Ever since the AirPods debuted, it sent shockwaves through the world of audio accessory manufacturers, forcing R&D teams to head back to the drawing board. Apple had set a benchmark in terms of design, built quality, and the ease with which it connected to iOS devices, not to mention the touch/tap functions that could be customized.
Expectations were high and the competitors had their work cut out for them. Midnight oil was burned, sweat was sweated, and backs were broken to replicate, upgrade, and create a product better than the AirPods in every way. And now, a few weeks don’t go by without us seeing earphones that are either similar to AirPods in design, UI, and features.
What we have with us today are two of the newest in-ear headphones – the Amazfit PowerBuds and the OnePlus Buds. This segment has of late been dominated by the AirPods. But can the Amazfit PowerBuds or the OnePlus Buds really dethrone Apple from a segment that it has pioneered? Let’s find out.
|Weight: 7g (Buds)|
|USB Type C port, Wireless charging not compatible.|
|IP55 rated for dust and water resistance.|
|55 mAh Batteries for Buds and 450 mAh for Case.|
|Claimed battery life of 8 hours plus 24 hours with case.|
|Customisable Tap Responses through companion apps for Android and iOS.|
Electronic Noise Cancellation, bass booster mode for workouts, clip-on magnetic ear hooks, electronic noise cancelling microphone, Active Heart Rate Monitor with Photoplethysmography, (PPG) sensor for precise monitoring and real time notifications, Siri and Google Assistance Support.
|Available in 3 colours Black, White and Yellow.|
Amazfit PowerBuds are the newest entrant here. Amazfit has become famous for its range of fitness tracker bands and smartwatches and is now stepping into the in-ear headphone market. Sure they have added their fitness tracking tech in their buds, which monitors your heart rate with the help of a PPG sensor and sends notifications if the heart rate rises above normal levels.
PowerBuds are the only device here that has electronic noise cancellation embedded into the microphone for superior call quality. Whether you are indoors or outdoors, call quality remains top-notch. You get magnetic clip-on ear hooks in the charging case that can be attached during intense workouts to prevent the Buds from falling. They also have a dedicated slot in the charging case to put them away when you do not need them.
The AmazfitPowerBuds are the only earphones here to get the IP55 ratings from dust and water. Sound quality is one of the best we have heard in a long time with heavy bass. Siri and Google Assistant both are supported. Customizing tap controls can be done with the help of the companion app in both Android and iOS.
Honestly, they could have been crowned the best all-rounder headphones, but their heavy 7g weight takes all that away. After only about 20 to 30 minutes of usage, I started experiencing ear pain. I wouldn’t recommend it for a full-day use.
|USB Type C port, Wireless charging not compatible, Fast Charging support.|
|IPX4 resistance rating.|
|35 mAh Batteries for Buds and 420 mAh for case.|
|Claimed battery life of 7 hours plus 30 hours with case.|
|Customisable Tap responses only for OnPlus UI.|
Environmental noise cancellation, Powerful Bass Boost, Low Latency Mode for gaming, Fast Charging Support that gives 10 hours of battery life with 10 minutes of charging time, 3D Stereo with Dolby Atmos sound, easy connectivity for OnePlus phones.
|Available in 3 colours Gray, Blue, and White.|
The OnePlus Buds are the cheapest alternative here, and they have gone all out to pack everything they could, while staying on a budget, including Dolby Atmos 3D stereo sound, and Play/Pause music when you remove the device from your ears and tap customizations to summon Google Assistant, answer/reject calls and skip/rewind music tracks. However, you have to have an Oxygen OS based Android device to unlock all these features.
The OnePlus Buds weigh 4.6 grams and are comfortable enough for full-day use. Environmental Noise Cancellation ups the call quality. Low latency mode helps to get the best in-game sound, and fast charging can be accessed through any 10W, or higher charger not necessarily has to be an OnePlus.
The sound quality is bass-heavy, but they do not fit that well and that’s why you don’t get the thumping sound you want, especially from a device that has Dolby Atmos sound capabilities. The OnePlus Buds tend to run loose while jogging or exercising, which makes you feel conscious of pressing them in so that they do not fall off.
|Price: 14,900/- (Without Wireless Charging Case)|
|Lightning Cable Port with Qi Wireless Charging compatible Case.|
|No IP ratings.|
|Battery size not specified, claimed 5 hours listening time for Buds plus more than 24 hours with case.|
|Customisable Tap responses only for iOS.|
Apple’s H1 headphone chip for faster connection between devices, “Hey Siri” voice commands, Optical sensors to adjust sounds as per usage, Wireless charging. Instant connectivity with iOS devices, Speech detector sensing microphone with environmental noise cancellation.
Apple’s AirPods are the most expensive of the lot here, but they compensate for built quality and “premium-ness”. Apart from this, Apple also has a lot to offer, like Qi-based wireless charging, supreme sound quality, always active voice commands, and the H1 chip that they have pioneered, which drives low latency in-game sound quality.
In comparison to both the Amazfit PowerBuds and the OnePlus Buds, the AirPods deliver the best fit. I didn’t have even the slightest bit of pain or fatigue while using them for a whole day. Apart from the price, there is nothing that goes against the AirPods.
Apple AirPods vs. Amazfit PowerBuds vs. OnePlus Buds: Final Conclusion
It all ultimately boils down to your OS’s choice while deciding between Apple’s AirPods and OnePlus’ Buds. The Amazfit brilliantly takes the middle path by giving the best user interface for both operating systems but loses marks on how heavy they weigh, making them uncomfortable for prolonged usage.
AirPods, on the other hand, are brilliant in handling long hours. Be it for calls, games, or even movies. They deliver superb sound quality, even on non-Apple devices. So if I decide to make that long-pending family conference call or engage in multiplayer gaming or binge watch my new favorite show, I know the AirPods have my back … or should I say my ears!
So here’s our take on the whole Apple AirPods vs. Amazfit PowerBuds vs. OnePlus Buds question. What’s your pick?