The AirPods are a dominating force in the true wireless earbuds market and for a good reason. With their handy controls, seamless connectivity, and impeccable battery life, the AirPods offer everything you’d want in wireless earphones. However, that doesn’t mean that the $159 earphones are the best for everyone or for every occasion.
For instance, if you’re looking for wireless earphones with a punchy bass or aptX support for Android, AirPods will not do you justice here. Fortunately, the earphones arena is increasingly becoming saturated with true wireless earbuds that not only sound as good as their wired equivalents but rival the AirPods in every way. Here are the five best AirPods alternatives you should buy.
1. RHA TrueConnect
When it comes to AirPods alternatives, RHA TrueConnect is an excellent pick. These earphones are sweatproof and water-resistant (with an IPX5 Rating), which make them a perfect choice for runners, cyclists, and gym lovers. Also, the intuitive tap controls on the earbuds allow you to easily control your device’s volume, tracks, and calls – even when on the run.
The RHA TrueConnect comes with an included charging case that looks and feels great, and charges via USB-C. RHA claims that you get five hours of playback on a single charge, plus an additional twenty hours charge via the charging case with fast-charge. This can juice up the earbuds up to 50% in just fifteen minutes.
Additionally, the RHA TrueConnect operates via Bluetooth 5.0 and can maintain a steady connection within a 10m range. Many consumers have reported that these earbuds produce true and rich audio that’s among the best on the market. However, at a price of $169, these earbuds are expensive. They also lack aptX and AAC support.
2. SoundCore Anker Liberty Air
If you’re in the market for powerful, yet affordable true wireless earphones, the SoundCore Liberty Air should be on top of your list. At only $79, these wireless earphones give you the best bang for your buck. At that price, you get a great audio experience, thanks to the superior graphene drivers used.
There is also the noise cancellation feature that ensures you get an enhanced call experience. When it comes to the battery, the SoundCore Liberty Air doesn’t disappoint either. You get 5 hours of non-stop listening and an additional fifteen hours via the charging case.
The SoundCore Liberty Air has an IPX5 rating for being dust- and water-resistant, which is super impressive. They are also among the few wireless earphones that come with support for Bluetooth 5.0. On the downside, these earphones lack the volume control button and USB-C support. Check out our full review of these earphones for more information.
3. Jabra Elite 65T
The Jabra Elite 65T wireless earphones come with a swathe of useful features that give them an edge over the competition. For instance, they come with an integrated motion sensor that allows you to easily track your workout performance. Plus they are also dust- and water-resistant, which make them the best wireless earbuds for athletes and gym enthusiasts.
The Elite’s battery life is also great. A single charge gets you five hours of playback, plus an additional fifteen hours charge via the charging case. Additionally, the Elite 65T features what Jabra calls third-generation true wireless stability that helps to reduce calls and music dropouts.
Speaking of music, the Elite 65 allows you to personalize your music with customizable equalizers, giving you a rich audio experience that matches your taste. However, at a price of $133, these earbuds are expensive. Also, their IP56 water- & dust-resistant feature is not that great.
4. Sony WF-SP700N
The Sony WF-S700N earphones excel when it comes to sound enhancements. First, they feature digital noise cancellation technology that minimizes distractions and noise for crisp listening. They also feature what Sony calls Ambient Sound Mode – a feature that blends music with the sound of the environment around you.
As far as design is concerned, the SP700N earbuds are compact and stylish and have Sony’s expensive feel. These earbuds are IPX4 sweat- and splash-proof. With this rating, the earphones can handle sweat and splashes from the rain as you train.
However, when it comes to battery, the SP700 lags behind the competition. A single charge gives you three hours of playback and nine hours with the charging case. This is quite low, considering you get twenty-five hours with the RHA TrueConnect and twenty hours with the Elite 65T. Also, at a price of $128, these earphones are a bit expensive going by the market standards.
5. Bose SoundSport Free
If you’re looking for powerful earbuds with boosted bass responses and solid highs, the Bose SoundSport Free is what you need. Bose has established themselves as a market leader as far as audio systems are concerned, and their SoundSport Free earbuds exemplify their prowess in this department.
And it’s not just about the bass; the Bose SoundSport Free earbuds also nail the design and operational details better than the competition. These earbuds are also sweat- and weather-resistant, with an IPX4 rating. As for the battery, the Bose SoundSport is on par with the best earbuds on the market.
A single charge gets you five hours of play time, which is complemented by another ten hours of charge via the charging case. Additional features include the Bose Connect app that lets you track lost earbuds. However, at $169 the Bose SoundSport earphones are on the high-end price bracket.
6. Samsung Gear IconX
The 2018 edition of the Samsung Gear IconX also made it to our list due to the awesome features they offer. Despite their compact nature, the IconX manages to pack a heart rate monitor, an accelerometer, and 4GB of onboard storage that can store up to 1000 songs.
These lightweight earbuds offer a very comfortable fit and come with multiple sizes of ear tips and wing tips right in the box. They are perfect for trainers, athletes and gym grunters due to their accurate distance, speed, and calorie tracking.
The Samsung GearX allows you to control your music with just a tap or a swipe. You can even use voice commands to control music and calls since these earphones also come with support for Bixby and Google Voice.
On the downside, the Gear IconX earphones are expensive, currently selling for $128 on Amazon, and have a limited battery life of not more than seven hours. There are also isolated cases of compatibility issues with non-Android phones.
The wireless earphones market has been growing at a frenetic pace, and as new entrants join the game, we expect to see the prices of these premium earphones fall in the future. Until then, these are the best true wireless earphones you’ll find on the market today.
Have you tried any of these wireless earphones? Share your experiences in the comments section below.