The Apple AirPods may be popular, but they don't offer the best battery life in the world – and they're pretty pricey to boot.
SoundMagic's latest true wireless earbuds, the TWS50, could prove a compelling AirPods alternative, with a longer battery life and a cheaper price, coming in at $89.99 / £79.99 / AU$135.
- Read our original AirPods review
- Want noise cancellation? Check out the AirPods Pro
- These are the best true wireless earbuds of 2020
For comparison, the Apple AirPods cost $159 / £159 / AU$249 with the standard charging case, and $199 / £199 / AU$319 with a Wireless Charging Case bundled in.
While the new TW50 True Wireless Earbuds don't come with wireless charging, SoundMagic claims that they offer a better battery life than the AirPods, coming in at 30 hours in total – that's six hours from the buds themselves and around 24 hours provided by the charging case.
Don't sweat it
They also come with an IPX7 waterproof rating – that means they can handle being submerged underwater for 30 minutes, at a depth of up to one meter. That's more that enough to withstand a little sweat from your workout, potentially making them ideal running headphones – if the fit is secure enough, of course.
Support for the latest wireless standard, Bluetooth 5.0, means that these buds should offer good connectivity as well as a 'Dual Listening' mode – this allows the left and right earbuds to connect to different devices, so you could presumably share your buds with a friend in a pinch.
Touch-sensitive controls on the outer housings of the SoundMagic TWS50s allow you to control your music playback, answer and reject calls, and summon your smartphone's voice assistant, whether you use Siri or Google Assistant.
Each bud contains a 6mm Neodymium driver – that's a little smaller than the 10mm drivers found in the SoundMagic E11BT Wireless Headphones, which we awarded 4.5 out of 5 stars in our review, thanks in part to their impressive sound.
Hopefully the use of smaller drivers won't negatively impact the sound quality offered by these earbuds, but if they're anywhere near as good as their neckbud predecessors, they could be a fantastic cheaper alternative to the AirPods and other pricier true wireless earbuds.
Via What Hi-Fi?
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Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.