5 reasons you should buy Apple’s $30 earbuds instead of the $160 AirPods

Apple’s wireless earbuds, called AirPods, are one of my favourite gadgets right now – and one of my favourite Apple products ever.

That said, AirPods are not for everyone.

Here are 5 reasons you should consider Apple’s wired $US30 EarPods instead of the company’s $US160 AirPods:

1. The price is right with EarPods.


EarPods cost $US30.

AirPods cost $US160.

2. Music playback is more limited with AirPods.

You can easily control EarPods’ volume with those physical controls attached to the wire. Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Apple’s wired EarPods have physical controls on the wires that let you play or pause your music, and control the volume. They can also fast-forward songs (double-tap the center button and long-press the second tap), rewind songs(tap three times with a long-press on the third tap),skip songs (double tap), or go to the previous song (triple tap).

AirPods have fewer functions than EarPods have – you can’t fast forward or rewind songs with AirPods – and you can only select two of the four available functions at a time. You can assign one AirPod to control play/pause, and have another AirPod skip to the next track, but that means you won’t be able to go to the previous track, or use Siri, for example.

3. EarPods are more stylish than AirPods. These are EarPods.


These are AirPods.


Any questions?

5. EarPods never need to be recharged.


EarPods require no power to work. Just plug them into your iPhone (you may need an adaptor with most modern iPhones), and you’re ready to go.

AirPods last about five hours, and come with a carrying case that will give you up to 24 additional hours of listening time. After that, music time is over until the next time you can recharge.

5. It’s more costly if your AirPods get lost or damaged.


If you lose or damage Apple’s wired earbuds, you’ll just have to buy another pair for $US30. Still, there’s a good chance you might have an extra pair lying around, since they come packed with most other Apple products including iPods, iPhones, and iPads.

It’s more costly if you lose your AirPods. Apple says you’ll need to buy a new pair, “just like any other Apple product.” Losing the case, or a single AirPod, will cost you $US89. Battery issues with AirPods or the charging case will cost you $US65. (You can learn more about AirPods repair costs here.) For that much money, though, you could just buy yourself a pair of EarPods.

In general, Apple has a ton of great alternatives to some of its most popular products.

Check out our other Apple comparisons:

9 reasons you should buy an iPhone 7 instead of an iPhone X

11 reasons you should buy an iPhone 6S instead of the iPhone 8 or iPhone X

Forget the $US1,000 iPhone X – Apple’s best iPhone is now its least expensive, at just $US350

9 reasons you should buy an iPhone 8 instead of an iPhone X