The Pros and Cons to Cheaper Alternatives to Apple AirPods

The Pros and Cons to Cheaper Alternatives to Apple AirPods

When you think of wireless earbuds, the first brand that comes to mind is Apple. For the past couple of years, Apple has dominated the wireless earbuds market with their AirPod and AirPod Pro products. These are arguably the best solution for truly wireless earbuds on the market. But investing in Apple products is always going to be on the more expensive side of things. With the AirPods starting at $159 and the AirPod Pros going for $249, you might be wanting to spend a little bit less on your earbuds and be willing for an airpods third party alternative option .

Now even though Apple does have some of the best options on the market, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find a cheaper alternative to AirPods. Some of the cheaper models even have some very good features and sound quality.

The Pros and Cons to Cheaper Alternatives to Apple AirPods

There are many cheaper alternatives to Apple AirPods, and they tend to have their ups and downs. The biggest thing you’re sacrificing when going with another brand, is the compatibility, low latency, Active Noise Cancellation and the high quality build of the AirPods. Sure, you can find some of these features in other products, but this is something to which there is  no true equivalent to AirPods. Here are some of the best earpods that are similar and cheaper than Apple AirPods.

Huawei Freebuds 3

Huawei Freebuds 3

The HUAWEI FreeBuds 3 are equipped with Bluetooth 5.1 and are powered by the cutting-edge Kirin A1 chipset. The Kirin A1 is the industry’s first BT/BLE dual-mode chip to be verified by Bluetooth 5.1. With this technology, HUAWEI is able to deliver a highly integrated 3+1 modular architecture. This includes an advanced Bluetooth processing unit, powerful audio processing unit, ultra-low power consumption App processor and a

separate power management unit. All of this comes together to ensuring an efficient and stable connection experience.

While previous wireless headphones were were limited to a single-channel transmission which was split between the two earpieces, Huawei’s self-developed dual-channel synchronous transmission technology fixes this issue. Now left and right pieces have a direct connection to your smartphone, avoiding the need for one earpiece to push audio to the next.

This new dual-channel system was most noticeable while watching movies and playing games. There is much less lag that you’d normally experience in a bluetooth headset. The Freebuds 3 has ultra-low audio latency at only 190ms.

These new features make the Freebuds 3 a massive upgrade compared to the previous Freebuds 2. While its predecessor was a highly rated product, it didn’t have active noise cancelling, AI Life app control, or synchronous transmission. HUAWEI has really made a huge leap in technology with the third generation Freebuds.

Read our full review here.

Galaxy Buds

Samsung Galaxy Buds

 

As for Galaxy Buds and AirPods Pro, both are very similar. They both have very good sound quality as well as great noise isolation. They both feature wireless charging as well, but the Galaxy Buds use USB C on their charging station while the AirPods Pro use a lightning port. Both of them also have good battery life. The difference is with Active Noise Cancellation, which is generally a hard thing to imagine, as there are very few times you truly hear nothing. Just imagine hearing absolutely nothing, not even your own breathing. That serenity is what ANC is like. The AirPods Pro have very good ANC for earbuds, but it isn’t the best ANC in the world — a lot of headphones have much better ANC — but as far as wireless earphones go, it’s great. That being said, is it worth another $120 compared to the Galaxy Buds? No. The noise isolation is very good on the Galaxy Buds anyway. It only lets in slightly more sound than AirPods Pro without ANC. There really is no reason to spend that extra $120 on Active Noise Cancellation, even though it’s nice to have.

Read our full review here.

SoundLiberty 53

SoundLiberty 53

The SoundLiberty 53 wireless earphones are very reliable. They feel comfortable in your ear while having a lot of bass. SoundLiberty claims to have some noise isolation, but with the earbuds in, you cannot really notice any noise isolation happening, if at all. They sound very similar to AirPods Gen 2: if you were to do a blind sound test, it would be hard to tell which is which. Both are very light and comfortable in your ear. The case on the AirPods does feel a lot more premium than the SoundLiberty 53 case, and given this is an integral part of a wireless earbud product, it’s something worth keeping in mind. The SoundLiberty 53 case is made of cheap black plastic, while the AirPods are in a more premium white glossy plastic.

The charging situation is a bit worse for us USB Type-C Android fans. The AirPods use a lightning port for charging, while the SoundLiberty 53 earphones use Micro USB. AirPods have an optional wireless charging case but that costs an extra $40 upfront or $60 after the fact. The SoundLiberty 53, on the other hand, has no wireless charging option. As for the value of the two, the SoundLiberty 53 offers a bigger bang for your buck. The SoundLiberty 53 sound the same, they are more comfortable, and they are a third of the price. For $45, I’d definitely buy the SoundLiberty 53 over AirPods any day, particularly if you mainly intend to use them with non-Apple devices.

Read our full review here.

These are some of the best generic cheap alternatives to the Apple AirPods. With more or less the same features, while not a total equivalent to AirPods, the sound quality on these earbuds will satisfy most people.