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  • Marianne Zara

6 Best AirPod Alternatives of 2023

Updated: Nov 10, 2022

Sony WF-1000XM3 charging case and air buds side by side with an Android smartphone

Airpods have arguably been Apple's best innovation since the iPhone, having dominated the wireless headphones market since their release. However, its market share has fallen to 29%, the lowest since its release, when it initially had a 40% market share. Nonetheless, 29% is way ahead of its competitors - Xiaomi, in second place, with 10% market share, and Samsung, in third, with 5% market share. Still, this proves that the market has opened up to different AirPod alternatives.

The AirPods and the AirPods Pro work best for iPhone users because of the ease of connectivity. But they also stand out for their amazing sound quality, noise-canceling feature, and comfortable fit. Even so, not everyone can just hand over $159 for an AirPods or $249 for an AirPods Pro. Luckily, there are plenty of other wireless Bluetooth headphones on the market that function as Airpod alternatives for those who don't want to push the boat out for the premium product.

What Are the 6 Best AirPod Alternatives of 2022

From a cheaper alternative to a more comfortable alternative to a more sophisticated look or a longer battery life, different brands have innovated wireless earbuds that could compete with the AirPods. We’ve compared the best AirPod alternatives and came up with our best six. Here are our 6 best AirPod alternatives of 2022 in no particular order:

1. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are one of the more expensive AirPod alternatives. Retailing at $279.95. The $30 difference could be seen in its ANC (active noise cancellation) which Bose takes the top pick.

When it comes to batteries of the buds alone, AirPods offer 5 hours while QuietComfort offers 6 hours. However, the AirPods lasts up to 24 hours of batteries with its charging case while the QuietComfort lasts up to 18 hours. Rated as IPX4, it means they can withstand splashes of water, some rain, and sweat, very much like your high-end AirPods.

The QuietComfort’s design is a lot bulkier weighing 8.5g each bud compared to AirPods’ 5.4g each. The matte color gives a more sophisticated look than your typical glossy white coming from Apple.

This product has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon and costs between $250 to $285.

2. Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2

If you are looking for AirPod alternatives that give outstanding audio quality and noise-canceling features, the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 might be the one you are looking for. Like high-end brands, it also has a transparency feature where you could stop the noise-canceling feature and listen to your surroundings.

The Sennheiser Momentum 2 connects easily to your paired device upon removal from the case and disconnects when placed back inside the case - much like your AirPods. It also has voice assistant support and an IPX4 rating like the AirPods. An IPX4 rating means it can withstand splashes of water, some rain, and sweat.

One additional feature is its in-app EQ where you could change frequencies such as the bass and mix it up according to your liking. Its Bluetooth version is 5.1 compared to AirPods Pro’s 5.0. However, its battery life is 2 hours less than the AirPods Pro.

The Momentum 2 also boasts its luxurious look available in black or white accented with metal plates on the back and a matte finish, which fashion fads look. Not one of the cheap AirPod alternatives, it retails at $299.95 but is on sale for $249.95 on Sennheiser.

It has a 4.3-star rating on Amazon and ranges from $240 to $250.

3. Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones

The Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Earbuds offer one of the best noise-canceling features everyone is looking for. Many would also argue that Sony’s design is better than Sennheiser’s, having one in black or champagne silver, and being less bulky with its minimalist design.

The Sony Wireless Earbuds' battery life is another positive, it can go for 6 hours on one charge, even with the noise suppression activated. Moreover, the range of sound of the WF-1000XM3 is wide enough that your podcasts sound smooth, you can stagger with rock music and there’s bass too. Lastly, it has Alexa, your voice assistant.

It retails at $179.99 at Sony. It has a 4.2-star rating on Amazon and sells from $190 to $230.

4. Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro

The Liberty Air 2 is your go-to earbuds if you’re a bass lover. A bass-forward earphone that boosts bass by 45% and has a 30% wider frequency bandwidth than most drivers. It has an IPX4 rating like the AirPods, Sennheiser’s Momentum, and the WF-1000XM3.

Its noise-canceling feature is also outstanding. However, due to an average fit, you may need to twist and adjust which may cause a little bit of interference in your noise-canceling feature during the time being. Otherwise, it’s great and advanced for its price.

Its wide range of colors - Onyx Black, Titanium White, Sapphire Blue, Crystal Blue, and MusicCares Red, makes the Liberty Air 2 enough for anyone. One of the cheap AirPod alternatives, the Liberty Air 2 retails at $129.99 at Soundcore. It has a 4.3-star rating on Amazon.

5. Cambridge Melomania 1

One of the best AirPod alternatives is the Cambridge Melomania 1, which retails for $99.95. It has a long battery life - its charging case carries up to 36 hours of battery life. The buds alone last for up to 9 hours.

Its' sound quality is exquisite, having a deep bass and a clear treble. Despite being a lightweight earbud (each bud weighing 4.6g), it delivers an amazing quality sound that could almost compare with high-end earbuds. Moreover, it has an IPX5 rating which considers all that’s in IPX4 plus a sustained, low-pressure water jet spray. It’s waterproof!

Its con, comparatively, is its lack of ANC. However, they offer good noise isolation given their price.

It garnered a 4.1-star rating on Amazon and costs between $95 and $105.

6. AirBuds Pro / Air Pro 3

The AirBuds Pro, commonly known as Air Pro 3 is the cheapest alternative to AirPods. For only $32 on Vova and $49.99 on KwikShop, you get an AirBud with a stable Bluetooth connection having version 5.0 similar to your AirPods.

It pairs like the AirPods with its Fast-Pair technology. Simply press the function button and wait for the pop-up window (for iPhones), or simply connect to Air Pro 3 TWS (for Android). Upon pairing, connecting is so easy with its smart sensor and in-ear detection. Simply, wear them and your music will play; reversely, remove it and your music will pause.

Furthermore, it has touch control panels to answer or reject calls, and activate your voice assistant. You may also use a single AirBud Pro or both - just like the AirPods. Lastly, you may take it to your workout or running session since it’s sweatproof, dustproof, and waterproof.

The only thing missing is the ANC but it already has a good noise isolation feature. More so, it brings good value for its price.

The Verdict

The Apple AirPods (especially the AirPods Pro) is definitely the market leader, especially for iOS devices. Its sound quality and ANC are outstanding. However, for some, the frequency range isn’t enough, the iconic and sleek design has gotten boring, and the battery life just isn't enough. However, it still works best with iOS devices.

Other AirPod alternatives have innovated what’s lacking from the AirPods. Probably the closest when it comes to sound quality is the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds which won many hearts for their sound quality and ANC alone.

We also have AirPod alternatives that either focus on the frequencies (such as the Liberty Air 2) or the battery life (Cambridge Melomania 1). Or the Air Pro 3, the lowest cost of them all, yet provides decent enough features. These cheap options may lack the high-end brands’ ANC feature or the wide range of frequencies but all together they give you good value for money.

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