Hands on: IFROGZ's budget AirPods alternative, the Airtime wireless earbuds

Posted:
in iPhone edited June 25
Fully wireless Bluetooth earbuds were once an expensive novelty, but are quickly becoming de facto -- as evidenced by AirPods, and now IFROGZ's $60 Airtime.

Zagg IFROGZ Airtime


There's a no-nonsense working philosophy here. The first time you open the charging case for example, the buds go into pairing mode. They're also made mostly of inexpensive plastic, and come bundled with three pairs of silicone tips and wings.

They won't win any style or design awards, but they do look reasonably nice and I found them comfortable and secure, even on high-speed rides around town. People who have trouble keeping AirPods in-ear might actually prefer these.

Zagg IFROGZ Airtime


Similarly, miracle of miracles, the buds each have real multifunction buttons for music, calls, Siri, and EQ settings. I've found them responsive and vastly preferable to touch gestures.

IFROGZ has certainly made some sacrifices along the way, though. There are only three EQ settings (Signature, Podcast, and Bass), and battery life is weaker than the competition. The buds have a 3-hour runtime, supplemented by another 12 from the case, which ranks against 5- and 24-hour numbers for AirPods.

Audio is loud and clear but unremarkable. You'll enjoy listening, even if it won't bring out any nuances in music.

More testing is in order, but one problem to report so far is inconsistent Bluetooth. I found that if I shuffled my iPhone in my pocket, there was a chance the connection would drop for a second. This happened more frequently when riding, so you might want to turn elsewhere if you're expecting to move around a lot while listening.

Still, the buds may be worth their $59.99 price tag. Keep following AppleInsider for a full review.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    More testing is in order, but one problem to report so far is inconsistent Bluetooth. I found that if I shuffled my iPhone in my pocket, there was a chance the connection would drop for a second. This happened more frequently when riding, so you might want to turn elsewhere if you're expecting to move around a lot while listening.
    I've had that problem with about 80% of earphones and headsets (about a dozen) I've used with my iPhone 4 and iPhone7.  It's either a problem with iOS' implementation of Bluetooth, or that of the headphones/headsets.  Given the failures occur across manufactures, I suspect the iPhone, though I won't rule out the other.

    Cue the "I've never had that problem so you must be on drugs or lying or both" posts...
    Soli
  • Reply 2 of 6
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 671member
    I've never had that problem . . . . 

    But seriously, I've had that problem with cheap bluetooth earphones and I don't want that dang problem.  I want the Airpods just to have simple and reliable pairing with multiple devices. Time to pull the trigger on that one.
    Soli
  • Reply 3 of 6
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 3,161member
    williamh said:
    I've never had that problem . . . . 

    But seriously, I've had that problem with cheap bluetooth earphones and I don't want that dang problem.  I want the Airpods just to have simple and reliable pairing with multiple devices. Time to pull the trigger on that one.
    I switch between my iPhone, iPad, and Mac without issue.
  • Reply 4 of 6
    I have a pair of the around the neck wireless earbuds and I have a pair of first generation air pods . The air pods haven’t been a connection problem but the high end LG earbuds sometimes have momentarily lost connection but sometimes I prefer them because of their simple on board controls ( answer calls button, volume and music tracks controls etc). Not to mention, they stay in my ears securely and filter out the background noise.
  • Reply 5 of 6
    williamh said:
    I've never had that problem . . . . 

    But seriously, I've had that problem with cheap bluetooth earphones and I don't want that dang problem.  I want the Airpods just to have simple and reliable pairing with multiple devices. Time to pull the trigger on that one.
    I've had the problem with my Nokia 905 with both of my iPhones.  Not cheap, though not exactly "high end" either.  Much better sound and noise cancellation than a good number of higher end sets though.
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