Apple Airpods are indeed a thing of beauty – smart, ultra sleek, and offering superior quality sound one typically expects from Apple. But priced at $150 – $250 a pair, they may not fit every budget. This is the reason an increasing number of alternative wireless headphones – also called “fake Airpods” – are hitting the market with a vengeance.

As with all tech products, one size rarely fits all. Some look towards getting the maximum bang for their buck. Others look for under $100 deals. And some others are in it purely for the sound quality and playback time. Through this blog, we explore 3 top qualities to consider, and 4 branded products that meet these considerations.

Pro-movement

If you think that sound quality is often the discerning feature, think again. Most $100 earbuds offer a decent quality of bass and treble, with minimal distortion at higher volumes. However, not all of them are built to accompany you when you go out for a run.

Today, people use these “fake Airpods” as a fitness enhancing accessory – when they are at the gym, at a running park, while walking for groceries, and perhaps even to stand up straight without hunching while you’re stuck in a train. Hence, the fit of the earphones place a crucial role in deciding its durability.

Here, look for earphones that come with multiple ear tip and wing sizes, so you can enjoy a custom fit. If you are also the kind to regularly soak in your swear during an audio-accompanied workout, look for earbuds that come with a waterproof feature.

Compatibility with smartphones

In order to produce high quality sound, your earbuds should be able to carry sound waves, without any loss in quality. For this, they need to support the higher AptX and AAC codecs for encrypting sound waves. On top of this, older protocols may be used, leading to quality loss.

Also, imagine a cheap yet high quality Micromax earbud that only works with Micromax smartphones. This may not help you in the long run, especially if you suddenly decide to ditch your phone for a better brand. On top of this, choose earbuds that are at least compatible with Android and iOS technology.

Additional Features

Fake Airpods or not, they need to distinguish themselves from other pedestrian products through at least one extra feature. Perhaps noise reduction technology, or custom fits, or waterproof features, or an array of trendy colors – just something beyond an ordinary, earbud enhanced with wireless technology.

Finally, here are 4 popular wireless earbuds that are priced under $130 and still offer value for your money.

Amazon Echo buds

  • Under $130.
  • Immerse sound with high quality playback and noise reducing technology. Also includes passthrough mode when you need to be aware of your surrounding sounds.
  • Compatible with Android and IPhone.
  • Left and right earbuds can be used independently of each other – useful during driving and to further extend playback time.
  • 5 hours playback per charge, with 20 additional hours using the charging
  • Comes with 3 ear-tip sizes for exact fit.

What’s missing?

  • No mention of waterproof feature
  • No mention of “find my earbud” feature, a must-have for those who often find their earbuds all over the place.
  • Sharpness of bass sounds lost at high volumes.

Samsung Galaxy buds

  • Under $110
  • Known brand with high quality sound. So expect decent bass and treble without distortion even at high volumes.
  • 6 hours of playback per charge. Charging case can extend this for 10 additional hours.
  • Compatible with both Android and IPhone. Can choose from 3 different ear and wing tip sizes for perfect fit.
  • Includes “find my earbuds” feature.

What’s missing?

  • Some features only work with Android/Samsung phones.
  • No mention of waterproof features.

JBL Endurance Peak True headphones

  • Chunky headphones, still under $100.
  • Includes waterproof features so you can work out with them even in the rain.
  • Aligned with rugged and sturdy JBL branding, so expect them to last longer than delicate earbuds.

What’s missing?

  • Does not include noise cancelling (or noise reducing) feature.

Edifier TWS2 earbuds

  • Cheap, under $50!
  • Decent sound, without heavy bass or jarring treble. Sustains sound quality in low to medium volumes.
  • 3 hours playback with charge, and additional 9 hours from charging case

What’s missing?

  • Basic features only, so no noise cancellation or waterproof features.
  • Clunky look and feel.
  • One fit, so cannot be customized.

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