The i12 tws and the Inpods 12 are a very cheap alternative to the well-known white earbuds from a fruity American brand. And wow, they can be so good. You can, because you just have to have the right one. In the meantime, lesser ears are also called 'i12'. They try to hitch a ride on success. But that doesn't make it any easier for us earbud enthusiasts. No worries: we looked into it for you and let you know in this article which i12 or Inpods 12 you should have.
In this article
Which i12 tws are there
You have the normal i12 tws earbuds and you have the InPods 12. The i12 are always white. The Inpods are matte white or have a color. There is 1 good version of both versions with exceptionally good sound for less than 10 euros. In addition, there are many versions that are less good. We went to great lengths to find the best (and probably original) version. But It worked!
We previously showed in our fake Airpods buying guide that the i-numbers that the earbuds have in practice say little. Often times, it is factories and earbud retailers who have picked up that a particular i-number is becoming popular and then they give their earbuds the same name. So for us it always takes a lot of work (and test purchases) to find out which earbuds are the best.
We tested a total of 17 different i12 and Inpods 12! This way you get the best information about which earbuds you can buy. Are you happy with that? Then sign up for our notifications and e-mails about new tests. You may soon receive our pop-up asking if we can keep you informed. Doing so will keep you connected with us wirelessly on our new tests and buying tips.
i12 tws review
The i12 tws are earbuds that cost around 10 euros. We therefore also assess the earbuds at that price. And let's get straight to the point: we do not understand how the maker earns money with these earbuds.
The sound is too good for the price. Of course you can hear that the somewhat lower tones do not come through great. You also hear (if you have the ears in but are not listening to music) a kind of buzzing in your ear. It seems as if you hear the chipset do its work to maintain the connection with your phone. Of course you'd rather not hear that. But the tones while listening to music are genuinely good for the 10 euros you pay. Only the inpods are slightly better (and even cheaper) in our opinion.
Connecting is easy. Okay, when you turn it on you will hear a Chinese woman say: 'connected'. That has a cheap character. In addition, disconnecting at the ears is also not that easy. With the more expensive earbuds (such as the i500 tws), the earbuds disconnect immediately when the charging box is closed. We did not get an i12 tws version that could do this. Anyway: that's why you pay less than 10 euros for the earbuds.
Siren lights in the earbuds
The moment you take the earbuds out of the box, the earbuds try to connect. You can immediately see that by the red and blue lights that go on. In turn, a blue and then a red light in the earbud turns on. By the way, you see those lights a little less with the colored inpods, but more about that in the InPods review below.
Both the i12 and the Inpods show a red / blue light when connecting. The lights are always off during use.
There is a microphone in the earbuds. That means you can make calls with the i12 in your ear. Only we prepare you: don't expect too much from it. People understand you, but not clearly. Even if there is a small breeze, you can no longer be heard. The microphone is really a component of earbuds where the high end earbuds differentiate themselves from the cheap tws.
Inpods 12 tws review
The Inpods are available in nice colors (pink, light blue, dark blue, gray, black, green, yellow). We tested them all because we wanted to exclude that not only white, for example, has good sound.
The InPods 12 tws are comparable to the normal i12, only they come in several different colors and they are matte instead of glossy. Much is the same as with the i12. Only in this case the price is a bit sharper.
Matte instead of gloss
The material is made of matte plastic. That feels very nice. It actually feels a little more premium than the i12's shine. Only they look less like the Airpods due to the matte plastic. But is that so bad? We don't think so. As far as we are concerned, it is an advantage that the earbuds are matte. Also with the black version (since the Inpods come in all colors) it looks super nice and dull.
Here you can clearly see the difference between the matte fabric of the Inpods (right) and the shiny i12 (left).
Size of the Inpods 12
For many buyers, it is important that the size of the earbuds is the same as the Airpods. Sometimes you see that earbuds have the same shape, but are suddenly a lot bigger. But we can assure you: the size of the Inpods 12 is the same as the size of the Airpods: 4.1cm.
With the cheaper earbuds you often see that the touch does not respond completely correctly. Only in this case the touch control works exceptionally well. There are some things that the Chinese makers could have handled a little smarter.
- Single tap: pause/play
- Tap twice: nothing (!)
- Twp three times
- right: previous song
- left: next song
Two things stand out in the programming of the touch control.
First; we tried everything, but tapping twice was pointless. Until now, we haven't figured it out yet. You do? Let us know! Then we will complete this article.
Second: you can turn on the previous and the previous song by tapping 3 times. Only when you do that on the right earbud will you go to the previous track. And that is not intuitive. As far as we are concerned, left should be previous and right should be next. Anyway, it is not a big problem.
Our expectation with the Inpods i12 was that the sound (just like the price) was slightly less. But again we were completely surprised! The InPods i12 actually sound slightly better. The heavy tones come out a little better. In addition, the earbuds are slightly better in terms of stability.
Volume at its highest
It was striking that the volume only started to hurt the ears when we set it to 75%. With many other earbuds this is already at 40%. The volume in the earbuds is therefore set very softly. This (in combination with the colors) make them very suitable for children.
Connect and disconnect
Connecting is easy. Okay, when you turn it on you will hear a Chinese woman say: 'connected'. That has a cheap character. In addition, disconnecting at the ears is also not that easy.
With the more expensive earbuds (such as the i500 tws), the earbuds disconnect immediately when closing the charging box. We did not get an i12 tws version that could do this. Anyway: that's why you pay less than 10 euros for the earbuds.
Finding the Inpods 12 is cheaper and better than the i12. We therefore recommend buying the Inpods. But be aware, we bought about 10 sets of Inpods from different sellers on Aliexpress. Clearly 1 of the versions was the original Inpods. And they were much better than the others.
The i12 are also fine, but we prefer the Inpods 12 because they feel nicer and firmer, have better sound and are slightly cheaper. You can also choose a color. We are fans of the Inpods!
Disclaimer: We have tested these earbuds in the context of the price you pay for the earbuds. Of course with earbuds that cost more, you get a much more professional sound with a deep bass. But for the price of these Inpods, we are really surprised by the quality.
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