Top 9 Best AirPod Alternatives in 2022

These days, you probably see AirPods everywhere. They’ve become more and more ubiquitous and have become the preferred earbuds for many Apple users.

However, AirPods aren’t for everyone. Their price alone can already be a deterrent to many, but add the fact that some AirPods features aren’t available on Android, and you’re left with people looking for an alternative that works.

Whether you’re looking for an alternative within the same price range or for something a bit more affordable, this list of the best AirPod alternatives in 2022 can help.

Which alternative is for you? Read on to find out!

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Best AirPod Alternatives in 2022

Sony WF-1000XM4 – Best AirPods Pro Alternative

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Specifications

  • Weight: 0.2 ounces each bud
  • Size: 1” x 0.8” x 0.8” each earbud; 2.4” x 1.5” x 1.1” charging case
  • Rated Battery Life: Up to 8 hours with ANC on, up to 12 hours with ANC off; up to 30 hours with the charging case
  • Water Resistance Rating: IPX4
  • ANC: Yes
  • Bluetooth Connection Range: 30 feet maximum
  • Supported Operating Systems: Android, iOS

Sony’s WF-1000XM4 is the follow-up and a major improvement to the previous generation 1000XM3. We’ve happily given this the title of best AirPods Pro alternative and best alternative overall, considering its great ANC, sound quality, call quality, and best-in-class battery life.

Pros

  • Balanced sound profile and great sound quality
  • Clear and detailed bass
  • Active noise cancelation works really well
  • Battery life improved over the 1000XM3 version – amazing battery life overall
  • Quite comfortable
  • Comes with some good features like Speak-to-Chat and Quick Attention
  • Splash resistant

Cons

  • Quite pricey; on the premium end of the alternatives spectrum
  • Fit isn’t the best for everyone
  • No aptX

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro – Best Non-Apple AirPods Alternative

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Specifications

  • Weight: 0.20 ounce each earbud
  • Size: 0.8” x 0.7” x 0.8” per earbud
  • Rated Battery Life: Up to 8 hours; up to 28 hours with charging case
  • Water Resistance Rating: IPX7 (waterproof, submersible in one meter or three feet of water for up to thirty minutes)
  • ANC: Yes
  • Bluetooth Connection Range: 10 meters; 32~ feet
  • Supported Operating Systems: Android, iOS with limitations (you will need to use an Android or Windows device to update your settings)

If you use an Android device, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro is one of the best options you can find to replace AirPods. They’re the only waterproof pair on this list, they look great, and have many features like the Sony WF-1000XM4 and Apple’s AirPods Pro, while often being more affordable. The only downside is that if you ever switch to iOS, you’ll lose access to some of its features.

Pros

  • Fully waterproof, can be submerged in three feet of water for up to thirty minutes
  • Excellent call quality
  • Comfortable fit
  • Great sound quality
  • Decent battery life
  • Case has wireless charging

Cons

  • No aptX
  • Fit won’t be the best for everyone
  • If you have an iPhone or iPad, you won’t be able to use some of the features of these earbuds
  • ANC is just okay

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds – Most Comfortable AirPods Pro Alternative

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Specifications

  • Weight: 0.3 ounce each earbud
  • Size: 1.54″ x 1.02″ x 1.06” per earbud; 1.25” x 3.5” x 2” charging case
  • Rated Battery Life: Up to 6 hours, Up to 18 hours with charging case
  • Water Resistance Rating: IPX4
  • ANC: Yes
  • Bluetooth Connection Range: 10 meters; 32~ feet
  • Supported Operating Systems: Android, iOS

Bose’s TWS earbuds offer what you’d expect from the brand in terms of sound quality and ANC. It’s a comfortable pair to wear, though it has a somewhat awkward design and is 0.1 ounce heavier than its competitors. Although it remains an excellent AirPods alternative, its middling battery life makes us rank it below the Sony WF-1000XM4s.

Those who love Bose but aren’t super impressed by this pair may want to wait for the next iteration to see what might improve between generations.

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality as is standard with Bose – well-balanced profile regardless of listening volume
  • ANC is top-notch, Aware Mode allows you to hear the world around you
  • Comfortable to wear for hours
  • Wireless charging for the case

Cons

  • Battery life is just average
  • Pricey
  • Aesthetic is not for everyone

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 – Premium Wireless Earbuds Like AirPods

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Specifications

  • Weight: 0.21 ounce per earbud; 2.33 ounces with the charging case
  • Size: Unspecified
  • Rated Battery Life: Up to 7 hours; up to 28 hours with charging case
  • Water Resistance Rating: IPX4
  • ANC: Yes
  • Bluetooth Connection Range: 10 meters, 32~ feet; maybe more thanks to Bluetooth 5.2
  • Supported Operating Systems: Android, iOS

Sennheiser’s Momentum TWS earbuds are on their third generation and continue to provide best-in-class ANC and sound quality. It’s got great battery life and good controls, but we docked a point for the lack of multi-point connectivity. Nevertheless, this pair remains one of the best alternatives to Apple’s AirPods, and are an improvement over the previous Momentum True Wireless 2.

Pros

  • Has aptX Adaptive, AAC, aptX, and SBC
  • Transparency mode allows you to hear the world around you
  • Great noise cancellation
  • Great sound quality and profile as is typical of Sennheiser
  • Great controls

Cons

  • Bass may not be good enough for bass-heads
  • Doesn’t have multi-point connectivity

Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro – A Cheaper AirPods Pro Alternative

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Specifications

  • Weight: 0.20 ounce per earbud
  • Size: 0.7” x 1.1” x 1.1”
  • Rated Battery Life: Up to 7 hours, Up to 32 hours with charging case
  • Water Resistance Rating: IPX4
  • ANC: Yes
  • Bluetooth Connection Range: 10 meters, 32~ feet
  • Supported Operating Systems: Android, iOS

The Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro earbuds are an improvement over the Liberty Air 2 Pro and are smaller than their direct predecessor, the Liberty 2 Pro. They look stylish but are also rather comfortable, and also have great sound quality all around. Although they’re an excellent

Pros

  • Multi-point support
  • Great sound quality – deep bass, bright highs
  • Useful app
  • Pretty good battery life
  • Wireless charging for case

Cons

  • Finicky touch controls
  • Many competitors within the price range (or cheaper) deliver similar performance

Amazon Echo Buds 2 – Amazon’s Affordable AirPods Pro Alternative — with Alexa!

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Specifications

  • Weight: 0.20 ounce each earbud
  • Size: 0.8”x 0.8” x 0.8”
  • Rated Battery Life:  Up to 6.5 hours, up to 19.5 hours with charging case
  • Water Resistance Rating: IPX4
  • ANC: Yes
  • Bluetooth Connection Range: Up to 35 feet
  • Supported Operating Systems: iOS, Android, supports Siri/Google Assistant

Amazon’s Echo Buds 2 are a great option if you’re looking for AirPods alternatives with active noise cancellation. This pair has decent audio quality, though purists may not be satisfied. What makes this pair so unique is they work perfectly with Alexa while also being compatible with Google Assistant and Siri. Watch out for sales — you may find them at a great discount!

Pros

  • Works well with Alexa
  • Decent noise cancellation and ambient modes
  • Wireless charging on the case
  • Affordable price for its features
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Battery life is just okay
  • Some may find bass lacking, while others may find highs lacking

Google Pixel Buds A-Series – A Mid-Range AirPod Alternative from Google

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Specifications

  • Weight: 0.18 ounce each earbud
  • Size: 0.81” x 1.15” x 0.69” each earbud; 2.48” x 1.85” x 0.98” charging case
  • Rated Battery Life: Up to 5 hours; up to 25 hours with the charging case
  • Water Resistance Rating: IPX4
  • ANC: No
  • Bluetooth Connection Range: 10 meters; 32~ feet
  • Supported Operating Systems: Android, iOS

Available at a fair price, Google’s Pixel Buds A-Series is an excellent option for those looking for a balanced sound profile. These earbuds work well with Android but are also compatible with iOS.

Pros

  • Clean and well-rounded sound
  • Comfortable to wear for prolonged periods
  • Connection is pretty reliable
  • Works well on Android
  • IPX4 splash and sweat-proof

Cons

  • No ANC
  • Lacking volume adjustments in the touch controls
  • Battery life is just okay

Sony WF-C500 – Best Mid-Range AirPod Alternative from Sony

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Specifications

  • Weight: 0.19 ounce each earbud
  • Size: 3.15” x 1.37” x 1.22” charging case
  • Rated Battery Life: Up to 10 hours; up to 20 hours with the charging case
  • Water Resistance Rating: IPX4
  • ANC: No
  • Bluetooth Connection Range: 10 meters; 32~ feet
  • Supported Operating Systems: Android, iOS

If you like the Sony WF-1000XM4s but don’t want all the bells and whistles, the WF-C500s are an excellent substitute. They work well, have great sound quality, and are an excellent choice all around — especially considering the ~$100 price point.

Pros

  • 360 Reality Audio feature
  • Compact, comfortable
  • Well-balanced sound, good audio quality
  • Comes with the Sony Headphones Connect App
  • Battery life on a single charge is great, quick charging feature allows 60 minutes of use from 10 minutes of charging

Cons

  • Battery life with charging case is so-so
  • Many other options within the same price range offer similar or better performance

SoundPeats Air 3 Pro – Best Budget Alternative to AirPods Pro

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Specifications

  • Weight: 0.16 ounce each earbud; 1.3 ounces with charging case
  • Size: Unspecified
  • Rated Battery Life:  Up to 6 hours, Up to 25 hours with charging case
  • Water Resistance Rating: IPX4
  • ANC: Yes
  • Bluetooth Connection Range: 10 meters; 32~ feet
  • Supported Operating Systems: Android, iOS

If you’re looking for an entry-level pair of earbuds that delivers relatively good sound quality and active noise canceling, look no further than the SoundPeats Air 3 Pro. This editor’s SoundPeats Air 3 Pro earbuds work well and offer good audio quality, so they have replaced bulkier ANC headphones for use on the go. Unfortunately, these earbuds aren’t perfect — the most common issues reported by buyers are middling battery life and a sub-par pass-through mode. But for the price, we can’t complain!

Pros

  • Normal mode, pass-through mode, ANC, game mode
  • Good audio quality for the price
  • Decent ANC
  • SBC, aptX, aptX-Adaptive

Cons

  • Pass-through mode has a hiss, might as well use normal mode
  • Build quality can feel cheap, but understandable considering the price
  • So-so battery life

How We Did Our Research

We did a ton of research to put together this list of the best AirPod alternatives in 2022. We learned about as many TWS earbuds as we could extensively and read hundreds of reviews from real people to find out the general consensus on each item. Then, we chose the nine best options that emerged from this research.

Additionally, we chose to add a few choices that we’ve personally had experience with, such as the SoundPeats Air3 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro. The decision to add these earbuds was further bolstered by our research, as many also agree that these two are excellent options to replace Apple’s AirPods.

How to Choose the Best AirPods Alternative

Apple’s AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max are great products for sure. But if you’re looking for alternatives, it’s likely because there’s something about the Apple products you liked, but there might be certain factors putting you off. Maybe you’re an Android user and you want the same features AirPods has available to you. Or maybe AirPods simply cost too much.

Your reasons for wanting the best AirPod alternatives for iPhone and Android can be your starting point when it comes to choosing the best alternative for you. However, there are a few universal factors you can consider as well, such as:

  • Sound quality – Naturally, a pair of earbuds half or even a quarter of the price of Apple AirPods won’t have the same level of audio quality, so it’s best to temper your expectations in that regard. However, it still pays to be picky. Ask yourself if there’s a certain sound profile you prefer — do you want more bass? Or perhaps something balanced more for acoustic music and voice tones? Consider alternatives that fit within your parameters — but also consider a product’s overall sound quality, too.
  • Call quality – This particular factor won’t always matter for everyone, especially if you don’t really make or take phone calls often. However, it can still be a good idea to look into how a pair of earbuds perform with phone calls. Note that earbuds, in general, won’t offer the best quality, and some are better than others in this regard.
  • Comfort and fit – Earbuds don’t tend to be as problematic as headphones when it comes to comfort, as they don’t need to clamp onto your head via a headband. However, some earbuds can be more comfortable than others, depending on how they fit in your ear.
  • Design – Do you want a smaller pair of earbuds, or do you want a pair more like the Apple AirPods? Is there any specific colorway you want? Design and aesthetics aren’t always something people care about, but if it’s a concern for you, it may be best to remove products from your shortlist if they don’t meet your preferences.
  • Active noise cancellation – Many look for the best AirPod Pro alternatives simply because they want something that also offers ANC at a lower cost or for Android. There are many products that offer ANC, including a few on this list. However, not all products perform the same way when it comes to noise cancellation, so make sure you check reviews to see what people have said about a product.
  • Battery life – Most products on the market these days offer similar battery lives. Run times on a single charge can be anywhere from four to eight hours, depending on the mode, volume, and features active during use. If you want your earbuds to last you through most of your workday, consider looking for pairs with estimated battery lives on the higher end of the range. Earbuds like the AirPods also advertise additional battery life hours you can get from recharging with the case. Cases generally offer an additional fifteen to thirty hours of use before they need to be recharged.
  • Water resistance or waterproofing – If you intend to use your earbuds for exercising or even just outdoors, you may want to look into pairs that have some form of water resistance at the very least. You’ll want a pair that’s splash-proof (IPX4) to prevent them from getting ruined in the rain or by your sweat.
  • Other features – Earbuds can have many different features as manufacturers continue to try to find ways to differentiate their products from the rest. You’ll see features like Spatial Audio, included apps to help you change the equalizer and balance of the earbuds, game modes, ANC, pass-through modes, and so on. Consider which features matter to you and eliminate products that don’t have those features to narrow down your list of options.

Choosing the best AirPod alternative for you generally comes down to personal preference. What may sound good to you might not sound good to others, and so on. But what you should always look for is value for money. And, of course, you should always check to ensure that a company is honest about the claims it makes about its products.

Note that most earbuds on this list will work with the majority of devices with Bluetooth connectivity, such as Windows or Mac machines. However, certain earbuds may have limited features on other platforms.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best dupe for Apple AirPods?

In our opinion, the current best alternative to Apple AirPods is the Sony WF-1000XM4. You won’t necessarily be saving much by buying this premium pair, but these earbuds are worth every penny. Sony’s over-ear headphones, the WH-1000XM4 and WH-1000XM5, are also excellent, if not the best wireless headphones like the AirPods Max.

What is like AirPods, but cheaper?

There are a great many earbuds and headphones like AirPods, each of them holding a different position on the price spectrum. For cheaper options, consider the SoundPeats Air Pro 3, which offers ANC on a budget. The Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro also has ANC, although at a somewhat higher price. If you don’t particularly care about ANC but want something good, you can look at the Google Pixel Buds A-Series.

Why are AirPods so popular?

Quite honestly, the Apple AirPods are most likely so popular because of their brand. Of course, looking at all the AirPods’ features, such as sound quality, battery life, build quality and design, and more, can point to another reason why they’re so popular: they’re truly just a good pair of earbuds. The fact that AirPods can work with any Bluetooth device adds to their popularity, too.

Do fake AirPods have noise canceling?

Perhaps fake AirPods won’t, but you’ll certainly find plenty of alternatives to Airpods that have active noise canceling features built in. Consider a few on this list, such as the Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro, Amazon’s Echo Buds 2, and all the higher-end options such as the Sony WF-1000XM4 and the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds.

How long do wireless earbuds last?

Wireless earbuds’ lifespans are pretty much determined by how long their batteries can reasonably provide power. Batteries in TWS earbuds are currently not replaceable, which means you’ll definitely have to throw your pair away once the batteries conk out. The actual life of your pair can be anywhere from 2-5 years, depending on how you care for your earbuds’ batteries.

Which AirPods Alternatives are best for Android?

If you want a budget pair of earbuds that have active noise cancellation, you can opt for the SoundPeats Air 3 Pro. If you want the best of the best for Android, opt for Google Pixel Buds A-Series (no ANC) or the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro.

Conclusion

There’s nothing quite like having a pair of earbuds that are ready to provide you with hours upon hours of music right in your pocket. Thanks to technological advances in recent years, TWS earbuds have just been getting better and better. The AirPods are some of the best available today, but there are many others like them that can provide a similar experience at various price points. And of course, our choice for the best alternative remains the same — the Sony WF-1000XM4.

We hope that this list of the best AirPod alternatives has helped point you in the right direction for a pair you’d like to get. If you’d like to see other earbuds added to this list, feel free to leave a comment below!

Best Airpods Alternatives infographic

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Chriselle Sy
Chriselle Sy
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Chriselle has been a passionate writer for over 10 years, but she's a geek at heart. When she isn't busy writing, she spends her time streaming video games and learning new skills.

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