From PowerBeats to the Jaybird X2 to the Klisph R6BT, Bluetooth buds can seem like a cut-and-dried affair, despite the steady development of ever-more models. Late to the party but no less capable, it would seem, is the JBL Yurbuds Leap Wireless – a decidedly sports-minded alternative that boasts an ergonomic design and high performance sound. But at $99, does it deliver the goods?
Yurbuds Leap Wireless Review
A mite bulky, the Leap earpieces might first appear too large to fit in your ear comfortably. Rest assured, though, that thanks to the forward-thinking design, a secure fit requires only a slight twist of the buds once they’re in your ear.
The rubberized tips (two pairs of which are included in the box), mimic the shape of custom earpieces – to impressive effect.
Included accessories are comprised of a padded nylon carrying pouch and a micro-USB charging cable.
Frequency Range: NA
Sound Pressure Level (SPL): NA
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): NA
Bluetooth Version: 4.0
Ugh. As you can tell from this specs section, Yurbuds doesn’t list their headphone specs – not on the packaging, not in the instruction booklet, and not on the web. Frequency range is probably close to the run-of-the-mill 20-20,000 Hz, while impedance is probably a low 32 ohms. Volume is decent – probably at the 120 dB mark, while distortion lands near <0.5%. The inclusion of 4.0 Bluetooth Protocol is good, but fairly standard for any brand-name earphone in 2016.
Detailed with good control, the low end on the Yurbuds Leap offers clear separation and little to no bleed. The bass is strong with ample impact. Suffice to say, then, that the low end is clean and accurate with much to recommend it.
Immediately evident, the detail and overall fidelity of the midrange take my breath away. Vocals are spot on, without much in the way of compression or distortion.
Not too bright, but also missing some details in the high highs, the high end on the Leap Wireless is not what it could be. Despite my own misgivings, however, I have to concede that for most budget-minded consumers, this high end will still be more than acceptable. Critical listeners, however, may be nonplussed.
There is some good placement in the sound of the Leap Wireless, but that placement contrasts sharply with only adequate depth. While it’s easy to get a sense of instruments or vocals occupying a certain space relative to your ears, the lack of depth means the sound still seems to be coming from inside your head.
The strong midrange performance is pretty impressive…I keep coming back to it in my mind. That, coupled with the sweet low end make this a no-brainer for the rock enthusiast in me. Sure, it’s not going to be the headphone I turn to when I want to bump some Vivaldi or Einaudi, but damned if it ain’t a fine companion to my morning lift routine.
The Yurbuds Leap Wireless is a product of JBL, and it shows in how successively it stacks up to the competition. It’s a shade better than PowerBeats in terms of low-end and midrange fidelity, but still misses the mark in the high end. For those seeking sloppier bass and less control, feel free to pay twice as much for the Beats alternative. Those who seek more high-end detail in their wireless buds should consider the Klipsch R6BT – but should also be aware that Klipsch does not offer Yurbuds’ level of water- or sweat-resistance.
Compared to the pretty-much-dominating Jaybird X2, I’d have to give the Yurbuds Leap a slight edge. While not quite as good as the X2, the Leap offers about 97% of the same sound at 66% of the price. So, yeah, you do the math.
JBL has some fine stuff out there, and they’ve probably hit another mark with the Yurbuds Leap Wireless. Of course, it doesn’t have the high end to appeal to strict audiophiles, but the competent bass, as well as the lows and mids, really shine a complementary light on this nifty earphone. So, if you prefer a sound that is more detailed in the lows and mids, and if you are in the market for a wireless earphone, and if your budget allows for the $99 price tag, I say go for it.