Before Beats x Kim, there was JLab’s Go Air Tones. The company has partnered with nail care brand ORLY to curate seven Pantone shades covering a wide range of neutral hues, all designed to flatter the wearer. The most interesting part of all? JLab’s Go Air Tones are only $20.
Ever since Beats and Kim Kardashian released the Beats Fit Pro in three natural skin tones, the highly publicized special edition collaboration hasn’t lasted long enough. The earbuds sold out quickly in Apple’s online store and were hard to find (still available on Amazon for now).
Kardashian says he’s never seen “tech products, especially headphones, come out in neutral colors,” but Beats isn’t the first audio brand to launch flesh-colored earbuds.Old Kimmy says he’s JLab I don’t think you’ve seen Go Air Tones.
But don’t count the $20 earbuds. Color aside, the Go Air Tones offer the same specs as the Go Air Pops. This is one of the best value earbuds we’ve tested. The matte plastic buds are surprisingly comfortable and block outside noise well. The punchy, bass-forward audio lacks depth and richness, but the overall sound quality is surprisingly adequate. There are even 3 EQ presets to cycle through using touch-sensitive controls. This is truly amazing for earbuds this cheap. The most impressive thing about the Go Air Tones is the 30+ hours of total battery life that rivals the Beats Fit Pro.
Before the Go Air Tones were on my radar, I didn’t really want a pair of flesh-colored earbuds. As long as the earbuds have the latest audio codecs and a form factor that works in my ear canals, looks are secondary. So far, it has traditionally been either black or white. Easy.
I actually wear earplugs all day, every day. It’s also easy to forget that earplugs are a tool for hearing and communication as well as a form of self-expression. I use 1615 C which is the third darkest shade. It’s not an exact match, it shouldn’t be, but it’s a close match. The feeling when wearing it is similar to the freedom you feel when you post emojis in colors that represent you.
It’s unfair to call Go Air Tones the Beats x Kim collaboration “cheating”. After all, they were released months ago. However, it’s no secret that the Beats Fit Pro, which costs 10x as much, offers better sound and build quality.
We’ve learned the importance of improving the way we represent skin tone across the web, but we’ve yet to learn the power of this overarching message in the world of tech accessories and wearables.Beats x Kim Given the popularity of the collaboration, earbuds seem like a great place to start.