Xiaomi launches AirPod rivals for those on a super-tight budget

Are you desperate for some Apple AirPods but don't have a spare $159 (£159 / AU$229) lying around? Today could be your lucky day, with the news that Chinese tech company Xiaomi has launched a pair of AirPod clones that cost just $29 based on current conversion rates.

Named the 'AirDots', the true wireless in-ears look to share many of the same features with the AirPods, including support for Bluetooth 5.0, tappable controls on the casing, and a portable charging case.

Although they don't feature the long stem you find on Apple's earbuds, the design is relatively similar, with that white minimalist aesthetic that Apple accessories are so well known for.

They are currently available to preorder in China, but there's no word on when they will become available in other regions.

Should I buy the AirDots?

Without the chance to test them ourselves, we can't speak to whether the AirDots are a truly convincing clone of the AirPods - but at that extremely low price, we'd be very surprised if they measure up in terms of audio quality and connectivity. 

More and more companies are creating their own clones for the Apple AirPods, with varying levels of success - but so far we haven't come across any which give the originals a run for their money. 

That being said, we recently reviewed the TicPods Free, and we were pleasantly surprised by powerful bass frequencies and how comfortable they were to wear for long periods of time - even so, these cheaper dupes are still going to cost you $129 (£119 / AU$199).  

Unfortunately, it looks like the technology is still too new for headphones under $50 to compete with the larger brands in terms of quality, but hopefully we aren't too far off affordable true wireless in-ears - and who knows? The Xiaomi AirDots could well be the first to do it. 

Via The Verge

Olivia Tambini

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.