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These $80 earbuds give the AirPods Pro some serious competition

After spending a few weeks with the EarFun Air Pro 3, I was shocked by how well these $80 earbuds replaced my trusty AirPods Pro 2 that cost nearly four times as much. EarFun’s latest affordable earbuds offer noise cancellation and sound quality that’s almost on par with Apple’s high-end headphones, and even trump them with some unique advantages, thanks to their useful companion app.

That being said, you do make some significant concessions at this lower price, and if you’re an Apple user, the AirPods Pro’s seamless connectivity is hard to resist. So is it worth it to save? Here’s how the AirPods Pro 2 (our best true wireless earbuds pick for Apple users) and EarFun Air Pro 3 (our favorite ANC budget earbuds) stack up after weeks of head-to-head testing.

Active noise cancellation



Ambient sound



Battery life (rated)

6 hours (earbuds), 30 hours (with case)

9 hours (earbuds), 45 hours (with case)

Wireless charging



Water resistance

IPX4 (earbuds and case)


Ear tip sizes

XS, S, M, L

XS, S, M, L

Software support


iOS, Android





0.19 ounces

0.18 ounces




airpods pro 2 vs earfun air pro 3

If you opt to save some money on the EarFun Air Pro 3, you won’t be sacrificing much in the way of comfort. Both of these earbuds have a similarly soft and secure fit, to the point where I often forgot which pair I was wearing when using them back-to-back. The Air Pro 3 even have the same four ear tip sizes as the AirPods Pro 2 (extra small, small, medium and large), so you’ll have plenty of options to swap between if they don’t feel right out of the box.

However, while the Air Pro 3 feel great, it may be no surprise that you’re getting what you pay for in terms of overall design and build quality. These larger-size buds aren’t nearly as sleek as the AirPods Pro, and while they’re not embarrassingly ugly, I definitely noticed the extra bulk whenever I caught my reflection on a walk. Speaking of bulk, the Pro 3’s charging case is also notably chunkier than Apple’s (something worth noting for those with tight pockets), and its flimsy plastic design picks up smudges and scratches very easily. And while the Air Pro 3’s touch controls are impressively customizable, I didn’t find them as consistent and reliable as the AirPods Pro’s tactile pinch controls whenever I had to skip or pause a song on the fly.

None of these are total deal breakers, but if looks and controls are your priority, the AirPods Pro are worth the splurge.

TL;DR: The AirPods Pro 2 and EarFun Air Pro 3 are neck and neck when it comes to comfort, but Apple’s buds have a much nicer design.

Competitive sound quality and noise cancellation, but Apple has the edge

earfun air pro 3 review cnnu 8

As you might expect, the $80 EarFun Air Pro 3 trail the $249 AirPods Pro 2 in audio quality — but not by much. EarFun’s buds offer impressively great sound for the price, pumping out my usual mix of loud guitar rock and soft acoustic indie with enough oomph to keep my head bumping and enough clarity to let me hear every subtle detail and vocal harmony buried in the mix. It was only until I switched back to the AirPods Pro that I realized what I’d been giving up; Apple’s buds just provide a cleaner, more detailed sound that make the otherwise good EarFuns sound a little fuzzy by comparison. Call quality was a similar story, with the Air Pro 3 holding up great for long chats and only trailing the AirPods Pro by a smidge when comparing recordings.

There was even less of a gap between the two when it came to active noise cancellation, something that the AirPods Pro do better than nearly any pair of buds on the market. Both buds did a great job softening everyday annoyances like the clatter of nearby construction and the chatter of folks in a subway car. In fact, the Air Pro 3 were even slightly more suppressive when it came to drowning out my loud bedroom fan as I worked from home. The two sets of earbuds were also very comparable when I used transparency/ambient sound mode to let noise in, though EarFun’s buds had a tendency to over-amplify harsh noises like the wind.

TL;DR: These buds are equally great at blocking out noise, but the AirPods pro have the edge on overall sound quality and transparency mode.

earfun air pro 3 review cnnu 4

You would think that cheaper earbuds would mean fewer features, but that’s not the case with the EarFun Air Pro 3. Thanks to the EarFun Audio app for both iOS and Android, the Air Pro 3 come loaded with extras — including a few things that the AirPods Pro can’t do.

EarFun’s app offers a wealth of customization options, starting with a fully adjustable equalizer that lets you activate presets (such as Bass Boost or Treble Boost) or play with the sliders yourself to create and save your own sound profiles. While the AirPods Pro sound great out of the box, there’s no custom equalizer option. You can also fully remap the Air Pro 3’s controls, with the ability to assign whatever function you like to things like single, double and triple taps as well as long presses. By comparison, you can only customize long-press controls on the AirPods Pro, and the options are pretty limited at that.

The EarFun Audio app isn’t the most intuitive to navigate, but the fact that it exists at all gives it a big advantage over Apple’s buds — especially if you’re using an Android phone. The AirPods Pro don’t have a companion app of their own, though iPhone users can adjust things like noise cancellation, select controls and spatial audio via the iOS settings menu. Android users won’t have the same luxury when using the AirPods Pro, and will largely have to depend on on-ear controls. So, if you’re an Android user who cares about customization, the Air Pro 3 win out here.

AirPods Pro 2nd-gen vs Galaxy Buds 2 Pro-9

Naturally, if you’re in the Apple ecosystem, the AirPods Pro (and any pair of AirPods, for that matter) have a big advantage over the cheaper competition. Apple’s buds just work with your iPhone, iPad and Mac in a way that makes other Bluetooth headphones feel clunky by comparison. You’ll be prompted to pair them the second you open up the case, and switching between, say, your iPhone and Mac with the same pair of buds feels seamless (to their credit, the Air Pro 3 can be paired to two devices at once). The AirPods Pro are also smart enough to automatically pause your music when you take even a single bud out — by comparison, the Air Pro 3 often kept playing even when I took them out, which was a frequent frustration. You’ll also benefit from immersive 360-degree spatial audio in supported apps like Apple Music and Disney+, which can be personalized to your ears via the iOS settings app.

TL;DR: The EarFun Air Pro 3 are the more customizable earbuds overall, and will work equally great on both iOS and Android. Meanwhile, the AirPods Pro 2 have some major perks specifically for Apple users.

earfun air pro 3 review cnnu 3

Now, here’s one area where less can mean more. Despite being a fraction of the price of the AirPods Pro, the EarFun Air Pro 3 edge out Apple’s buds on battery life by a decent margin. EarFun’s buds are rated for nine hours of playback from the earbuds alone and up to 45 from the case, which is a stark increase from the AirPods Pro 2’s rating of six hours/30 hours. I found these estimates to hold up in my everyday testing as well; whereas I often went up to four days without having to recharge the Air Pro 3’s case, the AirPods Pro 2 typically conk out on me after two or three. You also won’t be sacrificing wireless charging if you go for the cheaper buds here; both sets worked just fine with my Belkin Boost Charge pad.

TL;DR: The EarFun Air Pro 3 have better battery life, and just like the AirPods Pro, support wireless charging.

airpods pro 2 vs earfun air pro 3 2

The gap between affordable and high-end earbuds has never been closer, and the EarFun Air Pro 3 are the best example of that yet. They’re a no-brainer at $80 (and often less, thanks to frequent sales and coupons), offering sound quality and ANC that holds up to the AirPods Pro 2 — not to mention longer battery life and more customization options, particularly for Android folks.

That said, if you’re in a position to splurge — and especially if you have an iPhone — the AirPods Pro 2 really are worth their high price. They’re our pick for the best Apple earbuds for a reason, offering truly seamless compatibility with your iPhone, iPad and Mac while pumping out some of the best audio quality and noise cancellation you can find in any pair of buds. They also just look nicer, complete with a sleeker case that’s better built to last.

Of course, there’s a big gap between these two buds, and there are plenty of great options in the middle to consider. The Sony LinkBuds S are our favorite Android earbuds, offering a unique adaptive sound mode, a robust app for both operating systems and high-res audio support for Android users. But if your budget is firmly under $100, the EarFun Air Pro 3 prove that you don’t have to give up a ton when you’re looking to save.