Best AirPods Alternatives for 2020
The original Airpods and the second-gen model are pretty great, sure, but they’re not the only wireless earbuds in town if you’re looking to break free of the Apple ecosystem. One of the best alternatives we’ve found is the 1More Stylish true wireless earbuds. At just $100, they offer a listening experience closer to the AirPods Pro, yet cost substantially less than both models of AirPods.
If 1More’s offering isn’t for you, however, we’ve also rounded up five other AirPods alternatives on the market today. They might not be the cheapest, or the best, true wireless earbuds you can get, but they will fit the bill.
Best Apple AirPods alternatives
- – $100
- — $180
- — $117
- — $149
- — $149
- — $149
It’s not every day you find a product that runs laps around the one that inspired it for half the cost, but the 1More Stylish true wireless earbuds pull the feat off convincingly. It begins with a sound signature — helped along by Grammy Award winner Luca Bignardi — that manages to outdo the stalwarts of this category thanks to a pair of masterfully tuned 7mm titanium drivers.
The 1More Stylish reviewed well in the Digital Trends office. They feature a bass profile that’s punchy but not overpowering, and the well-balanced notes across the rest of the spectrum make them perfect for those with eclectic tastes. Bluetooth AptX helps them pass those subtle details through the air with ear-pleasing clarity, something that far too many earbuds pass on.
A single charge will have you rocking for just over six hours, and the included charging case bumps that potential up to 24 hours before you’ll have to thirst for juice. You’ll skip through tracks with the included multi-functional button, though it’s hard to forgive the lack of dedicated volume controls. Everything sits inside a water-resistant chassis with a metallic coating that justifies its namesake, all for a mere $100.
It’s about time Google made a pair of earbuds to rival the AirPods. After not quite hitting the mark with the original Pixel Buds, Google introduced a new-and-improved pair with better sound, a comfier fit, and the kind of device integration iPhone users have grown accustomed to with their AirPods.
Whether your Android of choice is a Pixel 4 or a Galaxy S20, popping open the lid of the Pixel Buds case is all it takes to instantly pair them with your device and set up hands-free access to Google Assistant, which, let’s face it, has always been better than Siri. The touch controls for volume and playback on the outside of each bud are also sensitive, but not too sensitive, making for easy control of music and podcasts.
As far as audio quality goes, the new Pixel Buds easily rival any model on our list with warm, full bass and defined mids and highs delivered via 12mm drivers. And with the Pixel Buds’ soft, sound-isolating eartips and spatial vent — a featured designed to prevent that plugged-ear feeling — the hard plastic found on the AirPods eartips simply can’t compete. Plus, runners and gym-goers will rejoice at the IP4X sweat and water resistance, another AirPods deficit.
A welcome upgrade, the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ still hold their own on our list as one of the best AirPods alternatives you can buy — and do so for a mere $20 more. As we point out in our full review, Samsung has opted not to fix what isn’t broken, leaving the Buds+ as a comfortable, beautiful-sounding pair of true wireless earbuds.
Using dual dynamic drivers (a woofer and a tweeter), the Galaxy Buds+ AKG-tuned sound is still exceptional, and some new and existing features found in the Galaxy Wearable app round out the experience. A new tap-and-hold feature launches Spotify, which will also deliver song recommendations. The app also opens a world of other functions, such as “find my earbuds,” ambient sound control, and a robust EQ.
Lastly, the upgrade now brings the Galaxy Buds+ battery up to par with most other AirPod alternatives on our list. The Buds+ boast 11 hours of playback, bringing total battery time to 22 hours. That said, the original Galaxy Buds are still a great alternative if you want to save a few bucks. Check out our thorough comparison of both pairs, if you’re on the fence.
It’s funny — true wireless earbuds should be most desirable for runners and gym rats, but many tend to stop at basic water resistance for workout-friendly features. JLab disrupts the status quo with the Epic Air Sport, one of the best pair of stringless cans with a multitude of eartip and hook options to secure their fit.
Chunky as the earbuds and included charging case are, the technology inside the Epic Air Sport measures up handsomely. The most eye-popping figure is the additional 70 hours of battery life that the case adds, enough to charge the set several times before you have to hunt for outlets.
For sporty types, the IP66 water resistance will keep them safe from sweat and rain, and intuitive touchpad controls make volume adjustments and playback options a breeze. The JLab Epic Air Sport offer a balanced soundstage out of the box, and with three EQ modes to jump between, they’re some of the most genre-versatile buds we’ve reviewed.
Classic audio brands like Klipsch aren’t always adept at the technological aspects of their craft, but its T5 True Wireless earbuds are a prime exception. For starters, they boast some of the best base battery life you can find, offering up eight hours of continuous playback at full capacity. The gorgeous brushed metal charging case — which adds another 24 hours of fun — could be mistaken for a Zippo lighter to the untrained eye.
These may well be the best earbuds for frequent callers. The four-microphone array picks up your voice with ease while working to counteract background noise. It’s possible to use a lone earbud and retain most of your interface control, though you’ll need to call on your digital assistant of choice to adjust volume in this mode.
You don’t pay the Klipsch premium for voice calls, though, and we’re happy to report that the T5 more than meets the brand’s lofty sonic standards. It handily beats the AirPods and matches enough of the Powerbeats Pro’s wits, like IPX4 water resistance, to justify your $200 bill. Plus, a customizable equalizer via the Klipsch Connect app allows you to tweak for your perfect sound.
Some people actually prefer the vertical pipe design of the AirPods, and for them, the RHA TrueConnect earbuds represent a clear upgrade. With several options for silicone tips in the box, they offer more comfort options, and the sound signature features punchy bass that’s tuned just right to avoid dominating your tracks.
Battery life doesn’t quite match some of the other options on this list, but the five stand-alone hours alongside 20 extra in the elegant matte black charging case will get you through long days. Stunningly, you can restore 50% of its power in just 15 minutes of charging.
The RHA TrueConnect, then, packs all the essentials, and even adds tricks the item it emulates can’t claim, like water resistance. With a 4.5 star rating out of five, these are some of the best true wireless buds we’ve tested.
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