Early Prime Day Deals Laptop Recommendations AT&T vs. Xfinity Prime Day Deals on TVs 4th of July Sales Best iPhone VPN 2023 Acura Integra Review Best Fitbits
We handpick the products and services we write about. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

The surprisingly good EarFun Free true wireless earbuds are back on sale for $32.49 (Update: Expired)

Good sound, a sweatproof design and a USB-C case that also supports wireless charging? Yes, please.

This picture doesn't tell the whole story. That's a wireless charging case. But it also accepts USB-C.
Sarah Tew/CNET

When I see people walking (or running) around with Apple AirPods, I want to go up and give them a shake. "You paid too much for these! And they're not even sweatproof!" Yep, little-known fact: AirPods are not rated to withstand any kind of liquid-related damage. And the standard warranty doesn't cover them against it. 

Thankfully, inexpensive AirPods alternatives abound, many of them able to handle vigorous exercise, no sweat. (Wait, make that, "Yes, sweat.") Here's a great example: For a limited time, and while supplies last, the newly updated EarFun Free true-wireless earphones are $32.49 with the on-page 20%-off coupon and promo code EARFUNFR. That's an all-time low and a Cheapskate exclusive!

At first glance, these resemble countless other earbuds you've seen. However, as well as supporting Bluetooth 5.0, they come in an admirably compact charging case with a USB-C, not Micro-USB, port. Better still, that case can charge wirelessly: Just plunk it down on any Qi pad. Apple AirPods: $199 if you want them with a wireless charging case. (Or $79 for just the case.)

EarFun promises up to 6 hours of listening before the earbuds need to return to the case, and up to four full recharges before the case itself needs recharging. Total listening time: up to 24 hours. EarFun also promises up to two hours of playtime after just 10 minutes of charging.

Equally surprising, the earbuds are IPX7-rated, so they're not just water-resistant, they're waterproof. I wouldn't take them swimming, because they'd almost certainly come loose, but theoretically you could shower with them.

What about sound quality, which is at least as important as features? For that I'll turn you over to David Carnoy's EarFun Free review. Verdict: "Pretty good" noise-isolating audio helps make these "an excellent value alternative to the AirPods."

As you'll see on the product page, this is a 2020 version of the product. Updates include volume controls, improved call quality (according to EarFun) and support for independent earbud use (meaning you can use just one if you prefer). Carnoy's review was written before those updates, so bear that in mind.

Meanwhile, nearly 5,000 buyers collectively rated these 4.3 stars out of 5. I tested the EarFun Free earbuds myself and found them to be extremely good overall. The key, as with most such earbuds, is to make sure you get a really good in-ear seal, and to keep swapping the silicone tips (there are three sizes included) until you do.

EarFun backs the 'buds with an 18-month warranty. AirPods are covered for only 12 months. So, anyone seeking an exercise-friendly, crazy-affordable alternative to the latter should definitely have a look.

Your thoughts?

Originally published last year. Updated to reflect new sale price and product features.

Now playing: Watch this: Trying the best cheap wireless earbuds under $40

CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and check out our CNET Coupons page for the latest promo codes from Best BuyWalmartAmazon and more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page.