AirPod Alternatives: The Best True Wireless Earbuds for 2022

AirPod alternatives
AirPod alternatives

With AirPods, Apple sparked a trend, and today entirely wire-free headphones are everywhere. Here’s everything you need to know about them, including our picks for the finest true wireless earbuds.

We understand if the term “true wireless” sounds like sales jargon to you. Whether they’re referred to as “truly wireless,” “cable-free,” or “wire-free,” the main difference between these and traditional earphones is the absence of a cord connecting the earpieces.

You can skip forward to our list of the best wireless headphones if you just want a set of Bluetooth earphones for workout and don’t mind a cable connecting the earpieces behind your neck. Going entirely wire-free, on the other hand, is a freeing experience. With that in mind, let’s go over some of the most important factors to consider while searching for genuine wireless headphones.

Controls for the ears

If there’s one complexity that many models have in terms of functioning, it’s how easy it is to mistakenly pause music, skip a track, or summon a voice assistant when all you meant to do was remove an earpiece or adjust it slightly. Because most of the earpieces we’ve tested don’t have a lot of space, the controls take up a lot of the outer panel space.

When it comes to Bluetooth pairing, the AirPods (assuming you have an iOS device) are the easiest to use, as Apple’s H1 (or older W1) headphone chip practically does all the work for you the moment you switch them on. Other Bluetooth pairs are still quite straightforward to connect via the Bluetooth settings menu on your phone.

Life of a True Wireless Battery

The genuine wireless category’s Achilles’ heel is battery life. The average predicted battery life (bearing in mind that results will vary depending on volume settings) is roughly six hours. When you need to power two earpieces individually, it quickly drains a battery.

A charging case is an essential solution that (almost) all of these designs have in common. When not in use, each case covers and charges the earpieces at the same time. Most cases have at least two additional full charges, allowing you to recharge your earbuds while on the go. It’s not impossible that this flaw in the actual wireless domain may improve to the point where it’s no longer a problem.

What Happens If I Misplace an Earpiece?

Many potential genuine wireless users are understandably concerned about this. Allow us to assuage your fears: after over a year of testing, we can say that losing one earpiece requires a lot of effort. To begin with, almost every pair we’ve tried provides a very secure in-ear fit without sacrificing comfort. The majority of the earpieces are larger than standard in-ears while still remaining lightweight, reducing the chances of losing one while exercising (or at any other time).

Designs That Encourage Physical Activity

Despite the fact that each earpiece has an exposed charging contact on the inside, many of these wire-free devices may be used at the gym and even get wet. Check the IP rating of these earbuds; some workout-friendly earphones are just IPX4-rated, which means they can withstand sweat but are difficult to clean. Others are IPX7-rated, meaning they may be cleaned and dipped in water.

App-Enabled Earphones

To control various parameters and the setup process, many of the models we’ve examined employ apps created by the manufacturer. Some let you to regulate playback, set auto-off timers, and deactivate speech prompts. Others provide user-adjustable EQ and/or changeable ambient-listening settings (for listening to the sounds around you).

Cancellation of Noise

Active noise cancellation (ANC) has swiftly gained popularity and become more cheap in true wireless headphones. The greatest noise cancelling headphones are more expensive, but still quite inexpensive when compared to top-tier ANC over-ear headphones. The top versions we’ve tested, from Apple, Bose, and Sony, are now in the $250 to $300 price bracket, but there are some excellent pairs available for under $150.

What Should You Expect to Pay for True Wireless Earbuds?

True wireless headphones have mostly replaced tethered wireless earphones, and you can now get a solid pair for $50 or less, while the performance of our higher-priced recommendations will obviously increase dramatically. For the most accurate audio or most effective active noise cancellation, the top models can cost up to $200 or even $300. (ANC).

Sony WF-1000XM4

The Sony WF-1000XM4 true wireless earphones combine superb audio quality with class-leading active noise suppression.

Soundcore Life P3 by Anker

For much under $100, Anker’s truly wireless Soundcore Life P3 earphones provide tremendous audio performance and surprisingly good active noise cancellation.

Apple AirPods Pro

Apple’s true wireless AirPods Pro headphones are significantly superior than the regular model, with robust noise cancellation, excellent music performance, and a far better in-ear fit that warrants the higher price.

Earbuds by Bose QuietComfort

The true wireless Bose QuietComfort Earbuds deliver excellent audio quality and the most effective noise cancelling we’ve seen in this category.

Elite 7 Pro by Jabra

The Jabra Elite 7 Pro true wireless earphones include excellent active noise cancellation and a top-notch microphone in a waterproof design.

Aonic 215 Shure (Gen 2)

Shure’s Aonic 215 true wireless earbuds improve on the original with a water-resistant design, improved on-ear controls, and the greatest user-adjustable EQ we’ve seen.

Tribit FlyBuds 3

It’s hard to imagine that the $35 Tribit FlyBuds 3 are good-sounding waterproof true wireless in-ears with a strong charging case.

Elite 4 Active by Jabra

The Elite 4 Active true wireless headphones from Jabra provide good sound quality and noise reduction in a workout-friendly style at a reasonable price.


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