“Take a look at this photo,” Rick Broida writes for CNET.

Can you spot the AirPods imposter? (photo: Rick Broida/CNET)

Can you spot the AirPods imposter? (photo: Rick Broida/CNET)

 
“Two pairs of Apple AirPods, right? Nope: One of them is a clone, a knockoff, an off-brand replica,” Broida writes. “If you’ve seen these before — and they’re kind of everywhere — I’ll bet you wondered the same thing I did: How do they compare? Can $35 true-wireless earbuds possibly rival Apple’s $159 ones?”

“For this test, I ended up going with the AirSounds True Wireless Earbuds, which cost $35,” Broida writes. “Although the AirSounds and AirPods cases are physically identical and within a millimeter of being the exact same size, the earbuds themselves are slightly different. Specifically, the earbud part of the AirSounds is larger — just a tiny bit, but enough to put a little pressure on my ear cartilage and feel uncomfortable after maybe 20 to 30 minutes. Your mileage may vary. If EarPods or AirPods tend to fall out of your ears, the AirSounds might prove a perfect fit.”

“In terms of features, the AirPods blow the AirSounds out of the water; the latter has none of the advanced features of the former, like automatically pausing playback when you take one out of your ear. I can live with that, but I can’t live without auto-connect,” Broida writes. “the AirSounds sounded pretty darn good. Better than the AirPods? No. But decent overall? Yes.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: In the end, Broda found himself questioning whether an AirPod clone makes sense at all.

Here’s the thing, even if these $35 pieces of junk did everything AirPods can do and sounded as good, it’s morally wrong to support a knockoff maker and eschew the actual innovator who did all of the work to create the product, regardless of the price difference. Being a cheapskate doesn’t absolve you of supporting IP-trampling, trade dress-stealing thieves. This goes for upside-down and backwards fake Macs (Windows PCs), iPhone/iOS knockoffs/wannabes (basically any Android phone), and any other knockoff you can come up with.

If you screw the innovators enough by supporting thieves, you retard the impetus to innovate to the detriment of everyone.