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14 Best AirPods Alternatives of 2022 for Every Budget

Apple AirPods aren't your only choice when it comes to wireless earbuds.

best airpods alternatives
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We updated this article in March 2022 to add more information about each featured product. To our original top-rated products, selected by the Good Housekeeping Institute, we updated picks to reflect the most recent and improved models and added picks from Sony and Amazon.


Apple’s AirPods have taken over ears. Look to your left and to your right, and nine times out of ten you'll see little white sticks popping out of some heads. Why? Because Apple popularized the trend of true wireless earbuds, letting us connect via Bluetooth, listen and move freely about without any cords.

While popular and impressive, AirPods do have some cons; they are not cheap and the basic model is one-size-fits-all (which actually doesn’t fit all). Estimates purport that 5-7% of AirPods sales come from replacement pods that have fallen out. While we thank Apple for its innovative and convenient headphone technology, we're here to share some alternatives. From sport models with higher water-resistance ratings to audiophile-friendly pairs with amazing audio performance, you don't need a pair of AirPods to enjoy a high-quality true wireless experience. In fact, we recommend buying a pair of earbuds that meet your individual needs (fit, budget, style, etc.) Just don't buy cheap knock-off AirPods to save a few bucks — go with a reputable product.

At the Good Housekeeping Institute, our experts and engineers evaluate consumer tech products ranging from noise-canceling headphones, smart home devices to Bluetooth speakers. To choose the best AirPods alternatives, our Lab experts logged over 300 hours of listening time, analyzing key features such as fit, controls, battery life, noise-canceling capabilities, portability (both weight and size), ease of pairing and more. These are the best AirPods alternatives 0f 2022, hand-picked and vetted by our pros.

Our top picks:

Best Overall AirPods Alternative
WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless Earbud Sony Read More
Best Value AirPods Alternative
Air True Wireless Earbuds EarFun Read More
Best AirPods Alternative for iPhones
Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones Beats Read More
Best Sound Quality AirPods Alternative
Momentum True Wireless 2 Sennheiser Read More
Best Noise Canceling AirPods Alternative
QuietComfort Earbuds Bose Read More
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          Best Overall AirPods Alternative
          WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless Earbud
          Sony
          Sony

          • Android and iOS apps
          • Great battery life
          • Effective noise-cancelling

          • More expensive than AirPods

          For a truly wireless headphone experience that checks off all of the marks including effective noise cancellation, impressive battery life and easy pairing, these buds are it. Sleeker and more compact than the previous model and now boasting an IPX4 water-resistance rating, the higher price tag is worth every penny. The silicone ear-tips provide a great fit, with tips ranging from extra small to large, making these wireless earbuds suitable for any activity level.

          Our tech experts touted the fantastic sound quality and battery life (in road tests they worked a whole workday on a single charge), and they loved the cool quick charge feature that can give up to an hour of playback with just a five-minutes of charging. There is a built-in mic for hands-free calls and smart features like wearing detection, adaptive sound control that adjusts to your environment and a speak-to-chat feature which automatically reduces your music's volume during a conversation. The touch controls take a bit of getting used to, but these come enabled with Alexa voice control, and there's robust functionality within the app itself.

          OS support: Android/iOS
          Battery life: 8 hours (single charge) or 24 hours (with charging case)
          Noise-canceling:
          Yes
          IP rating: IPX4

          Best Value AirPods Alternative
          Air True Wireless Earbuds
          EarFun
          EarFun
          Now 36% off

          • Under $60
          • Impressive sound quality
          • Water-resistant

          • No active noise cancelation

          If you're looking for a great pair of truly wireless headphones at a budget-friendly price, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better set (if you opt for the even less expensive EarFun Free, you’ll also be pleasantly surprised). These combine impressive audio quality and noise isolation capabilities with good battery life. And you won't suffer from other common limitations of inexpensive sets like poor connectivity.

          In our tests, we were able to get the claimed seven hours of battery life plus a full day extra with the charging case at mid-level volume. We liked that you could charge via handy USB-C or wirelessly, something often reserved for more expensive headphones. You can effortlessly control the volume, music or answer calls with intuitive taps for complete autonomy. Bonus: They are rated IPX7 indicating that they are quite water- and sweat-resistant, so go ahead and get your workout on.

          OS support: Android/iOS
          Battery life: 7 hours (single charge) or 35 hours (with charging case)
          Noise-canceling:
          No
          IP rating: IPX7

          Best AirPods Alternative for iPhones
          Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones
          Apple
          Beats

          • Amazing battery life
          • Easy pairing with iOS
          • Secure fit with hook

          • Pricey
          • No wireless charging

          Apple's AirPods are not the only buds that work seamlessly with iPhones. These totally wireless earphones by Beats are powered by the Apple H1 headphone chip, adding some of the best technology out there. Enjoy hands-free voice assistance from our friend, Siri, and intuitive touch controls with just a tap.

          They come with four sizes of ear tips to get your perfect fit and hook around the ear, so you won't lose them easily. But best of all, they come with one of the best battery lives with nine hours of playback time and more than 24 hours with the charging case. The IPX4 rating means these are great for tough workouts and even though we categorized this for iPhone users, rest assured that these are also compatible with Android. Win-win.

          OS support: Android/iOS
          Battery life:
          9 hours (single charge) or 24 hours (with charging case)
          Noise-canceling:
          No
          IP rating: IPX4

          Best Sound Quality AirPods Alternative
          Momentum True Wireless 2
          Sennheiser
          Sennheiser
          Now 33% off

          • Active noise cancelling
          • Sweat-resistant
          • Great battery life

          • Case can't be wirelessly charged
          • Touch controls are not very intuitive

          These quality true wireless earbuds sound great, feel great and last all day. Although they come with a hefty price tag, you do get what you pay for. The sound is truly amazing, and the active noise canceling effectively reduces background sounds to barely a faint hush so you can enjoy music, books, podcasts or make phone calls from anywhere. Sennheiser claims that battery life is seven hours (+21 with the charging case), and our road tests proved that to be true.

          They come with an IPX4 rating for sweat resistance and because they are lightweight they're quite comfy when working out. We recommend downloading the app first to help with pairing (IOS and Android), and then you can use the touch controls on the earbuds themselves for playback, voice assistant capabilities and phone calls. The touch controls will likely take some getting used to, but once you do, you'll be rocking out in no time. The charging case is a bit bulkier than others but stylish nonetheless.

          OS support: Android/iOS
          Battery life: 7 hours (single charge) or 28 hours (with charging case)
          Noise-canceling:
          Yes
          IP rating: IPX4

          Best Noise Canceling AirPods Alternative
          QuietComfort Earbuds
          Bose
          Bose

          • 15-minute quick charge feature
          • Amazing sound quality
          • Sweat and weather-resistant

          • More expensive than AirPods
          • Battery life could be better

          Bose claims these are the "world's most effective noise-canceling earbuds," and we may have to agree. Although not cheap, these earbuds provide an exuberant sound. In our testing, all external noise was blocked out due to the impressive active noise-canceling tech, and that was coupled with the expected impressive Bose sound quality. The battery life could be a little better (the brand claims six hours alone, and 18 with the charging case), but you'll love the 15-minute quick charge feature when running low.

          The pair comes with three sizes of silicone buds to choose from, so you can get a good fit. They also come with an IPX4 rating, which means they've been tested to be sweat and weather-resistant. Touch controls are relatively simple, just tap or double-tap for different functions. The buds themselves have a bit of a chunky design, but our review found them to be comfy and lightweight.

          OS support: Android/iOS
          Battery life:
          6 hours (single charge) or 18 hours (with charging case)
          Noise-canceling:
          Yes
          IP rating: IPX4

          Best AirPods Alternative for Multi-Device Pairing
          Elite 7 Pro
          Jabra
          Jabra

          • Seamless pairing
          • Good battery life
          • Sweat, dust and water-resistant
          • Comfortable fit

          • Pricey

          For all of the multi-taskers out there looking for an AirPods alternative to use while heading to the office or on zooms, calls and more, the Jabra Elite 7 Pro is the pair for you. Like the beloved Jabra Elite 75t, these feature multipoint technology that allows for multi-device pairing, so you can seamlessly switch between your devices (like a phone and computer). Jabra also had a good thing going with the Elite 65t, but with each iteration, the brand manages to improve by adding noise-canceling and better voice-calling performance over time.

          When tested, these buds produced powerful audio for music and terrific sound quality while on calls, thanks to enhanced microphones (two in each bud) plus a voice sensor. During testing, the Media & Tech Lab liked the earbuds' hear-through feature, which proved useful when commuting to the office, and they found the button controls on each earbud super intuitive. On top of fitting securely in the ear and blocking out a lot of external noise, these are easy to use right out of the box, but the accompanying app lets you personalize the sound for a perfect tune each time. And with a long battery life of eight hours on a single charge or 30 with the charging case, you can go from work to the gym to a quick call with grandma with no issues. These have an IP57 rating, adding even more protection from both dust and water, perfect for poolside tunes.

          OS support: Android/iOS
          Battery life:
          8 hours (single charge) or 30 hours (with charging case)
          Noise-canceling:
          Yes
          IP rating:
          IP57

          Best AirPods Alternative for the Office
          LinkBuds
          Sony
          Sony

          • Wide area tap
          • Open-ring design
          • Compact case

          • Average battery life
          • Poor bass and isolation

          While these earbuds aren't noise-canceling by any means, if you're looking for a pair of AirPod alternatives that you can leave in all day and forget about, Sony's latest LinkBuds are made for you. In testing, the Lab found the sound quality impeccably clear and even though they were trickier than average to get in, once they're in, they're in. You can switch from talking to your colleague one second to listening to music another, without having to take out an earbud or fumble to pause your music. For certain users, it can be a joy to stay connected to their surrounding environment while working or on the go, and these let you do just that.

          Unlike other earbuds, these feature a wide tap area so you don't have to tap the bud itself to adjust the volume or switch songs. Tapping next to your ear takes some getting used to, but you can customize everything to your liking in Sony's app, including the speak-to-chat feature, equalizer, adaptive volume control and more. Battery life could be better with 5.5 hours on a single charge or up to 17.5 hours with the charging case, but a quick 10-minute charge gets you up to 90 minutes of playback. Though they're not for everyone, the LinkBuds are a distinct wireless earbud for anyone with a busy lifestyle.

          OS support: Android/iOS
          Battery life:
          5.5 hours (single charge) or 17.5 hours (with charging case)
          Noise-canceling: No
          IP rating:
          IPX4

          Best AirPods Alternative for Amazon Echo Users
          Echo Buds (2nd Gen)
          Amazon
          Amazon
          Now 58% off

          • Alexa integration
          • Affordable
          • Noise-cancellation included

          • Battery life could be improved
          • Average sound quality

          If you live in an Amazon-friendly smart home, these Echo Buds are super affordable and integrate flawlessly with Alexa. Our testers found the fit was fairly comfortable and secure, especially with four tips provided as well as two wings and an ear tip fit test in the app to help ensure the earbud stays put. Though isolation or sound quality isn't quite as impressive as with other earbuds, one tester's husband noted that calls received from the earbuds were crystal clear.

          On top of an IPX4 rating, we love that tap controls are intuitive and easy to use and that you can ask Alexa to play music or make a call in the way you would ask Siri. And of course, the Amazon app is a breeze to use and it's always nice to have all your devices organized in one spot.

          OS support: Android/iOS
          Battery life:
          5 hours (single charge) or 15 hours (with charging case)
          Noise-canceling:
          Yes
          IP rating: IPX4

          Best AirPods Alternative for Android
          Pixel Buds A-Series
          Google
          Google

          • Seamless pairing with Android
          • Hands-free Google Assistant voice control
          • Sweat-resistant

          • Battery life could be better
          • Limited features for Apple devices

          Google has released a more affordable generation of its Pixel buds that continues to impress us like previous models. Fully wireless, the Pixel A-Series buds come with hands-free Google Assistant voice controls, translate, wireless charging and are IPX4-rated so that they can withstand your sweatiest workouts. In Lab tests, we noticed enhanced sound quality and seamless pairing with Android devices.

          Battery life could be better; we noted that they lasted about five hours of playback time and 2.5 hours of talk time. But, with the case handy you can get up to 24 hours. Unlike the previous Pixel buds, Google did tradeoff wireless charging for a reduced price. The A-Series does, however, still come with three ear tip sizes and a stabilizer arc to help create a secure fit. If you are an Android user, love to say "Hey, Google," and need a pair of wireless buds, then these are for you. (But don't worry — they work with iOS too!)

          OS support: Android/iOS
          Battery life:
          2.5-5 hours (single charge) or 24 hours (with charging case)
          Noise-canceling:
          Yes
          IP rating: IPX4

          Best AirPods Alternative for Working Out
          Sport Earbuds
          Bose
          Bose

          • Secure fit
          • Sweat-resistant
          • Tap controls

          • Battery life could be better
          • Bulky case

          The Sport Earbuds by Bose are ideal whether you need a pair of earbuds for running, shooting hoops or riding your Peloton, thanks to a sweat-resistant IPX4 rating. They come with three sizes of silicone tips designed to help them stay put, reduce noise and offer a more comfortable fit. In our road tests, we were impressed by the sound quality, which featured an even tonal sound and powerful bass.

          The Media and Tech Lab found that the earbuds were lightweight and didn't budge throughout multiple workouts. Unlike other earbuds, the fit was comfortable and secure, though they did find it took some wiggling and getting used to the buds at first. Though we wish battery life was better than five hours alone, or 15 hours with the charging case, we like how these have touch controls so you can quickly adjust the volume or skip to the next song.

          OS support: Android/iOS
          Battery life:
          5 hours (single charge) or 15 hours (with charging case)
          Noise-canceling:
          No
          IP rating: IPX4

          Best AirPods Alternative for Outdoor Activities
          Vista True Wireless Earbuds
          Jaybird

          • Water, dust and sweat-resistant
          • Ergonomic design
          • Touch controls

          • No noise cancelation

          Whether you are running around town, heading to the gym or in and out of meetings, carpools or Zooms, these earbuds are ideal for people on the go. Lightweight with an ergonomic design, these true wireless headphones fit our testers securely and we were impressed by the sound quality. These are especially great for an intense workout because, thanks to their waterproof rating of IPX7, these headphones can get nice and sweaty, and it won't affect the playback.

          We road-tested them for our fitness awards, and they held up to weeks of intense and varied workouts. Battery life is ok (six hours alone or 16 hours with charging case), and the charging case itself is compact and lightweight, so it's easy to stash in your pocket on the way to a workout or on the run. You won't find noise-canceling or transparency mode, but you will get a hefty bass and vibrant sound, superb fit and touch control with or without the accompanying iOS or Android app.

          OS support: Android/iOS
          Battery life: 6 hours (single charge) or 16 hours (with charging case)
          Noise-canceling: No
          IP rating: IPX7

          Best Budget AirPods Pro Alternative
          Air Pro Wireless Earbuds
          EarFun
          EarFun
          Now 20% off

          • Active noise canceling
          • Under $80
          • Good battery life

          • Some reviewers had trouble pairing

          We already touted EarFun in this roundup for being a great value, and for just a few bucks more, you upgrade to a pair with active noise cancellation and what the brand refers to as a Dual Noise Sensor, which helps reduces ambient sound. But, if you need to hear your barista call your name or horns honking at you, these buds come with transparency mode to let some noise in.

          According to the manufacturer, one charge will let you play nine hours of playback or seven hours if in active noise cancellation mode. EarFun also claims that the quick charging case extends the battery life to 32 hours. These moderately-priced buds have six built-in microphones for solid call quality. You'll also love the intuitive tap controls for playback, answering calls and volume without having to touch your connected phone or computer. They also have an IPX5 rating, meaning they can withstand some sweat and water, and you can get a secure fit from the three tip sizes provided.

          OS support: Android/iOS
          Battery life:
          7-9 hours (single charge) or 32 hours (with charging case)
          Noise-canceling:
          Yes
          IP rating: IPX5

          Best AirPods Alternative for Phone Calls
          Liberty Air 2 Wireless Earbuds
          Soundcore
          Now 18% off

          • Four built-in mics
          • Quick and wireless charging
          • Water and sweat resistant
          • Great price

          • No noise cancelation

          If you are looking for quality buds that you can use for important work calls or just chatting with distant friends, then go with the Liberty Air 2. For earbuds under $100, these have one of the best microphone systems around, thanks to the four built-in mics, diamond-inspired drivers and cVc 8.0 noise reduction technology. SoundCore claims that environmental noises are reduced by 60% while 95% of your voice is retained.

          Make hands-free calls with just a tap and use the accompanying app to streamline your settings. They come with five silicone tips sizes to get a secure fit and are equipped with wireless charging. They come with an IPX5 rating, which means they are sweat- and water-resistant. In our tests, calls were clear and free from static and the battery lasted almost 7.5 hours with one charge (28 hours with the case). We had no issues pairing, and the 10-minute quick-charge feature extended the battery for two more hours.

          OS support: Android/iOS
          Battery life:
          7 hours (single charge) or 28 hours (with charging case)
          Noise-canceling:
          No
          IP rating: IPX5

          Best AirPods Alternative with Wireless Charging Case
          Galaxy Buds Live
          Samsung Electronics
          Now 35% off

          • Sleek design and compact case
          • iOS and Android compatible

          • Only IPX2 water-resistance
          • Noise canceling could be better

          Aside from the unique bean-shaped design that pops right in your ear with a secure but non-sealed fit, these buds sound great and feel great. Moderately priced around the same as regular AirPods, they also feature wireless charging and active noise cancelation to block out external sounds. If you want to be able to let some of the outside world in, simply tap again.

          If you have a Samsung smartphone, these buds will allow optimal audio quality, voice assistance and connection stability. But they are compatible with any Android or iOS device. Samsung claims that the battery will last up to eight hours of listening time, 5.5 hours of talk time or 19 hours with the cute and compact charging case that will fit easily into your pocket. Though we wouldn't recommend running outside in the rain with these since they have a low IP rating, you can always upgrade to the Galaxy Buds Pro for that.

          OS support: Android/iOS
          Battery life:
          5.5-8 hours (single charge) or 19 hours (with charging case)
          Noise-canceling: Yes
          IP rating: IPX2

          How we test the best AirPod alternatives
          linebreak

          When the Good Housekeeping Institute Media and Tech Lab evaluates AirPods alternatives, we look at everything from the fit, controls, battery life, noise-canceling capabilities, portability (both weight and size) and ease of pairing. Our Lab experts logged over 300 hours of listening time to determine the best picks for you. We evaluated consumer tester feedback to assess sound quality, comfort and design. Our featured picks are a combination of rigorous category-wide testing and road testing of newer, popular or updated models of the best AirPods alternatives. In our comprehensive headphones test, analysts evaluated wireless earbuds by assessing performance (sound quality, ability to stay in the ear, etc.), durability (resilience of earbuds when in contact with water, dropped, etc.), comfort (portability, weight, size and adjustability), IP rating (sweat- and water- resistance), extra features and, lastly, appearance.

          What to look for when shopping for earbuds

          There are a lot of new, awesome (and some not-so-awesome!) true wireless earbuds out there. High-quality earbuds should have superb sound quality, good noise-isolating or -cancellation functionality, long battery life and a strong carrying case with built-in charging. Beyond that, here's what you should consider:

          ✔️Pairing: Earbuds should pair and connect seamlessly to your Bluetooth device. Apple users must make sure the earbuds support connecting. Android users can pretty much have the pick of the litter as most support this.

          ✔️Noise cancelation: If you frequently hop on conference calls while out and about, then look for ones with superior noise cancellation. Ones that feature ANC (active noise cancellation), are designed to essentially produce a mirror image sound wave in your ear to cancel out external noise.

          ✔️Water resistance: If you will be using your new earbuds for working out, sports or activities that will create sweat, it is wise to choose a water-resistant or fully waterproof pair. Look for ones that have a high IP (ingress protection) rating of at least IPX6. The higher the number, the more water-resistant they are.

          ✔️Ear tips: This is one of the most important things to consider. Ear tips that are too small, too big or too shallow won’t form a good seal with your ear canal, and you will never get a good sound. You also run the risk of losing them easily.

          ✔️Battery life: Most earbud manufacturers will quote a playing time between three and five hours, but it is usually a little less than what they claim. It's also important to take note of the conditions in which the battery life test was performed. If the case is a charger, some manufacturers will quote the battery life as a combination of playing time, plus the charging case battery, so read wisely.

          ✔️Controls: More expensive AirPods alternatives will have control buttons or sensors on the earpieces so that you can control volume, skip a track, issue voice commands or take phone calls. Some have apps to augment functionality, and some have voice assistant capabilities, too.

          ✔️Charging case: Most, but not all, AirPods alternatives come with a charging case that stores and recharges your wireless earbuds. If this is important to you, look for ones with sturdy cases that can withstand an active lifestyle.

          Why trust Good Housekeeping?
          linebreak

          Rachel Rothman, Chief Technologist and head engineer, has a B.S.E. in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics with a mathematics minor from the University of Pennsylvania and has been at GH for 14 years. She leads efforts for the constant evolution of GH’s technical and testing protocols, responding both to market drivers and growth opportunities. Rachel is the lead expert and key brand ambassador for GH across a number of categories — including electronics, smart home, automotive, toys, parenting, fitness, tech, startups and more — and a sought-after speaker at large-scale events like CES.

          Media & Tech Reviews Analyst Olivia Lipski oversees product testing and covers everything from connected devices to appliances, health, home and fitness. With a B.A. from George Washington University and a Master’s in communications from Sciences Po Paris, Olivia has several years of experience writing about tech and trends. She continues to stay on top of the industry’s latest innovations and helps readers make better buying decisions by testing and reviewing the best gadgets to hit the market.

          This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io
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