JLab is fairly new to the personal audio electronics game, forming just under a decade ago promising to “keep it real with affordable prices” and offering an ”original spin on portable audio.” Indeed, the JLab GO is one of the more affordable Bluetooth headphones on the market and does feature unique design qualities.
The JLab GO begins with simple controls, then outdoes itself by being sweatproof, and offering seven tip sizes for the ear buds.
It recharges easily via a very popularly sized micro-USB port. Micro-USB is found on a multitude of computer terminals and car chargers, and requires no regular electrical outlet. This is great for those of us who tend to forget to charge our devices until the last minute. GO offers advertises five hours of playback but most users report about eight. Though five to eight hours of use seems quite substantial; it’s quite less than most Bluetooth headphones on the market.
Design and Construction
The first thing you notice when you see the GO is JLab’s creative design. The rigid earpieces are a bit more substantial than other Bluetooth earbuds, and they have a unique textured overlay. The earpieces are magnetically attach to each other making them easy to store and transport.
They also feature a really unique moldable wire to connect the earbuds that is not seen on any other pair of headphones. Whereas most behind-the-head designs have a bulky electronics panel in the center that houses the recharging mechanism; the JLab GO is different. Since the charging port is located on one of the earpieces there is no need for that heavy panel in the back center. GO uses a moldable band in its place to connect the earpieces.
As cool as these features are, the GO just feels cheap– it’s lightweight but not well-balanced and the moldable band easily kinks. Also, many users complain that the charger flap won’t stay closed and that the earbuds fall out at the first hint of sweat. Luckily JLab offers pretty awesome customer service so exchanges and refunds don’t seem to be an issue.
The sound quality of the JLab GO is about what you’d expect from a device within this price range. Quality did not change as we paired the GO throughout a variety of mp3 players. Music is fairly clear when listened to at low to normal volumes.
The bass isn’t terrible but expectedly doesn’t detect some of the lowest bass frequencies; luckily most popular music genres don’t include very low frequencies. Treble and mids were well balanced.
We only encountered a problem with GO when we tried listening to streaming media. The audio cracked and distorted whether listening to streamed music or watching streamed videos. Remember though that we only experienced these issues during streaming audio; so if you don’t to listen to this type of media we don’t think it poses a problem.
The JLab GO is one of those products that look perfect on paper but doesn’t fully live up to the expectations it set for itself. Its uniquely attractive design is overshadowed by rough workmanship and sound quality making these headphones not stand out in the crowd. The JLab GO is perfect as a backup or as a child’s first set of Bluetooth headphones.