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