Top 15 Most Comfortable Earbuds in 2018 – Complete Guide
Comfort might be relative, but the capacity to provide comfort is absolute. And that’s where many headphone manufacturers are trying to lay the groundwork. With every leap of technology, they inch closer to developing earbuds that feel comfortable to a wider audience. The precise curve, the perfect finish, the robust buildall contribute to earphones that just keep getting better in the comfort department. Proper fitment makes you love a good sound signature a whole lot more. That’s why we bumped together the 10 most comfortable earbuds ( which are also known as in-ear headphones) which balance the beauty of great sound and unparalleled comfort. These are spread across price ranges and feature lists to cover all our reader base. We have also written an in-depth guide about the most comfortable headphones (over ear and on ear types).
What makes the comfortable earbuds stand out from others?
Some earbuds just feel more welcome in your ears than others. Some people are averse to the earphones squirrelling into their ears. While others want a tight seal to get the most out of the music. Fortunately, our most comfortable earbuds list has a mix of these for our diverse users. So what cues your comfort notes when these earphones plug and play?
Weight: Lightweight ear pieces are generally deemed comfortable by people. They prevent that tugging feeling in your ears that makes long hours of music-listening feel fatiguing. Metal earbuds often sacrifice comfort for ruggedness. Some V-Moda earphones like ForzaMetallo use super-lightweight metal shells unlike RHA’s injection molded stainless steel T10i. Although sturdy, the latter is not for everyone. Weighing down the ears is also a constant annoyance with heavy cables. Sennheiser made their IE800 earphones so lightweight, that even their petite cables feel heavy in comparison.
Penetration: How much do your earbuds probe into your ears? The most comfortable earphones like those from Bose use a winged tip to hold the earbuds stable at the foyer of your ear canal. As a result, they stay put in your ears without being too pushy for your ear canal. They don’t filter out ambient noise much though. On the other hand, Sennheiser Momentum earphones provide a plugged-in seal for the ears. This cuts out almost 50% of the ambient noise without an Active Noise Cancellation feature. The opinion on these plugged-inearphones is divided. Some people appreciate the tight seal while the same feeling is a pet peeve for others.
Eartip material: Eartips that protrude and sit in the ear canal can be made of a variety of pliable materials. The most common choices are plastic, silicone and foam. Plastic eartips are common with the most inexpensive in-ear headphones. While silicone eartips are the most common choice of the users. It is soft and flexible. And it doesn’t collect sweat in the ears. Comply foam eartips are the top choice of the audiophiles since they provide the perfect seal. These foam tipsexpand inside the ear canal and effectively cuts out the ambient noise. A note though, foam tips can collect enough moisture and sweat with time to be irritant to the ears.
Eartips Size: A much overlooked issue. Most folks keep on using the Medium-sized earbuds mounted on the earbuds when first bought. Since the ear canal diameter can vary, you must experiment with the alternate tip sizes for the perfect fit. This affects the bass impact an audio response substantially. Also try out different types of eartip designs like triple-flanged eartips or bullet-shaped eartips. Some higher-end in-ear headphones come pre-loaded with such eartips.
Cable Routing: There are three varieties of headphones in terms of how the cable is routed. One is the most common design that we use is the simple earphones with two equal-length cables from both ears that hang straight. The other design has cables that go over the ears from behind. These are common in professional in-ear monitors which have large ear pieces.The opinion on their comfort is divided. The last type is the asymmetrical cable design. Here the cable on one side is longer than that of the other side. The longer cable goes behind your neck to reach the other ear. This keeps the cables clear of your chest.
Custom Fitment:You can go for a custom-molded eartip if fitment and comfort are very personalized concepts for you. Done by a professional audiologist, this will cost you big bucks. On the other hand, there are do-it-yourself custom-molding kits like Radian and Decibullz which allows you to mold generic eartips to your ears at home.
Accessories: The most comfortable earphones often come with accessories to make life easier. Some of them can also make these feel comfortable. A shirt clip can be useful in managing the excess weight of the earphone cable and reducing cable noise. We have already mentioned the three-flanged eartips.
Evaluating and ranking comfortable earbuds / in-ear headphones
We scouted the market or the most comfortable earbuds and came up with some quality fare based on the following criteria:
Comfort:Since this is the byword of this post, we focused on comfort above all. We checked the earphones on every technicality we mentioned above. But most importantly, we put them on and let the feeling sink in. We relied on our perception of how they felt in the ears to evaluate comfort.
Audio quality: The whole point of having the most comfortable earbuds is to enjoy their clear and detailed audio. We looked for a warm audio signature with a clean midrange and clear highs. The bass should be well-defined and strong. There shouldn’t be any boominess in the low end and sibilance in the high end.
Build Quality: Since we covered the earphones in the entire price range, we were diligent about checking the quality of the most comfortable earphones. The resilience of the ear pieces, the toughness of the cable, the sturdiness of the plugs, we checked all avenues.
Features: The most comfortable earbuds also have a bunch of tricks up theirsleeves. Detachable modular cables, multiple sets of eartips, shirt clips, noise-cancellation features etc. add to the brownie bowl of each earbud.
Budget:The most comfortable earbuds are spread across a large price range. From affordable to high-end, each earbud brings high value for the money. That’s how in-ear headphones of different budgets were compared with each other.
TOP 15 MOST COMFORTABLE EARBUDS IN 2018 – CHART
|1. Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones||StayHear+ eartips provide a soft, secure fit. Cone shape spreads contact evenly for maximum comfort||$$$||4.8|
|2. Shure SE535-CL Sound Isolating Earphones with Triple High Definition MicroDrivers||High quality materials and detachable cable provide a secure and comfortable fit||$$$||4.8|
|3. Apple Airpods Wireless Bluetooth Headset||Ultra lightweight and fully wireless||$$$||4.7|
|4. Bose SoundSport in-ear headphones||StayHear+ and sport sweatproof eartips||$$$||4.6|
|5. Focal Sphear High-Resolution In-Ear Headphones||High quality materials and ergonomic design||$$$||4.6|
|6. 1MORE Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones||Comfortable ergonomic design and angled ear fittings||$$$||4.6|
|7. Kz ATE Copper Driver Ear Hook Hifi in Ear Earphone Sport Headphones||Lightweight and with reasonable shapefit||$$||4.5|
|8. AKG N40 Customizable High-Resolution In-Ear Headphones||Replaceable sound filters and ergonomic design||$$$||4.5|
|9. Sennheiser IE80 Headphone||
Sleek ergonomic design of ear-canal phones
|10. Sennheiser IE 800 Audiophile Ear Canal Headphones||Ergonomic, oval-shaped ear adaptors for maximum comfort||$$$||4.4|
|11. Sennheiser Momentum In Ear Headphones||Ergonomic design crafted with precision using premium materials||$$$||4.3|
|12. Beats BeatsX Wireless In-Ear Headphones||Variety of eartip options offer personalized comfort||$$||4.2|
|13. Klipsch R6i In-Ear Headphones||Patented Oval Ear Tips||$$||4.1|
|14. B&O PLAY by Bang &OlufsenBeoplay H3 2nd Generation In-Ear Earphone Headphone with Microphone||Premium materials and a comfortable fit||$$$||4.0|
|15. Panasonic RP-HJE120-PPK In-Ear Stereo Earphones, Black
||Ultra-soft ErgoFit eartips||$$||3.9|
Do you know what’s more comfortable than a set of comfy earbuds? A set of QuietComfort earphones with Active Noise Cancellation that beats the full-size headphones hands down. Fortunately, Bose is at the top of their ANC game with the QuietComfort20 and 20i in-ear headphones. They are unbelievably easy on the ears. Even with the potentially disrupting ANC, the audio is clear and assertive in its details. This becomes our top pick on the most comfortable earbuds list.
What makes the Bose QuietComfort 20 earphones so comfortable?
The Bose QuietComfort 20 earbuds offer a master’s lesson in comfort. You would expect an ANC earphone where the eartips plunder and pillage inside your ear canal and make you squirm. Instead these sit loosely but securely on the ears. They have the maverick StayHear+ eartips that hold on to your ears through ‘wings’. The eartips do not penetrate the ear, as a result. They can hang at the entrance of the ear canal and still stay on. The eartips angle away from the ear pieces such that they don’t have to stick out from the ears. 3 sizes of these tips come with the pack.
As for the ambient noise, Bose’s brilliant active noise cancellation keeps it at bay. The cable and the ANC control hardly add to the weight. You don’t get that wrenching deadweight feeling from the control box of the ANC.
Design and Features
The Bose QuietComfort 20 earbuds make a mark as a highly technical design. The Tri-Port design packs a driver and two microphones but still weighs only 1.5 ounces total. The eartips are moderately-sized even with all the hardware inside. The plastic joint of the eartips extends for about an inch over the connected cable. At the Y-joint of the cable, you have a 3-button control that packs a mic. You can either buy the Android version or the Apple version of these earphones and the control will comply accordingly.
There’s a blue button poking out of the sides of the control on these earphones. This activates the ‘Aware’mode. This turns down the noise cancellation and picks up the conversation around you. This external ear is useful when you suddenly want to talk to an air hostess on the flight. The ANC control is towards the butt-end of the cable. It is a sleek box with a rechargeable Lithium battery. It can be charged via a micro-USB cable. It has LEDs for power, battery and Aware Mode status. The cable terminates in an L-shaped jack which is sturdier than a straight jack.
The battery lasts on these for 16 hours with ANC. These comfy earphones can function without charge minus the ANC.
Bose is the industry leader in Active Noise Cancellation. The ability bleeds over into the QuietComfort 20 earphones as well. Even without plugged-inear pieces, its radio silence when the ANC hits. The ambient noise is reduced and the audio just becomes more dynamic than usual. In keeping the circuit of ANC in check, Bose goes for a moderately detailed and clear sound signature. These earphones are forgiving on all types of recordings and flatter all genres with a smooth sound.
The bass is feisty but within its limits. The mids are not hampered by the extension of bass. A set of passive earphones have better detailing in the midrange. The highs of QC20 are well-defined and unaffected by any sibilance. These aren’t audiophile earphones, but they invest equally in ANC and good audio. You find yourself leaning more towards them regular use to avoid the noise of commute.
- Eartips that sit securely without penetrating the ear
- Exceptionally silent ANC
- Lightweight even with ANC control
- Aware mode for public conversation
- Clear audio that works for all genres
- Not as detailed as passive earphones at the same price
The Shure SE535 earphones pack triple drivers in a comfortable package. Shure is known for its exceptional sound. But this time around, they have invested in some kicker design which sings in the ears. These are over-the-ear types of design done right. These are audiophile earphones meant to connect to advanced gear like DACs and amplifiers. Although expensive, they look, feel and sound their price. Wild horses couldn’t have kept them from the most comfortable earbuds list.
Design and Comfort
The Shure SE535 earphones are over-the ear kind of design. The earpieces go into the small of the ear. The cable attaches to the ear pieces through a patch of memory wire. When the ear pieces are placed in the ears, this wire is routed over the ears for a secure fit. The earbuds are much slimmer than their earlier versions so that they fit a wider array of ears very comfortably. Still their size is enough to give you a secure fit with proper seal. The trick to comfort is to set the ear pieces precisely at the right point in the ears. These come with three sizes of flex tips, 3 sizes of foam tips, one pair of triple-flanged tips and a pair yellow foam tips. We would try all of them to see which ones fit best.
These earphones are available with a clear shell, or in bronze or wine red colors.
The Shure SE535 earbuds have a detachable Kevlar-reinforced cable. The striped pattern on this prevents tangling. The cable joint and the angle plug have been specially reinforced for durability. The cord runs 64 inches long to connect to audiophile equipment like amps and DAC.SE535 being an over-the-ear piece is quite useful since the rather long cord is heavy here. An inline-volume extension is provided for when you don’t want to operate your connected device. These come with a much-needed earwax-cleaning tool, a studio adapter and a semi-hard zippered case.
The Shure SE535 earphones are one of the most comfortable earbuds and you get premium sound. Each ear piece packs double woofers and a tweeter. Even though these are audiophile earbuds, they play techno, hip-hop and electro genres with considerable panache. Thanks to the woofers, the bass beats big and meaty. It’s tightly held but it has the immersive nature that we expect out of full-blown speakers. The midrange shone through the woofer and tweeter without any bass bleed. The sound is intricately detailed but maybe not as transparent as the Sennheiser IE800.
The highs sparkle the right amount without any perceptible sibilance. Together, the audio sounds rich and dynamic. The audio sounds like an open space that comfortably houses layers of details.They can handle the most complicated mix with remarkable ease. Although they tend to the technical audio-geeks, these play loud and clear without any amp.
- Stylish and ergonomic design
- Memory wire to go around the ear
- Slim design that fits more ears
- Double woofer and tweeter per speaker
- Upbeat and detailed audio
- Ear pieces are large
The Apple Airpods earphones set the market on fire like any other Apple product. These wireless earphones bring a new lease to the wireless market. And for a change, they are more reasonably priced than the other wireless Sports gear in the market. These are no marketing gimmick, they performed better than we expected. Apart from being deceptively lightweight, they are seamlessly integrated with the Apple devices. These landed into the most comfortable earbuds list light as air.
Design and Comfort
The Apple Airpods are ultra-lightweight wireless earphones that look and feel like small flower stems. The ear pieces are molded to fit the small of the ears. Although the design fits most users well, for some it’s a wonder-fit. They are so lightweight that you almost forget that they are on your ears. The stems that protrude from the earpieces hold some controls and also make you look loony to some extent. They fit well into the ears and they are easy to take on and off. For some people, the Airpods fit so snugly, the users aren’t scared of losing them while moving their head too vigorously.
The most exquisite feature of the Apple Airpods is their W1 chip. Apple’s got chops for designing something that connects to other Apple devices so effortlessly. Not only are they immediately discovered by simple being placed next to your iPhone, they toggle easily between multiple connected devices based on priority. Apart from the phones and laptops, they also connect with the Apple watches. Airpods can also connect to other Bluetooth-enabled phones and devices. Not only that, these have the most stable connection we have seen in pint-sized wireless earbuds until now.
These earbuds can be double tapped to change tracks. Additionally, you can change the function of the double tap. Thy can also be used in mono configuration with a single bud. These are so intuitive that they pause the music when you take them off and then play again when they are put on. These are equipped with a mic and it relays the voices wonderfully. They are placed in a small storage box which also doubles as a fast and compact charger.
The Apple Airpods go for a transparent audio that sound much like the wired Earpods. They are open-sounding earphones that let some ambient noise in, so they are best used in quiet rooms. They are not as intricate as the wired earphones like the Sennheiser products. The bass is a little diffused compared to wireless Bose SoundSport. But they also keep you more aware of your surroundings. But it can play all the genres in good humor. The most complicated songs will require better expertise than Bluetooth can provide as of now.
The fact that these rarely lose connection tributes to half the audio quality. The rest is done by the open and detailed audio. The audio also has minimal lag in the Bluetooth connection. You might not want to go gaming with it but it’s great for movie-viewing and music.
- Ultra lightweight and wireless
- Seamlessly integrated with Apple devices
- Small charger plus storage box
- Very clear mic
- Clear and uninterrupted audio
- Does not isolate noise
The Bose SoundSport in-ear headphones are custom-designed for the active lifestyle and being comfortable is the job requirement. The famous StayHear tips make an appearance here as well. These are open earphones that keep you synced with your surroundings. But they sound substantial thanks to their meaty bass. A wireless version of SoundSport is also available for those who want to cut the cord. These sport a place in the most comfortable earbuds list.
Design and Comfort
The Bose SoundSport earphones have the same design profile as the QC 20 where they hover at the entrance of the ears. Athletes or gymbodies will appreciate these buds never penetrate the ear canal. It reduces the impact of possible cable noise to some extent. The buds stay secured to the ears using the StayHear tips. These are winged tips that catch hold of the ear through a C-shaped tip. The eartips emerge sideways from the ear pieces. These three design quirks work together to keep the buds in the ears without any pressure on the ear canal. The ear pieces of the Wireless SoundSport are slightly larger owing to the Bluetooth machinery and controls they pack. These pieces get stuck in the small of the ear.
These differ from the QC20 in just that they don’t have active noise cancellation. So the ambient noise creeps in. This is good in a way for joggers and the gym because it keeps them clear of traffic and heavy machinery.
The Bose SoundSport earbuds are available in an audio-only model and an inline control mode. The audio-only model is cheaper has a simple cable which terminates in a straight cable. The one with inline control has three buttons and a mic. The buttons are large and well-spaced. The cable runs 42 inches which is optimal length for a jogger. The SoundSport is sweat- and water-resistant. But we wouldn’t take them for a swim since they aren’t waterproof.
These comfortable earbuds come with different sizes of eartips and small zippered case. It also has a carabiner clip to hang it off your clothes or bag.
The Bose SoundSport plays it safe with the audio signature. The bass performance has been tuned to complement the loose fit and the requirements of high-powered workout music. They are smooth in the bass and midrange as we’ve come to expect from Bose. There’s moderate detailing here with good clarity across the board. The treble matches up with the energy of bass.
These earbuds have a good volume range which is useful in the noise of the gym. But it doesn’t leak sound, so your playlist is safe from prying ears. The microphone has a decent noise isolation capability. You can take clear voice calls on it.
- Secure fitment without probing the ears
- Design meant for active lifestyle
- Meaty bass and clear vocals
- 3-button report or audio-only cable
- Good haul of accessories
- Considerably open, not good for use in urban traffic
We marshalled against metal earbuds for comfort. But here’s Focal Sphear in-ear headphones standing to the challenge. These sturdy buds tend to remain in the ears because of their secure fit and audio prowess. These are simple audiophile bud wrapped in a nice budget with the most relevant features. The design has worked great under-the-hood technology into the aesthetics. This French product makes a dashing entry into our most comfortable earbuds list.
Design and Comfort
The Focal Sphere high-resolution earphones use metal to reinforce their build. You can see the subtle glint of metal on the back of the ear pieces. These are one of those earbuds that have metal but aren’t heavy for the ears. The metal part carries the zig- zag logo of Focal Point. This, very elegantly covers the Bass ports. The eartips angle away from the ear pieces and snuggle closely in the ears. The buds are sleeker than they look which makes for a very comfortable fit.
The stem of the ear pieces is not that long. So it stays clear of the contours of the ears.
The Focal Sphear earphones cut the features down to the basic. The mic and a one-button remote are separated on this. The mic is located close to the mouth. The button is cleverly disguised as the joint of the cable. This works with both Android and Apple devices for the Play-Pause functionality. The cord runs 4 feet long. The cylindrical cable is tough and resistant to tangles.The mic has proved its mettle in relaying voices to both sides. These come with sets of Silicone and Foam tips in small, large and medium sizes.
A small carrying case is part of the package.
The Focal Sphear earphones work on one buzzword: balance. The audio has such a balance of richness and clarity, bass and midrange, detailing and forgiveness, that audiophile will fall in love. At this price, it’s hard to come by such precision in the audio. The bass has full body with well-defined boundaries. It makes firm base for the decadent midsplay on. The midrange is set in transparency with considerable details. The vocals sound very natural and alive, be it with music or movies.
The treble has just the right bit of sparkle. The details ride right up to the highs from the bass. The tonal balance ties the bass, treble and midrange together in a neat bow.
- Rich and dynamic audio
- Well-defined and detailed throughout
- Single-button remote
- Mic close to the mouth
- Metal design with bass ports
- The stainless steel backplate comes off if not handled properly
1More Triple Driver in-ear headphones are the latest darlings of the market. Audio quality, physical quality, and functions, 1More wins every game and within a budget. And the fact that more and more people turn to these ultra-comfy buds for everyday use. The metal build fails to take any point off the comfort equation. The cherry on the cake are the stylish looks that even Apple has failed to parallel. These top earphones take the whole game of the most comfortable earbuds to a new level.
Design and Comfort
1More Triple Driver in-ear headphones look premium from every angle. And they hold their quality though regular use. The ear pieces are crafted in lightweight Aluminum. Considering, these pack three drivers each, these are pretty compact. These conical-shaped buds have eartips angling away from them. The winged eartips of Bose SoundSportand QC 20 provide a better fitment though. The stem extends moderately from the ear pieces. Overall, the weight on the ears is inconspicuous. You barely feel like you have earphones on. The stem and the base of the eartips have a classic and very beautifully done rose gold detailing which keeps matters.
These earphones are also available in black/titanium combinations.
The cord of the 1More Triple Driver in-ear headphones is a thick cable. It is coated in Kevlar fabric which gives it extra strength and also prevent tangling. The 3-button control hanging from the right cable is a unique item. It works with both Android and Apple devices, a feat yet unachieved since the volume controls of one never work with the other platform. These earbuds come with 6 pairs of silicone eartips, 3 pairs of foam tips, magnetic clasp travelling case and airline prong adapter and a shirt clip.
The 1More Triple Driver in-ear headphones bring a plushness to the music which wins hands-down over the surgical clarity of some audiophile earbuds. The 1More is an audiophile business itself with two balanced armature drivers and one dynamic driver per side. The bass has a nice punch which balances definition, power and reach into the sub-bass. The midrange loses none of that clarity because of the bass. The treble is sparkly without being sibilant. The audio response is nuanced with space between the instruments such that complicated music plays effortlessly.
The range of eartips with these earphones provide a tight seal from the external noise compared to the Bose earphones. But the QC 20 and SoundSport hang more securely because of the StayHear tips.
- Exceptionally rich sound
- Perfect tonal balance
- High value for money
- Aluminum ear pieces
- 3-button control works with Apple and Android
- Fair haul of accessories
- Could be more secure
The Kz ATE Hifi earbuds has no business being on any list at its price. Yet thanks to some mundane economy concept, this is an awesome product delivered very inexpensively. These are highly comfortable earbuds, easy on the ears and the pocket. They deliver the audio of earphones 10 times their price. It startled us across the board of its audio response with the clarity and power in its playback.
Design and Comfort
The Kz Ate Hifi earbuds are another over-the-ear design. The earpieces are very lightweight owing to their plastic clear construction. They fit right into the small of the ears. The combination of angled eartips and the beefy ear pieces give you a secure fit without compromising on comfort. There’s no memory wire patch to hold the wire around your ears. But you do have two weights some distance from the ear pieces to keep the cable stable. They come with eartips in the standard size. The lack of wait and the right eartips make them one of the most comfortable earbuds
Being a budget earphone, the Kz Ate Hifi is low on features. The cord has very low stress relief but we can’t blame it at this price. We also suggest getting a cord management tray since the cord tends to tangle. The cable terminates in a low-profile L-plug. These earbuds are available in clear black and silver models. These are a good-looking set for the price.
The Kz Ate Hifi earphones are meant for the bass heads. We expect a bass boost in the low-budget in-ear headphones. But we didn’t expect the meaty, defined, gorgeously extended quality bass that we found in Kz Ate. The sub bass content comes from a deep place here. This is a fun bass that’s moderately agile and makes a prominent mark on the sound signature. In spite of the focus on bass, the midrange is clear and detailed, strangely detailed for the price. The treble also has the kind of energy that bass brings. But it has definition and avoids sibilance. There’s no boominess here although the bass is aggressive.
- Intense and Powerful bass
- Exceptionally clean and detailed sound
- Highly affordable
- Very comfortable and lightweight
- Stable in the ears
- Lack of strain relief
The AKG N40 customizable earphones come from the house of the audiophiles’ beloved brand: AKG. These are premium earphones that can be customized according to your taste in audio response. The sturdy build and the travel-ready package of accessories adds to the ease of use. Although over-the-ear in their design, they are extremely comfortable for prolonged use. These are undoubtedly one of the most comfortable earbuds in the market.
Design and Comfort
The AKG N40 customizable earbuds have a sleek design for an over-the-ear pair. The ear pieces are smaller in their footprint compared to other such designs. Each bud has a nice metallic finish on the exterior. The eartips angle away from the ear pieces to fit snugly in the ears. The memory wire region helps provide a secure fit without sacrificing comfort. They also stabilize the earbuds against any vibration from movement and music. They come with four sizes of silicone eartips for your ears. While this may seem a little thrifty for the premium buds, it’s actually quite smart. It’s easier to find a better fit between a range of 4 sizes than 3 sizes.
An earwax cleaning kit allows you to keep a sanitary habitation inside your ears.
The AKG N40 comes with three tuning filters: one each for bass boost, reference sound and treble boost. You can put on the tuning filter of choice and listen to AKG’s flavor of audio response in that tune.
These earphones have detachable cables. Yes, plural. Because they come with a spare cable, just in case the first one runs its tenure. The spare cable has inline control and mic which can be made to work with either Android or Apple devices.The area near the ears has a memory wire section which makes it loop comfortably around the ears. The Y-joint is reinforced by a metallic sheath and so is the straight 3.5mm plug. An airplane adapter is part of the package. Everything comes packed in zippered hard case.
The AKG N40 earphones are audiophile buds through and through. They work best with the right gear. With some capable DACs, these proved why they cost so much. The truly high-end earphone have almost the same level of detailing as the moderately-priced earbuds. The difference lies in the way the details are presented. The reference tuning filter was enough to impress us. It has a nice tonal balance that other filters cannot beat. The bass has a deep reach even without the bass boost. The treble is reined in from creating any sibilance.
The AKG N40 laid bare the beauty of some of our old favorites.
- Detailed, rich and spacious sound
- Detachable cables
- Lightweight and comfortable ear pieces
- Three tuning filters
- Fully stocked with accessories
- Tuning filters are not really necessary
The Sennheiser IE80 earphones got a lot of attention for its design. Given the over-the-ear design, we were vary of this set. The relatively large ear pieces looked foreboding. But the tension fizzled off when we put them on. They feel custom-made to us. The secure fitment is re-assuring for everyday use. Detachable cable is a big plus. The bass adjustment takes the cake of the highlight feature. These have all the hallmarks of the most comfortable earbuds.
Design and Comfort
Part of our misgivings about the size and weight of the Sennheiser IE80 earphones stems from the metal design on the ear pieces. We dreaded the tugging of stainless steel. But the ear pieces turned out to be reassuringly all-plastic with just the brushed metal design. These are designed to loop over the ears from behind and stick in the small of the ear. The ear pieces hold themselves, there’s no excessive probing into your ears. The eartips angle away from the buds ergonomically.
These earphones come with 10 sets of earbuds including silicone and foam tips, both single and double-flanged ones in different sizes. There are also ear-hangers. You can use these removable attachments to route the cable around the ears.
The Sennheiser IE80 earbuds comes with an earwax-removal tool.The same can be used to turn a micro knob on the backplate of the ear pieces. This adjusts the bass to your taste, a nifty feature considering these are tiny earphones and not headphones. Next up, you have the detachable cable to dazzle you. These connect to the ear pieces via proprietary cable which is not good news if you want to replace them. A volume adjustment extension cable is part of the package. The cable is a long but sturdy cord that terminates in an L-shaped plug. It resists tangles on principle.
The Sennheiser IE80 earphones are high-end as far as the usual budgets go, but they are not the most expensive in Sennheiser’s lineup. The bass knob itself gives you a range of audio responses fit for light bass for your rock tastes to heavy bass for the Techno. All through Sennheiser maintain an open presentation with plenty of space between the instruments. The notes get space to breathe and act on every detail of the song.
The detailing is meticulous as you would expect from an audiophile earphone of this price. It leave nothing out. The nuances follow all the way into the highs of the music. There is no sibilance and the three elements balance well. These are impressive earbuds for the regular music-listener and the purist audiophile alike.
- Adjustable bass
- Detachable cable
- Great haul of accessories
- Exceptional detailing
- Spacious presentation
- Need to fiddle with them to get the best fit
The Sennheiser IE800 ear canal headphones have the modular design that once created a stir in the market. And it still has popular demand from athletes and workout junkies. Except the IE800 are an audiophile’s Holy Grail. These technologically-advanced earphones make the kid of sound with a single dynamic driver that a bunch of triple-drivers cannot recreate. Light as air, they take a well-deserved spot on our most comfortable earbuds list.
Design and Comfort
The Sennheiser IE800 in-ear headphones are tiny in comparison to the professional in-ear monitors. This is perhaps their biggest design USP. They have a single ceramic shell with two-chamber absorbers and the smallest driver yet known packed away inside. They are pretty low profile inside the ears. You don’t even feel like you have them on. They come with proprietary silicone eartips which are rather difficult to replace. The build is premium but so lightweight andsmall that you can hardly discern the technology under the hood.
Another interesting feature in the Sennheiser IE800 earphones is the cable. The modular design breaks off at the Y-joint of cable. The whole cod terminates in an L-shaped joint. The cable is Kevlar-reinforced against possible damage. Apart from an earwax-cleaning tool and a carry case, these earbuds are low on accessories.
Impeccable speed, balance and detailing is what you get at the price of Sennheiser IE800, because looking at the price tag, we sure did. We were impressed by the way the bass is so light on its feet. Throw any complicated music at them and they handled it deftly. The reach and strength of bass is also unquestionable here. Being Sennheisers, we expected them to have exceptional midrange. They rose above those in terms of detailing and clarity. They attack articulately without any hitch as the music transcends and decays.
The musicality of these Sennheiser earbuds sets them apart from the usual hi-end earbuds. They even make bad recordings sound musical albeit flawed.
- Extremely lightweight and comfortable
- Exceptional speed, response and balance
- Enjoyable musicality that’s hard to parallel
- Modular cable
- High durability
- Very expensive
Sennheiser Momentum line has seen soaring success. Their in-ear headphones stirred the same kind of excitement in us when we went looking for the most comfortable earbuds. The sleek build somehow looked lightweight as well. We tried them on and we haven’t taken them off since. For regular use, these are the most balanced earphones in terms of audio quality, comfort and price. Their build quality and features ultimately landed them in the most comfortable earbuds list.
Design and Comfort
The Sennheiser Momentum in-ear headphones have the familiar glint of metal. But the weight suggests most of the ear piece housing is plastic with metal reinforcement. They manage to create a nice balance between durability and weight. The ear pieces feel ultra-light in your ears. They do stick out of the ears more than your regular smartphone earbuds. The cable connecting the ear pieces is routed through a loop which acts as stress relief for the cable when your head moves.
These earbuds come with 3 sizes of silicone eartips and one triple-flanged pair. You will find a tight seal with your usual size.
The Sennheiser Momentum earbuds have a 1.3m elliptical cable which refuses to tangle. However, it is prone to some cable noise. These don’t come with a shirt clip either, so we are stuck with some rustling when we move without music on. The cord has an inline control with 3-buttons. Based on whether you pick the Apple version or the Android version, you get a control where the volume buttons work with the corresponding platform. The buttons are made to tactile appeal and easily discernible by fingers. The cord ends in an L-shaped plug which slips easily through any phone case.
These earbuds comes with a nice zippered semi-hard case. There’s a cable manager inside around which you can wrap the earpones when not in use. It’s not that handy though. They are available in black/wine red and black/chrome versions.
The Sennheiser Momentum in-ear headphones have a particularly vigorous sound. The bass beats with some authority. It has moderately good definition. It doesn’t muddy the details of the midrange. The sound could be a little more transparent. But it certainly beats the usual middle-of-the-road range earphones. The treble is where the Momentums get a bit over-excited. But some people prefer the bite that comes with such a sound signature. Overall, these earbuds keep you on your toes with their audio response.
- Lightweight and partly metal design
- Stylish looks
- 3-button remote
- Enthusiastic bass and treble
- Decent detail
- Cable noise and no shirt clip
The Beats BeatsX wireless in-ear headphones make the perfect sports audio gear. Integrated with the latest Apple technology, these wireless buds have the signature Beats appeal. Their curved tip provide a secure but loose fit which our ears love. The top quality material, technology and the range of colors earn it a cool place on the most comfortable earbuds list.
Design and Comfort
The Beats BeatsX have a neckband design. These are two ear pieces attached by a flat cable. These are wireless otherwise. The ear pieces are quite weightless and you forget you have them on. They come with a wide variety of silicone tips. Beats also ships some earfins in different sizes. These hook to the curves of the ears and secure the ear pieces without much probing into the ears. BeatsX beat the Powerbeats in terms of comfort and fitment.
The cable is made of a flexible material called Nitinol. It bends and corresponds to your shape easily. It’s a little longer than you require. Because of the cable, these are harder to lose compared to the Airpods.
The Beats BeatsXearphones pack the same W1 chip as the Apple Airpods. Consequently you get instant connection with Apple devices. The earbuds are magnetized so they stick together when not in use. Even when worn around the neck in this configuration, they are pretty lightweight. The controls on these earbuds are in the line of the cable. These earbuds charge via a lightning charging cable. This gives it two hours of life with a 5-minute charge.
A stylish little hard case is part of the package.The microphone demonstrates excellent call quality. The call control responds instantly to your touch. These are available in 6 colors.
The Beats BeatsX have a very stable Bluetooth connection. This in itself makes for a very good audio response compared to other wireless earphones. Given the legacy of Beats, we expected an onslaught of bass. Instead, we were treated to a dynamic albeit slightly bright audio. Maybe that’s Beats’ attempt at sounding more refined. The audio is fun and encompassing. It’s a very mature take on music.
The music from these earbuds has a great volume range but they never leak audio. But they don’t provide airtight seal. This quality makes them perfect for working out and keeping an ear out at work.
- Wireless connection
- Rich and fun sound
- Seamless integration with Apple devices
- Lighting charger
- Durable build
- Treble can be a tad harsh
The Klipsch R6i in-ear headphones made a name for being comfortable and almost-not-there for the ears. These sleek earphones carry the audio legacy of Klipsch in a very small package. Moe importantly, they bring a good dose of detailing into the amateur audio that other brands tout in the same price range. If you are going from causal listener to audiophile, you might want to do it with these earbuds. They fly right into the most comfortable earbuds list.
Design and Comfort
The Klipsch R6i earphones have a very petite design. The ear pieces are pretty low profile. They are mounted with angled eartips. Klipsch has their patented oval eartips which adapt to the shape of our ears providing an excellent fit. They feel comfortable but stay secured as well. The stem of the earpieces are slightly slanted to keep up with the shape of your ears.
The Klipsch R6i earphones have a flat tangle-free cable. It has a 3-button inline remote. Depending on whether you buy the Android version or the Apple version, the volume buttons will work with the correct platform. They are also available in a mic-only version with no audio controls inline. These earbuds are available in either white or black. A Klipsch case is provided to bid safe travels to the earbuds.
The Klipsch R6i earphones serve the bass overlords. This is quality bass laid out with plenty of detail and control. Although if you are boosting bass, it essentially takes away some details form the midrange. The midrange is still quite warm and open. It has plenty of details to set these earbuds apart from the usual earbuds. The treble is smoothened. It has none of the bite of bright headphones.
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Meaty bass with clean audio
- Patented eartips
- Tangle-free cable
- 3-button remote
- Cable noise
The B&O Play H3 2nd gen earphones look like a work of art. Crafted from lightweight aluminum, they make a statement through their design. Their audio response stands out from the crowd of mediocre sound as well. They have hit all the right notes in terms of comfort and fitment. Hence its place in the most comfortable earphones list.
Design and Comfort
The ear pieces of B&O Play Beoplay H3 2nd gen earphones are milled out of sold block aluminum. Yet, they weight only 13 grams. That’s durability packed with lightweight comfort. The ear pieces don’t tug on your ears or make their presence felt in any way. The eartips angle away from the era pieces. They come with a slew of silicone eartips. We experimented with them to find the perfect fit for our ears. They get a secure hold on the ears without being too pushy.
The H3 2nd gen earphones features bass port right on the ear pieces. These are the little holes you will notice if you look closely. The cylindrical cable is durable and terminates in a 3.5mm plug. The cord has an inline remote with 3 buttons. These perform the Call/Play/Pause and volume/track navigation functions. A handy case is supplied with the package.
The H3 2nd gen earphones have a tonally balanced sound with equal focus on every part of the frequency response. The bass plays nice with the mids. But it has plenty of oomph for the party. The midrange is clean and articulate. The vocals and guitars shine without any interference from the bass. The treble is just the right amount of sparkly. There’s no hint of sibilance or boominess. The details are hosted in a wide open soundstage. The audio does not feel cramped in a small ear piece.
- Milled aluminum with bass ports
- Inline remote with mic
- Well balanced tonally
- Wide open audio
The Panasonic ErgoFit RP-HJE120 earphones are the ultimate alternative for your stock earphones. Dirt cheap, these earbuds have impressed everyone, right up to the audiophiles, with their audio. And they have an ergonomic design as the name suggests. Their lightweight feeling in your ears and the price alone are enough to land them in the most comfortable earbuds list, both to the ears and the pockets.
Design and Comfort
The Panasonic ErgoFit earbuds have an ergonomic architecture. The ear pieces are conical and squat. They are mounted with angled eartips that lean towards the ear canal. These earbuds have a very low profile. They don’t stick out from the ears. They fit snugly and do not invade the privacy of your ear canal much. We suggest trying out different eartip sizes with these for a proper fit.
The Panasonic Ergofit earbuds are a budget product, so they have no fancy features. The cord runs straight to a 3.5mm jack. It has a model with a mic but there’s nocontrol to play/pause/call/reject etc.. The design is highly durable for the price going on for even 3-4 years with certain users. These are available in 9 colors.
At this price, we are not particularly discriminating about the audio of the Panasonic Ergofit earbuds. They have a good balance of bass, mids and treble. There’s no boosting of bass here like other inexpensive earbuds. The bass doesn’t get too boomy. There’s no sibilance either. The detailing is decent and the soundstage works well if not better than the stock earbuds.
- Highly affordable
- Ergonomic design
- Balanced audio
- 9 colors
- With or without mic models