Fake $95 AirPods Pro vs. Real AirPods Pro
Apple just released the AirPods Pro in late October, but there are already a bunch of knockoffs and replicas on the market to appeal to those who might not be able to afford the $250 asking price of the AirPods Pro.
We picked up the $95 i500 Pro TWS Earbuds, a set of AirPods Pro replicas that are remarkably similar in design to Apple's real AirPods Pro and that even advertise some of the same features, like Apple's proprietary H1 chip. In the photos and videos below, the real AirPods are on the left.
Price wise, these fakes are $95, which is almost half the price of the AirPods Pro. That's super expensive for a knockoff, so before reading on, know that we do not recommend purchasing these fakes or any fake AirPods Pro models because you're never going to get the feature set, sound quality, and build quality that you get from Apple's own earbuds.
When it comes to design, the Air i500 Pro TWS look identical to the AirPods Pro. The earbuds themselves are similar to the AirPods Pro with almost no design deviations, and there's even a matching Wireless Charging Case that wirelessly charges the case itself and the fake AirPods inside.
Just looking at the Air i500 Pro TWS next to AirPods, you're probably not going to be able to tell the difference between the two. There are some minor design discrepancies so they're not totally identical, but if you're not inspecting them up close side by side, it's tough to tell. The Air i500 Pro earbuds do feel lighter and the lid feels a bit different in use, but again, most people might not notice.
On the website, the fake earbuds claim to have a Qualcomm chip and Apple's proprietary H1 chip that allows for quick swapping between devices, simple setup, "Hey Siri" functionality, and more, and these features do appear to work. We don't know if it's a copy of the H1 chip and there are rumors floating around that the company is using spoofed MAC addresses, but functionally, these have some of the AirPods Pro tech on the surface.
Connecting is similar to AirPods Pro in that you just need to open the case and then hold down a button on the back, and when connecting, a battery level indicator pops up on the iPhone just like the real thing. Battery levels are even displayed inside of the battery widget in the Today portion of the notification interface.
Wireless charging works, "Hey Siri" is functional, music playback pauses when an earbud is taken out of the ear, and battery life seems to be similar to real AirPods Pro, but the similarities end there. The i500 Pro TWS has no force sensor and does not support squeeze gestures, and the key AirPods Pro feature - active noise cancellation - is not included.
There are zero noise cancellation features and there's no Transparency mode either, though there is a decent seal within the ear. Sound quality isn't terrible, but it doesn't measure up to the AirPods Pro or the standard AirPods. There's little bass and too much treble, and the sound is not as crisp and clear as the sound from the actual AirPods.
Superficially, the Air i500 Pro TWS look like the AirPods Pro, but functionally, these have none of the "Pro" features that make the AirPods Pro a worthwhile purchase. We don't recommend spending $95 on a knockoff version of the AirPods, but these earbuds do provide an interesting look at how far companies will go to make fake Apple products.