In the world of earbuds and especially wireless ones, the phrase “you get what you pay for” is usually the absolute truth. But, sometimes a product comes along that can give you the best bang for your buck by cutting out unnecessary markup for brand names and logos.
To set the stage for this review, I’m extremely picky about earbuds and headphones. I’m an absolute snob when it comes to sound quality as well as usability and technology. I spend about 10 hours per week running and working out and usually have earbuds in the entire time, so I know what works and what doesn’t and have a very sensitive ear to good quality sound and deep base. I’ve used all sorts of earbuds ranging from about $200 down to $30 and have only found a few brands that seem to be good for running.
Fit: In-ear shark fin
Run Time: 6hrs (earbuds) + 30hrs (charging case)
Water Proof: Yes (iPX7)
Design and Feel
The Airo comes elegantly packaged with; earbuds, wireless charging case, different sized tips and a charging cable. The case works much like the case for Apple AirPods where it protects the earbuds but also charges them, with many hours of charge time per charging of the case. The case is a good size and is compact, not as much as the Apple case but compact nonetheless. The earbuds stay locked in the case well and there would be no problems with them staying secure and locked in.
The earbuds are well sized and are just the right size to pack in good sound without being too large and awkward. The shape fits well in-ear and due to the shark fin that locks it in, they truly stay secure without slipping or budging at all. I was skeptical about their ability to stay in during running due to sweating and the repetitive motion but even on runs over an hour long, they never got loose or moved a single bit. Of all the earbuds I use and have used, I’ve honestly not experienced any that don’t start slipping out of the ear at some point mid-run except for the GoNovate Airo.
Control functionality is pretty good as well. The buttons can be used for various functions such as: on, off, pause, start, forward and reverse as well as for smart phone functions like summonsing Siri. The only issue I have with these buds is that the buttons are a bit too stiff. In order to activate the buttons, it requires a press that’s a bit harder than all other earbuds that I’ve used. Apparently the button is on a hinge which means that one side of the button is fixed and the other side is what swings up and down, if you press directly on the side that’s made to move up and down, the press is a little easier. This generally isn’t much of an issue, but I found that while running, it was a bit annoying to try and change songs considering the movement along with the required precise button press that was needed. This isn’t a deal breaker, just something to be aware of……. of course, if you’re not like me, changing every song that comes on, this wouldn’t be an issue at all.
The GoNovate Airo is a bargain option in the earbud world. It offers excellent features and sound that is comparable to other options 2-3x its price. The fit was comfortable and secure, with no irritation or slipping. The sound quality was the most impressive part, it was very crisp and clean with a deep bass. I’ve tried most of the popular big name brand ear buds over the years, and these were on par with some of the best and beat out many. I definitely recommend these, especially at their current sale price of $60.W
Sound Quality: 9.5/10
Build Quality: 8/10