Purchasing a new pair of earphones can be quite a long winded and time consuming process especially when most of them have very similar features. If you are an Apple user, then of course there’s no doubt that the AirPods are the easiest option and great for phone calls, listening to music or streaming a movie. However, there are a handful of great alternatives that offer the same features and oftentimes at a fraction of the price which is great for those who are not a fan of the price of the AirPods. Depending on what you are looking for in a pair of wireless earphones, it may be worth to shop around, so read on!
In This Article
Features To Look Out For When Buying Wireless Earphones
Find out what features your next pair of wireless earphones should have.
The Best Apple AirPods Pro Alternatives
Discover which wireless earphones are just as good as the AirPods Pro.
Are Knock Off AirPods Worth It
To buy or not to buy - find out whether knock-off AirPods are worth the money.
So, which wireless earphones fare against the Apple AirPods Pro? There are a handful of wireless earphones that are on the market right now and the features and comfortability are just as good as the Apple AirPod Pro’s. But the question is, what makes a pair of wireless earphones good and worth buying?
In most of the premium tier wireless earphones, you will find that they all include a noise cancellation feature. This is now a standard within the higher priced wireless earphones and will drastically reduce any surrounding noise when you’re out and about which will improve your overall listening experience.
It is becoming increasingly common for tech giants to make their wireless earphones function best with their own products. They do this through creating exclusive features as well as functionality; if you want to benefit from spatial audio with the AirPods then you will need an iPhone and vice versa with the Samsung buds etc.
Like any electronic gadget, especially wireless ones, battery life generally is one of the most important things to look out for when shopping around. Unlike the traditional wired earphones, you have the issue of making sure your wireless earphones are fully charged up before leaving your house, but also ensuring that they can actually last the day or however long they will be in use!
Whether you’re an Apple user or have recently switched to an Android and are intrigued by the alternative options on the market, let's compare the top 5 AirPods Pro alternatives:
To kick things off, the Sony WF-1000XM5 is Sony’s flagship earbuds that include all the market-leading features needed to be a pair of the best wireless earphones out there, with a price point of £259. Compared to their predecessor, this model of earphones provides better sound quality, a more powerful ANC (adjustable active noise cancellation) and a reported improved comfortability due to the reduction in size. It also stretches its battery life to up to 8 hours of use with noise cancellation turned on. This makes it perfect for continuous listening whether you're travelling or on a long work call. The Sony WF-1000XM5 also offers dynamic head tracking spatial audio so that you can still be aware of your surroundings whether you’re engrossed in your favourite movie or listening to a new album.
Our next choice is the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II which has a price point of £229.95. What stood out to us was that they offer cool features such as CustomTune Audio. This technology works to auto-adjust the noise cancellation and sound performance based on the unique shape of your ear canal. The buds send out a chime which bounces back being picked up by the earbuds’ microphones and ultimately adjusting to your ear’s liking. Although the battery life is only up to 6-hours, they are 30% smaller than the predecessor which again has improved the comfortability according to its users.
If you’re looking for an alternative that is budget friendly, then this could be the choice for you. With a price point of £109.99, the Google Pixel Buds A-Series does not offer premium-tier features such as ANC (adjustable active noise cancellation) or multipoint technology but for a mid-range option it offers good comfortability. It also offers a vented design which alleviates in-ear pressure which is a good feature for any earphone user, especially if you rely on them for music and phone calls on a daily basis. For a budget wireless earphone, it has a respectable 5-hour battery life, mono listening but lacks noise cancellation. We think this is a good alternative for those who do not care so much about all the bells and whistles that come with the high end options, it's a great pick if you want to save money but still enjoy the convenience of wireless earphones.
Another great alternative and allround good product is the Technics EAH-AZ80. What we love is that it is made out of 45% consumer recycled plastic as well as multipoint support for up to three devices. It has a respectable price of £259.99 and like the AirPods Pro, they come with a handful of eartip size options which will help achieve the best sound isolation for each person. This product is one of the more expensive options offering a voice detection feature which compliments the noise cancellation and background noise feature. One of the four mics, in each earbud, will work to analyse any background noise and during phone calls isolate your voice. These wireless earphones will provide you with 7 hours of charge with noise cancellation on and 7.5 hours with noise cancellation off which is closely matching its competitor Sony WF-1000XM5.
If you’re a Samsung user, then the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro is a good option because it includes various Samsung-exclusive features and is priced much lower than its competitors at £169. Although this is not something other mobile phone users would want to hear, the good news is that these wireless earphones are still usable with other smartphones but it just means you will miss out on features such as EQ (equalisation), ANC (adjustable active noise cancellation) setting and custom demands; this is mainly down to the fact that there isn’t an alternative app for iOS or other mobile phones. They also include Intelligent Conversation Mode similar to the Technics EAH-AZ80 as well as sensitive touch panels which is perfect for when you’re on the move.
The short answer is no. With any fake version of a product there are always limitations with quality, durability and overall user experience. Most certainly there will be pairing issues and battery life which then will mean you will need to pay twice and get a decent pair of earphones.
In the past, buying earphones was a pretty straightforward process because you could buy wired earphones from anywhere and the choice was quite limited. The only thing we had to spend time thinking about was which colour wired earphones we wanted! Now, there are so many fancy new features that all have an effect on the sound quality including noise cancellation which was only available in headphones in the past and unfortunately, a pair of knock offs isn’t a good set of wireless earphones.
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Like most things, you can buy a knock off pair of AirPods on Amazon and they will work just fine but lack quality which will affect how your music or streaming is delivered. It is also worth noting that they probably will not last as long as you would like. Here are a few notable advanced features in the AirPod Pros that will be missing from a fake version:
If you are willing to miss out on these features then this may be a good option for you, but you may actually find yourself spending a lot more money replacing them every so often. This will have a heavy blow on not only your wallet, but also the environment and ultimately increase the ever growing e-waste issue.
Overall we think that there are some great alternatives to the Apple Airpods Pro earphones. Whether you are looking for a cheaper alternative or simply just want to explore the different options that are just as good and at the same price point. It also does not need to be a confusing or time consuming process, instead it can be interesting to learn about the various features, no matter how old or new, that are currently available and see which ones take your fancy. It’s important to note that not everyone uses wireless earphones for the same thing and so each person will need and appreciate completely different features each one offers. Some may heavily rely on noise cancellation due to holding frequent work meetings in a high footfall area or, someone else may need a longer battery life because of their commute to and from work. Whatever you need them for, we are sure one of our suggestions above will make your decision process a much easier one!
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