The new Beats Powerbeats Pro fully wireless earbuds are already extremely popular. With their stellar battery life, secure and comfortable fit, and bold, vibrant sound, there’s a lot to admire about these headphones, even if we did experience some less-than-ideal connectivity issues. But aside from that, it’s hard to ignore another big downside to the Powerbeats Pro: The price. At $250, they’re some of the most expensive wireless buds on the market, putting them out of reach for many folks looking to wirelessly rock their workouts.
Fear not, friends. One of the benefits of getting to try the latest wireless earbuds from major brands is that we know a good deal when we see one. With that in mind, here’s our roundup of five fantastic alternatives to the Powerbeats Pro that will keep your heart beating to the music and keep your next credit card bill from causing cardiac arrest.
At a glance
|Jabra Elite Active 65t||Best overall||4.5 out of 5|
|1More Stylish||Best value||4.5 out of 5|
|Anker Soundbuds Sport||Best cheap workout earbuds||Not yet rated|
|JBL/Under Armour True Wireless Flash||Best bass||3.5 out of 5|
|Amazon Echo Buds||Best for Android||4.5 out of 5|
Before the Powerbeats Pro had even experienced its first leak, we had already crowned Jabra’s Elite Active 65t the best true wireless earbuds for running, and now that the Powerbeats Pro is here, that opinion hasn’t changed. Why? When you combine the Elite Active’s IP56 sweatproof rating, superb comfort, highly customizable sound, workout tracking options, and its ample 5-hour battery life (15 hours when extended via the charging case) you’ve got a winning formula on your hands.
With the exception of battery life, the Elite Active is more than a match for the Powerbeats Pro, but the clincher is the price. At less than $200, these truly wireless earbuds should be on everyone’s wish list, even if your idea of a workout is a morning walk to Starbucks.
The best value
The advantages of going completely wire-free with your earbuds are obvious, especially if you like being active. But one big disadvantage so far has been the price of these devices. Cheap models on Amazon are just that: Cheap. Which is why we’re so bullish on 1More’s Stylish earbuds.
They bring great comfort, an impressive 6.5-hour battery life, and better sound than Apple’s AirPods, and they do it without going over the $100 mark. At that price, you wouldn’t expect the 1More Stylish to be especially well-suited to working out, and yet they’re even sweatproof. If we’ve got one complaint, it’s the lack of external volume controls, but if you’re looking for buds-on-a-budget, we don’t think it’s a deal-breaker.
Anker Soundbuds Sport
The best cheap workout earbuds
If you’re willing to give up the absence of any wires whatsoever, we have a helluva deal for you. The Anker Soundbuds Sport might have a small wire connecting its two earbuds, but its other features more than make up for that small inconvenience. The three included ear tips should provide a perfect fit for most people, and with an 8-hour battery life, it’s unlikely your workout or run will outlast these buds’ ability to keep the tunes going.
They’re sweatproof and even feature noise-cancellation technology. Now for the best part: They’re only about $30. You may find better sound quality in a set of workout headphones, but you won’t find it for less money than the Anker Soundbuds Sport.
JBL/Under Armour True Wireless Flash
The best bass
We can say a lot of great things about the JBL/Under Armour True Wireless Flash. They’re really comfortable — possibly even more comfortable than the Jabra Elite Active 65t — which matters a lot when wearing earbuds for extended periods. Battery life is very good at 5 hours per charge, and a total of 25 hours of play time when you count the reserves in the charging case. We’re also fans of the noise isolation and workout tracking features.
But the thing that separates these truly wireless earbuds from the rest of the pack, is sound quality. The True Wireless Flash has much better bass response than many of the other models we’ve compared it to, something which we think is helped a great deal by the superb noise isolation afforded by the ear tips. Oh, did we mention they’re the only completely waterproof earbuds in our roundup?
Amazon Echo Buds
The best for Android
The Powerbeats Pro work well enough with Android phones, but to get the most out of them, you really need an iPhone. Amazon’s Echo Buds, by contrast, are just as happy on Android as they are on iOS, making them an ideal workout partner no matter which platform you prefer. They’re compact, fit snugly (especially when using the optional wingtips), and they can handle your sweatiest workouts thanks to IPX4 protection. However, it’s the Echo Buds many other features that help them rise above the competition as a true alternative to the Powerbeats Pro.
With Active Noise Reduction from Bose that can be quickly disabled using a pass-through mode, you can block out unwanted sounds when concentrating or let them in for conversations. Their hands-free access to Alexa means most actions can be performed simply by speaking instead of tapping on the buds. And while their sound quality isn’t quite a match for the Beats, the Echo Buds sound way better than Apple’s AirPods — and cheaper too — making them one of the best values in a true wireless earbud at the moment. With five hours per charge and a total of 20 hours when you include the charging case, these buds should be able to keep up with even the busiest of lifestyles.
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