Is There a Difference Between Bluetooth Earbuds and Airpods?

People often wonder if there is a difference between Bluetooth earbuds and Airpods. There are a few differences and similarities that I will highlight to help you better understand the difference. By the end of the article, you will have a better understanding of the difference between both products. 

The biggest difference between Bluetooth earbuds and Airpods is that Airpods are wireless earbuds from Apple. The term Bluetooth earbuds are mostly used to describe wireless earbuds from other brands like Samsung, Sony, and Bose.

I will discuss the similarities between both products first then follow up with the major differences. 

Is There a Difference Between Bluetooth Earbuds and Airpods
Photo by Daniel Romero

Similarities between Bluetooth Earbuds and Airpods

The similarities between the two products are among the chief reasons why people are confused between Bluetooth earbuds and Airpods.

  • Wireless Connection

Both Bluetooth earbuds and Airpods are part of the new generation of wireless connection headphones. You can listen to music from your device and move around because there are no wires to limit your movement. 

Moreover, you can connect to a variety of devices that accept wireless connections including tablets, phones, TVs, and other audio devices. Wireless earbuds are convenient because you can listen to your favorite tunes on the go anywhere.

  • Designs

Bluetooth earbuds and Airpods have similar designs, in that they are not wires. Most wireless earbuds have a simple design that is small and convenient. You can carry your wireless earbuds anywhere since they come with a small case. 

However, some designs are bigger or smaller than others. Design similarities include noise cancellation, good audio quality, battery, Bluetooth enables, waterproof, and universal fit for users. Expensive brands like Airpods have a better sound quality and additional features like voice command activation through Siri. 

  • Easy to Lose One

It is easy to lose an Airpod or Bluetooth earbud because they are small and can fall off easily. Apple has provided the option for users to replace one Airpod instead of buying a new pair each time users lose one of them. However, most Bluetooth earbuds are affordable and you can buy a new pair if you lose one of your earbuds. 

Overall, you need to be cautious when using and storing wireless earbuds to prevent loss of one piece.

READ MORE! This Is How To Find My AirPods Case (Solved!)

Difference between Bluetooth Earbuds and Airpods

There are several differences between regular Bluetooth earbuds and Airpods. Understanding the differences can help you make a better decision when making a purchasing decision.

  • Price 

I found out that Airpods go for about $160 and upwards, depending on the version of Airpods you are purchasing. Amazon has amazing Bluetooth earbuds that go for about $30-$40. The Bluetooth earbuds possess similar features to Airpod but have a lower price.

For example, the TOZO T10 wireless Bluetooth earbuds go for $29.99 and they have a rating of 4.4 stars. I would recommend purchasing the Bluetooth earbuds for first-time buyers and individuals on a tight budget.

  • Listening Time 

Airpods holds the record for having the longest listening time per single charge and the wireless earbuds go longer when charging. For example, AirPods Max wireless headphones can last up to 20hrs of listening time after a single charge. Overall, you will get an extended battery life when using Airpods in comparison to Bluetooth earbuds.

Bluetooth earbuds can last for 6hrs of listening time per single charge and about 12 hours when charging. I recommend Airpods if you like listening to music or podcasts for a prolonged period of time because they provide a better listening experience overall.

  • Automatic Connection

Airpods connect to other Apple devices once you pair them to your iPhone. Also, they will pair to any Apple-supported devices if there are any near you. A smart feature in Airpods automatically detects the device playing audio and will shift automatically to the new devices. 

You can forget about unpairing and pairing your wireless earbuds from one device to the next whenever you switch between devices. Airpods can switch across an iPhone, Mac Book Pro, Apple Watch, and iPad via iCloud.

Other Bluetooth earbuds require you to unpair from one device and pair to the next manually, which is time-consuming and inconvenient. 

READ MORE! Is OnePlus Buds Pro compatible with iPhone? (Full review)

  • Connection to Voice Command

Airpods can connect to Siri and allow a user to use voice commands instead of using manual buttons to adjust audio settings. You don’t have to touch your phone to adjust the volume or go to the next call. Moreover, you can issue commands to Siri from the Airpods and get responses in your ear, like making a phone call.

Some brands of Bluetooth earbuds have a voice command option, but most of them provide control buttons at the sides of the earbuds. However, tapping commands to your earbuds is not as convenient as giving voice commands. 

  • Compatibility

Airpods are compatible with both Apple and Android devices. You can buy Airpods even if you own a few android devices. Airpods have a chip that enables seamless connection to android devices to ensure android users get the best listening experience.

Bluetooth earbuds compatibility on the other hand depends on the manufacturer. Some of the Bluetooth earbuds are only compatible with android devices, while others work well with a specific brand. Therefore, you may not be able to use a pair of Bluetooth earbuds to listen to content across different devices.

Are Airpods Better than Bluetooth Earbuds?

Airpods provide the best audio listening experience in the market right now compares to other Bluetooth earbuds. However, there are a few brands like Sony that are offering amazing Bluetooth earbuds that can be an alternative to Airpods. 

You can start with affordable Bluetooth earbuds if you haven’t made up your mind about purchasing AirPods. 

READ MORE! Are Apple Airpods Max Comfortable? (Solved!) Full review!

Final Thoughts

Airpods are the best wireless earbuds in the market right now. They offer the best user experience and they come with more features than competitors. However, their price has encourages the emergence of affordable Bluetooth earbuds in the market. 

Although both Airpods and Bluetooth earbuds serve the same purpose, there are a few significant differences. I think that Airpods are worth it if you have multiple Apple devices at work or at home. Therefore, you can switch between various devices without lifting a finger. 

Another significant difference between Airpods and Bluetooth earbuds is that Airpods are high performances compared to other upcoming wireless earbuds in the market. By choosing Airpods, you will be choosing to have a wonderful audio experience whenever you are listening to audio content.

Espen is the Director of ProPairing


Espen is the Director of ProPairing and has written extensively about Bluetooth devices for years. He is a consumer product expert and has personally tested Bluetooth devices for the last decade.

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