Apple announced the AirPods Pro in October 2019, the latest model of AirPods brings a lot of exciting features, like active noise cancellation, audio transparency mode, audio sharing between AirPods, etc. However, we would like you to know that AirPods Pro is not the only option you can choose if you are looking for noise-canceling earbuds in the year 2020. There are a lot of alternatives in the market, most of them have a price advantage while maintaining the same sound quality. Even some features are lack from AirPods, like water resistance, better battery life, etc.
In this post, we list the top five best of AirPods Pro alternatives, all of them have plenty of features on their own. We ranked the list based on four perspectives, first is the quality, the alternative should have the same or better standard of a sound impression as AirPods Pro. Second is the compatibility, the alternative should able to use on the IOS platform without compromises. The third is the budget, of course, we want the price located in an affordable range.
Price: $209.00 on Amazon US
Sony WF series probably is the biggest competitor of AirPods in the market. Unlike the bright color of AirPods, WF-1000XM3 comes with a dark black and silver design which makes it look more textured. The tips on both earbuds are replaceable, and you can purchase additional tips at a very reasonable price. The wearing feeling is very slick and comfortable, just to remember to twist it up a little bit after inserting it in the ear.
WF-1000XM3 also comes with the noise canceling function, you can turn on and off this function by tapping the touch sensor on the left earbud. It also provides an ambient sound mode which allows you to listen to the surrounding sound when it's required. Another useful and interesting point is that the earbuds are fully separable, you can pair one earbud with your phone, and the other one with your laptop!
WF-1000XM3 supports both iOS and Android platforms, you can use NFC function to pair it with Android device, and use Bluetooth to pair it with the iOS device.
Price: $199.00 on Amazon US
Compare to other big names, you may not familiar with this brand, but Libratone Track Air+ is definitely a hidden gem. it comes with an extraordinary modern design, the dark matte material angular part makes the earbuds look more like earrings instead of headphones, even the bird logo on each stem looks adorable.
Libratone Track Air+ leverages the most advanced Qualcomm Bluetooth 5.0 chip QCC5100, it allows the earbuds to have super stable and high-speed Bluetooth connectivity. You will need to download the Libratone app in order to pair with your device.
You will be amazed by the ability of the noise-canceling of these small earbuds. It may not filter out as much noise as a larger over-ear headphone, but it will filter out the most distracting sound when you wearing it. You can also adjust the level of noise cancellation in the Libratone app.
Like AirPods Pro, Libratone Track Air+ also has the IPX4 rating water resistance, which means it can resist to splashing water or heavy sweat.
Price: $239.99 on Amazon US
The Chinese IT giant rolled out its signature headset in November 2019. it leveraged a new design philosophy called Dolphine Bionic inspired by dolphin's vocal cavity, this intrusive design makes the earbuds way more stable and comfortable, it highly recommended for the using in gym, you can wear it during heavy cardio or intense movement without worrying about the earbuds would fall out from ears. The design also amplifies the effect of noise cancellation, you will listen to less noise since the earbuds fit tightly in your ears.
Smart charging is another selling point of Huawei Freebuds 3. It can continue streaming up to four hours and extended to twenty hours with a fully charged case. The case can be charged wirelessly. If you have a Huawei phone, you can even use the reverse charging to charge the case.
Price: $129.99 on Amazon US
Before Echo Buds, Amazon already released a wide range of hardware in their Echo series, like Echo Studio, Echo Loop, Echo Flex, etc. So it is not surprising to see a new headset joined the Echo family. However, it would be wrong if you thinking it just another Alexa assistant tool in your ears, actually it is a solid headset with slick design and quality sound.
Amazon works with Bose to bring the noise reduction tech on Echo Buds, it will not have the noise-canceling effect as good as high-end ANC earbuds like WF-1000XM3, but it is still the best you can get at such low-level price. You can easily turn on the noise reduction mode by double-tapping the stem.
Echo Buds also brings you the ability to use Alexa no matter where you are. It offers two ways to awake Alexa, first one is to say the 'Alexa' word when you wearing the earbuds, the second one is tap and holds the stem. Besides Alexa, Echo Buds supports access to other assistants like Google Assistant or Apple Siri.
The battery can last up to 5 hours for music playback, and 20 hours with the charging case.
Price: $120.57 on Amazon US
The last but not the least, if you are looking for water-resistant ANC earbuds with a budget less than the half of AirPods Pro's price, Jabra Elite Active 65t must be on your radar. 65t is a true wireless earbud with a decent bass sound. It features the active noise cancellation mode and ambient sound mode with a stable Bluetooth 5.0 pairing connection.
Unlike the AirPods Pro, Active 65t comes with three different colors and three different tip sizes. You can pick the right size for your ears, and it is more suited for working out in the gym due to the perfect fit.
Speaking of ingress protection, Active 65t has an IP56 rating which is a higher level of water resistance than AirPods Pro, it can resist high-pressure, heavy sprays of water. However, it is still not waterproof, so please don't wear them in the pool.