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The Ultimate Guide to Earbuds: Which Earbuds Are the Best?

There are a lot of earbuds to choose from. So which earbuds are the best for you? We’ve rounded up all of the top earbuds on the market!

Whether you need a way to listen to music on your morning commute, or you’re trying to fit in another audiobook on your next run, earbuds are the way to do it. But with plenty of options on the market, how do you decide which earbuds are the best for you? 

We’ve rounded up our top favourites and separated them by category. All you have to do is decide what you need your earbuds for, and then select from the list! 

 

Earbuds vs. Earphones: What’s the difference? 

A pair of AirPods in their case.The terminology of earbuds and earphones are often used interchangeably. But they actually have quite a few differences that make them completely separate products. So what are the biggest differences? 

Earbuds

Earbuds are usually one-size-fits-all plastic pieces that rest in your ear, but they don’t extend into your ear canal. Since they sit in your ear, they let in more ambient noise. And that’s excellent if you need to be aware of your surroundings, like if you’re on a run near a busy road. 

Earphones

Earphones typically go into your ear canal with a cushioned piece. The cushioned pieces are typically made of silicone to give an extra crisp sound as you’re listening to your audio. Since it extends into your ear canal, earphones typically provide more noise cancellation, so you’re not distracted by anything but what you’re trying to listen to. If you find the right size cushion, they also may fit better since they sit inside your ear, versus just sitting on top. 

The differences between earbuds and earphones:

Earbuds Earphones
Sound Quality Don’t always have strong volume and bass, which is especially good for people with sensitive hearing  Usually have strong volume and bass
Noise cancellation Don’t completely cancel noise, which is great when you need to be aware of your surroundings Excellent noise cancellation options if you want to focus only on what you’re listening to
Price Generally less expensive Typically more expensive
Fit and Comfort Fit snugly in your ear without having to find the right size Usually come with different sized cushions which will help them sit comfortably in your ear

 

How do wireless earbuds and earphones work? 

Believe it or not, it’s not magic! Although that’d be pretty cool. Wireless earbuds and earphones work by receiving transmitted signals from whatever audio they’re paired to. The transmitted signals are typically radio frequencies or infrared carriers. Your earbuds or earphones pick up the signals and then translate them into audio. 

 

How to charge wireless earbuds and earphones?

Charging your wireless earbuds or earphones depends on the type you get. Many earbuds and earphones on the market include a wireless charging case. So as your personal music players start to lose their battery life, you can pop them back in their case for a quick recharge. Your case will need to be recharged itself every now and then, too. Your earphones or earbuds will generally come with a charging cord. When it needs recharging, just plug it in, and you’re good to go! 

 

How to keep earbuds and earphones in?

    • One of the biggest fears people have before buying earbuds or earphones is how can you keep them from falling out. After all, the last thing you want is to spend a bunch of money, only to lose them because it won’t stay in your ears. 
    • The important thing is, you’ll need to find the best earbuds or earphones that match your ear size and shape. Or you can find some that include a hook or an around-the-ear style in the design to add extra stability for your earphones or earbuds as you’re using them. 
    • Be sure you’re also wearing them correctly. Most earbuds and earphones will have a small “L” and “R” to indicate the left and right pieces. 
    • If you decide on a pair of earphones, you’ll more than likely end up with multiple earphone cushions in your package. Find the best size for your ears, and you’ll be good to go! 

 

What are the best budget wireless earbuds and earphones? 

With so many earbuds and earphones on the market, there’s plenty of excellent options that won’t break the bank! We’ve rounded up our top 3 best budget wireless earbuds and earphones for you. 

 

Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus

 

Specifications: 

      • Size: 2.79 x 1.5 x 1.5 centimeters
      • Weight: 5.66 grams (per bud) 
      • Battery Life: 7 hours (High-Performance Mode), 9 hours (Low Power Mode), 45 hours with charging case
      • Bluetooth Range: 9 meters
      • Exciting Features: EQ customisation, high-performance mode, IPX5 water resistance, voice assistant support

Things to consider before buying:

      • Excellent sound, especially for the price point
      • Extra-long battery life
      • Sleek design
      • No noise cancellation

 

JLab Go Air Pop

The JLab Go Air Pop earbuds are some of the best budget-friendly earbuds you can purchase!
JLab Go Air True Wireless Earbuds

Specifications: 

      • Size: 2.28 x 2.54 x 2.28 centimeters
      • Weight: 2.8 grams (per bud) 
      • Battery Life: 8 hours, 32 hours with charging case
      • Bluetooth Range: 9 meters
      • Exciting Features: Built-in USB cable for charging case, programmed EQ settings, water-resistant

Things to consider before buying:

      • IPX4 water resistance
      • Long battery life
      • Poor call quality
      • Controls don’t always work

 

Edifier TWS 330NB

 

Specifications: 

      • Battery Life: 4 hours (ANC on), 12 hours (ANC on with charging case), 5 hours (ANC off), 15 hours (ANC off with charging case)
      • Bluetooth Range: 240 meters
      • Exciting Features: hybrid active noise cancellation, ambient sound mode, fast charging, IP54 dust and waterproof, AI phone call noise cancellation

Things to consider before buying:

      • Hybrid active noise cancellation so you can focus on what you’re listening to
      • AI phone call noise cancellation so you can hear your phone calls crystal clearly
      • Dust and waterproof
      • Battery life isn’t as long as other options
      • Sound quality isn’t as great as other options

 

What are the best earbuds and earphones for running?

While you’re running or doing any other kind of exercising, you want to make sure your wireless earbuds stay perfectly in place. So, we’ve rounded up the best sport earbuds for you! 

 

Amazfit Powerbuds Pro

 

Specifications: 

      • Size: 3.3 x 1.77 x 2.28 centimeters
      • Weight: 5.66 grams (per bud)
      • Battery Life: 5.5 hours (ANC on), 9 hours (ANC off), 19 hours (ANC on with charging case), 30 hours (ANC off with charging case)
      • Bluetooth Range: 12 meters
      • Exciting Features: Adaptive noise cancellation, activity tracking, transparency mode

Things to consider before buying:

      • Rich sound
      • Effective noise cancellation so you can focus on your audio
      • Work as a fitness tracker
      • Fitness features aren’t as accurate as fitness watches
      • No ear hook option
      • Some options are redundant if you already have a fitness tracker

 

Beats Powerbeats Pro

Beats by Dre Powerbeats Pro earphones are excellent earbuds for running.
Beats by Dr Dre Powerbeats Pro

 Specifications: 

      • Size: 5.6 centimeters
      • Weight: 20.3 grams
      • Battery Life: 9 hours, 24+ hours with charging case
      • Bluetooth Range: 10 meters
      • Exciting Features: Secure ear hooks, sweat and water-resistant, play one side or both, voice assistant compatible

Things to consider before buying:

      • Powerful, balanced sound
      • Lightweight, comfortable, and stable
      • More expensive than other great options
      • The charging case doesn’t offer wireless charging
      • The charging case isn’t pocket friendly

 

Jabra Elite Active 75t

Jabra Elite Active 75t are great earbuds for running.

Specifications: 

      • Size: 2.0 x 1.77 x 1.5 centimeters 
      • Weight: 5.66 grams (per bud)
      • Battery Life: 7.5 hours, 25 hours with charging case
      • Bluetooth Range: 9 meters
      • Exciting Features: Fully waterproof, active and passive noise cancellation

Things to consider before buying:

      • Well-balanced, crisp audio
      • Waterproof
      • Sleek design
      • Active and passive noise cancellation
      • Ultra loud at max volume

 

What are the best noise-cancelling earbuds and earphones?

If you need earbuds or earphones to cancel out background noise, we’ve got you covered. These are going to be great if you’re ready to zone out and get work done without hearing the dogs barking or the neighbour’s kids yelling outside. 

 

Jabra Elite 85t

Jabra Elite 85t are some of the best noise-cancelling earbuds on the market.

Specifications: 

      • Size: 2.28 x 2.0 x 1.5 centimeters
      • Weight: 8.5 grams (per bud)
      • Battery Life: 5.5 hours (ANC on), 7.5 (ANC off), 24 hours with charging case (ANC on), 28 hours with charging case (ANC off)
      • Bluetooth Range: 10 meters
      • Exciting Features: Adjustable noise cancellation, wireless charging

Things to consider before buying:

      • Bold, crisp sound
      • Strong noise cancellation
      • Middle of the road battery life

 

Nothing Ear (1)

Specifications: 

      • Size: 2.79 x 2.0 x 2.28 centimeters
      • Weight: 5.66 grams (per bud)
      • Battery Life: 4 hours (ANC on), 5 hours (ANC off), 27 hours (ANC on with charging case), 38 hours (ANC off with charging case) 
      • Bluetooth Range: 10 meters
      • Exciting Features: Adjustable noise cancellation, IPX4 water resistance, wireless charging, “Find My Earbuds” feature

Things to consider before buying:

      • An affordable option with noise cancellation
      • Comfortable fit
      • Earbuds might come loose with lots of jarring movements
      • Short battery life

 

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are an excellent option for noise-cancelling earbuds.

Specifications: 

      • Size: 3.8 x 2.54 x 2.79 centimeters
      • Weight: 8.5 grams (per bud) 
      • Battery Life: 6 hours, 18 hours with charging case
      • Bluetooth Range: 10 meters
      • Exciting Features: Adjustable noise cancellation, self voice mode for enhanced calling

Things to consider before buying:

      • Excellent call quality
      • Unbeatable noise cancellation
      • Bold sound
      • Reliable Bluetooth connectivity
      • Battery life is short

 

What are the best earbuds and earphones for sound?

If your primary concern is getting the best sound quality, no worries. These are the premium earbuds on the market for that! 

 

Bowers & Wilkins PI7

Specifications: 

      • Size: 2.0 x 1.7 centimeters
      • Weight: 15.5 grams
      • Battery Life: 4 hours, 20 hours with charging case
      • Exciting Features: IP54 waterproof design, adjustable noise cancellation

Things to consider before buying:

      • Truly wireless design
      • IP54 waterproof
      • Adjustable noise cancellation
      • Premium price
      • Battery life isn’t as long as other options

 

JBL Tour Pro Plus

 

Specifications: 

      • Weight: 14.17 grams
      • Battery Life: 6 hours (ANC on), 8 hours (ANC off)
      • Exciting Features: Adaptive noise cancellation, rich sound, hands-free voice control

Things to consider before buying:

      • Adaptive noise cancellation
      • Clear, powerful sound
      • Bulkier design
      • May be uncomfortable for certain ears

 

Apple AirPods Pro

Apple AirPods are excellent earbuds with great sound quality.
Apple AirPods Pro Earphones

Specifications: 

      • Size: 3.0 x 2.28 x 2.28 centimeters
      • Weight: 5.66 grams (per bud)
      • Battery Life: 4.5 hours, 24 hours with charging case
      • Bluetooth Range: 243.8 meters
      • Exciting Features: Active noise cancellation, “Hey Siri” option, spatial audio

Things to consider before buying:

      • Excellent noise cancellation
      • Easy to use controls
      • Secure and comfortable fit
      • Crisp sound quality
      • Battery life is not as long as other options

 

When it comes to buying a pair of earbuds or earphones, you’ll need to think about what your priorities are. What do you hope to use it for, and what are you looking for the most in your purchase? Then, narrow it down by the categories above! 

Ready to shop for the best earbuds or earphones? Get started here!

 

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