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Before you blow $159 on AirPods, you owe it to yourself to try the $35 EarFun Free

by Maura Ramer (2020-06-10)

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This picture doesn't tell the whole story. That's a wireless charging case. But it also accepts USB-C.

Sarah Tew/CNET

When I see people walking (or running) around with Apple AirPods, I want to go up and give them a shake. "You paid too much for these! And they're not even sweatproof!" Yep, little-known fact: AirPods are not rated to withstand any kind of liquid-related damage. And the standard warranty doesn't cover them against it. 

Thankfully, inexpensive AirPods alternatives abound, many of them able to handle vigorous exercise, no sweat. (Wait, make that, "Yes, sweat.") Here's a great example: For a limited time, and while supplies last, the newly updated EarFun Free true-wireless earphones are $34.79 with promo code CNETCSK7. That's an all-time low and a Cheapskate exclusive!

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At first glance, the EarFun Free resembles countless other earbuds you've seen. However, as well as supporting Bluetooth 5.0, they come in an admirably compact charging case with a USB-C, not Micro-USB, port. Better still, that case can charge wirelessly: Just plunk it down on any Qi pad. Apple AirPods: $199 if you want them with a wireless charging case. (Or $79 for just the case.)

EarFun promises up to six hours of listening before the earbuds need to return to the case, and up to four full recharges before the case itself needs recharging. Total listening time: up to 24 hours. EarFun also promises up to two hours of playtime after just 10 minutes of charging.

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