AirPod clone under test: Is the TWS i10 Bluetooth headset even better?
Hardly any other gadget has been requested by you as often as the TWS i10 AirPod clone. Well, after a short holiday at customs, our test copy has finally arrived and what can I say, the cheap Bluetooth In Ear is even better than the original in the comparison test.
|Frequency range||20-20,000 Hz|
|Battery capacity||1000 mAh in the charging box|
|Weight||3.5 g per handset|
|Dimensions||16.6 x 41 x 6 mm per handset|
|IP protection class||–|
Packaging and scope of delivery
On the box we see the same picture as on the original AirPod box – only with the addition TWS i10. On the back you can also find some test seals, like the CE-mark, whose authenticity I doubt at this point
Inside, beside the TWS i10 with charging box, there is a badly processed USB-C charging cable as well as a manual in English and Chinese. Not much, but everything you need to get started!
I see everything double, am I drunk?
It would be nice, but no 😀 . I only see double because the TWS i10 is one of the boldest clones we’ve ever had at China Gadgets compared to the original Apple AirPods. Both the size of the charger box and the size of the handset itself are absolutely identical. It’s similar with the weight, with 3.5g per listener they are even half a gram lighter and the box is about as heavy as the original.
Although dimensions and weight are basically correct, there are a few optical differences. First, the four LEDs on the front of the TWS i10 Ladecase stand out. These indicate the current charge level of the box and are a nice addition to Apple’s box.
In the case of the original, the charge level can only be read out via the iPhone. On the underside there is a USB-C charging port instead of a Lightning port and also the recess for opening the box has a slightly different shape.
In terms of workmanship, the earphones are in no way inferior to the AirPods, the plastic used feels like the originals and if you don’t pay attention, you’ll quickly confuse the earphones.
Different with the loading box. It is materially just as good as the original, but there is a bit of a hitch in the processing of the opening mechanism. The TWS i10 has a little bit of play, while the Apple product has a bombproof seat.
When TWS launched the first AirPod clone, the i7, in mid-2017, we smiled a little at them. Based on a user gadget, we ordered it and then, due to the really cheap workmanship and far too big listeners, refrained from testing it. Now about another 1 1/2 years later the TWS i10 is a clone with amazing similarity and solid workmanship. Even at second and third glance nobody notices that the listeners are not original AirPods.
Sound of the TWS i10 Bluetooth Headphones
Of course it gets exciting here; can the clone really keep up with the sound? In the comparison test I was surprised how good the TWS i10 sound in the high and mid frequencies. Especially in these frequency ranges, cheap headphones usually have a hard time and sound muddy. With the TWS i10, on the other hand, it’s hard for me to tell the difference from the original.
Where there are differences, however, is the low-frequency range. Here the Apple AirPods sound a bit fuller and produce a slightly more powerful bass. But that doesn’t mean that the TWS i10 doesn’t perform well in this range, only a bit more restrained. But to be honest, if I have the opportunity to save ~$150 for a little less bass, then I’d love to.
Wearing comfort – loose but safe
Anyone who has ever had an EarPod or AirPod in their ear knows how the TWS i10 feels in their ear. There is no noticeable difference between the two headphones, both the TWS i10 and the AirPods don’t fall out of my ears so easily. Personally, I’m not a big fan of half in ear. They sit well on my ears but not very well, don’t seal properly and develop a worse sound.
However, there are some people, including Android users, who swear by Apple’s half in ear design and demonize normal in ears, like me the AirPods or Xiaomi’s half in ear headphones. So if you already had a half in ear from Apple in your ear and like it, you’ll also be happy with the TWS i10.
Operation via touchpad
Here we have another point where I think the TWS i10 is a little bit ahead of the AirPods. In the original version, a simple tap on the touch panel can trigger an individualized command, a double tap opens Siri. This means that a maximum of three different commands can be sent to the smartphone. With the TWS i10, even four different commands can be executed by extending the gestures.
Functions of the touch panel
|1x tap||Play/Pause; answer/end calls|
|2x tap||next title|
|3x tap||previous title|
|Touch for 2 sec||Start language assistant|
All commands can be executed with either the left or right handset, depending on which hand is currently free. Overall, the touch panels in the handset respond as well as the original. Only at the beginning did I have problems, but once you know exactly where to press and at what speed, the operation works reliably. But the TWS i10 can’t do one thing. If you take a receiver out of your ear, playback doesn’t pause automatically.
Bluetooth pairing and range
Thanks to Bluetooth 5, pairing with the TWS i10 is a smooth experience. If you take both handsets out of the charging box, they connect automatically and are displayed as headphones in the Bluetooth devices. Once paired with the smartphone, they automatically connect to the last paired smartphone when they are removed from the transport box.
If you have an iPhone, the original AirPods naturally offer the “more comfortable” pairing. You just have to let Apple do that, they have the symbiosis of hardware and software, you have to do without it with the TWS i10.
Despite Bluetooth 5, the range is lower than with the average wireless In Ear. This is (perhaps?) due to the low performance of the built-in battery.
In the test, the connection remains stable at about 6-7 meters outdoors. In closed rooms the connection unfortunately becomes unstable after only 4-5 meters. But since you usually wear your smartphone and headphones close together, I think it’s still enough. For sports or the like, there are alternatives anyway that have a much better hold.
The TWS i10 Bluetooth headphones as a headset
The microphones of the TWS i10 are half in ear, like the AirPods at the bottom of the headphones at the charging contacts. The clone also enables stereo telephony, which is not supported by many low-cost wireless in ears.
In the comparison test, the microphone quality of the Apple AirPods is already better, the voice is clear and there is only isolated noise. But the TWS i10 are also suitable for telephoning. During the test calls, the other person was able to understand me overall, but there was more noise and distortion, especially outdoors. For short calls in between it’s okay, though.
Unfortunately I couldn’t find any information about the battery capacity of the listeners. The battery box should have a capacity of 1000 mAh. I would enjoy this number however with caution. In my opinion the box is too small and too light for a battery of this size.
In the test the battery of the listener has lasted about 2.5-3 hours at a volume of 50%-70%. How often the headphones can be recharged in the charging box, I could not test in the short time yet. Of course, I will hand this in as soon as possible!
Charging via QI charger
That should be a thorn in Apple’s side. Not only does this clone exist at all, but it also supports QI loading. A feature that has been in the news for a long time for a possible successor of the Apple AirPod.
In the test, charging the box with our RavPower QI charger worked smoothly, simply place the case on the plate and the battery charges – easy.
All in all, the TWS i10 is a pretty brazen, but also a pretty good clone of the Apple AirPods. In terms of sound, you’ll have to accept a few cuts in the bass, the original has a bit more volume here. There’s nothing to complain about in the high and mid frequencies, I can hardly notice any difference to the original.
Also the material and workmanship are good, only the hinge for opening and closing the loading case has a bit more play. From a software point of view, the clone cooperates like an ordinary Bluetooth in ear, of course, and the advantages of the Apple universe are eliminated.
In my opinion, the advantages of the clone are the charging LEDs, QI charging, a common USB-C connection and the newer Bluetooth 5 standard. However, the undisputed number 1 advantage is the price, which is far below that of the AirPods.To the gadget