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News flash: The Beats Studio Buds are on sale for $130 right now, the first discount on record for the brand's first-ever true-wireless earbuds.
For starters, that's a pretty paltry price drop, just 13 percent. My advice: Consider a more affordable alternative, one that's also on sale. For a limited time, and while supplies last, the EarFun Free Pro true wireless earbuds drop to just $43 with promo code FREEOFFT. Although Amazon shows an $80 list price, these normally sell for $60 (according to price-history checker CamelCamelCamel). This Yahoo-exclusive code yields the lowest price ever.
The Beats brand is owned by Apple, which is code for "good products but seriously overpriced." And while Beats headphones tend to be critical favorites, user reviews are often less flattering — as evidenced by the 4.2-star average rating from nearly 1,200 Amazon customers. That's not bad, per se, it's just not overwhelmingly positive.
The EarFun Free Pro fared slightly better from a reviews perspective, earning 4.4 stars from over 2,500 buyers. But here's the thing: they're one-third the price.
And check out the specs: Active noise-cancellation (ANC), transparency mode (which allows outside noise to come in), IPX5 water-/sweat-resistance and a charging case that supports both USB-C and wireless charging.
The Studio Buds offer similar amenities, but only USB-C case charging; no support for wireless.
Now, how do they compare in terms of ANC capabilities (which can vary greatly from one earbud to another) and sound quality? I can't say, because I haven't tested the Studio Buds — which I'm sure are very good on both counts.
However, I have tested the EarFun Free Pro, and they're extremely good. (For the record, I've found that to be the case with most EarFun earbuds; they're among my favorite AirPods alternatives.) Comfy fit, splendid sound, decent noise canceling. They're particularly well-suited to physical activity, as the little rubber wingtips help them stay in your ears.
My only real complaint is that it's easy to graze the touch controls by accident while inserting, removing or adjusting the earbuds. That's often the case with this kind of design, which is why I tend to prefer the AirPods-style "pipe" shape.
OK, one more complaint: I wish these offered in-ear detection, but, alas. (For the record, the Studio Buds don't have that feature either.)
Those gripes aside, if you're looking for an affordable alternative to Beats Studio Buds — even on-sale Beats Studio Buds — I can't recommend the EarFun Free Pro highly enough.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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