Apple’s AirPods represent a cord-cutting ideal for the company. Since removing the headphone jack from their new flagship smartphones the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Apple is hoping that its £159 AirPods, it's first ever wireless in-ear headphones, will set a new benchmark for the product category.
Admittedly, the AirPods are a tempting prospect. They boast unique features and functionality, including super-quick pairing thanks to Apple's new W1 wireless chip, the ability to activate Siri with just a simple tap of one of the headphones, and infrared sensors which allow them to stop and start music when they're removed from your ears.
But the Apple AirPods aren't without competition. A number of manufacturers have produced or are in the process of producing their own cord-cutting in-ear buds. While they don't have all the same features as the AirPods they're still worth investigating, even if it's purely because of their looks. But don't just take our word for it, have a look below and see for yourself.
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Erato Rio 3
The sporty Rio 3 earphones allow for six hours of play time and feature an omnidirectional microphone that can interact with Google Now and Siri. They also feature a three-button set-up for controlling your music.
The Muse 5 in-ears focus on comfort - the "FitSeal sleeve” allows for interchangeable tips and body sleeves. They also feature fancy 3D audio processing, which Erato claims can reduce distortion for a more accurate sound.
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As well as tracking your distance, speed, heart-rate and number of calories burned, the IconXs can also carry out the duties of a music player.
Samsung claims their 4GB of built-in storage can hold 1000 MP3s, while playback functions revolve around tapping or swiping the earbuds.
Erato Apollo 7
US only - coming to Europe soon.
Erato claims its headphones work with both Siri and Google Now via an integrated omnidirectional microphone. The Apollo 7s also support aptX audio and come with their own aluminium charging case.
The Onkyo W800BTs have already passed through our test rooms and have emerged with a solid four-star rating thanks to their clear open sound.
Controls are extremely limited, but there is a microphone built into the right earpiece for taking calls and, like the Apple Airpods, they come with a carry case which doubles as a charger.
Jabra Elite Sport
The Jabra Elite Sport are IP67 water resistant, so they can be submerged in up to 3 feet of water for 30 minutes, and have an 'audio passthrough' feature to adjust how much of the outside world you can hear while using the earpods. They also have an in-ear heart-rate monitor which can advises on your recovery and predict your race pace.
According to the Bragi, the Dash feature "gesture interactions" which allows you to customise how it responds to your actions - nodding to accept a phone call or shaking your head to decline it, for example. They also have a built-in fitness tracker, monitored via an app, and even offer 4GB of internal storage for your tunes.