Best AirPod Alternatives | The Bluetooth Earbud Guide

With so many different brands offering what they call the best headphones you can get, it can be difficult to figure out which ones really are the best, and which are the best deal. Some of these headsets can get pretty expensive, and they are not always better than some of the less expensive sets.

Today we are going to take a look at and compare some of the most popular ear buds, to try and help you make the right decision so you don’t end up wasting your money.

Round #1: BeatsX vs PowerBeats 3

The first ear buds we are going to compare are BeatsX and PowerBeats 3. Both are comparable in price, but each have their own features that make them unique. But, does that make one better than the other? Let’s find out.

BeatsX

One of the things we like the most about BeatsX is the comfort factor. These neckband-style headphones are lightweight, and waterproof, and they fit well in the ear. The sound quality is excellent, and you can use these headphones with all Apple devices. Other good features include:

The Good

  • Portability and Charging – Not only are these headphones lightweight, they can easily be rolled up to fit inside their own carrying case. Charging is done via Lightning and not MicroUSB.
  • Price – A pair of BeatsX Bluetooth headphones will run about $150, comparable with AirPod headphones.
  • Design – The cable has weighted bulges to keep them in place. One of the bulges holds the battery, and the electronics are in the other. The buds are magnetized, so they will stick together when not in use and you won’t lose them.

The Bad

  • Cord – Some users find that the cord is too long, and that it gets in the way. This can be a problem if you are using the headphones while working out or playing sports.

PowerBeats 3

PowerBeats 3 is better than its predecessor in one important way: they have a much better fit. Even if you are being active, you are not going to have to continuously adjust them because they are moving around or falling out. Other things we like include:

The Good

  • Battery Life – This set has a really strong battery life. You get about 12 hours of listening time before you have to bother recharging.
  • Design – These headphones have their signature earhook design, which is popular with many people because it helps the headphones to stay in place, even if you are moving around. Between this feature and the great fit, you won’t be fiddling with them all day.
  • W1 Chip – These headphones come equipped with the new custom Bluetooth chip from Apple, the W1. This allows you to use the headphones with all of your Apple devices quickly and easily.

The Bad

  • Price – While these are a good set of headphones, they aren’t really any better than their competitors, but they cost more. So, why spend the money when you can get the same quality for less with a different brand?

Which is Better?

When it comes to quality and design, both the BeatsX and PowerBeats 3 headphones are pretty much equal. They both deliver excellent sound quality, are easy to use, and they are lightweight and comfortable. The biggest difference is the price. Why spend more money on the PowerBeats 3 when the BeatsX are just as good, and a lot cheaper? For this reason, we prefer the BeatsX headphones.


Round #2: BeatsX vs AirPods

Now we are going to compare BeatsX headphones to the popular AirPods. The AirPods have been one of the most popular brands, mainly due to their reasonable price. But, BeatsX may be giving them a bit of competition. Let’s find out why.

BeatsX

BeatsX ear buds are similar in design to the popular neckband-style headphones that were made popular by LG, but they are even better. There are four different sized ear tips that come in the box, so you are sure to get a great fit. Other great features include:

The Good

  • Integrated Microphone – This headset is more responsive than others, and you can easily make calls. Your voice will be heard clearly, and you will hear the other party just as clearly. These are noise-isolating headphones, so you can easily hear conversations, even in noisy environments.
  • Bass – BeatsX headphones have more bass than the AirPods. But, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they have enough bass for our liking.
  • Magnets – We love that we can wear these ear buds as a pendant when not in use. The magnets hold them together nicely, so they aren’t going to fall off your neck.

The Bad

  • Sound Quality – For the most part, we love the sound quality, but these headphones do seem to deliver a bit too much treble, and not nearly enough bass. This is okay if you are just listening to a podcast or something, but not great when you want to crank your favorite tunes.

Apple AirPods

AirPods are a popular headset, but they aren’t always as comfortable as others, including BeatsX. What we love about AirPods is that they are easy to pair with any Apple device, and they bring Siri into an entirely new dimension. Features include:

The Good

  • Fit – Many users report that they like the way these ear buds fit, and they don’t fall out. This is due to the hook-shaped design that holds them in and keeps them there.
  • Design – This headset looks a lot like the Apple Bluetooth headset for the original iPhone, and also lie the wired EarPod headphones from Apple, but without the wire.
  • No Wires – We love the fact that there are no wires to get tangled up. This makes these headphones easier to use, and you have a lot more freedom to move around.

The Bad

  • Sound Quality – Unfortunately, even though these ear buds look great and fit well, they don’t have the best sound quality. For the price, we would expect them to have a much better sound. The louder you go, the worse the sound gets. But, they do sound better than BeatsX ear buds.

Which is Better?

Overall, we prefer BeatsX over AirPods. Even though the AirPods are comfortable, they are not as comfortable as BeatsX ear buds. But, the real decider is the sound quality. With BeatsX, you get an amazing sound quality (maybe a bit too much treble), and in this case, the AirPods just can’t compare.


Round #3: Beats Solo2 vs JayBird X3

The next two headphones we are going to compare are Beats Solo2 and JayBird X3. Both come with a handy carrying case, and both are comfortable and easy to use. So, which is better? That all depends on which features are the most important to you. Let’s compare these two headsets so you can decide.

Beats Solo2

If you are looking for excellent quality, look no further than the Beats Solo2 ear buds. They are totally fine-tuned, so you have the clearest sound, with awesome treble and bass balance. These ear buds are durable, and they can be folded so you can take them anywhere. Features include:

The Good

  • Take Calls – You can use the RemoteTalk to control your music, and take calls, and turn any device into a hands-free one. This is great if you are driving and need to watch the road and not your phone.
  • Sound Quality – The Solo2 is new and improved, and offers a much more dynamic sound range than its predecessor. No matter what you listen to, it is always going to sound amazing.
  • Comfort – This headset is made for total comfort. The headband is flexible, and the frame is curved, so it feels like this headset has been custom-made just for you.

The Bad

  • Functionality – While these ear buds are compatible with iOS devices, the functionality may be limited as it varies depending on the devices you are using.

JayBird X3

If you liked the sound quality of the JayBird X2, but not the design, you will be thrilled with this latest version. They are no longer made with the same cheap plastic, and they look so much better than their predecessor. Some of the features include:

The Good

  • Ear Tips – This headset is made for comfort, and you will get two different sets of ear tips in the box. One set is made from silicone, and the other from memory foam. There are also clips to keep the wires in place.
  • Connection – This headset has Bluetooth 4.1, so you can connect two headsets to the same source, and connect to two different devices at the same time.
  • Battery Life – You can listen to your favorite tunes at a moderate volume for up to eight hours before you have to recharge the battery.

The Bad

  • Sound Quality – Overall, the sound quality is okay, but we did find that the lows sound too big, and the highs are a bit too harsh. The mids have plenty of clarity.

Which is Better?

All in all, if you are looking for the best sound quality, the JayBird X3 ear buds far surpass the Beats Solo 2. We also like that we can connect to two devices with the JayBird X3, something that you can’t do with many other headphones, including the Beats Solo 2. The JayBird X3 is definitely our top choice here.


Round #4: JayBird X3 vs PowerBeats 3

You saw how the JayBird X3 ear buds compared with the Beats Solo 2 ear buds. Now, we are going to see how they stack up against the PowerBeats 3 headphones. Both are fairly comparable in price, and they both deliver pretty decent sound quality. So, how do they compare? Let’s find out.

JayBird X3

When you buy the JayBird X3 ear buds, you get a lot in the box, including the headphones, a carrying case that snaps shut and has the JayBird logo, three small bags with wing, silicone, and memory foam ear tips, clips to hold the wires in place (not really necessary), a charging cradle, and more. Features include:

The Good

  • Fit and Comfort – These ear buds are a lot slimmer than their predecessor, so even though they are still a bit on the bulky side, they are a lot more comfortable, and they fit better, especially with the new wings and ear tips.
  • Waterproof – Many manufacturers say that their ear buds are waterproof, but they don’t hold up well when put to the test. This set has a hydrophobic nano coating instead of a waterproof rating, and they are definitely more waterproof than most others.
  • Connections – We mentioned this previously, but we can’t say enough about how much we like the fact that these ear buds can be connected to two different devices at once.

The Bad

  • Sound Quality – While the sound quality is better than other headphones on the market, it could still use a bit of tweaking to get it perfected. The lows and highs definitely need work.

PowerBeats 3

One of our favorite things about the PowerBeats 3 ear buds is that they have great sound, and are an ideal Bluetooth sports headphone. It is easy for iOS users to pair these ear buds with just about any device, and they work great for Android devices as well. Features include:

The Good

  • Battery Life – These ear buds have a longer battery life than the JayBird X3. You get to listen to your favorite music at moderate volumes for up to 12 hours before recharging.
  • Waterproof – While you shouldn’t dunk them right in water, these ear buds are waterproof, and will not be damaged by rain or sweat.
  • Cable Management – The cable management system is better than the JayBird X3, because it is easier to adjust and you get a tighter fit.

The Bad

  • Price – When compared with the JayBird X3 and other headsets, the price is definitely a deterrent from buying these headphones. You can get the same or better quality from a less expensive set.

Which is Better?

Both of these headphones have great sound quality, and they fit well and are comfortable. The biggest difference is the price. The JayBird X3 headphones are not going to set you back nearly as much as the PowerBeats 3, so why pay more for pretty much the same quality? The JayBird X3 wins this round.


Round #5: PowerBeats 3 vs Bose SoundTrue Ultra

You just saw that the PowerBeats 3 headphones are the winner over the JayBird X3. But, how do they stack up against the Bose SoundTrue Ultra ear buds? Both are comparable in price, and they have great sound quality. So, what is the difference, and which is better? Let’s find out.

PowerBeats 3

The PowerBeats 3 headphones are equipped with the new Apple custom Bluetooth chip, known as the W1. This means that you can pair this headset with any Apple device, quickly and easily. Other features of the PowerBeats 3 headphones include:

The Good

  • Fast Fuel – These ear buds have a feature we love: the Fast Fuel feature. This feature allows you to charge for 5 minutes, and you get an hour of battery life.
  • Remote – The new and improved remote lets you easily adjust volume, skip tracks forward and back, end calls, and more.
  • Appearance – This is a great looking set of ear buds, and it is available in five colors: black, white, shock yellow, flash blue, and siren red.

The Bad

  • Price – Again, we have to mention the price. This is an excellent set of earphones, but the price is a lot higher than other comparable sets that have similar features and sound quality.

Bose SoundTrue Ultra

Now we are going to take a look at Bose SoundTrue Ultra headphones. One of the things we like the most about this set is that not only do they have a great sound quality, they are a lot less expensive than other sets we have discussed here today. Some of the features include:

The Good

  • Fit – You probably aren’t going to find a better fitting pair of ear buds, thanks to the StayHear Ultra hook tips, which make these ear buds comfortable and they stay in, even while you are active.
  • Simplicity – If you are just looking for a pair of simple, high quality ear buds, this is a set to check out. But, be aware that they do not have wireless connectivity.
  • Noise Cancellation – You want to hear what you are listening to, and not the sounds around you. Bose has great noise cancellation technology in their headsets, and this one is no exception.

The Bad

  • Sound Quality – When compared with other Bose products, the sound quality is not nearly as great as we expected it to be.

Which is Better?

When it comes to sound quality, you really can’t beat Bose. That being said, the PowerBeats 3 headset does have a rich sound, and it costs less than the Bose SoundTrue Ultra headset. If you want to save money, go with the PowerBeats 3. If you want the best sound quality, Bose is the way to go.


Round #6: Bose SoundTrue Ultra vs Beats Solo2

Now we come to our final comparison of the day, Bose SoundTrue Ultra versus Beats Solo 2 ear buds. Both offer high quality sound, and they each have some pretty terrific features. Let’s see how they compare to one another, and which is going to be the better deal in the long run.

Bose SoundTrue Ultra

First we will look at the Bose SoundTrue Ultra, and go over some features we didn’t talk about in the previous comparison. We all know that Bose offers amazing sound quality, even in ear buds. But, what else do these ear buds offer that makes them worth the high price? Some of the features include:

The Good

  • Shirt Clip – The wires are likely always going to stay where you want them, but when you need that extra bit of reassurance, there is a shirt clip that will hold them in place.
  • Design – One of the unique design elements about these ear buds is the “devil horns” silicone wingtips that offer a better fit than other styles. The cord is also striped like a candy cane.
  • Sound Quality – While not the same quality that we are used to from Bose, when it comes to ear buds, these have a much better sound quality than many other brands.

The Bad

  • Volume – In order to get a decent volume, you really have to crank it up. Other ear buds give you more volume without your needing to adjust the volume.

Beats Solo2

This is probably the most popular set of headphones from Beats, and it is has been completely redesigned, both inside and out. You get amazing sound clarity from a set of ear buds that are lightweight and compact. Features include:

The Good

  • Comfortable Fit – These ear buds are made with your comfort in mind. They have a flexible headband and a curved frame, and the earcups are ergonomically designed for a perfect fit.
  • Sound Clarity – One of the improvements made was in the sound quality. The acoustics have been greatly upgraded, so you get amazing sound clarity.
  • Appearance – This is a small set that comes with a carrying case. It is available in black, white, red, blue, pink, and gray, and the cables are color coordinated.

The Bad

  • Functionality – We mentioned this in a previous comparison, but we need to say it again. If you are using iOS devices, the functionality of these ear buds is going to vary, and may not be as good with some devices.

Which is Better?

If you are looking for the best sound quality, you really can’t beat Bose. But, on the other hand, if you want a great set of headphones at a great price, the Beats Solo2 is definitely the better buy. You are going to get a decent sound quality, and they cost a lot less than any of the Bose ear buds.

Conclusion

We hope that we have been able to make it easier for you to choose your next set of ear buds. All of the ear buds we have talked about today have great sound quality, but as you can see, some are better than others. Our favorites are the Beats Solo2, Bose SoundTrue Ultra, and the JayBird X3. But, the best way to figure it out for yourself is to try them out and find the ones that are best suited for your needs.

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