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Hands-On

Hands on: IFROGZ's budget AirPods alternative, the Airtime wireless earbuds

Fully wireless Bluetooth earbuds were once an expensive novelty, but are quickly becoming de facto — as evidenced by AirPods, and now IFROGZ's $60 Airtime.

Zagg IFROGZ Airtime



There's a no-nonsense working philosophy here. The first time you open the charging case for example, the buds go into pairing mode. They're also made mostly of inexpensive plastic, and come bundled with three pairs of silicone tips and wings.

They won't win any style or design awards, but they do look reasonably nice and I found them comfortable and secure, even on high-speed rides around town. People who have trouble keeping AirPods in-ear might actually prefer these.

Zagg IFROGZ Airtime



Similarly, miracle of miracles, the buds each have real multifunction buttons for music, calls, Siri, and EQ settings. I've found them responsive and vastly preferable to touch gestures.

IFROGZ has certainly made some sacrifices along the way, though. There are only three EQ settings (Signature, Podcast, and Bass), and battery life is weaker than the competition. The buds have a 3-hour runtime, supplemented by another 12 from the case, which ranks against 5- and 24-hour numbers for AirPods.

Audio is loud and clear but unremarkable. You'll enjoy listening, even if it won't bring out any nuances in music.

More testing is in order, but one problem to report so far is inconsistent Bluetooth. I found that if I shuffled my iPhone in my pocket, there was a chance the connection would drop for a second. This happened more frequently when riding, so you might want to turn elsewhere if you're expecting to move around a lot while listening.

Still, the buds may be worth their $59.99 price tag. Keep following AppleInsider for a full review.