Apple AirPods’ popularity is undeniable. While some people vouch for their quality, many (you know who you are) also buy them for the status icons that they have become over the years.

However, if one is on a tight budget, AirPods can cost a little bit more than one would like. The first generation AirPods are priced at Rs 14,900 in India. The second generation costs about Rs 16,000, and the AirPods Pro will set you back by approximately Rs 25,000.

Now you do want that AirPod, but you don’t want to spend that kind of money. So here we are, with an AirPod we really want and a wallet that’s really empty.

If you just nodded there or did the forceful-exhale-through-nose laugh, you are likely in the category that isn’t exactly looking for quality, but a pair of earphones that are decent, that you can show off, and are also easy on the pocket. This is the deal you want.

Well, say hurray, because the Riversong Air X5+ earphones are exactly (and only) for you!

 Riversong Air X5 Plus review: An AirPods look-alike that costs only Rs 2,999

Riversong Air X5+ are priced at Rs 2,999. Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

The Riversong Air X5+ earphones are priced at Rs 2,999 and one of the cheapest truly wireless earbuds that sell in the Indian market. The earphones look EXACTLY like the Apple AirPods. When plugged into the ears, no one can actually tell them apart from Apple AirPods.

Riversong Air X5+ earbuds look identical to the Apple AirPods. Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

Riversong Air X5+ earbuds look identical to the Apple AirPods. Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

When I physically compared them with each other, however, I noticed a few differences:

  1. They both pretty much weigh the same but the quality of the cases is dramatically different. If you tap on the AirPods with your nails, you hear a dense sound, whereas on the Riversong Air X5+ the sound is hollow. It’s tak-tak against tik-tik!
  2. Also, when you tap on the AirPods, all you hear is your finger against the case, however, on the Riversong’s case, you can hear parts moving inside like it was a toy.
  3. On the surface, while the Apple AirPods case only has a small “Designed by Apple in California” text at the back, the Riversong case has a bunch of specifications and certification logos at the back, and on the front it has the Riversong logo. The placement of the setup button is the same on both.
  4. The AirPods use a lightning charger, and the Riversong Air X5+ use a Type-C charger.
  5. When you open the lids on both cases, the Airpods’ case has a heavy lid with a stable hinge, whereas the Riversong Air X5+ has a slightly flimsy lid, which feels loose on the hinge.
  6. When you take the earphones out of the case, the length of both the company’s pods is the same, the look also exactly the same, but the AirPods are heavier.
One the left, Riversong Air X5+, on the right, Apple AirPods first generation. Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

One the left, Riversong Air X5+, on the right, Apple AirPods first generation. Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

But does the Riversong Air X5+ come anywhere close to the AirPods, when it comes to performance? The answer is no, but I’d still insist you read ahead if you have stayed so far because there are still things about the Riversong earphones that are amusing.

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The Riversong Air X5+ has a 30 mAh battery and 320 mAh for the charging case. While the company claims about 3 hours of talk time on one charge, I mostly ran out of battery in about two hours. Compared to my first-generation AirPods that last for about 4-5 hours on a single charge, that’s not great. But to be honest, given the price difference, I wouldn’t mind charging the Riversong earphones a couple of times a day.

Riversong Air X5+ uses a Type-C port for charging. Tech2/Nandini Yadav

Riversong Air X5+ uses a Type-C port for charging. Tech2/Nandini Yadav

As for the performance of the Air X5+, they are definitely not what you would call a pair of good earphones. They have very average audio output.

When I played music on them, I always noticed a lag in time in which the music played on the left and the right buds. Left generally always played a few seconds before the right.

(L) Riversong Air X5+ earphone and (R) Apple AirPods. Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

(L) Riversong Air X5+ earphone and (R) Apple AirPods. Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

Also, I noticed that songs or any audio played over 40 to 50 percent volume would start making my ears hurt. Also, the audio would start bleeding from the earphones and would be audible to people sitting close to you. At full volume, what you hear is mostly muffled and distorted. Bass and treble are a no-show in the Riversong party!

They are basic stereo earphones, with a 10 mm driver for claiming a 20 Hz- 20 KHz frequency range.

For watching shows on OTT platforms over your smartphone, they are a decent accessory. While on the move — in a metro or a cab — they work pretty well.

But here’s what I said is amusing about these earphones: for Rs 2,999, these Riversong Air X5+ also offers touch controls to answer calls or play/pause music. Also, the earphones come along with a silicon cover and a spring clip. With the AirPods, which are already expensive, you have to shell out extra money on the cases, and they’re never cheap!

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Riversong Air X5+: Should you buy it?

If you are someone who does not care much about audio quality, but mostly use earphones to passively consume content, then the Riversong Air X5+ is a good buy for you.

If you are someone who is willing to give up on audio quality to use something that looks pretty close to the Apple AirPods for a very cheap price, then the Riversong Air X5+ is for you.

In no other scenario would I personally recommend the Riversong Air X5+ to anyone.

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