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Mobvoi’s bargain AirPods alternatives offer ANC and voice control for less than £50

Wireless listening for less

Most budget earphones are nothing to write home about. Or write anywhere about. But a set of true wireless in-ears with ANC, transparency and 13mm drivers – all for a penny less than £50? That might be something to take note of.

Known for making smart stuff more accessible, Mobvoi’s latest budget ‘buds are a follow-up to the even more affordable TicPods ANC. Like its previous noise-cancelling earphones, the Earbuds ANC promise to mute outside sounds – only this time, they’ll use two mics to do it.

Buy the Mobvoi Earbuds ANC here

While they won’t win any prizes for original product naming, that dual-mic setup should mean cleaner calls: with one pickup eliminating background noise, the other promises to focus on your vocals. So if you’re dialling on the fly, your chatting partner should hear less of the hubbub and more of your chinwag.

Featuring the same 13mm drivers inside, the Earbuds ANC also benefit from the Sound Passthrough smarts seen on the TicPods ANC. A long press on the touch-sensitive stem will instantly allow your surroundings in – ideal when you need to steer clear of passing traffic. Battery life is identical too, with the Earbuds ANC good for 4.5 hours when ANC is enabled (or 21 with help from the wired charging case).

Need some assistance? Whether you’re checking the weather or cuing up your Commuting Bangers playlist, a quick ‘Hey Tico’ should alert your smartphone’s digital helper to start listening. Compatible with Siri and Google Assistant, you can also use voice commands to control your tunes directly – and that extra mic means you should come through loud and clear to your Earbuds.

Lightweight at 5g a piece, each Earbud can be used independently, while IPX5 dust- and water-resistance should easily see you through showers. Available now, the Mobvoi Earbuds ANC will set you back £50/$60.

Best Apple AirPod alternatives: superb true wireless earphones