What can you really expect for £9.99? Well, not a lot when it comes to technology, but if you adjust your expectations accordingly you may be surprised.
The AirPods look amazing, they really do, and I can see countless moments where they would prove to be useful and maybe even vital. The ability to listen to a podcast when at your desk, on a bus or anywhere else using a tiny accessory that sits in your ear is enticing indeed. If you want a long relaxing bath on a cold winter night and worry about your phone getting damaged by water or steam, pop in an AirPod and leave your phone in another room. They make your phone much more flexible and give you access to media in places you may have previously discounted.
But do you need to spend so much money on AirPods? Probably not if your main focus is spoken word media like podcasts or audiobooks. I picked up this Bluetooth headset for under £10 and after a couple of days of use it has proved to be useful enough for me to consider it an excellent purchase. It cannot fall out of my ear(s) thanks to the ear hooks that sit behind, it is very comfortable- to the point that I often cannot feel it and it remains paired throughout the day and is always ready to use.
You also get a second earpiece which connects to the main unit via micro-USB if you want stereo, but the reality is that it works best in one ear for podcasts because the sound quality really isn’t up to playing music at the sound quality you are likely familiar with. Seriously, forget music playback and think of it as a device to listen to works and you will be happy.
It is charged via a USB port and apparently you should avoid doing so directly from a normal power source, but to date I have managed to get through each day with only a charge needed in the evening. This would normally be a concern, but I have used it a lot and am satisfied with the size / power ratio here. It tends to sit in my ear for long periods when I am writing and I can simply push it to start and stop the playback, it really could not be easier.
This is ultimately just a wireless headset, but is one that is very small, very comfortable and it does work very well. The price helps a huge amount and it could work as a decent test device to see if you would get enough usage out of the AirPods if they are a potential purchase of yours.
[Upgraded Version] VicTsing Smallest Mini Bluetooth 4.0 In Ear Headset Earbud Earphone Earpiece Headphones Handsfree with Mic, Noise Cancellation For iPhone SE, 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, 5, 5S, 5C, iPad, iPod, MacBook Air, Sumsung Galaxy S6 S6 Edage S7 S7 Edage, Note, HTC One (M8), Smart phones, Tablets – Black