Airpods have become as iconic as the original white earbuds Apple sells with iPhones. One analyst cites this data: "Apple is on track to sell approximately 40 million pairs of Airpods in 2019,” But what if you aren't an iPhone user, or you don't want to spend $160? Juan Carlos Bagnell joined us this morning with some great alternatives which would also make great Father's Day gifts, for iPhone and Android users.
We took a look at 7 pairs of some of the top truly wireless earbuds in the industry and broke them down for you by: battery life, comfort, and sound quality. Those truly wireless earbuds, in no particular order are:
- Apple Powerbeats Pro – these work like Airpods if you’re an iPhone user. They feature Apple’s H1 chip for seamless pairing with your iOS and OSX products. They do work with both iOS and Android. https://www.beatsbydre.com/earphones/powerbeats-pro/
- Samsung Galaxy Buds – much like Airpods work seamlessly with Apple products, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds work best with Android devices. With Samsung’s wearables app, you’ll get an Ambient Mode which allows you to hear background sound so you don’t lose situational awareness. There are other features available if you’re a Samsung phone owner but the Buds will still work with both Android and iOS devices. https://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/audio/headphones/galaxy-buds--white-sm-r170nzwaxar/
- Plantronics Backbeat FIT 3100 – these sit on-ear and allow you to keep up with your surrounding environment. They are one of the most refined with voice prompts to keep you aware of the status of the earbuds and feature waterproofing in up to 3ft of fresh water. https://www.plantronics.com/us/en/product/backbeat-fit-3100
- Jaybird RUN XT – these feature some of the toughest waterproofing with IPX7 certification. They come with multiple eartip and wing options for fit and sound quality. https://www.jaybirdsport.com/en-us/run-xt-true-wireless-headphones.html#985-000889
- Jabra Active Elite 65t – small buds with the big name, these have also been lauded by some review sites as a top pick for their sound quality and functionality. They have a feature which allows you to hear sound from your surroundings if you download and install the companion app. https://www.jabra.com/bluetooth-headsets/jabra-elite-active-65t
- 1More – these are a pleasant surprise in the category with a Titanium driver and 5 hours per charge which puts them somewhere near the top of the pack in terms of battery life. https://usa.1more.com/collections/headphones/products/1more-stylish-true-wireless-in-ear-headphones
- Creative Outlier - Graphene driver, IPX5, and with 10 hours per charge they top the list of products Juan featured in terms of battery life. https://us.creative.com/p/headphones-headsets/creative-outlier-air
So, let’s get to the feature-set comparison! Juan also goes over this in the video above.
AIRPODS2 – 5 HOURS PER EAR, FULL INDEPENDENT SO TECHNICALLY TEN HOURS IF YOU USE ONE AT A TIME. ($160)
CREATIVE OUTLIER PRO - 10 HOURS OF BATTERY LIFE MAKES THESE THE WINNER IN OUR ROUNDUP OF 7 TRULY WIRELESS EARBUDS OPTIONS. THEY'RE ALSO THE LEAST EXPENSIVE. ($79.99)
POWERBEATS PRO – 9 HOURS PER EAR, FULLY INDEPENDENT SO TECHNICALLY 18 HOURS IF YOU USE ONE AT A TIME. ($250)
1MORE - 6.5 HOURS PLAY TIME ($99.99)
SAMSUNG GALAXY BUDS – 6 HOURS PLAY TIME ($130)
PLANTRONICS BACKBEAT FIT 3100 – 5 HOURS PLAY TIME ($150)
JABRA ACTIVE ELITE 65T – 5 HOURS PLAY TIME ($190)
JAYBIRD RUN XT – 4 HOURS PLAY TIME ($180)
EARHOOKS – POWERBEATS PRO, PLANTRONICS BACKBEAT FIT 3100
WINGS – JABRA, PLANTRONICS, JAYBIRD, SAMSUNG, CREATIVE, 1MORE
IN-EAR VS. ON-EAR
IN-EAR GIVES YOU MORE BASS, AND BIGGER SOUND – ALL OF THE OPTIONS HERE ARE IN-EAR EXCEPT THE BACKBEAT FIT
ON-EAR GIVES YOU SITUATIONAL AWARENESS SO YOU CAN HEAR WHAT’S GOING ON AROUND YOU BETTER. THIS IS IDEAL FOR ANYONE WHO IS EXERCISING OUTDOORS. THE ONLY PAIR WHICH FEATURE THIS ARE THE BACKBEAT FIT 3100. THEY AREN'T THE ONLY ONES WHICH ALLOW YOU TO MAINTAIN SITUATIONAL AWARENESS THOUGH. SEE BELOW FOR MORE ON THAT!
As Airpods do with iPhone, Samsung Galaxy Buds work with Samsung phones to bring you extended functions like ambient sound which gives you your situational awareness back, despite them being in-ear buds. And if you install Jabra’s app on your android or iPhone, you can control how much of the outside world you’d like to hear when listening to music. Creative’s Outlier Air will also give you HearThrough functionality with their app as well. So, though they don’t allow to passively hear the environment around you, utilizing the microphones, these three devices from our roundup give you similar functionality.