In-ear headphones or earbuds are kinds of win and loss for the people. Some love their compact design and the fact that you can easily wear them under a hat or helmet, while others do not like to have something in your ears. Light and compact enough for the gym without sacrificing audio quality, in-ear headphones are perfect for more or less any situation you can think of to throw at them – running, cycling, walking or just walking around town.
Ideally, the best earbuds (often referred to as in-ear headphones or earphones) should be particularly comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Newer models can be completely wireless, but if the lifetime of the battery is important to you, you might want a pair of wired buttons. We are constantly evaluating new pairs of earphones, so we always update this list because we find it better.
How We Test
We test headphones and earbuds the way normal people live.
We carry each pair of earbuds through a rigorous process over the course of several days. This means that they are played in all kinds of scenarios – on the bus, in the listening room or at the office – and they are played from a wide range of sources. We know that most people use their headphones with a smartphone, often with MP3-resolution tracks of lesser quality, so we test that too.
However, we also switch to high-resolution audio files, as well as a wide range of sources, which connect directly to a PC or Mac, using USB DAC (digital-to-analog converters) and using high-quality dedicated portable players and amplifiers. Finally, we compare the earplugs with some of our go-to models, both in their class and price range and with one or two levels above to find out if they can beat their weight.
Best Earbuds Earbud Name Category Rating 1More Triple Drivers Best Overall 9.5 out of 10 Jabra Elite Active 65T Best fully wireless earbuds 9.4 out of 10 Jaybird X3 Sport Best banded wireless earbuds 9.3 out of 10 Jabra Elite Sport Best fitness tracking earbuds 9.3 out of 10 Audiofly AF180 Best earbuds for audiophiles 9.2 out of 10 Bose QuietComfort 20 Best noise canceling earbuds 9.2 out of 10 Shure SE112M+ Best iPhone EarPod alternatives 9.1 out of 10 Nuheara IQbuds Best ‘hearable’ 9.1 out of 10 Westone W40 Best rugged, tough earbuds 9.0 out of 10 Bose SoundSport Best Workout Earbud 8.9 out of 10
1More Triple Drivers
We could have chosen many ways for this choice, but 1More’s unobtrusive Triple Drivers simply would not show up in the picture. The 1More are not at the top of the class in terms of performance, but what they do for them is unrivaled quality and value at their (very accessible) price.
So what do the Triple Drivers offer specifically? A beautiful aesthetic, solid construction and you guessed it, three drivers for an excellent sound. This includes a dynamic driver for the bass and a balanced armature driver for both the midrange and the treble. The result is sparkling clarity, smooth and powerful bass and a balanced sound that exceeds everything we’ve heard on the $100 line. Should we say more? How about a Lightning version?back to menu ↑
Jabra Elite Active 65T
Jabra’s Elite Active 65t may look like miniature versions of the Bluetooth headsets that have put the brand on the map more than a decade ago but do not be fooled by the aesthetics. Thanks to the solid battery life, excellent sound quality, and IP56 waterproof rating, these little guys are the best AirPods from Apple as our favorite fully wireless headphones.
The Elite Active 65t has an ergonomic design, with three different sets of earplugs to ensure a good seal. Thanks to the excellent passive sound insulation you get the maximum out of each note and you can also lower the volume for less hearing. The overall sound quality is good, clear and balanced, with a spicy bass response and a very dynamic treble register.
The Elite Active 65t offers five hours of battery life per charge – matching the AirPods and one of the best you can find right now – and the included charging pouch adds two fillings before you need to find a micro USB cable.
The IP56 classification means that they are safe around high-pressure water jets and are protected against restricted dust ingress and that you do not have to worry about them while you sweat or in the rain, which contributes to the overall comfort of the headphones. All in all, it is a great package for a great price.back to menu ↑
Jaybird X3 Sport
The third entry in Jaybird’s X Sport series improves almost anyway its predecessor and offers some of the best available value in a pair of wireless earbuds, period. The fact that they are perfect to work out increases their value quotient. The sweat-resistant X3 is slimmer and more attractive than the X2, and the company does a lot to ensure that they are comfortable in multiple settings thanks to the added ear fins, silicone gel and Comply Foam tips – all in three different sizes to ensure a good fit to ensure.
In terms of sound, the 6 mm drivers in each earpiece deliver a resonant, impressive sound quality with an impressive sound image. Jaybird also offers a corresponding app that lets you create custom audio equalizers, perfect for those of us who resonate between genres, and you can also enjoy your music for a long time, such as battery life (linked to 8 hours per charge) survives a lot of competition.back to menu ↑
Jabra Elite Sport
Although in the vast majority of cases we still prefer the wired sound, a place where wireless headphones have a clear advantage during training. That’s the moment when every cable – even the thin wire behind the head of many striped wireless headphones – has a talent to get in the way
That is why our choice for the best training headphones is the fully wireless Jabra Elite Sport. Based on Jabra’s Sport Pulse Special Edition, the headset features a built-in heart rate sensor in the left earphone and an IP67 rating, which means that they can be submerged for up to 30 minutes under the water of 3.3 meters. That means they can handle long runs on the hottest summer days, and even a short dive in the lap pool. In addition, they can be easily rinsed off after the most demanding workouts.
The Elite Sport battery offers 4.5 hours of playback time per charge, enough juice to do just about every work experience, except for a marathon, and a supplied charging case adds two extra charges to keep them in your sports bag. Jabra’s Sport Life app is the brain behind many of the headphone workout features, offering motion registration and voice prompts to go with heart rate measurements during your workouts.back to menu ↑
Yes, they are expensive, but these in-ear beauties from Audiofly are among the best you can get, and that kind of quality begs a pretty penny. The inclusion of in-ear monitors can evoke the thoughts of a rock show, which is appropriate considering the Audiofly AF180 is central to almost all accounts. The high-end headset swaps standard dynamic drivers for a four-pack of tiny balanced luminaires and manages to deliver warm mid tones and vividly accurate treble without sacrificing bass in the process.
Perhaps more importantly, these babies smooth out the spirited bite that is sometimes associated with balanced luminaires, yet deliver glorious detail and brilliant dynamic expression. The shiny, wrap-around design of the AF180 is also one of the most attractive in its class and offers an admirable degree of passive sound insulation and a matching comfort. The deep spacing and clear details in the soundstage make them equally suitable to reproduce Radiohead as Ray LaMontagne.
Few earplugs sound so good, and there are none that we can find that are cheaper than these.back to menu ↑
Bose QuietComfort 2.0
The DSP suite that accompanies the amplified sound engine of the QC20 can sometimes make music a bit synthetic and over-digitized, but the resounding characteristics of Bose’s signature noise-canceling in-ears will probably outweigh all negatives. And although the battery pack is a bit cumbersome, it gives you complete control of the system in an ergonomic design, while at the same time you can use 16 hours of noise reduction.
Equipped with dense plastic and finished with silver accents, these solid built-in earphones radiate absolutely when it comes to active noise reduction (no surprise here), effectively using Bose’s own ANC technology to drown out the unwanted buzz of the outside world and replace it with a peaceful humming. We are talking about complete silence in the style of walking-on-the-moon, even if you take them to a busy bar or take a trip through a busy supermarket.
The comfortable earbuds keep the earbuds in place in almost any situation, but they also manage to deliver clear sound across different genres, with a wide range of functions that complement the first-class noise reduction.back to menu ↑
It’s great that Apple has earphones with every iPhone, but if you really like audio quality, you’ll want to invest in a few better buds.
With a price of just $ 60, Shure’s SE112m + offers some of the best value for money in our roundup. The dynamic drivers are capable of an admirable 102 dB SPL with a claimed frequency response of 25 Hz to 17 kHz, allowing an open soundstage that overflows with tight basses and finely focused mid-tones. They do not have the kind of liquid detail or laser-like treble you get from the Triple Drivers, but the sound quality is far above most smartphone buttons.
The robust build and the above-average passive sound insulation of the SE112 + mask the melange of sounds that traverse the outside world, and although the upper register may occasionally be a bit spicy, we adamantly prefer the muted competitors you find for this price.back to menu ↑
Although they do play music and make phone calls, the real reason someone should consider Nuheara IQbuds is to improve the sounds around them. Whether it’s about increasing speech volume or filtering ambient noise, IQbuds are the best on the market to help separate the sounds you want to hear from those you do not know.
For people who are slightly hard of hearing, the IQbuds can automatically separate background noise from speech, and even provide eight customizable location settings for when you enter different sound environments. Those with more hearing damage in one ear than in the other ear can also adjust the overall balance of the headphones so that the volume even sounds. With a simple and clear app and touch control on the side of the wireless earbuds, you can quickly choose and choose what you want to hear.
The sound quality when listening to the headphones was one of the best in their class. And perhaps most importantly: the battery life – 3.5 hours for audio streaming and just over 5 hours for audio filtering.back to menu ↑
Westone products are not cheap. Nevertheless, the company prefers to release headphones that are just as accurate as durable. The W40 is no exception and present sleek, sturdy nails build and the kind of discreet matte black finish that you can find almost a tenth of the price on your headphones.
Are not you going for the Batman atmosphere? The black casings can be accentuated with red or blue interchangeable plates (shown above) to mix the items. The 4-pack of balanced luminaire drivers provides superior clarity across the entire sound spectrum and provides a precise, vivid definition. These professional in-ears are also fairly comfortable, but more focused on audiophiles than the casual listener.
These are undoubtedly an expensive investment. But if you need the utmost accuracy and quality of your in-ears, but do not want to baby them, these are the earphones you are looking for. They lick and keep jamming so that you can play randomly whenever you want, without sacrificing high-quality sound.back to menu ↑
Bose makes what is undoubtedly the best workout earplugs on the market. The SoundSport Bose earphones come in three sizes of their unique ‘StayHear’ tips, designed for both comfort and stability while moving. The earplugs are also resistant to sweat, which is an important plus: if you pay for a quality set, you absolutely want to know the peace of mind that deafening sweat will not break them.
The sound quality of the Bose SoundSport earbuds can be described as above average and the soundstage is slightly tuned to emphasize the ranges that outdoor athletes enjoy the most. Voice is emphasized and there is a clear middle range, with less emphasis on bass.
The earplugs come in five different colors: charcoal, energy green, frost, neon blue, and power red. Bose SoundSport earplugs also have a clothes clip and thin cables, which means that they do not get stuck and restrict your movement when you’re training.
Things To Know
- Driver: the unit that produces sound in headphones, consisting of magnets, voice coils, and other materials. Typically, the larger the driver, the more power a headset has, and generally larger drivers in in-ear headphones indicate that a better range of frequencies can be reproduced.
- Dynamic Driver: a single driver that can cover the entire frequency range. The diaphragm is directly connected to a voice coil in the headphones, whereby the voice coil moves between magnets to produce sound.
- Balance Armature Driver: In a balanced armature driver, the diaphragm of the headphones are connected to the anchor, with micro-vibrations that produce the sound. Most balanced luminaire drivers are best within a specific frequency range. That’s why many headphones contain multiple balanced drivers, with certain frequencies divided over drivers for full spectrum sound.
- Sound phase: the perceived size and depth of the sound coming through the headphones.
- Passive noise isolation: noise that is blocked by the headset based on the physical shape and size in your ear.
- Frequency range: the spectrum of frequencies that a headset can reliably reproduce.
As you will see and search for the Best Earbuds Of 2019, there are many choices. Above you will find the best category you can choose based on your requirements. All the earbuds mentioned above are tested by in our lab and then only they have earned their place in this list. Let us know which earbuds you like from the above entries. If you have other good options, feel free to share with us through the comment section.
Top 10 Best Earbuds Of 2018