Xiaomi has its sights set squarely on Apple — again.The China-based tech company on Wednesday (Nov. 7) unveiled new wireless earbuds it's calling AirDots. And as you might expect from the name, they're nearly identical to Apple's AirPods in several important ways.
And they cost just $30.
For one, the AirDots come with a white finish and are wireless earbuds that can fit snugly in your ear. They don't come with a tail like the AirPods, however, and Xiaomi was quick to note that their silicone tips should allow for a snug fit, according to The Verge, which earlier reported on the devices.
Like the AirPods, you can tap on the AirDots to control music playback or access other controls. And similar to AirPods, they come in a charging case that both keeps them safe and sound when you're not using them and fully charged.
Still, there are some important AirDots features that the AirPods don't have. For one, the silicone tip should do a better job of isolating sound and keeping ambient sound out than the AirPods might. And perhaps most importantly, unlike the AirPods, the AirDots come with Bluetooth 5.0 support, allowing for increased reliability.
For all you get in Apple's AirPods, you'll need to pay $159 a pair to get your hands on them. But if you want Xiaomi's AirDots, you'll only need to pay $30 — a dramatic savings on a pair of headphones that, on paper, seem awfully similar to the AirPods.
But then again, Apple might have its own trick up its sleeve. The company has been rumored for months to be working on one or two new AirPods models that could launch relatively soon. Those AirPods are expected to ship with Bluetooth 5.0 to match AirDots and it's possible that at least one model comes with health-tracking features.
There had been some hope the new AirPods would be unveiled at Apple's recent iPad and Mac event, but that never happened. Now, it's unclear when the AirPods 2 might hit store shelves.
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Don Reisinger is CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom's Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.