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I replaced my AirPods with these $25 earbuds — and I’m so impressed

I learned that a good pair of wireless Bluetooth earbuds doesn't have to be expensive.
Courtesy Daniella Musacchio

I'm not one to unnecessarily splurge. In fact, I used to be one of those people who refused to ditch their wired headphones because I thought that wireless Bluetooth earbuds were way too expensive. I just didn't have the motivation to spend all that money — my wired headphones were fine! Once I was finally persuaded to splurge on Apple AirPods, though, I instantly understood the hype. My days of getting tangled up in wires were over.

So when my right AirPod flew out of my ear and into the subway tracks after being shoved by a busy New Yorker, I (and four surrounding passengers) let out a loud, collective gasp. Suddenly, I understood how Kim Kardashian felt when one of her diamond earrings fell into the ocean.

I didn’t exactly have the budget to shell out another couple hundred dollars to replace my beloved AirPods, so I decided to temporarily use a much cheaper pair recommended by a colleague: the JLab Go Air Pop True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds. I’ve been loving them so much, they aren’t so temporary anymore. 

JLab Go Air Pop Bluetooth Earbuds

For the price, the sound quality is great

Since these earbuds are only $25, I honestly didn’t have very high expectations for them. My first impression was that the sound quality was surprisingly good. There are three different sound preferences that you can toggle between: JLab Signature, Balanced and Bass Boost modes. I was also impressed by its useful touch control features that allow you to adjust the volume, skip tracks, answer phone calls and more just by tapping the buds. 

The battery life is very long

My absolute favorite thing about these earbuds is how long the battery life lasts after a single charge. After all, there’s nothing worse than your earbuds dying on you mid-song or realizing that you forgot to charge them the night before your morning commute.

According to the brand, each earbud has over 8 hours of playtime and the charging case provides an additional 24 hours. I find myself being able to go an impressive 2-4 days without needing to charge the case at all. I've been using the earbuds for about five months, and I haven't noticed the battery life diminishing either. When you place the earbuds in your ears, a voice immediately tells you the status of your battery. When I do need to charge them, the charging cable is built into the compact case to make charging on the go super easy. No wires required! 

The charging cable is built into the case.
The charging cable is built into the case.Courtesy Daniella Musacchio

The earbuds come with three different-sized silicone gel tips. Once I tried out all the sizes, I was able to easily achieve the perfect fit for my ears. I’m able to wear them for hours without feeling any pain or discomfort. I recently started training for a race, and they never fall out while I'm running. I'd like to think that if I was pushed on the subway again, these wouldn't fly out of my ears.

Additionally, these earbuds are noise-canceling, which really helps me get in the zone and focus on any task at hand. I live in a busy area of New York City with roommates, so I often use these to diminish any unwanted background noise. With that being said, sometimes I find that they can be a little too noise-canceling. If someone starts to talk to me while I’m wearing them, I often have to take out an earbud to hear them. If you prefer headphones that allow you to still hear all your surroundings, I’d consider trying a different pair. 

Other shoppers are obsessed, too 

I wasn't shocked to see that these earbuds have over 28,000 verified five-star reviews on Amazon. "I’ve used these for 3 months now and I can honestly say this is the best $25 I’ve ever spent," one reviewer wrote. "For the price, it is a great value, and I will probably not go back to expensive noise canceling ear buds again," another wrote.

Will I end up splurging on a fancy pair of headphones in the future? Maybe. But for now, I'm more than satisfied with my budget-friendly pair.

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