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8 AirPod Alternatives to Consider

8 AirPod Alternatives to Consider

It’s been roughly one year since Apple released their highly anticipated AirPod earbuds, with their instant connectivity and quick-charge dock and “superior sound,” and, regardless of how you feel about the way they look, they are selling like hotcakes. If you want a pair of earbuds you can actually get your hands on, or you just don’t want little white sticks protruding from your ears, you’re in luck. Here are some Apple AirPod alternatives that live up to the hype.

Bose SoundSport Free Wireless Headphones

You’ve witnessed the power of Bose’s QuietComfort series headphones, and you already know about the legendary home theater systems. But now, the team from Bose brings you their completely wireless, Bluetooth capable, pavement pounding earbuds, the Bose SoundSport Free. As the company’s first truly wireless earbud setup, you’d think they’d have some kinks to work out. But these? Nope. Bose’s sound geniuses de- and re-constructed every detail of these earbuds to get the best design possible, doing everything from tuning individual circuits for improved sound, to tweaking the Bluetooth antenna position for maximum signal strength. They’re lightweight, high quality, and produce the same signature Bose sound that made their predecessors famous—only, in a package the size of two quarters. $250

Samsung Gear IconX

The Gear IconX is Samsung’s popular wireless Bluetooth earbuds—and when we say “popular,” we mean it. Critics and consumers alike note the comfortable fit and feathery weight of the Gear IconX, and its design is unobtrusive and sleek. Best of all, the Gear IconX doesn’t just stream music via Bluetooth, it actually stores it, too. The headphones come with 4GB of built-in storage, which means no matter where you are or how good (or bad) your signal, you’ll never be without your favorite tunes. $150

Sony WF-1000X Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones

Our award for most beautifully designed wireless earbuds goes to the team from Sony for their work on the WF-1000X. Seriously, these things look smart, tiny, and comfortable. What also makes the WF-1000X’s stand out from the competition is that they’re noise-cancelling, which means you get all the comfort and freedom of wireless earbuds without any outside distractions. There’s even an Ambient Voice Mode that allows you to hear only someone’s voice, while still shutting out background noise. They’re brilliant, and for $178, they won’t burn a hole in your pocket. $178

Jabra Elite Sport Wireless Earbuds

When we first heard about Jabra a few years back, they were a little-known headphone brand with some really beautiful designs and some great ideas. Safe to say, they’re no longer the new kids on the block. They recently launched the Jabra Elite Sport Wireless Earbuds, a truly wireless in-ear headphone much more than just a wireless earbud. The Elite Sports are IP67 rated waterproof, offer personalized sound EQ, and feature a step counter, a heart rate monitor, a rep counter, recovery advisor, and even a race time predictor. We can’t decide whether they’re true blue fitness earbuds, or fitness tools that just so happen to play music from time to time. $150

FOCUSPOWER F10 Mini Bluetooth Earbuds

If you’re looking to mix quality and affordability (two terms we admittedly don’t often see in the headphone business), look no further than the FOCUSPOWER F10 Mini Bluetooth Earbuds. Have you ever heard of them? No, and that’s okay. The reviews speak for themselves. Currently an Amazon #1 Best Seller with a 4.5-star rating (out of more than 3,800 reviews!), the FOCUSPOWER F10’s have been thoroughly vetted for excellence. They’re comfortable and discrete, they hold a six-hour charge, and they feature a magnetic inductive charger, which means never messing around with sloppy, cumbersome wires and chords. They’re a safe bet if you’re in the business of cheap and easy. $26


One of our favorite wireless Bluetooth setups out there, Skybuds have made a name for themselves because of their affordable price tag and awesome sound quality. They’re compact and comfortable, feature a beautiful and intuitive smartphone app, and come with a sharp-looking carrying-case-slash-charging-dock. They get positive marks for their excellent sound quality, as well as their sweat-proof and water-resistant design. All said, you can’t really lose. $100

Shure SE215

From Shure, one of the most well respected and highest selling audio products companies in the entire world, comes the SE215s. The SE215s feature Shure’s Sound Isolating technology, coupled with a Bluetooth-enabled communication cable to help provide the richest, highest sound quality possible. It’s simple, dependable, and exceptionally well rounded. $150

B&O Beoplay E8

While the Beoplay E8 earbuds are more expensive than the Bose SoundSport Free, you’re getting unrivaled sound and build quality. Constructed from lightweight polymer and aluminum, they’re incredibly lightweight (something like a quarter-ounce each), and come with both silicon tips and Comply foam tips to help create a perfect fit for any size ear.  The only downside to these headphones that we can think of is that they aren’t water-resistant or sweat proof. They won’t make it through the gym with you, but if you’re a commuter or traveler looking for some quietude and relaxation, these might actually be the best on the market. $299