AirPods Alternatives: 5 of the Best Wireless Earphones You Should Get

You don't need to spend all that money for Apple.

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For those who are deeply invested in Apple’s ecosystem of products, AirPods often seem like the best choice when it comes to truly wireless earbuds. After all, AirPods offer reliable connectivity, automatic Bluetooth switching between devices, and features such as Spatial Audio. However, if you are looking for AirPods alternatives, try our top picks.

Tired of Spotify? Try these Spotify alternatives for music streaming.

1. Best Affordable Wireless Earbuds

Looking for a robust pair of truly wireless earbuds that deliver respectable battery life and incredible sound? Look no further than the SoundPEATS True Wireless Earbuds, which feature a virtually uncompromising design that prioritizes ergonomics, durability, and bass-heavy sound quality. You can find the SoundPEATS True Wireless Earbuds on Amazon for $39.99 with frequent deals of up to 25% off, making these earbuds an absolute steal at just $29.99.

Soundpeats Charging Case
Image source: Amazon

These wireless earphones feature a traditional suction tip for passive noise cancellation and an ultra-secure fit that is sure to stay in any set of ears. Best of all, the SoundPEATS True Wireless Earbuds feature dual microphones for crystal clear calls without the need for the unsightly stem on AirPods and AirPods Pro.

Tech Specs of SoundPEATS True Wireless Earbuds

  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Four ear tip sizes
  • Battery life of up to four hours
  • Auto pairing (Only pair once)
  • Button on each earbud for playback controls
  • Charging case offers up to 35 hours of battery life in total
  • Built-in microphones for monaural and binaural phone calls

Pros

  • Comfortable, worry-free fit
  • Hi-Fi sound for music and phone calls
  • Charging case provides an extra seven to nine full charges

Cons

  • Bulky charging case that utilizes dated Micro USB charging
  • Lacks sweat resistance for workouts
  • Earphones will not turn off and fail to preserve power if placed inside a dead charging case

2. Best Wireless EarBuds for Exercise

While they are a bit pricey, the Beats Fit Pro offer many of the same features as Apple’s AirPods Pro, including Spatial Audio, active noise cancellation, and adaptive EQ. Coming in at $199.95 on Amazon, the Beats Fit Pro are a considerable fifty dollars less than the latest-gen AirPods Pro.

Beats Fit Pro Case
Image source: Amazon

These truly wireless headphones feature seamless integration for Apple and Android users, as well as a unique wingtip design that is sure to keep each earbud secure – even during rigorous exercise.

Tech Specs of Beats Fit Pro

  • Three ear tip sizes
  • Four distinct color choices
  • USB-C charging case
  • Apple H1 chip (Bluetooth 5.0)
  • Dual beamforming microphones
  • Sweat- and water-resistant (IPX4-rated)
  • Fast Fuel Charging: (5-minute charge = 1hr. of playback)
  • Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and Transparency Mode
  • Spatial Audio, Automatic Device Switching, and Find My integration for iOS devices
  • Up to six hours of listening time (24-hour battery when combined with charging case)
  • Out-of-the-box compatibility with Apple/Android devices, including firmware updates and audio fit test

Pros

  • Exceptional Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)
  • USB-C charging case offers notable convenience
  • Industry-leading comfort, durability, and security for athletes

Cons

  • Charging case is not easily pocketable
  • Case lacks wireless charging, despite premium price tag
  • Divisive sound profile makes sub-bass and treble notes more pronounced compared to competitors

Tip: cannot decide between Fitbit and Apple Watch for your next fitness tracker? Our comparison of these top choices can help!

3. Best Noise-Cancelling Wireless Earbuds

For most audiophiles, Apple’s AirPods Pro (2nd generation) remain the top pick for unparalleled noise cancellation. Coming in at a close second are the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II, which are on Amazon for $299.

Bose Quiet Comfort Ii
Image source: Amazon

While the hefty price tag may be hard to swallow, these earphones offer impressive Active Noise Cancellation, latest-gen Bluetooth 5.3 technology, respectable battery life, and customizable EQ. The charging case is even equipped with USB-C, making charging between devices a breeze.

Tech Specs for Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II

  • Bluetooth 5.3
  • Three ear tip sizes
  • Touch controls (Music playback and phone calls)
  • IPX4 water-resistance
  • Battery life of up to six hours
  • Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)
  • Two noise-rejecting microphones
  • USB-C and Qi wireless charging case
  • Bose music companion app for iOS/Android
  • Two color finishes (Triple Black and Soapstone)
  • Battery life with charging case up to 24 hours.

Pros

  • Convenient touch controls on each earbud
  • Little to no distortion, even at high volume levels
  • Versatile charging case with USB-C and Qi wireless charging

Cons

  • Quite pricey
  • Oversized case feels cheap
  • The left earbud cannot be used by itself for phone calls, as it lacks a microphone

4. Wireless Earphones With the Best Battery Life

Keep the music going all day (and night) long with the JLab Epic Air Sport ANC True Wireless earphones, available on Amazon for as low as $99.99. These truly wireless earbuds feature a jaw-dropping more than 15 hours of Bluetooth 5.0 playtime in each earbud with an additional 55 hours and more offered from the charging case. That’s nearly 70 hours of playtime!

Jlab Epic Air Sport
Image source: Amazon

Couple the unparalleled battery life with smart ANC, a truly versatile wireless charging case, and several different ear tip sizes for a truly unique set of wireless earbuds. The extra-long battery life on these wireless earphones makes them an incredible choice for frequent travelers, especially if you are looking to use your headphones for in-flight entertainment.

Tech Specs for JLab Epic Air Sport ANC True Wireless

  • Six-mic array
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Six ear tip sizes
  • Touch controls (music playback and phone calls)
  • Wear-detection sensors
  • IP66 sweat-resistance
  • Dual Connect and C3 Calling
  • Ultra-low latency “Movie Mode”
  • JLAB AIR ANC companion app for iOS/Android
  • Over 15 hours of battery life or more than 70 hours with the charging case
  • Charging case equipped with Qi wireless charging and a built-in USB-A cable

Pros

  • Multi-day battery life
  • Charging case doesn’t require an extra cord
  • Ear hook design offers a secure fit for active wearers

Cons

  • Finicky touch controls
  • Average noise cancellation
  • Outdated Bluetooth connectivity

5. Best Wireless Earphones If You Are Willing to Splurge

If money is absolutely no object, then let the music move you in style with the Bowers & Wilkins PI7 True Wireless in-ear headphones, which can be found on Amazon for $399. These high-end earbuds are available in elegant Charcoal and White finishes, featuring 24-bit high-resolution sound. A four-mic array enables astonishingly clear audio for phone calls, and a fast wireless charging case offers a convenient charging experience.

Bowers Wilkins Pi7 3
Image source: Amazon

Tech Specs for Bowers & Wilkins PI7 True Wireless in-ear headphones

  • Four-mic array
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Three ear tip sizes
  • Touch controls (music playback and phone calls)
  • Four-hour battery life
  • Dual hybrid audio drivers
  • Adaptive Noise Cancellation
  • Wear sensors for power saving
  • B&W companion app for iOS/Android
  • 24-bit sound (Qualcomm aptX Technology)
  • Smart charging case (15-minute charge equals two hours of listening)

Pros

  • Stunning design
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Unbelievable sound quality

Cons

  • Lackluster battery life
  • Glitchy companion app
  • Outdated Bluetooth technology

Tip: get your favorite music easily with these free music download apps for Android and iOS.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are wireless earphones suitable for gaming or video editing?

All truly wireless Bluetooth headphones suffer from increased latency and reduced sound quality compared to their wired counterparts. If you plan on utilizing wireless headphones for activities when ultra-low latency and heightened quality are crucial, it may be a good idea to invest in a pair of wired headphones. No matter which pair of earphones you decide on, it’s always a good idea to learn more about headphone drivers and how they affect audio quality.

What is the difference between wireless and truly wireless headphones?

Traditional wireless headphones usually have a wire connecting each earpiece. This design is more commonly utilized for over-the-ear headphones. Truly wireless headphones feature no wires at all, and each earpiece must communicate independently with the audio output source and with each other to mitigate latency issues while ensuring adequate synchronization.

What is the difference between passive noise cancellation and active noise cancellation?

Earphones that offer passive noise cancellation rely on a tight physical seal enabled by intricately designed ear cups/tips to mask outside noise. Active noise cancellation uses outward and inward-facing microphones in each earbud to neutralize environmental sound by generating anti-noise.

Image credit: Unsplash

Brahm Shank
Brahm Shank

Self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur and tech enthusiast Brahm Shank is captivated by the impact of consumer tech: “It’s profoundly moving when people discover that the phone in their pocket or the tiny computer on their wrist has the power to enrich their lives in ways they never imagined.” Apple, Inc. and its unique position at the intersection of technology and the creative arts, resonates deeply with Brahm and his passion for helping people unleash their potential using technology. Over the years, Brahm has held various podcasts - including famed technologist David Pogue of The New York Times on topics such as Big Tech and digital wellness.

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