Apple's AirPods may be the hottest new wireless earbuds on the market today, but they're certainly not the only ones worth customers' hard-earned cash.
For those who failed to order the Apple AirPods when they were made available on the Apple website earlier this week (new orders won't ship until late January), here are four wireless earbud alternatives that could make it to the front door in time for Christmas and one that can be pre-ordered (but is definitely worth waiting for).
These small Bluetooth earbuds are Samsung's first foray into the fitness earphone industry. Coupled with the Samsung S Health sync capability, they offer fitness tracking on top of just music listening. Used with fitness apps Runkeeper, Endomondo, Strava, and MapMyRun, they also serve as a heart-rate monitor. The downside to the Samsung Gear IconX is that, unlike the Apple AirPods, customers won't be able to use them with their iOS devices. The Samsung Gear IconX promises around 3 hours of music playback and fitness tracking between charges and comes in its own charging case. The Samsung Gear IconX is available now for $199 on the Samsung website.
These Apple AirPod alternatives are perfect for the dedicated outdoorsman. The Motorola VerveOnes+ are certified with the IP57 standard, which means that they provide full protection against sweat, rain, and dust. These are perfect for outdoor settings and heavy indoor use. Swimmers can also use them as they can be fully immersed in water. Unlike the VerveOnes+, the VerveOnes do not come with waterproofing. Nonetheless, both models offer 3.5 hours of battery life, a charging case that will top off the battery in 90 minutes, and Siri and Google Now support. The Motorola VerveOnes+ are $250 on the Motorola website.
The Elite Sport is Jabra's first entry into the wireless earbud game. Compared with the Apple AirPods, these may actually be a better fit for sports enthusiasts. The Jabra Elite Sport is fully waterproof and is certified with the IP67 rating. It even comes with a three-year warranty backing up Jabra's claim that this is the "most technically advanced, true wireless sports earbuds" on the market today. Apart from the IP67 certification, the Jabra Elite Sport offers heart-rate monitoring, 3 hours of battery life, and built-in noise reduction technology. The Jabra Elite Sport is $250 on the Jabra website.
Earin is the perfect Apple AirPod alternative for minimalists. This pair exudes simplicity and elegance with a clean, no-fuss design. These come with Comply memory foam ear tips that give the wireless earbuds a proper insertion seal and enhanced audio quality. The Earin works with the Earin app to monitor the battery life (only 2 1/2 hours of use, unfortunately) and for tweaking the earbuds' bass level. The Earin wireless earbuds are $199 on the Earin website.
The selling point of these Apple AirPod alternatives is a technology that Doppler calls "adaptive-filtering smart listening." These "in-ear computers" are the perfect earbuds for the noise-sensitive. They will reportedly filter out sounds users would rather not hear - the innovative noise-cancelling feature drowns out the sound of crying babies, nearby chatter, crowds, etc. They also offer support for various digital assistants. The Doppler Labs Here One is $299 on the Doppler Labs website.