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I’ve used Apple AirPods for years now. Here’s what happened when I tried these $40 competitors (psst: they’re good)

The pros and cons of my new noise-cancelling, wireless earbuds.

7/31/2021 10:20:00 AM

The pros and cons of my new noise-cancelling, wireless earbuds.

The pros and cons of my new noise-cancelling, wireless earbuds.

As a writer who has been working from home with two young kids (and a husband) for the last 17 months, I’ve relied heavily on hands-free technology to get me through countless phone interviews, tuning my daughters out and listening to podcasts or music while cooking or taking a walk. Because I’m a creature of habit and a loyal Apple customer, I’ve only used AirPods — until my editor asked me if I’d be willing to try a competitor (the xFyro Active Noise Cancelling AI-Powered wireless earbuds, now on sale for $40 with code XFYRO5). I love my AirPods, but because they’re so expensive, I’m always worried about leaving them in a pocket and putting them through the washing machine (my husband has done this to his twice) or accidentally misplacing them (and being out a couple hundred bucks as a result). Here’s my experience:

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What are the headphones like to use? Upon opening the small black charging case, my iPhone immediately recognized the Bluetooth connection and I immediately used the earbuds to conduct a phone call. I could hear clearly and the person on the other end had no issues hearing me, but most importantly — I couldn’t hear my kids whining in the background. Ah, the beauty of noise cancelling technology. At one point though, one of the earbuds popped out of my ear, but I popped it back in — maybe my ear canals are smaller than I’d estimated? The actual earbuds themselves are a little longer than AirPods and they come with two size options for eartips; I found them to be comfortable though they did, at first, take some getting used to.

LEARN MORE: xFyro Active Noise Cancelling AI-Powered wireless earbuds, now on sale for $40 with code XFYRO5A small pamphlet is included and it explains how to answer or end calls, how to increase and decrease volume, how to pair the earpods with various devices, how the charging case works and more. (I liked that the headphones came in a black charging case, so you won’t mix them up with everyone else’s; though the case-style resembles Apple’s, the xFyro version is a tad bigger overall.) According to xFyro, the charging case has up to 100-hours of battery life and the earbuds can be paired using Bluetooth from up to 30 feet away. The actual earbuds have up to 8 hours per charge, are water resistant and are compatible with Google Voice and Siri.

What I like The sound was very clear, and I loved that the charging case had such a long battery life. Another big perk for me was the price: If these make their way through the washing machine or into a swimming pool or if they get lost or stolen, I can replace them for just $40, which means I’m still out less than the cost of a single pair of AirPods. These earbuds are comfortable, but if you’re used to wearing AirPods (like me), these will take a little getting used to because of their larger size.

LEARN MORE: xFyro Active Noise Cancelling AI-Powered wireless earbuds, now on sale for $40 with code XFYRO5Things to consider Though slightly larger, these earbuds actually feel lighter in weight and not quite as sturdy as AirPods. The sound is clear, but I wasn’t able to turn the volume up beyond a certain point — and there are some occasions in which I prefer or require louder output. The blue indicator light which flashes 1x, 2x, 3x, 4x, or solid depending on how much charge is left is a bit tricky to decipher, but with the charging case holding a lengthy charge time, I didn’t obsess over the indicator light.

Bottom line If you’re looking for an Apple-adjacent wireless earbud option, these sleek black Bluetooth-enabled earbuds perform many of the same tasks AirPods do at a quarter of the cost. I won’t completely ditch my AirPods, but if I’m taking a trip, doing something adventurous or know I’ll be in a scenario where my earbuds could get lost or stolen, I’d definitely put this pair to use.

LEARN MORE: xFyro Active Noise Cancelling AI-Powered wireless earbuds, now on sale for $40 with code XFYRO5 Read more: MarketWatch »

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