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TaoTronics SoundLiberty 53 true-wireless earbuds look like AirPods Pro but cost $30 (Update: Expired)

They may not block all noise, but they'll reduce it considerably -- and save you $220.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read

They sure look like the AirPods Pro, but the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 53 cost a lot lot lot less.

Rick Broida/CNET

Nothing beats escaping into your tunes while blocking the blare of the outside world (or, in these times, inside world). There are two ways modern earphones help you accomplish that. First, there's a physical seal between the silicone ear tips and your ear canals. Then there's ANC (active noise cancellation) technology, which produces a secondary noise that matches and reduces what's happening outside.

Apple's popular AirPods Pro employs both methods -- to the tune of $250. Don't want to spend that much? Consider a pair of noise-isolating earbuds, which rely solely on that physical seal. They may not eliminate all noise, but they'll definitely reduce it. With a good seal, you'll have a much easier time hearing your music or movie.

So, how much do stand to save over AirPods Pro? Today, a lot: For a limited time, and while supplies last, you can once again get the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 53 true wireless earbuds (white) for $29.99 with promo code BH053MI. Regular price: $44.99. (This deal is offered directly from the manufacturer; last time it was sold through Amazon.) Update: The TaoTronics site has been down the last couple days.

The SoundLiberty 53 is a dead ringer for last year's TaoTronics TT-BH053, which CNET's David Carnoy ranked among "the better sub-$50 true-wireless earphones." In fact, from what I can tell from the specs, the only real difference is a slightly improved IPX waterproof rating: IPX7 versus IPX6 on the 2018 model.

Read more: Best AirPod Pro alternatives that cost less  

Everything else appears to be the same: "Pipe" design, battery life (5 hours, with the promise of seven full recharges from the compact charging case), Bluetooth 5.0 and so on.

As noted, these look a lot like AirPods Pro, complete with noise-isolating ear tips. Just don't expect ANC. Likewise, don't expect more modern features like wireless case-charging or even USB-C; the case uses micro-USB.

But, jeez, $30. Not $50, not $100, and definitely not $250. Current Amazon rating: a decent 4.3 stars from over 3,000 buyers. If you're curious about true-wireless earbuds, definitely check these out.

Your thoughts?

Originally published earlier this year. Updated to reflect new availability.

Watch this: The best true wireless earbuds available now

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