Apple first announced AirPods back in December 2016. The wearable accessory instantly became a hit among users looking for a premium wireless earphones with good sound quality and battery life. With the 2nd gen. AirPods, the company added its customH1 chip which added 50% more talk time, lower latency, and hands-free ‘Hey Siri.’ Fast forward to today, and the TWS (True Wireless Stereo) market is full of capable offerings from companies such as Sony, Anker, Samsung, Jabra, 1More, etc. While AirPods are the default choice for iPhone users, there are quite a few other cheap AirPods alternatives that are worth a look as well.
The first is the price tag. AirPods retail for around $140-$150 price tag. You can easily get a quality product from another company under a tight budget. The regular AirPods come bearing ‘one size fits all’ design. It lacks the silicon ear tips add-on. The design might not be best suited for your ears and there can be a constant fear of dropping out earbuds on the move. Besides, AirPods aren’t known for sound quality. For that, one needs to buy the more expensive AirPods Pro. Also, it’s always advisable to check out the competition as the rival product might offer more bang for the buck with lower price to features ratio.
In this post, we are going to list out our top AirPods alternatives for iPhone as well as Android users. For your convenience, we have kept the list from the most affordable wireless earphones to expensive ones. Let’s get started.
Best Cheap AirPods Alternatives
1. Skullcandy Sesh TWS
Skullcandy’s entry-level wireless earphone is an excellent choice for someone looking to buy a TWS on a tight budget. Skullcandy is focusing on looks and style to attract buyers. You can get 10 hours of battery life with the charging case.
Skullcandy is offering IP55 dust and water resistance. The color options include Black, Blue, and Red to choose from. The major negative point of Skullcandy Sesh is the charging plug. It still uses a micro-USB connector. But it can be forgivable given the price point of $40.
2. Anker Soundcore Life P2
Anker, a brand known for reliable chargers and cables, also runs a separate division for audio devices. The Soundcore Life P2 carries a fine balance between price and features. Let’s talk about features first and then be prepared to get surprised by the price.
The Life P2 features an AirPods-style design. Both earbuds come bearing four microphones and CVC 8.0 noise cancellation for better call quality. Anker claims to offer 7 hours of battery life on earbuds and 40 hours including the case. You can expect a superior music quality thanks to the inclusion of Graphene drivers. That along with the BassUp technology enhances bass up to 43% and aptX audio offers lossless transmission between the device and the earbuds.
As for IP certification, Life P2 comes with IPX7-rated protection that defends against liquids in any weather condition. Anker Soundcore Life P2 carries a price tag of only $45 on Amazon.
3. 1MORE Stylish Wireless Earphone
1More is a known name among audio enthusiasts. The peal-shaped earbuds offer 6.5 hours of battery on a single charge and 24 hours with the charging case. 1More is providing a Premium Sound Dynamic driver with a titanium composite diaphragm that delivers powerful bass and authentic sound.
1More wireless also supports both Qualcomm aptX and AAC (Advanced Audio Codec) to deliver music without dropouts. The charging case features Quick Charge technology which aims to deliver three hours of playback time with only 15 minutes of charging.
1More is offering four color options to choose from – Black, Green, Pink, and Gold. The company has competitively priced the earbuds at $76.
4. Lypertek Tevi
Lypertek Tevi has been a surprise hit in the crowded TWS market. The earbuds come with a fabric case, mostly found on the expensive wireless earphones like Sennheiser Momentum. The earphones offer 10 hours of playback time with a total of 70 hours with the charging case included.
Lyperteck Tevi packs Graphene coated dynamic drivers to deliver powerful and balanced stereo sound. It supports both aptX and AAC codecs for an extended reach.
Lypertek offers IPX7 waterproof protection for a relaxed mind during rain and shower. The wireless earbuds are priced at $90 on Amazon.
5. JBL Tune 120TWS
JBL has also entered the TWS market with Tune 120. The company is targeting bass lovers with its offering. JBL is trying to attract a young audience with the available color options – Black, Blue, Green, Yellow, Pink, and White.
As for battery life, JBL is taunting 4 hours of playback on a single-use and 12 hours with the included charging case. The Tune 120 TWS currently retails for $100 on Amazon.
Top AirPods Alternatives
If your budget is around the same as the AirPods, the below wireless earbuds will offer you better battery life as well as music quality.
1. Amazon Echo Buds
Amazon has entered the wireless earbuds market with Echo Buds. Unsurprisingly, the USP (User Selling Point) of the device is Alexa integration. Echo Buds work with the Alexa app to stream music, play Audible audiobooks, make calls, or get directions. Amazon Echo Buds offers an immersive sound, dynamic audio, and Bose Active Noise Reduction Technology to eliminate the background noise.
As for battery life, you can expect 5 hours of music playback on charge and up to 20 hours with the charging case. Echo Buds also offers quick charge which delivers 2 hours of battery life on a 15 minute of quick charge.
The Echo Buds are priced at $130 and the introductory offer includes a free three-month Audible trial.
2. Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus
Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus is the follow-up of the last year’s Galaxy Buds. With Galaxy Buds Plus, Samsung fixed all the criticism of the original Galaxy Buds. Galaxy Buds Plus now offers 11 hours of battery life with an additional 11 hours from the charging case. Speaking of charging case, it supports wireless charging too. And a quick three minutes of charging will give you one hour of playtime.
You can expect a loud and clear voice thanks to a dedicated internal and two external microphones. Samsung also offers the Galaxy Buds+ app on Android and iOS to make the most out of earphones.
Samsung only offers two color options – Black and White. The Galaxy Buds Plus is priced at $149.
For its price, the original Samsung Galaxy Buds are also worth checking out. The product currently retails for only $95 on Amazon and offers almost the same features as the Galaxy Buds+.
3. Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro
Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro is a premium offering from Anker. The Liberty 2 Pro claims to deliver in-ear studio performance with perfect depth and nuance. The earbuds offer 8 hours of playtime with a total of 32 hours of battery life with the included case. The included case supports wireless charging too.
The Liberty 2 Pro comes with four microphones for better call quality. I like the included charging case. It features a unique sliding opening/closing lid mechanism.
The Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro is priced at $150 on Amazon.
4. Jabra Elite 75t
Jabra needs no introduction in the audio space. After last year’s excellent Elite 65t, Jabra is back again with yet another winner on their hand, Elite 75t. Jabra has changed the design for a better fit and grip. Jabra claims to offer 7.5 hours of battery life on a single charge and up to 30 hours with the included case.
The company offers Jabra Sound+ app to customize the sound signature to your liking. I mostly boost up the bass and level up the treble. Elite 75t claims superior call experience with four built-in microphones. It also offers basic sweat and dust resistance.
The color options include Black, Mint, Navy Blue, Gold, and Copper Black. The Elite 75t is priced at $180.
5. Sony WF-1000XM3
Last year, Sony stunned everyone with WF-1000XM3 wireless earbuds with excellent sound quality and active noise cancellation. Sony has carry-forward WH-1000XM3’s ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) feature into small earbuds. The company offers a dedicated mobile app to let you control the intensity of ANC. People usually dial it down to hear flight announcements and surroundings.
As for battery life, you can enjoy 6 hours of playback time with ANC turned on and 8 hours of battery life with ANC disabled. The charging case is rather large compared to Apple AirPods and it features a sleek-looking copper accent on the opening lid. The charging case packs three more charging cycles for the earbuds.
Sony Claims to offer Digital Sound Enhancement Engine HX (DSEE HX) that compresses digital music files, bringing them closer to the quality of High-Resolution Audio. The color options include Black and Silver. The WF-1000XM3 were priced at $230 at the launch but now you can buy one on Amazon for $200. For the next generation of WF-1000XM earphones, I expect Sony to work on reducing earphone size while still keeping ANC on the go.