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The Best AirPods Pro Alternatives | Digital Trends


If you’re searching for one of the best wireless earbuds experiences you can have, look no further than the AirPods Pro. Packing incredible sound quality, a comfortable fit, weather resistance, and performance-driven battery life, the AirPods Pro is one of the best sets of wireless buds on the market. That being said, at $200, it’s one of the more expensive audio options out there. While not everyone has the cash to drop on a premier set of buds, there are still plenty of top-tier AirPods Pro alternatives to choose from. For those seeking something AirPods-adjacent, whether for budgetary reasons or other preferences, we’ve compiled this roundup of the best AirPods Pro alternatives you can buy right now.

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Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

Recognized for its performance and presence, Bose’s impressive suite of audio products only expands. For those in search of an AirPods Pro replacement, feast your eyes on the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds. Featuring Bose’s Acoustic Noise Cancelling (ANC) technology and proprietary acoustic design elements, listeners can expect a stellar sonic experience with rich bass, balanced midrange, and bright treble. Call quality is right on track, too, utilizing ANC to block out wind noise and other distractions to bring your call-voice front and center.

In terms of battery, users can expect about six to seven hours of listening on a single charge with an additional 12 hours from the charging case. If you’re looking for buds to take to the gym, the QuietComfort is IPX-4 rated against sweat, water, and mild weather conditions. While some listeners may find the earbuds and charging case to be a little on the large side, the end-product audio is simply undeniable. Plus, with the companion Bose Music app you can do everything from adjusting noise cancellation settings to on-the-go volume controls.

For another $80 over the AirPods Pro, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are an excellent wireless buds alternative, albeit a little pricey.

Read our full Bose QuietComfort Earbuds review

Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro

Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro

Straight from the third-party pit of earbuds underdogs, the Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro reigns strong as an AirPods Pro alternative. The first of the Anker wireless buds lineup to offer ANC, along with myriad ANC customization options available through the Anker Soundcore app. Users can choose between Transport, Indoor, Outdoor, and Custom ANC settings, the buds do a tremendous job of blocking significant environmental sounds, letting you sink right into your music, podcast, or call.

The Liberty Air 2 Pro delivers across a wide sonic soundstage, too, delivering a fine blend of bass, mids, and highs. If you’re not a fan of what’s pumping out of the buds, the Soundcore app lets you adjust various EQ settings for customized listening. The Liberty Air 2 Pro also packs decent battery life, with up to seven hours on a single charge and 26 additional hours with the charging case. Dead battery? No problem, as fast-charging takes the earbuds from zero to three hours of listening in only 15 minutes.

A high-quality and cost-effective replacement for the AirPods Pro, the Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro is high up on our list of go-to wireless earbuds under $150.

Read our full Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro review

Earfun Air Pro

Earfun Air Pro

Combining comfort, performance, and value in one seamless audio package, the Earfun Air Pro is one of our favorite AirPods Pro competitors. IPX5-rated, the Air Pro will stand up against sweat and water, making them perfect for all of your high endurance outdoor activities. Onboard ANC controls easily allow you to switch from full-on noise canceling to ambient mode, which is great for commuters that need to hear the pedestrian sounds of the city for safe travels.

Play, pause, skip, and call functions are available with easy taps on the sides of each bud, along with access to Siri and Google Assistant. We also love the In-ear Detection function that automatically pauses audio when you remove a single earbud from your ear. Battery life is pretty strong, too, with seven hours of ANC-active listening and 32 hours netted from the Bluetooth charging case.

Rocking excellent sound quality and an unbeatable price point, the Earfun Air Pro is a no-brainer AirPods Pro replacement.

Amazon Echo Buds

Amazon Echo Buds case open
Riley Young / Digital Trends

If you find the AirPods Pro attractive for their features but are put off by their price, the $130 Amazon Echo Buds should be the very next true wireless earbuds on your list. The Echo Buds have a nearly identical battery life of five hours between charges, with a 20-hour total time with their charging case. They have an active noise reduction (ANR) system made by Bose, which isn’t as good as the AirPods Pro’s cancellation but does a very good job of eliminating background din.

The Echo Buds also are IPX4 rated, just like the AirPods Pro, and they’re compatible with all three major voice assistants: Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa — with the option of hands-free access to Alexa. They’re not quite in the same league as the AirPods Pro for sound quality — though we think they sound quite good — and their charging case is considerably larger and heavier. But for the price, they’re an incredible value.

Sony WF-1000XM3

Dan Baker/Digital Trends

If you’re looking for a pair of true wireless earbuds that come closest to the AirPods Pro, it’s Sony’s WF-1000XM3. These buds were the first major offering with active noise cancellation (ANC), and they’re still among the best. The Sony buds also do much better than the AirPods Pro when it comes to battery life, offering six hours with ANC turned on, and an impressive eight hours with it off. Their charging case is equally mighty, with 24 hours of total time (ANC on) and 32 hours with ANC off.

The WF-1000XM3 also have fantastic sound, ranking among the top of their class. And unlike the AirPods Pro, there’s an option to control volume from the earbuds themselves (though you’ll have to give up another control to do so), and Sony’s superb Headphones Connect app delivers additional customization.

This is true whether you use the Sony buds on iPhone or Android, something the AirPods Pro cannot say. On the downside, the WF-1000XM3 are bulkier than the AirPods Pro — both the size of the earbuds and the charging case. They’re also not water-resistant, though so far we haven’t heard of any major issues with using them in the gym.

Read our full AirPods Pro vs. Sony WF-1000XM3 comparison

Master and Dynamic MW07 Plus

While the decidedly fancy-looking design of the Master and Dynamic MW07 Plus may not be everyone’s cup of tea, their thrilling sound quality and outstanding battery life should put them near the top of your AirPods Pro alternates list.

The MW07 Plus retains everything we liked with the original MW07, while improving on them in almost every way. Their new active noise cancellation feature (something we’ll be seeing a lot going forward) is a bit better than the Echo Buds, if not quite as good as the AirPods Pro. Battery life is nuts at 10 hours between charges, and that time gets extended to 40 hours when you include the charging case. But for these buds, it’s all about the sound.

Precision, vibrancy, balance, and detail — all of the descriptors an audiophile looks for in a set of headphones or earbuds — they all apply to the MW07 Plus. Unfortunately, the MW07 Plus do not come with a companion mobile app for fine-tuning the EQ (or any adjustments for that matter), but they sound so good, you probably won’t miss it.

Their IPX5 rating might not be as comprehensive as that of the Elite 75t (see below), but unless you’re going to be running through actual pressure jets of water or submerging the buds, that shouldn’t matter much. What’s more, it’s better than the AirPods Pro’s rating, making the MW07 Plus an even better set of gym companions, despite their sophisticated style.

Read our full Master and Dynamic MW07 Plus review

JLab Epic Air Sport

JLab Epic Air Sport Review
Riley Young/Digital Trends

Now that the AirPods Pro offer water-resistance, more and more people will be using them for their workouts. But do you really need a set of $249 earbuds to go to the gym? The JLab Epic Air Sport are a much better choice for those who put a premium on toughness and a really secure fit.

In the past, we’ve recommended the Powerbeats Pro as the gym-oriented alternative to the AirPods, but at just $150, we’ve become Epic Air Sport converts. Their battery life is possibly their biggest bragging point. At a whopping 10 hours per charge, you’ll certainly get a full day out of them, if not more. When you consider their charging case takes that to a humungous 70 hours, you might go weeks without plugging in.

Unfortunately, that big ol’ battery sits inside a big ol’ charging case, which makes the Epic Air Sport one of the hardest models to slip into your pocket. On the bright side, with 10 hours, you won’t need the case on every journey.

With an IP66 rating that goes well beyond what you’ll find on the Powerbeats Pro, we’re hard-pressed to think of a hardier set of buds. The best part: They sound good — even better than the Jabra Elite 65t, which were originally more expensive. If you don’t like the sound, the Epic Air Sport are some of the few true wireless earbuds that let you adjust the EQ from the buds themselves. You can pick from “Signature,” “Balanced,” and “Bass Boost,” plus the Be Aware mode, which lets outside sound in.

Read our full JLab Epic Air Sport review

Jabra Elite 75t

Jabra elite 75t true wireless headphones
Rich Shibley/Digital Trends

The AirPods Pro are small and light and very comfortable. So are Jabra’s new $180 Elite 75t. In fact, they might just be the most comfortable buds we’ve ever tried. But what’s most surprising about the Elite 75t is their enormous bass. It’s hard to believe that a set of earbuds this small can produce bass this big. It’s not for everyone, but if you like your music with generous amounts of low-end oomph, these are the true wireless buds for you.

Of course, it’s more than “all about that bass.” With a claimed 7.5 hours per charge (more like seven hours in the real world), the Elite 75t easily last a whole day. Their tiny charging case takes that up to 28 hours. Like most top true wireless earbuds these days, pulling one of them out of an ear automatically pauses the music, and you can use just the right earbud on its own if you wish.

We’re especially big fans of the Elite 75t’s controls. The Elite’s buttons offer a precise click when pressed, and they’re arguably just as convenient as the AirPods Pro’s combo touch/squeeze control. You can control almost everything, including volume, but you’ll have to memorize the click patterns — with only two buttons, there are four combos per earbud.

You don’t get active noise cancellation or a wireless charging case, but the Elite 75t do give you great passive noise isolation thanks to that great fit and IP56 protection from dust and water. We think these are reasonable trade-offs given the $70 you’ll save over buying the AirPods Pro. But those who don’t love that boom need not apply.

Read our full AirPods Pro vs. Jabra Elite 75t comparison

Samsung Galaxy Buds+

Samsung Galaxy Buds+

Out of the box, the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ include a portable charging case, a USB-C cable, and a set of silicone ear tips and sports fins. Using the included accessories, we found that the buds can achieve a reliable fit that’s comfortable and lightweight while producing solid sound. Overall, the Galaxy Buds+ provide a pleasing soundstage, with decent bass and a clear upper register. You can even customize the sonic profile using the accompanying smartphone app.

Even more importantly, though, the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ can last up to 11 hours on a full charge. Like with many wireless earbuds, the included carrying case extends this battery life, and while the Galaxy Buds+ don’t quite reach Apple’s AirPods Pro’s 24-hour benchmark, they come impressively close. 

Buds+ have touch controls that facilitate convenient and easy manipulation of settings and song choices. The controls are on the earbuds themselves rather than on your phone, allowing you to adjust settings, change songs, and navigate between Spotify playlists without having to dig your phone out of your pocket.

You can listen to music without losing touch with the outside world with an innovative ambient sound mode feature that does not entirely block out surrounding noises. This feature keeps you safe while out and about and allows parents to keep an ear out for a crying baby while home. If you need to place a call, the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ have you covered with onboard microphones.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Buds+ review

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