I Bought Terrible Earbuds So You Don’t Have To

When my husband buys gifts they always come in threes. One for me. And the exact same thing for each kid. Like the weighted blankets. Remember the weighted blankets? (If you don’t, you can read about it here.) For Christmas he bought us all AirPods, each with our own personalized cases. It was a very thoughtful gift since we all love music. Mostly, though, I was just excited to finally get a gift I could lift above my shoulders.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me. With my ears, to be specific. I also don’t know what’s wrong with all the other things about me, physical, emotional, and otherwise. But let’s get back to my ears, my tiny, overly sensitive, and oddly shaped ears. I’ve yet to find a truly comfortable earbud and the minute I put the AirPods in my ears I knew this was going to be chaos.

They didn’t quite fit, so they’re sticking out of my ears like a pair of dowsing rods. And, um, OUCH. Did I just shove sea urchins in my ears? But like all other Apple products they work very well and are super easy to pair with the other Apple products I own. Don’t come for me, Samsung people. The husband was so excited about this gift, so me and my weird ears just went with it. Bless our hearts.

For more than six months I desperately tried to love my very expensive ear urchins, but even the strongest of women with oddly shaped ears eventually break. And break I did. So I started doing research on affordable AirPod alternatives. They’d need to be comfortable and inexpensive, offer great sound quality, have a long playtime, and hopefully not look like a couple of twigs sticking out of the sides of my head.

And by research, I mean I read two articles, got bored, picked the cheapest earbud listed, read three Amazon reviews, and clicked Buy Now. So basically, as with most horrible things that happen in my life, I have no one to blame but myself.

I purchased those things you’re looking at up there, the Tribit FlyBuds 3. Now, let’s take a moment to collectively laugh at the name before we go into the conversation about the probable child labor that was used to put them together.

Okay, I’m going to need another minute to laugh because every time I see the name I think of that movie Air Bud and I imagine that I am going to stick a couple of highly athletic golden retrievers in my ears.

I’m done laughing now. I started thinking about the child labor.

And now I’m crying.

So, anyhoo. Let’s get to the review part of this review, shall we? Now, first I must preface this review with a disclaimer. I know absolutely nothing about electronics, which is evidenced by the fact that I purchased the Air Buds. And therefore I have no business writing this review and you have no business reading it, but here we are. Look, I warned you. That’s all I’m saying.

Let’s start with comfort because that’s really all I cared about to begin with. They are comfortable. Well, more comfortable than shoving sea urchins in your ear. It’s more like shoving a half cooked ravioli in your ear. Which, believe it or not, is an upgrade. And they fit inside my weird ears! They still look stupid when I’m wearing them, but in a whole new way. Kinda like I got really drunk, cut the buttons off my winter coat and stuck them in my ear canal. That’s a plausible scenario, by the way.

And the charge on these babies is good. It’s solid. I think? While the AirPods use a green light to let you know when both your case and your earbuds are completely charged, my child labor pods use a certain number of lights on the case to let you know the percentage charge you’re at. Well, I threw away the manual so now I have no idea which light corresponds to what percentage so I just assume they’re always fully charged. The earbud itself has a red light on it that comes on periodically. Red is bad, right? I have no idea what’s going on. Am I going to die?

The sound quality of the FlyBuds in comparison to the AirPods is, well, hmmmmm. There certainly is sound. I can hear noises coming out of them. I’m just not entirely sure what those noises are all the time. I use my earbuds for two purposes. One, I listen to my favorite podcast, Watch What Crappens, when I’m cleaning. And two, I listen to music when I go to bed. I’m mostly sure that’s still happening with my Air Buds.

While listening to my podcast with the sea urchins I felt like Ronnie and Ben were sitting in my living room talking personally to me. With the child labor pods my favorite podcasters seem to be sitting in my neighbor’s backyard and are yelling over the fence at me as lawn mowers and weed wackers hum in the distance. Turkey vultures screech overhead. And we’re also under a flight path. And now I will never know if they think Erika Jayne was aware Tom was stealing all that money.

As for music, I’m pretty sure that’s what I’m listening to at night. Sure, with the AirPods my ears would literally scab over from being wedged in and slept on, but at least I could feel how much Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks wanted to hate f*ck each other when they’re singing Silver Springs. With AirPods I could tell you which denomination the rolled up bill was that they used to snort coke while recording the album. The sound quality was that good.

With FlyBuds it sounds like they’re singing into soup cans a couple rooms over and I’m trying to pick it up with a juice glass against a wall. I’m so busy trying to hear I can’t even get one ugly cry out thinking about how heartbroken they both are when they’re singing. But at least my ears don’t bleed anymore. So that’s good. That’s good, right?

As for price, well that’s a no brainer. AirPods are expensive. So expensive, in fact, that when your husband buys you a pair you keep shoving them in your head holes even though they are causing you literal harm and you just pretend everything is okay. AirBuds cost less than a bag of dog food. I haven’t tried listening to Fleetwood Mac through a bag of dog food, but that might be worth a go.

So, in conclusion, of course AirPods are better, you numbskull. As if you needed to read a review to know that. But Air Buds are cheaper and don’t make your ears bleed. You can also hear what seems to be noise coming from them. And if you throw away the manual they’re always fully charged. Or they’re going to blow up. One or the other.