The Best Clip-on Headphones

Creative Aurvana Air Active Clip-on earphonesIf you have given up on earphones that just don’t stay put, you are not alone. But your search forearbuds that won’t abandon you mid-song is not futile. The best clip-on headphones can turn your music to magic with élan. They have medium sized earcups that fit over the ear held by ear-hangers that go behind the ears. Earpads stick close to ears for safe and tug-free listening. This type of  headphones will hang on tight without any fuss.Philips and Sony have competed fiercely in the clip-on headphones front bringing them to widespread notice. With Audio-Technica, Panasonic and Koss joining the fray, clip-ons are a major force. Many music-obsessed folks wear in-ear earphones for the relative comfort or over-ear headphones for a tranquil audio experience.

Main advantages of the best clip-on headphones

In-ear earphones squirrel into your ear canals with their guides. Prolonged use without proper care can create a warm nest for ear infections and such maladies. Nobody wants gory bacteria to feel welcome inside their ears! The best clip-on headphones rest over the ear and do not trespass into the sanctity of inner canal.

  • Headphones can bear down hard on your bunny ears with their gigantic earcups. Pressure from the headband and earpads alone can ruin your audio soirée. Clip-on sport headphones are designed to be light and lean on earhooks to fasten themselves to your ears.
  • Vigorous exercise will easily dislodge an in-ear earphone. Over-ear headphones falling off can land on your neck with a distinct thump! Clip-on headphones are custom designed to stay put on your ears. They will suffer the abuse of some yanking gracefully.
  • At workplace or while sprinting away to an enviable physique, you need to keep an ear out (so to speak!) for incoming traffic or conversation. At work, you might want to stay sharp to directions coming your way. Clip-ons provide the foolproof solution. They play music and audiobooks without closing you out to the world.

If you are sold on the idea of having a pair of these fantastic inventions in your pocket, worry no more! Because we have handpicked the best clip-on headphones in town. We bring you the top ten wearables in clip-on audio category that stole our hearts and made us give up the bucks.

The top 10 best clip-on headphones – the complete guide

  1. Sony MDR-Q68LW Clip-on Stereo Headphones With Double Retractable Cord $$ 4.5  
  2. Sony MDR-Q38LW Clip-on Stereo Headphones with Retractable Cord $$ 4.2 
  3. Panasonic RP-HS46E-K Slim Clip-on Headphones $$ 4.2 
  4. Panasonic clip headphone RP-HZ47 $$  4.0
  5. Koss KSC75 Portable Stereophone Headphones $$ 3.9 
  6. Audio Technica ATH-EQ300M Ear-fit headphones $$ 3.9 
  7. Koss KSC21 Sport Clip-On Headphones $ 3.9 
  8. Audio-Technica ATH-EW9 Lightweight Wood Clip-on Headphones $$$ 3.9 
  9. Philips Adjustable Earclip Headphones SHS4700/28 $$ 3.9 
  10. Philips Earclip Headphones SHS3800 $$ 3.7 

1. Sony MDR-Q68LW Clip-on Stereo Headphones With Double Retractable Cord

Best Clip-on HeadphonesSony went all out on sports appeal with the clever design of MDR-Q68LW clip-on headphones. These cans are available in at least 6 different colors including white, blue, red, black, beige and silver. At $30 a pop, they will clip your money off of you.

Built for comfort, the Q68LW headphones are made of durable plastic material. They are both clip-on and feature a double retractable cable. With one push of a button, the cable to the plug will come swishing in and rest in the casing of one earcup. Cord between the two earcups spools into the casing of the other earcup. With this, the entire Q68LW headphone collapses into two facing earcups. These earcups are moderately sized and light though they have room to house the cable. They are padded with soft foam and rest comfortably over your ears. Springy, soft earclips that clip these headphones on, rotate outwards making them easy to wear. More importantly, the cable retraction is disabled when the earclips are stretched over your ears to avoid accidental spooling of cord while you are listening to music.Once worn, these sport headphones fit securely over your ear without feeling too rigid and heavy.Cable is long enough to reach the pockets of a 6 ft tall person. With MDR-Q68LW headphones, Sony goes for a clear reproduction of music without adding any of their typical warmth in the frequency response. Bass has oomph with a slightly forward treble. Soundstage is surprisingly wide for the price range. These headphones produce high clarity audio in moderately crowded places.

If you are looking for cans for running, Sony MDR-Q68LW headphones own a spot on the best clip-on headphones list.

Latest customer reviews and prices of Sony MDR-Q68LW Clip-on Stereo Headphones With Double Retractable Cord

2. Sony MDR-Q38LW Clip-on Stereo Headphones with Retractable Cord

Best Clip-on HeadphonesIf Q68LW headphones spell trouble for you with their weight and if you can live with a few tangles then Sony MDR-Q38LW may be what you need.Priced at $20 and with one retractable cord instead of two, these headphones mean more comfort at the same sound output quality as Q68LW. We spotted a particularly refined Blue and Orange set of these darling headphones.

Cable terminating at the 3.5mm straight jack can be retracted in this sport headphone. Cord connecting the two earcups stays outside. This reduces the overall weight of the earcups lending to an undemanding musical experience (or listening experience if you are an audiobook aficionado). Q38LW is a durable set of running headphones that you will not shrug off with physical activity. They fit like a glove over your ear, especially with the swiveling earclips that move forward and out. These flexible earclips allow secure fastening for ears of any size. Do not let the weight of these headphones fool you either. They are durable, reportedly lasting over 2 years with proper use. These running headphones are easy to carry around without having to spool out the cord between two earcups every time you want to plug into your music. Sound quality is what distinguishes these best clip-on headphones from others in the same cost bracket. Like Q68LW, they have a clear-as-bell response. Without overdoing any particular element, they have an evident bass from guttural lows to mids.Q38 responds well to equalizer and you can iron out the knots in their response by pairing them effectively.

Sony Q38LW headphones are the less cumbersome gym buddies that make working out a hassle-free job.

Latest customer reviews and prices of Sony MDR-Q38LW Clip-on Stereo Headphones with Retractable Cord

3. Panasonic RP-HS46E-K Slim Clip-on Headphones

Best Clip-on HeadphonesA great find from Panasonic in the sub $15 range, HS46E-K Slim earphones live up to their name. These sport headphones are much smaller than they look online and light as feather. The best clip-on headphones feature offers you firm fit to ear without invading your ear canal with dreaded infections. The simplicity of the HS46E-K headphones is our prime takeaway.

The dainty build of these Panasonic headphones make them seem as unobtrusive on the ears as in-ear earphones.Ear arrangement works really well without pinching your ears at pressure points. Ear-hanger is made of a pliant material that locks in the headphones tight but does not hurt the back of your ears. It’s difficult to slough off the earcups even with all sorts of physical hoopla. In fact, your music remains your own with no sound bleeding out of these babies. You can do your 35lb weights while listening to your favorite tune and the world is not going to know. A small magnet keeps the earcups together when not in use. The HS46E-K headphones provide good noise isolation and thus, can be used pretty much everywhere, even in an office environment. Any conversation directed at you can be caught without having to take off these headphones. Air-circulation is freely allowed with them. Audio precision and detailing are expertly done. Though not tinny, bass lacks the punch and cannot be redeemed by equalizers. But all sounds are tame and fit in a versatile selection of genres. Cable is 43 inches long ending in an angled jack. Clarity is comparable to full-sized cans.

Latest customer reviews and prices of Panasonic RP-HS46E-K Slim Clip-on Headphones

4. Panasonic clip headphone RP-HZ47

Best Clip-on HeadphonesIf HS46 is cheap, HZ47 headphones are cheaper still. Yet HZ47 clip-ons have lost none of their charm over the price difference. These portable headphones are quite the lookers with some serious twine. The cable is longer than most other earphones while earcups are smaller than usual.

Panasonic HZ47 headphones come in 5 color combinations, each pairing a metallic color like black, red, white or blue with steel sheen around the edges. Earclips made of highly elastic resin rest lightly against the back of your ears. You can use these headphones for running, working outetc and they will isolate you from moderate amount of noise. Audio from these sport headphones does not leak easily up till medium high volumes.HZ47’s moderate size defines the ears very well. Clips embed magnet which holds them close together when the earphones are not being used. Cable to right clip is longer as compared to cable to left clip. This can go around your head. It also makes sharing the headphones with friends easy by controlling their proximity to you. Cable jack is a straight 3.5mm 24K gold-plated plug. 30 mm drivers deliver excellent audio clarity in a wide 14Hz-24KHz range. These running best clip-on headphones need a bit of burn-in time to bloom into clear sound detailing. However, once that is done theyare your best bet to play every genre. They highlight the nitty-gritty of electronic music really well.

Latest customer reviews and prices of Panasonic clip headphone RP-HZ47

5. Koss KSC75 Portable Stereophone Headphones

Best Clip-on HeadphonesKSC75 headphones came all guns blazing ninja style into the market. They banged big for bucks with their unconventional looks and audio output quality. Koss KSC75 headphones have evolved from KSC 35,50 and 55 models. Through the journey, Koss has worked on the glitches and perfected the best clip-on headphones design with KSC75.

The reputation of KSC75 sparkles like its highs. The open, airy audio presentation of these headphones is complimented by solid sound. Instrument separation is highly apparent in the spaciousness of sound output. Mids and highs are crisp and clear. Bass lacks the finesse but does well for the price range. An intimate soundstage combines with other characteristics to support impressive rock music performance. These sport headphones look rickety but they are up for a whole lot of action. They will last long in spite of the plastic body and occasional detachments of earclips. Even at $15 price-tag Koss offers a limited lifetime warranty which should be of help. KSC75 headphones need to be broken into. At first the pivoting ear-hangers will be a little awkward for your ears, but they fit in right with use. Once you learn the ropes with Koss, you see that these are light and easy to bear. Earcups are padded with foam and do not clamp tight enough to sweat your ear. A 4 feet cable connects to an angular jack.You can show off these running headphones on the track or while at home or sparsely populated area.

Latest customer reviews and prices of Koss KSC75 Portable Stereophone Headphones

6. Audio Technica ATH-EQ300M Ear-fit headphones

Best Clip-on HeadphonesWith Audio-Technica, always expect perfection in a package. That is what EQ300M is: the lightest, thinnest clip-on headphone in the market that will take any competition to the wall. They pair well with all IPhone devices and most Android phones. These headphones will not weigh down your ears like the gongs you get at the same price.

Audio-precision is an art at Audio-Technica. This is evident from the sound quality of EQM300M headphones across frequency spectrum. The well balanced audio is spiced up by punchy bass. Music sounds rich and full through these protean headphones. The headphones are load and clear. Music seems surround-sound with isolation like that of active noise cancelling earphones. Earcups are slim but adequately padded with foam for comfort. Earclips swivel from the earcups for proper fitment. Casing of the earcup has stylish paint job. A very sturdy cable ends in an elbow jack which saves the headphones if the phone attached to it dangles. These sport headphones are so ear-friendly that you can sleep with these headphones on and you will not notice any annoyance from poky parts. For a refreshing change, EQ300M best clip-on headphones are also great for wearing under helmets and with glasses. These are multipurpose headphones that can be used while running, jogging, listening to podcasts etc. They delivergood quality output in every case. It is difficult to go wrong with Audio-Technica. EQ300M headphones have once again proved this point by making it to our top clip-on headphones list.

Latest customer reviews and prices of Audio Technica ATH-EQ300M Ear-fit headphones

7. Koss KSC21 Sport Clip-On Headphones

Best Clip-on HeadphonesKSC21 is bracing at $8.95 to compete and beat its big brothers on this list. KSC21 clip-on headphones are much smaller and lighter than KSC75, the front-running Koss clip-on in the market. People with normal sized ears have appreciated the snug fit and adaptability of ear-hangers of KSC21 headphones. They will do the job for you as a spare set that you use at home.

KSC21 best clip-on headphones owe their distinction to their low price and compact size. They fit securely over your ears. There is no apparent pinching of ears when wearing these headphones. You put them on and forget they exist. Many buyers go through a pair of them, every 6 months. At their cost, these sport headphones don’t last, but their uncomplicated design makes for an easy buy. They are portable around the town owing to their size and weight. They can easily accommodate glasses and helmets. The earclips pivot at the hinge for a natural fit over the ears. The earcup casing is thick with “Koss” printed flashily over it. Sound quality is great for a sub $10.

Latest customer reviews and prices of Koss KSC21 Sport Clip-On Headphones

8. Audio-Technica ATH-EW9 Lightweight Wood Clip-on Headphones

Best Clip-on HeadphonesATH-EW9 has arguably one of the most impressive designs in this headphone category.  Crafted in Japan’s finest Hokkaido cherry wood, they make you wonder why, on earth, are these headphones made of wood. Did we mention that the wood-cased earcups on these are lighter than the cable?  The whole assembly weighs 1.1 ounce with cable. Only Audio-Technica can pull off such a daring feat and win people’s heart with it.

The 1.5 inch diameter earcups themselves are made of the Cherrywood with an elegantly toned sheen. Rotating ear-hangers are mounted on these earcups for easy slide fastening. Diminished weight of the earcups exerts inconspicuous pressure on the ear. A 40-inch sturdy headphone cable terminates in metal molded angular jack.  Audio quality is the signature Audio-Technica immaculate. EW9 headphones produce exquisite bass that has a powerful but not overpowering presence.  Mids are warm, smooth and crisp. Vocal are not nasal but pleasantly enhanced. Treble sparkles without a hint of sibilance. Soundstage is slightly intimate but with clear instrument separation.Sound detailing is beautifully executed. Overall, EW9 clip-on headphones are not bass heavy and do exceedingly well with classical music due to their mid-forward nature. Isolation is moderate and sound leaks at high volumes. Given its precious finish, you might, anyway, want to use these headphones indoors.

The luxuriant EW9 headphones cost $179 per piece. Even at this outrageous amount, Audio-Technica manages to beat its price with features. And in tribute to this outstanding service to audiophile community, they get another spot in the best clip-on headphones category.

Latest customer reviews and prices of Audio-Technica ATH-EW9 Lightweight Wood Clip-on Headphones

9. Philips Adjustable Earclip Headphones SHS4700/28

Best Clip-on HeadphonesAcing the bass are Philips clip-on headphones, SHS4700.With special beat vents that allow air circulation for a rich bass performance, SHS4700 headphones dispose of a common complaint in clip-on market.  Most headphones in this category have inadequate bass presence. But SHS4700 brings bass to the fore front with classic Philip audio advantage.

The architecture of SH4700 sport headphones emphasizes comfort. Swiveling earclips mounted on the earcup can be adjusted vertically by pulling it upward. This allows tailoring the fit for a wide range of ear sizes. These headphones also come with soft rubber sleeves for the ear clips that go behind the ear. Between these rubber sleeves and flexible ear hooks, SHS4700 are suitable to be worn for 4-5 hours continuously.This makes these clip-on headphones apt for running and jogging outdoors and gaming indoors. Bassy sound and comfort mean Counterstrike can now sound live on on-ear headphones too. The earclips are also hinged and can be used in open and less open positions. Cable is designed to be tangle-free and ends in a straight jack that fits into numerous devices including portable game consoles. Cord going from left to right ear is sufficiently long to share and not accidentally tug the headphones off. Audio-precision has been handled suavely by Philips. Bass is enhanced but other elements are crystal clear. All of them fall together to create a substantial sound output.

Philips is no novice to audio equipment. They show off their tenacity with the bold bass in one of the best clip-on headphones, SHS4700.

Latest customer reviews and prices of Philips Adjustable Earclip Headphones SHS4700/28

10. Philips Earclip Headphones SHS3800

Best Clip-on HeadphonesWant to look like Vogue cover model while working out hard in the gym? But fashion comes at a price. It comes at $12.90 online in the avatar of Philips clip-on SHS3800 headphones. Gunning for versatility, looks-wise, SHS3800 comes with 3 different colors of caps for earcup casing. If Philip does not care about your style statement, who does?

Sizing is kept average with these sport headphones. Soft, huge earpads cover the ears for minimal pressure on the ears. They cushion against any architectural edges when you lie down with headphones on.  Caps on the casing come in black, white and pink colors. Now you can swap them out according to your mood or outfit. It is buoyant enough to make you forget you are wearing it.Caps aside, they are chicly built with metallic gleam catching your eye instantly. Their ergonomic earhooks hitch the earcups tight to ears. Their asymmetrical cable solves all snagging problems by allowing you more radius to move your head. SHS3800 headphones will see you through your strenuous exercise regime. They cooperate flawlessly with Samsung, Nokia and other phones and Ipods.  These running headphones sound great for their price. Precision is top-of-the-line. Sound is clear without any part of the frequency spectrum asserting itself. Bass is sufficient though not heavy. Treble favors the bass. Audio output is satisfactory.

SHS3800 best clip-on headphones are practical, comfortable and sound good enough for the regular Joe/Jane. They pawed themselves into the top clip-on headphones list. Strife for these coveted positions continues with experience hands like Philips, Koss, Audio-Technica going against each other.

Latest customer reviews and prices of Philips Earclip Headphones SHS3800

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