Wireless accessories are trending these days, and Apple AirPods is a luxury standard for many. But as manufacturers strive to outcompete each other, it’s getting difficult for consumers to choose the right products, be it a smartphone or earbuds. There are plenty of reasons you would refrain from buying AirPods, the first one being the price, followed by them not being water-resistant. Even if they seem classy and cool, Apple AirPods have limitations that justify the existence of alternatives.
It would be a blunder to consider paying $200 for sound quality alone. There are many types of headphones with better battery life, connectivity support, and lower price. What are you waiting for, then? Let’s go through the list of the best AirPods alternatives together.
Why choose an AirPods alternative?
When Apple first launched the premium AirPods, it started a new wave of earphones in the industry. Over the years, we have seen many new brands pop up and offer better products, so the question stands, is it worth it to continue using AirPods or is it time to move on and look for a replacement? Here, we have listed some cons of AirPods to help you understand why you need to replace them with an alternative.
- The first reason is also the most obvious, pricing. Apple AirPods are not cheap. The cheapest AirPods cost $129 and can go as high as $549, which, if you ask me, is not something anyone should pay for a pair of plastic sudo speakers that will be obsolete in a year or so.
- Then there is the issue of them not fitting, and not staying in one’s ears.
- Furthermore, Apple AirPods also don’t offer any advanced features, such as noise cancellation.
- The battery deteriorates faster and cannot sustain longer use over a prolonged period of time.
- The company charges extra for wireless cases.
- Also, the company has, infamously, made zero design changes or improvements over the years since the release of the first-generation AirPods.
- Many devices outside of the Apple ecosystem don’t support the AirPods.
- It is not waterproof.
List of the best AirPods alternatives
|Earbud Model||Key Features||Price $ (Approx)|
|TaoTronics Boltune||Lightweight, seamless sound quality, IPX8 waterproof||40−50|
|Edifier TWS 330NB||Stylish design, Bluetooth VA, IPX4 protection||40-50|
|Sony WF-1000XM4||IPX4, voice assistant support, great sound quality||280−300|
|Earfun Air Pro 2||Active noise cancellation, IPX5, transparent mode||80−90|
|Beats Powerbeats Pro||10 hours of battery life, IPX4, H1 chip support||200−250|
|Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro||Bluetooth 5.0, IPX7, voice-activated Bixby||190−200|
|OnePlus Buds Pro||Lightweight, 7 hours battery life, ANC||Not available|
|Soundpeats T3||Decent sound, noise reduction, Bluetooth 5.2||40−60|
|Cambridge Audio Melomania||Great battery life, strong Bluetooth, elegant design||90−100|
|TaoTronics SoundLiberty P10||Knock-off AirPods Pro, Bluetooth 5.2, IPX8||Not available|
|Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro||Customizable controls, 7 hours battery life||130−150|
|Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2||Superior sound, active noise cancellation, IPX4||280−300|
The earbuds are the lightest and cheapest options offering seamless sound quality and user convenience. Simply open the charging case and put the earbuds back to pair them with your device or turn them off. The in-ear headphones have highly sensitive diaphragms and minimize signal loss thanks to the immersive stereo sound.
The wireless earbuds also have two microphones to render crisp and clear voices during calls. You can also rapidly charge them to enjoy up to 36 hours of listening and calling. These are equipped with Bluetooth version 5.2 and a waterproof rating of IPX8. You can buy this cheap but leading alternative to Apple AirPods for just $35.99.
If you are looking for earbuds with a stylish design, Edifier TWS 330NB is a perfect fit. The earphones have an elegant all-black finish and use Bluetooth VA to connect wirelessly with any device. The headphones are compatible with the iPhone X and later. While the touch controls are a little limited, they are programmable via the Edifier Connect apps for iOS and Android which also permit adjusting the touch sensitivity level.
This wireless Bluetooth headset comes with two charges and has an IPX4 protection rating, which means it’s splash- and dust-proof. With noise cancellation on, battery life is between four and five hours at moderate volume levels. The TWS 330NB headphones are available in black or white and cost about $46 now. However, we’ve seen Amazon coupons reduce the price to around $40.
Sony WF-1000XM4 is a pair of Bluetooth headphones with an IPX4 rating and support for voice assistants. You can use them to connect the app to access additional functions such as a fit test, remapping the touch controls, and altering the sound signature. The default sound signature is unusual, but the sound quality is quite impressive.
Sony WF-1000XM4 has Bluetooth 5.2 and will probably play all required codecs in the 5.2 stack, including LE audio. The earbuds have quite a commendable battery life, lasting about 7 hours and 43 minutes with the ANC (active noise-cancellation) on. However, if you don’t use the ANC, you’ll get even more out of it. The charging case adds up to 24 hours of battery life to the mix.
Earfun Air Pro 2 is another great model on the list, and it’s still true-wireless. It boasts excellent active noise cancellation and a fantastic sound at a low price. The earbuds have a few special characteristics, such as a sensor that kicks off your music when removing the buds from your ears.
The model also includes a USB-C and a wireless charging case, which aren’t available in this price range very often. They’re splash-proof, with a waterproof rating of IPX5 and up to seven hours of battery life on a single charge at moderate volume levels. However, you’ll probably get closer to 6 hours with noise cancellation turned on. There’s also a transparent mode that allows sounds from the outside world to seep through.
The pair of Beats Powerbeats Pro is the longest-lasting duo of true wireless headphones, enduring 10 hours on Android and iOS. That’s enough time to fly from New York to California, including a trip to the airport. That said, you might not want to use them on the plane since they don’t provide much isolation. Instead, Powerbeats Pro is the go-to headset while running or at the gym.
The hook design fastens the buds to your ears, and the IPX4 rating ensures that they remain water-resistant, which is more than can be said for the AirPods. There’s also all the extra stuff you get with the H1 chip, including personalized bass and treble boosts. Pairing on iOS is a cinch and isn’t bad on Android either. The connection quality is top-class, so there will be no interruptions.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro is a model equipped with Bluetooth 5.0. If you have a Samsung phone, the Samsung-compatible codec in the buds will give you better sound quality than Apple AirPods. iPhone and Android users may also benefit from the AAC codec. The buds automatically allow you to switch between devices linked to your same Samsung account.
Moreover, If you have a Samsung smartphone and use the Galaxy Wearable app, you can use voice-activated Bixby with the earbuds. The IPX7 certification shows this is the most durable set of Samsung Galaxy Buds to date. With a total of 13 hours of playtime, the earbuds will last around 5 hours on a single charge, while the case adds 13 hours of usage.
OnePlus has garnered enough popularity in the last few years, and rightfully so. Thus, when the company came out with its exclusive earbuds, the OnePlus Buds Pro, people were excited. And OnePlus didn’t disappoint, as these buds can even give the famous Apple AirPods a run for its money. The OnePlus Buds Pro is small, at 1.25 x 0.9 x 0.9 inches, and weighs around 0.15 ounces per bud.
These specifications make it a lightweight and usable tool. The Buds Pro also sports an equally appealing battery life of 7 hours with constant use and around 38 hours with the charging case. The Bluetooth coverage is also strong, covering an area of 40 feet. Lastly, the buds also employ ANC, making them a suitable alternative for AirPods.
Soundpeats T3 earbuds have two main features among other noteworthy things. They produce decent sound and are ideal for making phone calls due to their excellent noise reduction. They’re also pleasant to wear, with active noise canceling and transparency modes.
Bluetooth 5.2, IPX4 splash-proof, and a battery life of up to 5.5 hours at moderate volume levels make for an excellent combination. They’re not going to wow you with clarity or dynamic sound, but are pleasing to hear. It is everything you can expect from a budget set of earbuds.
Hands down, Cambridge Audio’s Melomania 1+ can be the best alternative to AirPods. Not only are the earbuds small, with physical dimensions of 1.1 x 0.6 x 0.6 inches, but they are also equally light at 0.2 ounces per bud. What’s more, its battery backup allows these buds to last up to 9 hours even with continuous use and around 45 hours with the charging case. The Bluetooth is also fairly strong, covering an area of around 30 feet.
Hence, excellent sound quality, battery life, build, and elegant design combined in one makes it a solid AirPods contender. The sole drawback is the lack of ANC. However, these buds cost only $59, which is practically a steal in front of the Apple AirPods.
TaoTronics’ SoundLiberty P10 is a knock-off AirPods Pro model, but one of the better ones for the money. It comes with decent sound and acceptable headset performance for making calls. It’s quite effective, and there’s also an ambient mode that allows noise in the equivalent of the AirPods Pro’s transparency mode. But these are not quite as natural sounding and have an anti-wind function.
You probably recognize by now TaoTronics headphones are some of the best ones on the market. While they’re not particularly stylish, they’ll fit your ears well, and their case is small and lightweight. They are built with Bluetooth 5.2 in mind and fully waterproof, with an IPX8 rating. The battery life is said to be six and a half hours, with noise-canceling and volume at 50% enabled.
Liberty Air 2 Pro had big shoes to fill, and it has proven to be as popular as its predecessor. While this pair of earbuds do not compare to top-tier alternatives, that wasn’t their goal. The Soundcore app lets you adjust the controls on each earbud, which has a touch-capacitive surface for managing things like playback.
The Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro has a battery life of 7 hours and 5 minutes from a single charge. You can gain an extra two-hour backup by placing the buds in the case for 10 minutes. You can recharge the case via the included USB-C cable or on a Qi wireless charging pad after it has run out of power.
Momentum True Wireless 2 earbuds sound fantastic, feel great, and last all day. Although they are more expensive than other Bluetooth headphones, they deliver a superior experience. The music is exceptionally clear, and active noise cancellation effectively mutes ambient sounds to just a faint hush so you can enjoy music, books, podcasts, or make phone calls from anywhere.
According to Sennheiser, these powerful earbuds have enough battery life for up to 7 hours of continuous playback. Furthermore, they provide an IPX4 sweat resistance and remain comfortable when exercising since they are lightweight. Although it is somewhat bulkier than previous versions, the model is still fashionable.