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.
Despite their success, Apple AirPods are expensive. If you’re after earbuds that don’t break the bank but give you a similar experience, you do have options.
Here are some of the best cheap AirPods alternatives available today.
The House of Marley Liberate Air are affordable true wireless earbuds and make a great cheap AirPods alternative. Given the name, you won’t be surprised to learn that the company was founded by one of Bob Marley’s children. Their products are designed in line with the reggae legend’s values and are made from sustainable materials like bamboo, aluminum, and REWIND fabric composed of recycled plastic.
Fortunately, they don’t prioritize ethics over function. The Liberate Air are among the best true wireless headphones available today. They are IPX4 rated for sweat and weather resistance, have a nine-hour battery life, and come in a portable charging case. Like with the Apple AirPods, placing the earbuds into the case turns them off and can provide up to an additional 32 hours of battery life.
Although they don’t have quite the same integration with Apple’s products, the Liberate Air still play well with your other devices. There is a touch control on each of the earbuds that allows you to play/pause audio, pick up calls, and start conversations with your phone’s voice assistant. They come with three tip sizes, allowing you to find the right fit for your ears. Each earbud can be used on its own, or you can use both together.
2. TicPods Free
Apple’s earbuds are expensive, that doesn’t mean you can’t find cheap AirPods, though. The TicPods Free are aesthetically very similar. Okay, so they aren’t technically AirPods, but they certainly look the part. You’ll even find many of the same features here, too.
That said, these are in-ear tips, so they are closer to the AirPods Pro than the original AirPods. The TicPods Free have touch controls on each earbud, allowing you to receive calls, play/pause audio, and interact with your phone’s smart assistant. Since they are IPX5 rated, you don’t have to worry about wearing these in the rain or at the gym.
The earbuds have four hours of battery life, which can be extended by 14 hours thanks to the charging case. They also feature in-ear detection, so audio playback will pause when you take them out, and resume when they are back in your ear.
The UK-based company Cambridge Audio has a reputation for high-quality devices, and the Melomania 1 Earbuds are no exception. Despite their heritage, these earbuds cost roughly half the price of the AirPods, marking them out as a cheap AirPods alternative. Each earbud weighs just 4.6g, and they integrate with both Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant.
The Melomania 1 Earbuds achieve nine hours of playback, and the case can recharge them four times, for a total of 45 hours of playback. Once depleted, the earbuds take just 30 minutes to recharge, while the case takes a further two hours. Like the second-generation AirPods, the Melomania 1 use the latest Bluetooth 5 technology for up to 30 meters of connectivity.
Apple’s AirPods have a distinctive look and are as much a fashion item as a set of earbuds. If you’re after a cheap AirPods alternative that emulates that striking design, then you should consider the RHA TrueConnect. While many true wireless earbuds feature the same in-ear design, the TrueConnect shares the AirPods lower extension. That’s not where the similarities end, though.
The TrueConnect are IPX5 rated for sweat and water resistance, use Bluetooth 5, and have a five-hour battery life. The companion case can recharge the buds to give an additional 20 hours of playback. They also support fast charging, taking just 15 minutes to provide 2.5 hours of audio. Like most true wireless earbuds, they also integrate nicely with your phone’s digital assistant—whether that’s Siri or Google Assistant.
Choosing a set of AirPods not only means you get high-quality earbuds but also tight integration with Apple services and products. If you use Samsung devices but want this level of integration, then you should opt for the Samsung Galaxy Buds. They quickly pair with Samsung devices but also work with any iPhone or Android smartphone.
Like the AirPods, the Galaxy Buds come with a charging case. The case gives an additional nine hours to the Galaxy Buds six-hour battery life. As with other Samsung audio products, the earbuds are tuned by AKG for high-quality sound reproduction. For Android users, the Galaxy Buds also offer an Ambient Aware mode. This blends outside noise with your audio so that you can maintain awareness of what’s going on around you.
There’s splash-resistance, too, and three ear tip sizes for you to choose from. The adaptive dual-microphone mixes inner and outer microphone audio for clear voice calls, too. Another neat feature is that the earbuds can detect when you remove them from your ear. When this happens, they automatically pause audio playback and resume when you put them back in.
The Best Cheap AirPods Alternatives
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.
These earbuds all emulate Apple’s own true wireless earbuds and are considered among the best cheap AirPods alternatives available today.
If none of these alternatives entirely do the trick, you may find yourself still considering a set of AirPods. In that case, you’ll need to decide whether the AirPods or AirPods Pro are right for you.