Apple shook things up when it announced that newer iPhones would no longer sport the 3.5mm headphone jack – a design decision that still remains controversial – but the Cupertino, California-based company’s reasoning is sound (if not a few years ahead of the curve). Wireless is the way forward, and more and more people are trading their wired earbuds for ones that ditch tangle-prone cables.
The popular Apple AirPods – while still perhaps the best pick for iOS users – aren’t the only game in town, though: Plenty of other tech makers are offering their own great (and truly wireless) earbuds for Android, iOS, and Windows devices. If you’re looking to buy a pair of high-end wireless headphones, then we’ve rounded up five of the best AirPod alternatives on the market today, including some of our favorites.
Another one of our favorites (and a cheaper AirPods alternative than the pricey MW07) are the Jabra Elite Active 65t in-ear headphones, which we named the best true wireless earbuds in our review roundup.
The Elite Active 65t also scored an impressive 9 out of 10 in our hands-on review, thanks to their excellent sound quality, good noise isolation, generous battery life, and IP56 water-resistance rating. The tight-fitting and sweat-proof form factor also makes these one of the best fitness-friendly Apple AirPods alternatives for users with an active lifestyle.
The Jabra Elite Active 65t also offer hands-free calling and easy voice controls via Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. You can grab a pair (with a charging case included) for less than $200 from Amazon.
Sometimes you want to put on some music to drown out the world around you, but other times, you want to jam out while still remaining aware of your surroundings – such as when biking or jogging down the street, for example.
The Nuheara IQbuds, which also scored a 9/10 in our hands-on review, offer a unique approach to this, letting you enjoy your entertainment while also piping in ambient sounds when you want them to. The IQbuds are especially good at enhancing hard-to-hear speech via an impressive and intuitive app.
Of course, the Nuheara IQbuds also function perfectly well as regular old wireless earbuds in their own right, but if you want a pair of Apple AirPods alternatives that can also enhance speech and ambient sounds, then you can grab a pair of these from Amazon for around $200.
Another AirPods alternative from Jabra is the Elite Sport. These true wireless earbuds are even more fitness-focused than the Active 65t (and certainly more so than the AirPods): Along with being entirely sweat-proof and waterproof at shallow depths for up to 30 minutes, the Elite Sport in-ear headphones boast a heart rate monitor and can track your activities via the Jabra Sport Life app.
In contrast to the “one size fits all” AirPods, the Jabra Elite Sport earbuds also come with several different pairs of eartips and hooks so you can dial in the perfect fit – a must-have for keeping fitness headphones in your ears during rigorous activities. The internal battery offers four and a half hours of music, activity tracking, and talking time, with the included charging case adding an extra nine hours on top of that.
The Jabra Elite Sport in-ear headphones are slightly cheaper than the other Apple AirPods alternatives on our list, coming right around the same price as AirPods on Amazon.
Kicking off our roundup is not only the best-looking Apple AirPods alternative, but what could also be the best-sounding true wireless earbuds overall: the gorgeous Master & Dynamic MW07. Our review team ranked the MW07 among the best true wireless in-ear headphones due to their sleek aesthetics, intuitive controls, and superior detail when stacked against the AirPods, which offer merely average sound quality in comparison.
Like the Siri connectivity of the Apple AirPods, the MW07 features a built-in mic that allows you to interact with your connected smartphone via voice commands. The Master & Dynamic Bluetooth headphones are also compatible with both Siri and Google Voice, making them a great option for both Apple and Android users.
The steel-and-tortoiseshell Master & Dynamic MW07 true wireless earbuds are pretty expensive, but if you’re looking for the best-sounding and most attractive Apple AirPods alternative out there, this is the one.
Sennheiser is a brand that needs little introduction, so it should come as no surprise that this maker also offers one of the best-made and best-sounding pairs of Apple AirPod alternatives that money can buy. The Momentum delivers more than just the superb sound you’d expect from Sennheiser, however.
These true wireless earbuds come loaded with modern features like Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, Smart Pause (which detects when the headphones are in your ear and automatically pauses and resumes music playback), and a transparent mode that lets in ambient sounds such as speech so you can remain aware of your surroundings and even carry on conversations without having to remove them or turn them off.
The Sennheiser Momentum true wireless earbuds deliver build and sound quality that are on par with the Master & Dynamic MW07, and a similar price tag to match, coming at $300 from Amazon and Best Buy. For audiophiles looking for the best-sounding Apple AirPods alternative, though, they’re worth every penny.
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