7 Best Earbuds You Can Buy

7 Best Earbuds You Can Buy

#1
Best Bass Earbuds: Bowers & Wilkins C5 S2 In-Ear Headphones
#2
Best Bluetooth Earbuds: Sol Republic Shadow Wireless In-Ear Headphones
#3
Best Noise Canceling Earbuds: Bose QuietComfort 20
#4
Best Earbuds for Running: Jaybird X2 Sport Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

It’s a good time to be a music lover – there are more ways than ever to hear your music, and we’re finally getting to a point where even a lower end set of buds can pump out legitimately strong audio. Are you still rocking the freebies that came with your phone? Did your last upgrade come back in the aughts? If you’re serious about your sound, you may not know what you’re missing if you haven’t looked around lately (like the new Sennheiser headphones).

We’ve got a little something for everybody here. Like to have a few sets of cheap earbuds so you can stash one in every bag you own? Try Panasonic’s ErgoFit. Do you require the absolute silence only active noise cancelation earbuds can give you? Bose’s QuietComfort20 has you covered. Are you all about the bass? The Bowers & Wilkin C5 really blasts it out.

Or maybe you hate wires? Sol Republic’s Shadow Wireless is a beauty and a terrific value; they could be the best wireless headphones out there. For the fitness-focused out there, the Jaybird X2 Sport delivers premium wireless sound and the most secure fit on the market.

Take a look at this list of the best in ear headphones, all of which are highly regarded and well-reviewed. We’ve even thrown in a pair of sweet over the ear headphones for the audiophile inside all of us. It’s not cheap, but with exceptional wireless capabilities and an advanced mic, it mixes luxurious materials with portability in a very attractive package.

(And, if you’re really on a budget, check out our ranking of the Best In-Ear Headphones Under $100.)


Editorial staff

7 Best Earbuds You Can Buy

7 Best Earbuds You Can Buy

Read Video Infographic Tips

It’s a good time to be a music lover – there are more ways than ever to hear your music, and we’re finally getting to a point where even a lower end set of buds can pump out legitimately strong audio. Are you still rocking the freebies that came with your phone? Did your last upgrade come back in the aughts? If you’re serious about your sound, you may not know what you’re missing if you haven’t looked around lately (like the new Sennheiser headphones).

We’ve got a little something for everybody here. Like to have a few sets of cheap earbuds so you can stash one in every bag you own? Try Panasonic’s ErgoFit. Do you require the absolute silence only active noise cancelation earbuds can give you? Bose’s QuietComfort20 has you covered. Are you all about the bass? The Bowers & Wilkin C5 really blasts it out.

Or maybe you hate wires? Sol Republic’s Shadow Wireless is a beauty and a terrific value; they could be the best wireless headphones out there. For the fitness-focused out there, the Jaybird X2 Sport delivers premium wireless sound and the most secure fit on the market.

Take a look at this list of the best in ear headphones, all of which are highly regarded and well-reviewed. We’ve even thrown in a pair of sweet over the ear headphones for the audiophile inside all of us. It’s not cheap, but with exceptional wireless capabilities and an advanced mic, it mixes luxurious materials with portability in a very attractive package.

(And, if you’re really on a budget, check out our ranking of the Best In-Ear Headphones Under $100.)


Editorial staff

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86
Score 86

Why People Love it

  • Includes carrying case, clothing clip and four patented oval-shaped eartips
  • “i” model features 3 button remote for full control on Apple products
  • These comfortable headphones pack excellent bass and solid highs for the price

The Klipsch R6i in-ear headphones offer noise cancelling and a mic. These headphones have oval ear tips that provide comfort for hours.

The bass sound can get slightly murky on very bass heavy songs.

Details

What Reviewers Say:

What's not to love about these headphones? You'll find a lot of people raving about these babies.

  • As for sound, the first thing you'll notice is that these are very bass-heavy. Now the S4 line has always been a bass-heavy line, but this is noticeably more. While I'm grateful for the rich bass in songs that are lacking in that department, if you listen to a bass-heavy song, it can get slightly murky and muddy on the low ends. For the most part, it is kept tight and punchy and you really get a great sound. Treble is not too dynamic and depending on your music tastes, I think most will appreciate that. I also think that in general, most will enjoy the quality you get out of these headphones. You hear every little detail and feel every beat.
  • Klipsch are the best sounding earbuds on the market.
  • The R6's have deep and vibrant bass and I absolutely love listening to music with them. By far some of the best ones I've experienced. They also handle treble pretty well, but I think the defining factor would definitely be their bass quality. The noise isolation is also excellent--I can completely tune out my surroundings with these in and the volume generally isn't even turned up very loud.

 

 

80
Score 80
$35
152 Bought | Save: $45 (56% OFF)

Details

What Reviewers Say:

With a perfectly respectable Amazon score, you can expect to read a lot of comments like this:

  • I will start with saying that I love headphone/earbuds, and I am on a life-long quest to find great sound. Actualy, sometimes I feel it is more like an addiction (like buying a new set of cans at 2:30 in the morning because I cant sleep). It is not realistic to say that these little buds are the Be all End all of pristine and perfect sound quality that people spend beacoup bucks trying to find. Not everyone is crazy like me and willing to spend $400-$800 on a set of buds or cans that will bring ever so slightly supperior sound quality. So unless you are me and have a need to stick anything that claims to be high quality in or on your ears, and you are just looking for a fantastic sound at an unbelieveable price - GET THESE!!!
  • these were my first pair of higher quality headphones ever. I bought them about 4 years ago. I paid $50 for them. After hearing how awesome the sound was, I thought to myself "if these were only $50, I wonder how great the sound would be if I spent $150 or $300." And so I did....I bought the Sennheiser 595's (GREAT cans), I got the Monster Turbines, I got the Shur SLC2, I got the Sennheiser PX200's, and I got two other kinds of sennheiser earbuds which I ended up giving away to my girlfriend and brother. Don't get me wrong, all of these new headphones I experimented with were great. But I can honestly say that these are STILL my favorite all-around headphones. Matter of fact I am bumping some Radiohead in them right now. They are awesome for all kinds of music - incredibly balanced bass, superior sound quality, awesome noise reduction, everything you could possibly want. hip hop, classic rock, soul, jazz, blues, electronic are the styles of music I listen to most - great for all.

 

83
Score 83
$11
115 Bought | Save: $9 (45% OFF)

Details

What Reviewers Say:

With 4.4 stars, you can bet that people have good things to say about them.

  • The Wirecutter called these the best headphones under $30 (Nov 2013), and they were not kidding. These are the most comfortable earbuds I have ever tried, they stay put during activity, and the sound is clear and full.
  • These earphones are great IEM's especially for their price. The sound on these little things are spectacular compared to other earphones in, and above their price range. They fit extremely comfortably in your ears. They do not protrude from your ears, which is good if you like to listen to music in bed.
  • These are hands down the best earbuds I have EVER heard under $100!! I own a pair of Shure-215 earbuds that cost me $125. The Panasonics sound 80% as good as them at 10% of the cost!!! Unbelievable :)

 

88
Score 88

Details

What Reviewers Say: 

Although the stars are on the low side, runners themselves absolutely rave about these earbuds:

  • I purchased these to replace a broken pair of wired Monster headphones. I primarily use them for running and must admit I am completely satisfied. Sound is great and the figment is also great. I'd recommend them.
  • I'm a runner and I have forever been looking for the best headphones to run with. Over the years, i've probably purchased 30 different types from high end Sure 535s at $550 all the way down to $5 specials. For the most part the Bluebuds have been great at dealing with sweat and moisture.
  • Sound quality is great - As good as my $100 bose soundtrue earbuds(for a regular joe, it is more than enough). I use to watch movies on my mac and netflix on my roku and it sounds great. Noise cancelling is passive(enough to zone in but safe enough to hear surroundings while running). Battery life is as advertised - Ran for a week running 5-7 miles daily, watching movies without charging. Gets approximately 8 hours.

 

90
Score 90

Details

What Reviewers Say:

With 4.5 stars out of 5, you can bet these headphones have a lot of positive reviewers.

  • I don't use the word "revolutionary" casually. Truth is, a product rarely qualifies for that accolade. But knowing as much as I do about noise-cancelling technology, I would not have believed that what Bose has accomplished with the QC20 series was even possible. In fact, I'd say they've created the best all-around earphone or headphone on the market today for everyday use with portable music players.
  • The sound is immersive. I find that outside noises disappear, what is being played is rendered clearly, cleanly, and with a good deal of resonance. The headset fit is ideal; I can be wearing the earbuds for hours at a time and not notice them at all. On long flights, in particular, I find myself becoming lost in what I am listening to/watching and the time passes all but unnoticed.
  • If you fly a lot these are great. I've been through many noise cancelling headsets previosly on the on ear type. They cost 350.00 they were comfortable till my ears started to sweat kept out the noise fantastically built in Bluetooth. Then I saw the Bose QC20. I've never been a fan of ear buds till Bose with their "Stayhear+" tips. I live near a Bose store so I tried them. I got them with a promise that I could return them if I didn't like them. So I got them and hopped on a 6 hour flight. Finally no sweaty ears, great noise cancelling and small light weight package to carry, and a microphone for phone calls. I suggest you try the different ear tips and get the right fit. The usual great Bose sound. No banging bass like those beats. Just nice clean sound with right amount of bass. Okay one small complaint they are a bit delicate so treat them gently. Yes they are a bit pricey but for quality and level of noise cancelling (not isolation) I said cancellation. These come close to being worthy of the price tag. I've taken a bold step by carefully putting a small amount of Sugru at the connection points. I know you shouldn't have to but I like the sound. I hope they improve the quality and make a sweatproof Bluetooth version. Consider this a luxury buy, or as I like to call the sanity on the plane and they are great to wear in the terminal too. Blocks out that annoying PA system.

 

94
Score 94

Details

What Reviewers Say:

A lot of people love these headphones. Here's what they have to say:

  • I've had to wait a week or so to review these earbuds because I wanted to make sure this was really true love and not just something cheap and fleeting. It turns out I really am in love with these earbuds though. It's not a blind love; I can still recognize the flaws and shortcomings, but it's love nevertheless.
  • As far as the Shadows go, I love their look and fit. They have an awesome aesthetic quality that makes them very appealing, and they accomplish this by streamlining everything. This is one of the reasons that functionality becomes an issue for some, which the video illustrates and which I, again, do not have an issue with. The Shadow is flexible to the point of almost doubling over on itself, and the way the headphones/ earbuds wear suits the user. This was something I was unsure on at first, but I quickly found myself agreeing with.
  • of the several bluetooth headsets i've tried. these IMHO have the most bang for the buck. I can't imagine any higher priced ones sounding better than these.

 

95
Score 95

Details

The C5 S2 headphones have a remote/microphone cable to control your iPhone. The loops around the earbuds help keep them fastened to your ear. 

What Reviewers Say:

If you're like most people that own these earbuds, you'll soon be in love with them:

  • The Bowers & Wilkins C5 S2 have made me, for the first time in my somewhat mature life (I'm in my mid-30's), truly aware of the incredible talent and skill possessed by classical musicians, whose music I have long loved, but whose personalities have remained hidden behind the tragic fog of past technological limitations. The first gen C5's never accomplished this (more on them later). For the first time, while listening to Mozart's string quartet No. 22 in Bb, the Larghetto movement, I not only felt as though I was physically in the presence of truly talented musicians (the 1 gen C5's did this Ok), I actually empathized with the unbelievable control and self-discipline they must have in order to record a perfect cut. Every possible subtle nuance was clearly exposed and had me on the edge of my seat during the piano to forte transitions hoping that these masterful musicians would pull off the twists and turns, not only without error, but with that kind of artistic grace that leaves one breathless, and because of the equal amount of commitment given by the people at B&W in the production of these headphones I was allowed to experience music unlike I have ever done before. The quality is on the level of a real life performance. You feel as though you are not only there present in the hall with the musicians, but that you are sitting there right next to them, feeling the performance as close to the musicians (in soul & spirit) as you can possibly get. It brings you to a heightened state of awareness.
  • It truly deserves its full 5 stars!
  • Sound is fantastic. Compared these to beats in ear headphones as well as Bose and the performance is great. Bass is strong, and mid tones are super clear. Definitely recommend.

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