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Headphones

Look out, Apple: These AirPods-style earbuds with wireless charging case cost just $36 (Update: Sold out)

The Letscom T22 can play for up to 80 hours (!) via a wireless charging case (!!) that doubles as a power bank (!!!). Plus: This wireless ergonomic mouse is only 9 bucks.

letscom-t22

These earbuds charge in a case that can recharge wirelessly and provide backup power to other devices.

Letscom

When you opt for a cheapie set of true-wireless earbuds, you make sacrifices, right? Your $36 isn't going to buy you frills like touch controls or a wireless charging case. That's what you get when you pay $199 for AirPods, right?

Nope. In fact, the folks making cheapie 'buds are really stepping up their game, as evidenced by today's deal: For a limited time, and while supplies last (there aren't a ton of these in stock at the moment, I'm told), Mifun Tech has the Letscom T22 true-wireless earbuds with wireless charging case for $35.99. That's after clipping the on-page 5%-off coupon and applying promo code CNETOT22 at checkout. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Update: The T22 is sold out from this vendor.

At first glance, the T22s resemble a ton of other noise-isolating earbuds I've tested. They're the knobby sort, not the pipe sort, meaning they look a little, well, knobby sticking out of your ears. But when you get a good seal (using one of the four pair of included ear tips -- and, trust me, finding exactly the right ones is crucial), they block outside noise very well and deliver solid bass.

Here's where it gets interesting. The charging case is a bit larger than most, but that's because it houses a 2,600-mAh battery. According to Letscom, that translates to a whopping 80 hours of total playtime. (The earbuds are good for about 4.5 hours before needing to return to the case, where they can recharge 17+ times.)

But, wait, there's more: That case supports Qi wireless charging, a feature that costs $40 extra if you're looking at AirPods. Yep: One premium Apple feature costs more than the T22s themselves. And for icing on the cake, the case has a Type-A USB output, meaning it's also a mobile charger. Granted, it may not fully recharge your phone, but it can definitely provide some backup power.

The T22s' touch controls work logically: Tap either earbud to play or pause. Double-tap the right one to skip tracks and the left one to play the previous one. Tap and hold one side for volume-up, the other side for volume-down. Although it can be tough to land your finger in the right spot without first grasping an earbud, there's enough "meat" on them that I didn't graze the controls by accident -- an issue I've had with other earbuds.

Overall sound quality is decent, though I found that certain tracks from The Umbrella Academy soundtrack came across a little bright. And even with the noise-isolating ear tips, the T22s wasn't able to outperform AirPods in the bass department. I didn't test them while exercising, but I suspect they might slip out of sweaty ears.

I did test them with video apps, and found no issues with audio lag -- another problem that plagues some cheapie earbuds. As for phone calls, I had mixed results: One caller said I sounded unpleasantly metallic; another, "absolutely fine."

Overall, I'm just impressed with the bang for the buck. For a mere $36 you get pretty good true-wireless earbuds and a super-versatile charging case. 

Your thoughts?

Bonus deal: Switch to an ergonomic mouse for just $9

Is your current mouse causing you pain? Some ergonomics experts would say that it's because your wrist isn't meant to be angled that way for long stretches. Solution: a more wrist-friendly rodent.

victsing-ergonomic-mouse

Way cheaper than RSI surgery.

VicTsing

Like this one: For a limited time, and while supplies last, the VicTsing Vertical Wireless Mouse is $8.99 with promo code 3I7D2DQC. That's $5 off the regular price.

As you can see, this mouse relies on a more natural grip, the idea being to ease the strain on your wrist. Like many wireless mice, it employs a USB receiver that's meant to be plugged into your PC full-time.

I haven't tried this one, though I've used other VicTsing mice that performed surprisingly well for the price. It has a 4.5-star review average from over 320 buyers.

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Apple AirPods 2019 (Charging Case)
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