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.

Similarities between Bluetooth Earbuds and Airpods
Both are wireless connection headphones
Can be connected to various devices wirelessly
Similar designs, compact and portable
Offer noise cancellation and good audio quality
Can be easy to lose and may require replacement
Need to be cautious to prevent loss

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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. 

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  • 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.

Differences between Bluetooth Earbuds and Airpods
Price: Airpods are more expensive than Bluetooth earbuds
Listening Time: Airpods offer longer battery life compared to Bluetooth earbuds
Automatic Connection: Airpods automatically connect to Apple devices, while Bluetooth earbuds require manual pairing
Connection to Voice Command: Airpods can connect to Siri for voice commands, while Bluetooth earbuds mostly rely on manual buttons
Compatibility: Airpods are compatible with both Apple and Android devices, while Bluetooth earbuds have varying compatibility depending on the manufacturer

Are Airpods Better than Bluetooth Earbuds?

Whether Airpods are better than Bluetooth earbuds depends on individual preferences and needs. Airpods offer seamless connectivity with Apple devices, longer battery life, automatic device switching, and the convenience of voice commands through Siri.

They also provide a premium audio experience and are compatible with both Apple and Android devices.

However, Airpods come with a higher price tag compared to many Bluetooth earbuds options available in the market. Bluetooth earbuds, on the other hand, offer affordability, a wide range of design options, compatibility with various devices (depending on the manufacturer), and good sound quality.

Ultimately, the decision between Airpods and Bluetooth earbuds boils down to personal priorities such as budget, desired features, and device compatibility.

In the following section, I will go through the different preferences people might wonder about to see what the difference between AirPods and earbuds. 

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What is the difference between Airpods and Earbuds?

1. Design

The biggest difference between AirPods and Bluetooth earbuds is the design. AirPods have a distinctive look with their stem-like shape protruding down from the ears. They also come in a charging case that is compact and easy to carry around.

On the other hand, Bluetooth earbuds come in various designs, but most of them are designed to fit directly into your ears without any stems or wires hanging down. Some models may have hooks or fins that help keep them securely in place during workouts.

While the design may not seem like a significant factor, it can affect how comfortable they are to wear for extended periods and how well they stay put while you’re moving around. It’s essential to consider which style would work best for your needs before making a purchase.


AirPods are Apple’s version of wireless earbuds. They feature a sleek design that is instantly recognizable and have become quite popular since their release in 2016. AirPods have a unique look that sets them apart from other earbuds on the market, with their signature white stems protruding from the ears.

AirPods use Apple’s proprietary W1 chip to seamlessly connect to Apple devices like iPhones, iPads, and Macs. This chip allows for easy pairing and switching between devices without any manual connection required.

AirPods also offer good battery life with up to 5 hours of listening time on a single charge and an additional 24 hours of battery life when using the charging case. The convenience offered by AirPods has made them a popular choice amongst iPhone users who value ease of use and seamless integration with their device ecosystem.

However, all these features come at a price – AirPods are relatively expensive compared to other wireless earbud options on the market.


Earbuds are smaller and more compact than AirPods, making them easier to carry around in your pocket or purse. They come with different types of ear tips that can fit into the ear canal comfortably, providing a snug fit that blocks out external noise.

One advantage of earbuds over AirPods is the variety of options available – there are many different brands and models to choose from at various price points. Some people may also prefer the sound quality of certain earbud models over AirPods.

However, one downside is that some cheaper earbud models may not have as good connectivity or battery life as AirPods. It’s important to research and read reviews before purchasing a pair of wireless earbuds to ensure they meet your needs.

Overall, if you prioritize portability and affordability over brand name recognition, a good pair of Bluetooth earbuds might be the right choice.

2. Comfort

When it comes to comfort, both AirPods and Bluetooth earbuds have their pros and cons. AirPods are designed to fit snugly in the ear without any additional support or hooks. Some users find this design comfortable, while others may experience discomfort over extended periods of use.

On the other hand, Bluetooth earbuds come in a variety of designs, including those with hooks or wings that provide additional support for the earbuds. This can make them more comfortable for some users, especially during physical activities such as running or working out.

Another factor to consider is the size and shape of your ears. While AirPods are a one-size-fits-all solution, Bluetooth earbuds often come with different-sized eartips to ensure a secure fit that stays put during movement.

Ultimately, comfort is subjective and depends on personal preference and how long you plan to wear your earbuds. It’s important to try different options to see what works best for you before making a decision.


AirPods are Apple’s signature wireless earbuds that were first released in 2016. Their unique design sets them apart from other true wireless earbuds on the market. The AirPods come with a charging case, which keeps them safe when not in use and charges them on the go.

The AirPods are known for their ease of use and seamless integration with Apple devices. They connect to your iPhone or iPad instantly as soon as you take them out of the charging case, thanks to the W1 chip inside the buds.

In terms of sound quality, the AirPods deliver excellent audio performance for everyday listening. While they may not be audiophile-grade headphones, they produce clear highs and mids and just enough bass to give your music a little kick.

One downside of the AirPods is that they don’t fit everyone’s ears perfectly due to their unique design. This can lead to discomfort after extended periods of use or during intense physical activity like running or working out.

Overall, if you’re an Apple user looking for wireless earbuds that offer great convenience and sound quality at a premium price point, then AirPods may be the right choice for you.


Earbuds are a type of wireless headphones that sit inside your ear. They are generally smaller and more discreet than over-ear headphones, making them a popular choice for people who want to listen to music while on the go. Unlike AirPods, which have a distinct stem design, most earbuds have no protrusion.

One important difference between AirPods and earbuds is the level of noise cancellation they offer. Many high-end earbuds now come with active noise cancellation technology built-in, which can help block out external sounds like traffic or background chatter. However, this feature can drain battery life faster compared to regular passive noise isolation.

Another key difference between AirPods and other types of earbuds is their price point. While you can find some cheaper options on the market, many high-end earbuds cost just as much (if not more) than Apple’s wireless headphones.

When it comes to choosing between AirPods and traditional Bluetooth earbuds, it really depends on your personal preferences and listening habits. If you value portability and ease-of-use above all else, then AirPods may be your right choice.

However, if sound quality or noise cancellation are must-haves in your audio setup, you might want to consider other options available in the market before making a decision!

3. Sound Quality

Sound quality is an important consideration when it comes to choosing between AirPods and Bluetooth earbuds. When it comes to sound quality, both AirPods and earbuds can provide high-quality audio. However, the experience may differ based on the specific model you choose.

AirPods are known for their excellent sound quality, with a wide soundstage that delivers rich bass tones and clear treble notes. They use advanced algorithms to adjust the audio output in real-time, ensuring that your music always sounds its best.

Bluetooth earbuds also offer great audio quality but are often dependent on specific models’ drivers. Some models emphasize bass or treble while others strive for a more balanced overall profile.

When comparing AirPods vs Bluetooth earbuds’ sound quality, keep in mind that personal preference plays a large role in determining what’s right for you. It’s always best to try out different options before making your final decision.


AirPods are a type of wireless earbuds designed and manufactured by Apple. One of the biggest differences between AirPods and traditional earbuds is that they don’t have any wires connecting them, making them truly wireless. AirPods’ design features a distinctive look with their elongated stems that protrude from the ear.

Comfort-wise, AirPods may not be suitable for everyone as each person’s ears are different in shape and size. However, many users find them comfortable to wear due to their lightweight and secure fit. Additionally, they come with multiple silicone tips to help find the right fit for your ears.

When it comes to sound quality, AirPods deliver impressive audio performance thanks in part to their custom-designed drivers that produce deep bass and clear mids and highs. They also have active noise cancellation technology which helps reduce external noise so you can focus on your music or calls.

In terms of connectivity, AirPods use Bluetooth technology to connect wirelessly with other devices, such as iPhones or iPads, without requiring any additional setup steps. They also support automatic pairing when you open the case near an iOS device that is signed into your iCloud account.

Battery life is another area where AirPods excel compared to traditional earbuds. With up to 5 hours of listening time on a single charge (and up to 24 hours with the charging case), you can enjoy all-day music playback without interruption.

Of course, one big difference between AirPods and regular Bluetooth earbuds is the price – Airpods are significantly more expensive than most other brands’ Bluetooth earbuds available in the market today, but this could change because some companies are moving closer towards emulating Apple’s design while keeping costs low for users who cannot afford high-end airpods..


Earbuds, on the other hand, are a type of headphones that sit outside the ear canal. They usually have a more traditional design with wires that connect to your device. The silicone or foam tips fit snugly in your ear and provide passive noise isolation.

One advantage of earbuds is their affordability compared to AirPods and other true wireless options. They also tend to have longer battery life since they don’t rely on Bluetooth connectivity for streaming audio. However, the sound quality may not be as good as AirPods or other high-end true wireless earbuds.

When it comes to comfort, many people find earbuds less comfortable than AirPods because they can cause discomfort after extended use or during physical activity like running due to their external design and lack of secure fitment options.

Overall, if you’re looking for an affordable option that still offers decent sound quality with longer battery life and doesn’t mind dealing with wires, then earbuds may be the better choice for you compared to True Wireless Earphones like Airpods, which cost more but offer more convenience.

4. Connectivity

When it comes to connectivity, AirPods and Bluetooth earbuds work similarly. Both use Bluetooth technology to connect with your device. The main difference is that AirPods use Apple’s W1 chip, making the pairing process seamless for iOS users.

AirPods also have a feature called Automatic Ear Detection which pauses music playback when you take them out of your ears and resumes when you put them back in. While some Bluetooth earbuds may have similar features, they may not be as seamless or reliable as AirPods.

In terms of range, AirPods and Bluetooth earbuds typically range around 30 feet from the device they’re connected to. However, this can vary depending on environmental factors such as walls or other obstructions.

Overall, while there are some differences in connectivity between AirPods and Bluetooth earbuds, they both offer wireless convenience without compromising on sound quality.


AirPods are wireless earbuds created by Apple and specifically designed for Apple products. The design is one of the most notable differences between AirPods and other Bluetooth earbuds. Their distinctive stem protrudes from your ears, making them stand out.

In terms of comfort, they’re lightweight and don’t cause any discomfort even when worn for extended periods of time. The sound quality on the AirPods is good but not exceptional, although it’s worth noting that they offer decent noise isolation capabilities.

The connectivity on AirPods is one of their major selling points – they connect almost instantly to an iPhone or iPad as soon as you open their case nearby. Additionally, users can easily switch between devices thanks to their integration with iCloud.

Battery life on AirPods has improved over time, with newer models providing up to 5 hours of listening time on a single charge. They also come equipped with a charging case that provides additional charges for longer usage.

While price can be considered a drawback for some considering purchasing airpods as they are rather expensive compared to other Bluetooth earbuds, keep in mind that these have been specifically designed for use within Apple technology ecosystem, which means seamless integration with all devices and easy-to-use features such as Siri voice commands right from your headphones.


Earbuds are smaller and more discreet than traditional headphones, making them a popular choice for people who want to listen to music or make phone calls on the go. They fit directly into your ear canal, providing a snug and comfortable fit.

One of the key benefits of earbuds is their portability. They’re lightweight and easy to carry around with you wherever you go, making them perfect for travel or working out at the gym.

In terms of sound quality, earbuds can be just as good as larger headphones. However, because they’re smaller in size, they may not have quite the same level of bass response or noise isolation that you’d get from over-ear headphones.

If you’re looking for a compact and portable option for listening to music or taking phone calls on the go, earbuds are worth considering. Just be sure to choose a high-quality pair that will provide clear sound and a comfortable fit.

5. Battery Life

When it comes to battery life, AirPods have an edge over most Bluetooth earbuds. The first-generation AirPods can last up to 5 hours of listening time and 2 hours of talk time on a single charge. With the charging case, you can get more than 24 hours of total listening time or up to 18 hours of total talk time.

The second-generation AirPods offer even better battery life. They can last up to 5 hours of listening time and 3 hours of talk time on a single charge. With the charging case, you can get more than 24 hours of total listening time or up to 18 hours of total talk time.

On the other hand, most Bluetooth earbuds have a battery life ranging from around two to six hours on a single charge. However, some high-end models come with portable charging cases that can provide additional battery backup.

In summary, if long battery life is your priority, then AirPods are definitely worth considering as they offer longer playback times per charge compared to most Bluetooth earbuds in the market.


AirPods are a type of wireless earbuds that were first introduced by Apple in 2016. They have a distinct design that sets them apart from traditional earbuds. Instead of having a wire connecting the two earpieces, AirPods are completely wireless and connect to your device via Bluetooth.

One of the main benefits of AirPods is their ease of use. They automatically turn on and connect to your device when you take them out of the charging case, and they pause audio playback when you remove one or both earpieces from your ears. Additionally, AirPods feature touch controls that allow you to play/pause music, skip tracks, answer calls, activate Siri, and more.

In terms of sound quality, AirPods offer decent sound for everyday listening but may not satisfy audiophiles who demand high levels of clarity and detail. However, their noise-cancellation technology helps block out external noise for clearer audio during phone calls or while watching videos on your phone or tablet.

Overall, if you’re an iPhone user looking for an easy-to-use pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones with good battery life (up to 5 hours per charge), then AirPods might be worth considering.


Earbuds are a type of headphone that sits directly in the ear canal. They are typically smaller and more discreet than traditional over-ear headphones. One advantage of earbuds is that they can provide better noise isolation since they fit snugly in your ears.

Many types of earbuds are available, ranging from very basic models to those with advanced features like noise cancellation and touch controls. Some earbuds also come with interchangeable tips to help you find the perfect fit for your ears.

When it comes to price, earbuds can be much cheaper than AirPods or other wireless headphones. You can find good quality Bluetooth earbuds for under $50, although high-end models can cost several hundred dollars.

Overall, if you’re looking for something small and discreet that provides solid sound quality at an affordable price, then earbuds might be the right choice. However, if you want the convenience of true wireless connectivity and some of Apple’s unique features, like Siri integration and seamless switching between devices, then AirPods might be worth the investment.

6. Price

When it comes to price, Bluetooth earbuds are generally more affordable than AirPods. While there are some high-end earbuds that can cost as much as AirPods, most models fall in the $50-$150 range. On the other hand, AirPods start at $159 for the standard model and go up to $249 for the Pro version.

It’s worth noting that while AirPods may be more expensive upfront, they do offer some additional features, such as noise-cancellation and wireless charging, that you may not find on cheaper earbud models. Ultimately, it comes down to your personal preferences and budget when deciding which option is best for you.

Final Thoughts

AirPods are the best wireless earbuds on the market right now. They offer the best user experience and come with more features than competitors. However, their price has encouraged 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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