When you talk to anyone about wireless Bluetooth earphones, it can be all too easy to fall into the AirPods trap, particularly if you have an iPhone. Apple’s AirPods are undoubtedly great, and they can, of course, be used with any Bluetooth device and while the experience is better with Apple’s hardware, Bluetooth is Bluetooth.

But if you think that AirPods are the be all and end all of the market, you’re very much mistaken. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the Crazybaby Air 1S earphones might give the AirPods a run for their money, and if you’re an Android user set to miss out on everything the AirPods’ W1 chip has to offer, they might be a better bet entirely.

With that all said, what exactly do the Crazybaby Air 1S have to offer? Right off the bat, it’s pretty obvious that these are wireless Bluetooth 5.0 earphones and they may arguably be nicer to look at than the AirPods. Missing the stick that hangs down from AirPods, the Air 1S fit snuggly into your ear and more closely resemble the kinds of earpieces we see in movies, usually when some special operative is talking to HQ. They’re certainly inconspicuous, so if you want something to almost disappear once in place, these are a great bet.

As is the case with all earphones of this ilk, the Air 1S have a built-in microphone for making calls and such, although the quality from these kinds of microphones is never going to be stellar. This one is serviceable, but don’t expect to be rocking anyone’s world and you might need to speak up more than usual.

When they’re not in your ear, they’ll live in the wireless charging case, which seems to be way bigger than it needs to be. It looks like metal but isn’t, and the case and earphones can be charged in around 70 minutes using the included USB-C cable. Once your earphones are charged, they’re good for almost three hours of use, which could really have done with being longer in my eyes. You’ll need to make sure that the earphones are placed just right in their charging case, too, otherwise they won’t charge at all.

There’s certainly no satisfying magnetic click like when you put AirPods in their charging case. When they are charging as they should, you can expect around 12 hours of use in total before you have to start plugging any cables in.

The good news returns when you realize that the Air 1S earphones are water resistant, something the AirPods can’t boast as yet, and makes them perfect for use during exercise. There’s also the option of silver or black, so if you like to make sure everything matches just so, you do have a couple of options to play with here.

Of course, these being earphones, all that really matters is how they sound. To my ears, they actually sound pretty good. Bass is strong, if perhaps a little muddled at times and the highs sound clear enough to not sound too tinny. It’s impossible not to compare the sound quality to AirPods and these sound perhaps a little more bassy, although in overall sound quality, I’d suggest the AirPods have the edge. It’s close, though, and while neither the AirPods nor Air 1S are going to be great options for kicking back and listening to your favorite album, if you’re exercising, I’d absolutely suggest that the Air 1S are the better option, just because they feel so much more planted in your ears. When you factor in that the price is identical, it all depends on what your priorities are.

If you’re an iPhone user, then AirPods are hard to beat, but if they struggle to stay in your ears, you could do much worse than give these a try. Android user? These are absolutely a great option and I can’t imagine anyone being disappointed. Could they be cheaper? Probably, but if you want to look like you’ve come from the future when you’re in the gym, the Crazybaby Air 1S will definitely do the trick.

Buy: Crazybaby Air 1S from Amazon: $178

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