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JLab Go Air Sport Review

Last updated: 2 months ago
9 min read
Editor
rating
3.6
JLab Go Air Sport earbud

JLab Go Air Sport are budget true wireless earbuds for extreme sportspeople. They provide good sound for the price, and stay on the ears like glue, but they disappoint in maintaining the fit. Find out the specifics of the test below.

JLab Go Air Sport come with ear hooks. That makes them perfect for sportspeople who want rock-solid stability. 

Their punchy sound is another bonus, making workouts fun. You can choose from 3 EQ presets with various bass boosts.

The earbuds are rated IP55, so you can shower with them if that’s your thing. And the strong battery life of more than 9 hours per charge should easily last you a full day.

However, earbuds suffer from a major design flaw: they keep losing the in-ear seal. More on the consequences of this flaw later.

For $30, are they still worth checking out? Learn in the full review below.

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  • Great sound with punchy bass and sparkly highs
  • Excellent stability thanks to ear hooks
  • Comfortable for long listening sessions
  • Lenghty battery life of 8 hours per charge
  • Issues with maintaining ear canal seal
  • Poor microphone quality
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3.6
By HeadphonesAddict
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CONTENTS (show more)

    Sound

    Star Rating
    3.5 Almost Great

    JLab Go Air Sport sound signature varies from dull to punchy, depending on the EQ preset, ear tips, and ear canal seal. If you nail the latter, they can sound very natural.

    Check the JLab Go Air Sport Sound Comparison

    JLab Go Air Sport Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    Learn how to understand sound comparisons.

    The sound on these true wireless earbuds is all over the place since various factors contribute to it.

    First are the EQ presets that you set based on your sound preference:

    • JLab Signature (U-shaped with boosted sub-bass and upper highs)
    • Balanced (Very flat bass with boosted upper highs)
    • Bass Boost (Very pronounced U-shape with sparkly highs)

    Then, there are the ear tips. If you usually use medium (M) tips, you’ll find them too small on the JLab Go Air Sport. While they provide the most natural sound experience, you constantly struggle to readjust the seal.

    On the other hand, if you find the bass on medium tips too polite, consider using the largest ear tips instead. They seal your ears better and help produce a deep bass response.

    I find using medium size ear tips and the “JLab Signature” preset to work best. However, I also find myself struggling to find a proper long-lasting fit.

    Looking at the frequency graphs made by the MiniDSP and considering the fact that larger ear tips seal slightly better, I will evaluate the sound using the latter.

    JLab Go Air Sport Frequency Response

    JLab Go Air Sport frequency response
    The 3 EQ presets are nearly identical, with the biggest difference being bass response.

    Bass: Deep and punchy, with some distortion in specific songs

    As the name suggests, JLab Go Air Sport are meant for active people who appreciate punchy music. That’s why these ear buds come with a good amount of bass boost.

    Fortunately, JLab played it smart and only boosted the sub-bass. As the graph shows, the bass flattens around 150Hz, preventing itself from bleeding into the midrange and masking the details.

    As a result, the bass performs quite well. It’s full and offers reasonable control. But due to the boost, it isn’t the most detailed.

    People who prefer energetic music will definitely enjoy the sound of JLab Go Air Sport.

    That being said, there’s distortion present on some tracks. For example, you can hear a faint crackling sound when playing “Better Now” by Post Malone.

    Interestingly, “Blast Off” by Gesaffelstein, an insanely sub-bass-intense track, plays without distortion. So, you can’t be sure which song will make earbuds distort.

    JLab Go Air Sport earbuds design
    The shape of your ears might prevent you from getting a perfect seal (like in my case), lowering the bass quantity.

    Another thing worth pointing out is the importance of a seal. As mentioned before, I have major issues finding the perfect fit which ensures proper bass performance.

    Any movement, like running, jumping, or even smiling, will break the seal, which is incredibly annoying.

    Since some of you will have a different experience than I have, it’s hard to evaluate the bass. So maybe take the bass section with a grain of salt.

    Midrange: Recessed but relatively natural

    Most of the midrange is recessed, creating a dip between treble and sub-bass (earbuds have a distinct U-shaped sound signature).

    The recession isn’t that noticeable, though, due to the boost in the lower treble. That makes vocals and electric guitars appear a bit “shouty”.

    Nonetheless, you won’t notice the difference unless you have a direct comparison to a more balanced headphone.

    All in all, the midrange is very well-tuned, just don’t expect a very detailed sound performance.

    Treble: Well-extended but occasionally harsh

    Like JLab Go Air Pop, the Go Air Sport also have a peak at 9kHz. It isn’t as high, but it does affect the sound in a slightly negative way.

    Vocals (especially female) and cymbal crashes are slightly harsher. That’s a shame since earbuds provide a good, airy extension, but that peak prevents them from sounding smoother.

    Fortunately, they don’t suffer from sibilance. Also, you get decent detail and texture from the highs, which is uncommon in budget wireless earbuds.

    JLab Go Air Sport extra hole
    That extra hole on the side probably helps to shake the ear tips, making the bass more powerful.

    The soundstage is decently wide and deep, but don’t expect the sensation as if you’re in a concert hall.

    Imaging is only decent. Earbuds have good instrument separation but don’t place the instruments the most accurately across the sound field.

    As you can see, the sound performance isn’t really an issue. JLab Go Air Sport could’ve been excellent for just $30 in this category.

    However, because of that fit problem, it’s hard to predict how you will hear them. So, if you have the option, try them first and see how they fit.

    Comfort & Fit

    Star Rating
    4.0 Great

    JLab Go Air Sport provide superb comfort, while their ear hook design ensures a stable fit for even the most extreme workouts. However, you’ll have difficulty keeping an airtight fit.

    It’s always a gamble with ear hooks and comfort. Some have overly stiff hooks that push the bud’s housing against your pinna, creating a painful sensation. Skullcandy Push Ultra are one of those earbuds.

    Thankfully, JLab Go Air Sport don’t suffer from this problem. First and foremost, earbuds have an elegant design with smooth edges. So it doesn’t poke into your ears.

    Secondly, the housing itself is rather ergonomic. Also, the ear hook is stiff but doesn’t squeeze your ears.

    Overall, you can expect long-lasting comfort, comparable to Aukey EP-T32, another budget ear hook earbuds.

    JLab Go Air Sport on red plate
    Ear hook earbuds can be quite comfortable when designed right. Unfortunately, JLab Go Air Sport have so issues with the fit.

    Continuing with ear hooks, they provide a secure fit, grabbing your ears and preventing earbuds from falling out and on the floor.

    More specifically, the JLab Go Air Sport easily survived the head-shaking test, so you can rest assured they can endure even the most extreme workouts.

    However, the biggest problem is that even the slightest movement can push the ear tips out of your ear canal, breaking the seal.

    You get 3 sizes of silicone ear tips. But if you usually wear medium tips, you’ll have to select the largest ones to use with the Go Air Sport.

    It’s worth noting that by looking at Amazon reviews, I seem to be in the minority of users with this issue. So, you might have a completely different experience.

    Durability

    Star Rating
    4.0 Great

    JLab Go Air Sport are sturdy little earbuds with an IP55 rating, promising protection against dirt and water splashes.

    The best earbuds for workouts require at least IPX4 to ensure complete sweat protection. Well, JLab Go Air Sport build quality can survive even more than that.

    You can use the earbuds during sweaty workouts, in the rain, and even under a shower if your heart desires.

    Of course, an IP55 rating still isn’t fully waterproof, so don’t submerge them underwater.

    JLab Go Air Sport size comparison
    Size comparison of the cases between EarFun Free Pro 2 (very small), JLab Go Air Pop (medium), and JLab Go Air Sport (bulky).

    Design-wise, they appear sturdy. There are no visible weak points, so you’ll have to try hard to break them.

    The charging case is quite big (as with most ear hook earbuds) and is made entirely of plastic. Like all JLab earbuds, this case also has an integrated charging cable.

    The latter has a short, flat wire and is rather rigid. With careful use, it shouldn’t break, but you never know. It’s tucked under the case, held in by friction.

    There’s no water protection on the case, so you should keep it away from water.

    Battery

    Star Rating
    4.5 Almost Perfect

    Battery test results: JLab Go Air Sport have a very long battery life of 9 hours and 19 minutes on a single charge. The charging case holds another 24 hours, yet lacks official fast-charging support, and has an integrated USB cable.

    JLab Go Air Sport Battery Comparison

    JLab Go Air Sport battery comparison

    Cheap JLab Go Air Sport earbuds surprise with their lengthy playtime, offering more than 1 hour more than what’s advertised.

    In my battery life test, I got:

    • 9 hours and 19 minutes on a single charge at 50% volume.

    The manufacturer says that earbuds can last up to 8 hours. They have probably tested them at 60% volume instead of 50%, as most other manufacturers do.

    Of course, earbuds have no extra features that would consume energy, like proximity sensors, active noise cancellation, ambient sound mode, etc.

    However, competitors under $30, like TOZO T10 and Skullcandy Dime, perform much worse, so these are still impressive results.

    JLab Go Air Sport built in cable
    The USB-A charging cable is built into the bottom of the case, and you can’t charge the case any other way.

    There are no official statements on fast-charging capabilities, or how long it takes for earbuds to charge from 0 to 100%.

    Furthermore, the case has a built-in USB-A cable, which could be a slight problem since many charging bricks already use USB-C. And charging via a computer USB port is normally much slower.

    Features

    Star Rating
    2.5 Average

    JLab Go Air Sport employ touch controls with all essential commands, three EQ modes, and a very mediocre microphone.

    Feature-wise, these earbuds are the same as the Go Air Pop buds, their slightly cheaper sibling.

    That involves toggling between 3 built-in EQ presets and commanding the earbuds using the same touch gestures.

    Thankfully, the touch sensors work reliably with no accidental presses during my testing. I would only appreciate auditory feedback to know how many times I pressed the control. But that’s just a personal wish.

    JLab Go Air Sport controls:

    • Play/pause/end call – double tap on the right bud
    • Song forward/reject call – press and hold on the right bud
    • Song backward/reject call – press and hold on the left bud
    • Volume up/answer call – single tap on the right bud
    • Volume down/answer call – single tap on the left bud
    • Smart assistant/end call – double tap on the left bud
    • Change EQ mode – triple tap on the right bud

    Microphone Quality

    JLab Go Air Sport have 2 mics, one on each earbud, that should pick up your voice fairly clearly. But noise reduction for calls ruins everything.

    JLab Go Air Sport Microphone Test

    Noise reduction during phone calls is too aggressive, even when there’s very little noise to reduce, making your voice muffled and muted.

    When speaking in a loud environment, the call quality gets even worse, further muffling your voice.

    If you really have to take that call, the person on the other side should still understand you. But they will have to really focus on what you’re saying. Otherwise, prepare yourself for a lot of “what did you say” questions.

    JLab Go Air Sport mic and LED
    MEMS microphone and a LED light use the same hole.

    Noise Isolation

    Star Rating
    3.0 Good

    Passive noise isolation on JLab Go Air Sport is average at best. And that’s only if you manage to achieve a proper ear canal seal.

    Earbuds do an average job of passively blocking outside noises, even when you fully seal your ears.

    That means you’ll still hear most noises around you, just slightly muted.

    Fortunately, you don’t hear anything except the loudest sounds when listening to music.

    Is there any sound leakage?

    JLab Go Air Sport don’t leak that much. You can safely listen to music on your daily commute without letting other people know your music taste.

    Bluetooth

    Star Rating
    3.5 Almost Great

    JLab Go Air Sport offer an average Bluetooth range of around 40 feet, a minor audio lag when watching videos, and a mono mode.

    Earbuds use Bluetooth 5.1 to maintain a reliable connection with your transmitting device somewhere in the vicinity. I have experienced no random stutters or disconnections.

    JLab Go Air Sport earbuds
    JLab Go Air Sport perform well in close range, but only average when trying to move further away from a music source.

    The Bluetooth connection range is on par with most wireless headphones. Indoors, earbuds last until 40 feet in distance (12.2 meters), or right after passing the second brick wall, when the audio cuts off.

    Apart from that, JLab Go Air Sport support mono mode (using each earbud individually) but not multipoint (ability to connect to two devices simultaneously).

    How to pair?

    • Pairing JLab Go Air Sport is very simple. Take the earbuds out of the case and wait until you see small LEDs starting to blink.
    • At that point, you should see the earbuds appear in your device’s Bluetooth menu.
    • Tap on the earbuds on your device and you should be connected.

    The process is the same when pairing earbuds with a new device. Just make sure that other devices already paired with JLab’s have their Bluetooth disabled.

    What Bluetooth Codecs Do They Use?

    JLab Go Air Sport use SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs. The latter works better on iOS devices yet is somehow picked by default on Android.

    Since we’re talking budget earbuds, they wouldn’t benefit from having aptX or other higher-quality codecs.

    JLab Go Air Sport in flowers
    JLab Go Air Sport come in different colors, appealing to a wider audience.

    Is There an Audio Lag?

    As mentioned, by default, both iOS and Android pick AAC as their default codec. However, there’s a tiny bit of audio delay on Android, even when watching YouTube.

    Forcing your Android smartphone to use SBC instead helps eliminate that lag. At least in YouTube videos. That’s why it’s so weird that Android insists on using AAC, even though it isn’t as optimized for decoding it as Apple devices are.

    Learn how to change a Bluetooth codec on Android.

    On the other hand, no Bluetooth codec will fix the audio lag during gaming.

    It’s pretty noticeable but not as distracting unless you’re serious about competitive shooters where every fraction of a second counts.

    Should You Get JLab Go Air Sport?

    Star Rating
    4.0 Great

    If you can get them to fit your ears, JLab Go Air Sport can prove themselves to be fantastic workout companions on a budget.

    They have a punchy yet reasonably natural sound, fantastic stability and comfort, and lengthy battery life.

    That makes them perfect for sportspeople who exercise a lot and don’t want their earbuds flying out of their ears.

    On the other hand, a casual user who only wants to listen to music on a daily commute, or watch movies, should probably look elsewhere.

    There are other exciting and well-performing earbuds under $30 than aren’t bulky and offer a better listening experience for everyday tasks—more on that in “alternatives.”

    How do JLab Go Air Sport compare to the competition?

    • Thanks to ear hook design, they’re more stable during workouts than the competition.
    • They have a punchy yet more natural sound than most of their competition (depending on the fit).
    • An IP55 rating is on par or slightly better than other wireless earbuds in this price range, primarily offering IPX4.
    • Earbuds have issues achieving the perfect seal with some users, which heavily affects the audio quality.
    • They have a worse microphone quality than other wireless earbuds in this price range.

    JLab Go Air Sport Alternatives

    JLab Go Air Pop vs. Go Air Sport

    JLab Go Air Pop on a rock

    Go Air Pop are $5 cheaper and more conventionally designed TWS earbuds with punchy sound yet more bloat and less details in the highs. Both have JLab Signature, balanced and bass boost modes.

    Both are equally comfy, but the Sport model takes the lead in stability. Also, their battery lasts longer.

    Both have a built-in charging cable and the same set of features. However, Pop has a much better mic quality.

    JLab Go Air Pop review

    TOZO T10 vs. JLab Go Air Sport

    TOZO T10 earbuds and case

    Less bassy but also not as detailed sound quality as with JLab’s. The T10s also don’t have different EQs you can select.

    The comfort is about the same, but the JLabs are far more stable and have better battery life.

    On the other hand, the T10 sport an IPX8 rating for the earbuds and the case, making them fully waterproof.

    TOZO T10 review

    What’s in the Box?

    JLab Go Air Sport accessories
    • JLab Go Air Sport true wireless earbuds
    • Charging case
    • 3 pairs of silicone ear tips (S, M, L)
    • User guide

    Specifications

    Type: True wireless
    Connection: Bluetooth 5.1
    Back design: Closed-back
    Drivers: n/a
    Frequency range: n/a
    Impedance: n/a
    Weight: 0.43 oz (12.3g) both buds
    Mic & Controls: Yes
    Water resistance: IP55
    Battery life: 8h + 24h in case
    Charging time: n/a – built-in USB-A charging cable
    Active noise cancelling: No
    Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC
    Wireless range: 40 feet (12.2 meters)
    Microphone: 2 built-in MEMS mics

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