With their seamless connectivity, portable charging cases, and wireless design, Apple AirPods have become one of the most popular true wireless earbuds options. However, their premium price point of $150-200 isn’t feasible for everyone. Luckily, the best AirPod alternatives available that deliver great sound, battery life, and features at more budget-friendly prices. In this roundup, we’ll review the top AirPods and AirPods Pro alternative earbuds across a range of budgets. Whether you want comfort, sports-readiness, or simply the best value, there are plenty of choices for AirPods on a budget.
- 1. Skullcandy Dime 2 : Budget Pick
- 2. EarFun Air : Best Value
- 3. Sony WF-1000XM4: Top Noise Cancelling
- 4. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II : Most Comfortable
- 5. Bose Sport Earbuds : For Fitness
- 6. Beats Powerbeats Pro : Seamless iOS Integration
- 7. Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 : Audiophile Pick
- 8. Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro : Best Features
- 9. Jabra Elite 7 Pro : Great Call Quality
1. Skullcandy Dime 2 : Budget Pick
The Skullcandy Dime 2 earbuds deliver impressive wireless performance considering their affordable sub-$30 price point. The charging case provides an additional 9 hours, for a total of 12 hours of battery life. While not the longest runtime, it’s reasonable for the price. The Dime 2 earbuds are compact and lightweight, with a secure fit aided by gels tips in multiple sizes.
They include a built-in microphone in each bud for taking calls. Audio quality is fairly balanced, with punchy bass that’s solid if not mind-blowing. For budget-conscious buyers who want basic wireless functionality for music and calls, the Dime 2 gets the job done.
- Very inexpensive at around $30
- Respectable 12 hour total battery life
- Good call quality
- Fun color options
- Plastic build feels cheap
- Audio isn’t audiophile-grade
2. EarFun Air : Best Value
The EarFun Air earbuds are priced around $50 yet manage to deliver features and audio that compete with far more expensive models. You get a mammoth 35 hours of total battery life, with 7 hours per charge in the earbuds themselves. This is partly thanks to the efficient Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. Sound quality impresses across the frequency range, with crisp highs, nicely balanced mids, and surprisingly deep bass response from the 6mm drivers.
The 4 built-in mics ensure your calls come through clearly. And the IPX7 waterproof rating means you can rock these worry-free during intense workouts. If you want great wireless sound and functionality without a premium price, EarFun Air is easily one of the best values on the market.
- Extremely long 35 hour battery life
- Excellent audio and call quality for the price
- Robust waterproofing
- Easy-to-use controls
- Good noise isolation
- Plastic build looks cheaper than premium earbuds
- App is basic compared to top brands
3. Sony WF-1000XM4: Top Noise Cancelling
The Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds dominate the premium wireless market, with superb active noise cancellation, audio fidelity, and features. Powered by Sony’s dedicated integrated processor V1, the noise cancelling performance is undisputedly class-leading. It uses dual microphones in each ear and advanced digital processing to block ambient noise.
The expansive, accurate sound matches the noise cancelling, making these a blissful listen. You get up to 8 hours per charge, fast charging, and a polished design with Qi wireless charging case. Extras like high-def LDAC codec support, intuitive touch controls, and customizable EQ in the app make the WF-1000XM4 a joy to use. If your budget accommodates, they deliver on all fronts.
- Best-in-industry active noise cancellation
- Exceptional Hi-Res audio drivers
- Great battery life and premium features
- Plush foam ear tips for comfort
- Support for advanced LDAC codec
- Very expensive at around $150
- Bulky earbud design
4. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II : Most Comfortable
Engineered for all-day comfort, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II live up to their name thanks to a highly customizable fit system. Bose includes multiple sizes of stability bands and eartips in the box so you can mix and match to find your ideal fit. Once settled in place, the soft silicone tips stay luxuriously comfortable even during multi-hour listening sessions without causing fatigue.
But the QC Earbuds II deliver more than just supreme comfort – they also provide adjustable noise cancellation powered by Bose’s proprietary electronics. With up to 6 hours of listening per charge, Qi wireless charging support, and IPX4 sweat/water resistance, the QuietComfort Earbuds II are built to keep you happily listening all day long in total comfort.
- Super comfortable and stable fit
- Fully adjustable noise cancellation
- Customizable sound profile
- Even pressure for all-day wear
- Sweat and water resistant
- Wireless charging case
- Very expensive at over $200
- More premium options beat noise cancellation
5. Bose Sport Earbuds : For Fitness
The Bose Sport Earbuds are engineered specifically for exercise and active lifestyles. Their molded tips keep them locked in place during any workout thanks to wings and eartips that come in three sizes. With an IPX4 rating, they shrug off sweat and light rain if you get caught in a downpour on an outdoor run.
Audio delivers punchy bass and crisp highs that provide motivation when you need that extra push. Battery life gives you 5 hours per charge, which is decent though not exceptional. For gym rats, runners, and athletes wanting wireless audio that can keep up with their active routines, the Sport Earbuds are an excellent choice.
- Stay securely in place during workouts
- Good sweat and rain resistance
- Sound signature ideal for sports
- Impact-resistant construction
- Earhooks for stability
- Battery life only 5 hours per charge
- Mediocre noise isolation
6. Beats Powerbeats Pro : Seamless iOS Integration
For iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV users who want truly wireless earbuds that integrate seamlessly with Apple devices, the Beats Powerbeats Pro are tough to beat. They feature Apple’s H1 chip for instant Bluetooth pairing, 9 hours of battery life, and earhooks to keep them stable during workouts.
Thanks to the H1 chip, you also get hands-free “Hey Siri” activation and automatic iCloud syncing across devices. The sound leans toward punchy bass and bold vocals rather than a flat studio monitor profile. Call quality is excellent with beamforming mics that reduce wind noise. For those embedded in the Apple ecosystem, the Powerbeats Pro deliver great wireless audio and connectivity.
- Apple H1 chip for easy iOS pairing
- Long 9 hour battery life per charge
- Sweat/water resistant design
- Dynamic sound great for hip-hop/pop
- No eartip insertion for some
- Hands-free Siri activation
- Sound profile favors bass over accuracy
- Lacks noise cancellation
7. Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 : Audiophile Pick
With superbly natural, high-fidelity sound, the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 are a top choice for discerning ears. Sennheiser tuned these earbuds using high-end audiophile components to deliver expansive frequency response and lifelike tonality across genres. If you want a flatter, more accurate representation than bass-heavy consumer earbuds, these deliver.
Extras like a genuine 28 hours total battery life, Qi wireless charging case, and advanced noise cancellation make them great for travel and commuting too. Via the app, you can customize the EQ and controls. For critical listening rather than workouts, the MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 impress.
- Audiophile-grade sound with natural tonality
- Excellent 28 hour battery life
- Fully customizable sound and controls
- Support for aptX Adaptive codec
- Adjustable transparency mode
- Very expensive at around $200
- Bulky charging case
8. Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro : Best Features
The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro stands out by packing unique features into Samsung’s typically well-built true wireless earbuds package. Active noise cancelling leverages AI to adapt to ambient noise for superior isolation. 360 Audio simulates surround effects from movies and music with head-tracking. Samsung partnered with AKG to tune the drivers for lively sound across the spectrum.
Battery life reaches 8 hours per charge, with wireless charging on the case. Hands-free Bixby support, fast pairing with Galaxy devices, and waterproof IPX7 rating provide added convenience. If you want cutting-edge functionality with great sound, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro deliver.
- Intelligent adaptive noise cancellation
- 360 Audio spatial sound
- Deep integration with Galaxy devices
- Wireless charging case
- Ambient sound passthrough
- Lower battery life than top competitors
- Some features limited to Samsung ecosystem
9. Jabra Elite 7 Pro : Great Call Quality
Optimized for calls and voice, the Jabra Elite 7 Pro use a suite of mics and advanced digital signal processing to make your voice come through clearly. Jabra’s MultiSensor Voice technology uses bone conduction sensors to isolate your voice from ambient noise during calls and speaking. An adjustable transparency mode lets you pipe in sound from your environment when needed.
Music quality, while not audiophile-grade, benefits from the same crisp microphone signal chain. With up to 30 hours total battery life and IP57 dust/waterproofing, the Elite 7 Pro are great all-around earbuds with superb call and voice performance.
- Crystal clear call and voice quality
- Good dust and water resistance rating
- Up to 30 hours battery with case
- Adjustable noise cancellation
- MyFit silicone eartips for comfort
- Lacks premium music fidelity of top brands
- Bulky protruding earbud stems
While the iconic AirPods may still top many wishlists, there are fantastic wireless earbuds alternatives available at every price point. Whether you prioritize budget price, sound quality, battery life, or workout-friendly design, there’s an option to suit your needs while saving some cash versus the AirPods. Any of these 9 picks deliver a great listening experience. Choose the model that aligns best with your budget and feature wishlist.
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