Apple set a new standard in portable audio in 2001 with the introduction of the original iPod, and with it, the iconic white cable headphone trend. Now, the infamous Apple EarPods have had a 2017 revamp with the introduction of their new wireless AirPods. Featuring seamless, wireless bluetooth connectivity, touch controls and a carry case that allows you to charge the headphones on the go.
This is all well and good, however they’re certainly nothing innovative. Apple have been hit with a lot of criticism revolving around the large price tag of the headphones and their love-it-or-hate-it design choices. I think many people are just still frustrated at their choice to omit a 35mm headphone jack from their latest iPhone, forcing people to prematurely explore wireless audio options in their life. The AirPods are certainly not for everyone, so what are the alternatives? Here’s a round up of some of the best Apple AirPods alternatives of 2017:
In a hurry? Don’t have time to read the full article? Here’s a brief summary:
|SOUND QUALITY||BATTERY LIFE||VALUE||EXTRA FEATURES|
|Erato Apollo 7||4/5||2/5||3/5||Sweat resistant||Check Price|
|Jabra Elite Sport||3/5||2/5||4/5||Waterproof,|
|Samsung Gear IconX||4/5||1/5||3/5||4GB internal music storage,|
Samsung fitness tracking
|Bragi Dash||4/5||3/5||4/5||4GB internal music storage,|
|Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H5||4.5/5||4/5||3/5||Dust and splash resistant||Check Price|
|SmartOmni Boots||2/5||5/5||5/5||Waterproof||Check Price|
|Earin M-1||3/5||2/5||3/5||Award winning design||Check Price|
AirPods Alternatives 2017 – Roundup!
These brushed Aluminium beauties sure do have a lot going for them. Styled in a sleeker, slightly less ‘out there’ manor than Apple’s AirPods yet still beautifully functional. They do carry a slightly larger price tag, but with that comes far superior sound quality! The actual earphone units are nice and compact and barely visible when you’re wearing them. The universal micro-usb charging port is also a nice touch.
- Fantastic styling and solid build quality
- Superb sound quality
- Sweat resistant
- 3 hour battery life on a single charge
Aimed at serious athletes and day-to-day music listeners alike. The Jabra Elite Sports feature a fully-featured set of button controls, a fantastic fit and one of the more rugged carry cases we’ve seen. These also come with an IP67 waterproof rating and a companion mobile app which can be used to track movement when training. A great touch for something so small.
- Heart rate monitor and integrated fitness tracking
- Compatible with third party fitness apps
- Charging case delivers 2 full charges
- A little on the bulky side for people with small ears
- Only 3 hours battery life on a single charge
Samsung has entered the came with a set of ‘gear’ branded wireless earphones. The IconX’s feature similar fitness tracking features to the Jabras, as well as an internal 4GB memory to allow you to take your music with you without the use of your phone. By eliminating the need to connect to your phone via Bluetooth to access your music, you can drastically improve the otherwise limited battery life of these earphones.
- Great sound quality
- Integrated 4GB storage is a very useful feature
- Fitness tracking only compatible with Samsung phones
- Alarmingly short battery life (when using Bluetooth)
Bragi brand these as ‘the truly wireless smart earphones’ and they’re not far wrong! Featuring solid bluetooth connectivity, 4GB internal music storage (just like the Samsungs), fitness tracking and active noise cancelling technology. Their companion mobile app is one of the best we’ve seen in this arena too! These really are one of the more fully featured sets out there – however they’re plagued by a cumbersome control interface.
- Fits lots of ear shapes brilliantly
- 4GB integrated music storage
- Accurate fitness tracking
- Fairly complex control interface
- Below par battery life
Bang & Olufsen have established themselves as a big gameplayer in the world of high-end audio. Whereas these earphones aren’t completely ‘wireless’ in the literal meaning of the word, they feature the same wireless bluetooth technology as the rest of the earphones on this list, along with one of the best audio qualities in any set of earphones (wireless or otherwise) we’ve seen this year. They look great – and the braided cable connecting the two ear pieces is actually a welcome addition, allowing you to hang them round your neck, or just simply prevent loosing them!
- Superior sound quality
- Dust and splash resistant construction
- Comes supplied with a wide range of ear tips
- Braided cable helps to prevent loss of the earphone units
- Inline control buttons are a little stiff
- Quite expensive
- No charging case
The cheapest on our list! And boy do you get a lot for your money! Don’t be fooled by their price tag, these beauties pack a punch. Up to 5 hours continuous playback, and native Siri and Google Now integration. Of course, you gain all this at the sacrifice of a slight quality loss in both sound fidelity and bluetooth connectivity.
- IPX7 waterproof/sweatproof
- Slight audio latency
These are amongst the smallest and highest wireless earphones on the market. They’re also won awards for their iconic and elegant design. These earphones feature one of the sleekest charging cases out there — suitable for any pocket and one of the best looking AirPods alternatives around! However, you may be able to argue that Earin have taken a ‘form over function’ approach with these as we found the audio quality to be lacking any real punch. Bluetooth connectivity also didn’t seem to be as solid as some of the others in this list.
- Sleek and stylish design
- Lacking bass performance
- Intermittent Bluetooth connectivity issues
So there you have it, a round-up of some of the best Apple AirPods alternatives for 2017. Many manufacturers are choosing to implement a bunch of handy features into their offerings. These include integrated fitness tracking and onboard music storage – neither of which are on offer by Apple.
Love them or hate them, they’re certainly not for everyone and there are many AirPods alternatives out there. The high competition in this market has made sure there is a solution out there for everyone! We’d love to know your thoughts on the items we have on our list – send us a tweet @Best_Of_Guru