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5 Best AirPods Alternatives With Stem Design: 2024

Last updated: 7 months ago
8 min read

Here are the best AirPods alternatives to the original Apple AirPods & AirPods Pro.

Find yourself a cheaper alternative with the same features: Great for calls, noise canceling, and great fit.

We test and evaluate headphones using a standardized 9-point methodology. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Rating Price Connection Noise cancelling Battery life Water resistance More info
EarFun Air Pro 3 Best overall
EarFun Air Pro 3 small image
4.3
Under $80
Bluetooth 5.3
checkmarkcheckmark
8h + 36h in case (USB-C & Qi wireless charging)
IPX5
SoundPEATS Air4 Pro Alternative best
SoundPEATS Air4 Pro small image
4.7
Under $90
Bluetooth 5.3
checkmarkcheckmark
4h + 22h in case (USB-C)
IPX4
4.2
Under $70
Bluetooth 5.0
checkmarkcheckmark
9h + 23h in case (USB-C & Qi wireless charging)
IP55
SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS Best AirPods 3 alternative
SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS small image
4.3
Under $50
Bluetooth 5.2
crosscross
6h + 15h in case (USB-C)
IPX4
TOZO T20 Best cheap
TOZO T20 small image
4.6
Under $40
Bluetooth 5.3
crosscross
10h + 38h in case (USB-C & Qi wireless charging)
IPX8
CONTENTS (show more)

    Apple AirPods alternatives we listed resemble the design of the most popular true wireless earbuds on the market, the AirPods. All earbuds have a stem design that’s typical for the Apple earbuds.

    While fake AirPods are cheap copies without substance and not worth buying, AirPod lookalikes are worth checking out. Below is a list of the best options for a fraction of the price of the original ones.

    Why trust us?

    We’ve tested 193 headphones on 9 decision-making factors:

    1. Sound
    2. Comfort & fit
    3. Durability
    4. Battery life
    5. Features
    6. Noise isolation
    7. Noise cancelling
    8. Bluetooth
    9. Value

    For each category, we combine measurement and test data with our personal hands-on experience. For Apple AirPods alternatives, we focused on their overall performance for daily listening. See our testing and ranking methodology.

    Now, let’s check the list.

    5 Best Fake AirPods

    1. EarFun Air Pro 3

    1st-place Best AirPods Alternative
    EarFun Air Pro 3 earbuds

    EarFun Air Pro 3 are the best AirPods alternative we’ve tested under $100. The new model has improved ANC performance and rich features – EarFun Air Pro 3 review.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.3
    Driver size icon Driver size: 11mm wool composite dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 8h + 36h in case | Wireless range: 40 feet (12.2 meters) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 1h – quick charge – USB-C & Qi charging | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX Adaptive, LC3 | Water resistance: IPX5 | Features: App, multipoint
    • Natural sound (after EQ)
    • Comfortable & lightweight design
    • Customization via companion app
    • Bluetooth 5.3, LC3 codec, & multipoint
    • Excellent battery life of over 8 hours per charge
    • Effective active noise cancellation & ambient sound mode
    • Not stable enough for sports activities
    • Background hiss when in ANC mode

    Hear the EarFun Air Pro 3 A/B Sound Test:

    EarFun Air Pro 3 Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    Packed with a good-quality dynamic driver, the Air Pro 3 can sound lively, fun, and detailed, especially after tweaking the sound quality in the EarFun Audio app (you can find our custom EQ in the full review).

    Apart from EQ, the app lets you customize controls on both sides, update firmware, and enable Game Mode, reducing the latency to 55 milliseconds.

    The wireless earbuds also excel at ambient sound mode and ANC, beating the best noise canceling headphones under $100 and almost matching premium offers from Sony and Apple.

    Design-wise, earbuds offer a familiar shape that sits comfortably in your ears for hours. On the other hand, ear tips sit too shallow to provide a sufficiently stable fit for sports.

    To ensure you don’t need to worry about batteries, the Air Pro 3 last more than 8 hours on a single charge (with ANC).

    See the related guide: Best noise-cancelling headphones

    2. SoundPEATS Air4 Pro

    2nd-place Runner-Up
    SoundPEATS Air4 Pro in the case

    AirPod alternatives with excellent sound and a unique set of features based on their design – SoundPEATS Air4 Pro review.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.3
    Driver size icon Driver size: 13mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 4h + 22h in case | Wireless range: 40 feet (or 12.2 meters) | Noise cancelling: Yes, hybrid | Charging: 1.5h – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX Adaptive, aptX Lossless | Water resistance: IPX4 | Features: Custom & Adaptive EQ, multipoint, auto play/pause
    • Fantastically natural sound for the price (after EQ)
    • Comfortable & surprisingly stable fit, even for sports
    • Robust Bluetooth connection with multipoint
    • Strong active noise cancelling performance…
    • …but below average passive noise isolation
    • Subpar battery life of only 4 hours (with ANC)

    Hear the SoundPEATS Air4 Pro A/B Sound Test:

    SoundPEATS Air4 Pro Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    SoundPEATS Air4 Pro are an excellent, affordable alternative to the AirPods Pro due to their incredibly natural tuning, especially after fiddling with in-app’s custom EQ. Buds even support aptX Lossless.

    Furthermore, both models are comfortable to wear for hours. Air4 Pro even edges out the AirPods Pro by providing a more stable fit for sports. Both are sweatproof with an IPX4 rating.

    At $80, active noise cancellation is equally effective as Sony WF-1000XM4. The ambient sound mode also works really naturally, so you don’t need to remove the earbuds when talking to someone.

    Like AirPods, the Air4 Pro also supports multipoint, allowing you to connect to two devices simultaneously and switch between them automatically.

    We tested the battery life of up to 4 hours on a single charge (with ANC). You get another 22 hours inside the USB-C and fast charging case.

    If you want something closer to the Apple AirPods 3 alternative, check the SoundPEATS Air4 model.

    Check related guides:

    3. Skullcandy Indy ANC

    Skullcandy Indy ANC earbuds and the case

    Fun-sounding fake AirPods alternative with decent ANC – Skullcandy Indy ANC review.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 12mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 9h + 23h in case (ANC OFF) | Wireless range: 65ft (20m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: Quick charge – USB-C & Qi wireless charging | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IP55 | Features: Companion app, EQ presets, Personal sound, Tile integration
    • Pretty good sound quality (after some tweaks)
    • Very comfortable and suitable for sports
    • Decent active noise cancellation performance
    • Great passive noise isolation
    • Tile integration
    • Microphone quality could be better
    • Mediocre ambient sound mode
    • ANC heavily impacts battery duration

    Hear the Skullcandy Indy ANC A/B Sound Test:

    Skullcandy Indy ANC Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    The best true wireless earbuds from Skullcandy have a fun, loud sound with plenty of low-end and sparkle up top.

    Technically, there’s nothing to write home about, but with prices coming down, they’re an exciting pair to check out.

    Earbuds are the biggest on this list. However, they provide a very comfortable fit. And with minimal weight and comfy ear tips, you barely feel them during use.

    For extra stability, Skullcandy Indy ANC use ear wings, making them suitable for light workouts. Furthermore, an IP55 rating ensures they don’t get damaged by sweat and dust.

    On top of 5.5 hours in earbuds, there are an additional 14 hours inside the case, which can charge wirelessly. The app lets you see the battery life percentage in each bud.

    4. SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS

    earbud Best AirPods 3 Alternative
    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS earbuds in case

    Affordable yet great fake AirPods alternative with all the relevant features – SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS review.

    $47.99
    $59.99
    in stock
    3 new from $47.99
    11 used from $36.31
    as of July 12, 2024 7:30 am
    Amazon.com
    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.2
    Driver size icon Driver size: 14.2mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-40.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 6h + 15h in case | Wireless range: 35ft (10.6m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 1.5h – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC | Water resistance: IPX4 | Features: Custom EQ, Adaptive EQ, Game Mode
    • Clear sound with natural midrange (after EQ tweaks)
    • Good battery life for classic earphones, with 6 hours per charge
    • Good call quality, especially in quieter environments
    • Light & comfortable to wear during long listening sessions
    • Wide selection of features & an app at a budget price
    • Poor passive noise isolation & sound leakage
    • Below average Bluetooth indoor range of 35 feet (at best)

    Hear the SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS A/B Sound Test:

    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    Surprisingly full-sounding true wireless earbuds with a classic design that even comes with a fully customizable equalizer. Moreso, the audio quality is cleaner than the Apple AirPods 3.

    Speaking about the app, it offers a few useful features such as auto play/pause, Adaptive EQ, and Game mode.

    The latter is perfect for competitive mobile gamers who don’t tolerate any audio latency. Furthermore, earbuds support Bluetooth 5.2 and LDAC Bluetooth codec.

    The battery life of 6 hours and 8 minutes is excellent for this form factor, giving you an easy full day of use.

    On top of that, earbuds provide a very comfortable fit and offer an IPX4 rating, which protects them from sweat and light rain.

    5. TOZO T20

    dollar Best Cheap AirPods Alternative
    TOZO T20 on a rock

    TOZO T20 are the best dirt-cheap fake AirPods Pro we’ve tested. They’re amazing for the price – TOZO T20 review.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.3
    Driver size icon Driver size: 10mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 10h + 38.5h in case | Wireless range: 55 feet (or 16.7 meters) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 2h – USB-C & Qi wireless charging | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, LC3 | Water resistance: IPX8 | Features: Custom EQ, "soothing sounds", LED display
    • Fun, albeit not the most detailed sound
    • Comfy enough for long listening sessions
    • Full water resistance with an IPX8 rating
    • Long battery life of 10 hours per charge
    • TOZO app support with a fully customizable EQ
    • Slightly above average passive noise isolation
    • Stability & seal aren't ideal for active users
    • Overly sensitive touch controls

    Hear the TOZO T20 A/B Sound Test:

    TOZO T20 Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    Fiddling inside the app’s EQ changes their default shimmery (almost sibilant) sound into a slightly more balanced one. Expect a punchy performance with an overall pleasant instrumental rendition.

    The wireless earbuds closely resemble Apple AirPods Pro, borrowing their excellent comfort. You can easily wear them for hours without feeling fatigued. In contrast, their stability could be better.

    This is a pity since earbuds have an IPX8 rating, giving them robust waterproofness. You can wash them under a tap without worry if they get sweaty.

    Furthermore, their battery life clocks at 10 hours per charge, with another 38 hours inside the charging case. The latter uses USB-C and Qi wireless charging.

    As mentioned, T20 also come with an app to customize EQ and touch controls.

    Honorable Mentions

    TaoTronics Soundliberty P10 PRO

    TaoTronics Soundliberty P10 Pro earbuds

    Cheap AirPods alternatives with decent active noise cancellation and Ambient mode performance in true wireless earbuds. On top of that, you can also rely on amazing battery life (9.5 hours per charge) and high water protection (an IPX8 rating).

    TaoTronics Soundliberty P10 PRO review

    TaoTronics Soundliberty 92

    TaoTronics SoundLiberty 92 glossy earbud

    Another one of the affordable alternatives with excellent durability and clear sound. Thanks to a small dip at the stem, they better grab your ears, ensuring slightly better stability than the original AirPods.

    TaoTronics Soundliberty 92 review

    Aukey EP-N5

    Aukey EP-N5 true wireless earbuds

    AirPod alternative with an extremely bassy overall sound signature. Despite that, they’re suitable for different genres, from hip-hop to rock. They’re comfortable to wear for the entire day, with a decent noise cancellation that removes most of the low-end hum.

    Aukey EP-N5 review

    Learn how to keep your earbuds from falling out.

    How We Test

    We test each pair of earbuds by measuring their objective performance and combine it with our personal hands-on experience in different situations.

    For AirPod alternatives, we focused on their overall performance in all 9 categories, as this gives the best comparison results for daily listening. Each pair was measured and tested and also used by one of our experts in real life. We discuss all the details in our full review.

    The measurement data and real human testing give us a unique holistic perspective, which helps us recommend the top performers. Read our testing and scoring methodology for details. Also, check the list of all 193 headphones we tested so far.

    What to Expect from Apple AirPods Alternatives?

    Most fake AirPods (shameless copies) on Amazon and other stores are truly terrible. They’re not worth buying at all. However, Apple AirPods alternatives with similar stem design work surprisingly well for a lower price.

    Here’s what you can expect:

    • Lower price

    AirPods alternatives cost half the price of the real ones, if not cheaper.

    • Ergonomic design

    The best thing about AirPods replicas is that they also copy the comfortable design of the original ones.

    • Better cross-platform support

    Apple’s AirPods are known to work much better on iOS than Android. There are no such discrepancies with fake AirPods as they work equally well with both operating systems.

    • Same sound quality or better

    Authentic Apple AirPods have good sound quality but not excellent. On the other hand, certain Apple AirPods alternatives have a surprisingly high audio quality that’s better than Apple’s.

    • Lower build quality (generally)

    Budget alternatives to AirPods are cheaper because they use lower-quality plastic. It doesn’t have the same premium feel and starts deteriorating quicker. But that doesn’t apply to all models.

    • No head tracking

    Head tracking is a unique feature that most alternatives don’t support. But in my opinion, it’s not something you need. It’s more of a gimmick than a useful feature.

    JBL Live Pro+ charging case
    The JBL Live Pro+ prove that the AirPods substitute doesn’t have to be bad in performance or build quality.

    Who Should Get Alternatives to AirPods?

    AirPods alternative true wireless earbuds are best for budget-conscious users who want something similar to AirPods but don’t want to pay their high price.

    TOZO T20 design AirPods Pro
    An alternative to the left is much cheaper ($40) than the real AirPods on the right ($170).
    • They sound the same or better than AirPods
    • They have an equally stable and comfortable fit
    • Their microphones are also clear and suitable for hands-free phone calls
    • They often have more features like a companion app, rich EQ options, and control customization.
    • But they don’t have the same “cool” appeal

    So, if you prefer better or similar performance for a lower price, AirPod alternatives are the best choice for you.

    But if you prefer to look “cool” in the crowd by aligning yourself with the Apple brand, then get real AirPods.

    What Makes AirPods Alternatives or “Fake AirPods”?

    For earbuds to be considered fake AirPods, they have to share design similarities with the original.

    Some earbuds blatantly copy the AirPods design right down to every detail. On the other hand, others aren’t intentional copies, as they only share some similarities.

    Generally, wireless earbuds considered an AirPod alternative have:

    • An elongated stem. This design (at least in true wireless earbuds) was introduced by Apple and widely mocked at first. Later on, it has become an iconic AirPods feature. A long stem pushes the microphone closer to your mouth, making voice calls clearer.
    • Sideways firing speakers. Normally, earphones had front-firing speakers, but ever since Apple changed the design, many earphones followed. The design makes sense since it forces the sound more directly into the ear canal.
    • True wireless design. We only consider true wireless AirPods lookalikes as possible contenders for this guide. Since they’re trying to mimic TWS AirPods models from Apple, you won’t see any wired earbuds in here. Only wireless earbuds with a Bluetooth feature.
    • Active noise cancellation. The AirPods Pro were the first Apple earbuds with ANC. It quickly became one of the top features of the AirPods Pro. Therefore, the AirPods Pro alternatives also have ANC.

    How to Tell Fake AirPods From the Real Ones?

    If you weren’t convinced by our list and you still want to buy the real Apple AirPods, you have to be careful about fake AirPod replicas.

    While most fakes look fake right off the bat (extremely low price, weird product images), some can look almost exactly the same.

    That’s why you have to be vigilant and check every detail before making a purchase. Especially if you aren’t buying from an official retailer.

    • Always check the price. Apple doesn’t like dropping its products on sale. Therefore, be aware of massive sales and temptingly low prices.
    • Check product descriptions and images. Fake products may use broken English in their descriptions and present the product with images that look poorly photoshopped.
    • Check the product’s serial number. If you already have the product in your possession, check your coverage on the official Apple website. There, you’ll see if your product is genuine and still under warranty.

    Sometimes, you can spot an AirPods clone by examining the packaging. Most times, it’s cheaply made, the brochure inside looks nothing like the official one, and the included charging cable isn’t as meticulously wrapped.

    Apple AirPods Pro unboxed
    Apple’s packaging is always tidy and clean, which isn’t true for many fakes.

    However, since some fake products can be so well-made (even having the H1 chip to fool your device into thinking the product is genuine), checking the serial number is the best thing to do.

    Why Trust HeadphonesAddict?

    At HeadphonesAddict, we provide honest headphone tests through a rigorous methodology and a transparent process. See how we test here. We put a lot of effort into personally testing and measuring each pair so we can make educated recommendations.

    More reasons to trust us:

    • We test headphones ourselves on 9 key points (less for wired models).
    • We measure frequency responses, ANC, passive isolation, battery life, and compare EQ presets.
    • We don’t take money for tests and reviews.
    • We don’t delete or edit “bad reviews.” Even when brands ask us to. If the headphones sound bad or have other faults, we tell you without embellishment.

    FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

    Are AirPod alternatives better than real AirPods?

    Many fake AirPods actually outperform original ones in some areas, like sound quality or even call quality.

    However, genuine AirPods still offer greater support for iOS and have better-performing features, such as active noise cancellation and Transparency mode.

    Are AirPod copies any good?

    Not even the best AirPods Pro clone is good. It only recreates the design but cheaps out on materials, sound quality, and features. The goal is to sell them expensively to unsuspecting customers.

    On the other hand, AirPods lookalikes perform quite well and are worth checking out. Some even have a decent noise-cancellation and the latest features.

    This is our guide to the best AirPods alternatives. Did you find it helpful? Please let us know in the comments. We see all of them.

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