You Can Buy AirPods-like Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Earbuds for $16 and Up

Most Bluetooth headsets on the market actually come with some sort of wire or holding mechanism, which may not always be convenient, for example I can’t use mine comfortably while lying down on the bed. But that to electronics miniaturization, companies have recently started to offer truly wireless Bluetooth earbuds, including Apple’s yet-to-be available $159 Airpods. This morning I noticed two similar products in new arrivals list, first with $59.99  QCY Q29 mini Earburds on GeekBuying, and then even cheaper, but not quite as good looking (and likely not so good sounding), “FreeStereo Twins Wireless Bluetooth v4.1 In-Ear Headset w/ Mic” on DealExtreme going for just $22.25 including shipping.

qcy-q29-earbudsLet’s start with QCY Q29 earbuds specifications:

  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.1 with HFP, HSP, A2DP, AVRC protocols support; up to 5-10 meter range
  • Built-in Microphone
  • Charging port – pogo on earbuds, micro USB to storage/charging box
  • Battery – 45mAh for up to 12 hours per charge; Charging time: one hour
  • Dimensions – Earbud: 17 x 25 x 29mm
  • Weight – 5.3 grams per earbud

QCY Q29 earphones ship with three pairs of silicon earcups, a charging cable, a charging box, and an English manual. You’ll be able to answer/reject call, lsiten to music, and all the things you’d normally do with a Bluetooth headset. The earbuds are also available on other shops such Banggood (now with 18% discount coupon), and Amazon US where you can also buy individual earbud for $13.5 in case you lose one. Reviews are generally positive on Amazon, but one person did mention that “Was ok but don’t stay in the ear well“, so I’m not sure it’s suitable for running for example…


The cheaper noname version shown above with all accessories has a shorter battery life:

  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.1 with support for SP / HFP / A2DP / AVRCP; up to 10 meter range
  • Embedded Microphone
  • Charging port – pogo on earbuds, micro USB to charging dock
  • Battery – LiPo battery for up to 3 hours talk time, 5 hours music , 55 hours in standby mode; Charging time: 3 hours
  • Misc – Not waterproof
  • Dimensions – Earbud: 2.7 cm x 1.8 cm x 2.7 cm
  • Weight – 9 grams per earbud

The earbuds also ship with three pairs of silicon earcups, a charging cable, a charging dock, and an user’s manual in English and Chinese.

You’ll also find various “true wireless stereo earbuds” on Aliexpress for various prices, and one pair that could be interesting is X1T earbuds selling for $15.99 and up.


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9 Replies to “You Can Buy AirPods-like Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Earbuds for $16 and Up”

  1. @cnxsoft

    I hate wires with a passion. My ears are weird so I only found one wired earclip model that works, but I’d accept annoyances to avoid cables. If these are “good enough” I’ll buy a pack of 3.

  2. @agumonkey
    The user experience will probably vary between users, as we all have different ears. The thing I worry the most is the thing falling while walking or running. But at least they are cheap enough, so if it does not happen too often, it might be worth getting a bunch.

  3. @cnxsoft

    Can’t say for the X1T but people told me Apple Air Pods had extensive research and test related to stability while moving. They say cables are the main force toward fall, thus no cables => less chance of fall. That said, with a cable can catch it.

  4. “5-10 meter range” means its the usual Bluetooth (power) Class 2 junk, while Airpods (and other equally expensive earbuds) are class 1 (100 meters). This matters because those “5 meters” drop to a few centimetres as soon as you put the phone in your pocket or on a particularly damp day.

    DSP used also matters – which affects audio quality, codecs supported (can it do AAC or just the minimum default SBC codec rubbish) and of course microphone – almost all of these cheapies don’t do beamforming.

  5. @cnxsoft
    I’ve just received my X1T earbuds. Some remarks.
    1. Pairing is fairly straightforward and the workflow is explained on the package.
    2. You need to power each earbud individually when you turn them on, but pressing the button on one with turn off both.
    3. Sound quality is OK, as good as my wired headphone (Awei brand)
    4. However, there seems to be a delay (maybe 500ms to 1 second), so while listening to music is fine, watching videos is odd due to the AV sync issue, and playing games not very good either.
    5. The earbuds come with three size of “cushions”, and fit well, but if you check your head enough they’ll come out easily. It’s probably not a good idea to use them while running. I’ll try anyway…

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