So you like the design of AirPods but, the price, not so much. So you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to AirPods. Not to worry there are plenty of great alternatives out there, and some of them are 4x cheaper than AirPods with about the same features and audio quality.
In this article, I’ll be exploring some of my favorite AirPod alternatives. You can also take a look at our article about AirPods and whether they are worth it.
I think AirPods are great but the price is a bit too high for most people, so a cheaper alternative is always appreciated, hence the point of this article.
Is There a Cheaper Alternative to AirPods?
Yes. Samsung Galaxy Buds are a cheaper alternative to AirPods and there are many other similar ones listed below. While they don’t have the exact same design, they work just as well, and you can pair them with iPhone and Apple products too.
I narrowed down the selection to three of my favorites, but you can always look at the full-list of best-sellers over on Amazon.
Best AirPod Alternatives:
1 – Samsung Galaxy Buds Live (Latest)
Budget range: under $200
Samsung Galaxy Buds look about the same as AirPods but they’re a bit bulkier and bean-shaped. Surprisingly they do rest comfortably in and securely in your ear, although if you do something particularly adventurous, they might fly off into oblivion.
Other Samsung Buds:
The audio is decent too. The Buds-live version uses an open-audio design, there’s no silicone that sticks in your ear, so the audio is more spatial. It still sounds great though, with enhanced bass via the AKG driver.
The original version was good for music but the voice call quality wasn’t great. This latest version seems to have improved the microphone quality a bit.
What’s great about these earbuds is they last for 22 hours or 11 hours of active music-listening time. You can also see the battery level on your phone. The battery life is much better than Apple’s AirPods 5 hours. And yes, you can use these with Apple products too.
Another feature worth mentioning is they have 2 outer mics and one inner, for active noise cancelling so calls are clearer, even when you’re on a busy street.
Easily control media with simple gestures:
- Tap for pause or play
- Double tap for the next song or hang up a call
- Triple tap to replay the previous song
- And touch and hold is a custom button you can set
Overall, very cool earbuds with lots of cool features. I like how Samsung provides you with more customization options at a much cheaper price than Apple products. These are my favorite AirPod alternatives. They are a little pricey but the quality and features make Samsung Buds worth it.
Did you know you can use wireless headphones with Chromecast?
And yes, you can use these with Samsung Dex too!
Budget range: under $50
Now with the major brands like Samsung and Apple out of the way, there are lots of even cheaper AirPods alternatives. The Tozo T6 earbuds are one worth talking about. These earbuds look quite similar to Samsung buds, and they work about the same, at 1/3rd of the price.
Before we continue, I would like to point out that these off-brand earbuds might not be compatible with every device. Worse scenario, if it doesn’t work on your phone, you can request a refund.
- Hi-Fi Stereo Sound
- Quick Pairing (open the box)
- Waterproof (IPX8)
- 6 hours or more of battery-time
- Silicon tip for a complete seal
- Built-in microphone for calls
- Supports wireless charging
Honestly, these earbuds have a lot of great features, and I feel like the price is a bit too low, it’s almost a steal. The downside seems to be in the microphone department, most reviewers mention the microphone quality is not good.
Well, what can you expect for the price? If you’re only interested in listening to music, these are definitely an option to consider.
Another option to consider is the Tozo T12 earbuds. These are from the same brand but they have a couple of new features, the most notable is a battery-level indicator for each bud on the case. Very convenient.
Budget range: under $50
These are another cheaper alternative to AirPods, from the Soundcore brand. With a slim build, these earbuds look very similar to AirPods. They’re very lightweight and can rest comfortably in your ear for a long time.
- IPX7 Waterproof
- Up to 7 Hrs. on a single charge
- Powered by BassUp tech for improved bass
- Quick pairing on case open
- 2 built-in microphones on each bud
- Ergonomic slim design with ear-tips for a comfortable fit
- Removable ear-tips
- CVC noise reduction
Overall, the Anker Soundcore Life P2 earbuds are pretty good. Once again, the microphone quality is not the best, but it’s good enough for basic phone-calls. When it comes to listening to music, these are definitely worth a look.
Once again, you can browse the list of best-selling headphones over here.
What to Consider When Buying Earbuds:
1 – Shape of Your Ear & Comfort
I don’t know about you, but my ears are pretty sensitive, and if I wear cheap headphones for too long my ears start to hurt.
Obviously, it’s not easy to know if a set of earbuds or AirPods will comfortably fit the shape of your ear without trying them on first.
Most of these devices are designed to fit a universal ear-shape, but that might not fit you. Ultimately what you might have to do is try a few until you find a set that suits you and doesn’t hurt after long periods of use.
I recommend going with something lightweight with silicon tips.
2 – Microphone Quality
Do you take a lot of calls on the go? When you’re working or driving? If so, I would recommend picking a wireless headset that has a good microphone.
Naturally, even the most expensive AirPods don’t have super-amazing microphones, and the reason for that is microphones are just too small.
On the flip side, you could also save money by purchasing a pair of wireless headphones that do not have a built-in microphone. Those will likely be a lot cheaper, and great for people that listen to music but don’t talk on the phone much.
There’s also the wired variation with microphones, those are much cheaper.
3 – Budget
As we know, AirPods are the most expensive, followed closely by Samsung’s Earbuds, and then all the off-brand products come in, and there are thousands of those. In most cases, the pricier products have better build quality and internal components.
4 – Music or Calls?
I think most people these days don’t call that much, unless it’s for business purposes. Regardless, it’s important to consider the reason you need wireless headphones.
If you’re looking for something that’s good for music, I suggest looking for earbuds that have silicon tips and seal to your ear. The reason for that is they block your ear canal, like noise-canceling headphones, and you can hear the music much clearer.
It might take a couple of tries to find a pair that suits you. AirPods are generally quite comfortable but if you don’t have the budget you might have to try a couple of off-brand products. Most are comfortable enough.
But when you think about it, I doubt the average person can tell the difference in sound quality between a $200+ AirPods and a $50 off-brand earbud. There so many cheaper alternatives to AirPods, it really boils down to what you want.
After all, the sound is being transferred via Bluetooth, which isn’t that capable of very high-quality sound in the first place. So that’s something to think about.
Do you want something to use for music and the occasional call or do you want the absolute best of the best? It’s up to you.
I would lean more towards trying the off-brand products, at least to see if the in-ear headphones are worth trying out. I’m not big on brands or fashion, so that’s just me.
What’s your opinion? Leave a comment below!