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Get These Surprisingly Good AirPods 3 Alternatives for a Mere $28

The Tranya F1 earbuds have an open design and share some similarities with the third-gen AirPods. But they cost $141 less.

Tranya F1 earbuds and their case on a green background
David Carnoy/CNET

Tranya's F1 earbuds are essentially AirPods 3 knockoffs that cost a lot less. They list for $50 but are on sale for $35, with a 20% off instant coupon kicking in another $7 of extra savings, bringing their price down to only $28. They're a very good deal at $35 and a real bargain at $28. 

I've used other Tranya earbuds in the past and they're among the better sounding "cheap" earbuds I've used. The F1 earbuds have an open design like the AirPods 3 and produce pretty decent sound for open earbuds -- they have 13mm drivers -- particularly if you're not in a noisy environment (open buds let ambient sound in).

Read moreBest Cheap True-Wireless Earbuds for 2022

They also work well for voice calls with good noise reduction. I made calls in the noisy streets of New York and people said they could hear my voice well with minimal background noise. It's hard to find really cheap buds that sound decent enough and also have good voice-calling performance. 

The F1 buds have tiny physical buttons for controlling playback and adjusting volume, and their other distinguishing feature is they're equipped with an LED power display that's integrated into their case that shows you the battery life levels of your buds. With an IPX5 rating, they're splash-proof and battery life is rated at up to seven hours at moderate volume levels, with an extra 25 hours of juice in the charging case, which does offer USB-C and wireless charging. Yes, you heard right, wireless charging in a $28 set of earbuds.

These are good for anyone who's given to losing their earbuds often and doesn't want to feel so bad if they disappear because they don't cost much. Also, because they have more of a matte finish (instead of a glossy finish like the AirPods 3), they stay in your ears a little more securely. I kind of wish Apple did a matte finish with a little more grip to it.

They have an integrated LED that shows battery levels.

Tranya

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