Accessories

9 chic, wireless alternatives to Apple’s AirPods

All pretty in pink!

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When it comes to wireless earphones, Apple’s AirPods is still one of the most prominent choices. From being a lifestyle companion, it became everyone’s go-to accessory. Since it went mainstream, some people started looking for alternatives.

In a sea of AirPods look-alikes, we rounded up wireless alternatives to Apple’s AirPods — from earbuds to in-earphones, and even headphones. Though each has its own design and purpose, these accessories are certainly chic, stylish, and functional.

Now, hop on and let’s find the accessory that matches your life and style.

Samsung Galaxy Buds+ (SG$ 268)

If you’re not a fan of AirPods’ design, the Galaxy Buds+ is an excellent alternative. It’s compatible with iPhones and of course, Android. Also, it comes in Cloud Pink and other colors such as Jennie Red, Cosmic Black, Cloud Blue, and White.

Battery-wise, it takes up to 11 hours on a single charge, and another 11 hours with the charging case. It doesn’t have a noise-canceling chip, but it uses its physical design to lessen the surrounding noise for a pleasant experience.

Happy Plugs Air 1 Plus (US$ 100)

If you enjoy AirPods’ design but prefer it in contemporary colorways, Swedish lifestyle brand Happy Plugs has the Air 1 Plus for you!

Fostering a culture of fashionable, comfortable, and untethered life, the Air 1 Plus is the perfect accessory for those who want to look fashion-forward in whatever style. It’s available in Pink Gold and other neutrals that certainly match any outfit.

Sabbat X12 Pro (US$ 59)

A crowd-favorite, the Sabbat X12 Pro has been popular among casual listeners. Several Matchketeers — GadgetMatch‘s official fans and followers — recommended these TWS earbuds for a multitude of reasons.

For starters, its design is different compared to most wireless earbuds. It resembles the AirPods’ design sans the stem. Additionally, it fits well, produces detailed sound, and has good battery life.

Getting the Pink variant might be difficult since it goes out of stock quickly, but you can always take your chances.

Hakii Moon (US$ 100)

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Hakii’s Moon follows this philosophy on its design and experience. For instance, this pair of wireless earbuds comes in an elegant, Coral Pink aesthetic.

Moreover, it promises seamless and efficient navigation, with the earbuds turning on upon opening the charging case. It also pairs quickly with your phone and delivers seamless navigation through simple touches.

Sudio Tolv R (PhP 4,000)

Sudio is a popular brand of fashionable, true-wireless earphones. Among its roster, there’s an affordable, feature-packed accessory — the Sudio Tolv R. It comes in Pastel Pink housed in an ultra-light charging case.

It prides itself with long-lasting battery life and seamless pairing, making the Tolv R a listening companion that’s perfect for when you’re studying, working, or commuting.

UrbanEars Jakan (US$ 80)

For those who want to go wireless but can’t let go of the cords, UrbanEars’ Jakan is the perfect accessory for you. This chic-looking pair of wireless headphones exhibits a beautiful, braided nylon available in multiple colors like Powder Pink.

Thanks to its ergonomic design, it’s comfortable to wear around your neck since it has an adjustable fit and the magnetic earbuds lock easily. It also offers easy navigation using its control knob and lets you listen all day on a single charge — which lasts up to 12 hours of battery life.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 3rd Gen (US$ 350)

The third generation of Bang & Olufsen’s Beoplay E8 comes in a flesh-like pink and a massive battery life of up to 35 hours. It promises seven hours of playtime and an additional four charges in its case, which is capable of Qi wireless charging.

It has a compact and ergonomic design, resembling most wireless earbuds. Although the looks are familiar, the Beoplay E8 prides itself with better call clarity, fast and flawless wireless experience, lesser battery consumption, and authentic Bang & Olufsen sound experience.

hër Bluetooth in-earphones (EUR 70) 

Nudely elegant, hër in-ears are unobtrusive and comfortable to wear. It’s the perfect accessory for people on the go, matching any style perfectly thanks to its discreet color and subtly classy design.

But hër in-ears is more than just a stylish accessory. It’s lightweight and portable, and it delivers clear sound and balanced acoustics — offering the best possible sound experience. More importantly, it has a reliable connection that will let you move freely.

You can put your smartphone in your bag or somewhere near you when working out, and still expect a clear, strong, unbreakable connection — unlike the guy you last dated.

JBL Tune500 BT (US$ 50)

If you prefer wireless headphones, JBL’s Pink Tune500 BT might be the one for you. It lets you stream high-quality sound cord-free, carrying JBL’s renowned Pure Bass sound.

It also boasts a 16-hour battery life and quick, two-hours charging time. Its lightweight and foldable design offer great portability, making it the perfect companion on your short or long travels. More importantly, it lets you switch between devices seamlessly — something I enjoyed when I was using Sony’s H.ear on headphones.

SEE ALSO: 6 reasons why you should switch to wireless earbuds

Accessories

Nokia E3100: Trying new buds for work to workouts

Yes, Nokia has earbuds now

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Nokia E3100

Nokia and I go way back. It was the mobile phone brand of my youth. Our history includes a series of phones that predate the existence of touchscreen ones we use now. Everyone had a Nokia device then. In recent years, it’s become a rarity. So imagine my surprise when I first heard that Nokia is now making earbuds. How did it fare against the audio giants of our time?

First impressions

I got a hold of the Nokia E3100 Essential True Wireless Earphones. Compared to my old set of earbuds (Anker Zolo Liberty+), this one’s battery case and earbuds are extremely light, almost the same weight as a tube of drugstore lipstick.

The buds can operate up to 2.5hrs with a single charge, and up to 10 hours with help of the rechargeable battery case. Super convenient to pack if we still had our old lifestyle of going out daily.

On the job

I used to be able to maximize my earbuds on my commute — listening to music or watching series whenever I’m in transit. Nowadays, I mainly connect my headset to my laptop for Zoom meetings and other virtual work calls.

The Nokia E3100 did not disappoint on the sound side. Audio from the people I’m in the call with was always clear and crisp. But, it can be a hit-or-miss as a mic. The earbuds have a built-in microphone on the right side, but my experience with it left me wanting. There was a point when I had to switch back to the laptop microphone in the middle of a call just so people can hear my voice clearly.

Nokia E3100

On the mat

I also tried the Nokia E3100 for a few home workout sessions. Since the earbuds fit my ears perfectly, there’s no fear of it falling out in the middle of jumping jacks.

Another nice surprise is how you can easily skip or repeat tracks via push button controls on the earbuds. Less distractions to your exercise momentum! The only time I have to reach for my phone is when I want to switch to a different playlist.

Nokia E3100

Is the Nokia E3100 your GadgetMatch?

It’s reliable as an earpiece for listening to music, working out, and watching series. But when it comes to the demands of working from home, the current built-in mic just won’t do.

Nokia has to work on the voice sensitivity and responsiveness of the earbuds’ mic in order to take on this new age of virtual calls and meetings.

The Nokia E3100 retails for PhP 1,999 (US$ 41)

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Accessories

Apple launches the AirTag

Long rumored item, now finally real

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Do you keep losing or misplacing things? There’s an Apple product for that. Introducing the AirTag.

The AirTag is a small designed accessory and helps keep track of and find items you may have misplaced through Apple’s Find My App. It can help locate a lost item while keeping location data private and anonymous with end-to-end encryption.

It’s built using stainless still and is IP67 rated (water and dust resistant). The AirTag also has a built-in speaker that plays sounds to help signal its location. Its cover is easily removable to replace the battery.

If you bring them close to an iPhone, they will instantly connect. Users can assign AirTag to an item and name it with a default like “Keys” or “Jacket,” or provide a custom name of their choice.

Once it’sset up, it will appear in the new Items tab in the Find My app. Here, users can view the item’s current or last known location on a map. If a user misplaces their item and it is within Bluetooth range, they can use the Find My app to play a sound from the AirTag to help locate it. Users can also ask Siri to find their item, and AirTag will play a sound if it is nearby.

Customization

Customers can personalize AirTag with free engraving, including text and a selection of 31 emoji when purchased via apple.com or the Apple Store app. They can be used as is or with accessories like the Polyurethane Loop, Leather Loop, and Leather Key Ring.

Privacy and security

Apple says location data or location history is physically stored inside AirTag. Communication with the Find My network is end-to-end encrypted so that only the owner of a device has access to its location data, and no one, including Apple, knows the identity or location of any device that helped find it.

Price and availability

The AirTag will be available in one (US$ 29) and four packs US$ 99. It can be purchased from apple.com, in the Apple Store app, at Apple Store locations, and through Apple Authorized Resellers and select carriers (prices may vary) beginning Friday, April 30.

Customers can order AirTag beginning at 5AM PDT on Friday, April 23.

Apple-designed AirTag accessories include:

  • Leather Key Ring in Saddle Brown, (PRODUCT)RED, and Baltic Blue for US$ 35
  • Leather Loop in Saddle Brown and (PRODUCT)RED for US$ 39 (US)
  • Polyurethane Loop in White, Deep Navy, Sunflower, and Electric Orange for US$29
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Accessories

Sony launches WH-1000XM4 Silent White edition

In celebration of Sony’s 75th anniversary

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Sony’s best and highly acclaimed active noise cancelling headphones — the WH-1000XM4 — is getting a new flavor. The WH-1000XM4 Silent White edition is launching in May 2021 to celebrate Sony’s 75th anniversary.

The WH-1000XM4 Silent White has a pearlescent finish to the topcoat of the headphones to create a sense of depth and a luxurious touch. Worried about it getting dirty? It includes an additional coat compared to the earlier black and silver versions for more stain-resistance and to retain the white color.

All of the accessories included also come in white.

WH-1000XM4

New to the headphones in its 4th iteration is Multiple device pairing. This has been one of this headphones’ weaknesses and it has finally been addressed. You can now connect the Sony WH-1000XM4 to two devices simultaneously.

When a call comes in, your headphones will know which device is ringing and connect to it automatically. You’ll also be able to quickly switch your headphones to either of the two devices in a single tap.

It now also has Edge-AI, DSEE Extreme which more accurately rebuilds audio lost during digital compression for a full fidelity experience. The 360 Reality Audio feature is now also making its way to these headphones. It lets listeners enjoy a custom immersive musical field that is perfectly optimized for each individual user.

Price and availability

Exact price will be revealed at launch. The Sony WH-1000XM4 Silent White edition will be available across Asia Pacific in May 2021. In Singapore, it will be available exclusively at Sony Stores and Sony Stores Online.

SEE ALSO: Sony WH-1000XM4 review: As good as it gets

 

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