When AirPods first launched, the design choice was often ridiculed. Who would want a little stick hanging from their ears? Well, it turns out lots of people do. Not only have AirPods and AirPods Pro sold exceptionally well, but plenty of other companies have also gone on to make very similar headphones in design. Plus, they are great headphones. The AirPods Pro is often in the running for the best noise-canceling headphones. If you don't want to pay the premium price for AirPods or AirPods Pro, you can always get an excellent pair of fake AirPods!
With two microphones on each earbud, the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 are great for taking calls or interacting with Siri. Plus, the 7-hour battery life on each earbud is enough to almost get you through a full day of work. The touch controls that let you play/pause music, skip tracks, and invoke Siri are the most responsive you'll find at the price point.
Great for working out
With an IPX7 waterproof rating, touch controls, Bluetooth 5.0, and an impressive total battery of 35 hours, the EarFun wireless earbuds are a steal at this price. They come with multiple ear tips so you can find the perfect fit, and they have four microphones with noise-canceling, so you'll sound great on all your calls.
Apple's AirPods get a lot of flak for only being white, and there is a case to be made that headphones are just as much about fashion as function. If you're craving funky colors, look no further than Skullcandy Dime. Available in a bunch of different colorways, the Skullcandy Dime is super small and meant for travel. They have microphones, multiple ear tips, and an IPX4 waterproof rating, meaning they can handle a little sweat.
Perfect for Mobile Gaming
These sleek-looking earbuds have Bluetooth 5 and an IPX5 rating and touch controls to control playback. With LED lights on the side and a well-balanced sound profile, the Edifier GM6 is the perfect companion to playing your favorite mobile game.
If you really don't want to spend a lot of money, you can check out the MIDOLA wireless earbuds. With Bluetooth 5.0 on board, a microphone for taking calls, and touch controls, it's got all the features you would expect in a pair of fake AirPods. Its battery life isn't great, only four hours of listening time in the earbuds, but the case does pack an extra 24-hours.
Copycats can be just as good
Dropping a lot of cash on a pair of AirPods isn't for everybody, so while there are a lot of AirPods alternatives, there are also plenty of great copycats out there that look, feel, and even have some of the functionality that AirPods bring.
If you don't mind dropping a little more money than some lower-priced options, the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 works well as an all-around pair of earbuds. The microphones are good enough to take calls on the phone or over zoom, and the touch controls are fantastic, making it easy to interact with Siri.
A common complaint about budget wireless earbuds is the battery life, but the 35-hours battery life of the EarFun Air should put those concerns to bed. Not only does each earbud have seven hours of listening time itself, but the case also carries around an extra 28 hours. Plus, thanks to USB-C quick charging, you can get two hours of playtime with only ten mins of charging.
More navigation links:
- Spatial audio in AirPods Pro
- Noise app and hearing damage
- How to EQ on iPhone
- Apps for EQing
- Fake AirPods
- Should iPhone users buy Pixel Buds?
- Should iPhone users buy Microsoft Surface Buds?
- Android Central's favorite headphones
- How little can you spend on earbuds and still enjoy them?
- Are AirPods good for Android?
- Spatial audio and Android is here
- EQ settings for Android
- Earbuds are changing how we consume audio
- Windows Central's favorite headphones
- AirPods and Windows
- Headphones for PC gaming
- Should PC owners buy Pixel Buds?
- Should PC owners buy Galaxy Buds+?
- Should PC owners buy AirPods?
- How to pick the right Xbox headphones
Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way.
Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.
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