Cheap $50 knockoff AirPods vs. the real thing

“Apple’s AirPods are one of its most popular product lines in recent years and have resulted in crazy demand, memes, and dozens of knockoff products,” Juli Clover reports for MacRumors. “In our latest YouTube video, we picked up a pair of $50 i10 TWS earphones that have been designed to look like AirPods to see how they measure up to the real thing.”

“The i10 TWS AirPods knockoffs are almost carbon copies of the AirPods and at first glance, it’s hard to tell them apart,” Clover reports. “There are some noticeable differences to distinguish the two, though, which will be obvious to AirPods owners.”

“Sound quality was about the same with both, and the same goes for voice quality when using the microphone for calls,” Clover reports. “There are missing AirPods features, though. There’s no autopause/autoplay function when removing one of the i10 TWS earbuds from your ear, and there’s no simple pairing due to the lack of a W1 chip.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: After using real AirPods daily for years now with their quick-pairing, long-range connectivity, and battery-savings, “No Apple W-series chip, no sale.” Having earphones that are simultaneously connected to our iPhones and Apple Watches that switches audio instantly between the two is an unmatched experience.


    1. Shame on anyone who does? What about the average working class citizen who can’t afford expensive AirPods? Or the average college student? Maybe they want the convenience of wireless headphones but don’t want to pay out the ass for them. That’s a very idiotic thing to say.

    2. It’s a bit like Steve Jobs and Citizen X. Steve was the real deal. Citizen X is just the cheap $50 knock off who think he’s important because he has a pair of the AirPods and once breathed the same oxygen as Steve and exhaled a bit of carbon dioxide.

  1. Every time someone is wronged, we don’t need Nanny Government to come step in – increasing their power. That’s why we have them good ‘ol Government courts. If Apple deems it a good idea to block these patent infringing knock-offs, they’ll take care of the matter. No need for the White House or any other agency to stick their noses into matters that don’t concern them – which should be almost nothing…

    1. Have you forgotten how Apple tried to prevent companies knocking off iPhones? The courts didn’t do much to stop it and now virtually every phone looks and behaves like an iPhone.

      Apple is adopting the only realistic strategy with the lack of meaningful IP protection via the legal system. Apple develops proprietary protocols requiring custom chips which are unavailable to anybody else.

  2. Indeed, this is a quite flagrant violation of IP .. but at the same time, its price point is revealing in terms of just how much of a markup is present.

    Granted, this is a bit over-simplistic, because Apple does have their R&D expenses to recoup, but just what portion are these?

    One would be fairly hard pressed to rationalize these being so high as to have caused the effective manufacturing cost to have doubled for a bluetooth device, and even if that is true, then APPL investors need to be quite concerned that Apple R&D operations are so fiscally inefficient. Choose your poison.

    1. The fakes have no Apple custom-designed W1 chip and they forgo (steal) Apple’s design and marketing expenses. There’s your cost difference right there.

      You obviously don’t have AirPods because you don’t seem to understand the value of the W1 chip or what it does that the cheap knockoffs don’t have and can’t deliver.

      1. The fakes have no Apple custom-designed W1 chip ..


        You obviously don’t have AirPods because you don’t seem to understand the value of the W1 chip …

        No, you don’t understand just how cheap it has become to make custom silicone chips today. $1M will buy multiple R&D wafer runs (including new masks and bench testing) in even the more exotic wafer materials such as GaAs & GaN.

        TL;DR: don’t even try to defend the AirPod’s price by alleging a high cost on the W1 chip.

    2. Its not us who decides how much to spend on R&D, Marketing etc… It is the inventor of the device who decides…so its not your business to tell if Apple is efficient or not. Look at competing devices from Samesung and Google…they can’t match AirPods even after 2 years…
      is that telling you a story or not?

      You are indirectly supporting blatant copying of trademarks and denying copyrights…so nobody can take you seriously.

      1. You are indirectly supporting blatant copying of trademarks and denying copyrights…so nobody can take you seriously.

        Incorrect. What I am doing is observing how others have stolen and noted the difference is retail prices to gain insight.

  3. Having worked for a North American engineering company in the past, when we manufactured a part in North America, the tolerances had to be so tight that the reject rate was 40%. That 40% of parts were carefully recycled or discarded to never be used again. This adds to the cost of the finished product. Then we got bought out and manufacturing moved to China who manufactured at less than 60% of the cost for that same part. We also found out the reject rate was 70%. Tolerance for the rejected parts were out by just a minute amount, but critical in what we were making. Shortly afterwards, we found our product on sale on Alibaba or eBay as “OEM” at about 1/2 the cost of our own product brand new. Also without the workflow software that came with it. I would say this is what is happening with parts rejected by Apple. Whether they be earpod casings, iPhone screens, iPod chassis etc. I would say, we just need to be aware, when we purchase, what is a lookalike, and what is the real thing.

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