ByZachary Reginato 2019-07-04 6451
The package was a bubble mailer and there was more bubble wrap over the box for the earbuds, everything looked fine with the box.
The charging case (with earbuds inside) was in a plastic bag, not wrapped up like Apple's, but it was safe enough and they also included a Lightning cable (haven't tested yet) and instructions in both Chinese and English.
Case seems to be 1:1 minus Apple printing, has the chrome hinge, button on the back and Lightning port and a green charging LED inside. I would say the only knock is that the hinge isn't quite as high-quality as retail - something is ever so slightly loose, so the case makes a faint rattling sound if I shake it, and I can open the case with one hand but I can't really "flick" it open, I have to keep my finger on the lid until it's fully back (the closing click is pretty satisfying though). The earbuds themselves also look extremely similar with the sensor dots painted on but everything else looks the same (iirc the stems are marginally thicker than retail but I don't have those to compare with).
Everything came charged, 3 seconds after I open the case next to my iPhone 7 it shows the AirPods pop-up (name shows up as AirPods here); I don't know how the range is for retail but I'd say I need to bring the case within around 6" of my phone to get the pairing screen in a decent amount of time. No issues pairing so far, and I've been able to use each earbud separately from the other one (slight issue - when you put the other earbud in the case, there is a LOUD beep when you play music from the now-single one). In terms of connection range, I was able to walk all the way to the other side of my house and up the stairs before I started to experience any issues.
I've been using these earbuds since midday yesterday and so far they've worked very well. The longest I've used them at one time was probably around 2 hours, at which point the battery indicator at the top of my phone screen showed them somewhere between 30-50% charge remaining, and I haven't had to charge the charging case yet. I would say that while the AirPod battery indicator on the pop-up seems to be pretty much accurate, the case indicator is a little more screwy. It has definitely had a downward trend as I've used it to charge the earbuds, but it sometimes jumps up a few percent. I just plugged the case in with my personal lightning cable (not OEM) to see what would happen and the indicator LED is now sort of a white-green rather than the yellowish bright green it was when I opened it while not charging.
Much better than I was expecting considering some of the reviews I've seen; miles better than the crappy i7s I had before and at the very least on par with my Skullcandy wired earbuds (my normal EarPods broke a while back so I can't really compare. The bass is definitely there and nothing sounds weird or distorted; if you're in complete silence other than the music you can hear a little bit of static but you won't notice it if there's background noise. On the other hand, the mic was about as good as advertised, which is to say that it wasn't all that great. It sounds like it's only being recorded from one side, which is fine, but it also sounds like I'm talking from a few feet away and the quality isn't amazing. It would be good enough for casual use, though.
Overall, these really exceeded my expectations, especially for the price ($37, $32 with an eBay coupon) and so far I don't have any major complaints. I'll be sure to update you guys if something major happens. Let me know if you have any questions!
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