Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast who always gets tangled in cords while doing reps or a commuter desperately in need of low-key headphones to wear on the subway, wireless earbuds can be a true life-saver. Many people automatically think of Apple’s AirPods, but despite their popularity, they’re not the only option you can buy — or the best, depending on what you prioritize in earbuds. There are several wireless earbuds other than AirPods worth checking out that are similar in both price and capabilities (high sound quality, a reliable Bluetooth connection, a fit to prevent them from moving while you move, etc) but offer other features that might catch your eye.
Sure, AirPods are everywhere, but before you pick up a pair, do your research on other options to see which model is actually most suitable for your needs.
Notably shaped like Apple’s AirPods, these earbuds are sweat, splash, and weather-resistant for folks looking to wear them on the go. They offer five hours of listening time per charge that can extend up to 20 hours if you use the charging case to replenish their energy, and the ear tips fit most ears securely.
Tech Radar praises the RHA TrueConnect earbuds for their overall high quality, despite the lack of environmental sound control features compared to those of earbuds like the Jabra Elite 65T (more on these below). The impressive sound, reliable Bluetooth connection, and reasonable price compared to similar earbuds put this brand high on TechRadar’s list of recommendations.
The Jabra Elite 65T comes in as one of the top true wireless earbuds currently on the market due to their comfort, high sound quality, and adjustable sound features. These earbuds hold a single, five-hour charge but can last up to 15 hours total if you use the charging case. The Jabra Elite also allows users to choose exactly how much environmental sound they want to hear, giving you the option to remain aware of your surroundings while listening to your music.
T3, a consumer lifestyle website, says the Jabra Elite 65T are great for playing “workout music,” i.e. songs with hard basslines or heart-pumping tempos. The earbuds’ supremely snug fit also makes them a solid pick to use during exercise.
Sennheiser’s sleek, wireless earbuds are lightweight and splash resistant for optimal use while out and about. These earbuds only last four hours on a single charge, but using the charging case will bring the total up to 12 hours. The sound quality remains top-notch despite the comparatively short battery life, though, and your music will remain relatively unchanged and well-balanced in tone.
New York’s The Strategist stated that the MOMENTUM True Wireless made the reviewer feel like she was enveloped by sound. Wrote Maxine Builder, “I wait on the platform, and the music — or podcast, or even conference call — that I’m listening to shines above, floating from treble to bass and back without any issues.”
Unfortunately, the earbuds’ modern capabilities and design come at a high price. Reviewers and audiophiles recommend them for individuals who value truly premium audio quality above all else.
Bose shook off the white, black, or silver look of many earbuds with this pair, reminiscent of sporty, brightly colored running shoes. These sweat-resistant earbuds are a great choice for athletes, featuring a stable Bluetooth connection and a comfortable fit. CNET also complimented their excellent sound (particularly in handling bass) in comparison to AirPods, also noting how they don’t need to be crammed into your ears to stay in place. They last five hours on a single charge and up to 15 hours total when using the charge case.
A premium choice at a premium price, the Beoplay E8 model has impressive touch controls and a subdued design. A single charge can last four hours; the wireless charging case can increase the listening time to 16 hours in just two hours’ charge time. The earbuds can also be re-energized on a charging pad.
However, this pair is meant for luxury, not athleticism, as they lack sweat or splash-resistance. While the Master Switch, an audio enthusiast website, does not recommend these earbuds for use during heavy exercise, it considers the Beoplay a worthy choice overall for superior sound quality.
For audiophiles who are looking for more than what AirPods offer or are simply interested in seeing what else is out there, these wireless earbuds are all worth investigating.