New Belkin SOUNDFORM Freedom Earbuds take on AirPods with Qi, Apple Find My, $99 price

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Competition is heating up in the world of earbuds. Today’s news is thanks to Apple opening up Find My features to third parties. The new Belkin SOUNDFORM Freedom True Wireless Earbuds will one of the first pairs of earbuds to tap into this feature set. Belkin opened up pre-orders today and the landing page showcases some impressive specifications that could give AirPods a run for their money. Headlining examples include 36-hour battery life alongside both a USB-C and Qi-ready charging case. Continue reading to learn more.

Belkin SOUNDFORM Freedom deliver AirPods’ Find My features and cost less

Belkin is trying to turn some heads with its upcoming earbuds. On paper, the new Belkin SOUNDFORM Freedom True Wireless Earbuds deliver a feature set that’s going to be hard to argue with. Each earbud offers up to eight hours of battery life and the bundled case adds 28 additional hours, outpacing AirPods by a significant margin.

Another perk is that the included charging case can be powered by USB-C or Qi, making these a solid alternative for anyone that is trying to rely less on Lightning. The case is also equipped with Apple Find My technology, allowing it to be found using the official app. Like AirPods, these will also pause when removed from your ears.

“As one of the first third-party accessories to provide the unparalleled value of Apple’s Find My network, we are excited to elevate the user experience of our audio products,” said Steve Malony, CEO, Belkin International.

Pricing and availability

At $99.99, the Belkin SOUNDFORM Freedom True Wireless Earbuds attempt to eat into some of AirPods’ marketshare. No matter how you slice it, these cost less than Apple’s official solution, which I count as a win for consumers. The verdict is still out if quality exceeds, meets, or is less than that of Apple’s first-party earbuds, but time will tell.

Pre-orders are open now and Belkin plans to kick off shipments sometime during the month of June. An Amazon listing has yet to appear, but will likely join Belkin’s official storefront within the next couple of months.

9to5Toys’ Take

I ordered AirPods as soon as they they officially launched in late 2016. Within a year of the second-generation’s debut, I upgraded to garner renewed battery life. This means I have had plenty of time to utilize Find My features, but have never found myself in a position where I needed to. I’ve been lucky.

Given the compact size of truly wireless earbuds, I think there’s a good chance I am the odd man out. This is why I am happy to see Belkin SOUNDFORM Freedom and others tap into Apple’s Find My feature set. Dropping $100 (or more) on a pair of earbuds to lose track of them at a later date is something nobody wants to go through, and by working with Find My, iOS users will have a hassle-free way to quickly keep tabs on their headphones.

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