One of the most popular wireless earbuds on the market right now are the AirPods from Apple. However, people tend to forget that price doesn't always dictate the quality of a product. There are other wireless earphones or earbuds out there that only cost a fraction and is just as good or even better than the AirPods.
In this article, you will find an overview of our findings and a list of the best tested wireless earbuds in this category.
In this article
AirPods are not in-ear earbuds
A lot of people mistakenly believe that the Apple AirPods are in-ear earbuds. Unfortunately, it is not.
There are 2 types of earbuds: in-ear and half in-ear (also called semi in-ear).
- An In-ear earbud comes with a silicone ear tip that goes into your ear canal.
- Half in-ear (semi in-ear) is a kind of earbuds that lie against your ear canal. It does not go all the way inside your ear canal and usually comes with a solid casing. The obvious giveaway is that it doesn't have any silicone ear tips.
To learn more about the difference between half in-ear & in-ear earbuds, we recommend checking out our detailed article here.
Don't get confused, this article depicts the best alternatives to AirPods. With that in mind, we only listed down the best half in-ear earbuds alternatives. So you won't find any in-ear earbuds alternative here. However, if you want us to include in-ear alternatives, then do let us know in the comment section below.
The benefits of an AirPods alternative
AirPods may have excellent sound and performance overall but there are several advantages you can get from purchasing cheaper earbuds.
AirPods are significantly expensive compared to other earbuds on the market. While the sound quality is far from perfect, cheaper alternatives sometimes achieve better audio performance than the AirPods themselves.
No restrictions for Android
Not everyone has an iPhone, and that's the biggest issue when it comes to AirPods. It is also the reason why, us, the consumers are the ones losing in this corporate battle between Apple and Google. Apple will always prioritize iPhones over new features which results in functionality limitation of some of their products. Fortunately, manufacturers that produce alternatives for AirPods do not get themselves involve in this rivalry. They simply make earbuds and ensure that all features work regardless if paired with either Android or iOS.
Sometimes better sound
As surprising as it sounds, it is an undeniable fact that some cheaper alternatives sound better than the AirPods. With semi in-ears, heavy tones usually tend to become an issue in particular. Furthermore, the open housing ensures that those low tones disappear quickly.
The best alternatives to AirPods
If you are looking for the best and the most value oriented cheaper alternative to AirPods, then look no further.
- Price: US$39.99
The SoundPEATS TrueAir, the predecessor of the TrueAir2, has already proven itself when it comes to functionality and overall performance. SoundPEATS has gone a step further with the TrueAir2 by improving the wear comfort, stability, and audio quality. Furthermore, the excellent microphone quality that we have already seen with the TrueAir has been further improved for the TrueAir2.
SoundPEATS TrueAir2 Overall Performance Rating
Baseus Encok True Wireless Earphones W05
- Price: US$29
Another excellent and affordable alternative to AirPods is the Baseus Encok True Wireless Earphones W05. These wireless earbuds feature some of the latest technology that you can find in any wireless earphones on the market.
You can easily get this on AliExpress for less than US$30, which is a great for those who has a budget to consider. It comes with a Bluetooth version of 5.0, a charging case with a built-in battery of 400mAh, IP55 grade protection from dust and liquid, and support for high-end quality codec of SBS and ACC.
Other than having excellent sounding quality, thanks to its dual connectivity feature, you can also expect an overall satisfying performance out of these earbuds.
HSPRO T16 TWS Earbuds
- Price: US$24
The HSPRO T16 TWS earbuds is another popular cheap alternative to the AirPods. It's one of the most bought earbuds on Amazon.com, as of this writing. It features a 10mm aperture drivers that is capable of delivering powerful bass, clear vocals, and crisp high tones.
For the price of US$24, you will surely get more than what you paid for for this earbud. Similar to the rest on our list, this earbuds also features Bluetooth 5.0 and is rated to last up to 5 hours of play time on a single full charge.