Best Apple AirPods alternatives Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best Apple AirPods alternatives you can buy in 2019.
With great battery life, the option of a wireless charging case and hands-free "Hey Siri" functionality, Apple's AirPods are certainly a tempting proposition. But if you're looking for a sportier pair, or a cheaper one, or one that simply sounds better, you might be better off looking elsewhere.
We've rounded up the best AirPods alternatives for every taste and budget, so you're guaranteed to find a pair that suit. All these pairs of true wireless headphones come with a charging case for topping up your headphones on the move. They can also be used to control your smartphone or tablet through physical buttons or in some cases touch-sensitive surfaces.
If you're not blown away by the AirPods design, aren't convinced by the 2019 AirPods, or don't use Apple devices, this is the page for you.
If you thought truly wireless headphones couldn't sound great, check out the Sony WF-1000Xs. They sound superb and the built-in noise-cancelling has a subtle but audible impact. The carry case also powers the Sonys and gives you nine hours to play with. Want more? There's also support for Google Assistant and Siri. A true leader in the field.
Read the full review: Sony WF-1000X
These Bose in-ears sit comfortably without invading your ears and there are controls for playback and volume too. Not only that, they sound great too, delivering plenty of bang for your buck. The downside? We found they tended to drop out every now and again. The Sony's at the top of this list boast greater musicality, but the SoundSport Frees are still a great alternative to the AirPods.
Read the full review: Bose SoundSport Free
These Philips were an okay buy at £100, but now if you shop around they can be had for just £50. Each earpiece houses a whopping 8.2mm driver, which gives it plenty of low-end rumble. And what they lack in detail they more than make up for in sheer oomph. Their design also does a pretty good job of isolating you from outside noise. If your genre of choice is something with a whacking great bassline, these could be the true wireless buds for you.
Read the full review: Philips SHB4385 True Wireless Bass+
We realise this is a list of the best AirPods alternatives, but Apple's headphones still deserve a mention. After all, they started the trend. This 2019 version is much-improved over the original - the sound is better balanced and more sophisticated, while the wireless tech is as reliable and impressive as ever thanks to Apple's new W1 chip. Like the first-generation AirPods, the fit still won't suit everyone and the lack of buttons can be a pain, but it's good to see the AirPods have evolved into a pair of very capable headphones.
Read the full review: Apple AirPods (2019)
For £150, there's a lot to like about these true wireless in-ears from RHA. Like Apple's equivalent, there's a stem which points down when they're in place. The TrueConnects sit snugly which helps with noise isolation. When not in use, the headphones sit inside their own case which can also charge them and extend battery life 20 hours on top of their standard five-hours. Pairing takes just a few seconds, while music playback and volume are handled by a couple of short presses on the relevant earpiece controls. The sound is nicely balanced, while they dig up enough detail to give the AirPods a run for their money.
Read the full review: RHA TrueConnect
Sennheiser's debut true wireless headphones are good all-rounders: they have a classy design, useful features, decent battery life and impressive sound quality. But at twice the price of the Sony WF-1000Xs, they're a slightly harder sell, unless you can find them at a reduce price somewhere. Better get bargain hunting...
Read the full review: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless
Samsung's Gear Icon Xs sound so much better than the firm's more recent Galaxy Buds. These are well designed, with an impressive feature set and effortless connectivity. The sound is wonderfully balanced as well, but the mid-range and treble are prone to a slight coarseness. With a claimed seven hours playback from a single charge, they're well worth investigating for long journeys.
Read the full review: Samsung Gear Icon X
See our Apple AirPods review