Apple is the runaway leader in the battle for the wireless earbud throne. Its AirPods are the most popular wireless earbuds on the planet and have been for some time; as of Q4 of 2018, Apple held a 60-percent market share of all wireless earbuds. And now, with the advent of its new noise-canceling AirPods Pro, that position is likely to improve. Still, that doesn’t change the fact that AirPods, Pro or otherwise, aren’t for everybody. They don’t fit a lot of people’s ears, and if you own an Android smartphone, well, AirPods probably don’t make sense for you.
Fortunately for those looking for an alternative set of wireless earbuds, there are plenty of good options out there. They’re not all great (check out our knockoff AirPod review, here) but some of them are downright impressive. These are five of our favorites.
For Runners: The Vistas are tiny wireless earbuds, but don’t be fooled – they’re super tough. Jaybird designed them for some of the most extreme athletes in the world: ultra runners, mountaineers, cyclists, extreme skiiers and all-around adventurers. They’re fully waterproof and sweatproof, and their charging case is slim and lightweight enough to carry on your person at all times.
Cambridge Audio Melomania 1
Budget Pick: Sure, you can find cheaper wireless earbuds than the Melomania 1, which are Cambridge Audio’s first-ever pair of wireless earbuds, but we can guarantee they won’t sound as good. With almost twice the battery life of Apple AirPods, and a price of just $130, these are arguably the best bargain in all of wireless earbuds.
Noise Cancellation: The Sony WF-1000XM3 are the best noise-canceling earbuds that you buy. They bring over a lot of the noise-canceling and sound qualities from Sony’s much-acclaimed WH-1000XM3 headphones, and they’re just all-around great wireless earbuds. It’s going to be interesting to see how Bose’s upcoming wireless earbuds, the Noise Cancelling Earbuds 700, which are expected to be released sometime in 2020, stack up. But for right now, these are the ANC wireless earbuds to beat.
Jabra Elite 75t
One for the Future: Up to this point, the Jabra Elite 65t earbuds have probably been the best alternative to AirPods, however, the company has recently released upgraded models, the Jabra Elite 75t, which promise to be even better. They’re smaller and more comfortable, with even better battery life, and now they charge via USB-C. They’re available for pre-order right now and will ship in a few weeks.
Master & Dynamic MW07 Go
The New Look: The original MW07 earbuds are still some of our favorite wireless earbuds; they’re beautiful, comfortable and sound fantastic. These new models are very similar in style and design, but they have a couple big differences – they’re smaller, lighter, more water-resistant (IPX6) and $100 more affordable.