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Best Apple AirPods alternatives for 2024: Bose, Sony, Marshall, and more

Marshall Minor III
Marshall Minor III
Best overall alternative to AirPods
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Oddict Twig
Oddict Twig
Best AirPods alternative with Siri
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Amazon Echo Buds 2023
Amazon Echo Buds 2023
Best AirPods alternative from Amazon
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JBL Tune Flex
JBL Tune Flex
Great AirPods alternative for bass
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SoundPEATS Wireless Earbuds Air3 Deluxe HS with Hi-Res Audio Certification and LDAC Codec, Bluetooth 5.2 Earphones with 4 Mics and ENC for Calls, 14.2mm Driver, 60ms Low Latency Game Mode
Soundpeats Air3 Deluxe HS
Best AirPods alternative with hi-res audio
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Tronsmart Onyx Ace Pro True Wireless Earbuds, Advanced Qualcomm aptX Adaptive Decodec, Crystal Clear Call with cVc 8.0 Call Reduction, 27H Playtime, Low latency Gaming Mode, One-key Recovery Earphones
Tronsmart Onyx Ace Pro True Wireless Earbuds
Best budget AirPods alternative
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Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds
Bose QuietComfort Ultra
Best AirPods Pro alternative for ANC
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Audio-Technica ATH-TWX9
Audio-Technica ATH-TWX9
Like AirPods Pro, but with hi-fi sound
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Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 NC
Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 NC
Another budget AirPods Pro buster
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Sony WF-1000XM5
Sony WF-1000XM5
Best-sounding AirPods Pro alternative
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Jabra Elite 8 Active Earbuds
Jabra Elite 8 Active
Comfortable, workout AirPods Pro alternatives
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Apple has played a significant role in advancing the popularity and technology of in-ear true wireless earbuds. Their glossy white design has become a recognizable status symbol and they have introduced features like active noise cancellation (ANC), voice-assistant support with Siri, and Spatial Audio for an immersive sound experience.

If you're in the market for new wireless earbuds and considering either the Apple AirPods (3rd generation) or Apple's flagship AirPods Pro (2nd generation), you've likely noticed that all that technology and cachet comes at a premium price. The latest 3rd-gen AirPods cost $169, the most recent 2nd-gen AirPods Pro cost $249, and the 2nd-gen AirPods cost $129.

However, there are other wireless earbuds in the market that could be a better fit for you. Whether you're looking to explore beyond the Apple ecosystem or prefer certain features, we've listed the best AirPods alternatives that are similar in features and price or even cheaper.

Before we begin, let's clarify what makes an AirPods or AirPods Pro alternative since they are different earbuds. For AirPods alternatives, we'll suggest earbuds with a semi-open fit. For AirPods Pro, we'll show you earbuds with a similar fully sealed silicone fit. ANC and transparency modes are significant features between the AirPods Pro and the AirPods, which lack these quietening features. But remember that there are alternatives on the market in both styles that also have both features. With that in mind, read on for the best Apple AirPods and AirPods Pro alternatives.

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Marshall Minor III true wireless earbuds.
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Marshall Minor III

Best overall alternative to AirPods

Pros
  • Stylish pick
  • Excellent sound
  • Wireless charging
  • Wear sensors
  • IPX5 water resistance
Cons
  • No Siri or other voice assistants

Marshall combines its bold style with a true wireless earbud design that has a whole lot more in common with AirPods than you may think at first glance, including a semi-open design and highly portable charging case (with a better grip than the AirPods case has). Thanks to Marshall’s devotion to big sound, these earbuds also really deliver on audio quality — we think they sound better than the AirPods 2nd generation, and we bet you will, too.

The Marshall Minor IIIs have a bunch of other welcome features here, too, including IPX5 water resistance for outside use or for working out (IPX5 means that they're water-resistant, sweat proof, rainproof, and splash proof), wear sensors for automatic pausing, and a nice EQ that you can adjust to your liking with the Marshall Bluetooth app for iOS and Android devices. The price has come down on the Marshall Minor IIIs, and they are now cheaper than the 3rd-gen AirPods.

On the battery front, the Marshall Minor IIIs deliver 5 hours of listening time on a charge and 25 hours in total with the case that features wireless charging. A quick-charge feature also gives 1.5 hours of playtime with a 15-minute top-up.

Additionally, Marshall recently added a sweet new burgundy color to the Minor III's lineup.

Marshall Minor III
Marshall Minor III
Best overall alternative to AirPods
Woman wearing Oddict Twig earbuds.
Oddict

Oddict Twig

Best AirPods alternative with Siri

Pros
  • Style and sound at an affordable price
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Wireless charging
  • Siri and Google Assistant support
Cons
  • Battery life isn't great

The Oddict Twig earbuds are a fascinating combination of value for your money and an interesting aluminum design that can match the AirPods for style and even beat them, especially if you prefer darker tones compared to the blanched white of AirPods.

There’s also a lot going on inside these earbuds, and we like it: The 12mm carbon drivers produce excellent sound, there’s an EQ app for making adjustments, and the IPX4 weatherproofing means you don’t have to fear taking them along for workouts or in the rain. The Twig also has a number of premium features you rarely see at this low of a price, including great touch controls with not only Siri but also Google Assistant, plus quick charging to get your battery life back fast. There’s also built-in wireless charging in the storage case, which sports a fashion statement design of its own.

While the Twig earbuds may be pretty close to perfect at this price, they aren’t flawless. The design, particularly of the charging case, isn’t for everyone, and battery life isn’t that impressive at just three hours, despite the quick-charging options. Still, they tick so many boxes, we happily recommend them to anyone looking beyond AirPods — and you may want to take a look at the Pro version too. They're not much more expensive, have a five-hour battery, and support Qualcomm's aptX Adaptive audio codec for up to 24-bit-96kHz resolution music.

Oddict Twig
Oddict Twig
Best AirPods alternative with Siri
Amazon Echo Buds 2023 edition in their case.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

Amazon Echo Buds 2023

Best AirPods alternative from Amazon

Pros
  • Can't beat the price
  • Easy to set up
  • Decent sound
  • Integration with Alexa
Cons
  • Requires Alexa app to even connect

These earbuds from Amazon are a much cheaper alternative to the third-generation AirPods, costing only $50. Very durable at this price point, they are a good choice for kids looking for their first pair of wireless earbuds. Even if they get lost, replacing them won’t cause a lot of frustration between parents and children due to their affordable price.

The Amazon Echo Buds 2023 offer a 12mm driver on each side, providing a sound quality that we rate as “OK.” This means that while the sound won’t blow you away, it’s decent enough for casual listening. The sound is a little bass-heavy out of the box, which becomes more apparent as the volume rises. You can control the basic EQ via the Amazon Alexa app, but there are no presets presented here.

In terms of battery life, the included charging case can hold up to 15 hours of juice, with the buds themselves good for five hours of sound between charges. Fifteen minutes in the charging case adds two hours of entertainment to the buds. These times are good, but not extraordinary.

Whether these buds are purchased for a kiddo in your life or yourself, the user can expect a good listening experience with these earbuds. It’s worth the price of admission and even more so when Amazon runs a sale. But remember, there are better-designed AirPods alternatives on the market, but these will cost you more.

Amazon Echo Buds 2023
Amazon Echo Buds 2023
Best AirPods alternative from Amazon
A woman wearing a pair of the JBL Tune Flex earbuds in black.
JBL

JBL Tune Flex

Great AirPods alternative for bass

Pros
  • Excellent bass
  • EQ customization via app
  • Good battery life
  • Great price
Cons
  • Off the mark ANC
  • Sensitive touch controls
  • Creating a seal is sometimes off the mark

The JBL Tune Flex true wireless earbuds are priced under $100 and come with active noise cancellation (ANC) in three color choices: white, blue, and black. These earbuds are designed for all-day use, are water-resistant, and the charging case provides up to 32 hours of battery life.

In addition to ANC, the earbuds feature JBL Pure Bass Sound, making them perfect for anyone looking for deep low-end. They also have dual microphones for calling, as well as touch controls to manage music and calls while on the go.

To further enhance the listening experience, the official JBL Headphones App allows users to personalize their listening experience. The app will enable you to shift sound between ANC, JBL Ambient Aware that lets in sounds from the world around you, and TalkThru, which lowers the volume of the music and amplified speech when you need to have a conversation. The Tune Flex earbuds also include a "Check My Best Fit" tool that help you make sure you're using the right size eartips and that the earbuds are fitting right. You can even adjust the earbud controls using the app.

The JBL Tune Flex earbuds have received positive reviews due to their affordability, battery life, and features, such as ANC and JBL Pure Bass Sound. However, some online reviews note that the ANC could be more consistent, and creating a seal can be problematic. The touch controls have also received negative comments.

JBL Tune Flex
JBL Tune Flex
Great AirPods alternative for bass
Soundpeats Air3 Deluxe HS earbuds.
Soundpeats

Soundpeats Air3 Deluxe HS

Best AirPods alternative with hi-res audio

Pros
  • Excellent features for the price
  • Support LDAC hi-res audio codec
  • Excellent EQ features
Cons
  • Battery could be better
  • Glossy case is a fingerprint magnet

If you know that you're a fan of the semi-open design of earbuds that are similar to the AirPods, then you really should take a serious look at the Soundpeats Air3 Deluxe HS. For this price, the features, combined with the LDAC-support sound bump that you get, are hard to beat.

You don't usually see support for high-resolution audio in earbuds, period, let alone in a pair of buds that don't have tighter-fitting silicone eartips. But that doesn't mean that they can't sound great, and the Air3 Deluxe HS are proof of that. Because of their semi-open design, you don't get that immersive, inside-your-head depth of sound, but that open style makes for a big, open air-like sound that many people prefer, with just the right amount of outside sound coming in. And with LDAC support for hi-res streaming from services like Quobuz and Tidal, you'll also get more definition in the sound, especially in the mid and higher frequencies, for crisp detail. One thing to consider, though, is that although the Air3 Deluxe HS deliver five hours of listening time per charge (20 hours with the case), that gets reduced with LDAC on.

Semi-open earbuds can sometimes be lacking in bass, but the Air3 Deluxe HS make up for this deficit with a bunch of equalization presets and a 10-band graphic equalizer to not only add your desired bottom end, but also tweak to your heart's content.

And the features don't end there for your $50. You can use the Air3s one at a time with their single-bud mode, and their ear detection stops and starts the music when you put them in and take them out. Touch controls on the earbuds are easy to use and can be configured in the accompanying app, and there's even a gaming mode you can activate that delivers a latency of under 100 milliseconds.

While an IPX4 rating makes the Air3 Deluxe HS earbuds sweatproof and splashproof, the looser fit might not be ideal for rigorous workouts. But for the price, it's hard to beat these feature-rich AirPods alternatives.

SoundPEATS Wireless Earbuds Air3 Deluxe HS with Hi-Res Audio Certification and LDAC Codec, Bluetooth 5.2 Earphones with 4 Mics and ENC for Calls, 14.2mm Driver, 60ms Low Latency Game Mode
Soundpeats Air3 Deluxe HS
Best AirPods alternative with hi-res audio
Tronsmart Onyx Ace Pro True Wireless Earbuds.
Tronsmart

Tronsmart Onyx Ace Pro True Wireless Earbuds

Best budget AirPods alternative

Pros
  • Budget friendly
  • Up to 32 hours of listening time between charges
  • Better water resistance than AirPods
  • Gaming mode
Cons
  • Not many Amazon reviews

The Tronsmart Onyx Ace Pro True Earbuds, a slightly more affordable alternative to the Amazon Echo Buds 2023, stand out with their semi-open design reminiscent of AirPods. These sleek earbuds come with three different sizes of ear tips, ensuring a comfortable fit for most users.

You’ll find 13mm driver units that use Qualcomm aptX Adaptive decoding. This advanced technology ensures a high-quality audio experience by dynamically adjusting a digital file's bitrate to deliver the best possible performance. The expansive soundstage and permeating audio provided by this feature make these earbuds a good choice for music lovers and mobile gamers alike. They even come with four microphones for optimized sound quality during calls.

The Tronsmart Onyx Ace Pro True Earbuds offer over six hours of playback between charges. The charging case can store up to 20 hours; at this price point, those numbers are impressive and best the battery life Apple promises on the AirPods (3rd generation).

Additionally, these earbuds come with a compact charging case that is easy to carry and perfect for users on the move. The one-key recovery feature allows for quick troubleshooting of connectivity issues, eliminating the need for complex and time-consuming setups.

With IPX5 water resistance, the Onyx Ace Pro buds are ideal for working out at the gym or outside between the puddles. Finally, Bluetooth 5.2 support means you should keep a signal up to 10 meters away from the source with no problems.

Overall, these earbuds offer good performance and features at an affordable price.

Tronsmart Onyx Ace Pro True Wireless Earbuds, Advanced Qualcomm aptX Adaptive Decodec, Crystal Clear Call with cVc 8.0 Call Reduction, 27H Playtime, Low latency Gaming Mode, One-key Recovery Earphones
Tronsmart Onyx Ace Pro True Wireless Earbuds
Best budget AirPods alternative
bose quietcomfort ultra earbuds review 00007
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Bose QuietComfort Ultra

Best AirPods Pro alternative for ANC

Pros
  • Very comfortable
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Top-notch noise canceling
  • Hi-res and lossless audio
  • Excellent spatial audio
Cons
  • No wireless charging
  • No Bluetooth Multipoint
  • Outdoor call quality could be better

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds were launched just a year after the highly-rated Bose QuietComfort II, much to the surprise of many. It is unusual for companies to release an audio product so soon after its predecessor.

The new earbuds offer hi-res and lossless audio, spatial audio and have a few minor modifications. As a result, they are more comparable to the AirPods Pro (2nd generation).

Moreover, the QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds still possess the remarkable features that made the QCII stand out. These include excellent comfort, top-notch noise cancellation, and an easy-to-use companion app. However, battery life is still not impressive (24 hours with the charging box) and wireless charging requires an additional purchase. Additionally, there is no Bluetooth Multipoint for connecting to two Bluetooth devices at the same time, and the quality of outdoor calls could be better.

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds
Bose QuietComfort Ultra
Best AirPods Pro alternative for ANC
audio technica ath twx9 review 00022
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Audio-Technica ATH-TWX9

Like AirPods Pro, but with hi-fi sound

Pros
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Very comfy and secure fit
  • Effective noise cancellation
  • Keeps your voice clear (indoors)
  • Kills bacteria with UV light
Cons
  • Erratic multipoint behavior
  • Limited control customization
  • Shorter than average battery life

Audio-Technica is one of the world's leaders when it comes to high-fidelity sound in its headphones, speakers, turntables, and microphones, so it's not surprising that its latest wireless earbuds, the ATH-TWX9, are on offer for a premium price of $299 — $50 more than the AirPods Pro.

So should you fork over the extra dough? If sound quality is your top priority, and you don't want AirPods, then yes. DT's Simon Cohen breaks it down: "Punchy and resonant bass, detailed midtones, and crystal clear highs are all evident from the start. The soundstage is rendered with precision," he writes, adding praise for their handling of 360 Reality Audio and Dolby Atmos sound. The ATH-TWX9 also support up to 24-bit/96kHz hi-res audio with aptX Adaptive content on a compatible device, but iPhones don't support this, so you'll have to be an Android use to take advantage (many people won't notice the difference between aptX Adaptive and Apple's AAC on an iPhone though). An in-app customizable EQ further enhances the ATH-TWX9 experience to your liking.

Active noise cancellation is aces here too, with five different presets to choose from depending on your situation — including planes, trains, and automobiles. And like the Bose QC Earbuds II, the TWX9s also have a calibration tool that analyzes fit for an optimized ANC experience based on your surroundings.

In the spirit of offering an alternative to AirPods' white buds, the ATH-TWX9 look and feel nothing like AirPods, with a sleek textured matte finish that is just the right amount of grippy. They also fit well and are comfy enough to wear for long stretches at a time — which tops out at up to six hours per charge with ANC enabled and a total of 18 hours with the wireless charging case. That's a fair bit less than the AirPods Pro, so take that into account.

Audio-Technica ATH-TWX9
Audio-Technica ATH-TWX9
Like AirPods Pro, but with hi-fi sound
anker soundcore liberty 4 nc review 00020
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 NC

Another budget AirPods Pro buster

Pros
  • Thoughtful design
  • Great sound
  • Impressive noise-canceling
  • Very good call quality
  • Superb battery life
  • Bluetooth Multipoint
Cons
  • Mediocre transparency mode

If you’re looking for stylish earbuds with active noise cancellation, consider the Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 NC. Priced under $100, the earbuds are offered in a variety of colors such as black, white, clear white, navy blue, light blue, and pastel pink.

These earbuds feature adaptive ANC 2.0, designed to adjust to your ears and surroundings. According to Anker, the Liberty 4 NC’s noise isolation chamber can eliminate up to 98.5% of noise.

Inside the earbuds are 11mm custom-made drivers that provide hi-res wireless audio and LDAC technology. The latter, designed by Sony, promises great sound quality when streaming audio wirelessly over Bluetooth. In this case, Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity.

Our reviewer was impressed with the sound quality of the Liberty 4 NC. It provides a “robust and better-balanced sound signature,” especially in the midrange frequencies. Additionally, the bass response is “excellent” and “very clear and articulate mids and highs.” Good sound quality during calls should also be expected.

On a single charge, the Liberty 4 NC earbuds should last up to 10 hours. The charging case provides an additional 40 hours. Impressive.

Finally, we found the earbuds “incredibly comfortable” and, because of their “super secure” fit, ideal for runs or workouts. the IPX4 water-resistance rating means you can do those workouts outside with no worries.

Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 NC
Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 NC
Another budget AirPods Pro buster
sony wf 1000xm5 review 00037
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Sony WF-1000XM5

Best-sounding AirPods Pro alternative

Pros
  • Small and comfortable
  • Top-notch sound
  • Excellent noise canceling
  • Superb call quality
  • Bluetooth multipoint with LDAC
Cons
  • Fit isn't super secure

The Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds are one of the best pairs of earbuds you can buy, full stop, and are an improvement over their predecessor in terms of size and fit. Sony has managed to make them 25% smaller than the WF-1000XM4 while still retaining their impressive features.

The XM5s offer top-notch sound quality with support for Sony's lossless LDAC Bluetooth codec (Android devices only) and sound great when listening from lossless hi-res audio sources such as Tidal and Apple Music. The WF-1000XM5s also have excellent active noise canceling and call quality, as well as Bluetooth multipoint connectivity.

The touch controls on the WF-1000XM5 are also very accurate and easy to use, according to our reviewer. Battery life is similar to the previous model, with eight hours of playback with ANC and up to 12 hours without. The charging case provides up to 36 hours of total time between charges, which is impressive. One new feature is an improved quick-charge function.

Overall, the Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds are an excellent alternative to AirPods Pro and offer great value for their price.

Sony WF-1000XM5
Sony WF-1000XM5
Best-sounding AirPods Pro alternative
Woman wearing the Jabra Elite 8 Active earbuds in carmel.
Jabra

Jabra Elite 8 Active

Comfortable, workout AirPods Pro alternatives

Pros
  • IP68 water resistance
  • Reasonably priced
  • Multiple color choices
  • Excellent battery life
Cons
  • Limited sound stage

If you're in search of a pair of earbuds that are suitable for fitness and have a unique appearance, then the Jabra Elite 8 Active is an excellent option. These true wireless earbuds are particularly designed for fitness enthusiasts and active lifestyles and are available in various color choices. According to online reviews, they are highly durable, water-resistant, and fit snugly.

With an IP68 water resistance rating, these earbuds are superior to the 2nd generation AirPods Pro earbuds with their IP54 rating. The Jabra earbuds are rustproof and waterproof up to 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes, in addition to being drop-resistant and able to withstand salt water.

The Jabra Elite 8 Active earbuds also feature Jabra ShakeGrip technology, which helps keep them in place during a workout. They come with a variety of tips to ensure a perfect fit.

The included charging case provides up to 32 hours of battery life, while the earbuds themselves can hold eight hours of battery life on a single charge. Both numbers are better than those of the AirPods Pro. Other features include ANC, hear-through so you can hear the outside world while you're out on your jog, integration with Google Assistant and Siri, and more.

The one downside of these earbuds seems to be the sound stage that, as noted by some reviewers, is narrow and seems to come from inside your head instead of from the room. We have not yet reviewed the Jabra Elite 8 Active, but we will update this roundup when we have.

Jabra Elite 8 Active Earbuds
Jabra Elite 8 Active
Comfortable, workout AirPods Pro alternatives

Editors' Recommendations

Derek Malcolm
Derek Malcolm is a Toronto-based technology journalist, editor, and content specialist whose work has appeared in…
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