Apple’s AirPods have become a popular choice for wireless earbuds since their launch in 2016. While AirPods offer an exceptional audio experience, they come with a high price tag that may not be accessible to everyone. Fortunately, there are several affordable alternatives to AirPods that provide comparable sound quality and features.
This article will explore the best AirPods alternatives in 2023, focusing on their affordability and sound quality. We will examine each earbud’s features, battery life, connectivity, and sound performance, as well as their unique selling points. Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly pair of earbuds or an alternative with premium features at a lower cost, this article has got you covered.
We will also examine how these alternatives compare to AirPods and highlight their strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, we will discuss the compatibility of each earbud with various devices and operating systems.
By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of the various AirPods alternatives available in 2023 and be able to make an informed decision on which earbuds to purchase based on your preferences and needs. So, let’s dive into the world of wireless earbuds.
12 Best Cheap Apple AirPods and AirPods Pro Alternatives 2023
1. Sony WF-SP800N
Sony WF-SP800N earbuds surely aim to please everyone. You get 6 noise-isolating memory foam ear tips and 6 silicone ear tips. These deliver extra bass to boost your beats, even to the low-end sound. With its digital noise cancellation feature, you can relish your workout playlist by blocking out distractions. Its ambient sound mode lets you enjoy your music while you are on the move.
The Adaptive Sound Control adjusts ambient sound settings automatically according to your environment. The only drawback is its battery life. With ANC turned on, it can run for 9 hours in a single charge and another 9 hours with the case charging. However, with ANC turned off, you can enjoy a good 13 hours of playback each, with and without the charging case.
Related: Best Wireless Earbuds under $100
2. EarFun Air Pro
EarFun isn’t a brand that you think of while searching for AirPods Alternatives. But EarFun Air Pro can change the way you think about it. They are ridiculously cheap and have a wonderful sound. Noise cancellation is amazing and they fit comfortably in your ear. With them, you get well-defined bass and a balanced sound.
A single charge gives you 9 hours of playback, 7 hours with ANC, and another 23 hours with the case. Its In-ear Detection pauses the music when you remove an earbud and starts again the second you plug them back in. You can’t really fault them apart from Treble which needs a little refinement.
See Also: Affordable Apple Pencil Alternatives
3. Sony WF-1000XM3
Sony WF-1000XM43 is one of the best and cheaper AirPods alternatives for the iPhone. It is a truly sensational pair of wireless buds. The earbuds are full of dynamics and details and built-in Amazon Alexa. It has made its name for its balanced performance, refined, sophisticated vocals, and taut, precise bass notes. It delivers 6 hours of supreme performance on a single charge and its wireless charging case can deliver another 18 hours.
Sony buds are extremely comfortable to wear, and have adaptive sound control that automatically switches to ambient sound mode based on your activity. Both buds have touch controls. You can alternate between ambient sound and noise cancellation by double-tapping the left bud while double-tapping the right one will skip the soundtrack. They lack aptX HD, which doesn’t make much difference. However, they are not water-resistant and have a bulky charging case.
4. Sennheiser CX 400BT
Sennheiser CX 400BT is all about acing the basics. The earbuds are extremely comfortable with sound quality as good as any other Apple AirPods alternatives. It has customizable touch and EQ controls along with voice assistant support. You can also replace the earbud tips. It gives the playback of 7 hours and 20 more hours with the charging case. It isn’t water-resistant and doesn’t have Active Noise Cancellation but it more than makes up for the sound quality.
5. Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen)
Amazon Eco Buds (2nd Gen) is a great alternative to Apple AirPods. These come with good ANC and adjustable ambient modes. You also get EQ customization and decent sound. It is an IPX4 water-resistant and amazing digital assistant, Alexa, that gives you hands-free access to commands.
You get 5 hours of playback in a single charge with ANC turned on and 6.5 hours without ANC. Add to it 15 hours with the charging case (19.5 hours with ANC off). However, its middling battery life could be a little disappointing and you can wish for crispier vocals.
6. Cambridge Audio Melomania 1+
The new Cambridge Audio Melomania 1+ has made its mark as one of the top-rated AirPods alternatives for the iPhone. They have superb app support, EQ settings that you can customize and you can pick from black and white color options.
The takeaway of these earbuds is an impressive 9 hours runtime with extra 36 hours from the case. Melomania earbuds deliver powerful music performance with clear sound and more dynamic and detail than the original Melomania. The only drawback is there is no noise-canceling feature.
7. Bose SoundSport Free
Bose SoundSport Free is one of those true wireless AirPods alternatives that you can’t fault. They are comfortable and secure enough to not fall out during your workout or jogging. They don’t feel intrusive and since they have playback and volume controls on them, you don’t have to reach for your phone every time you want to adjust them.
It has rich and weighty bass along with a bold-but-balanced sound. You can enjoy all music genres on this earbud with perfect highs and lows. If you want something that will sit throughout your workout, SoundSport Free is your best Apple AirPods alternative.
8. Jaybird Vista
Jaybird Vista is the top-rated AirPods alternative that fits snugly in your ear even when you are working out. Its silicone ear tips and fins are SportFit integrated which provides both stability and comfort.
These earbuds are IPX7 water, crush, and sweat-proof. The USB-C charging comes with a five-minute super-charge that renders one hour of playback. It can run for 6 hours with a full charge and additional 10 hours with the case charge. At such a low price, you can’t complain about what Jaybird Vista delivers.
9. Beats Studio Buds
Although Apple owns Beats Electronics LLC, nothing about Beats Studio Buds reminds you of Apple. We consider it one of the most trusted AirPods alternatives because it works on iOS and Android devices. The buds with Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation, Fast Fuel charging, and spatial audio. Its voice-activated assistance makes everything hands-free.
The battery is a bit on a lower scale as compared to other AirPods alternatives we have talked about. With ANC on, you get a playtime of 5 hours, add another 3 hours to it if you keep the ANC turned off. With case charging, you get 15 hours if you turn on the ANC, which turns 24 hours without the ANC. The downside is it doesn’t have wireless charging and its call quality could use a little improvement.
10. JBL Reflect Flow
If you love heavy bass, JBL Reflect Flow can be a good AirPods alternative for you. It has an impressive sound and a gorgeous look. Reflect Flow is sweat-resistant, water-resistant, dust-proof, and splash-proof. They come with wingtips that allow for better fit, especially during workouts.
They can run for 10 hours on a single charge and another 20 with the case. However, its dynamic is not as strong as other alternatives, and its carrying case is a bit bigger than we would like it to be. Although it has passive noise reduction, there is no active noise cancellation feature and that breaks our hearts.
11. Jabra Elite 75t Earbuds
Jabra Elite 75t Earbuds have swayed the market with their free active noise cancellation feature. And that’s why they are categorized as one of the best AirPods Pro alternatives. They also offer a better fit and IP55 water-and-dust resistance rating. You will also find better software integration through the Jabra Sound+ app and multipoint connectivity.
These earbuds offer 5.5 hours of runtime on a single charge with ANC and additional 24 hours in the wireless charging case. Their 4-mic call technology allows you to talk comfortably from anywhere. However, switching between the devices with them comes with a bit of hassle, and the sound quality is not that great. And they have no aptX.
12. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro is not just the popular AirPods Pro alternative but also a worthy competitor. Its overhauled design is accompanied by IPX7 waterproofing. Its Active Noise Cancellation can automatically activate ambient mode when it senses you speaking. Galaxy Buds Pro has its own spatial audio tech that is equivalent to Apple’s.
It gives a runtime of 5 hours with ANC and 8 hours otherwise with added 18 hours with charging case, add 10 hours more with ANC turned off. Buds Pro is a bit disappointing that certain features, like 360 Audio, only work with Samsung Galaxy devices. But it still has a lot of features to please the users.
These are the 12 best Apple AirPods alternatives we have found out about after hours of research. Each of them has its advantages and drawbacks. And you will surely find something in your budget.
Can Non-apple AirPods Work With iPhones?
Yes, non-Apple AirPods can work with iPhones. However, it will vary from brand to brand what functions you will be able to access and how stable the connectivity will be.
How Do I Connect My Non-apple Earbuds to My iPhone?
Turn on the Bluetooth on your iPhone and put the non-Apple earbuds in discovery mode. If you don’t know how to do that, check the instructions on your iPhone’s screen. Let your iPhone discover the earbuds. Tap on it when you see the name of the earbuds you are trying to pair. Enter the passkey if necessary and your buds will be ready to use with your iPhone.
What Is the Best Alternative to AirPods?
There is no certain answer to this question. What works best for me could not be enough for you. It will depend on personal choice. However, Amazon Echo Buds 2 and Jabra Elite 75t are two good AirPods alternatives.
Is There a Cheaper Alternative to AirPods?
There are many cheaper alternatives to AirPods. Amazon Echo Buds 2, Jabra Elite 75t, Sony WF-SP800N, etc are some alternatives you could look at.