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The JLab Go Air Pop earbuds are cheap as chips and offer tremendous value for those seeking a simple, affordable option. We tested them out to see if they're a good purchase for every user.
For what they are — a budget entry to the wireless earbuds genre — the JLab Go Air Pop earbuds are very good. Of course, their status as budget-friendly devices limits them, but there are also some good features and design decisions that make the earbuds an attractive purchase for anyone looking for an affordable option.
In the market for wireless earbuds there seem to be more and more mid and top-end offerings, with plenty of brands eager to offer premium earbuds costing anything from £60 and up. However, in the JLab Go Air Pop we have a new truly budget-friendly entry to the wireless earbuds genre.
Of course, it's not as jam-packed with premium features as those more expensive alternatives, but for £19.99 we reckon these offer fantastic value and listenable sound.
Read on for our full review and to see if the JLab Go Air Pop earbuds could be an ideal purchase for you.
The JLab Go Air Pop earbuds are a simple, easy to use pair of wireless earbuds from audio brand JLab.
They're a fantastic option for budget-conscious buyers and — considering their low price — they perform very well. Take a look at buying options below.
The JLab Go Air Pop are just £19.99. Yes, wireless earbuds from a pretty reputable brand for £19.99. It's a good deal.
The only comparably affordable wireless earbuds we've seen recently from a big brand are the Skullcandy Dime buds. They impressed us too, as far as offering value, but let themselves down slightly in the battery life stakes.
The design of the JLab Go Air Pop earbuds is a mixed bag. On the one hand, the case is pleasingly slim and pocketable, and the buds are nice and compact. On the other hand, though, everything is made from very, very cheap-feeling plastic. We can't exactly be surprised though, at this price bracket.
The other design feature that stands out is the built-in charging cable, which tucks into the bottom of the charging case. It's a fantastically slimline solution, meaning you'll never lose your charging cable and run out of juice. Of course, it's a short cable, but we think it's a fantastic piece of problem-solving.
The earbuds are pretty comfortable too, likely due to that lightweight build.
That cheap plastic build of the JLab Go Air Pop earbuds is a little grating on a sustainability front. Again, some competitors are making real strides in this area, but their offerings are much more expensive.
Notably, Sony's unusual new 'Linkbuds' have a case largely made from recycled plastics mixed with stone dust. Not only was this a sustainable choice, but it gave the case a nice look and feel too. While the JLab case is nice and sleek, it's not very tactile.
JLab told RadioTimes.com: “The plastic in the earbuds is currently not recyclable plastic, but our team is researching this and we would love to incorporate it in the future. But at this time, no it is not recyclable plastic. Our packaging however is 100% recyclable.”
The JLab Go Air Pop earbuds aren't exactly feature-packed, but that's understandable given that they cost less than £20.
One or two solid features do stand out though — they're IPX4 sweat- and water-resistant, the battery life is solid and there are three EQ settings JLab Signature, Bass Boost and Balanced. These are switched between by triple-tapping either earbud and offer a nice level of customisation we didn't expect at this price point. That said, the feature would be better if it was also possible to switch between the settings in an app.
The useful — and increasingly common — feature that these lack is in-ear detection. Most competitors now use a small sensor to check if they're in your ear and when they're not, the earbuds pause your audio. The JLab Go Air Pop don't offer this handy feature or, as mentioned above, their own app to help users adjust settings.
Unsurprisingly, these aren't earbuds to suit audiophiles but — for earbuds occupying this remarkably low price bracket — they're very listenable.
If you're used to top-end earbuds like the Sony WF-1000XM4 or AirPods Pro, then these earbuds could sound muffled and weak by comparison, but those buds cost around ten times what the JLab buds do. We have to emphasise that these are an affordable choice, but for that bargain price, they deliver solid sound.
That's when listening to music, audiobook and videos, but using them for calls is a mixed bag. Some calls and video calls came off without a hitch, while others saw the sound drop in and out, or wind noise dominating the call.
The buds offer around seven hours of battery life themselves, with around another 24 hours in the case. That's a fantastic offering given how cheap these earbuds are — and given that the case is still pretty slimline.
During testing, we couldn't fault the JLab buds' battery life. They were consistent and reliable and rarely needed popping into their charging case.
Though there's no app, the Go Air Pop buds are very simple to set up, thanks to a strong, reliable Bluetooth connection. We tried connecting them to several devices and it was very easy to do so.
The connection remained stable throughout use too and we didn't experience any dropouts.
If you want a luxury, feature-packed, top-of-the-range pair of earbuds, complete with all the premium bells and whistles — these earbuds simply aren't for you. But if you want a cheap and cheerful pair of buds that perform reasonably well across the board, then the JLab Go Air Pop earbuds are ideal.
They've got a compact, slim design. They're light and portable too and when it comes to sound, they do pretty well considering that low, low price. However, there are some obvious drawbacks in the lack of features, an app and the cheap plastic the buds and case are made from.
The JLab Go Air Pop earbuds are available from a range of UK retailers for that remarkably low price of £19.99.