Apple has been reinventing the way we interact with technology since the introduction of the first iPhone model. You can love or hate them, but you can’t deny the fact that many companies try their best to mimic their products.
As soon as they announced the Airpods, the market got flooded with hundreds of cheap and terrible-sounding knockoffs. But we’ve come a long way since then, and many respectable manufacturers have realized that wireless earbuds are here to stay, and as a result, we’ve got a lot of great Airpod alternatives on the market.
Best AirPods Alternatives
1. Sony WF-1000XM4
Sony is one of the main players in the headphone market, so it is no surprise that they came up with their take on wireless earbuds. Price-wise, the WF-1000XM4 sits on the higher end of the market, and they are more comparable to the Airpods Pro. With superior sound quality, hardware-based ANC, and long battery life, the WF-1000XM4 had to be our favorite pick for today
The sound quality is the main selling point of these headphones. The 6mm drivers may seem small on the paper, but these drivers got plenty of power and exceptional sound; with rich bass and clear treble. With interchangeable foam tips that come in three sizes, you are bound to find the perfect fit. Foam tips feel much better than rubber tips, and they help reduce ear fatigue. The battery life is quite impressive, with 8 hours of usage with ANC active. The case will provide you with two additional charges.
They are a bit more water-resistant than the Airpods Pro. They are rated IPX4, which protects them from splashing water, but keep in mind that they cannot be submerged. Many earbuds use a software-based noise canceling solution, but Sony opted out for QN1e noise-canceling chip. As a result, you get one of the best active noise solutions on the market. It will filter out all of the unwanted sounds, which can make all the difference during an important business call.
2. SAMSUNG Galaxy Buds Pro
Galaxy Buds Pro is the Samsungs take on the Airpods Pro, but they are similarly priced to Apple’s base model, which is another reason to consider them as your next purchase. They feature an 11mm woofer and a 6.5mm tweeter, which helps separate the low end from the mids and highs.
The sound quality is exceptional, with a bass-heavy signature, but the highs still manage to punch through thanks to the dedicated treble driver. Active noise canceling is exceptional, similar to the Airpods. As soon as you speak, the ANC turns off, which is a feature we’d like to see in every model.
You won’t have to worry about water ruining your brand new Galaxy Buds, as they have the best water protection on the market, rated at IPX7. You can take these earbuds with you even when swimming, and they can be submerged up to 3 feet for up to half an hour. The battery life is decent, with 5 hours of usage with ANC turned on, and the case will give you two additional charges.
3. Jabra Elite Active 75t
While AirPods are great for listening to music and making phone calls, you will have trouble keeping them in your ears during workouts and other rigorous activities. That’s where Jabra Elite Actives come into play, designed to stay in your ears even during the most intense sports activities.
Sport earbuds need to be durable and water-proof, and that’s exactly what Jabra had in mind when they were designing the Elite Active. They meet the IP-57 standard, so you can submerge them for up to a meter. You get up to 6 hours of usage with the ANC turned on, and the charging case will supply you with additional 24 hours of battery.
Elite Active has an ANC solution, but unlike the other high-end models, the Elite Active uses a software-based ANC. To activate it, you will need to download the Sound+ app. You will also use it for changing the EQ and accessing other advanced options. The active noise cancelation does a decent job. It will filter out wind and other static noises, but it doesn’t react well to sudden noises, so the ANC won’t work that great in an active environment.
4. Sennheiser CX True Wireless Earbuds
Sennheiser is a headphone manufacturer based in Germany. They quickly became known for their wide selection of high-end headphones. Since they come from a reputable company, the CX True is a worthy alternative to the Airpods, with a more affordable price, great sound quality, and all the latest features you expect from a pair of premium earbuds.
The 7mm TrueResponse drivers sound perfect, with punchy bass and outstanding highs. This model doesn’t support active noise cancelation, although Sennheiser claims they have passive noise cancelation. At least you won’t have to worry about ANC battery drainage, you will be able to enjoy these earbuds for up to 9 hours on a single charge, with the case providing two additional charges.
CX True will fit perfectly in your ears due to the included interchangeable tips, which are available in four different sizes. They offer dust and water resistance, rated to the IPX4 standard, so you won’t have to worry about rain or water splashes.
5. Skullcandy Indy ANC True Wireless Noise Cancelling In-Ear Earbud
Every headphone enthusiast knows about Skullcandy, a company known for its unconventional designs. Skullcandy had a massive surge of popularity during the 2000s, and even in 2021, they remain relevant in the headphone market. Indy comes at a considerably cheaper price than the Airpods, while still retaining all of the features you’d expect from premium wireless earbuds.
Indy has a pretty good sound quality, with a bass-heavy signature and balanced mids and highs. While they are bass-heavy, they do not reproduce the sub-bass as well as the higher-end models. To get the most out of these earbuds, you will need to do a calibration using the Skullcandy app. They were kind enough to include interchangeable tips, with three available sizes.
You don’t have to worry about outside noises, as this model supports active noise cancelation. We didn’t expect much, since these earbuds are considerably cheaper than the Airpods. But we were pleasantly surprised, as Indy’s active noise solution was able to filter every unwanted noise we faced it with. Indy has a great battery life, with 9 hours of playtime, and 5 hours with ANC turned on. The case will provide you with two additional charges.
6. JBL LIVE 300
A well-known manufacturer, impressive ANC, good sound quality and great battery life, and all that for well under 100$. Those are just some of the reasons to go for the JBL Live 300. Although we know JBL for their selection of speakers, they’ve proven countless times that they know how to make a mean pair of headphones.
Live 300 doesn’t have an ANC per se, but it features something JBL calls noise isolation. Since they didn’t elaborate more on it, we are not sure how exactly it differs from a classic ANC solution, but we can tell you it works great. With Ambient Aware, you can control how much of the outside sound will pass through. TalkThru is another interesting feature. It detects voices and passes them through, allowing you to talk to your friends without taking your buds off.
Battery life is great, with up to 6 hours of usage, and the case has two additional charges. They charge super fast, you can get an hour of usage by charging them for a minute. To tweak the settings and EQ, you will have to download the JBL app. Like most earbuds on the market, it has an IPX5 rating, meaning it’s dust and water-resistant.
7. Soundcore by Anker Life A2 NC
Although Anker might now be well known as some other manufacturers on the list, they still managed to secure their place in the headphone market. With plenty of features, high-quality sound, and plenty of battery life, the Anker Life quickly became one of the most popular picks for those on a budget.
Anker went with the huge 11mm driver, with a large soundstage and superb sound quality. Out of the box, they sound bass-heavy, which is great for most genres. If you like more treble, you can customize them using the mobile app, which will let you fine-tune the EQ to your liking. The battery life is impressive, with over 7 hours of playtime on a single charge, and the case will give you four more charges.
The addition of active noise cancelation is always welcome at this price point. The Anker Life is not as smart as some premium models, but you can still use different ANC modes. The modes make all the difference, and it will filter out all noises in most circumstances. These earbuds are IP5X rated, so you don’t have to worry about water and dust.
8. Monster Wireless Earbuds
If you are in the tech world for quite some time, you might remember Monster, the company that became known for its super expensive, gold and platinum-plated HDMI cables. They managed to divide the tech community almost a decade ago, which helped them to drive more customers towards their products. They still make cables, but they also offer a wide selection of other tech products – wireless earbuds are just the tip of their product line.
They are a bargain, hovering at just around 50$, while still having most of the premium features. The sound quality is good, there is plenty of low end and the mids and highs are crystal clear. The battery life is decent, with up to 5 hours of playtime. The charging case will provide you with plenty of juice, as it will provide four additional charges. The tips are interchangeable, with three sizes to choose from. Monster included the sport clips, which are great for exercising and rigorous activities.
9. Hntmao True Wireless Earbuds
These earbuds are the perfect example of fake AirPods. Hntmao completely copied the Airpods design, and the result is better than you’d expect. At rock bottom price, you get decent-sounding earbuds, with plenty of battery life and some unexpected premium features.
Although they sport a huge 13mm driver, the sound quality is average at best. EQ can help you get a bit better sound. We liked the single ear mode, which lets you use one earbud at a time. The battery life is decent, with up to 5 hours of usage, although the charging case will recharge your buds up to five times.
Active noise cancelation
Most wireless earbuds on the market have an active noise cancelation mode, but keep in mind that every manufacturer has its own ANC solution. Apple and Bose have perfected the ANC, and their headphones and earbuds are well known for their isolation capabilities. Hardware-based solutions are the best, but they are usually found only on the higher-end models.
Regular wireless earbuds such as the Airpods are not meant to be used during rigorous activities. Many people have tried using them during running, only to find that they fall out pretty easily. This will hold for most wireless earbuds, and although some manufacturers include sport clips with their earbuds, we still prefer going for a model that’s specifically designed for active users.
Water-resistant vs waterproof
Most headphones offer some degree of water protection but keep in mind that water resistance is not the same as waterproof. Lower IP standards will protect your earbuds from sweat, dust, and some light splashes, but you will still have to be careful around water. If you don’t want to worry about water, or you want to use your buds while swimming, you should go for models with an IPX7 rating.
Single charge battery life
All wireless earbuds have a charging case, which will let you quickly charge your earbuds. But what differentiates the good earbuds from the best is the amount of playtime you get out of a single charge. Most people don’t mind putting their earbuds in the case few times a day, but professional users need something that will last them the whole day. Premium earbuds will give you the most usage out of a single charge.
Are replica AirPods illegal?
Since most wireless earbuds look similar, it can be easy to confuse them with Apple Airpods. There are plenty of models on the market that look similar to the Airpods, and most of them are legal. However, some models copy the AirPods design and packaging, which can mislead the customer into thinking they are buying an Apple product. These models are not legal, and we recommend you stay away from them.
Are Fake AirPods good?
There are plenty of manufacturers that try to copy the Airpods, with some of them have coming surprisingly close. In the end, you will get what you pay for; cheaper models usually have poor sound quality, bad battery life, and connection problems.
How can you tell if AirPods are fake?
It is easy to tell genuine Airpods from fake ones. Turn on the Bluetooth on your iPhone and open the Airpods case. The connection screen should appear, prompting you to set up the Airpods. If that screen doesn’t appear, it is likely a fake.
Do real AirPods have blue light?
The charging case on the Airpods doesn’t have a blue light. It doesn’t have any light at all. Many knockoffs have battery indicator lights, which can be a dead giveaway that you’re dealing with a fake model.
There are a lot of bad knockoffs on the market, so it can be challenging to choose the best fake AirPods. We’ve reviewed plenty of options for every price point, which should help you narrow down your search.
If these weren’t enough, check out some other picks from Amazon also: