General, the sound high quality on the Go Air is mediocre. I did not anticipate to be wowed by a $29 set of earbuds, however they’re most likely fantastic for some folks. Extra particularly, the sound is compressed and skinny. Even with one of the best of the audio presets, there was an absence of depth to virtually all of the music I attempted. Regardless of some first rate bass, there’s an excessive amount of treble and never sufficient midrange tone. I might argue even the bass is high-pitched until you are utilizing the bass-boosting setting. Bass increase additionally offers just a little area for the music to work, however it nonetheless sounded compressed in comparison with most different true wi-fi earbuds I’ve examined.
Throughout genres, the outcomes are combined. Bands like Caspian and the Appleseed Solid that create large, open and ethereal soundscapes clearly spotlight the Go Air’s compression points. These acts are expert at constructing layered songs that appear to envelope you with every instrument. With these earbuds, that is all flat — particularly the drums. Metallic and hard-core acts like Gojira and Oh, Sleeper fare barely higher. The sound you get from JLab’s signature setting is large and boomy, however not as a lot as it might be in any other case. Unsurprisingly, hip-hop sounds finest with the bass-boost preset. Kaytranada’s Bubba has some good thump, however there’s little midrange, and among the finer particulars get misplaced.
Should you’re a podcast junkie who not often listens to music on the go, the Go Air will permit you to lower the earbud tether with what you’d spend on a few cocktails after work. Podcasts sound fantastic on these, because the audio shortcomings aren’t as apparent. They’re nonetheless removed from excellent, however for those who primarily devour spoken content material, you would save some huge cash with a $29 gadget. Nonetheless, if you need an all-around set well-suited for each music and podcasts, you may wish to look elsewhere.
By way of battery life, JLab guarantees 5 hours on a cost, which is on the low finish for true wi-fi earbuds today. A lot of the competitors is within the 10-hour vary now. However once more, 5 hours should not be a dealbreaker on a funds set just like the Go Air. I virtually hit that 5-hour determine in my checks — four hours, 45 minutes to be actual. It is nonetheless sufficient to get you thru a great chunk of the day, and the included case holds three full prices. What’s extra, a quick-charge function will provide you with an hour of playback in 15 minutes. These earbuds additionally provide you with a battery replace once you flip them on. It is a imprecise “full,” “medium” or “low,” however it’s nonetheless useful, because it provides you a ballpark thought of how a lot battery you could have left.
I will admit I am not well-versed within the sub-$50 true wi-fi earbud market. The closest I’ve come is Audio-Technica’s ATH-CK3TW. However at $119, they’re greater than twice the price of the Go Air, and so they have flaws of their very own. JLab has piqued my curiosity although, and you’ll anticipate to learn extra about sub-$100 and even sub-$50 earbuds on Engadget any longer. Should you’re contemplating the Go Air, they’re scheduled to go on sale in March.
Whereas the Go Air is not a recreation changer, it did exceed my expectations by way of expertise. These earbuds are simple to make use of and supply a number of useful options that more-expensive fashions generally omit. The contact controls are well-organized and dependable, which retains frustration to a minimal. Kudos to JLab for making quantity adjustments as fast and painless as doable. In the long run, the Go Air is serviceable. However for those who want a well-rounded seat of earbuds that may deal with each your music and podcast libraries, you may wish to take into account some options — even when meaning a much bigger funding.