Technology

8 best Apple AirPod alternatives for 2021

With many of us working from home and exercising outside, true wireless earbuds have almost become a necessity for a convenient way to take hands-free calls or listen to your music while you’re out and about.

The best Apple AirPod alternatives are brilliant for anyone who doesn’t have the budget (or inclination) to splash out too much, but still wants a high-performing product.

AO.com ’s headphone expert, Ella McDermott, comments: “If you’re looking for the convenience of wireless earbud-style headphones, but you don’t want to compromise on sound quality, then we’d recommend looking at options from brands such as JBL, Skullcandy, and LG.

“You should ideally keep an eye out for features such as a built-in mic to take calls on-the-go, Bluetooth connectivity with a good battery life, and on-ear buttons to control calls and music out and about.”

We’ve rounded up the best Apple AirPod alternatives below so you can enjoy true wireless earbuds without breaking the bank.

Best Apple Airpod alternatives for 2021

1. LG Tone FN6 In-Ear Water Resistant Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

LG Tone FN6 In-Ear Water Resistant Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Add interest to your morning workout or run with music or a podcast thanks to these affordable Apple AirPod alternatives that are compact, comfy and have a six-hour battery life.

AO’s Ella McDermott says: “The LG TONE FN6 In-Ear Water Resistant Wireless Bluetooth Headphones come with a UV nano case which kills 99% of germs, keeping the buds as fresh as possible. Meanwhile, the great sound quality and built-in ambient sound mode means you can stay in tune with your surroundings.”

One customer wrote: “Just as good as AirPods so far. The ambient setting takes some getting used to (in windy areas). They fit well with a good sound.”

Price: £79, AO – buy here now

2. JBL Tune 220TWS In-Ear Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

JBL Tune220 In-Ear True Wireless Earbuds

These great-value wireless earbuds have a long 19-hour battery life making them an ultra-convenient investment.

They’ll add music to anything you’re doing, whether it’s making housework more fun, exercising or sunbathing in the garden.

There’s handy volume control on the buds themselves, and the built-in mic makes for clear work calls or catch ups with friends and family.

Price: £49, Argos – buy here now

3. Skullcandy Indy Evo In-Ear Water Resistant Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Skullcandy Indy Evo In-Ear Water Resistant Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

These compact, cool wireless earbuds make a great Apple AirPod alternative. They boast a whopping 30-hour battery life, meaning you can use them all day – great if you’re commuting or on a trip.

The on-ear controls make it easy to take calls and adjust volume, while ‘Fast Charge’ sees them up and running again in no time if they do run out of battery. You can also download the Tile app, which helps you quickly locate a stray earbud if you’ve misplaced one (which is easily done).

Price: £60, AO – buy here now

4. Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones with Mic

Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Many industry experts see these Sony wireless earbuds as THE best Apple AirPod alternatives out there. Their noise-cancelling prowess is certainly unchallenged.

They boast a sleek design and an equally chic charging case, and have an eight-hour battery life.

On-ear controls make it convenient for calls and adjusting volume, while you can also connect to Amazon Alexa to play music or control your smart home while you’re out and about.

Price: £149, Amazon – buy here now

5. Anker Soundcore Life P2 True Wireless Earbuds

Anker Soundcore Life P2 Wireless Headphones

With over 65,000 reviews on Amazon, these best selling true wireless earbuds are brilliant Apple AirPod alternatives for the budget-conscious.

These are ideal for working and taking calls from home, as they have great background noise cancellation. They are also water and weather-resistant.

You even get seven hours of battery life on a single charge, while the charging case extends that to 40 hours. In a rush? Don’t worry, simply charge for 10 minutes and get an hour of play time.

Price: £29.99, Amazon – buy here now

6. TOZO T10 Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless Earbuds with Wireless Charging Case

TOZO T10 Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless Earbuds

These waterproof wireless earbuds are perfect for anyone that works up a sweat while exercising. The built-in mic is ideal for hands-free calls at home, and also means you can make a call without taking your phone out of your pocket while you’re out and about.

It might not offer sensitive noise-cancelling like some, but the stereo technology does offer a surround sound effect and a deep bass for an immersive music experience.

The carry case also acts as a charging station for the earbuds. A great buy for the pleasing price point.

Price: £22.99, Amazon – buy here now

7. Boltune Bluetooth Wireless Headphones

Boltune Bluetooth 5.0 Stereo Headphones True Wireless in-Ear Earbuds

Never worry about cutting off mid-call or losing your music with these Apple AirPod alternatives, as the Bluetooth range is 50ft.

There’s a great sound quality and noise-cancelling function for clear calls and top music enjoyment, almost a surround sound-worthy experience.

A single charge offers six hours of play time, while the compact charging case adds an extra 34 hours for a total 40-hour play time.

One review read: “I spent a long time researching ear pods. I really wanted the Apple ones. However, these little beauties presented themselves and, after reading many reviews, I decided to take the plunge.

“The sound is really very good and has a great bass, however my main requirement was for a good mic and speaker facility. The first call was great and I could hear clearly and they could hear me very well. You can wear each pod at the same time or independently and they each have independent on-off volume and call answer features. I have used them cycling and the noise reduction works really well.

“Not Apple, however for a fifth of the price they are impossible to ignore, and a real pleasure to use.”

Price: £29.99, Amazon – buy here now

8. Bose QuietComfort Noise Cancelling Earbuds—True Wireless Bluetooth® Earphones

Bose QuietComfort Noise Cancelling Earbuds

With excellent noise-cancelling capabilities (almost equalling the Sony option), these wireless earbuds offer excellent sound quality and clarity. You can enjoy podcasts, music and videos without interruption, but if you do need to chat quickly, transparency mode allows you to let the outside in.

They’re super-comfortable and boasts wireless charging; battery life is six hours on one single charge, while the wireless charging case offers 12 more hours of battery life.

They have simple touch controls on the earbuds; double-tap the left earbud for noise cancellation; the right to pause and play music, and swipe up and down for volume control. The wireless earbuds Bluetooth work within 10 metres of your device, and reject background noise when you’re on a call. Pricey, but nifty.

Price: £229.99, Amazon – buy here now



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