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Apple AirPods aren’t on offer for Black Friday, but these wireless buds are better

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Those looking for cheap AirPods will be disappointed, but there are some great non-Apple alternatives

If you were in the hunt for some Apple AirPods this Black Friday, you’ll be left empty handed. But don’t put your wallet away just yet: there are some excellent alternatives available that offer the convenience and form factor of Apple’s wireless earbuds, and often offering superior sound quality to boot.
 
I asked our resident audiophile Chris Minasians to assess the AirPod-like buds, and these were his suggestions, ranked by sound quality:

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 – £208

I’ll let our review do the talking here. “If you’re dead set on eliminating ALL the cables, then there’s nothing that quite matches the sonic and design characteristics of the B&O Beoplay E8. They’re great.“
 
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RHA TrueConnect True Wireless Earbuds – £149.95

We haven’t reviewed these, but Chris assures me these are a close second behind the Beoplay E8s, and they retail for a fair bit cheaper too. Offering five hours’ playback from a single charge and an extra 20 hours’ battery life in the case, these are a truly excellent pair of AirPod alternatives.
 
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Mobvoi TicPods – £119.99

From the company that brought us cheap Wear OS smartwatches (the TicWatch) comes cheap AirPod-alikes. With four hours’ battery life and four charges from the case, you’re looking at a long-lasting set of earphones with solid sound quality at an appealing price.
 
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Soul ST-XS sports earphones – £91.02

These ones made our best Bluetooth headphones list thanks to their impressive sound quality and keen price. As we said in the piece: “Throughout the frequency range, these impress – the bass is deep and pronounced, the treble is non-recessed and forward-sounding and the highs are clear with a good extension at the top-end. They don't sound congested either, with a detailed soundstage that's both wide and deep-sounding.”

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Motorola Stream True Wireless – £49.99

These also made our best wireless headphones list, though with a £50 RRP they obviously don’t sound quite as good as their rivals. Still, they’re good enough – the main drawback is the small battery capacity, with the buds only lasting for a couple of hours before requiring a recharge from the bundled case.  
 
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