Cycling listening to music

JLab Go Air Pop earbuds offer a lot more than you would expect for under £20.00

Now we can argue all day whether you should listening to music while cycling; it has to be said it is one of those topics that divides opinion. For some, the thought of restricting one of the key senses is totally a no go area; yet others enjoy the motivation and escapism that listening to music can bring to a ride. Here in the UK it is not illegal to wear them, we are even allowed to use them in both ears if we so desire, although note that does not apply to every country, in some wearing headphones is banned altogether and in others you can are allowed to wear them in one ear only.

Small, light secure, & comfortable.

My personal conclusion and preference is that I wear just 'one', in my left ear (so I can hear the traffic passing me on my right) and I keep the volume down; for me it's effectively just background music. Yes, a reduction on any of your senses has to be carefully considered, we are all responsible for our own safety after all; as far I am concerned using my method I personally feel that I am still aware enough of my surroundings to both feel safe and ride responsibly. I have based my preference after many years of cycling listening to music on my bicycle, from a teenager using a Sony Walkman, then onto an MP3 player and like many of us I now play music stored on my smart phone

The light compact case has a built in charge cable.

As much as I've enjoyed faffing about with headphone cables over the years I confess going wireless had been my agenda for sometime. I decided to try an inexpensive pair to see if I could get on with them, mainly because I was concerned that they would not be comfortable or fit securely.

A pair that consistently received good reviews and at under £20.00 were these JLab Go Air Pop True Wireless Earbuds, yes they are at the budget end but I felt they would at least let me know if I could get on with earbuds. I have to say I have been far more impressed than I was expecting, the set up to pair them with my phone was extremely quick and easy; I simply selected “JLab GO Air Pop” on my phone's Bluetooth settings and they connected instantly. After that initial setup simply take them out of the case and they pair automatically, battery life is also impressive with 8 hours of playtime in each earbud and 24+ extra hours from the charging case giving a total of 32 hours.

The earbuds come with 3 different size tips.

They are supplied with small, medium and large eartips, I personally found the medium size resulted in a 'comfortable' and significantly a 'secure' fit, two boxes that I was able to tick with far bigger ticks than I thought I would. They feel very comfortable and even after a long ride they did not feel intrusive, neither did I have to push them back in mid ride, they were that secure; perfect for what I require really. 

The sound quality of what are in reality budget earbuds is what has impressed me the most. At this price I did not have high expectations, my initial train of thought was that if I had found them comfortable and secure enough I would then need to invest in something at a higher price point to get any kind of sound quality, but I have to say that has not been the case, the listening experience has been a very pleasant surprise, I have found them much clearer than I expected, with a lovely tone and with very little distortion, I do not feel the need to rush into upgrading to a higher spec' model that's for sure. The sound quality is impressive and that's before I take into consideration they were under £20.00! Now I am not going to pretend these are as good as higher quality earbuds, don't expect much finesse when it comes to build quality or features like 'Active noise cancelling', 'Gel tips' or 'Wireless charging' for example, but to me they seem far better than the price point alludes to. 

Available in a variety of colours.

Slight negatives are that as I am only using one earbud it does mean that I have a reduction in the touch functions, as some are on the unused earbud of course (scroll to the bottom of the page for the manual). To be honest with any gadget that has touch functions I quickly forget what each touch does anyway, I normally end up tapping merrily away just confusing myself and invariably selecting the wrong feature so frequently that I just give up using that feature. Technically you can answer a phone call with either bud as each has a microphone, although I can hear the other person OK they could not hear me quite as clearly as if I'd been using the phone normally. 

Another slight negative is that unlike the higher quality models in the jlab range you can not link to their phone app to select one of their 3 equalizer options for example, with the 'Go Air Pop' you can only select them using the touch feature on the earbud, which although allows you to hear and select each option you have no visible reference like you would have through the app. That said I couldn't do any of these negatives with my wired headphones either, so as far as I am concerned they are not even remotely deal breakers, I can use my phone to adjust and set the volume at the start of the ride select a created a playlist where do not feel the need to skip tracks via a touch function.

I have found them perfect for cycling. 

In conclusion do I like them, well that's a very big yes, they have massively exceeded my expectations. They are simple to set up, pair quickly when taken out of the case, small, neat, comfortable and secure to wear, have a great sound and battery life and at under £20.00 what's not to love!


32+ hours Bluetooth® 5.1 playtime

8+ hours in each earbud

15% smaller fit

Custom EQ3 Sound

Touch Sensors.

Jlab Go Air Pop

Instruction manual below