Top 15 Best iPhone Earbuds In 2018 – Complete Guide
iPhone is the second most common thing today, next to a political opinion. It’s more than just a gadget, it’s a subculture. Through an elitist marketing gimmick, Apple products have been set apart from other platforms. Subtle differences and entire software suites like iTunes ensure that iPhones are honored as crème de la crème. They are also partial to certain earphones than others because not all earphone controls work with them. So it came down to us to select the best iPhone earbuds. If you are a music-lover armed with an iPhone wherever you go, this list has the goldmine of potential earbuds to replace the stock earbuds. Spread over a wide price range and audio signatures, our list has something for everyone.
Why are there separate earbuds for iPhone?
Folks are often confused to see that their iPhone earbuds work perfectly with all Apple devices but God forbid, they plug it into an Android or Windows device. Everything but the mic stops working. You have to use the volume up/down controls on the Android device rather than the buttons on the earbuds. The same in true in reverse too. Usual earphones that work with Android don’t work with iPhones. At least the volume buttons don’t.
We found that this anomaly existed because of the difference in wiring configuration:
The modern headsets follow a TRRS configuration in their plugs. The Tip, Ring, Ring, Sleeve config is the standard for headphones and earbuds with call and volume navigation buttons. Normal earbuds that work with Android, Windows and other common platforms have pin-out in the order Left Audio Right Audio, Mic and Ground. They follow the OMTP standard of pin-outs
On the other hand, the Apple phones respond to the CTIA standard. So their pin-out is in the order Left Audio, Right Audio, Ground and Mic. This reversal of Ground and mic positions makes the iPhone require a separate type of earbuds.
Do note that the mic and multifunctional buttons of both iPhone and Android earbuds will work with both types of phones. Only the volume controls are affected by this issue.
If you are thinking of dissecting your Android earphones plug and manually switching the pin-out, refrain from doing so. Apple earbuds also have a specific resistance between Mic and Ground. This resistance controls the pulse amplitude and timing triggered when we press the button. So, Android earbuds can be converted to Apple earbuds only by changing this resistance too.
How can I use my iPhone earbuds with Android devices?
What if you have two smartphones and only one of them is an iPhone because you decided to keep both your kidneys? We have a few make-do tricks to make iPhone earbuds Android-compatible:
- There are Android apps that allow you to assign functions to the inline control buttons, no matter which earbuds those are. Headset Button Controller is one such app available in the Play Store.
- If you want to shear the wires altogether, you can use Bluetooth headphones. They work with all Bluetooth-enabled devices. iPhone 7 has gone headphone-jack free. So these are looking like a more attractive option. We have covered the best Bluetooth headphones for iPhones.
- There are some headphone adapters which claim to convert iPhone earbuds to be Android-compatible or vice versa. MobilePal UltraFit Headset/Headphone 3.5mm Audio Jack Extender is one such product.
Do I need to replace the Apple Earpods?
The Apple Earpods definitely showed a great improvement over their predecessors sonically. The audio has the right balance of bass, midrange and treble for the casual listener. They have good bass and sound airier and clearer than the older Apple earphones. But it’s nothing exceptional and certainly not worth their aftermarket price. They also let in a lot of ambient noise which can be irksome on a noisy day at work or within the racket at your house.
Build-wise, the Apple Earpods hit a sweet spot. They don’t squirrel much into ears but they sit comfortably compared to the earbuds that sit on the threshold of the ear canal. While comfort is not an issue, fitment is. These earbuds do not sit tight in your ears. So if you plan to workout with these on, you are at a loss. They also leak sound. So your re-runs of Justin Bieber’s Sorry are going to irritate the person next to you.
If you are a true music-lover, you might want to expand your music range. The best iPhone earbuds were tested for audio first and they all offer better sonic value for money.
Which are the best iPhone earbuds?
Earbuds are a dime-a-dozen. However, the best iPhone earbuds are exclusively picked up for a great balance of tones, budget, comfort and features. Here’s how we shortlisted the top 10 iPhone earbuds based on:
Audio: The best iPhone earbuds are spread across different types of audio signatures. From serious audiophile fare with neutral sound signatures to bass-biased audio that many casual listeners prefer, there’s something for everyone here. We made sure to select earbuds that don’t distort bass or create sibilance at loud volume. We chose open-sounding earbuds which play with some depth. We also avoided cable noise like plague.
Comfort: If you are here, you most likely are attached to your iPhone earbuds at the ears. The best iPhone earbuds selected here offer comfortable fitment that does not pain your ears. These earbuds also fit us well. We weren’t in the constant dread of having them fall off while walking down the street.
Durability: The biggest issue with smartphones earbuds is their life. With the everyday abuse, they tend to get shorted quite easily. Although the best iPhone earbuds selected here are robust, we would still suggest that you handle them with care. Use their carry case don’t fish your phone out using the earbuds.
Budget: The best iPhone earbuds covered here are from a wide price range. The true high-end earphones are usually only for enjoying music and don’t carry an inline control. We compared the earbuds based on value for money.
Inline control: All the best iPhone earbuds selected here have an inline control. We made sure these have Apple-compatible controls. We have only covered one set of earbuds with single-button control which work with both Android and iPhones. We mostly have earbuds with 3-button control here.
Top 15 Best iPhone Earbuds In 2018 – Chart
|1. Bose QuietComfort 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones||Advanced noise reduction||$$||4.8|
|2. V-MODA Zn In-Ear Modern Audiophile Headphones with microphone||Dynamic 8mm driver boosts tonal accuracy||$$||4.7
|3. 1MORE Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones||Two balanced armatures and a separate dynamic driver||$$||4.6
|4. ROVKING Over Ear In Ear Noise Isolating Sweatproof Sport Headphones Earbuds||Pliable over the ear loops and ergonomic ear bud design||$$||4.6
|5. RHA T20i High Fidelity with remote and microphone Dual Coil In-Ear Headphone||DualCoilTM dynamic driver for refined, high-resolution audio||$$$||4.5|
|6. Bose SoundTrue Ultra in-ear headphones||Proprietary Stay Hear Ultra tips||$$||4.5
|7. Bose SoundSport in-ear headphones||Sweat- and weather-resistant||$$||4.5
|8. Sennheiser Momentum In Ear earphones||High-quality dynamic transducers||$$||4.4
|9. RHA MA750i Noise Isolating Premium In-Ear Headphone||303F grade stainless steel construction||$$||4.4|
|10. Klipsch R6i In-Ear Headphones||Dual Magnet, Dynamic Moving Coil Micro Speaker||$$||4.3
|11. Apple MMEF2AM/A AirPods Wireless Bluetooth Headset for iPhones||High-quality AAC audio||$$$||4.2|
|12. Beyerdynamic Xelento Remote Tesla In-ear||Headphone frequency response :8-48,000 Hz||$$$||4.2|
|13. Symphonized NRG 3.0 Earbuds Headphones||Noise isolation to reduce ambient noise||$$||4.1|
|14. Phaiser BHS-750 Bluetooth Headphones Runner Headset Sport Earphones with Mic||8mm Speakers with Bluetooth 4.1||$$||4.0|
|15. Klipsch Reference X6i In-Ear Headphones||4 Different Size of Patented Oval||$$$||3.9|
Bose QuietComfort 20i Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) iPhone earbuds are the first in Bose’ legendary ANC line in earbud form. Before this, Bose had grappled with on-ear and full-size ANC cans with impressive results. They look a lot like the Bose SoundSport except for the ANC battery pack. The comfort of SoundSport earbuds is inherited as it is. The ANC is the best in the class. The audio is smooth and pleasant with the right tonal balance. In our books, they have all it takes to be the best iPhone earbuds list.
Design and Features
Bose QuietComfort 20i iPhone earbuds carry the sporty demeanor of the SoundSport earbuds. The earpieces are lightweight with the whole deal weighing only 1.5 ounces. The eartips are angled away from the driver housings so as to sit ergonomically in the ears. The eartips are not very invasive. They sit close to the entrance of the ear canal. This is the sole reason why they are more comfortable that usual earbuds.
If you are worried about the fitment of these iPhone earbuds, your fears are unfounded. They are held in place by the fins protruding from the StayHear eartips. These latch on to the small of the ears and keep the earpieces steady. With the multiple eartip sizes you get effective passive noise cancellation as well.
Down before the Y-joint of the cable, you have a 4-button control. These are the multifunctional call/music management button and the volume controls. There’s another button off to the side of this control which switches to the Aware mode. In this mode, the ANC is reduced so that you can make quick conversation with someone close by without removing the earbuds.
The ANC battery pack of the QC20i iPhone earbuds is located near the plug. It is a thin long box and easily stowable because of its position. It has a power button. So QC20 can be used in passive mode when the ANC is switched off or when the battery drains. Bose claims a battery life of 16 hours per charge. There are some colored LED lights on it to show power ad battery status. The cable terminates in an L-shaped plug. The earbuds come with a fabric zipped carry pouch.
The Bose QuietComfort 20i iPhone earbuds were first put through the Active Noise Cancellation test. Bose is the market leader in ANC headphones. The same legacy holds in earphones too. The QC20i successfully filter out low-frequency noise like the engine hum from an airplane. The A/C noise also completely disappears within the apartment. QC20i, like its full-sized brothers, creates almost an eerie silence compared to what other ANC buds can offer. The feeling of slight pressure that ANC headphones create is just not noticeable with these earbuds. They also dull down high frequencies better than the headphones.
These iPhone earbuds sounded enjoyable with various genres right out of the box without ANC. But when we switched on the ANC, the excitement of the audio jumped up a notch. It sounded clearer and richer. Purists may not approve of the sound because of the digital signal processing at work. But the casual listeners are suitably impressed by the resolution of audio and the noiseless environment it is played in. The earbuds have punchy bass, an articulate midrange and smooth highs. They are generally forgiving to all types of formats. The bass could be tighter at this price but the difference is so subtle that only purists will notice.
Bose headphones and earphones always sound pleasant although not as refined as the non-ANC equipment in their price range. ANC takes away some details from the audio because of the digital sculpting of sound. But the comfort and ANC make them sound perfect for everyday use.
- Exceptional Active Noise Cancellation with Aware mode
- Good battery life
- Highly comfortable with earfins
- Compact carry case
V-Moda has been schooling people in fashionable audio for some time now. They debuted their first earbuds in 2015 following the same grungy-delicate trends as their headphones. The V-Moda Zn iPhone earbuds are artfully constructed out of metal. They feature military-standard durability just like their full-sized cousins. The audio is rich with a healthy helping of bass as V-Moda is famous for. There is a quality low-end thrust that makes music sound alive. With the current prices, V-Moda Zn lives up to the reputation of best iPhone earbuds.
Design and Features
The V-Moda Zn iPhone earbuds are so-named because of their Zn alloy housing. The ear pieces are much more durable because of the metal construction. V-Moda has put in bold artistic curves that make them stand out of the crowd. The metal driver casings cover 8mm drivers. The ear pieces have special V-port airflow system that makes the sound open and more detailed. The eartips protrude straight out of the ear pieces.
These iPhone earbuds have a distinctive diamondback cable. The Kevlar-reinforced cable has a metal casing encasing the Y-joint where the cords from both ear pieces meet. A 3-button inline control rests at chin-length. The middle button and mic work with all phones but the volume/track navigation buttons work only with iOS. The Zn earbuds are also available in a single-button model which can work with both Android and iOS devices. The cord terminates in a 45° plug which takes the best benefits of straight and 90° bent plugs.
The Zn iPhone earbuds come with 6 pairs of eartips: some black and some clear. They also have an ActiveFlex earhook accessory. These are pliable hooks which can route the cable around your ears if you wish to go gymming with them. They provide extra stability through rapid movement. But do note that Zn are not advertised to be waterproof. A shirt clip and a leather case which looks like a Batman accessory come with the Zn.
V-Moda Zn iPhone earbuds deliver warm and delicious audio. The sound signature is inclined towards the low-end frequencies. In spite of their puny size, they sound substantial in your ears. The listening experience is closer to that of a headphone. The bass has real zeal here without muddying the rest of the spectrum. The lows have been certainly boosted but not to a point that they would sound boomy. In fact, bass has the definition which brings out low-end details too.
The midrange of these iPhone earbuds sounds clear and deeply seated on bass. The vocals enjoy the bass without being trampled by them. The treble is highly resolved and as vigorous as the bass. But it’s still smooth and doesn’t have any bite. As a result, the Zn are some of the easiest earbuds for ears. They don’t fatigue the ears even through hours of listening. They also sound laidback as in they don’t get in your face. You are left to discover the details on your own rather than have them served to you.
- Zinc alloy ear pieces
- Kevlar-reinforced cable
- Warm audio with powerful bass
- No fatigue with continued listening
- High mids can be clearer
The 1More Triple Driver iPhone earbuds have been garnering a lot of attention for their triple-driver design. It also helps that they happen to bang big for their rather reasonable price. They look classy meanwhile, the geniality hides a core of aluminum. The audio has exceptional detailing compared to the expectation at the price. These earbuds will make you want to go back and revisit your favorite tracks and listen for hitherto unheard nuances. 1More deserves a place on the Best iPhone earbuds table.
Design and Features
The 1More Triple driver iPhone earbuds are so called for the three drivers each of its ear piece packs. These are one dynamic driver and two balanced armature driver. You wouldn’t know it to look at them because the ear pieces are the normal size. These conical driver casings are made of aluminum. They are subtly covered in black to make them blend in. The eartips angle away from the ear pieces to sit comfortably in the ears. The Titanium model is done in black/silver and the Black model is done in Black/Rose Gold.
These iPhone earbuds have Kevlar-reinforced cable with a 3-button inline remote. The buttons stand out because of their contrasting color and they all work with iPhones. The cord terminates in a straight plug. The main cable is thick and braided with fabric. A hard carry case is included with the pack. 1More earbuds come with a variety of eartips. But as audiophiles, we invested in Comply foam eartips which made our listening experience that much better. Airline adapter and shirt clip are also part of the package. The accessories are substantial for the price.
The 1More triple-driver iPhone earbuds have been tuned by Grammy-winning sound engineer Luca Bignardi. And it definitely shows in their audio. We are immediately struck by the detailing of the audio. The intricacies of songs which Apple Earpods can’t even begin to comprehend are shown through here. The bass is meaty and present in oodles here. We didn’t detect any bass bump but the oomph is not lost. So the audio comes off sounding richer and layered. The midrange is clear and articulate. There’s no loose bass blundering about over the vocals and guitar.
The treble blends into the tonal balance without any harshness. The highs are agile enough to match with bass. The layered audio is definitely something that will appeal to audiophiles and casual listeners alike. The audio sounds natural without a specific focus on any part of the frequency spectrum.
- Detailed clear audio
- Metal ear pieces
- Kevlar-reinforced braided cable
- Large collection of accessories
- The ear pieces stick out a bit from the ears
Rovking noise isolating iPhone earbuds provide exceptional value for money. These are for an active lifestyle with their sport earphones design. They aren’t the usual audiophile fare but casual music-lovers on a shoestring budget will welcome these. They are also available in four poppy colors that you can show off in the gym. These are the only earbuds with single button inline control on the best iPhone earbuds list.
Design and Features
We tested the wine red version of the Rovking sport iPhone earbuds. The ear pieces of Rovking are bulbous and designed to fit the small of the ear. The angled eartips enter the ear canal and the rest of the body holds itself in the cavity of the ears. Below the ear pieces, you have a stretch of memory wire that aligns itself around your ears. Together, the wire route and the ear piece size keeps them securely fit inside. The only problem is that given the size of the ear pieces, they may not fit everyone’s ears well. These earbuds are available in four colors. The ear pieces of the light-colored models are see-through. They look like Shure earbuds.
The cable of these iPhone earbuds extends 50 inches. It terminates in a 45° bent plug that remains stress-free no matter wherever you tuck in the connected device. A single button remote hangs near the chin length. It’s compatible with both iPhone and Android phones. The same button is used for play/pause/answer/end call with a single tap. With two taps, you can skip to the next track and with 3 taps you can skip to the previous track. 3 sizes of silicone tips and shirt clip are shipped with the pack. These earbuds are marketed as sweatproof so they are ideal for the gym.
The Rovking sport iPhone earbuds are meant for casual listeners so we didn’t critique them like we usually treat the audiophile earbuds. We liked the sound for workout. There’s plenty of bass. It makes the Rovkings sound substantial and full, unlike many small earbuds that sound tinny. The bass might be boosted a bit too much because we had to ramp it down in the subtle rock and jazz songs. The vocals and guitars sounded relatively clear even though bass is boosted. There was no sibilance or bass distortion of any kind. The bass may sound boomy at high volumes though, in bass-heavy songs.
While these iPhone earbuds cannot be in the league of the premium earbuds, they sure bang big for the bucks.
- Sweatproof sport design
- Powerful bass
- Exciting sound
- The ear pieces may be too big for some ears
RHA T20i iPhone earbuds came flying at the heels of the standard RHA T20 which doesn’t have an inline control. The RHA earbuds are distinctive for their bold metal designs and T20i is no different. These are premium earbuds with a tonal balance worthy of an audiophile. RHA has invested quite a bit into build quality as well. The accessories are thoughtful and innovatively packed. It’s such a complete package that we had no trouble flying them to our best iPhone earbuds list.
Design and Features
The RHA T20i iPhone earbuds are awe-inspiring right out of the box. The injection-molded stainless steel ear pieces evoke conviction in their durability. These are the around ear kind of earbuds. They look almost like the Shures but they don’t have a detachable cable. The eartips are angled away from the ear pieces. The cable coming out from the ear pieces has a patch of memory wire that goes around your ears. This gives the T20i a more secure fit in your ears. Unlike Rovking we don’t hear any negative feedback about the ear piece- size here.
These iPhone earbuds have a 1.35m reinforced oxygen–free copper cable befitting its audiophile status. Close to the chin, you have a 3-button inline remote. This is compatible with iPhone. You also get the standard version that doesn’t have an inline remote. You get 10 pairs of eartips with these earbuds. There are 6 pairs of silicone eartips: 2 pairs of S, M and L sizes each. There are two pairs of double-flanged eartips. Lastly you have two pairs of foam eartips. We were really excited about the foam eartips until we eyed the neat stainless steel eartip holder. What a creative piece!
The RHA T20i also come with a stainless steel tuning filter holder. Tuning filters can be screwed on to change their audio signature. A hard carry case is shipped with them.
The RHA T20i iPhone earbuds call themselves ‘Dual Coil’ for a reason. They have a tweeter mounted inside the main speaker ring. This brings noticeable improvement in sound in this generation. These are powerful earphones with ringing bass. In this version, the bass is kept tightly in control but it beats with all its energy. The audio presentation is energetic making them sound agile with a complicated mix of music. We would trust them to make all genres from classical to EDM sound vivacious.
The T20i iPhone earbuds remain entertaining while maintaining superb detailing. While you fathom hidden intricacies of the audio, the thumping bass makes your audio sound rich and dynamic. They come almost neck-to-neck with the high-end Shures in accuracy. Shures are just a touch clearer and warmer.
The tuning filters are meant for bass-emphasis and treble-emphasis. We like the default neutral tuning filter. But it doesn’t hurt to have the options as freebies.
- Powerful bass
- Rich, energetic audio
- Stainless steel construction
- Variety of eartips mounted on steel holder
- Extra tuning filters
- A tad more accuracy expected at the price
Bose SoundTrue Ultra iPhone earbuds are one of the most comfortable earphones in the market. They sit in the ears less invasively than usual earbuds. The StayHear eartips are supplied to keep them holding on for dear life. The tonal balance that Bose usually offers makes it pleasant to play all genres of music. The clean audio is what you pay for when you buy Bose. With all the hallmarks of successful Bose earbuds, they go right into the best iPhone earbuds list.
Design and Features
Bose always offer superlative comfort in their headphones, the trend has been passed down to the earbuds. The SoundTrue Ultra iPhone earbuds are designed such that they feel loosely held in your ears but they remain hanging on to the ears. The tube which fits the tuning filter on the ear pieces is constructed to be long. Mounted with the Stayhear eartips, it pushes only a little bit into the ear. The plastic base of the ear does touch the threshold of your ear canal. These eartips also have fins that hold on to the inner ear. So even through the eartips don’t squirrel into your ears, these earbuds hang on. The tips are soft and feel comfy in the ears. The ear pieces are pretty lightweight and made of plastic.
These iPhone earbuds have a tangle-resistant cable. It is moderately thick and feels solid. The cord terminates in a straight plug. Cable movement creates cable noise so we prefer using these with the accompanying shirt clip. The inline control hangs near the chin with a superior mic. The SoundTrue Ultra are available in Charcoal and White models. A compact carry case is shipped with them along with other sizes of StayHear tips. These earbuds are also available in Android-compatible version.
The Bose SoundTrue Ultra iPhone earbuds are neutral-sounding earphones. Bose pays unusual attention to a balanced tone here. The bass is punchy, maybe even light compared to the bass-heavy earphones that are normal these days. We found the bass to be tight and appropriate for our classical, rock and jazz collection. The midrange is warm and detailed. You hear both vocals and strings clearly over a bass foundation. The rough edges of the treble have been rubbed off for a non-fatiguing listen. But it is still detailed. The overall sound profile is laidback.
- Neutral punchy audio
- Comfortable fitment
- StayHear eartips for secure fit
- Also have Android version
- Cable noise
Bose SoundSport iPhone earbuds are a lot like the SoundTrue Ultra earbuds except for their open design. The open-type model plays clean and energetic bass. They are sweat-resistant and hence usable for workouts. They also have the StayHear eartips that keep them latched on to the ears securely. These were a no-brainer for the best iPhone earbuds list.
Design and Features
The Bose SoundSport iPhone earbuds have the same physical profile as the SoundTrue earbuds. They do not invade the ear canal. Rather they sit a little loosely secured by the StayHear eartips. The fin-like structure of the eartips does not allow them to detach easily from the ears. They come in 6 different peppy colors that you would love to flaunt at the gym. They are also available with Android-compatible inline control or without any inline control at all.
The cable of these iPhone earbuds is 42 feet long. This is the optimal length so that the cable doesn’t get snagged on the workout equipment. The inline control is great for operation in the blind. The buttons can be differentiated easily by touch. The cord terminates in a straight plug that easily gets through phone cases. Bose claims that SoundSport is sweat-resistant. It comes with a soft, round zippered case connected to a carabiner hook. So you can hang the case off a belt loop or the gym bag.
The SoundSport iPhone earbuds have the smooth sound signature that flatters all genres equally well. The open port provides an open airy performance. There’s strong bass in the play which keeps these earbuds from sounding tinny. The midrange is clean, although not as transparent as the SoundTrue Ultra. The treble has some sparkle which pumps up the energy during a workout.
Since the SoundSport are open earbuds, they let in ambient noise. This might benefit you when you go running in high-traffic places. It helps avoid accidents and keeps you aware of your surroundings.
- Pleasant audio with good bass
- Latches on well with StayHear tips
- Carry case with carabiner clip
- Allows ambient noise in
Sennheiser Momentum iPhone earbuds are sleek-looking gadgets. Their architecture is a compromise between durability and weight. And they come off as suave as James Bond in that deal. Being available in an Android-compatible and an Apple-compatible model is another advantage. Armed with some great accessories, the Momentum go straight into the best iPhone earbuds list.
Design and Features
The Sennheiser Momentum iPhone earbuds are crafted with grace. The body of the ear pieces is quite compact and lightweight. The eartips sit at an angle to the body. The back of the driver housing has a flat plate with the Sennheiser logo. Sennheiser claims the housing is stainless steel but you wouldn’t know from the weight. The cable that emerges from both the ear pieces is semi-flat. It is tangle-resistant and terminates in an L-shaped plug.
The Y-Joint of the cable is suitably reinforced. The inline control has buttons built to tactile advantage and they are easy to use. These iPhone earbuds come with a class zipped carry case with a cable-management tray inside. We preferred stowing the earbuds directly into the case. They come with a number of eartips including a double-flanged pair.
The Sennheiser Momentum iPhone earbuds are energetic performers. Their audio response has that lively quality that makes the music come alive. The top end has more focus here with the treble having a deep sparkle. This may not sit well with listeners who favor the bass more. The bass sounded tame in comparison but after some break-in period it opened up. The bass is punchy and well-defined. It doesn’t bleed into the midrange. The vocals sound smooth and blend well with the bass.
- Classy design
- Energetic clear sound
- Metal construction
- Tangle-resistant cable
- Treble can be a bit harsh at times
If you are looking for earbuds that can take substantial abuse, the RHA MA750i iPhone earbuds should be your choice. Built like a tank, these earbuds will encourage a tough life. Their audio is no joke either, provided you burn them in quite a bit. As usual, the accessories are also presented with aplomb by these RHA earbuds. We couldn’t help but put them on the best iPhone earbuds list.
Design and Features
Although premium, the RHA MA750i iPhone earbuds are more affordable than the T20i. And they also wind around the ears using memory wire. The ear pieces are solid stainless steel. They can potentially weigh down smaller ears. The eartips protrude straight out of the driver casings.
The cable of these iPhone earbuds is a heavy duty cord. It ends in a straight plug encased in a strong metal casing. These could easily pass off as weapon-grade. The inline control also has a metal casing. Its buttons are easy to distinguish because of the depressed structure of the center button. They come with a bunch of eartips mounted on a stainless steel card. A wallet-like carry is also provided.
After the audio opened up a little, we were delighted by the audio signature of RHA MA750i iPhone earbuds. These are balanced, natural-sounding buds. The bass is meaty and almost slightly boosted. This brings a sense of depth to the vocals and guitars. The treble is also shiny enough to match the bass but not harsh. They sound dynamic and responsive to complicated music. They are audiophile earbuds that casual music lovers will also love.
- Stainless steel construction
- Natural-sounding exciting sound
- Highly durable
- Steel earbud mounting card
- Metal ear pieces can feel heavy
Klipsch R6i iPhone earbuds carry their trademark design. These are affordable earbuds which do not compromise on sound. Klipsch is famous amongst the audiophile crowd for their quirky design and vigorous audio. We were happy to find such audio quality at this price. We launched them straight into our best iPhone earbuds list.
Design and Features
The ear pieces of the Klipsch R6i iPhone earbuds are designed like slim bullets. The eartips angle away from the driver casings. These are oval-shaped eartips that are trademark with Klipsch. We found that they sit well in the ears and provide good seal against ambient noise. Klipsch encloses more sizes of these eartips in the package.
The cable on these iPhone earbuds is flat and tangle-resistant. It has a 3-button inline control with a color coded center button that’s easy to spot. They come with a shirt clip and a very handy carry case.
The Klipsch R6i iPhone earbuds do a detour from the usual neutral audio signature and favor bass here. They have plenty of well-defined bass that rumbles underneath the layers of the songs. The mids are warm and sound rich when supported by the plentiful bass. The depth of bass reaches to the sub bass region and rocks all genres. The treble has been smoothened. There is no sign of harshness there.
The R6i are also very forgiving on all kinds of format. The compressed music of Mp3s doesn’t sound grating through these.
- Lightweight design
- Rich, warm audio
- Excellent passive noise cancellation
- Treble could have better definition
The Apple AirPods are the best-suited iPhone earbuds in the market currently. These are wireless and equipped with a W1 chip which works seamlessly with the Apple devices. These are to be bought separately with their carry/charging case, but they are well worth the money with no real competition that can match the quality and the price. Their audio quality also impressed us with its source- and genre-independent performance.
Design and Features
The Apple AirPods are truly wireless iPhone earbuds. These consist of two ear pieces with somewhat long stems. The have a simple design but you will raise a few eyebrows with stems simply hanging off of your ears without cable. The earpieces are customized to the ear shape which fits most of the people like it’s meant for them. But the specific design can be loose for odd ear shapes. Regardless, they stay put in the ears although we wouldn’t shake our head too much with these on. They are lightweight and comfortable. They come with a carry case with magnetic lid which doubles as a charging case.
These iPhone earbuds carry the W1 chip which is optimized to Apple devices. As soon as it comes in the vicinity of compatible Apple devices, it pairs automatically. It can connect to iPhone and Apple watches. They can also pair with other Bluetooth-enabled devices. You can also summon up Siri with double-tap on the left earbuds. Double-tapping the right ear piece advances tracks. The voice commands only work with Apple music but not with other music streaming services. You can program the double-tap functionality to Play/Pause or next track as well.
The earpieces have motion sensors which will pause the music when both the pieces are taken out of the ears. They will automatically unpause when you pause them back in your ears. Their battery lasts through 5 hours per charge. The carry case carries additional 24 hours of charge. These iPhone earbuds have a quick-charge option that charges them for 3-hour playback in 15 mins. They also have a powerful noise-cancelling mic. It picks up just the vocals from the audio and relays your sound clearly to the person on the other end of the call. These are very reasonably priced for all the features. The competition in Jabra and Plantronics are expensive for the same feature set. And they aren’t optimized to iPhones as the Airpods are.
Apple doesn’t experiment much with the audio in this version. It is the usual genial audio response that works with all genres. These are pretty balanced with equal focus on bass, mids and highs. The bass is punchy and light on its feet. It can keep up with fast Dance music. The midrange is clear and not muddied by the bass. Some of the earphones that have their earbuds connected by a wire have better midrange clarity and transparency. The treble is bright and sparkly. They sound clearer with the open and slightly edgy treble.
The Bluetooth connectivity is the best we have seen in this price range. The non-choppy connection remains strong within the range without static or any disturbance. You might almost forget that you have wireless earphones on. Apple keeps pushing better firmware updates that correct any bug that might have crept into the original version.
- Truly wireless
- Functionally optimized to Apple products
- Touch controls
- Balanced audio
- Lightweight and snug fit
- Bass could be meatier
Your eyes may pop at their price but they have every reason to cost that much. The Beyerdynamic Xelento Tesla are the brand’s flagship earphones and for us, the buck stops here. Xelento has been equally appreciated by both casual listeners and audiophiles. They are designed like premium buds too with their metal body design that’s immune to scratches. The Apple-friendly inline control seals its deal to be on the best earbuds for iPhone list.
Design and Features
Beyerdynamic Xelento Remote Tesla iPhone earbuds look like little pieces of jewelry with their metallic enclosure that resists scratches and fingerprint smudges. They have the mirror finish that reflects you even after regular use. The driver casings are large but lightweight. These are the kind of earbuds that sit in the small of the ears and their cord has to be routed around the ears to keep them steady. We tested them on a variety of ear shapes and they remain stable. The eartips sit deep in the ears, so these fit like a charm.
These iPhone earbuds have two detachable cables. One is a regular audio cable while the other has an Apple and Android-friendly inline control. The cables connect to the ear pieces via MMCX connectors. These plug in strong but they can wear down over regular use. The cords end in a reinforced 90° plug. They come with 7 pairs of silicone eartips and 3 pairs of Comply foam eartips categorized by sizes. Between these 10 sets, anyone is likely to find one with the best fit. They come with a cool leather hard case with magnetic snap. This has elastic protection for the cable and deep comfy cushions to rest the earpieces and one pair of extra buds.
The Xelento Remote Tesla iPhone earbuds have the miniature version of Beyerdynamic’s revolutionary tesla driver. It reflects in the bright sparkly audio with fast and agile bass. The audio is fluid without any viscosity from extra bass or muddiness. The bass has deep extension, lot of energy and plenty of oomph. They are pleasantly balanced against the midrange which sound nothing short of phenomenal. The vocals sound so natural when set in their wide soundstage that they will engage your attention throughout.
The highs are the strength of these Beyerdynamic earbuds. They sparkle without lending any sibilance to the audio. We played some edgy tracks with these on but they never wavered or sound harsh. The audio response of the Xelentos caps our expectation from pint-sized earbuds. Even as audiophiles, this is the ultimate level of clarity we desire from in-ear headphones.
- Balanced clear sound
- Punchy bass with sparkling highs
- Mirror-finish earbuds
- Detachable cables
- Good soundstage
Symphony NRG 3.0 are decadent wooden iPhone earbuds, handcrafted and sold for a budget price. There’s something to be said about the warmth of wood that lends itself to the audio. The gorgeous design has modern touches in the form of an Apple-friendly inline control. They are surprisingly clear and vivid in their audio presentation too. They bang so big for the bucks that they land right into our best iPhone earbuds list.
Design and Features
The Symphonized NRG 3.0 iPhone earbuds are distinctive with their wood design. The ear pieces are made of natural wood and finished with a metallic ring around the center of the shell. The reinforcement on the joint between the ear pieces and the cable extends long to relieve stress in this area. The eartips extends straight out from the ear pieces. They come with silicone eartips in Small, Medium and Large sizes. They are lightweight and fit right into the ears with any one of the eartip choices.
These iPhone earbuds go for cylindrical cables which are relatively tangle-resistant. They could do better in this regard though. The previous version of these buds had an issue with cable noise when the cable rubbed against the clothes. The NRG 3.0 version is fortunately cured of this issue. The cable has an inline control with playback buttons. These include the volume and play/pause buttons and are compatible with iPhone and Android phones. The cord terminates in a 45° angled jack. This utilizes the best characteristics of the straight and 90° plug, providing both stress relief and ease of connectivity.
These earbuds are available in a number of models which differ in the color of the wood shells and cables. They come with an earthy drawstring pouch presumably made out of jute, confirming their connection with the nature. The only complaint with the design is that they aren’t long-lasting. They require careful treatment for a long life.
The Symphonized NRG 3.0 iPhone earbuds sport their wooden design not just for the aesthetics but also for the benefit of a warm audio. These are fairly balanced earphones and have a top-end clarity that is difficult to re-create at this price. These sound vivid and rich, thanks to the bustling bass. The lower registers have good definition and extension. So the bass sounds both strong and has a fast attack. It can deal with complicated music without sounding muddy or boomy.
The bass definition also helps the midrange sound rich and luscious. It could do with a bit more clarity but at the price, we are nitpicking. What these iPhone earbuds do extremely well is instrument placement and soundstaging. They excel at placing the instruments all across the soundstage such that you can actually hear the directional cues. The highs are smooth but tamed. So they show only decent extension into the higher frequencies as compared to the bass extension.
- Wooden ear pieces
- Apple-friendly controls
- Comfortable and light
- Vivid, Balanced audio
- Soundstaging and instrument placement
- Need better quality control
There are a bunch of wireless sports headphones that are compatible with iPhones too. The Phaiser BHS750 is one such product and it comes at a budget price-tag. It is accompanied by a comprehensive bunch of accessories to make the active lifestyle more convenient. With pumping bass and Apple-friendly controls, these are prime candidates for the best earbuds for iPhone list.
Design and Features
The Phaiser BHS750 iPhone earbuds consist of two ear pieces connected by a small stretch of wire that goes behind the head. Otherwise, these are wireless earbuds in that they connect to the sources wirelessly. The ear pieces are the regular size and can be directly plugged into the ears. They don’t need to be looped around the ears. But they stay put courtesy the earfins that come with them. These are fin-like structures that jam in the small of the ear and keep the earbuds stable without much pressure on the ear canal. These earfins are removable and Phaiser supplies them in three sizes to fit any ear. They also ship three pair of winged eartips which have the earfins built into them. These are designed to sit shallow in the ears and yet stable because of the fins. Three sets of silicone eartips and a set of Comply foam eartips are also included.
A cylindrical cable connects the two ear pieces of these iPhone earbuds. This has an inline control with playback button. These include the volume buttons and the multifunctional play/pause switch. They connect wirelessly via Bluetooth v4.1 for better clarity and stronger connection. The Bluetooth range is 33 feet. The earbuds have a magnetic back that sticks them together when hung around the neck after use. These are sweatproof earbuds too, so you can use them for workouts without damaging them.
These can last for 8 hours per charge. It takes around 1.5 hours to fully charge them. They come with a USB cable ad a zippered carry case. 2 collar clips and cable length management clips are also included to optimize the cable length behind your head.
The Phaiser BHS750 iPhone earbuds are made for workouts and use in noisy environments. They have a kicker bass that makes the audio sound full and rich over the ambient noise as well. They bass is meaty and punchy so it pumps you up with energy while working out. It also drowns out the low-register hum from office chatter or noise during the commute. The vocals sound clear and high over the strength of bass. There’s no muddiness from bass bleed. The audio remains smooth and undistorted at high volumes. These earbuds have a wide volume range for everyday use.
The highs are presented without any harshness or sibilance. The Bluetooth connection remains surprisingly stable for the price. We didn’t hear any static while connecting/reconnecting.
- Horde of accessories
- Earfins for proper fitment
- Full-bodied audio
- Battery life may decrease gradually
Klipsch Reference X6i iPhone earbuds are innovatively designed earbuds for those who crave an upgrade from budget IEMs. These sleek earbuds are a detour from the usual curvy and beefy earbuds. Klipsch has tried to stand out of the crowd here too by pairing this with balanced and rich audio. These get their well-deserved place in the best iPhone earbuds list.
Design and Features
The Klipsch Reference X6i iPhone earbuds are unusually petite like the Etymotic earbuds. They are die cast in Zinc so immune to the rigors of regular use. They are coated in a rubbery sheath to avoid the metal clunking and scratching from regular use. They are also angled 45° at the joint between the ear pieces and the cable for stress relief. The ear pieces are black and marked only a silver ring. The eartips angle upward from the driver housing. Due to the slim profile of these ear pieces, they sit deep inside the ear canal and offer proper noise isolation. These earbuds use olive-shaped eartips that feel extremely comfy to the ears compared to the round silicone tips. They also isolate well and keep the ambient noise where it belongs, out.
These iPhone earbuds have a tangle-resistant smoked cable which shows the copper tinge outside. There’s an inline control with Play/Pause and volume buttons. These allow you to control the music played back from an Apple device. The volume buttons mat not work with Android. These are available in black and white models. They come with the olive eartips in four sizes to fit every ear type.
The Klipsch Reference X6i iPhone earbuds are direct competition to the SE215 in their price range. As mid-fi earbuds, the X6i present better clarity across the range than SE215. They have a brighter more open signature than the Shure. The X6i goes for a neural sound signature with punchy and agile bass. We put them through a bass stress test with our bassy EDM tracks and they came up on top every time. But the lower registers are meaty and grateful about it. They can handle any complicated track thrown at them and still sound effortless.
The midrange is clear and transparent. It works with the bass for a feisty vocal and guitar presentation. The high sparkle and add extra dimension and clarity to the audio.
- Sit deep in the ears
- Metal and lightweight
- Balanced sound
- Great bass
- Attractive design
- Needs careful handling