AirPods are great if you have an iPhone and are prioritizing ease of use over sound quality. However, as the true wireless market has moved on, there are more viable AirPods alternatives than ever before. This means that you are not trapped in the Apple ecosystem to have an optimized listening experience. If you want better sound quality or cheaper alternatives, we’ve put together a list of the best AirPods alternatives for you.
What are The Best Wireless in Ear Headphones?
Sennheiser took some time to jump on the “True Wireless In-Ears train” and disconnect the cables from the Momentum product line. Technically speaking, this is no longer a huge task, and there are now a number of – more or less audiophile – providers in this class of devices, so Sennheiser only had two options to stand out from the crowd: bad and cheap or good and expensive. Fortunately, you decided on the last one and delivered an almost completely perfect product.
Sennheiser remains true to its design line: pure elegance, nothing prevents you from concentrating on the most important things – the headphones and their capabilities. The sensations and impressions of both the headphones and the fabric charging case are of high quality and you can already feel the comforting feeling that you have done everything correctly by choosing this product.
A selection of four pairs of earbuds from L to XS, which can be quickly attached, ensure an excellent fit and first-class closure of the ear canal so that you do not have to worry about losing one or both of the true wireless in-ear headphones in the event of careless movements.
The entire back of the headphones is a sensor. If you touch it for five seconds on both sides, the process of pairing with the smartphone or similar begins. Bluetooth 5.0 is the transport route for the audio signals. AAC, SBC, aptX and aptX Low Latency are the existing codecs, the latter being particularly suitable for low audio interference. You can also install the Smart Control application on your iOS or Android device for more functionality.
A visually very aesthetic equalizer with which you can fine-tune the sound in the coordinate system awaits you. You can also switch to transparency mode, which activates the microphones in your ears so you can hear a bit of the outside world while listening to music.
The most important
The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless Sound is really a fantastic product: rich bass, with good, clean highs and extremely appealing mid-frequencies, produce a sound that we have not heard in this class for a long time. Classical music is becoming more expressive. Cellos and double basses roll broadly and energetically under violins and flutes. The sound is full and mature, rich and powerful. The volume level is more than sufficient and the stereo image is balanced.
The best sound we have ever heard in the ear with in-ear headphones without a cable, and which is perfectly controlled with the equalizer in the app. Sennheiser is offering a real alternative to the AirPods Pro – it was worth the wait!
The settings are controlled from the outside via the touch surfaces, so that a glance at the application or the enclosed instructions for mastering the regulation contribute to general understanding. Left is start / stop, forward or backward is reached by pressing once, twice or three times. A longer touch of the sensor surface reduces the volume, the right headphone increases the volume.
One-touch of contact calls up the preferred digital assistant or manages calls, two touches activate the transparency mode. Each entry is confirmed with a short tone and each double and triple entry is acknowledged with an increasing tone sequence. This provides valuable feedback on actions, as this is not so easy at the beginning with single or multiple prints. However, insecurity in work is quickly overcome and assimilated. Everything works reliably and precisely.
The charging case
The fabric-covered gray charging case with USB-C connection is of an acceptable size, but it is a bit noticeable in your pants. A button and a single LED light indicate the charge status of the charging case battery or that of the in-ears, which can be stowed safely, gently and magnetically in the recesses provided for them. The Momentum headphones deliver four hours of music, and 12 hours with the charging case as a power bank.
Are there any criticisms of the True Wireless Sennheiser Momentum headphones? Not really. Telephone calls via the in-ear microphones are perceived as easily audible and pleasant by the other party, even if the microphones like to make intensive and quick use of the suppression of outside noise, which occasionally cuts off the voice reproduction.
The transparency mode also works well – the mixing of the microphones into the music is appealing and inconspicuous, even if a slight noise can be heard in quieter passages.
If, in addition to the not so spectacular unpacking experience, we want to mention a little criticism, it is that the equalizer seems a bit too playful to us. At first it was not entirely clear to us where to move the various points in order to get a certain sound image.
B&O Play removes all cables from the Beoplay E8 and convinces with these true wireless in-ear headphones in almost all disciplines – but above all in terms of technology and optics.
Many technical problems have been elegantly solved with the Beoplay E8: In our opinion, the headphones don’t protrude too far out of the ears, hardly any further than some old Bluetooth headphones with cables. This is very remarkable, because with the E8 all technologies are built into the headphones: battery, Bluetooth, control, microphone. At the same time, they’re not particularly heavy, so you might think they’re falling out of your ears immediately – but the opposite is true. The three silicone ear plugs supplied in S, M and L quickly create the confidence of a very good fit in the ear.
Instructions and operation
With the alternative to the Airpods, the Beoplay E8, you can not only properly complete the pairing process with the playback device, but also familiarize yourself with the tap control function on the back of the headphones. What you did with the remote control in 2017, you can now do with your headphones at the touch of a finger.
Right click: start / stop; Double-click on the right: Jump forward; Double click left: Jump back – we will not list all functions here. Basically, the type of operation is excellent and easy to learn. If you simply press the back with your index finger, the music will stop (right) or the transparency mode will be activated (left).
Sound and application
The sound of E8 is undoubtedly: powerful, juicy, transparent. Bass, mids and treble are well coordinated and overall the in-ear headphones offer a good stereo scene. Rhythm and voices as well as the many sound effects can be felt very deeply and powerfully. The dynamics of the tone can be judged as sensational if the sound in the E8 unfolds warm and powerful. What the Beoplay E8 alternative to the AirPods Pro offers is impressive because the sound is big and varied and at the same time pleasant.
To refine this result, it is worth installing the Beoplay application. Here you can change the sound to your taste on an intuitively designed matrix. From “warm” to “bright” to “relaxed” to “excited”, many individual sound presets can be set up with practically no problems.
In the application you can also set the transparency mode which allows you to hear the outside world by clicking on the left side. External microphones transmit ambient noise to your ears while the music either continues to play in the background in various shades or disappears entirely.
From ear to charging case
With true wireless headphones, the charging case is the best solution for safely storing and charging individual headphones. This means that the E8 is charged up to two times and then connected to the mains itself. To do this, place the headphones in the recess provided, where they can be reliably and safely placed thanks to the soft magnet. Subtle light helps to find out the state of charge of all components. There is nothing to complain about with the E8 in daily use. Usually the connection is very reliable.
By the way, you can also make calls with the E8: accept and reject calls by entering gestures and make your own calls using Siri and Co.
B & O Play Beoplay E8 sounds excellent and elegant, is restrained in size and weight and also fits very well and very reliably. At a price of over 300 $, you can expect that. In general, the shape, quality and appearance of the Beoplay E8 clearly arouse the need to want it, while reducing doubts that it should be cheaper.
The BW-FYE1 Bluetooth headphones have good sound quality and great treble as well as fast and stable transmission for a low price. If you remove two earbuds from the charger, they will automatically turn on and reconnect. The BW-FYE1 true wireless headphones support mono calls to ensure driving safety. You can also share your music with your call participants via the headphones.
These in-ear headphones are an inexpensive alternative to the AirPods. With a purchase price of around 45 $, the BlitzWolf BW-FYE1 is surprisingly cheap, but still offers a very good sound that is sufficient for everyday use. The scope of delivery also includes a practical charging box into which you only have to plug the headphones in to get new energy. When they are removed from the box, they are automatically switched on and quickly establish a connection to a previously paired device via Bluetooth 5.0. It is also surprising that the BW-FYE1 is waterproof according to IPX4 despite the low price and offers a battery life of up to three hours with a fully charged battery.
Powerbeats Pro shows strong test results. They are splash-proof and thanks to the bracket system they always sit firmly in the ear. We really like the sound and the battery life is amazing. The equipment is sufficient. However, the Powerbeats Pro currently costs 250 $ that’s expensive.
The in-ear headphones convinced us – both in terms of sound and functionality: Live sound with a good bass base was amazing. You will be convinced of the great fit and Apple takes care of the technical sophistication. The battery lasts up to 15 hours, the connection to the iPhone, Apple Watch & Co is excellent thanks to the Apple chip and they also offer splash protection.
Other products – especially AirPods – are easier to hang in your ear. So not everyone can make friends with these in-ear headphones. But if you like the concept, you should definitely try the Powerbeats.
The WF-1000XM3 in-ear headphones from Sony offer the best performance in all categories: The sound quality is excellent for true wireless headphones, the battery life, equipment and comfort are right. The noise reduction is effective and the battery life is excellent. If you don’t know what the Apple name is, but are looking for similar true wireless in-ear headphones, then you should check out the Sony WF-1000X.
The model comes in elegant black and convinces with a very good sound and excellent usability . With intelligent noise suppression, annoying outside noises have no chance. Also noteworthy: thanks to the elegant case with charging function, the headphones can be charged quickly and easily on the go – with a subsequent battery life of up to nine hours.
Bose Soundsport Free is one of the completely wireless in-ear headphones with a very good sound quality . In the lightweight construction class, they are noticeably large, but lie close to the ear. The battery life is also good, but not great. If you ‘re looking for headphones for sports and the like, but don’t want to compromise on sound, you will find the right product here. The Bose SoundSport Free Wireless Headphones made us a fan of the Bluetooth wireless device category. Because the sound is excellent with the headphones.
Smart ideas such as a charging case with a power bank function and an application to find lost headphones solve typical problems in this category. However, there is one significant drawback that cannot be ignored: for some reason, the headphones are not always compatible with Windows 10.
Samsung Galaxy Buds (SM-R170) have proven to be a long-term companion for long trips or sports and are also very well equipped and comfortable. Unfortunately, the Galaxy Buds do not have a splash guard. The sound is fine but needs a bit of tweaking with the Galaxy Buds app. Galaxy Buds finds the ideal partner in Android products. The headphones are light, practical and therefore a good choice for everyday mobile use . The touch function is also very useful. The sound quality is attractive to use, but does not meet the requirements of audiophiles. However, we would like support for codecs like aptX as well as iOS support through the app. In terms of price, quality and sound, Samsung can easily keep up with Apple’s cashier.
Nobody has sounded better before: Jabra Elite Sport is the first fully wireless sports headphones with great sound. This is also because they are relatively large and can sit uncomfortably for some people. Jabra Elite Sport is a must for every serious sports enthusiast. They not only convince with their excellent sound and reliable hold when carried but also through a wide range of sports data: They provide reliable data on movement and heart rate and an additional application helps the user to create training plans.
Thanks to the waterproof treatment, these true wireless in-ear headphones can be used in the rain without any problems, and a maximum battery life of up to five hours ensures sufficient music enjoyment. Particularly practical: Thanks to the charging station included in the scope of delivery, you can use up to ten additional hours of battery life on the go. As is so often the case, this convenience comes at a price: The Jabra Elite Sport costs around 200 $.
The RHA TrueConnect definitely belong in the list of the best AirPods Pro alternatives. They offer great sound, long battery life, and practical work. Thanks to the many matching details, they should fit comfortably and securely in most ears. Thanks to the IPX5 protection class, you don’t have to take them out of your ears even when it rains and they are also suitable for making phone calls thanks to their easy understanding. In contrast to AirPods, they offer unlimited functionality for Android and iOS devices.
Cellularline Petit has a good sound quality and the controllability of the housing and a good battery make these real wireless headphones a reliable companion. They lack comfort and features, but these headphones are generally inexpensive and therefore great value for money. For this price, they are very good headphones for music lovers who do without a power source for a long and reliably isolate you from ambient noise.