Geek Culture

Fake AirPods Are Flooding The Market – We Bought A Pair And This Is What We Found

Ah Apple AirPods. That ubiquitous sliver of white dangling for dear life from many a user’s ear on public transport and pretty much everywhere music can be played.

We all know how expensive they are. And also how much they cost to also replace. Because of that, there exists an aspirational quality of being seen with the latest Apple accessory.

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Thus, it is inevitable there will be imitations of the AirPods which are sold on platforms such as Carousell and the Facebook Marketplace. And there are quite a selection for you to choose from.

A quick search on both Carousell and Facebook Marketplace easily yielded many results.

One such AirPods knock-off is the TWS i12 which was purchased off Carousell and here is what we found. 

Can you guess which one is the knock-off?

At a glance, the casing for both the AirPods and the TWS i12 look almost the same, coming in the same shape and colour, with just a few subtle differences. 

Spot the difference.

The i12 is a little less than a centimetre taller than the AirPods, and it is missing the “Designed by Apple in California” print that is present on the casing of the real AirPods.

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A closer look at the charging port also reveals a big difference, with the real AirPods having a port for Apple’s lightning cable, while the charging port on the i12 is noticeably bigger and not as aesthetic to look at. 

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It’s fairly obvious which is the fake when you look at their charging ports.

Both casings also come with a button at the back, which users will recognise as the button to use when pairing your Apple device to the AirPods.

Not surprisingly, the button on the i12 comes off as cheap and loose, easily caving it before it is properly clicked. Whereas the button on the AirPods are much sturdier and gives a more satisfying click when pressed.

Another major difference is how both charging cases feel when you open them up. Where the charging case of the real AirPods feels fluid and smooth, with the magnet allowing for a satisfying snap when you close it. However, the charging case of the i12 feels significantly looser around the hinge and closes with a not-as-satisfying snap. 

Wee woo wee woo, this one’s a fake.

The earbuds themselves look relatively similar, till one of them starts blinking red and blue (we’re of course talking about the i12). The stem of the i12 is also slightly thicker and longer than the AirPods. 

Connecting the i12 to your iPhone is similar to AirPods in that you just need to open the case and hold down the button in the back. But where the AirPods connected almost instantly, the i12 took a long time to be detected by the iPhone. There were also times when we managed to get the i12 connected to the phone but realise that a single earbud is somehow not connected despite the pair being in the charging case. 

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However, the i12 immediately disconnects with our iPhone the moment we finally managed to connect it and reconnecting it was nigh impossible. It was frankly a pretty frustrating moment for us, trying to get the i12 reconnected to the iPhone and we ultimately gave up.

Here are the rest of the specs for both the TWS i12 and the Apple AirPods for you to compare. Do note that you should take the specs for the TWS i12 with a big spoonful of salt, because really? 400 hours of standby time?

Product NameTWS i12 HeadphoneApple AirPods
Chipset Raychem 5.0 chipset Apple W1 chipset
Battery Capacity (mAh)70mAh (Earpiece), 300mAh (Charging Case) 93mAh (Earpiece), 398 mAh (Charging Case)
Music Time4 hours 5 hours
Standby Time400 hours 24h
Compatible With Android, IOS, Microsoft Apple watch, iPhone, Mac, iPad
Connectivity Wireless Wireless
Product Size (L x W x H)
2.13 x 1.73 x 0.59 inches
1.74 x 0.84 x 2.11 inches
Product Weight36g38g
Price~S$20S$239

We guess the moral of the story here is an obvious one. You get what you pay for and in this case, though you are forking out S$239 for a pair of AirPods, you do get one with good build quality and good audio quality.

The Apple AirPods, along with the new AirPods Pro can be purchased on Apple’s website.


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