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.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

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.

Related Roundup: AirPods Pro
Buyer's Guide: AirPods Pro (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
11 months ago
these will go along quite nicely with your rolox.
Score: 48 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
11 months ago


If it connects like the real thing and Hey Siri works, I think that mean they've successfully reverse-engineered or cloned the H1 chip.

They first managed to a while ago with knockoff AirPods.

I had a pair for a while until I got curious, and, well…

Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
11 months ago


Apple should reduce the price to $180 or 200.

why? wouldn't make sense for them to do that when it will sell like crazy at the current prices
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
11 months ago
If it connects like the real thing and Hey Siri works, I think that mean they've successfully reverse-engineered or cloned the H1 chip.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
11 months ago
Mind blowing how they are able to replicate these so quickly. Or there's a compromise in the manufacturing chain that's allowing Chinese companies to begin work on their knockoffs much sooner.

I still think it's shameful how they carbon-copy the real deal and still sleep soundly at night.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
11 months ago
I bought some fake AirPods back in February of this year from Wish. Paid like $40 shipped. A month later they showed up. The charging case doesn’t charge them with out being on a wireless charger on plugged in, and the cover on the case was super flimsy (since snapped off) and the battery life isn’t as good as real AirPods. BUT THEY WERE $40.

The case supports wireless charging (works well actually) and the sound is better than the AirPods. They fall out of my ears (just like the real deal) and they are quicker when you tap to pause/play. I think they are called the TWS i10. I’d recommend these over the $199 wireless charging AirPods unless you like the tighter integration of the real product. Also real AirPods come with a 1 year warranty and use genuine batteries.. Can't really speak for safety with these.

I can’t speak for these new knock offs though. I don’t understand why greedy Tim Apple couldn’t have replaced the $159 AirPods with the new AirPods with wireless charging case. $40 for wireless charging? Steve Jobs didn’t increase the price of the iPod nano when Apple added video play back to the 3rd gen in 2007. He didn’t increase the price when they added video recording in 2009. iPhone pricing stayed the same until recently. Jobs would never have offered good, better, best. He just offered the best he could at the affordable well known and liked price points.

$149 should get you AirPods with wireless charging and the non wireless charging should be discontinued. AirPods Pro should be $199. Period.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Here's How You Can Download iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Around the World [It's Out]

Wednesday September 16, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Apple's official public release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 dropped on Wednesday, September 16, just a day after the company released the Golden Master to third-party developers. Also set to be made available to the general public for the first time are watchOS 7 and tvOS 14. Getting Started With iOS 14 Video Click image to watch iOS 14 Getting Started While that's left a lot of developers...

When Will the iPhone 12 Launch? Here's What We Know

Wednesday September 16, 2020 6:12 am PDT by
Yesterday's "Time Flies" Apple event saw the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8, and iPad Air 4, but no new iPhone models. Rumors before the event strongly alleged that it would not see the unveiling of new iPhones, with many reports pointing to an October launch. The lack of new iPhone models yesterday seems to confirm that the iPhone 12 lineup will not appear...

Apple Releases iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 With Home Screen Redesign, App Library, Compact UI, Translate App, Scribble Support, App Clips, and More

Wednesday September 16, 2020 12:48 pm PDT by
Apple has released iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, the newest operating system updates designed for the iPhone and iPad. As with all of Apple's software updates, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 can be downloaded for free. iOS 14 is available on the iPhone 6s and later, while iPadOS 14 is available on the iPad Air 2 and later. The updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To ...

Apple Updates AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro Firmware to Version 3A283

Monday September 14, 2020 11:24 am PDT by
Apple today released new 3A283 firmware updates for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro. The second-generation AirPods are being updated from the 2D15 firmware they were previously running, while the AirPods Pros are being updated from the 2D27 firmware they had installed previously. Apple does not provide details on what's included in refreshed firmware so we don't know what's ...

Spotify Says Apple One Bundle Will Cause 'Irreparable Harm to Developer Community'

Tuesday September 15, 2020 12:26 pm PDT by
Apple today announced Apple One, a series of new subscription bundles that provide access to various Apple services at a combined monthly price. In response, Spotify sent out statements (via Peter Kafka) to the press decrying Apple's anti-competitive behavior and calling on "competition authorities" to stop Apple before it is able to cause "irreparable harm" to developers.Once again, Apple...

iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14 Will Be Released September 16

Tuesday September 15, 2020 11:06 am PDT by
Apple today announced that iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14 will be officially released on Wednesday, September 16. Apple has seeded the final Golden Master beta versions of each update to developers in advance. ‌iOS 14‌ and iPadOS 14 introduce dozens of new features, including a redesigned Home Screen that supports widgets on the iPhone and iPad for the first time. For more...

New AirPods Pro Firmware Introduces Spatial Audio Support and Automatic Switching

Monday September 14, 2020 12:22 pm PDT by
The new 3A283 firmware that Apple released for the AirPods Pro today appears to introduce support for Spatial Audio, a new feature coming to the higher-end AirPods with iOS 14. Multiple reports on Twitter and the MacRumors forums indicate that the firmware update adds a "Spatial Audio" option to the Control Center, which can be activated to enable the feature. Note that using Spatial Audio...

Apple Releases Safari 14 for Mac Ahead of macOS Big Sur Launch

Wednesday September 16, 2020 1:40 pm PDT by
macOS Big Sur didn't launch alongside iOS 14, iPadOS 14, tvOS 14, and watchOS 7 today, with the update coming later this fall, but Apple did release the Safari 14 update for macOS Catalina and macOS Mojave users. Safari 14 brings improved performance, customizable start pages, a Privacy Report to see which cross-site trackers are being blocked, and a new tab bar design that provides tab...

Full Transcript of Apple's 'Time Flies' Event With Apple Watch and iPad Updates

Tuesday September 15, 2020 8:46 am PDT by
Apple's virtual "Time Flies" event kicks off today at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, with Apple expected to debut new Apple Watch and iPad models, but it appears we may not see the iPhone 12 until next month. While we're not expecting to see new iPhones today, Apple's software updates for its various platforms are likely nearly ready for launch, so we may be hearing more about them today. Check...

Everything Apple Announced at Today's iPad and Apple Watch Event in Just Seven Minutes

Tuesday September 15, 2020 2:19 pm PDT by
Apple today held its annual September event, but this year was a bit different because no new iPhones were announced. The "Time Flies" event focused on the Apple Watch Series 6 and the iPad Air, and saw the debut of a new Apple One services bundle. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. It took Apple an hour to introduce the new devices, but we've recapped the event in...