In-ear headphones are a love it or hate it affair. Some people love their compact design and the fact that you can easily wear them under a hat or a helmet, while others dislike the feeling of having something sitting directly in your ears.
Light and compact enough for the gym without sacrificing on audio quality, in-ear headphones are perfect for more or less every situation you can think of throwing at them – running, biking, hiking or simply walking around town.
Ideally, the best in-ear headphones (often referred to as earphones) should be ultra-comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. Newer models might be completely wire-free, but if battery life is a concern for you, you might want a pair of wired buds.
We're constantly reviewing new pairs of earphones, so we're always updating this list as we find better ones available.
Here are the top 10 best earbuds, ordered by audio performance-to-price ratio:
Not sold on earphones? Check out our guide to the best headphones of any type.
1. 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphone
Your search for great sounding, good value headphones ends here
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: N/A | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: 20 - 40,000Hz | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 99 dB at 1KHz | Impedance: 32 ohms | Battery life: N/A | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A
The 1MORE Triple Driver has a lot to offer at the price it comes at. The three drivers produce impressive sound quality with deep bass that is hard to find in any other earphone. Moreover, they are compatible with both iOS and Android. They come bundled with nine sets of ear tips, thus ensuring a comfortable fit for all.
Read the full review: 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphone
2. Optoma NuForce BE Sport3
One of the best wireless headphones you can buy
Acoustic design: N/A | Weight: 18 grams | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: 20-20kHz | Drivers: 6mm | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 102dB +/-3dB at 1kHz | Impedance: 16 Ohm | Battery life: 10 hours | Wireless range: 10m (30ft.) | NFC: N/A
The V-Moda Forza offers a lot - it sounds good, it's built to last and its modular design is like nothing we’ve seen before on an earbud.
The Forza, therefore, are perfect for anyone who wants a headphone that can do it all, from working out to taking these with you on the morning commute to the work.
It’s not the most balanced sounding or highest resolution, but the water resistance and modular design of the Forza make it a pretty compelling option.
Read the full review: V-Moda Forza
3. RHA T10i
Premium earphones for any taste
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 41g | Cable length: 4.4 feet | Frequency response: 16-40,000Hz | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 100 dB/mW | Impedance: 16 ohms | Battery life: N/A | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A
Second on our list is the RHA T10i. It's here for one simple reason - the sound quality is incredible, thanks to the snug seal created when the headphones are stuck in your ear. Plus the bass is also robust for such small earphones.
The RHA T10i looks slick with a metal finish around the drivers and around the cable as well. They also come with several replacement tips if the defaults don't fit your ear canal. They're more expensive than other buds on the list, but there's good reason they're in our top spot.
Read the full review: RHA T10i
4. RHA S500u
These cheap headphones have no right to sound as good as they do
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 14 grams | Cable length: 1.35m, dual material | Frequency response: 16 – 22,000Hz | Drivers: Micro Dynamic | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 100dB | Impedance: 16 ohms | Battery life: N/A | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A
If you have a tendency to lose or break headphones but still value sound quality, it’s hard to think of a better option than the RHA S500u.
These headphones have no business sounding this good for the price. Sound quality is balanced with a slight mid-bass bump. Bass is slightly emphasised but not egregiously and features good impact while maintaining good control. And highs, while sibilant at times, makes music sound more exciting.
Read the full review: RHA S500u
5. Beyerdynamic iDX 200 iE
Beyerdynamic's buds are some of the best for Apple devices
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 45g | Cable length: Up to 4 feet | Frequency response: 10 - 27,000Hz | Drivers: Neodymium | Driver type: N/A | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: 35 ohms | Battery life: N/A | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A
There's no shortage of sub-Rs 13k headphones on the market, but the Beyerdynamic iDX 200 iE are at the top of the pack.
Their excellent build quality, sound and design make them one of the most well-rounded in-ear headphones we've ever heard. No, they're not cheap, but again, you get what you pay for.
Read the full review: Beyerdynamic iDX 200 iE
6. Klipsch Reference X6i
Audiophile sound on the go
Acoustic design: N/A | Weight: 18 grams | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: 10-19,000Hz | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: N/A | Sensitivity: 110dB | Impedance: 50 ohms | Battery life: N/A | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A
The Klipsch Reference X6i are a wonderful-sounding package. Their comfort, build quality, sound quality and features make it great value for the money, too.
They have some problems (like an awful lot of cable noise while you're moving around with them on), but if you're looking for balanced sounding in-ear headphones, we can wholeheartedly recommend the Klipsch Reference X6i.
Stated simply, they're supremely comfortable audiophile-level in-ear headphones for an affordable price.
Read the full review: Klipsch Reference X6i
7. Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear
Fully-featured and powerful in-ear headphones
Acoustic design: N/A | Weight: 16g | Cable length: 4.2 feet | Frequency response: 15-22,000Hz | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: N/A | Sensitivity: 118 dB SPL | Impedance: 18 ohms | Battery life: N/A | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A
With the appealing candy apple detailing, Sennheiser gets you in the door. But once you're in, you'll stay for the killer sound quality that comes from the Momentum In-Ear earphones.
These are the among the best deals in the headphones market as it stands today. The company has a version available for each flavor of mobile OS – Android and iOS – so everyone can get in on the goodness.
Read the full review: Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear
8. 1More Quad Driver In-Ear Headphones
More expensive than the Triple Drivers, but more powerful too
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 18.5 g | Cable length: 1.25 m | Frequency response: 20 - 40,000Hz | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 99 dB at 1KHz | Impedance: 32 ohms | Battery life: N/A | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A
It is the high-end variant of the 1MORE Triple driver earphones listed above. These come with four drivers integrated into an aluminium shell, which delivers amazing sound and comfort to its users.
Just like its younger sibling, the 1MORE Quad Driver comes with nine sets of ear tips and is compatible with both iOS and Android.
The earphones may sound costly to some, but if you are looking for a great build and balanced audio quality, then they are worth every extra penny.
Read the full review: 1More Quad Driver In-Ear Headphones
9. V-Moda Forza
Headphones you can dress up or down to meet your needs
Acoustic design: N/A | Weight: 13.5 grams | Cable length: 2.6 feet | Frequency response: 20-40,000Hz | Drivers: 5.8mm | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 99dB @1kHz 1mW | Impedance: 14 ohms | Battery life: N/A | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A
NuForce knocked it out of the park with the BE Sport3 headphones. They're an incredible value for a pair of wireless headphones that sound good, last all day, have a bulletproof build and incredible noise isolation.
While they're not the most dynamic or resolving headphones, NuForce shows us that the future of wireless headphones is a bright one.
Read the full review: Optoma NuForce BE Sport3
10. Focal Sphear
Focal's first in-ear headphones will surprise you
Acoustic design: N/A | Weight: N/A | Cable length: 5.3 feet | Frequency response: 22Hz-17,500kHz | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: 20 ohms | Battery life: N/A | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A
Focal Sphear is the first in-ear headphone from the company. The electro-dynamic drivers inside the earbuds deliver rich sound. The earphones can be an ideal choice for commuters who love to listen to their favourite tracks on the go.
The earphone lacks a remote, which might annoy some users. Also, the plastic build questions the durability.
Read the full review: Focal Sphear
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