I can’t live without a good pair of truly wireless headphones and I’m beyond impressed with the $20 (USD) JLab Go Air Pop true wireless earbuds. It’s just hard to believe that headphones this good could be $20.
The JLab Go Air Pop headphones are small, lightweight true wireless earbuds that have 8 hours charge in each headphone and 24 in the case. They charge with a built-in USB cord. They can connect independently to your phone, are sweat resistant and come with 3 sizes of silicone ear tips.
The earbuds are just 3.7 grams each plus the 27.5 gram charging case. The case easily slips in your pocket and the earbuds are very lightweight in your ears. It’s easy to lose the tiny earbuds so always put them back in the case!
Taking them out of the case for the first time, they quickly connect just clicking pair on my phone. The Bluetooth goes about 30 feet from the phone before losing a connection. I did have one run where my phone was at the bottom of my backpack behind me and it was cutting out on the left earbud. I haven’t had an issue any other run.
One of the best features of the Go Air Pops is the dual connect. Each earbud can connect independently to your phone so you can use only the left for a while and then only the right. I use this a lot at home to hear the kids or on the trail to hear other runners and animals. It also extends your battery life since you are using the 8 hours in the left and then the 8 hours in the right. This is one feature my favorite Jabra Elite Active 75t headphones are missing.
So what all do you get for $20?
What’s in the box?
There’s not a lot in the box.
- Charging Case with built-in USB cable
- 2 earbuds
- Small, Medium, Large Gel tips
It’s basically all you need. The built-in USB cable tucks into the bottom of the case and doesn’t come off so you won’t lose it. I thought this was gimmicky at first but the built-in cable makes it easier to find the cable every time. It works best on a laptop where it can just sit on the table beside but it can plug into any USB plug on computers or the wall.
The Gel tips fit well right out of the box. Medium worked best for my ears. It doesn’t come with any Cloud Foam tips but you can get the $10 Cloud Foam Mneumonic Universal earbud tips for a more secure fit if you like those.
Basic specs for the Go Air Pop headphones:
- 6mm driver
- Dual connect
- IPX4 water and sweat resistance
- Touch controls
- 3 sets Gel tips
- 8 hours battery life each earbud, 24 in the case
- $40 CAD ($20 USD)
The fit isn’t perfect but it’s pretty dang good. The silicon ear tips and the earbuds themselves are shaped well and stay in for long periods of time. I can run without having to adjust them too many times.
What most earbuds miss, and these aren’t any different, is having a small bump to sit in the bottom of your ear, just above the lobe. Some earbuds have this bump and they stay in much better than others. That said, the Go Air Pops stay in very well without it.
The coating is a very smooth plastic. It’s very durable, as I’ve dropped them a bunch of times with no issues. They would stay in better if it were a grippier, rubbery coating like on the Jabra Elite Active 75t but those are also $200 earbuds.
JLab also have the the $10 Cloud Foam Mneumonic Universal earbud tips for a more snug fit if you like those better. Funny that the Cloud Foam tips are half the cost of the earbuds.
Battery Life and Charging Case
The charging case is well made with a magnetic lid. Like the earbuds, it has a smooth plastic on it. I’d rather something a little grippier but it works.
The earbuds and the case together get 32 hours battery life, 8 hours in each earbud and 24 in the case. It takes about 2 hours to charge the case, and 2.2 hours to charge each earbud fully in the case.
To charge, there is a USB cord attached right to the bottom of the charging case. It’s not a very long cord but can plug in anywhere. It can hang off a charger on the wall but works best off the side of a laptop or somewhere the cases isn’t dangling in the air.
The touch controls work fairly well. They take a bit of getting used to exactly how long you need to press the multiple touches for. Sometimes they read 1 tap instead of 2, or 2 instead of 3. I’m getting about 90% of the taps right after getting used to the timing.
For the left touch control
- 1 tap turns volume down
- 2 taps starts the voice assistant (Siri or Google)
- Press and hold 1 second goes to the previous track
- 3 taps changes the EQ from Signature to Bass Boost to Balanced
For the right touch controls
- 1 tap turns volume up
- 2 taps plays/pauses
- press and hold 1 second goes to the next track
- 3 taps changes the EQ
The controls don’t change if you’re using 1 or both of the headphones.
Sound and EQ Modes
The Go Air Pop’s sound impressively good for the price. They aren’t going to beat $200 headphones for sound but those also cost 10 times as much.
They don’t have any electronic noise cancellation but they do plug your ears and block out other noise. The better the seal with your ears, the better they block out noise. Music at a moderate level blocked out most sound around me.
The earbuds use JLabs EQ3 sound. They have preset equalizer profiles: Signature, Balanced, and Bass Boost. Three taps on either headphone changes the the EQ profile to the next one. For just $20 JLab doesn’t include an app to adjust the equalizer but it’s impressive that they can even pack in the EQ presets and touch controls.
The JLab Signature EQ present sounds the best in my opinion. The vocals are clear with decent bass. The mids are lowered a bit.
Balanced is a balanced combo of highs, mids, and lows. Good for books and podcasts. Music without much bass sounds ok with this one too.
Bass Boost is a fun mode for running. Highs and mids are lowered and the bass is boosted as the name implies. It’s a bit harder to hear vocals but you get a bit more the heavier bass.
Bass is good but not amazing for these tiny headphones. They certainly won’t vibrate your head like a Powerbeats Pro headphone. The bass you can get will depend on the seal you get with your ear and the tips. I’d prefer a bit more bass but realize that the tiny 6mm driver can only deliver so much.
Verdict: JLab Go Air Pop Earbuds
At $20 USD ($30 CAD) there is no reason not to get the Go Air Pop headphones. They are the best true wireless headphones we’ve tested at this price. There just aren’t many that are actually recommendable at that price. Yes, the sound isn’t amazing but if you’ll need to spend $100 or more to improve in that department. For ripping around town, or the trails, with music in one ear, the Go Air Pop headphones can’t be beat.