Earbuds vs AirPods (honest comparison)


Earbuds and AirPods are the two most popular types of earphones today.

Here we dissect all aspects of both earbuds as well as Airpods to determine who is the winner in this category.

The difference between Earbuds and AirPods is that Earbuds are standard wired headphones that use a 3.5-millimeter headphone port or a lightning connection to connect to our devices, such as our phones or laptops, whereas AirPods are completely wireless. 

The competition between Airpods vs Earbuds has started to gain more attention.

More and more people are looking for ways to find the best earbuds or AirPods, but the truth is that choosing one over the other can be complicated. 

While there are distinctive features that set them apart, both earbuds and AirPods have their own advantages and disadvantages.

The following comparison should help you decide which among these two types of wireless headphones would suit your preference better.

Earbuds vs Airpods: Headphones Comparison Chart

Before I start the comparison, let me first show you a quick chart or table with all the info you need about these two headphone types in order to make your buying decision easier.

Earbuds Airpods
Price$149$159; $199 (with wireless charging case)
Wireless Charging CaseNoOptional
ChipNot statedH1
Battery Life (Rated)5 hours (ANC on), 8 hours (ANC off), 15 hours (charging case with ANC on), 24 hours (charging case with ANC off)5 hours (24 hours with charging case)
Water ResistanceIPX4No
Case Size2.2 x 2.8 x 1 inches2.1 x 1.7 x 0.8 inches
Case Weight1.7 ounces1.4 ounces
Special featuresHybrid active noise cancellation, transparency mode, spatial audio, Headphone Accommodations, customizable sound, Fast Fuel charging, “Hey Siri” and “Hey Google” voice activation, Bluetooth 5.2, Google Fast PairAudio sharing, “Hey Siri” voice activation, auto switching, customizable sound via iPhone settings, Live Listen, smart controls

Comparing Earbuds vs Airpods: Is There a Clear Winner?

As mentioned earlier, both earbuds and AirPods have their own advantages and disadvantages. However, there is no clear winner in this battle of the best wireless headphone types. 

Both earbuds and AirPods are designed to provide convenience when listening to music or while making phone calls. 

They can even do some tricks that set them apart from traditional headphones such as allowing users to activate Siri through voice commands without having to take out their phones. 

With all these benefits in mind, I believe that both devices would benefit anyone who wishes to listen to music wirelessly saying goodbye to tangled wires once and for all.

Earbuds vs Airpods: A more Detailed Comparison

Headphones are important tools for people who love listening to music or making calls while on the go. This is why it is also crucial to choose the right device that would meet your preferences and needs. 

While both earbuds and AirPods have their own set of advantages, choosing one over the other can be complicated. 

To help you decide which of these two types of wireless headphones would suit you better, here’s a more detailed comparison between Airpods vs Earbuds.


Pricing & Availability

The truth is that AirPods are relatively pricier than most earbuds available in the market today. However, this does not mean that all earbuds are cheaper than AirPods. 

Some earbuds like the ones manufactured by Beats cost almost as much (if not more) than AirPods, which makes it difficult to compare both headphones based on pricing alone.

Another factor that affects the price of AirPods vs earbuds is availability. Earbuds are available in most stores and shopping sites like Amazon while AirPods are only exclusive for iPhones (and Macs) since they use Apple’s W1 chip in order to function properly.

You can find options similar to AirPods with better prices in some cases if you opt for products that do not include the W1 chip in their specs sheet. 

So, when choosing between earbuds vs rods, one should consider how much they are willing to pay and which devices they would be using as well.

Wireless Connection & Signal Strength

Both earbuds and AirPods offer a wireless connection that is enabled by Bluetooth. However, there is a difference in the version of Bluetooth used by these two headphone types. 

Airpods use the latest version of Bluetooth (5) while earbuds may come with any version between 4 and 5 depending on their manufacturer and type.

The higher version number for Bluetooth does not necessarily mean that it can deliver stronger signals than lower versions. 

In fact, some lower versions like the ones found in previous generations of iPhones may produce better connections than those with higher numbers since older variants of Bluetooth were generally designed to work within shorter ranges.

Earbuds vs Airpods: Comfort

Improving the design of earbuds in recent years allowed them to become lighter and more comfortable than older models. 

Airpods on the other hand, are generally larger in size making them less suitable for anyone with smaller ears who would like to use these devices without causing discomfort or pain inside their ears.

Another factor that affects comfort when wearing AirPods vs earbuds is your ear’s anatomy (especially if you have large/small/flat/curved ear canals). 

Larger ear canals allow you to wear most types of earphones with minimal discomfort while people with smaller canals may either need custom-fit earphones or choose wireless headphones designed specifically for small ears.

Earbuds vs Airpods: Battery Life

One possible disadvantage of AirPods is that it comes with a rather small battery life when compared to traditional earbuds. The battery life of these devices ranges from 5 hours at best to 8 hours in some cases, which may not be enough for people who spend most of their time on the go.

This issue can be solved by using charging cases provided you have an extra budget for this accessory. Some wireless earbuds also come with charging cases so this factor should not affect your choice if you are eyeing a device that offers better battery life than AirPods.

You can also choose to use lower-quality music files or keep your volume level low in order to conserve battery life.

Earbuds vs Airpods: Sound Quality

If you are an audiophile, sound quality is one of the most important factors that should affect your choice between earbuds or AirPods. You may have read many conflicting reports on this matter but let’s try to compare these two devices based on their overall sound quality.

Airpods are known for their good bass response which makes them great for listening to songs with deep beats and instrumentals.

However, they are not loud enough in some cases which makes it difficult to listen to music using these headphones without turning up the volume all the way up. The maximum volume output by AirPods is 115 decibels (dB) while most earbuds can produce a maximum of 120 dB which translates to a more powerful sound.

Earbuds vs Airpods: Other Factors To Consider

Another factor that makes AirPods suitable for listening to music is the fact that they offer a more immersive listening experience. 

Since these wireless earbuds come with multiple integrated microphones, you can use them for making voice calls as well as controlling Siri by simply saying “Hey Siri” without needing to tap on your device’s screen or press any buttons.

Since the release of Apple’s wireless earbuds, other companies have been releasing their own versions of Bluetooth headphones designed to compete against AirPods. 

If you already have an Android smartphone and would like to stay from Apple’s ecosystem but still like the features offered by AirPods, you can check out some of the wireless earbuds available in the market. 

If you’re an iOS user, let’s see if there are any other factors that should affect your choice between airport alternatives and regular wired earphones.

Earbuds vs Airpods: Price

The price of most wireless headsets (including AirPods ) is usually higher than traditional wired headphones. The main reason for this is because these devices come with integrated Bluetooth chips which make them more expensive to manufacture compared to simple earphones. 

However, if you already have a Bluetooth headphone or speaker that you would like to use with your smartphone. 

This factor may not affect your decision much since most wireless headphones allow you to connect using a Bluetooth dongle or 3.5mm audio cable (if your device lacks Bluetooth connectivity and has a 3.5mm headphone jack).


Earbuds vs Airpods: Design

If you prefer headphones with a cord, you can also consider wired earphones designed for sports which are sweat-resistant and usually come with an in-line microphone as well as volume control buttons. 

These types of earphones will work as great alternatives for those looking for features offered by AirPods such as their portability, simplistic design, and wireless connectivity. 

They may not be as stylish as wireless earbuds but they do offer decent sound quality and stay put inside your ears even if you use them while working out at the gym.

Both AirPods and earbuds come with their own set of pros and cons so it is really up to you as a user to determine which device will work best for your needs. 

Earbuds are more affordable than AirPods but if you want better sound quality along with personalized features such as touch controls, voice assistant, and noise cancellation then you should consider buying wireless headphones instead of cheap wired ones.


If you want exceptional sound quality then Airpods may be a better option for you since their audio performance is much better than most other wireless earphones available in the market.

However, if you don’t mind sacrificing some sound quality in order to get higher durability and comfort then earbuds are definitely the right choice for you. 

Moreover, if you frequently misplace objects like keys or smartphones — then AirPods would certainly be an expensive buy for you because of its high price tag.

Earbuds on the other hand offer both wired and wireless connectivity options which means that users can either use them when they don’t have a device connected to them or when their battery dies. 

Airpods offer better connectivity than earbuds if they include a wire because it allows users to use them even when their battery dies.

Most wired earbuds also feature an in-line remote which lets users control their music without needing to pick up their device every time they want to skip a song or make volume changes etc.

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