With Apple AirPods' design becoming so iconic in the past few years, many cheap knockoffs have become available. Unfortunately, while some of these may look identical to the AirPods, they generally don't perform nearly as well, and in many cases, you may have little to no recourse if something goes wrong with them. For this reason, you may be better off sticking to headphones from a reputable brand that mimics the AirPods' design language but aren't straight knockoffs. Our recommendations may not look identical to the AirPods, but they have the familiar 'stem' and deliver solid overall performance at much lower price points.
We’ve reviewed nearly 120 different pairs of Bluetooth earbuds so far, and below you’ll find our top picks for the best AirPods clones. Check also 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 so far.
The best AirPods alternative we've tested so far are the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2. These well-built earbuds have a very similar design to the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless, but at a fraction of the price. They don't have active noise cancelling, but they're still surprisingly feature-packed, especially for the price.
By default, these truly wireless in-ears have an excited, yet still quite well-balanced sound profile with some extra thump and rumble to make your favorite EDM and hip-hop tracks stand out. What sets them apart from other AirPods clones we've tested, however, is their compatibility with the Anker Soundcore app, which gives you lots of sound customization options, including an 8-band EQ. They also isolate quite a bit of noise passively, last over 6 hours on a charge, and their case supports wireless Qi charging.
While their touch-sensitive controls provide more options than the older Anker SoundCore Liberty Air Truly Wireless, they're still not the best. They don't provide much feedback, making it difficult to know if a command was registered or not, and the touch control surface is quite small. That said, it's a small price to pay for these otherwise very well-rounded earbuds that provide great value as an AirPods Pro clone.
If you want something cheaper, get the Anker SoundCore Life P2. Their case doesn't support wireless charging like the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Truly Wireless, and they don't have a dedicated companion app, but they're cheaper and perform almost identically overall. While their physical clicky buttons don't support as many commands, some may prefer them to the touch-sensitive ones found on the other Anker. The headphones feel just as well-made, but unfortunately, the case doesn't look and feel quite as premium. Their out-of-the-box sound profile is almost identical, though you don't get any EQ settings to customize it. They actually charge quite a bit faster than the other Anker, and their case holds more charges, but the headphones themselves don't last quite as long off a single charge.
Overall, if you want a more premium-feeling pair of truly wireless in-ears with a dedicated companion app, get the Liberty Air 2, but if you want to save a few bucks and get very similarly-performing headphones, go with the Life P2.
The best AirPods alternative with a nice design that we've tested to date are the RHA TrueConnect. They're a bit more expensive than the other options on this list, but they look and feel quite durable and premium. They have a small and skinny stem that's reminiscent of the AirPods without being a direct copy and are covered in matte black plastic. They come with three different sizes of both silicone and foam tips to help you find the perfect fit and seal, and their control scheme is surprisingly complete and easy-to-use.
Their sound profile is fairly bass-heavy and dark, making them best suited for less instrument-centric genres like EDM or hip-hop. They don't have a dedicated companion app, which is a shame, so you can't adjust their EQ to better suit your personal tastes. While they don't have ANC, they do a great job at passively blocking out background noises provided you get a proper seal with their large array of tips. They also leak very little audio, so you can blast your music without bothering people close by.
Unfortunately, their battery life is fairly low at under 4.5 hours, meaning you'll have to take a break to charge them if you want to listen during an entire workday. While this used to be fairly common for truly wireless headphones, many newer options are starting to last longer. On the upside, they fully charge in a little under an hour, and they advertise a 50% charge in only 15 minutes, though we don't test for this.
The best AirPods clone for sound quality that we've tested so far are the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air. These truly wireless headphones are the predecessor to our top pick and have a similar design but with flat-edged, glossy stems. They're just as comfortable and portable but have a better-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box.
While they don't have a dedicated companion app for sound customization, they're a good choice if you prefer a more versatile default sound profile. They have a very neutral sound signature, making them well-suited for a wide range of genres. They also do a great job of blocking out ambient noise, so you can focus on your music no matter where you are.
While they're cheaper than their successor, the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Truly Wireless, they're not as feature-packed. Their microphone quality is worse, their battery doesn't last as long, and they don't support wireless charging. That said, if your priority is a balanced, neutral sound, then they're the best AirPods alternative for you.
If you listen to more bass-heavy EDM like dubstep, house, or techno, then get the JLab Audio JBuds Air Executive. They have a bulkier earbud design and larger case than the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air Truly Wireless, but their default EQ setting gives them a more V-shaped sound signature that some people prefer. They pack a ton of bass for lots of rumble and punch while still leaving enough room for vocals and instruments to sound present, bright, and clear. Their overemphasized treble can sound a bit harsh and piercing, though. Fortunately, they have a few onboard EQ presets that you can cycle through - we didn't test them, but the bass boost feature should help cut the treble for those sensitive to higher frequencies.
If you listen to a wide variety of genres and want a more neutral sound profile, get the Anker, but if you like quite a bit extra thump and kick, go for the JLab Audio.
05/16/2020: No major updates; slight changes to the text.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best AirPods alternatives we've tested so far. 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.