TCL’s new pair of noise-reducing true wireless buds have some attractive features that rival AirPods for less than you’d pay for the Apple buds.
Announced as part of this week’s IFA tech conference in Europe, TCL’s MoveAudio S200 is being marketed as a budget option in the true wireless earbuds space. Realistically, these are still a little pricey at €99 (around $120), but they still undercut Apple’s entry-level AirPods, which retail for $160. Hell, they even look like an AirPods dupe. And while similar in many ways spec-wise, there are some primary differences between the two buds.
TCL says that MoveAudio S200 will get you about 3.5 hours of battery life on a single charge, whereas AirPods will typically give you up to 5 hours. Both are easily juiced with their charging cases though, and TCL’s buds rival AirPods with up to 23 hours of battery life, versus Apple’s 24+ hours with charge from the case. While Apple doesn’t market its base-model AirPods as being water-, sweat-, or dust-proof, the MoveAudio S200 buds are and come with an IP54 rating.
Additionally, the TCL buds offer ENC noise reduction, touch controls, and voice control support for Siri and Google Assistant. You’ll need to rely on your phone for battery life status with the MoveAudio S200 buds, but that’s unlikely to be a huge deal-breaker unless you’re an AirPods fanatic who’s come to rely on Siri for status updates on everything. Both have Bluetooth 5 support.
Like AirPods, the MoveAudio S200 buds also have a wear-detection feature that will start and stop songs where you left off when you put them on or take them off. It’s too soon to say whether you’re going to get a true AirPods rival audio-wise—though that’s not an especially large hurdle to clear, given that the sound you get from normal AirPods is, well, just fine.
TCL’s new buds will be available in white, black, and teal blue and go on sale globally starting later this month.