Fake Airpods everywhere! On Aliexpress and on local webshops. But very often the quality is awful. Sometimes you can't hear the lower tones. In other cases they have a very poor battery. And in some cases the fake Airpods even have a complete different look and feel than the originals. We tested more than 20 different versions and we tell you in this article what is the best buy.
The i500 tws and i9000 tws are often the best fake Airpods
You read it correct: the i500 and i9000 are often good. That doesn't mean that if you buy the i500, it is always a good earphone. But we will explain later why this is. First we'll give you an overview with the best few tws (true wireless stereo) that look like Airpods.
|i10||$10||A bit outdated, but in 2018 when fake Airpods were increasing in popularity, they were top notch.|
|i12||$7||The cheaper variant without functions like in ear sensor, but for the money a good product.|
|i500||$15||One word: great! We have tested 4 versions of i500 tws and 1 of the versions impressed us a lot!|
|i9000||$15||The i9000 tws like the i500 tws is in some cases very good. Great sound and great options like gps, in ear sensor, change name.|
Difference in quality within versions
So if you buy let's say the i500 tws, it doesn't mean that you will get exactly the version we have bought and tested. We will add links in this article so you will have exactly the version we have tested.
We have tested 5 versions per i-number. So we have tested 5 versions of the i12 tws. And guess what? We received 5 different versions of the i12 tws.
As you see here: two i12 tws that we have bought look and sound completely different.
So be warned: the one i12 is not the same as the other i12 tws. In the above picture you can see clearly that the packages are different. On one of the 2 versions there are even a lot of typos on the package!
For example, it has written on the package: "Open the lip and conneot antomatically". And exactly that package contained a very bad version of the i12 tws. Maybe they meant "Can not" instead of "conneot".
What do the i-numbers mean?
You are probably thinking: what does the 'i' and the number mean. A short answer is: nothing. The long answer is: the Chinese factories are not always able to write the word "Airpods" in their listings and advertisements. Airpods is a trademarked product name.
So they started giving the fake Airpods different names. But the names like 'i500' or 'i9000' are of course no trademarked names. That means every single factory in mainland China can label their product as being the 'i500' or 'i9000'. The name does not guarantee the quality.
Any factory in China can label their product with an i-number such as "i10"
But don't worry: we will include links to the best version that we have bought. That way you are guaranteed to buy the version that we have reviewed the best.
What Fake Airpods are the best?
The best Airpods are the i500 tws and i9000 tws. In both cases we bought 4 versions. In case of the i500 tws wireless earphones there was one single version that surprised us very positively. These tws wireless earphones have the same quality of sound as the originals. You read that correctly: the sound is as good as the real ones.
Buy i500 tws (on Aliexpress)
Sound quality of the i500 tws
The sound quality of the i500 is great. The balance between high tones and lower tones are very good. And where lower tones lack most often in low end earphones, the bass of the best version of i500 tws was very good.
However, the microphone of that best version of i500 tws was a bit worse. It is hard for the person on the other side of the line to hear you when there is surrounding sound. But hey, it was not worse than we would expect from Bluetooth earphones of this price.
Features i500 fake Airpods
The i500 and the i9000 both have a lot of features that the real Airpods also have. They have an in-ear sensor, GPS (Find my Airpods) and you will be able to change the name of the i500 tws.
In ear sensor
The in ear sensor works pretty good. This means that if you take one of the earbuds out of your ear, the music will pauze. This is very handy when you walk somewhere and suddenly someone starts talking to you. Your first reaction is to pull out the earphones out of your ear. And that way the music pauzes and you are able to listen and talk to anyone you want.
On iPhones you can see where you had connection to the i500 Airpods for the last time. That way you can use the function 'Find my Airpods' in your iPhone with these tws.
One of the things that people consider as important is that they are able to change the name of the fake Airpods. Well the i500 tws you can change the name to whatever you want. So that is a big plus.
Can I connect fake Airpods to my iPhone?
You can definitely connect with your iPhone with these i500 tws fake Airpods. better said: by connecting the earphones to your iPhone, you will get some of the last features we mentioned. Such as GPS location but also the pop-up. Your iPhone will think it is connecting to Airpods. In the popup you can see the battery percentages of the charging case and the earphones.
Are fake Airpods dangerous?
There are no stories known of fake Airpods that explode or anything dangerous. We have tested a lot of these Bluetooth earphones and we haven't experienced anything that might be risky for your health. The biggest danger that you can face is that you spend 15 bucks for earphones that sound like trash. No physical danger here. And if you follow our advice and buy from the same seller, the danger for your wallet is minimized as well.
Battery indicator error on most of the fake Airpods
There were only 4 versions of all (around) 20 versions that we have been testing. With the others we saw an error as shown below.
As you can see the left earphone on the left print screen shows 38% battery. We placed the earphone back in the case and took it out right after. And guess what? The battery percentage suddenly showed a complete different amount (see the right screen shot). A lot of fake Airpods have difficulties showing the correct battery percentage. You will have to take that loss, or just buy the same ones that we have bought.
Buy i500 tws (on Aliexpress)
In the sales page on Aliexpress they give two options: Airoha chipset or Jieli chipset. The Airoha chipset is a lot better than the Jieli version. So we recommand to go for that version. The one we have tested is the Airoha version.