AirPods seem to be the love them or hate them product of the past decade. They’re wireless, compact, quick to pair with your other devices, have truly great battery life, and come with that sleek Apple look. But they have an unrealistic one-size-fits-all design, no noise-cancellation features, and no in-line remote so rely almost entirely on Siri for audio playback. And at $159-199, they’re pretty expensive.
Even if you are a die-hard Apple fan, it must be said that there are headphones out there that offer similar functionality, and sometimes at cheaper price points.
We’ve rounded up a few models that will get you more bang for your buck when it comes to style, sound quality, and battery life — even if you are stacking dollars.
Ausounds AU-Stream ANC earphones
A great all-around earbud for music lovers. These good-looking, matte-black earphones from Ausounds are compact, water-resistant, have solid sound thanks to a 13mm AU Titanium Driver and noise-cancellation that actually works.
Sony WF-1000XM3 True Wireless Earbuds
In terms of “earbuds,” these are literally that. The Sony WF-1000XM3 True Wireless Earbuds don’t have that little stalk that extends down from most earphones, making them incredibly compact. They also probably have the best noise-canceling in the industry, using HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1e and Dual Noise Sensor Technology, but this, along with their smart listening feature, means they’ll set you back a bit more $$$.
Cambridge Audio Melomania 1
If you’re looking for a long-lasting battery, look no further than Cambridge Audio Melomania 1. A single charge will last 9 hours of listening, and the portable battery pack case will give you an additional 36 hours. They’re also pretty damn cheap compared to AirPods.
Klipsch T5 True Wireless
While definitely not the cheapest or longest-lasting battery out there, the Klipsch T5 True Wireless earbuds are known for their comfortable patented oval ear tips and excellent sound. A quick rundown of the specs: Bluetooth 5 technology, aptX and AAC high-quality conversion mean incredible audio quality, especially for a wireless in-earbud.
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