I’ve been wondering something for quite some time. Are the AirPods clones out there any good? I mean, do they feel and work as well as the original? For about 1/3 of the price even if they are not as good, could they be a viable alternative?
I’ve got two pairs of FruityPod on hand, a blueberry and in black and I can tell you all about them! I have them for a few months, and I was debating if I should write an article or not given that there is not much to talk about.. but in all transparency, I think I should warn you and review them.
The come in this little cardboard box, a box that does not look bad at all. It does feel a bit cheap and everything is moving around in it. Once out of the box, you have some paperwork a short charging cable and the FruityPod themselves. Wrapped in a very Apple-like fashion.
Once the wrapping is out… OMG no. The feel in hand is very, very bad. They are super light, and not light as in “ooh look at this slick, light product”, but light as in Dollar store cheap plastic light. The texture is soft and that is probably the best thing about these physically. The closing mechanism feels very low quality and it feels like it can break at any time. The sound they make when you close the case is tiny and not very reassuring like the original AirPods.
Same goes for the pods themselves, once out of the box they look like the real deal as in their photos and marketing material they look 100% identical, but once you compare them with the original they are close but not at the same time. They too are very light, they feel like a bad quality toy.
- Compatible with all smartphones
- HD Sound Quality & Noise Cancellation
- 3h battery life (4x charge in the case)
- Built-in microphone
- IPX6 water resistance
- Bluetooth 5.0 (10m)
There is so many things wrong with this, I’m not even joking… Let’s go over the first-use experience, and then I’ll go over the various features. I mean, I don’t like to 💩 on a product, but this is interesting you will see.
Given that I have AirPods and know all there is to know about them, I figured I should be able to use the FruityPod, pair them and use them without the manual, right? Well, kind of.
Opening the case you, sometimes, have the native AirPods UI peaking out of the bottom of your iPhone. I say sometimes, because it really is not reliable and most often than not does not show up. If by a miracle, you get it to show up, then you can pair the FruityPod. But even the, you might get an error connecting, or if you are lucky only one of the FruityPod will connect. There are very specific pairing steps detailed on their website.
You put them in your ears and the black pair I had only spoken to me in Chinese and the blueberry one in English. There is a way to change the language before pairing them. Then about 10 minutes later, they were both in English.. OK, I don’t mind that much, but I do find it weird.
Let’s then start playing some music. Know that I don’t consider myself an audiophile, but I have tried systems worth 10s of thousands of dollars and crazy expensive headphones and in all cases I could notice a significant difference from more affordable products. I’m also a musician and have somewhat of a good ear to grasp all of the dynamic range of good music reproduction. The FruityPod are not better than a 2$ pair of earphones from DealExtreme!
Around 2007 or 2008 I got some fake in-ear earphones that looked like the Apple ones from DealExtreme, they were called
For iPod Noise Isolation Earbuds NORREBO and cost exactly 2.00 USD. They looked like the real thing from a distance, but the quality was not there at all. Here’s a review from iLounge about the official ones.
Why do I digress? Well, because once I started playing music with the FruityPod, the music sounded tiny and exactly like the 2$ earphones I got from DX! No bass, all the frequencies are muddied together and frankly the sound is garbage. I listened to Rage Against the Machine, Deftones and a few Dream Theater songs that I know by heart and boy, were my ears in for a treat. And not a good treat. I hated the experience.
If you need another example to really understand the bad quality of the drivers, imagine those cheap Dell laptops from the 2000s with their awful speaker array, and put them inside your ears. No dynamic range, and just a poor and awful sound.
Now let’s go over the various tech specs of the FruityPod to complete our well-rounded review of this product.
HD Sound Quality & Noise Cancellation
We already covered the first one, they are not high definition by any stretch of the imagination, and there is absolutely no noise cancellation. They probably mean that you will hear noise from them, as the sound reproduction is so bad that it is noise, and that this noise will cover noise from around you, then yes, this noise will cancel other noises. But it will not actively remove the noise around you like Bose, Sony or Apple do with their various products. As for passive noise cancellation, they are not sealing your air canal so they cannot claim to do passive noise cancellation either. I’m really at a loss here…
3h Battery Life
Frankly, I did not want to have those in my ears for that many hours… it was that bad. I think the promise of around 3h is slightly exaggerated from the use my kids made of them. It’s more around the 2h mark or slightly above.
Yes, they do have one. How does it sound? Well, have a listen and you will ~see~ hear it!
The bass is way too high on the FruityPod and the quality overall not very good. The AirPods first generation is known not to be that great with their microphones, but the FruityPod are even worst.
IPX6 Water Resistance
For this bit I will refer you to Wikipedia on the IP Code page. IP means Ingress Protection and the first number is the protection against a foreign object like dust or an ant, or even a finger. The X means they have no data. OK, then the second number means water resistance. They say 6, which means
Powerful water jetswith a test that does
Water projected in powerful jets (12.5 mm (0.49 in)) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
Fair, I guess the case can protect itself and the pods, but from the build and assembly quality, I would not even want to try it. Forget about forgetting them in the washing machine, this is sudden death for them for sure.
So I haven’t tested them myself, but I’m not confident about them…
This is the single good thing about these, their soft rubber texture is actually very soft to the touch and they do not attract fingerprints. It’s a minor issue you will say, but it’s the most truthful claim they also make.
So the FruityPod are not a good replacement for AirPods, in fact, they are just looking alike but they have zero common features that work as well. They promise good pairing, good sound, good looks and more, but all they can do it look good in product shots. Not even in person, in your hands.
I was not expecting a product as good as the 1st generation AirPods, but I was expecting a product that is worth this price, about 1/3 of the AirPods, therefore about 1/3 as good. These are about 1/10 as good and I would not spend more than 10-15$ on them. With Free Shipping.
I hate the sound reproduction, even the packaged Apple earphones are 100 times better in terms of quality. Stay away from them, I do not recommend them at all, not even for kids, save their little ears and allow them to ear all of the frequencies of music in a much better pair!
- Soft touch finish
- No fingerprints
- Aweful sound reproduction
- Cheapest build quality and materials
- Pairing is spotty at best
- Mix of chinese and english commands
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