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Best affordable earbuds 2021: More AirPods alternatives

Upgrade your audio experience with these affordable Bluetooth earbuds.

If you are looking for some new earbuds, then take a look at these new releases. These affordable earbuds ensure that you will be up to date with the technology you need to get the best audio experience from your mobile devices.

Tronsmart Battle Gaming earbuds

Toggle between gaming and music mode

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Tronsmart

With a very cool looking transparent rotate-to-open case and lights around the perimeter of the case, the Tronsmart Battle Gaming earbuds sit nicely in your ears. Sound is excellent and loud across the ranges with a really good bass sound and good mid and high notes.

They will deliver up to 5 hours playing time at medium volume and up to 20 hours with the battery charging case. Tap the top of either earbud twice to answer calls, or play or pause music. Tap twice and long press to activate the voice assistant.

You can adjust the volume by tapping the right bud once to increase the volume and once on the left earbud to decrease the volume. Tap three times to toggle between gaming and music mode. These earbuds with their ergonomic case deliver superb sound at a low cost. You do need to power them on and off manually to maintain battery levels.

Pros

  • 5 hours playing time
  • Toggle between gaming and music mode

Cons

  • Power on and off manually

Fiil CC2 earbuds

Good sound range and app

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Fiil

The Fiil CC2 earbuds live in a squared case and are easy to remove using a sliding motion with your thumb. They are quick to pair to your device and sound is good across all ranges and the bass is reasonable. High ranges are really clear and bright.

Tap the top of either earbud twice to answer calls, or play and pause music. Long press to activate the voice assistant. You can adjust the volume by tapping once to increase the volume and three times to decrease the volume. They will deliver up to 5 hours playing time at medium volume and up to 32 hours with the battery charging case. There is an associated app too. These are good quality earbuds that deliver a nice sound experience.

Pros

  • Easy to remove from case
  • Associated app

Cons

  • No noise cancelling

Tronsmart Onyx Apex earbuds

Noise cancelling earbuds

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Tronsmart

The Tronsmart Onyx Apex earbuds come with three different sized ear tips for the most comfortable fit in your ears. The earbuds have active noise cancellation which can be toggled on or off, or switched to ambient by tapping either earbud three times. Sound is good across the ranges and crisp and clear without any tinniness.

Each charge will last up to 5 hours, and you can get up to 24 hours playtime from the charging case. Tap the top of either earbud twice to answer calls, or play and pause music. Tap twice and long press to activate the voice assistant. You can adjust the volume by tapping the right bud once to increase the volume and once on the left earbud to decrease the volume. The buds are a little fiddly to get in and out of the case.

Pros

  • Five hours playing time

Cons

  • Buds fiddly to remove from case

Tribit Flybuds 3

Built in phone charger case

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Tribit

The Tribit Flybuds 3 earbuds are remarkably similar to the Votomy Solopods S1. The user manual for both brands has the same look and feel for both models. They come with six different sized ear tips in two different shapes and three sets of ear fins for the most comfortable fit in your ears. The case is large and heavy with a 2600mh power bank battery.

Sound is good across mid and high ranges although the bass could be better. Each charge will last up to 5 hours, and you can get up to 100 hours playtime from the charging case which can also be used as a power bank to charge your mobile device. Tap the the button in either earbud twice to answer calls, or play or pause music.

Press and hold the touch button for two seconds to activate the voice assistant. There is no volume control on these earbuds. They are easy to get in and out of their case and are IPX8 waterproof. These mid-priced earbuds and charging case will give you peace of mind if your phone battery dies

Pros

  • 100 hours playing time from charging case
  • Case acts as power bank

Cons

  • Bass could be better

Taotronics Soundliberty Pro P10

Automatic ear detection

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Taotronics

The Taotronics Soundliberty Pro P10 earbuds come with three different sized ear tips for the most comfortable fit in your ears. The earbuds have active noise cancellation which can be toggled on or off, and a useful anti-wind mode by holding the left earbud for two seconds.

You can also invoke ambient mode by tapping the left earbud twice. Sound is good across the ranges with a really good bass sound and crisp and clear mid and high notes. They will deliver up to 9.5 hours playing time at medium volume and up to 33 hours with the battery charging case. Tap the top of either earbud once to answer calls, tap twice to play or pause music -- or take an earbud out of your ear to automatically pause music, and replace it to play.

Long press to activate the voice assistant. You can adjust the volume by tapping the right bud once to increase the volume and once on the left earbud to decrease the volume. These earbuds with automatic ear detection deliver superb sound for a mid-range price.

Pros

  • Over 9 hours playing time
  • Superb bass sound
  • Remove bud from ear to pause music

Cons

  • More costly than other earbuds

Earfun Air Pro 2 earbuds

Six hours from one charge

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Earfun

The EarFun Air Pro 2 earbuds come with three different sized transparent ear tips for the most comfortable fit in your ears. The earbuds have active noise cancellation which can be toggled on or off, or switched to ambient by tapping and holding the left earbud for two seconds. Sound is good across the ranges but the bass is not as rich as other earbuds.

The sound is clear in mid and high ranges. Each charge will last up to 6 hours using ANC, and you can get up to 30 hours playtime from the charging case. Tap the top of either earbud twice to answer calls, tap twice to play or pause music. Long press the right earbud for two seconds to activate the voice assistant. You can adjust the volume by tapping the right bud once to increase the volume and once on the left earbud to decrease the volume. They are easy to get in and out of their case.

Pros

  • Active noise cancelling and ambient sound controls
  • Transparent ear tips
  • Over 30 hours playing time from case

Cons

  • Bass could be better

Elevoc Clear earbuds

Adaptive wind noise reduction

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Elecvoc

The Elevoc Clear Active Noise Cancelling earbuds come with six different sized ear tips in two different shapes for the most comfortable fit in your ears. The earbuds have active noise cancellation which can be toggled on, switched to audio transparency mode, or switched off ambient by tapping and holding holding an earbud for two seconds. It also has adaptive wind noise reduction.

There is an audible tick sound when the earbud invokes the tap command which can be irritating. Sound is excellent across all ranges with great deep bass, and mid and high ranges are superb. Each charge will last up to 6 hours with ANC off, and you can get up to 30 hours playtime from the charging case with ANC off. Tap the top of either earbud once to answer calls, or play or pause music. Tap the left earbud three times to activate the voice assistant. There is no volume control on these earbuds. They are easy to get in and out of their case. These earbuds are great for toggling between music and calls when out and about.

Pros

  • Up to 30 hours playing time
  • Active noise cancelling
  • Great sound across all ranges

Cons

  • No on-bud volume controls
  • Irritating tap command sound

Soul Emotion Pro earbuds

Earbuds for audiophiles

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Soul

The Soul Emotion Pro Active Noise Cancelling earbuds come with six different sized ear tips in two different shapes for the most comfortable fit in your ears. The earbuds have active noise cancellation which can be toggled on, switched to audio transparency mode, or switched off ambient by tapping and holding holding an earbud for two seconds. Sound is good across the ranges with excellent clear bass, and is clear in mid and high ranges.

Each charge will last up to 7 hours using ANC, and you can get up to 36 hours playtime from the charging case if ANC is off. Tap the top of the right earbud once to answer calls, or play or pause music. Tap the left earbud three times to activate the voice assistant. You can adjust the volume by tapping the left bud once to increase the volume and twice to decrease the volume. They are easy to get in and out of their case which supports wireless charging and you can hang it on your belt using the carabiner supplied. Expensive earbuds – but great for audiophiles.

Pros

  • Active Noise Cancelling
  • Case supports wireless charging

Cons

  • Expensive

Votomy SoloPods S1 earbuds

Charging case also a power bank

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Votomy

The Votomy Solopods S1 earbuds come with six different sized ear tips in two different shapes and three sets of ear fins for the most comfortable fit in your ears. The case is large and heavy with a digital LED display showing battery level. Sound is good across mid and high ranges although the bass is a little weak. Each charge will last up to 5 hours, and you can get up to 100 hours playtime from the charging case.

The 2,000mAh charging case can also be used as a power bank to charge your mobile device. Tap the button in either earbud twice to answer calls, or play or pause music. Press and hold the touch button for two seconds to activate the voice assistant. There is no volume control on these earbuds which is a pain. They are easy to get in and out of their case and are IPX8 waterproof. These mid-priced earbuds and charging case will give you peace of mind if your phone battery dies. You can get 10% off with the discount code W3VPF4TR intil 21st November 2021.

Pros

  • Up to 100 hours playig time
  • Case can also charge your phone

Cons

  • No on-bud volume control

Which earbuds are most comfortable?

When choosing earbuds, choose the style of earbuds that will give the best fit. Some shorter stem earbuds need to be twisted so that they will stay in your ears, whereas some longer stem earbuds will hang in your ear. Make sure that you choose the correct size of ear tips to avoid putting pressure on your ears.

Which is better: In-ear buds or ear sticks?

This comes down to personal choice. Some people want the entire earbud to fit in their ear, and twist it to fit the ear canal. Others, especially those with smaller ears, prefer the smaller form factor of the ear stick that locks into place with the stick pointing forward. If you struggle with in-ear buds, or feel discomfort with a smaller ear cavity, then try the ear stick form factor.

How did we choose these earbuds?

We chose these Bluetooth earbuds based on three factors: functionality, sound quality, and price.

Some of these earbuds are low cost and have fewer features than higher cost models. However, for the price, the sound quality was excellent, and playing time and charging capability was good.

Some of the earbuds have extra features such as the ability to adjust the volume in the ear buds and to modify the active noise cancelling settings. The Coumi Fiil CC2 earbuds have an app to adjust the sound settings, while the Soundliberty Pro 10 have a feature that detects when they are removed from the ear and will pause the music. This entire range of earbuds has little distortion -- even with the cheaper models.

If price is not an issue, then the Soul Emotion earbuds are certainly worth a try -- especially if you like an immersive experience when listening to music.

Which earbuds are right for you?

To find the perfect earbuds, you need to decide on which form factor will be the most comfortable for you to wear all day. Do you find that earbuds can hurt after several hours wear, or is the bass quality the most important factor for you? Will you wear your earbuds for several hours on end, and need a set of earbuds that offers an extended battery life, or is comfort far more important to you?

Also, consider the following:

  • How many charges can the earbuds charging case deliver before the case needs to be charged? If you are going to be out and about for a long time, consider earbuds with a larger capacity battery and charging case.
  • How comfortable is the device? If you hate pressure in your ears, then you need to consider earbuds with longer stems so that they will not be wedged in your ear.
  • How good is the sound quality? If you want a fully immersive sound, then earbuds with custom tips will deliver a good all around sound experience. However, if being able to hear things around you is important, then you might prefer earbuds with the ability to switch to ambient sound so that you can avoid any issues caused by not being able to hear anything.