From www.androidcentral.com

Budget buster

JLab’s Go Air Tones TWS earbuds might be cheap, but that doesn’t take away from their functionality or reliability. These affordable earbuds are surprisingly robust, available in seven neutral shades, boast noise cancellation, and have unbelievably good battery life. Sure, the sound isn’t phenomenal. But, it’s good enough for everyday use and then some. Not to mention, JLab was the first brand to bring skin tones to the world of Bluetooth earbuds.

For

  • Very cheap
  • Comfy fit
  • Built-in charging cable
  • Excellent battery life
  • 7 skin tones
  • Equalizer in app
  • Noise cancellation in budget tier is appreciable

Against

  • Audio quality isn’t high-end
  • Only IPX4 splash-proof
  • Supports SBC codec only
  • No transparent mode

Premium gear

Beats is a high-end brand that needs no introduction. As you’d expect, the audio produced by the Fit Pro x Kim K earbuds is spectacular, and the mechanical buttons perform well. Keeping the price in mind, it is rather disappointing that these expensive buds miss out on certain flagship specs like wireless charging and a customizable equalizer.

For

  • Upper-tier sound quality
  • Apple H1 chip and Siri support
  • Decent noise cancellation with transparent mode
  • Snug wear experience
  • Mid-range battery life
  • Decent physical controls

Against

  • Limited to 3 skin tones
  • Exceedingly expensive
  • IPX4 rating isn’t robust enough
  • Lacks EQ in app

JLab probably isn’t the name that comes to your mind when thinking about alternatives or competitors to a brand like Beats. Right off the bat, this is going to be an unconventional face-off for that reason and many more. Next, you’re probably thinking about the ridiculous difference in pricing and how on earth we could possibly think up such a comparison.

So, why are we doing this? Why pit the cheap JLab Go Air Tones against the premium Beats Fit Pro x Kim K? The answer is simple. This battle between two great wireless earbuds is about their skin-colored options first and foremost. However, you would be surprised by the number of similarities between the buds apart from their available colorways.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the thick of it all to uncover whether the JLab Go Air Tones can actually compete against the apparently superior Beats Fit Pro x Kim K. Let’s find out which pick is better if you’re in the market for skin-colored true wireless earbuds.

Before Beats x Kim, there was JLab x Win 

Beats Fit Pro x Kim Kardashian and JLab Go Air Tones earbuds worn by two people

(Image credit: Android Central)

Aesthetics are an important part of our beloved Android phones and accessories, whether you want to accept it or not. Both the JLab and the Beats earbuds look fantastic in their own right. In terms of available colorways, JLab has the upper hand since you can get the Go Air Tones in seven skin tones, whereas the Kim K special edition Fit Pro buds only come in three skin tones. There are four more options for the regular Fit Pro, but we won’t consider them here since we’re comparing flesh-colored hues exclusively.

It is noteworthy that JLab, led by CEO Win Cramer, was the first audio brand to conceptualize and implement the idea of neutral colors in wireless earbuds that match your skin tones. When talking about her collaboration with Beats to create a similar color palette for the Fit Pro x Kim K buds, celebrity Kim Kardashian failed to mention that another brand — namely JLab — had already executed similar colorways.

While we won’t let this affect our final judgment of the wireless headphones, we feel it’s necessary to give a nod of respect to Cramer and his team for their good-natured reaction to this unapologetic and uncredited “borrowing” of their idea. Although CEO Win Cramer donned a wig and chrome getup in the likeness of Kardashian to poke some harmless fun at the celebrity in a mockumentary, no legal action was taken by JLab.

Good old-fashioned spec stand-off

JLab Go Air Tones worn in an ear

(Image credit: Tshaka Armstrong / Android Central)

With that out of the way, let’s move on to the cold hard specifications of both sets of neutral-colored earbuds. One is a pair of top-of-the-line earbuds featuring all the best hardware from Apple-owned Beats by Dre. The other is an ultra-affordable pair of TWS earbuds that packs value for money to contend with the best cheap Bluetooth buds.

Each pair of Bluetooth earbuds is designed to give you a very comfortable fit, though the Beats Fit Pro buds take things a bit further by adding a wing tip to bolster security. This prevents the Beats Fit Pro earbuds from falling out during rigorous movement, making them ideal earbuds for working out. Ironically, the wing tips also make them less comfortable to wear for prolonged periods of time as opposed to the JLab Go Air Tones.

The Beats Fit Pro x Kim K are undoubtedly better for those into fitness as they offer a more secure fit during dynamic activities. If you’re just going for casual walks and plan on having your earbuds on for a while, JLab’s buds are more suitable.

Category JLab Go Air Tones Beats Fit Pro x Kim K
Price $25.99 $199.99
Drivers Custom 6nm neodymium dynamic drivers Proprietary dual-element diaphragm drivers
Noise cancellation Yes, no transparency mode ANC and transparency mode
Codec SBC SBC and AAC
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.1, no multipoint connection Bluetooth 5.0, no multipoint connection
Controls Touch buttons Physical buttons
Battery 8hrs plus 24hrs with case, total 32hrs 6hrs plus 18 hours with case, total 24hrs
Charging USB-A built-in, 2hrs USB-C, 1hr, 5m Fast Fuel charging gives 1hr of playback
IP rating IPX4 sweat resistant IPX4 sweat resistant
EQ support Yes No
Colors 7 skin tones 3 skin tones

While the Beats Fit Pro x Kim K tout mechanical buttons that need to be pressed physically, JLab opted for touch controls in the Go Air Tones. Both work well, and neither input method is better than the other; your personal preference will dictate the winner in this category.

Regarding premium features and performance, the Beats Fit Pro wireless earbuds are outfitted with some seriously solid specs under the hood. The Apple H1 chipset enables Siri integration, and the buds also boast ANC with a transparency mode and spatial audio — something you won’t find in JLab’s entry-level buds. Beats incorporated its proprietary dual-element diaphragm drivers into the Fit Pro buds, enabling top-notch sound delivery, although there’s no equalizer to personalize the audio.

The Fit Pro x Kim K earbuds also have a more advanced microphone array, so if business phone and video calls are important to you, Beats are likely the way to go. That’s not to say that the Go Air Tones don’t handle calls well, and it’s just that JLab’s mics aren’t nearly as crisp and clear.

Beats Fit Pro x Kim K vs. JLab Go Air Tones

JLab Go Air Tones

(Image credit: Tshaka Armstrong / Android Central)

JLab puts up a good fight by providing stellar value. The Go Air Tones aren’t for audiophiles, but they are good enough for casual fitness and daily use. These budget wireless earbuds sound impressively good for the price, thanks to the custom 6nm neodymium dynamic drivers. It’s hard to find such a great pair of earbuds in this segment, let alone find a set with noise cancellation. Sadly, there’s no transparent mode on board which can be a dealbreaker for many.

Despite the lack of an ambient or transparent mode, the JLab Go Air Tones make a spectacular case for themselves. These buds are rated for 32 hours of playback, and there’s a USB-A cable built into the charging case, making it ever so convenient to top up whenever you need it. The companion app also has smart assistant support and a customizable equalizer. You won’t find such an amazing battery life elsewhere.

Beats doesn’t provide nearly as much bang for buck as JLab.

Beats doesn’t provide nearly as much bang for the buck as JLab. You’d expect to see flagship features like wireless charging, multipoint connection, and a much more durable IP rating, but that’s just not the case. For Android users, it gets worse. Since Beats is an Apple-owned brand, Android users miss out on a lot of the features of the Fit Pro x Kim K earbuds. If you’re looking to splurge, you’re much better off with the Jabra Elite 7 Pro, Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, or the Google Pixel Buds Pro.

 Which pair of earbuds is better?

Beats Fit Pro x Kim K worn in ear

(Image credit: Beats)

Now, of course, JLab’s Go Air Tones earbuds can’t compare with the flagship Beats Fit Pro x Kim K in terms of sound production and quality, and the price difference is literally eight times higher for Apple’s custom Beats earbuds. Bearing in mind that gigantic leap in cost though, it is impressive that the JLab buds perform so well and provide so much for so little.

The JLab Go Air Tones earbuds give you much better value for your coin.

It all comes down to value. At the end of the day, only one of the two products justifies its price tag and delivers in accordance with what you pay. The Beats Fit Pro x Kim K lack so many key features like an EQ, wireless charging, multipoint connection, and more robust water and dust-proofing.

JLab actually gives you a much better deal for your coin. The Go Air Tones earbuds are budget-friendly, so more people are likely to be able to afford them, and they are good enough for everyday use and light workouts. TheJLab Go Air Tones true wireless earbuds won’t satisfy audiophiles, but the overall package is excellent, and you get seven diverse skin tones to choose from.

JLab’s Go Air Tones earbuds pioneered the concept of skin-colored wireless buds in the industry. They’re cheap, practical, and fun to use. You don’t get fancy features, but the basics are all there.

Kim Kardashian partnered up with Beats to relaunch the upper-tier Fit Pro earbuds in neutral colors, giving us this concoction. These TWS earbuds sound great, but they’re missing essential flagship features. Cash burning a hole in your pocket? You’re better off buying the Jabra Elite 7 Pro or the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro.

Namerah Saud Fatmi is a contributing writer for Android Central. She has a passion for all things tech & gaming and has been an honorary Goodreads librarian since 2011. When she isn’t writing, she can be found chasing stray cats and dogs in the streets of Dhaka or slaying dragons in the land of Skyrim. You can reach her on Twitter @NamerahS.

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