I'm feeling a crusade coming on. 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 sweat-proof!" Yep, little-known fact: AirPods are not rated to stand up against any kind of liquid-related damage. And the standard warranty doesn't cover them against that.
Thankfully, inexpensive alternatives abound, many of them able to withstand vigorous exercise, no sweat. (Wait, make that, "Yes, sweat.") Here's a great example: For a limited time, and while supplies last, the EarFun Free true-wireless earphones (black) are $34.79 with promo code CNETCSK2. That's an extra 13% off the already low sale price of $40. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.
At first glance, the EarFun Free resembles countless other earbuds you've seen. However, in addition to supporting Bluetooth 5.0, they come in a charging case that has 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 six 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. Verdict: "Pretty good" noise-isolating audio helps make these "an excellent value alternative to the AirPods."
Meanwhile, over 300 Amazon buyers collectively rated the EarFun Free 4.5 stars out of 5. A small percentage of those ratings are questionable, according to Fakespot and ReviewMeta, but most are legit.
These were already a steal at $40. At this price, anyone seeking an exercise-friendly, crazy-affordable alternative to AirPods should definitely have a look.
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