15 Best Earbuds in 2018. Bluetooth and Wired Models

Best earbuds in 2018
Are you in search of the best earbuds that you can take with you wherever you go? Once you find the right pair of earbuds for your needs, you’ll be able to comfortably enjoy audio with the convenience of portability, discretion and noise isolation.

If you want the best quality earbuds for your investment, there are several different sizes and styles of earbuds that come with various features and extras. With all these options, finding the right pair of earbuds can be a challenge – that’s why we’ve created this guide to help you discover the best in-ear headphones that can enhance your audio experiences, whether you’re a music lover, gamer, traveler or someone with a busy, active lifestyle.

How to Choose the Best Earbuds

Comfort

There’s no denying that earbuds are revolutionary devices that can offer us audio freedom and practicality like no other headphone. Unfortunately, many people have difficulty wearing earbuds because they are designed with ear tips that go inside your ears, rather than over them (hence the name “in-hear” headphones). Trying on a pair of earbuds that do not fit you properly can be an uncomfortable and unpleasant; luckily, many of the best earbuds in today’s market come with additional earbud tips so that you can find one uniquely fitted to your specific ear size and shape.

If you plan on using your earbuds to listen to music while running or working out, you should invest in a pair that is designed specifically to be sweat and weather-proof. While the price point for these types may be higher, you will find that anything less will lack in durability and reliability with each use.

Finding comfortable earbuds may take some trial and error – it’s also important to remember that earbud size and shape will play an important role in how the earbuds isolate and reproduce sound.

Sound Quality and Noise Cancellation

You may think that, because earbuds are smaller and more compact, they won’t produce as high quality of sound as other headphones, such as the best noise cancelling headphones with over- or around-ear designs. As technologies for speakers and dynamic drivers advance, earbud creators are producing products with clearer, higher-quality and customizable audio like never before.

Some in-ear headphones sacrifice a little bit of sound quality in order to remain more stable in your ears. For example, some earbuds have a wing to prevent movement, even through rigorous activity. There are also many in-ear headphones that rely on dynamic drivers to produce more accurate sound waves using airflow rather than natural sound travel.

If you want the best earbuds with the highest quality sounds, look for innovative earbuds with advanced drivers and sound balancing-materials, such as stainless steel or tungsten. If you’re a music lover or audiophile (someone passionate about high-performance sound reproduction), you should also be looking for earbuds with more than one driver.

How Earbud Fit Effects Sound Quality

If earbuds don’t fit right, it doesn’t matter how great their audio performance or noise cancellation technology is – they won’t sound good if you’re not wearing them correctly. Once you find earbuds with ear tips that you can comfortably and securely wear, this can improve the sound quality of the earbuds enormously.

Earbuds come with different “tips” – tips have different shapes and designs that make a big difference when it comes to sound protection from outside influences.

What makes ear tips different from one another? A lot of it has to do with the material because this has an effect on how sound travels from the earbuds to your ear.

  • Silicone: Silicon rubber is one of the most popular and comfortable ear tip materials.
  • Memory foam: One of the best materials for noise isolation is memory foam – this will dampen all noises attempting to penetrate your ear. The problem with memory foam is that it can irritate some people’s ears as well as lose its shape after a certain period of time.
  • Plastic: Beware of earbuds with plastic casing. While plastic earbuds may hold their shape for longer and have more durability, they provide very little noise isolation compared with other materials.

The shape of earbuds also plays a large role in the quality of sound you hear. Older, “traditional” style earbuds were made to sit in your ear (resting on the ridges). While this is generally comfortable for most people, it means that the earbuds can easily loosen and fall out of your ears. Traditional earbuds also lack in sound quality compared with newer styles.

Newer earbuds, more properly called “in-ear headphones or in-ear monitors”, are earbuds that include a tip that goes inside the ear canal. The best in-ear headphones work by sealing your ear canal in order to block out noise from your surroundings. The shapes and sizes of earbud tips vary depending on the brand and manufacturer.

What makes in-ear headphones so great? They can provide a clearer range of sound, from bass to mids to treble. However, some in-ear headphones are better at sealing out sound than others. This is where fit comes into play – if your in-hear headphones don’t fit properly, you’re going to experience a lower quality sound spectrum. To alleviate this issue, most earbuds come with different size options so that you can find something that fits your individual ears.

15 Best Earbuds You Can Buy in 2018

*Please note: product prices, ratings and availability that are shown above are applicable for Amazon.com Marketplace only! Any prices, ratings and product availability from other Amazon local marketplaces such as Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.in and others may be different from the ones shown in this table.

Klipsch Reference X6i In-Ear Headphones

Great Earbuds with a Thin Design

klipsch reference x6i in-ear headphones
The Klipsch Reference X6i earbuds are designed with a soft, pliable outer layer and an oval shaped ear canal to naturally fit the contour of your ears so you can stay comfortable. These earbuds are extremely thin and minimalistic yet fairly durable with a die-cast zinc and co-molded elastomer construction.

Specs

  • Ear Tips Sets Included: 4
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm jack
  • Active Noise Cancelling: No
Pros:

  • Oval ear tip helps fit ear perfectly
  • Well-built and sturdy
  • Very clean and audible vocal sounds
Cons:

  • Bass is mostly muted
  • Any rubbing on the wires, including zippers, carries the noise to the earpiece
  • Microphone and remote does not work on Android devices

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1MORE Triple-Drivers

The Best Earbuds Under 100 Dollars

1more triple-drivers
The 1MORE Triple-Driver in-ear headphones are designed to deliver a high-performance listening experience with three drivers optimized for audio accuracy and clarity. You can purchase them in titanium or gold with either 3.5 mm or Apple lightning connectivity, making them the perfect choice for frequent smartphone users.

Specs

  • Ear Tips Sets Included: 9
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm jack
  • Active Noise Cancelling: No
Pros:

  • Lots of extra features, including silicon and foam ear tips
  • Multiple connectivity options
  • Excellent packaging and style
Cons:

  • Defects frequently reported by users
  • Sound is not balanced from bass/lows to treble/highs
  • Fit may not work for everyone

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TaoTronics TT-EP01

The Best Cheap Earbuds

taotronics tt-ep01
The TaoTronics earbuds come with active noise cancelling technology with 12 to 15 hours of continuous audio, so you can use these earbuds to cancel out noise while traveling or watching movies in loud environments. These earbuds come with a gold-plated jack and a 55-inch-long wire, making them a durable and convenient option with lots of length for flexibility.

Specs

  • Ear Tips Sets Included: 3 + 3 ear hooks
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm jack
  • Active Noise Cancelling: Yes
Pros:

  • Price
  • Active noise cancelling feature
  • Removable hooks if they are uncomfortable for you
Cons:

  • No color options
  • Active Noise Cancellation is not functional in higher noise areas such as planes and construction sites
  • Poor durability

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BeatsX Wireless In-Ear Headphones

The Best Wireless Earbuds from Beats

beatsx
The BeatsX earbuds are portable and wireless; you can wear them comfortably around your neck with the flex-form cable, making them extremely portable and easily wearable for long periods of time. These wireless in-ear headphones also have a fast five minute charge and up to 8 hours of battery life, making them a good choice for frequent travelers and people with busy lifestyles and no time for annoying cables.

Specs

  • Ear Tips Sets Included: 1
  • Connectivity: Class 1 Bluetooth
  • Active Noise Cancelling: No
Pros:

  • Decent battery life of 8 hours and Fast Fuel quick charging
  • Convenient magnetized tips
  • 5 color options
Cons:

  • High price point for minimal features
  • Not designed for intense activities
  • Microphone quality is lacking

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Bose QuietComfort 20

The Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds

bose quietcomfort 20
The Bose QuietComfort 20 earbuds are ultra-high-quality noise cancelling headphones made for premium sound performance and convenient calling controls. Whether you’re an Android user or an Apple person, these headphones can be comfortably used for work or entertainment throughout the day based on their proprietary StayHear+ tip design.

Specs

  • Ear Tips Sets Included: 3
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm jack
  • Active Noise Cancelling: Yes
Pros:

  • Optimized for noise cancelling with Aware mode to quickly hear things around you
  • Lifelike sound quality due to Bose Active EQ and TriPort technology
  • Great battery life with rechargeable lithium ion battery
Cons:

  • Some device limitations when using controls
  • Large/bulky control module for active/acoustic noise cancelling
  • May produce some static noise

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Pioneer Rayz Plus

Good Earbuds for iPhone

pioneer rayz plus
The Pioneer Rayz Plus Smart noise cancelling headphones are optimized for compatibility with Apple users; they even have a “Hey Siri” feature that allows you to make commands hands-free. These sleek, compact in-ear headphones also come with a unique, customizable Smart button so you can more easily manage your apps, music and calls.

Specs

  • Ear Tips Sets Included: 1
  • Connectivity: Lightning jack
  • Active Noise Cancelling: Yes
Pros:

  • Smart Mute can detect when a person is speaking during calls and mutes when they are not
  • Saying Hey Siri enables you to make voice commands
  • Integrated charging port
Cons:

  • Exclusive to Apple devices
  • Lacking noise cancellation quality
  • Microphone may be muffled in some environments

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Bowers & Wilkins C5 Series 2 In-Ear Headphones

Great Earbuds with a Secure Fit

bowers wilkins c5 series 2
The Bowers & Wilkins C5 Series 2 earbuds are designed with a unique secure loop design so that the loop of the earbuds secure into your ear’s inner rim, making them stay securely in place. These in-ear headphones have redesigned drive units to deliver a more detailed sound and controlled bass.

Specs

  • Ear Tips Sets Included: 4
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm jack
  • Active Noise Cancelling: No
Pros:

  • Features micro porous filter for improved sound
  • Unique cushioned loop design
  • Made with tungsten steel for balance
Cons:

  • Ear loop design may be hard to get used to for some people
  • Design is not ideal for working out due to heavy noise blockage
  • Functionality limitations with devices other than Apple products

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Bose SoundSport Wireless

Great Earbuds for Running and Working Out

bose soundsport wireless
The Bose SoundSport wireless headphones offer the convenience of wireless functionality with up to 6 hours of battery life and a sweat-resistant construction. Whether you’re running or working out in the gym, these wireless headphones come with a Stay Hear+ feature to help them stay in place while you move.

Specs

  • Ear Tips Sets Included: 3
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth and NFC
  • Active Noise Cancelling: No
Pros:

  • Four stylish color options
  • Sweat and weather resistant
  • Features Bose Active EQ for automatic and balanced listening
Cons:

  • Poor 6 hour battery life
  • Large sized earbuds
  • Insecure clip

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Bose QuietControl 30

Good Wireless Earbuds with Noise Control

bose quietcontrol 30
The Bose QuietControl 30 wireless earbuds are designed to allow users the ability to manage and customize the levels of sounds they hear from their surroundings. Where the Bose SoundSport excels in sweat and weather resistance, the Bose QuietControl exceeds in noise cancellation and long listening sessions.

Specs

  • Ear Tips Sets Included: 3
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Active Noise Cancelling: Yes
Pros:

  • Controllable noise cancelling
  • Great rechargeable battery life, up to 10 hours
  • Comfortable and stable fit
Cons:

  • Premium price point
  • Bluetooth connectivity lacks reliability
  • Poor microphone for taking calls

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RHA T20i

Decent Earbuds with Tuning Features

rha t20i
The RHA T20i earbuds are powerfully constructed with metal injection molded stainless steel so that you can enjoy them for extended and consistent use. These earbuds also come with interchangeable tuning filters so you can adjust the sound signature according to your music and sound preferences.

Specs

  • Ear Tips Sets Included: 10
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm jack
  • Active Noise Cancelling: No
Pros:

  • Patent-pending over-ear hook design
  • Left and right color indicators
  • Sturdy construction
Cons:

  • Customized for iPhones only
  • Steel housing may be uncomfortable
  • May be uncomfortable for smaller ears

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Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear

Great Tangle-Free Earbuds

sennheiser momentum in ear
The Sennheiser Momentum in-ear headphones are made with a tangle-free oval cable design and come with four different ear adapter sizes, making them a good choice if you’re looking for practical earbuds under 100 dollars. These earbuds are compatible with either Apple iOS or Samsung Galaxy smart devices; they also have custom machined stainless steel housing for added durability.

Specs

  • Ear Tips Sets Included: 5
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm jack
  • Active Noise Cancelling: No
Pros:

  • Durable, no-tangle cable
  • Stylish, high-gloss appearance
  • Affordable for high sound quality
Cons:

  • May not fit everyone’s ears
  • Earbuds may fall off easily
  • Low quality jack

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Focal Sphear

Good Budget Earbuds with Good Sound

focal sphear
The Focal Sphear earbuds can be used with all types of devices and come in at a price point under 100 dollars. These earbuds have decent sound quality for their price thanks to the large electro-dynamic drivers designed to deliver clarity and harmonic richness.

Specs

  • Ear Tips Sets Included: 1
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm jack
  • Active Noise Cancelling: No
Pros:

  • Multi-device compatibility
  • Enhanced bass level
  • Includes foam tips for noise isolation
Cons:

  • Microphone is low and may rustle against shirt
  • Lacking in comfort and fit
  • No volume control

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Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H5

The Best Bluetooth Earbuds

bang olufsen beoplay h5
The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H5 earphones are both wireless and Bluetooth, making them a great choice if you have a busy lifestyle and you like as much wireless freedom as you can get. With the Beolay App, you can adjust the sound profile of these headphones according to your liking; these earbuds are also magnetic for clicking together and saving power when not in use.

Specs

  • Ear Tips Sets Included: 8
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Active Noise Cancelling: No
Pros:

  • Weather resistant
  • Magnetic earbuds and charging cube
  • Several ear tip options
Cons:

  • Very poor battery life, only up to 5 hours
  • Expensive compared to most other wireless options
  • Braided cable can be noisy

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JBL Reflect Mini

The Best Bluetooth Earbuds for Working Out

jbl reflect mini
The JBL Reflect Mini sport headphones are an affordable choice for active users because they’re sweat-proof, wireless and fairly comfortable. They also come with a reflective cable and Bluetooth capabilities, so you can use them at night or on the go throughout the day.

Specs

  • Ear Tips Sets Included: 2
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Active Noise Cancelling: No
Pros:

  • High visibility cable helps to be seen at night
  • Sweat proof and easily cleaned
  • Decent 8-hour battery life
Cons:

  • Bass is lacking
  • May be too quiet for some
  • Poor connectivity range

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Jaybird X3 Sport

Great Mini Bluetooth Earbuds

jaybird x3 sport
The Jaybird X3 Sport wireless Bluetooth earbuds are small, compact and secure, making them a great choice if you need earbuds that will deliver great audio without getting in your way. With 8-hour wireless battery life and a MySound App where you can personalize your listening experience, these earbuds are ideal for those willing to spend more for features and function.

Specs

  • Ear Tips Sets Included: 7 + 3 wingtip sizes
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Active Noise Cancelling: No
Pros:

  • Ideal for workout and sports
  • 4 color options
  • Comes with lots of accessories
Cons:

  • May take lots of adjustments to get the right fit
  • Possible connectivity issues
  • Proprietary charging cable is hard to replace

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You Can Achieve Ultimate Audio Freedom and Flexibility with the Best Earbuds

If you’re in search of high-end, high-quality earbuds that will deliver in both sound and comfort (over $200):

  • The Bose QuietComfort 20 noise cancelling earbuds are every music lover’s dream; they have active noise cancelling as well as supreme digital-quality audio. These reliable and comfortable wired earbuds are a great option if you’re looking for supreme quality in-ear headphones.
  • The RHA T20i High Fidelity earbuds have a stainless steel construction, making them a reliable choice for daily audio listeners. If you’re looking for something reliable with great audio balance and a unique “over-ear hook” style, the RHA T20i earbuds might be right for you.
  • The BeatsX wireless earbuds come in gray, blue, black, white, matte gold and matte silver; they’re stylish, wireless and everything you need to enjoy audio with Class 1 Bluetooth while on the go. These smartphone-optimized wireless earbuds might be hard to come by, especially if you want to get them brand new.

If you’re searching for mid-range earbuds with good functionality and reliability (between $100 and $200):

  • The Pioneer Rayz Plus Smart noise cancelling earbuds are the perfect companion for any iPhone user – they’ll even recognize when you ask for Siri to help you make calls, listen to your favorite song or text someone. These “smart” earbuds also have an integrated charging port and noise cancelling technology, making them a good option if you want something with useful functionality.
  • The Bose SoundSport wireless earbuds are designed to satisfy runners, gym-goers, busy parents and anyone who likes to enjoy music while working up a sweat. These wireless earbuds come in black, aqua, citron or power red – you can also pay extra to get them with a handy charging case.
  • The Bowers & Wilkins C5 Series 2 earbuds are sure to satisfy most iPhone users with excellent sound quality and a sturdy, balanced construction – if you’re willing to try out the ear loop design. These earbuds are particularly ideal for audiophiles looking for a listening device with enhanced sound quality and performance that won’t break the bank.

If you need inexpensive earbuds for convenient and portable listening on a budget (under $100):

  • The 1MORE Triple Driver earbuds can be purchased with either three or four drivers – whichever one you choose, these earbuds are designed to deliver audio that’s accurate and precise. These in-ear headphones also come with a microphone and plenty of ear tip options to comfortably match your ears, making them a fairly good investment for the price.
  • The Focal Sphear high-resolution earbuds work on all types of devices and they’re very affordable considering the great sound quality with enhanced bass. If you’re an audiophile in search of cheap yet rich-sounding earbuds, the Focal Sphear might be a good choice.
  • The TaoTronics active noise cancelling earbuds are the most affordable in this entire lineup at under $50. They’re active noise cancelling and have excellent battery life, making them a no-brainer if you want cheap noise-reduction headphones that will get the job done.

Whether you’re listening to music on your smartphone or the best MP3 player, everyone needs a pair of reliable and comfortable earbuds for listening to audio and answering calls while working, traveling, exercising or relaxing at home. No matter your lifestyle, earbuds, noise cancelling headphones and wireless headphones will deliver the sound, voice and entertainment you need to get you through your day.

One Response

  1. Elijah Erwin January 7, 2018

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