When you think of true wireless listening, chances are Apple’s AirPods come to mind. Sleek, stylish, and amazingly compact, these impossibly small earbuds are leading the charge for the next era of Bluetooth listening, with more manufacturers following suit.
But, all of this innovation comes at a price: $159 to be exact, which can be a bit steep for some of us. This doesn’t mean we’re doomed to keep listening on our old wired earbuds, though. Designed as an economical AirPod-alternative, the AirSounds True Wireless Earbuds have the potential to make wireless listening more accessible, especially with their $29.99 price point.
At first glance, you’d have a difficult time distinguishing the AirSounds from their AirPod competitors, as they’re nearly the same shape and size. There are a few subtle differences, though.
As far as the earpieces go, the AirSounds are slightly larger and sport buttons on each earpiece for powering up/pairing. Both the AirSounds and AirPods come with sleek, white charging cases. The AirSounds’ case is a bit lighter than the AirPods’, however, and features a button on the back that you push to charge the earpieces inside.
Setting up the AirSounds is relatively painless. After sufficiently charging them, remove the earpieces from the case and hold down the power button on each one. Both earpieces will flash with blue and red lights, signaling they’re ready to pair.
From there, syncing them with your device is fairly straightforward. Using an iPhone X, we selected “TWS” in the pairing menu and were ready to go seconds later. When it comes to powering them down, hold the power buttons until the earpieces flash red before shutting off.
Specs and Performance
Before we get into the actual testing, let’s take a look at the AirSounds’ technical specs:
- Bluetooth version: 4.2
- Operating distance: up to 33 feet
- Playtime: up to 3 hours
- Playtime with charging case: Additional 8 hours music/talk time
- Charging time: 1 hour (earbuds), 2 hours (case)
- Battery capacity: 55 mAh (earbuds), 400 mAh (case)
The AirSounds sport the same Bluetooth technology as their AirPod competitors but don’t quite match their longevity or charging speed. While AirPods are rated to provide up to 5 hours of listening and net 3 hours of juice after only 15 minutes of charging in the case, AirSounds deliver just 3 after a full hour of charging. AirPods also win out with their case, too, as the AirPods net upwards of 24 hours of listening time when combined with their case; whereas AirSounds deliver about 11 total.
However, the AirSounds’ 3-hour battery life is more than enough to get the job done. Whether you’re sitting through a gruesome commute or pumping iron at the gym, the AirSounds pack plenty of power to fuel whatever you’re doing with your favorite tunes; and recharging them is as simple as sticking them back inside the case and pressing the case’s power button.
Given their incredibly low price point, we had our doubts about the AirSounds’ audio quality going into testing. However, after firing them up and syncing to our phone, the audio actually sounded quite good—much better than what we were expecting. Their sound is crisp with little distortion, and they fit snug and comfortably in the ear, making them a solid pick whether you’re chipping away at your desk or doing some intense physical activity.
Talking on the phone worked just fine with the AirSounds – place a call, and one of the earpieces will sync with your phone to play the audio; doesn’t get much simpler than that.
True wireless listening is no-doubt the future of audio, but thanks to the AirSounds, you won’t have to pay an arm and a leg to get on board. These earbuds sport the wireless listening convenience that makes AirPods so attractive, but for a fraction of the price.
While their battery life isn’t as strong, the AirSounds are by no means lacking in this department, as 3 hours of listening time is plenty to get you through whatever you’re doing. And, with the money you’ll be saving after picking up these earbuds, you can do quite a bit more with your spare cash.