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When a global brand like Apple releases new tech as Earth-shattering as the iPhone or the original AirPods, it’s never long before competitors follow suit.
Apple knows form and function, and although they don’t always lead the way, when they do, consumers and companies take notice.
And when other companies follow suit and eventually release their own versions of these gadgets, consumers are left wondering what’s really better in the end.
That’s because other company’s products, Like Raycon’s full lineup of earbuds, are generally less expensive.
The form factor is there, but can you get the ear-splitting sound and earth-shattering tech for less?
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Raycon Earbuds VS Apple AirPods At a Glance
Getting right down to brass tacks, the Raycon Earbud lineup and the Apple AirPod lineup are designed to meet different demands.
Apple prides itself in delivering top-of-the-line tech that weaves itself into the always evolving Apple infrastructure.
That means when you purchase Apple Earbuds or really any Apple product, you already know the feel of what you’re getting. The entire Airpod lineup looks “like an Apple product,” which to me is a good thing. They also have a flat sound profile many earbud users are looking for and have the advanced Apple ecosystem platform that allows them to pair with all Apple products.
That makes using them when paired with an Ipad (that doesn’t have a headphone jack), iPhone, or Mac feel seamless and intuitive. For example, when switching from one device to another, the AirPods will switch themselves without any user input. So you’ll never lose that soundstage.
Some of the benefits only come if you have other Apple devices
Apple is notorious for high prices and rare sales.
The 2nd generation Airpods lacks the more advanced features of new, more expensive models.
Raycon is a direct-to-consumer audio electronics brand. The company was founded in 2017 by Ray J. Yep, that Ray J. The benefit of a direct-to-consumer product is closer to distributor pricing for consumers. Raycon promises to deliver the sound quality users want without the price tag by avoiding the middle man.
With Ray J himself overseeing brand and strategy, the company has quickly saturated the market with a number of headphones and earbuds (see this article to know which is better), each designed for a specific purpose.
The sheer number of offerings from Raycon, including various packages and the direct-to-consumer strategy, ensure users can find the perfect pair of earbuds with a look and price they’re comfortable with.
Direct to consumer Marketing = Low Prices
Multiple “artist designed” styles to choose from
1-year warranty and 45 day trial period
8-9 hour playback battery life
Multiple sound profiles
Spatial awareness mode
Water and Sweat resistant
Users report heavy bass profile (often indication of lower quality drivers)
Less charging options (No MagSafe or lighting charging)
New company with a slim portfolio
As is usually the case in the debate about one tech company and another, in the end, the winner will be based on what the consumer wants.
Apple’s AirPods are for users who know what they want. Walking down the street, when you see those white earphones in someone’s ear, you get it. They have AirPods.
AirPods cost more than Raycon’s, but consumers will get what they pay for in some ways.
That’s because AirPod’s have a better, broader sound profile and work seamlessly in Apple’s ecosystem. But, unfortunately, there are also only three current, expensive designs available.
Raycon Earbuds are more affordable, generally more durable, and have more styles and options to choose from. They also come with many of the same technology features found in AirPods, except, of course, the Apple ecosystem.
The sound won’t be as good, but for the price, most users should be happy. And at the end of the day, when comparing in-ear buds to in-ear buds, you have to decide if the killer sound is what you’re really going for. Most audiophiles agree earbuds are convenient but just can’t compare to the sound of over-the-ear headphones.
As the name implies, the Raycon Everyday Earbuds are Raycons answer to the generalist earbud. They are Raycons flagship model, the most affordable earbuds Raycon offers, and feature a compact design, similar to Galaxy Buds.
Raycon designed the Everyday to be your lightweight, low-profile go-to earbuds.
Raycon’s Gaming Earbuds are a great-looking, low latency buds with a crazy long earbud battery life.
These buds have been optimized for gaming in every way, which generally is a good thing. Remember, though, an IPX5 rating means they’re more water “resitant” than proof. That should be fine if you’re gaming, but these aren’t the earbuds you want to drop in the swimming pool accidentally.
Raycon’s Fitness Eaburds were designed with comfort and durability in mind.
The Fitness Earbuds climb Raycons ladder in price, but the specs don’t lie. 54 hours of playback time, a waterproof design, and a unique ear stabilizer hook mean you can have these puppies in for days on in and use them nearly anywhere.
There are currently two versions of Apple AirPods available for consumers.
When the AirPods 2nd generation was released, they set the standard for premium earbud listening with connectivity in mind.
Although the AirPods 1 and 2 look exactly the same, the 2nd generation Airpods feature Apple’s H1 chip. That chip makes switching between devices seamless and brings the 2nd gen 50% more talk time along with improved audio and voice.
Apple’s H1 Chip; Voice-activated Siri; Audio sharing; 5 hour playback time; dual microphones; automatic pairing; IPX4 water and sweat resistance
Apple released their 3rd generation in 2021with a completely new design.
The AirPods 3 tout a custom high excursion Apple driver, custom high dynamic range amplifier, and spatial audio with dynamic head tracking. The AirPod 3rd gen also uses the same adaptive equalizer feature as the AirPod Pro and Max.
Although the AirPods 3 have great reviews, many users have noted they wished Apple stuck with the old Silicone tips and wish the earbuds came with the active noise cancellation found in the Pro and Max models.
Apple H1 Chip; Spatial audio; adaptive equalizer; automatic pairing; voice-activated Siri; audio sharing; Wireless MagSafe charging; water-resistant; 6 hour playback time; dual microphones; 30 Hour listening time with the case; IPX4 water and sweat resistance.
The Airpods Pro are Apple’s high-end earbuds. Off the bat, most users will notice the physical differences in the pair, with a more “in-ear” design, a shorter stem and larger bud, prominent black airflow grill, and larger inside and outside mic ports.
From there, Apple has updated the control features (opting for a squeeze rather than a tap), upgraded the water resistance, and given the Pros features and hardware that improve the sound quality.
Keep in mind that many of the upgrades on the Pro affect the battery life. The sound quality will be better, and the Pros will be easier to use, but only for about 4 hours at a time versus the Gen 3’s 6.
Apple also claims the Pro’s have a better water and sweat resistance. All Apple AirPods, though, comes with the same standard IPX4 rating.
From there Apple
Apple H1 Chip; Active Noise Cancellation with transparency mode; customizable fit; “anti-noise”; High dynamic range amplifier; audio sharing; voice-activated Siri; 4.5 Hours listening time; 24 hours of battery life; qi charger compatible; automatic pairing; Dual beamforming microphones; Dual optical sensors; motion-detecting accelerometer; Speech-detecting accelerometer; IPX4 water and sweat resistance
For many consumers, finding the perfect pair of earbuds means more than just stopping by the gas station and grabbing something off the five-dollar rack.
If you’ve narrowed down your tough choice to Apple and Raycon, at the end of the day, you should be happy with either brand. Just remember to consider what you really want.
Apple has the ecosystem, the look, and the sound, but they also have the price.
Raycon may not sound as good, but hey, they’re earbuds. And they cost less and bring more options to the table.