Not all wireless in-ear headphones are as expensive as the coveted Apple AirPods. Many want the hands-free look without burning a hole through their wallet, and we completely understand. The earbuds come in a small portable case that you can take anywhere, as long as it’s connected to your device’s Bluetooth. Whether it’s en route, at the gym or an online meeting, the buds afford you convenience like no other.
Our listicle brings you far more affordable alternatives that work just as well as AirPods. Get yourself a pair from our recommendations, and have it delivered to you the next day through Amazon Prime.
1. Best Overall: Anker Soundcore Life P3
- Six microphones
- Gaming mode
- Two hours of battery with 10 minutes of charge
- Locate misplaced earbuds via app
- XS to XL ear tips for customised fit
- Reviewers say maximum volume can be louder
Most in-ear headphone reviewers are concerned with voice call quality. If that’s you, then you’ve found the right pair with Anker Soundcore Life P3. It has six microphones, three on each bud, to catch every sound wave and deliver smooth, wireless calls. A single charge will give you seven hours, but if your case is fully charged, the play time can last up to 35 hours! And when an earbud goes missing, go into your Soundcore app and trigger the ‘Find your Earbuds’ alarm. Plus, this pair is waterproof enough to function in the rain.
Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty for Dh18 and two years for Dh29.
2. Best for Synchronised Audio: HUAWEI FreeBuds 3
- Noise cancellation
- Reverse charge with your Huawei smartphone
- Pauses automatically when buds are removed
- Best compatibility with Huawei smartphones
- Can be pricey
Huawei Freebuds 3 connect to your Huawei smartphone the second you pop open the case. If you’re an Android user, then it’s as easy pairing it with your Bluetooth. Thanks to its Kirin A1 chipset you’ll never lose connection even in the busiest of malls. Latency or time delay is reduced to a minimum so your gaming and video streaming experience is highly synchronised. The earbud head is the ideal design for those who find silicone tips uncomfortable. Tap the buds to play or skip a song and remove them to automatically pause the audio.
Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty for Dh23 and two years for Dh38.
3. Best Budget: SOUNDPEATS TrueAir2 Wireless Earbuds
- Value for money
- Ultra-lightweight, stylish pods
- Four microphones
- Easily pairs with laptop, iOS and Android phones
- Maximum volume sounds too bright
Basic earbuds that work exceptionally well for the price. Reviewers love how the SoundPEATS’ TrueAir2 stays connected to the Bluetooth despite moving in and out of different rooms. The touch controls function as stated over long use, and since the buds are light (each earbud weighs 4 grams), they make for a comfortable ear fit. Bass is especially deeper and more resounding with this pair, though maxed out volume levels might make the audio sharp and less desirable. A fully charged case gives your buds four recharges.
Warranty: The manufacturer offers a one-year warranty.
4. Best for Everyday Use: Xiaomi True Wireless Earbuds Redmi
- IP54 dust- and water-proof
- 20-hour battery life with case
- Look bulky but are actually lightweight
- Best compatibility with Xiaomi smartphones
- Not your go-to option for music
- Touch controls can be unreliable
Xiaomi’s Redmi buds come in a compact charging case with a Type-C cable. The earbuds do have an angular look about them, if you prefer the rounded edges of most pods. Audio quality is alright for the occasional call, podcast or audiobook, however, music playbacks can sound too low. Reviewers are impressed with the speedy configuration of the buds, connecting as soon as the case lid pops open.
Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty for Dh12 and two years for Dh19.
5. Best for Occasional Use: HONOR Magic Earbuds
- Value for money
- Noise cancellation up to 32 decibels (quieter than a library)
- Reliable Bluetooth connection
- Shorter battery life compared to others on the list
- Minimum volume is still loud
- Volume can only be controlled via phone
If a three-hour battery life is not a deal breaker for you, then opt for the affordable Honor Magic Earbuds. The pods rest in an elongated case, where they lie horizontally, and the tips are covered in silicone. It muffles most ambient sounds, even strong winds, so biking with these on will not hamper the audio.
6. Best for Quality and Design: JBL LIVE PRO+ TWS True Wireless
- Higher-end product
- Battery life of up to 28 hours with case
- Voice assistant feature
- Comes with five sets of silicone ear tips
- Protected against water splashes
- Most expensive on the list
JBL’s Live Pro+ TWS is an understated pair of earbuds with a shorter stick than most. The wireless headphones come in neutral shades of pink, black and beige inside a compact case of the same colour. It carries all the features of basic earbuds – from noise cancellation to touch controls – but is smarter for the voice assistant function. Say ‘Hey Google’ to quickly access all the controls, check the battery and switch off the buds. And if the maximum and minimum volume levels are not right for you, simply adjust them using the equaliser on the JBL app.
Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty for Dh27 and two years for Dh49.
Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.