TicPods Free are AirPod lookalikes that cost less and function fully with Android

  • TECH
  • Friday, 20 Apr 2018

TicPods Free will be shipped worldwide, most likely in July. — AFP Relaxnews

TicPods Free are truly wireless Apple-esque earbuds with ambient noise cancellation, in-ear detection and voice assistance, for a lower price.

The TicPods Free wireless earbuds have adopted the short stem design from the popular AirPods, added a few interactive features and are selling for less. Apple's AirPods retail for US$159 (RM618), whereas Google-backed startup Mobvoi is selling its competing pods for an early bird special of US$79 (RM307) on indiegogo.com.

Compatible with both iOS and Android, they connect simply via Bluetooth and can function with the various digital assistants: Siri, Google Assistant and even Alexa.

As for the controls, the company has chosen to include one handy feature that Apple fans boast about – in-ear detection. When listening to music or watching a film, if the user removes one earbud (presumably to hear what someone/something is saying) the sound automatically stops, and the app pauses. Once the earbud is popped back in, everything resumes from where it left off. Now the feature is no longer reserved for iOS users. (AirPods do work with Android but only with basic Bluetooth controls.)

Other control functions include a side touch panel, on the stem, where swiping up or down adjusts volume, double tap skips a song or ends a call and a long press will activate the voice assistant or decline a call.

Furthermore, TicPods Free, unlike AirPods, come with ambient noise cancellation and noise isolation. Combine that with call audio for both ears and those important messages from mum can be heard loud and clear.

While Apple's AirPods last about 5 hours and 15 minutes in the charging case gives a further 3 hours of battery life, Mobvoi's version lasts 4 hours and 15 minutes of charging offers 85 minutes of battery life. The AirPods charging case also has 24 hours worth of juice, which is 10 more hours than this new competitor.

But the TicPods Free could still give tech giants a run for their money. The Bose Soundsport Free and Sony WF 1000X for example, are both in the US$200 (RM777) price range.

Mobvoi plans to start shipping the TicPods Free in July and the price will be US$129 (RM501). The current early bird special of US$79 is available via Indiegogo, where the startup's campaign has collected over US$350,000 (RM1.36mil), far above its US$50,000 (RM194,201) goal.

— AFP Relaxnews

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