Best Sound Earbuds
Headphones and earphones come in just about every size and shape there are. They provide entertainment on the go when you listen to your favorite tunes. You can use them for communication, as many of them are built with hands-free capabilities. Others, still, provide unique features such as sound isolation to protect you against loud background noise and potential hearing loss.
Traditionally, over-ear and on-ear headphones provide better audio quality than earphones and other in-ear type models. This is usually because over-ear and on-ear headphones simply have more room to fit as many audio-enhancing components as it could possibly hold. But thanks to advancements in audio technology, the best sound earbuds are quickly catching up to their much larger siblings in terms of performance, durability, comfort, and design. You can find plenty of earphones on the market today that are at par with – if not better than – some of the bigger over-ears and on-ear headphones out there.
Reasons To Choose The Best Sound Earbuds Over Traditional Headphones
- Convenience – Obviously, being the smallest in the bunch, earphones and other in-ear models are smaller and easier to carry around than full-sized over-ears and on-ear type headphones. Their small size and lightweight design makes them the ideal solution for people who want to take their music with them wherever they go. You can keep them in your pocket or around your neck when you’re not using them, then quickly put them on whenever you feel like listening to music while waiting for the bus or while riding the train home from work.
- Audio Quality – While the best sound earbuds are generally lacking the size to compete with the range of sound that bigger headphones are capable of delivering, many of the new models have come up with ingenious solutions to help narrow the performance gap between in-ear headphones and over-ear or on-ear type headphones. Some manufacturers have already developed the technology to produce audio drivers and loudspeakers that are not only small enough to fit inside a tiny earpiece, but are also powerful enough to deliver outstanding audio performance that rival those of bigger headphone types. Also, the noise cancelling technology on some of the more advanced in-ear headphones have drastically improved, to a point that they have become just as capable of eliminating ambient noise as their much larger counterparts.
- Cost – As sophisticated and as advanced as modern in-ear type headphones have become, they are still considerably less expensive to mass produce than traditional over-ear and on-ear headphones. And although the price difference between them has become smaller and smaller each year, in-ear headphones still win out in terms of cost-efficiency, as larger headphones tend to become pricier as more features are added onto their basic functionalities.
- Design – Considering the major differences in form factor between in-ear headphones and the much larger over-ears and on-ears, how design gives one the advantage over the other really depends on your style and general preference. If you were going for something loud and a more out-going look, then on-ears and over-ear headphones should be more to your liking. However, if you want to look a little bit more discreet and unassuming while listening to music in private, then the much smaller and more compact in-ear headphones are better for your specific purpose.
Best Sound Earbuds On The Market Today
Living up to its name by giving you amazing sound isolation and comfort, while also delivering crisp audio that competes with full-sized headphones is the QuietComfort 20i. Manufactured by Bose, which is one of the leading audio equipment companies in the world today, the QuietComfort 20i provides the same superior sound quality that the industry leader has become known for. Its advanced noise cancelling circuitry does more than just rely on passive techniques to eliminate ambient noise. The QuietComfort 20i is actually one of the few in-ear headphones to have active noise cancellation technology. Its comfortable StayHear tips form a snug hold inside the ear lobes, holding the earphones in securely place as you go on with your day. One unique feature that other earphones and even some headphones don’t have is the “Aware Mode” feature. Activating this feature makes use of the active noise cancellation circuitry to quiet down your music and let you hear – or become more aware of – the sounds from your surroundings, without having to hit pause on your tunes or pull out your earphones. It is also fitted with an inline mic for hands-free calling, and the audio quality is as good in-call as it is when listening to music. The QuietComfort 20i works well with most Apple Inc. devices, such as iPods, and iPhones. But if you are an Android, Blackberry, or Windows Phone user, then you might be better off buying its sibling, the QuietComfort 20. With an average retail price of $250, the QuietComfort 20i is not the most budget-friendly pair of earphones out there. But considering its superb sound, comfortable design, and intelligent noise cancellation, it does give you more than your money’s worth.
From one of today’s leading audio input and output device manufacturers comes the Shure SE215-K. Known globally for its lineup of innovative and high quality audio products, Shure Incorporated lived up to its reputation when it introduced the SE215-K. These earphones have a similar look as the company’s classic SE530, and are designed to be worn over the ears using malleable wireform audio cables. These kevlar-reinforced cables can also be detached for easy and convenient storage; a unique feature that not too many in-ear headphones can say they have. The sound quality on the SE215-K is as good as can be expected, and the soft silicone tips provide a near-soundproof seal that keeps ambient noise from disrupting your listening enjoyment. The angled ear tips and the ergonomic design of the earpieces help give a comfortable fit, and they are surprisingly more durable than they seem. The signature Shure sound is evident in the SE215-K, and considering the innovative design and effective noise isolation, these best sound earbuds are easily worth their $99 price tag.
With wood playing a major role in its design and subsequent production, the NRG Premium from Symphonized Audio takes advantage of nature’s acoustical advantages. Wood is an ideal construction material for making high quality musical instruments and audio devices, and the NRG Premium is no different. The sound quality is remarkably clear, and its soft silicone best sound earbuds form a comfortable fit that also seals out a decent amount of ambient noise. The NRG Premium is compatible with Apple devices and portable music players that have a 3.5mm audio jack. These earphones also have an inline mic that lets you take hands-free calls, which is fitted into a sleek, tangle-proof nylon cable. With its stylish design, effective noise isolation, and great sound, the NRG Premium is truly a steal at $20.
A variation of an earlier entry on this list is the NRG BLING Premium, also from Symphonized Audio, performs just as well as its sibling, the NRG Premium. It also incorporate the acoustical properties of wood in its design, likening the resulting sound quality to being inside a concert hall, surrounded by high-fidelity audio that other earphones are simply not capable of reproducing. It comes with three sizes of silicone ear tips that help form a natural sound barrier over the ear canal, sealing out ambient noise that could interfere with the audio that you are listening to through the earphones. The NRG BLING Premium also has the trademark tangle-proof cable that is fitted with an inline mic for voice-activated, hands-free calling. Retailing for around $25, the NRG BLING Premium, with its comfortable design, effective noise isolation, and decent audio performance, is bound to make you forget about buying plastic earphones ever again.
Delivering powerful bass tones to complement its dynamic sound profile, the MDR XB50AP from multinational audio electronics leader Sony is a great choice for people who want a little more oomph from their earphones. Powered by high-energy neodymium magnets and 12mm drivers, the MDR XB50AP offers superb audio performance that is not typical of in-ear type headphones. Its soft silicone best sound earbuds give the MDR XB50AP a comfortable fit while also passively blocking out ambient noise. It also has an inline omnidirectional microphone that you can use for hands-free calling. In-call sound quality is also relatively clear and audible, and 48-inch audio cable hardly ever tangles or gets in your way. The overall design feels sturdy and durable enough to withstand everyday use, and the gold-plated L-type stereo plug at the end of the cable ensures a lossless connection for increased audio fidelity. At a little over $35 a pair, costing far less than several over-ear and on-ear headphones that perform just as well, the MDR XB50AP does not disappoint. It is a great piece of audio gear to have when you want to get your music