Apple may be credited to popularize the already existing “true” wireless earphone market, which gives rise to both new products and knock-offs. Chinese manufacturers are notorious for the latter and one can expect that someone like Xiaomi once again copies these patterns and products. The Chinese company has grown that slope and while its new Mi AirDots may sound like AirPods, they are quite far from being cheap clones. Although they are definitely cheap if you can get hands on a couple.
While Huawei’s FreeBuds are unabashedly designed almost identical to Apple AirPods, Xioami’s strategy is simply to associate with the stronger brand through its somewhat confusing name. However, in terms of design, AirDots looks like the traditional Bluetooth earplugs without any tribes waiting for dangling outside your ear.
As for the function, the AirDots sound (no proverb) sounds quite basic. It uses Bluetooth 5.0 for battery powered audio streaming and a 7.2mm dynamic driver to provide hopefully decent audio performance. Battery life is noted to be only 4 hours of continuous use, thought the charging bag could print up to 1
2 hours in total.
Earplugs have touch-free surfaces to let you answer calls and control music. Or trigger a smart assistant, but which is not yet known. Xiaomi’s own, maybe.
The biggest selling factor is the selling price. Mi AirDots will be sold in China for 199 RMB, about $ 29. Unfortunately, no news has yet about international availability, but Xiaomi has some events scheduled this week so it can still happen.