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

realme Buds Q: Keeping up with the ‘new normal’

Wireless is the new normal

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When this year started, I’ve already laid out most of my personal plans: do more outdoor activities, travel to different places, and slowly pick myself up from the emotional downhill I experienced last 2019.

But what do we know, the universe has much bigger plans.

The past few months of quarantine has been a wild transition for me, especially as a person who finds solace in the outdoors. Staying indoors for a long time has challenged my mental health, and it’s still an ongoing battle that I face every single day.

A total shift in my personality

During this collective isolation period, the first thing I did is try to make peace with things I can’t control. I started channeling my energy into doing what is feasible for now — both in my career and personal life.

I began doing activities that are completely opposite from my usual hobbies, starting with yoga and meditation to help me become more present.

realme Buds Q

It is also the same time I shifted to using wireless earbuds after years of using wired earphones. I have tried several brands for a while, and currently, I am using the newly released Realme Buds Q.

Light and portable device that is compatible with all my new activities

Doing yoga in the morning is easier — the Realme Buds Q fits just right and it’s light in the ears. Personally, I really prefer using earbuds rather than open-type ones. The latter hurts my ear in the long run, so the Realme Buds Q is a nice fit for me.

I can do all the poses with ease and without worrying they might slip off my ear. It has IPX4 water resistance, so I don’t bother sweating a lot during and after every session.

I also use it during my meditation, and every time I go jogging.

Buds Q is also a handy companion to all my other activities with its intelligent touch controls. Playing music and answering calls is easy with just a few taps. It’s perfect for multi-taskers like me who usually attend Zoom meetings while preparing food away from my laptop.

Wireless is the new normal

While I still keep my wired earphones, the wireless technology is totally heaven sent. It’s essentially helpful in a lot of ways especially now that we need less contact as possible.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

Personally, the design is nothing too grand, just quite similar to the other earbuds I have tried before. The lightweight feeling is a plus for me — it weighs only 3.6 g, lighter than a sheet of A4 paper!

However, this newest earbuds offering is quite underwhelming in the sound department. While it’s good for upbeat songs with its dynamic bass boost, the overall sound is really not that impressive. Still, it’s a decent buy with its 40mAh battery life, which is longer compared to other brands.

SEE ALSO: realme 7 Pro review | realme 7 review


BUY THE REALME BUDS Q HERE

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Accessories

realme Buds Q ‘for Gen Z’ now official

Budget TWS earphones that do not look like AirPods

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realme Buds Q

It’s always refreshing to see a pair of TWS earbuds that looking nothing like Apple AirPods. That’s exactly what the realme Buds Q is.

The realme Buds Q was designed by José Lévy — the cooperated designer of Hermès and the art director of the realme Design Studio. Like their entire product range, this is primarily targeted at the youth (Gen Zs).

realme says Lévy took inspiration from the round cobblestones found along the shores of Normandy beach where he spent most of his youth. He and the realme team iterated the design over 200 times. They fine-tuned the curvature of the G3 curve just to give users a cobblestone-like design that is mellow and comfortable.

On the specs end, the realme Buds Q has a 10mm Large Driver and Dynamic Bass Boost. With the charging case, you should get up to 20 hours of music playback. The buds could also go on for three hours of single continuous calling time, four and a half hours of single continuous music listening time, five hours of single continuous gaming time, and six hours of single continuous video streaming time.

Pricing and availability

The realme Buds Q will be available starting September 30 and retails for PhP 1,490. It comes as a freebie for the first 10 buyers of the realme 7 Pro and is discounted by PhP 500 on Lazada only on September 30.

SEE ALSO: realme 7 Pro review | realme 7 review | realme Buds Q hands-on


BUY THE REALME BUDS Q HERE

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Jabra launches Elite 85t TWS earbuds with ANC

Elite 75t Range gets ANC upgrade

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Jabra Elite 85t

Long before smartphone manufacturers started making their own TWS earbuds after Apple made it a thing with the AirPods, it was Jabra that was quietly making waves in this device segment. Looking to take some of that power back, the company launches the Jabra Elite 85t with ANC (Active Noise Cancellation).

One of the biggest defining features other than the aforementioned ANC (which will dive deeper into later) is its design. It looks nothing like the stem-touting TWS earbuds that are all over the place right now. Jabra managed to add ANC functionality without altering their design too much.

Semi-open design

To balance comfort with wearability, Jabra opted for a semi-open design. This means the tower of the Elite 85t does not sit as deeply within the ear, giving users a more comfortable earbud, while maintaining a very secure fit.

Jabra has also adapted the ear gels to an oval shape providing a better sealing in the ear. The Elite 85t has 12mm speakers for producing “a big sound and powerful bass.”

Advanced ANC

To go beyond Jabra’s standard ANC and for optimized sound processing, the Elite 85t has a dual chipset. These are some of the smallest earbuds on the market that offer premium ANC to create a private, quiet space and deliver HearThrough to let the user hear their surroundings.

Both features are fully adjustable with extra focus on natural sound performance and limited occlusion (blockage/closure) and are achieved via the semi-open design and multiple ANC microphones.

The Jabra Elite 85t provides up to 5.5 hours of listening with ANC on, which extends to 25 hours with the charging case with ANC on and 31 hours with ANC off.

Elite 75t ANC upgrade

Both the Elite 75t and the elte Active 75t will get an ANC upgrade. The free upgrade is being made available to users through Jabra’s engineering on Qualcomm technology.

Taking advantage of the superior digital audio processor already available in the Elite 75t series and leading ANC know-how, Jabra has been able to deploy ANC in the existing product line.

The Jabra Elite 75t series will also be available to purchase with ANC as standard from October 2020. The ANC-enabled models will also continue to have IP55/IP57 rated durability, and a two-year warranty.

With ANC on, battery will be 5.5 hrs on a single charge (24 hrs in total with charging case), and with ANC off it will be the existing 7.5 hrs and 28 hrs in total. The addition of ANC as standard adds no additional cost to the earbuds.

Pricing and availability

Jabra Elite 85t will be available for pre-order at Jabra.com, Amazon and Best Buy in October 2020 and for sale online and in stores November 2020 at US$ 229. The earbuds will be available in Titanium/Black November 2020, and Gold/Beige, Copper/Black, Black and Grey January 2021.

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