Ever have one of those moments where you think you know a song, but then you hear it in a different way? Like, literally in a different way. A high quality audio experience can transform any song, adding new layers to a seemingly average track or taking your favorites to another level.
Earbuds have not been known among audiophiles as the best option for experiencing sound, but more and more that is changing as the quality of in-ear headphones begins to match their flexibility and handiness. So whether you’re just looking for a new pair or specifically looking for the best mix of quality and convenience, then here are five in-ear headphone options that fit the bill.
5. Sennheiser MM30i – The Value Choice
One thing that might take many consumers by surprise is to find out that in-ear headphones are often just as expensive as their over-ear counterparts. So, if the entire reason you’re looking for earbuds is to save a little money, this model is a good option for you.
Well on the inexpensive side of things, this Sennheiser is another good option for those that are looking for better sound options without necessarily being sound snobs.
Complete with an in-line remote, noise-cancelling design, and three different sizes of buds, these earphones are well rounded and well-designed.
They are not as durable or flexible as other more expensive options (you will want to avoid too much movement), but for those looking for a simple replacement pair, and under $50, this is a great place to start.
4. Sony MDR-EX210B/BLU – The Budget Option
Even less expensive than the Sennheiser, this Sony model is a great all around choice and the cheapest you will find on this list. Costing only about $20 you’ll be spending about as much as you would on any other cheap pair of earbuds AND getting great quality.
They produce a great sound that is consistent across all volume levels and despite being inexpensive, last a long time.
They might not come with the bells and whistles of other models like a remote or noise-cancelling technology, but for pure sound quality alone, they still get the job done at a relative steal – The best cheap earbuds you can find today!
3. Klipsch Image S5i – The All-Around
If you need a little more than the previous options provide, then this Klipsch noise isolating model is a good choice at a mid-range price.
Sound quality is good overall but is best in the midrange. This is complemented by a number of well thought out design features that will contribute to a better listening experience in a number of environments. The controls are easy to access and use-large enough that this is true even if you happen to be wearing gloves. The case doubles as a flashlight to help you keep track of it all. And the buds themselves are well designed with a longer than average cord that stays durable but flexible even in the cold, silicone noise-cancelling earbuds, and waterproof protection.
Providing a great all-around experience, this Klipsch balances a good listening experience with your on-the-go needs.
2. Shure SE215-K – Truly On the Go
The design of these earphones are all about flexibility, motion, and maintaining quality. That starts with a Micro Driver that provides some of the best sound available today with great balance and clarity made even more pronounced by really effective noise cancelling.
The cable is great – just the right amount of flexibility and toughness - and is detachable giving you more control of your experience. This level of detail extends to the buds themselves, angled a little differently than most other models and capped by comfortable isolating sleeves in a variety of sizes for a more relaxing fit all around that is still great with movement.
The wire is adaptable around the ear – should you need a secure fit. Great for running or during your workout.
This Shure model is truly a balanced choice, and can be got for just under $100.
1. Shure SE535-V – Top of the Line
What are the best earbuds?? Well this is it. It’ll cost you a little more than any of the other options on this list – OK, it’ll cost you a lot more, but if you’re intent on having the best product possible, then this is the one. This is the model to get if you’re a true audiophile and care even about subtle differences.
First things first, the audio quality is simply top notch. They produce clear crisp sound through Triple High-Def MicroDrivers that maintain precision throughout a whole range of frequencies including a phenomenal bass.
The buds themselves contribute a great deal to the experience. They swivel and adjust perfectly and the structure is designed with a precise balance of ergonomics and encapsulates great design. All of this, plus better crossover than any other model and 2 subwoofer drivers and 1 tweeter for each earbud, means a more comprehensive and layered soundscape. Resolution provides the proper amount of space, distance, and force for each sound it produces.
And remember, we’ve really just touched on the audio quality at this point!
Other selling points for these headphones include a formable wire for a better fit (so great for sport, jogging etc.), a hard case (as opposed to most models’ soft shells), adapters to keep you listening in different situations, and great, easily managed controls like a cable with mic and remote.
Powerful, well-designed, and all-over the best option on the market, these earbuds are as good as any you’ll find by a long shot.