A testament to the popularity of the Apple AirPods is the sheer number of brands that want to look the same. Given the fact that AirPods are not affordable for everyone, wireless earphones that look even remotely similar at a fraction of the price are gaining ground across the world. The latest lookalike that caught our eye is the Mobvoi TicPocs Free.
TicPocs Free price in India: Rs 8,499
The TicPocs Free looks like the AirPods only from a distance. Once you hold them in your hands you know these are different. And then the brand offers two colours that Apple does not — Lava and Navy. The charging pod is different too, it is an oblong case with micro USB charging.
Overall the packaging and product quality is very good. The product had a launch price of $129 and was not meant to be a cheap play on the AirPods, but a worthy challenger. So there is nothing to complain about the design or the fit. In fact, this one has silicone tips, which the AirPods gave only with the Pro.
The TicPods offer natural gestures that work well. You can long-press to get the virtual assistant, double-tap to change the song and just take the earphones out of your ears to pause the song. A tap also lets you accept a call. It’s all quite easy.
The audio quality of the TicPods is what I was not sure about, given that this is not a big audio brand. And this is where I was pleasantly surprised. The TicPods offer a balmy kind of audio profile, which though a bit partial towards bass is not too flat. That said, when the time comes it can add a bit of bass oomph that takes the experience to a new level altogether.
However, this is not an earphone that can give you a better listening experience if you switch to hi-fi files, it does not have that depth or breadth. But then audiophiles are not looking for earphones like this. The regular music lover will be more than happy with what the TicPods offer, be it the richness of a Hotel California or the intimacy of Ghosts by MYRY.
Call quality is pretty good too, though I would have loved a little bit more volume at the higher range. The battery lasts for about 18 hours and it takes only about 30 minutes to get to full charge.
The one issue I faced was that during my morning walks, was that there were occasions when the TicPods would lose connection with the phone for a second or so. This seems to happen only when there is some interference and there is a lot of that given the number of devices we have in our courses and offices these days. But this is not a deal-breaker for sure.
At Rs 8,499, the Mobvoi TicPods Free are at least Rs 4,000 less than the Apple AirPods without comprising on audio quality or features. It is a good buy for those looking for something similar. If you are able to buy the TicPods Free at a sale for lesser, then this becomes a great value for money device.
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