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The 6 Best AirPods Alternatives - Winter 2023 Reviews

Best AirPods Alternatives

With the Apple AirPods' design becoming so iconic in the past few years, many companies have started to imitate their look and shape. However, most third-party knockoffs are among some of the worst in-ears you can buy, so you're better off sticking to headphones from reputable brands that mimic the [nolink: Airpods]' design language but still perform well. While our recommendations don't look identical to the [nolink:Airpods], they still have the familiar 'stem' and deliver solid overall performance at much lower price points.

We’ve tested over 220 different pairs of Bluetooth earbuds and in-ears and these are our top picks for the best alternatives to [nolink:Airpods]. Check our recommendations for the overall best wireless earbuds for iPhone, the best true wireless earbuds, and the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds under $100 we've tested.

  1. Best AirPods Alternative

    The best AirPods alternative we've tested are the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless. These in-ears rival the premium Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless, with better active noise cancellation (ANC) that blocks out more background noise across the entire range. They have a U-shaped sound profile with extra bass that brings extra thump and rumble to your audio, making them well-suited for genres like EDM or hip-hop. Their companion app features three ANC settings and a graphic EQ with presets for optimal personalization. 

    While their stem is thicker than the Airpods, it's a bit of an advantage as the control surface is also larger, which can make inputs easier. The Airpods and QC Buds II also have similar comfort, so by choosing the Bose, you'll have the same ease of use in-ear. The Bose are also slightly more stable, meaning that they're even less likely to fall off during a workout. While the Airpods' battery lasts an hour less than the Bose, the Airpods have a charge more in their case, meaning they have a slightly higher total battery life.

    See our review

  2. Best Upper Mid-Range Alternative

    The JBL Live Pro+ TWS True Wireless are the best upper-mid-range AirPods alternative we've tested. These lightweight in-ear headphones have the same 'stem and bud' design as the AirPods and are very comfortable and stable once you find a good fit with the included ear tips. Also like the AirPods, the JBL have an IPX4 rating for dust and water resistance and feel sturdy enough to withstand some accidental drops, making these a good pick for gymgoers and hikers alike.

    Out-of-the-box, their sound profile has a more bass-heavy sound profile than the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless, with extra thump, rumble, and boom that should suit fans of bass-heavy genres like EDM and hip-hop. If you prefer a different sound, you can use the companion app's parametric EQ and presets to customize it. While the JBL's ANC system does a good job of blocking out ambient noise, the AirPods perform better in this regard and can cut out more noise overall.

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range Alternative

    In the mid-range price point, The Anker SoundCore Life P3 Truly Wireless are the best AirPods Pro clone we've tested. They're just as comfortable as the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless, have a similar control scheme, and have nearly identical continuous and total battery life. The Anker also have a more bass-heavy sound profile which should please fans of EDM and hip-hop, and their app comes with a graphic EQ and presets to finetune your audio. On the flip side, Apple doesn't offer any EQ or sound customization with any of their AirPods, making the Anker a more versatile choice. However, while these lower-cost in-ears have great internals, the reduced price point is mainly felt in your real-life experience. The Anker are made of a cheaper plastic that feels less premium than the AirPods. The case's lid is also extremely flimsy and feels like it could break if dropped while open.

    While both in-ears have excellent ANC, the AirPods block out more of the rumble from bus and plane engines, which makes them more suitable for commuting. Naturally, the AirPods also have better compatibility with the Apple ecosystem, allowing for faster pairing and access to software like Apple Music's Spacial Audio. With this in mind, the Anker are a great pick if you're looking for the same performance as the AirPods, but don't care about premium features.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget AirPods Alternative

    The best budget-friendly AirPods Pro alternative that we've tested are the Anker SoundCore Life P2 Truly Wireless. They have a good build quality and a stem design similar to the AirPods and are available in three colors via the Soundcore website. They're also decently comfortable and have a bass-heavy sound profile that delivers extra thump and punch to mixes, making them well-suited for genres like EDM and hip-hop. 

    However, they don't have a companion app and lack sound customization features, unlike their successor, the P3. They also don't have ANC, and while their passive noise isolation is decent at blocking out office chatter, it can't compete against the rumble of engines during a commute. They have low latency with iOS and Android devices, so you can use them to watch videos on your phone, but their latency on PCs is high, meaning you'll notice video and audio falling out of sync. While their 5.8-hour continuous battery life is on the short side, they come with a case that stores about five additional charges.

    See our review

  5. Best Cheap AirPods Alternative

    The best cheap AirPods clone that we've tested are the Skullcandy Dime 2 True Wireless. These inexpensive earbuds have a stem design like Apple earbuds and offer a well-balanced, slightly bass-rich sound profile suitable for different genres. They have a good build quality and a stable, decently comfortable fit. While they have a simple design overall, they offer a few useful extra features, including a 'Standby' mode to help save battery life and built-in 'Tile' support, so you can use the Tile app to find your earbuds if you misplace them.

    They don't have ANC and aren't suitable for blocking out bass-range noise like rumbling engines, but they do a good job of passively isolating you from ambient sound like background chatter. They also have fairly low latency with iOS and Android devices, so you shouldn't notice audio syncing issues while watching a video on your phone. Unfortunately, they last for less than four hours off a single charge. Fortunately, they come with a case that holds about 2.5 extra charges.

    See our review

  6. Best Sounding AirPods Alternative

    If you're looking for the best AirPods Pro alternative with a neutral yet versatile sound, the EarFun Air Pro 2 True Wireless is the best that we've tested in this regard. These earbuds have a neutral, versatile sound profile with a touch of extra thump, body, and boom in the bass range that doesn't overwhelm instruments and vocals. Their stem design is also similar to the AirPods. However, while they have a very well-balanced sound, they don't have a companion app and don't come with any sound customization features.

    They have an ANC feature that does a decent job blocking out ambient noise like rumbling bus and plane engines and background conversation. They're well-built, decently comfortable, stable, and have many different silicone tip size options. While they have a fairly short continuous battery life of about 5.8 hours, they come with a case that holds four extra charges. The case also supports Qi wireless charging.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Truly Wireless: The Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Truly Wireless have a similar design to the Anker SoundCore Life P3 Truly Wireless. They aren't as comfortable and lack an ANC feature, so they don't isolate you from as much noise. Still, they're a solid alternative if you want a longer continuous battery life or a more bass-heavy default sound profile. See our review
  • OnePlus Buds Pro Truly Wireless: The OnePlus Buds Pro Truly Wireless have a similar appearance to AirPods and a well-balanced sound profile. They support multi-device pairing but have shorter continuous battery life and a less effective ANC feature than the Anker Soundcore Life P3 Truly Wireless. See our review
  • EarFun Air Pro True Wireless: The EarFun Air Pro True Wireless have a longer continuous battery life than the EarFun Air Pro 2 True Wireless and a similarly neutral sound profile. Their design isn't as similar to AirPods. See our review
  • Wyze Buds Pro Truly Wireless: The Wyze Βuds Pro Truly Wireless have an AirPods-like stem design and a very neutral sound profile but lack a bit of low bass compared to the EarFun Air Pro 2. Their continuous battery life is also a bit shorter, but they have a more stable fit. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Dec 21, 2022: We've replaced our top pick with the Bose Quietcomfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless and overhauled the list's structure to be in-line with current methodologies by replacing activity-focused picks with price-focused picks.

  2. Jul 18, 2022: Replaced the Skullcandy Dime True Wireless with the Skullcandy Dime 2 True Wireless as the 'Best Cheap AirPods Alternative'.

  3. Apr 26, 2022: Checked that picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are available.

  4. Feb 28, 2022: Checked that picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are in stock.

  5. Dec 23, 2021: Replaced the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air Truly Wireless with the Anker SoundCore Life P2 Truly Wireless as the Liberty Air aren't currently available.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best AirPods clones and the best alternatives to AirPods that we've tested. We factor in the price (a cheaper option wins over pricier a one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (nothing that's too hard to find or out of stock everywhere).

If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our truly wireless earbuds. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect headphones. Personal taste, preference, and listening habits will matter more in your selection.

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