To me, AirPods are the best Apple invention since the iPhone.
But they’re not for everyone.
My fiancée, for instance, says AirPods don’t fit her ears well. I know this is the case for many people, where Apple’s one-size-fits-all earbud solution doesn’t quite “fit all.”
Also, if you have an Android phone, you won’t get some of the AirPods’ best features, like how they automatically play or pause when you take them in and out of your ears.
So, what’s the best alternative to AirPods? While no other product right now has the same level of polish, one pair of wireless earbuds come mighty close: The Jaybird Run earbuds cost $179 – just $10 more than AirPods – but actually top Apple’s offering in several notable ways.
Here are 7 reasons to consider the Jaybird Run instead of Apple AirPods:
First, a quick list of similarities between Jaybird Run and AirPods:
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– Both Jaybird Run and AirPods last about 4 hours on a single charge.
– Both come with cases that hold and charge the earbuds when not in use. AirPods get an additional 20 hours of battery life from the case; Jaybird Run get an extra eight hours.
– Once you pair the earbuds to your phone the first time, the headphones will automatically connect every time you take them out.
– AirPods and Jaybird Run can summon personal voice assistants and control volume and playback.
– Both products work with iOS and Android devices, though the AirPods are more limited on Android, and the Jaybird Run loses some features on an iPhone.
Now, onto the perks of the Jaybird Run versus the AirPods:
1. There’s a better chance the JayBird Run will fit your ears, thanks to the flexible custom tips included with the earbuds. Apple AirPods are a one-size-fits-all proposition, for better or worse.
If Apple AirPods fit your ears, great! But that won’t be the case for everyone.
JayBird Run, thankfully, comes with two sets of oval ear tips, two sets of round ear tips, and four pairs of different sized ear “fins” to help people with all kinds of ears find a snug but comfortable fit.
You can combine different tips and fins to create a better seal for your ear, which is ideal if you’re moving around or working out.
2. Speaking of working out, JayBird Run earbuds are sweat-proof and water-resistant. Apple AirPods are neither of these, so exercise with them at your own risk.
Note: Getting Apple to fix your sweat- or water-damaged AirPods will cost you $69 per AirPod, as Apple’s Limited Warranty doesn’t cover any kind of accidental damage.
3. If you care about sound, the JayBird Run earbuds sound better than Apple AirPods, thanks in part to the better seal it creates in your ear.
Apple AirPods still sound great – I own them and I personally have no issues with the volume or quality of the audio whatsoever – but JayBird Run earbuds better approximate the quality you get with a normal pair of over-ear wireless headphones. I found this in my own tests with them, and YouTuber Marques Brownlee seems to feel the same way.
4. You can use the JayBird MySound app to change your audio profiles and play with how they sound. With AirPods, your audio experience is what comes out of the box, so to speak.
The MySound app can also help you find your lost earbuds, among its other features.
5. Jaybird Run are much less conspicuous. While AirPods are pure white and have a small stem at the bottom, like so …
- Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
… the Jaybird Run look a bit more subtle.
6. Jaybird Run works with Siri on an iPhone — but if you’re on an Android phone, you can use it to invoke the superior Google Assistant. On AirPods, you can only use them to talk to an assistant on an iPhone, and you’re locked into Siri.
7. Apple AirPods only come in one color. JayBird Run come in three.
Apple AirPods are white – unless you pay a company like ColorWare to change them.
JayBird Run earbuds come in three color combinations: Jet (black and silver), Drift (white, silver and black), and Flash-Alpha (yellow and silver).