Finest open wi-fi earbuds that are not AirPods

Best open wireless earbuds that aren't AirPods

So-called “open” earbuds like the usual Apple AirPods have their pluses and minuses. On the plus aspect, they have an inclination to slide simply into your ear — you do not have to fret about getting a good seal from a silicon tip — and their design gives a snug match. On the draw back, they could not match some ears securely, they let sound in they usually are likely to have weaker bass on account of their non-noise-isolating design.

However should you’re a runner or biker who desires to listen to the skin world or simply somebody who does not like having an ear tip jammed into your ear canal, sealing it off, an open-style bud is a perfect alternative. Apple’s AirPods a actually an possibility — they value round $120 with the usual charging case — however they do not match all people’s ears securely and there are many good alternate options, a few of them cheaper. This is a take a look at the highest open-style buds. I will replace this record as I take a look at extra worthy candidates. 

Learn extraFinest true wi-fi earbuds for 2021

Juan Garzon/CNET

Water resistantSure (IPX2 ranking — sweat-resistant and protects in opposition to gentle splashes).

Say what you’ll in regards to the Samsung Galaxy Buds Stay’s bean-shaped design, however these may simply be probably the most modern new true wi-fi earbuds of the previous 12 months. Like the usual AirPods, they’ve an open design, so you do not jam an ear tip into your ear. They’re snug to put on and match my ears extra securely than the AirPods. These wi-fi buds are discreet and mainly sit flush together with your ear, which reduces wind-noise whereas biking. I recurrently use them for working and biking, they usually’re nice for sporting actions in the event that they suit your ears nicely. However one warning: Some individuals will not get a safe match, so purchase them from a retailer that has a very good return coverage.

They ship good sound and work nicely as a headset for making calls, with good background noise discount so callers can hear you clearly even if you’re in noisier environments. Whereas they characteristic lively noise canceling, it is delicate in comparison with the noise canceling in earbuds which have a noise-isolating design. In different phrases, purchase them for his or her design and sound, not their noise-canceling options.

Learn our Samsung Galaxy Buds Stay overview.


David Carnoy/CNET

Water resistantSure (IPX4 ranking — splash-proof)

I by no means tried the unique Fiil CC earbuds, however the next-generation CC2 improves on the efficiency of the originals, with higher battery life (they’re rated at 5 hours on a single cost) and no audio latency points when watching movies.

These did keep in my ears higher than the usual AirPods. They pair shortly — they’re outfitted with Bluetooth 5.2 — there is a Fiil companion app for tweaking settings they usually sound fairly first rate for open-style buds, with simply sufficient bass to maintain you from feeling they’re bass shy. They’re additionally first rate for making calls and have contact controls. 

Considered one of their distinguishing options is their open case, which makes it simple to entry the buds and put them again of their case. Due to some built-in magnets, they keep within the case securely — you’ll be able to flip it the other way up and the buds will not come out. Not like the AirPods, these have sq. not rounded stems, which appears somewhat bizarre at first, they usually do slot in your ears barely in a different way to AirPods consequently. 

David Carnoy/CNET

Water resistantSure (IPX4 ranking — splash-proof)

SoundPeats says its Air 3 buds are 10% smaller than their predecessors, the TrueAir 2, and the case is really tiny, smaller than the AirPods’ case. The buds stayed in my ears extra securely than the AirPods do (I’ve bother protecting the AirPods in my ears, particularly if I begin working). These use Qualcomm’s 3040 chipset, which has Bluetooth 5.2, and I had no bother pairing them with an iPhone 12 Professional and a Google Pixel 4 XL. My connection was fairly secure. The earbuds help the aptX audio codec with suitable units.

Sound high quality is sweet for open earbuds. It is proper there with the AirPods and these even have barely extra bass. I feel most individuals shall be glad with the sound. The one challenge I seen is you could solely push them thus far. When taking part in sure tracks at increased volumes I did encounter some distortion; rock tracks the place a number of devices are taking part in directly might be difficult. Consequently I stored the earbuds at about 60% of most. You’ll be able to modify the quantity utilizing the contact controls, which work nicely. They do play loud at increased volumes. 

The record worth for the Air 3 is $50, however you’ll be able to doubtless get them for nearer to $40. They’re at the moment on sale for 25% off should you comply with these directions. After you click on the moment 10% off code on the Amazon product web page and apply the CNET-exclusive 15% off code 4KWPTXXK at checkout, the worth drops to $37.49. The code is sweet till Sept. 30, or whereas provides final.

David Carnoy/CNET

Water resistantSure (IPX4 ranking — splash-proof).

So far as headphones go, Bose’s Sport Open Earbuds are funky. To not be confused with the corporate’s extra conventional in-ear Sport Earbuds and QuietComfort Earbuds, they characteristic an open design and not using a tip, that means the earpiece sits on prime of your ear and does not penetrate your ear canal. 

Geared towards runners and bikers who need their ears open to the world for security causes — or to individuals who do not prefer to have any form of bud of their ears — they sound surprisingly good. I ended up liking them, however their design is not for everyone, and the way snug you discover them will decide how a lot you want them. Learn our Bose Sport Open Earbuds overview.


Water resistantSure (IPX5 ranking — can face up to a sustained spray).

1More has a barely completely different tackle the usual AirPods for individuals who have bother protecting them of their ears. The $60 Comfo Buds (which generally dip beneath $50 with an prompt coupon) have mini ear tips about them that assist safe them in your ear. They do not sound implausible (the bass is barely missing) however as their identify implies, they’re light-weight, snug to put on and work nicely for making calls.

It is also value noting that their charging case is remarkably slim and compact. It appears to be like like a tiny hot-dog bun. They’re additionally out there in white.

David Carnoy/CNET

Water resistantSure (IPX52 ranking — can face up to a sustained spray they usually’re dust-resistant).

Method again in 2015, Swedish firm Earin was the first to launch a set of true wi-fi earbuds. Now it is launched its third-gen A-3 earbuds, they usually look loads like what the usual AirPods would appear like should you eliminated their trademark extruding stems.

They match my ears securely they usually sound first rate — arguably higher than the AirPods — for this sort of earbud, although they’re barely bass-restrained. I additionally discovered they work nicely for making calls regardless that they do not have stems (their noise-reduction is first rate although not implausible), and I favored their charging case. 

The A-3 buds have an IPX52 water-resistance ranking (they will face up to a sustained spray of water however aren’t absolutely waterproof) and ship 5 hours of battery life with 5 additional expenses from their charging case. They’ve 14mm drivers, Bluetooth 5.0 and Qualcomm’s higher-end QCC5121 chipset. AAC and aptX audio codecs are supported (sure Android units like Samsung Galaxy smartphones help aptX streaming however iPhones don’t). 

David Carnoy/CNET

Water resistantSure (IPX5 ranking — can face up to a sustained spray).

The Nexigo Air T2 buds are billed because the “world’s thinnest and lightest earbuds,” weighing a mere 3.2 grams. I am unable to let you know for positive if they are surely the thinnest and lightest, however they’re actually small and light-weight and their case is the slimmest you’ve got ever seen (sure, it expenses through USB-C).

Just like the SoundPeats, these use Qualcomm’s 3040 chipset, which has Bluetooth 5.2 they usually help the aptX audio codec with suitable units. They stayed in my ears fairly nicely, however not as securely as a number of the different fashions on this record. I might be hesitant to run with them. 

Total, they had been higher than I believed they’d be — they work fairly nicely as a headset for making calls. Nevertheless, they solely sound OK. Their largest challenge is that they lack sturdy bass efficiency (that is a well mannered manner of claiming they’re bass-shy). 

The lengthy and in need of it’s I would not purchase these for the sound however for his or her slim design — there is not any bulge in your pocket from this case. I want to see them come down in worth to nearer to $50.

David Carnoy/CNET

Water resistantSure (IPX4 ranking — splash-proof).

The TaoTronics SoundLiberty 95 record for $50 however they’re recurrently discounted to lower than $40, if not much less. Utilizing 13mm drivers, they provide first rate sound in a splash-proof design they usually pair shortly together with your telephone. Primarily AirPods clones (however in black), they work nicely for calls, providing good noise-reduction. And just like the AirPods, they could keep in some ears extra securely than others. However they’re an entire lot cheaper, so should you lose them, you will not care as a lot. Battery life is rated at as much as seven hours at 50% quantity. 

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