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Happy Plugs’ $80 Hope earbuds are AirPods for fashionistas

For those who love Apple’s iconic white AirPods, but wish for something a little more in tune with their personal sense of style, Swedish audio brand Happy Plugs may have the answer: Its Hope true wireless earbuds come in eight different colors and patterns, and they cost $80. You can order them today from the Happy Plugs website, with deliveries scheduled for September 18 to 21.

The Hope earbuds closely resemble Apple’s AirPods, including the instantly recognizable drop-stem and the semi-open design of the portion that sits in your ear. Some people find that this shape, paired with the glossy plastic finish of the AirPods doesn’t sit securely enough. Happy Plugs attempts to solve for this with color-matched silicone sleeves that wrap around the body of the Hope earbuds, giving them a surface with better grip.

Woman wearing Happy Plugs Hope earbuds.
Happy Plugs

Those silicone sleeves come in two sizes to help more people find a good fit, and the whole earbud has been treated with Biomaster antimicrobial shielding, which Happy Plugs claims can stop the growth of harmful bacteria up to 99.99%.

Happy Plugs Hope earbuds shown in a variety of colors.
Happy Plugs

Beyond the variety of colors — leopard, turquoise, rose gold, gold, white, white marble, silver, and black — the Hope are otherwise fairly conventional. They don’t have active noise cancellation (ANC) or transparency mode, and there’s no in-ear detection for automatic pausing of playback. They’ll let you listen to music for six hours on a single charge, and you get another 24 hours of listening time from the charging case.

Happy Plugs says the Hope’s four microphones have been optimized for calling. “With the software algorithm, Hope’s microphones pick up speech and suppress ambient noise for the clearest possible calls of all our true wireless earphones,” a press release said.

Happy Plugs Hope earbuds shown in a variety of colors.
Happy Plugs

At $80, the Hope are considerably less expensive than Apple’s AirPods, which start at $149 for the wired charging model. However, they’re still quite expensive given the features they lack and that we have come to expect on the best true wireless earbuds that cost less than $100, like customizable controls and EQ adjustments.

Want something even wilder? Tiger and Rose has created a line of true wireless earbuds that look like panthers and also come in a wide range of colors.

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Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like…
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