A few days ago I bought some refurbished AirPods Pro, or so I thought. The seller was backed by hundreds of positive votes, but 40 € plus shipping was a very good price for the headphones that cost 279. In the end, the logic prevailed and it turned out that the AirPods Pro were bogus; But it was so gorgeous and detailed forgeries that I had to further investigate the wonderful world of Chinese replicas.
More complex than I had imagined, this world is summed up in this Tik Tok video In it, a man goes to an electronics market in Shenzhen and buys two versions of the AirPods Pro, Apple’s “in-ear” headphones: one for eight dollars, more primitive, and the other for 29 – they say – indistinguishable from the original AirPods Pro. at The second videoThe man explains that the clones are physically identical, but the cheapest do nothing when activating the noise cancellation controls, while the more expensive ones include Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency Mode (to allow ambient sound to pass through) and 75% sound as good as Apple’s AirPods Pro.
Society AirReps (Abbreviation for “Replica AirPods”) agrees that the Chinese versions of AirPods Pro did not fully mimic real AirPods. Yet every iteration approaches this and other Apple headphones, almost matching the original sound quality in the case of the second-generation AirPods, the “earbuds” model Apple sells at a lower price than the AirPods Pro. VM3s, as they are known, are the latest second-generation AirPods that not only practically look like the real thing, but also improve battery life by up to an hour, according to the sellers themselves.
HiCity, one of the most famous sellers of replica AirPods, sells V3Ms worldwide for $ 35 plus shipping. AirPods Gen 2 V3M come with Airoha 1562M chip, Bluetooth 5.2, charging case with wireless charging support and a range of five to six hours. In comparison, the original AirPods with wireless charging case cost 229 euros (as long as you buy them directly from Apple).
For AirPods Pro, HiCity sells three different quality replicas: V4 for $ 35, V4.5 for $ 65, and V4.7, the latest replica, for $ 75. The mid-range model has the Airoha 1562A chip, Bluetooth 5.2, up to four hours of battery life, and active noise cancellation touted as “very good”, while the more expensive model has a BES 2300ZP chip, Bluetooth 5.0, five hours battery life and “better active cancellation” For noise “available; In addition, the latter is the only model that supports spatial audio, a function of AirPods Pro that simulates the immersive experience of 3D sound.
As for the chips, it is not Apple H1, but Airoha is a MediaTek subsidiary that also manufactures a processor for some of them. Sony WF-1000XM3They are among the “true wireless” headphones with the best active noise cancellation on the market. On the other hand, the BES 2300ZP chip is present in the Honor FlyPods 3 which, likewise, is highly regarded for noise cancellation. In short, AirPods Pro replicas don’t use the same components as the originals, but they do use other components with proven quality.
Reproduction is increasingly difficult to differentiate
The seller who put some fake AirPods Pro on me pretending I was real had a lot of similar ads in his store. He undoubtedly placed in great demand from some Chinese distributors, and he probably paid for each box less than half of what I paid for it. They can be the positive reviews for your store Wrong, but I don’t doubt some ignorance thought they actually bought some AirPods Pro for little money and rated the transaction positively.
Many articles and videos that I found on how to distinguish fake AirPods from real AirPods Outdated. The fake I got was so good that even the LED diffuser Apple used to soften the light from the charging case was in place. On the other hand, the serial number engraved on the case threw a strange message on the Apple website. He said, “Sorry, this serial number is from a replaced product.” I thought maybe the message was related to the renewal, but the truth is that replica manufacturers have their ways of getting true serial numbers that Apple would consider valid in some cases. Perhaps that’s why the company is planning Randomly arrange the serial numbers Of your upcoming products.
What’s even more surprising is that the iPhone accepts these fake AirPods and almost instantly displays a popup to connect them. Depending on the version, some replicas display the model number, serial number, and software version in the Bluetooth settings and information list. However, the AirPods clones cannot be officially updated. You can update it with Airoha chip, but you need to install AirReps app On an Android phone.
In my case, the fake AirPods arrived in a box that looked original. Everything was in place, from the Lightning cable to USB-C (also fake), to the cardboard with differently sized earpads to fit the headphones into the ear. On the other hand, the user manual looked like a color copy: the only clear evidence that these AirPods were not original.
There are some key points to distinguish between real and fake AirPods Pro. The case hinge is usually weaker on inexpensive prints (sometimes plastic with metallic paint instead of metal). Microphones tend to be of poor quality. Text that says “Designed by Apple in California” does not always use the same writing style or does not always use it It is as clear as the original AirPods. The ‘Hey Siri’ feature is only available on the more expensive models. And the sync button isn’t always a soft click; Sometimes it protrudes a little from the body of the case. But according to th AirReps Handbook, Some copy models even in weight are similar to Apple’s AirPods Pro, making them increasingly difficult to distinguish between them.
It doesn’t help with more advanced versions, Latency (between 50 and 150ms), range (about 10 meters), or software functions (all except iCloud Connect, which allows you to connect headphones to several Apple devices at the same time) are identical to those provided by the original AirPods Pro. Of course, the firmware is neither the same, nor the quality control, so some models end up causing problems: It interfered with the Bluetooth connection of my Apple Watch, and some are known to have difficulties connecting to macOS. Not to mention the build quality and time resistance. toSome replicas open easily at sealsA notice in AirReps’s guide on wireless charging states: “Not recommended for long periods as it can heat up and melt.”
No image ads and bank transfers
Many popular AirPods copies are sold without picture in stores such as DHgate and AliExpress. Ad is posted with a generic image where the headphones are nowhere to be seen; And when they arrive a month later, they do so in a white box, without Apple logos or other brands. According to AirReps, this is done to avoid the product being held in customs, but I wouldn’t be surprised if AliExpress’s anti-counterfeiting internal regulations have anything to do with it (if a user receives a counterfeit product, the seller must compensate them in full of what you paid).
Some sellers allow you to purchase their reproductions in a cardboard box with the Apple logo and a picture of the headphones, but then they require you to make the payment by bank transfer (for example, through TransferWise). You lose all AliExpress warranties and you may have to speak to the seller over WhatsApp in broken English, Which adds another layer of blur to the problem. But in return, you get the box, the quality of which can range from very bad to very good (even with the engraving of the original box), and you can save some money because the sellers usually offer a small discount on direct transactions.
The more advanced versions have all the features you can expect from AirPods Pro, including excellent sound, touch controls on both earbuds, and active noise cancellation, which leads me to wonder how many people are happily out there using AirPods that they think they are. Authentic. That’s why I don’t recommend, after all I’ve learned, that you buy AirPods outside of well-known sales channels that offer full guarantees and full money back. I’d even encourage people to check if the AirPods they have at home are really original, whether it’s simple AirPods Pro or AirPods (and watch out for those). AirPods Max, Which I also started seeing replicas from).
But if what you want is to voluntarily purchase one of these fakes, I will tell you to do so at your own risk: pYou might receive a inferior product or pay too much for a somewhat outdated version, Which is not fully featured, and On In these cases, the seller may not be willing to get your money back. exist Sellers with their own guarantee, of course. Then there are the enthusiastic communities like AirReps, who try to fix technical issues and provide tools for updating the firmware for Replicas. But in the end, you are buying a fake product for less than a quarter of the cost of the original product. There’s no point in expecting after-sales service on par with what Apple has to offer.