Hands-on review: JLab Go Work Pop Bluetooth headset
Image credit: JLab
We embrace the colours of spring (and black) with JLab's latest wireless headset.
One year ago this month, we looked at, listened to and spoke through JLab's debut Go Work headset. At the time, we described them as a "straightforward, no-nonsense, good-quality headset with microphone, equipped with all the key functionality necessary for reliable video calling", with the caveat that there was only the sole black colourway.
Well, good news, fans of the colour spectrum. JLab has reworked the Go Work Pop headset for 2023 with a few technical enhancements and a fresh choice of three colours. One of them is still Black (classic); the others are Lilac and Teal, the latter being a tropical shade of green. We had Teal on test, but the tech spec is the same for all three options.
The key tweaks make the new Go Work Pop headset smaller, lighter, battery life-ier and Bluetooth-ier – plus the price has also improved, being around £20 cheaper at launch than 2022's debut.
It looks like working from home is here to stay – and even when you're back in the office, the chances are that some of the people with whom you have to talk and video chat will themselves be at home. A dedicated headset is thus a great item to have handy and ready to connect; it's arguably better than scrambling for your earbuds every time and hoping the microphone is picking up your every word.
The Go Work Pop neatly combines headphones (40mm dynamic drivers, neodymium magnet, 20-20kHz, 32Ω) and noise-cancelling MEMS boom microphone, the latter of which can be rotated out of mouth's way when you're not using it.
Now connecting to Bluetooth 5.3, with that update's energy-efficiency and audio improvements, the Pops also support multipoint connection, so you can switch between two devices without having to forget and reconnect every time. Chat all day for work via your computer; chill in the evening with music and video on your phone or tablet. The Pops will switch and connect between known devices, no problem.
Contemplating all-day stamina, the battery life for the Pops is stated as being approximately 50 hours – five hours more than last year's model. During our tests, the 380mAh lithium-polymer battery effectively seemed to run forever between charges with regular daily use, as it's refreshingly rare to have to sit through a continuous 50-hour-long Zoom call. A top-up charging boost every couple of days and we've never found ourselves caught short by the Pops dying on us. Charging is done via the supplied USB-A to USB-C cable (oddly, supplied in JLab’s signature vivid blue colour for all three headset options; no acccessorising here) and from flat to full takes around two and a half hours.
However long you wear the headset, they're comfortable enough with a new fabric covering for the earpieces over the Cloud Foam cushioning. It's not what you'd call a voluptuous provision of pillowy comfort, but it's more than good enough for daily use. With the expandable headband, it's easy to get a good fit for any size melon. JLab has also shaved nearly 70g off the overall weight (101g instead of 170g) for the Pops, which is nice. Slimmer for summer.
As we said with last year's Go Work headset, the sound of the Pops is pretty good. Not audiophile-level quality, but equally not 'angry wasps in a tin can' buzzy and awful. There's still a lingering misconception that a work-oriented telechat headset is only going to have barely tolerable audio quality, but this is palpably not true, at all, with the Go Work headsets. You can quite happily move from home to office and back home again, enjoying music, film and TV either side of your Teams call with Phil from Marketing. It will all sound good, with JLab's EQ2 voice and music modes on hand to fine-tune each specific use case.
The multi-function buttons on the headset allow the wearer to play/pause the audio, control the volume, answer or reject calls, and mute or change tracks. In a video call, when you're on mute a light at the end of the boom mic indicates status and you can easily see this out of the corner of your eye, thus avoiding the dreaded mime routines from other call participants.
You also get a two-year warranty from JLab, which is double the industry-standard 12 months.
Last year's Go Work headset was easy to recommend as a staple for your desk, be it for WFH or proper office duty. This year's iteration takes a good idea and makes it better – also adding a Pop of colour and cutting the price. Win-win-win.
JLab Go Work Pop wireless headset
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