The Apple AirPods are undeniably a great product. You can expect great battery life, a super convenient wireless charging case, and even active noise cancellation if you can afford the AirPods Pro.

But what if you can’t afford the AirPods? Or maybe the feature list doesn’t quite tick off enough boxes? Thankfully, there’s an entire market filled with great alternatives to Apple AirPods and we’re about to showcase some of the best picks.

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    The best alternatives to Apple AirPods

    We’ve made this as easy as possible – for all earbuds featured we’ve listed the price, main features, and potential drawbacks in comparison to the Apple AirPods so you can quickly know whether it’s worth reading more about each choice.

    Samsung Galaxy Buds+ – The Newest Wireless Earbuds in 2020 ($149.99)

    Samsung has come back with a stronger set of earbuds, and they are certainly worth our attention as alternatives to AirPods.

    Samsung Galaxy earbuds

    Why Should I Buy Them?

    Much the same as the previous Galaxy Buds, you can expect a well-balanced sound stage that delivers songs with some impact. You have noticeable mids, highs, and lows, but they are not quite as heavy-hitting as some bass-focused earbuds mentioned below.

    You get 11 hours of battery life from one charge and the charging case can get you 11 more. Wireless charging is available, and you can even pull the battery from your Samsung smartphone if it supports the PowerShare feature. A triple microphone setup ensures call quality is great, something cheaper options falls a little flat on.

    What Do I Lose?

    For $100 less we cannot complain but you don’t get active noise cancellation as you do with AirPods Pro, which can also be used on Android.

    Sony WF-1000XM3 – Best Alternative To Apple AirPods Pro ($228)

    The Sony WF-1000XM3 are pricey, but they’re the absolute best experience you can find in comparison to the Apple AirPods Pro, hitting the mark on the most important features. 

    Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds

    Why Should I Buy Them?

    There are three major reasons why you would want to buy the Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds – comfort, sound quality, and active noise cancellation. The WF-1000XM3 has excellent audio quality, being able to deliver a fresh experience for most music genres – it delivers punchy bass but doesn’t skimp out on the mids and lows. 

    Sony’s star feature here is the active noise cancellation – the WF-1000XM3’s are heralded as one of the best for it, and they are one of the few truly wireless earbuds to offer such a feature. 

    The WF-1000XM3’s also fit snug, with varying bud sizes available. You also get a wireless charging case that can hold 18 hours of use. A full charge on just the earbuds will get you roughly 6 hours of battery life. Voice assistant support is available too.

    What Do I Lose?

    The WF-1000XM3 does not have volume control and you don’t have wireless charging with the charging case, something which you may miss if you’ve used the Apple AirPods. The call quality is decent, but not perfect, which is Sony’s only downside for these earbuds.

    Beats Powerbeats Pro – Best for Workouts and Battery Life ($249.95)

    If you care about battery life, you can’t go wrong with the Beats Powerbeats Pro.

    Powerbeats Pro earbuds

    Why Should I Buy Them?

    If you care about getting high-quality sound whilst working out, then you’ll be interested in the Powerbeats Pro over the AirPods Pro. These earbuds feature adjustable ear hooks designed to stay securely on your head, even during a workout. The earphones are also sweat and water-resistant, and the 9 hours of listening time is a bonus for those extra lengthy marathons.

    What Do I Lose?

    You lose wireless charging with the Powerbeats Pro case as well as active noise cancellation in the earbuds. For sound quality, The Powerbeats Pro does beat the standard AirPods, of course, but they don’t quite match the AirPods Pro’s punchier bass and larger dynamic range.

    Jabra Elite 75t – An Upgrade to Standard Apple AirPods ($179.99)

    The Jabra Elite 75t’s are expensive, but they’re a great alternative to AirPods for sound quality and design.

    Jabra earbuds

    Why Should I Buy Them?

    You will appreciate the audio quality on the Jabra Elite 75t’s. The sound profile is far more impactful than the Airpods. Although, that means a lot of bass, which may be a bit overpowering for some. Thankfully, you get more control over how everything sounds thanks to the available Jabra Sound+ equalizer app. 

    You also get 7.5 hours of battery life from the earbuds and the charging case can extend that to 28 hours. The Elite 75t’s are also super comfy and feature an IP55 rating for water and dust resistance.

    What Do I Lose?

    You lose out on a more balanced sound stage – by that we mean, the bass on the Jabra Elite 75t might just be a bit too much for your taste. You also don’t get wireless charging with the case.

    JBL Reflect Flow – More Affordable Alternative for Exercise ($149.95)

    A pair of true wireless headphones aimed for the sportier types, hitting a more affordable price point.

    KBL Reflect Flow earbuds

    Why Should I Buy Them?

    JBL has cemented itself as a great option for workout enthusiasts. You get a comfortable experience with these true wireless earbuds thanks to the extra buds and ear hooks included. The JBL Reflect Flow has a very punchy bass that’s going to resonate with those who need heavy-hitting tunes to power their day.  

    The earbuds are IPX7 certified, which grants protection from sweat and water. The battery life is great, with 10 hours just in the earbuds and an extra 20 with the charging case, which can be charged both with a cable or wirelessly.

    What Do I Lose?

    You don’t lose out on much – JBL has hit the ball with this alternative to AirPod. Our only gripe is that the charging case is quite large in comparison to the AirPod case.

    Anker Soundcore Life P2 – Very Affordable Earbuds ($59.99)

    A pair of true wireless earbuds for just $60. And what’s more, they are from a respectable brand, Anker. 

    Anker Souncore Life P2 earbuds

    Why Should I Buy Them?

    The price is the main reason. Besides that, you get an excellent charging case that holds 40 hours of battery. The buds alone have 7 hours of battery life. You even get IPX7 protection, voice calls, Siri or Google Assistant support, and if you use one earbud the sound profile will automatically switch to mono.

    What Do I Lose?

    You aren’t going to get mind-blowing sound with these. They certainly fall flat in comparison to the AirPods. However, they aren’t bad. It’s more of a pleasant listening experience than a knock your socks off impressive listening experience. 

    Jaybird Vista – A Great Audio Experience ($168.99)

    The Jaybird Vista earbuds are another high-end choice for those searching for a better sound experience than the Apple AirPods.

    Jaybird Vista earbuds

    Why Should I Buy Them?

    You can expect a very strong audio experience with the Jaybird Vista earbuds. The bass is strong, but you get crisp noticeable highs. Overall the sound stage is well balanced but still impactful. 

    You can customize EQ settings with the Jaybird companion app. The design includes ear hooks and IPX7 water and sweat-proof protection, making them a good option for exercising. You can get 6 hours of battery life out of the Jaybird Vistas, but the charging case can fit an extra 10 hours.

    What Do I Lose?

    There is no wireless charging on the case and the 16 total hours of charge from the case and earbuds combined is quite lacking in comparison to the Apple AirPods’ 24-hour battery life.

    Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 – Accurate Audio at a Great Price ($99.95)

    A first foray into true wireless earbuds from a HiFi audio manufacturer.

    Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 earbuds

    Why Should I Buy Them?

    Buy the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 for an accurate sound stage that features well-represented mids, highs, and lows. These aren’t going to deliver heavy-hitting bass, so they’re more of an on-the-go option for audiophiles as opposed to those that like fun, punchy tunes. You do get 9 hours of battery life from the earbuds and the charging case can give 45 hours of battery, which is huge.

    What Do I Lose?

    The bass may be something you miss out on and there is no wireless charging for the case, but besides that, you have a very well-rounded set of earbuds here.

    EarFun Free – Certainly Fun, Not Quite Free ($49.99)

    A very affordable set of earbuds that offers a fun sound range and wireless charging.

    EarFun Free earbuds

    Why Should I Buy Them?

    The EarFun Free earbuds are perfect if you’re after true wireless earbuds with strong bass at a very affordable price. The highs and mids are a little lacking, so these are the kind of earbuds you use for a quick workout or to power you through dull moments here and there throughout the day. 

    You get IPX7 sweat and waterproof protection, 6 hours of battery life in the earbuds, and 24 hours in the charging case. You even get wireless charging on the case which is rare to see at this price.

    What Do I Lose?

    There are on-ear controls, but you must push physical buttons that put a bit of uncomfortable pressure on your ears and there is no physical volume control.

    Amazon Echo Buds – Affordable Noise Cancellation ($129.99)

    If voice control is a major feature for you and you like Amazon Alexa, the Amazon Echo Buds could be a great option.

    Amazon Echo Buds

    Why Should I Buy Them?

    You get hands-free Alexa voice control with the Echo Buds, making it easy to ask questions to Alexa and get snappy replies. There’s noise reduction, but not proper noise cancellation, thanks to technology from Bose. It’s still a huge advantage over other options at this price.

    The Bose noise reduction isn’t the same as the AirPod Pro or the Sony WF-1000XM3, but it does a job at quieting background noise. The audio quality is decent, hitting a focus on mids for a more balanced sound profile.

    What Do I Lose?

    There’s no wireless charging on the case and it uses micro USB, which seems archaic in today’s USB-C focused world.


    Hopefully, this overview of the best alternatives to Apple AirPods has proven to be useful. Which of these earbuds are you interested in? Share your thoughts or opinions on other alternative options with us in the comments section.