Since the design of Apple AirPods has become so popular in recent years, several low-cost knockoffs have become available. Unfortunately, while some of these may seem to be similar to the AirPods, they rarely perform as well, and you may have no recourse if something goes wrong with them. As a result, you could be better off sticking with headphones from a reputable company that look identical to the AirPods but aren’t exact replicas. Our suggestions don’t look exactly like AirPods, but they have the same’stem’ and have decent overall efficiency at a much lower price.
We reviewed over 185 different Bluetooth earbuds and in-ears, and our top picks for the best AirPods alternative are listed below. Check out our picks for the best wireless earbuds for iPhone overall, the best true wireless headphones, and the best audiophile headphones.
1. Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Truly Wireless – Best Airpods Alternative
The best AirPods option that we’ve reviewed are the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2. These genuinely wireless in-ears are sturdily-built, with a thick plastic construction and an IPX5 for water resistance, but we don’t currently test for that. They have over six hours of continuous playback time and come with a case that holds three additional charges, but they lack power-saving features such as an auto-off timer to save power while not in use.
These in-ears have a bass-heavy sound profile out of the box, which can bring extra boominess to certain mixes while keeping vocals and lead instruments full-bodied, present, and simple. If you don’t like that, their companion app has an eight-band graphic EQ and 20 different EQ presets to choose from. They also do an excellent job of blocking out background noise and high-pitched ambient noise, such as the hum of an air conditioner.
Unfortunately, they have trouble filtering out low-frequency background noise like bus or plane engines. Owing to the lack of input, their control scheme can be a little confusing. Nonetheless, their durable design and sound customization features help them rank among the best wireless bluetooth headphones.
2. Boltune BT-BH024 Truly Wireless
Consider the Boltune BT-BH024 Truly Wireless if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to AirPods. They don’t come with a companion app like the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Truly Wireless, so you can’t fully customise your listening experience, but they’re slightly less expensive, still feel well-made, and are rated IPX7 for water resistance, though we haven’t tested them yet. While their underemphasized treble response results in a minor lack of clarity, they have a bass-heavy sound profile that doesn’t clutter or muddy vocals or lead instruments.
If you want a more personalised listening experience, go with the Anker, but if you want to save money without compromising build quality or battery life, go with the Boltune.
3. Mpow X3 Truly Wireless
The Mpow X3 Truly Wireless is the best AirPods clone we’ve reviewed for sports. These noise-canceling, fully wireless in-ears have a sleek, lightweight design that holds them securely in place during even the most strenuous workouts. They seem strong enough to withstand a few drops and bumps, and they’re even rated IPX8 for water resistance, though we haven’t checked it yet.
They have a well-balanced sound that fits well with a wide range of content, from hip-hop to podcasts. Once you find a good fit with the included ear tips, their shallow in-ear fit is very comfortable and lets them produce audio quite consistently. They have a battery life of over five hours with the noise cancelling feature switched on, which isn’t especially good for a pair of fully wireless headphones, but they come with a case that carries over three additional full charges. When not in service, you can also put them in standby mode to save battery life.
Unfortunately, even with the ANC feature switched on, they do a poor job of filtering out ambient noise. However, if you intend on using them when running outside and want to remain conscious of your surroundings, this might be a help. They also don’t have any sound customization options. Aside from that, their durable build, comfortable fit, and flexible sound profile make them one of the best running headphones we’ve reviewed.
4. Anker SoundCore Liberty Air Truly Wireless
The Anker SoundCore Liberty Air Genuinely Wireless are the best AirPods option for sound quality that we’ve reviewed if you’re looking for something with fairly neutral audio reproduction. They have a similar flat-edged stem style to the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Truly Wireless, and they’re just as comfortable and compact. They also have a more neutral tone, which could appeal to more discerning listeners.
They have a balanced sound profile with a hint of extra bass that’s thumpy and punchy without being overpowering right out of the box, making them perfect for most audio material. Even without an active noise cancelling feature, their in-ear design lets them isolate a fair amount of background noise. They come in four different tip sizes so you can choose the right one for you. They charge easily and have a standby mode to save energy while not in use, despite the fact that they don’t have a long continuous battery life.
Unfortunately, despite being less expensive than their predecessor, they have a barebones design with few extra features. Their battery life is only around four hours, which might not be adequate to get you through the day. Their microphone performs poorly, creating muffled voices with little detail. If you want a more neutral audio reproduction from your AirPods replacement headphones, these offer a balanced sound that works for a wide range of genres.
5. OnePlus Buds Z Truly Wireless
If you like genres like EDM or hip-hop and want a bass-heavy sound profile, the OnePlus Buds Z Genuinely Wireless is a good choice. They have a shorter continuous battery life and filter out less ambient noise than the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air Truly Wireless, but they deliver a lot more thump and rumble and have a more comfortable fit. They also have a better build quality, with an IP55 dust and water resistance rating, but we don’t test for this at the moment. If you plan on making phone calls with them, their integrated mic provides superior recording quality and noise handling performance. Their auto-off timer is also a handy feature, as it helps to extend their short continuous battery life. Unfortunately, their touch-sensitive control scheme only works when they’re paired to a OnePlus phone, which is a significant nuisance.
Get the Anker if you want a more neutral sound profile and more functionality across a broader range of devices, but consider the OnePlus if you have an OnePlus smartphone and want a more exaggerated bass profile.