Truly wireless earbuds have been hitting the market left and right for the past couple of years, and most agree that the best are Apple’s AirPods. Today, Chinese wearable maker Mobvoi, the company behind the Wear OS-powered Ticwatch family, is taking a stab at it with the new TicPods Free.

To address the elephant in the room, yes, the TicPods Free are a blatant AirPods clone, but with a few tricks up its sleeve. Firstly, that comes with full Android and iOS compatibility. They connect over standard Bluetooth and can tie in with whatever digital assistant is on your device, including Google Assistant, Siri, and even Alexa.

For controlling functions and music, the TicPods Free feature a side touch panel on the stem. Users can swipe up or down to adjust volume, double tapping to end a call or skip a song, as well as a long press for rejecting calls or triggering an assistant.

Mobvoi has also built in-ear detection into the TicPods Free, enabling the earbuds to automatically pause music playback when you remove a single bud. They also feature ambient noise cancellation, call audio in both ears, and silicone tips to ensure a good fit for everyone.

As for battery life, the earbuds themselves last about 4 hours on a charge, but the included charging case can extend by 14 hours. Mobvoi also says these will feature fast charging, which provides about an hour and a half of listening time in just 15 minutes. The TicPods Free also offer IPX5 water resistance, as well as a Bluetooth 4.2.

Mobvoi aims to have the TicPods Free on the market starting in July, with pricing landing at just $129. That undercuts quite a bit of the competition, but if you get in early on the Indiegogo campaign, pricing starts at just $59. The TicPods Free are available in white, red, and blue, and come with a matching charging case.

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Ben Schoon

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