RS Recommends: The Best In-Ear Headphones for Music and Calls
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While it’s true that over-the-ear headphones can offer an intimate listening experience and that AirPods and their cordless Bluetooth peers have a minimalist appeal, there is still something to be said for the classic in-ear headphone set’s sound quality.
Are In-Ear Earbuds Better Than Wireless Earbuds?
In general, wired earbuds are able to provide better sound quality than Bluetooth ones. This is because they receive an analog signal. For those of us who don’t want to learn the inner workings of how headphones transmit sound, this simply means that wired headphones are able to transmit more data than Bluetooth. More data means a higher quality, more detailed sound that’s so craved by music fans.
Aside from the main appeal — sound — in-ear, wired headphones are generally less expensive than their high-tech counterparts. In this case, their no-frills design is a great advantage. These headphones don’t need to be charged, and they are compatible with any device that has a 3.5mm input jack, whether it’s your phone, laptop, tablet, or video player. They can even plug into headphone splitters, which help you share music with friends when you’re on the go and can’t take over a speaker.
In-ear headphones also offer form-fitting comfort. Different sized ear adapters help ensure you have the best fit possible. Some models use silicone for a no-slip experience while others use gel for maximum comfort. While the earbud model you choose is ultimately a matter of personal preference, you may want to select headphones with contoured buds if you plan to use your headphones while running or working out.
1. Sennheiser CX 300S
Sennheiser’s German engineering creates optimal audio quality for listeners. With this set, you can hear your favorite songs at their most detailed. Plus, the in-ear fit is designed to reduce background noise. The set comes with four different sizes of earbud adapters, so personalized comfort is ensured. We also love these headphones for its simple, one-button remote. With one click, you can play/pause your music or answer phone calls.
2. 1MORE Dynamic Driver Earphones
These budget-friendly in-ear headphones still deliver decent audio. They’re packed with dynamic drivers for even sound and feature an ergonomic “plug-in” design that should work well for smaller ears.
They’re pretty light too, at just 15 grams, so they shouldn’t put too much strain on your ear canal. They might not be water-resistant or have multiple listening modes like the AirPods Pro, but at their low price, they’re worth it. We were particularly impressed with the booming sound and durability.
3. Panasonic ErgoFit Earbuds
For earphones with a bit more personality go with the Panasonic ErgoFit. Available in tons of colors like metallic blue, silver, violet and more, these earbuds are comfortable and aesthetically pleasing.
There are three sizes of earpads included, so you can pick one that matches the shape of your ear. As for their performance, they’ve got 9mm dynamic drivers which offers clear, immersive sound while also automatically tuning out ambient noise.
The cord is also sufficiently long at 3.6-feet so you can place your earphone-connected device in your jacket, purse or briefcase without worrying about your headphones falling out of your ears. Of course, at their price, they’re not the most durable but if you’re looking for a good pair of budget earbuds for travel or just a spare pair to your more expensive headphones, this is it.
4. Shure SE425-CL Earbuds
If you’ve got a bigger budget, go with these Shure earbuds, known for their sound-isolating technology. They’ve got high-definition drivers for balanced bass and crystal clear highs and lows.
There are three bud sizes included coupled with an over-ear fit to keep these earphones feeling secure. The clear, “naked” design is striking too, as you can see exactly what’s going on under the hood. You’ll also get a carrying case included to keep your new buds from getting tangled over time. Plus, you can pick up the earphones and earbuds version if you’re looking for both a wired and wireless option that connects via Bluetooth.
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