog day. The Jabees Shield ear buds deliver in abundance. They sound almost identical in sound stage as the BTwins, with excitable low end which really rumbles, and crisp mids and highs in vocal moments bringing that aspect of the track to the fore. They aren’t over the ear, £300 headphones so don’t expect fully immersive sound, but for ear buds, they are some of the nicest I’ve heard in this price point, in the Bluetooth market. They also last for a little longer than the stated 3 hours of playback in my testing which was a nice surprise.
There’s one huge downside for me however. The connectivity issues that often plague independent Bluetooth ear buds are out in force again. In any given 3-4 minute period, or a single track, connectivity can be lost entirely on one or two occasions with the audio dropping into mono, from the left ear bud only, anywhere from ten to twenty times a track. Unforgivable! The Jabees BTwins had a similar issue but if anything it’s worse here. It’s such a shame as everything else is almost perfect for my use case. I tried fully charging the units to check it wasn’t something wacky like a low battery issue but alas, no change. I also checked just using one earbud on it’s own but the audio still dropped, albeit admittedly less frequently. In 2017, having a set of ear buds that cannot stay connected, eve when less than two feet from the playback device is criminal. I’ll caveat that final statement by suggesting it might just be my review unit, but testing this alongside another competitor I’m reviewing currently which had no such issues makes it very difficult for me to see the Shield’s as anything other than a disappointment in the connectivity stakes.
Conclusion – Jabees Shield
Great audio with excellent low end which isn’t overpowering. Check! Comfortable design thanks largely to the ear hooks. Check! Nice aesthetic with colour options and plenty of accessories. Check! Good connectivit…..oh, sorry we forgot to deliver the basic functionality. That’s the most disappointing thing here. Everything else is pretty much on point with not much room for improvement at this price point and at this diminutive size. The inability for these units to get through one song without a dip in audio connection in one ear bud or a complete second long connectivity loss is what stops these from being an insta-buy recommendation.
Maybe it’s my units, but sadly, I’d guess not.