The Apple Airpods are among the most popular wireless earbuds in the world right now. However, they’re not the only true wireless earbuds on the market.
The alternatives to Apple Airpods are not only cheaper (even if you get AirPods at a discount), but also offer more features than Apple’s flagship true wireless earbuds. If you’re on the hunt for the best Airpods alternative, we’ve rounded up the best alternatives available right now.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds have intuitive controls, wireless charging support, and a noise-canceling mic. They also pair and sync quickly with Samsung devices, such as smartphones from their Galaxy S and Note series. They’re one of the best Airpod alternatives that even surpasses Apple’s pair in several ways.
Like most Samsung audio products, these Galaxy Buds are tuned by AKG. They offer great audio quality, with a very balanced noise profile and a surprising amount of bass. The Galaxy Wearables app allows plenty of customization, with a built-in equalizer and several sound modes that you can choose from. You can also customize the controls on the touchpad at the side of each bud.
Where the Galaxy Buds truly differ from Apple’s offering is in the way that they sound. Whereas Airpods have very little noise isolation, the Galaxy Buds’ in-ear design blocks out external sounds. Therefore, they’re a great pick if you prefer not hearing outside noise.
However, if you want to hear outside sounds in a pinch, you can activate the ambient sound mode. This feature amplifies the outside noise using the mic and plays it back inside your ear.
The Galaxy Buds also have several substantial improvements over Samsung’s previous Icon X earbuds. They are significantly smaller and lighter, so they fit very snugly in the ear and are unlikely to fall out. They also have better battery life, with up to six hours of battery life in the buds themselves and an additional seven hours in the case.
If you’re looking for a high-quality cheap Airpod alternative, the JLab JBuds Air are a great choice. This pair has a couple of features that are normally only found at higher price points. For starters, there are touch controls on each bud that allow you to control music, change the volume, and activate your smart assistant.
The JBuds automatically turn on when taken out of the charging case, making them seamless to pair with your smartphone. They are Bluetooth 5.0 enabled, which means that there are fewer latency and sync issues than with Bluetooth 4.2 accessories. The buds themselves last up to four hours, with an additional 10 hours of power in the case.
They’re also fairly light, have a great fit, and are IP55 sweat-resistant. That means that they’re suitable for workouts and outdoor activities. When customized with the included rings and eartips, they are comfortable to wear for long periods.
The JBuds also features three different audio modes activated without a smartphone app; Signature, Bass Boost, and Balanced. You can switch between these using special commands on the buds themselves.
You may recognize Anker for their battery packs, cables, and charging bricks, but they also make earbuds under the Soundcore brand. The Soundcore Anker Liberty Air is a well-built choice which takes some clear influences from the market leader.
At first glance, the Soundcore Anker Liberty earbuds look very similar to Airpods. This is because of the long stem that hangs outside your ear. However, unlike Airpods, the Liberty Air uses an in-ear style that offers better noise isolation and blocks out most external noise.
The buds last five hours when in use, and the case provides an additional 15 hours of battery life. The charging case is similarly sized to the one bundled with the Airpods, which means that they can fit in a pocket or small bag.
They have three different sized eartips and are very comfortable to wear when you get the right fit. While they aren’t that loud and won’t be able to replicate the sound quality of more expensive earbuds, they are fine for voice calls, podcasts, and light music listening.
There’s a good reason why the SoundPEATS TrueFree+ are some of the most popular Airpods alternatives around. They offer a host of features that are amazing to see in such an affordable pair of earbuds. It has Bluetooth 5.0 support and pairs quickly with any Bluetooth-enabled device.
They last up to four hours on their own if you use both ears. The charging case is quick, compact, and promises to charge the earbuds up to 10 times fully. They also have built-in touch controls that you can use to pause, play, or skip your music.
A great feature is that the left and right buds function independently of each other. They each have their own mic and functions, so you can make calls, control your music, and use your voice assistant when only wearing one. Also, the audio automatically switches to mono when you’re only wearing one.
They are comfortable and fit well in most ears, while also having good noise isolation. The TrueFree+ also offers surprisingly good audio quality. Not enough to replace dedicated in-ear monitors, but definitely good enough to listen to music as you go about your day.
5. Treblab X5
One thing that Apple Airpods don’t excel at exercise functionality. The Treblab X5 is a great, affordable option for fitness enthusiasts, as they are specifically designed to be used while exercising.
These buds have hooks that fit firmly inside of your ear, along with being fairly small and lightweight. They tend to stay on even if you’re doing high-intensity workouts, such as sprinting, boxing, or circuit-training.
Furthermore, instead of being simply sweat-resistant like most wireless earbuds, they are IPX4 water-resistant. This means that they are protected from external liquids that come from any direction. In addition to the sweat that accumulates from regular workouts, they are resistant to potential damage from rain when outdoors. This makes them suitable for a wide variety of scenarios, from indoor gyming to outdoor jogs.
The buds themselves have a battery life of up to six hours, which should make them last the length of an outdoor trek without needing to be charged. The charging case provides an additional four hours too.
The Treblab X5 have good bass, can get very loud, and provide a fair amount of noise isolation. They also have very little latency and remain stable, even with a lot of movement.
The Best Airpods Alternative for You
Ultimately, if you’re looking for a good pair of wireless earbuds, Apple Airpods aren’t always the way to go. The options we’ve laid out all sync well with both iPhones and Android phones, sound fine for day-to-day usage, and fit well in the ear.
If you don’t necessarily need to have true wireless earbuds, check out these best cheap Bluetooth earbuds. Or if you’re looking for a wireless option that brings some more punch to your music listening, take a browse through our list of the best wireless headphones under $100.