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Wireless & Bluetooth Speakers

These AirPods lookalikes sound great, cost $49

That's one-third the price of the real thing, and in return you get better bass and a choice of black or white. Plus: Score a great deal on a Yeti microphone and get a free Assassin's Creed game!

funcl-ai-black

Get your Funcl on with these affordable AirPods alternatives.

Funcl

Another AirPods alternative? Hear me out. (Hear. See what I did there?)

I've written ad-nauseum about the BlitzWolf BW-FYE1, a personal favorite and a steal at around $35. But I'll admit they're lacking in the bass department because they merely rest inside the ear instead of creating that all-important seal. (AirPods are the same, just for the record.)

Want something that can really bring home the bass? For the past few weeks I've been testing an AirPods lookalike, waiting for it to finish its (wildly successful) Indiegogo campaign and become a final, shipping product. That day has arrived.

For a limited time, and while supplies last, Cheapskate readers can get the Funcl AI wire-free earbuds for $48.98 with promo code CHEAPAUDIO. Regular price: $79. (AirPods price: $159.)

First of all: Funcl. Love that name. Sounds like a clever spin on "funky," but also how you'd describe a "fun uncle."

As you can see, the AIs closely resemble AirPods, except here you've got a black option. Plus, they tuck into your ears like most in-ear buds, creating a seal that helps deliver some decent bass. For me they were a great fit right out of the box, but Funcl supplies three sets of tips should you need to go bigger or smaller.

I haven't tried exercising with them, so I can't say for sure how well they'd stay in if you're super sweaty. I can tell you they're IPX5-rated, so sweat shouldn't damage them.

Funcl promises a total of 24 hours of battery life -- better than six hours between charges and up to three full extra charges from the case. As they should, the earbuds immediately pair with each other and your phone when you take them out of the case, then unpair and start recharging when you drop them back in -- which happens with a satisfying magnetic click.

If I've described the BlitzWolf's sound quality as "good enough," then I definitely give the AI a "very good" rating. It's just a richer, fuller sound, thanks to the aforementioned seal. And that's what I'm getting from my iPhone, which doesn't support AptX. The earbuds do, meaning they should sound even better paired with an Android phone.

There are zillions of similar products in this category right now, many of them priced about the same. But not so many have the distinctive AirPods look, AptX support or extended battery life. So I have to go back to a straight-up AirPods comparison: Those cost $159, these cost $49 with the discount. Oh, and they work with Android. 

At this price, I'm a fan. But once they go to the full price, they'll have serious competition from the Soundcore Liberty Air True Wireless (the audio spinoff brand from accessory master Anker). Those models are also $80, and they're already in the running as our favorite in that price class (full review coming soon).

Your thoughts?

Bonus deal: This may qualify as one of the weirder bundles to date. Over at GameStop, you can get the Blue Yeti USB Microphone and Assassin's Creed Origins (PC) for $79.99. Over at Amazon, the Yeti runs $116 all by itself. And the game would run you $60 if bought it from Origin.

The Yeti is super popular among podcasters, but I'm puzzled by the pairing. This Assassin's Creed game has no multiplayer mode, so the mic isn't for that.

You know what? Don't care. It's a great deal on a great microphone, plus a pretty well-regarded game thrown in for free. 


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