The 10 Best Earbuds Of 2021

If you’re after the biggest sound and best audio from a pair of headphones, you’ll likely be looking toward over-ear headphones. But, for all their audio chops, those big, bulky headphones aren’t always the best option in everyday life. When you’re on the go, commuting, or at the gym, a pair of earbuds is more likely to be a worthy companion.

Earbuds are much easier to pack into a bag, purse, or pocket. And, if you’re wearing them while you’re on the move, the minimal weight of the earbuds themselves leaves them less prone to shaking around and falling off your head. While you can still run into tangled cords, that issue is resolved by the many wireless earbuds available. As an added perk, many of the best earbuds are a bit more affordable than the comparable over-ear headphones, perhaps thanks in part to a lower bill of materials.

We’ve picked out some winning options to help you jam out and enjoy media on the go. They come in a variety of sizes and price points, so you can find one that’s going to work just right for you.

1.Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earbuds

Dr. Dre wouldn’t steer you wrong with just average audio. The Powerbeats Pro are one of the best true wireless headphones on this list. They are more substantial than typical earbuds, making the drivers, bass, and sound quality a step closer to over-the-ear headphones options, but still in a compact size.

The low profile and lightweight design makes them the number one choice for all types of workouts, even for Superman pushups. You get nine hours of battery life and another 24 from their charging case. These wireless earbuds also have a dual mic and single connection capability for taking calls and leaving one ear open.

2.Bose QuietComfort Noise-Cancelling Earbuds

Bose QuietComfort Noise-Cancelling wireless headphones live up to their hype, especially for bass-hunting listeners of hip hop and EDM. And they straight up just feel good in your ears. Bose uses something called StayHear Max ear tips, which are a flexible silicone wing that tucks into the ridge of the ear for soft, added stability. 

You can sculpt your own audio profile through the coordinating app with automatic equalizer boosts. The sound feels dynamic and deep at any volume. The rich soundstage makes the nearly $300 price tag worth it.

But their ultimate claim to fame is their near-perfect active noise cancellation. You can choose between 10 levels of ANC and completely tune out the world around you. It’s pretty amazing that such a small bud can do an astonishing job at this. When you take out one ear bud, the other goes into noise-isolating mode, so you can (sort of) come back to earth. One more major callout is the “self-voice” feature, which allows you to adjust how much you hear your own voice on a call so you don’t end up talking too loudly (this is typically a complaint of any ANC headphones). They are on the larger side for a compact earbud, but worth all the fancy features that come along with them.

3. Etymotic ER4SR

If you’re going to be monitoring or mixing (or doing any kind of professional work really) with audio, a pair of in-ears with a flat response might be a worthy investment to make. And if you want accuracy, look no further than the Etymotic ER4SR in-ears

These have a thin, smooth aluminum housing and triple flange ear tips so you can be confident that they won’t fall out. The minimalist design doesn’t allow any room for playback controls, but we’ll get these a pass. After all, these are specifically for professionals that work with audio, or anyone who doesn’t like to have an emphasis on certain aspects of the frequency range.

The cable is braided for extra durability. Though because the earbuds connect via MMCX connectors, you don’t have to worry too much about breaking the cable because you can just get another one.

4.SHURE SE846 BLUETOOTH

My long-term daily driver earphones for the past few years have been the Shure SE846, and still, in 2021, they are one of the best sounding earbuds on the market.

Big soundstage and enormous ability to deliver thumping bass have made them one of the standout headphones from big-name brands in the past few years.

They are built for professional musicians as a stage monitor and, as such, are extremely hard-wearing and include detachable cables for extra peace of mind.

Shure put a tonne of research into the SE846. With their considerable experience in the music production business, they produced something that really engages you in your music.

With additional Bluetooth functionality, these are some of the best-sounding wireless earbuds on the market right now.

5.Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones

Bose has built its reputation on comfort, and the Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones definitely live up to that quality. Our reviewer said he was able to wear these headphones for awhile without the typical fatigue you’ll feel after long sessions. The earbuds come with a number of different-sized ear tips and wings, but the wings are attached to the tips.

The sound quality is really great, especially the bass. Unfortunately, these great sounds max out at a volume that isn’t as high as some other options. If you plan to wear these buds in loud environments, that could be problematic.

The battery life is rated only at 6 hours, which is fine if you’re going to wear these while working out, but not so much if you’re going to wear them at work, or when relaxing at home. Typically, earbuds with a connecting wire have better battery life, so we expected more here. But if you’re OK with shorter listening sessions, these will give you great sound across the spectrum.

6. Jabra Elite 75t Wireless Earbuds

Jabra is something of a rising star in the earbuds industry, having originally made its bones with headsets. Since making the transition to consumer audio, however, Jabra’s been killing it, and the Elite 75t earbuds are the brand’s latest offering. They have a great sound stage ranging from the lowest bass to the highest notes. They also have a passthrough function that allows you to hear what’s going on without taking the buds out.

Battery life is pretty good with these earbuds. Jabra promises around 7.5 hours on a single charge, which will almost get you through a workday. Along with the charging case, you can expect up to 28 hours of listening, meaning the case has enough juice for another 2.5 charges before it needs to get plugged in. That’s pretty impressive, and could get you through a weekend trip without needing a cord.

7.1More Quad Driver Earbuds

1More is a company worth paying attention to. It has produced high-quality earbuds for quite some time because it pays attention to details. From the first time you open the box, 1More gives you a quality experience. The Quad Driver Headphones are laid out inside the box along with a plethora of accessories, including one-fourth inch jack adapters, a leather bag with a magnetic catch, and no less than eight sets of ear tips to help you get the perfect fit for your ears. The cords are made of oxygen-free copper and wrapped in Kevlar for durability.

The sound quality of these earbuds is superb. They are the first THX-certified headphones, which confirms the amazing sound you’re getting. While the Quad Drivers don’t have noise-cancelling technology, the numerous ear tips ensure great sound isolation, meaning the sounds around you will disappear, leaving you in your own sonic oasis.

They’re wired earbuds, which means your phone or audio player will need to have a headphone jack, so that’s important to keep in mind. The headphones also only come in one color option: gray.

8.Panasonic ErgoFit In-Ear

Our first wired in-ear headphones set, with a reasonable price, is designed to fit comfortably within the listeners’ ears. These earbuds have such an ergonomically accommodating design that the model has aptly been named ErgoFit.

The earbud tips are angled from the driver units to ensure they sit in a better position. An ultra-soft foam makes up the tips – they conform to the ears, providing a snug fit that helps keep them securely in place. The earbuds come with small, medium, and large-sized tips to choose from, ensuring an appropriate fit for everyone.

The driver units work very well. Panasonic has widened the frequency range in the new edition models. They have much better bass but manage to provide an excellent balanced sound of higher and lower registered frequencies; nothing overtakes anything else, which helps keep the audio dynamics well defined.

The earbuds come with a generous 3.6 ft cord, which gives the user plenty of length to thread through a jacket or shirt if they want to. They are available in 8 different colors, and the matte, gloss, or metallic finishes present a total of 15 styles to choose from.

9. PALOVUE Lightning Headphones

Next up, we have a set that has MFI certified lightning connectivity to make them compatible with your iPhones. They are a fairly basic, no-fuss model that provides excellent music audio and great convenience from PALOVUE.

They are well-made and have a great driver concept that provides the companies patented ear-flow audio reproduction. They have a full-range frequency response with balanced handling. They perform efficiently and give excellent attention to detail. The trebles are bright, the middles have good clarity, and the bass performs well complimenting the sound with surprising depth.

The tips are formed from a softened silicone blend to keep them comfy, and the lightweight aluminum buds are durably built are shielded and magnetic. This makes them much more convenient to safely and securely store, helping to prevent them from tangling up.

They feature in-line, user-friendly controls tailored for smartphone use. The mic is good-quality and also allows you to control your device remotely with voice commands via Siri.

10 Jaybird Tarah Pro

The Jaybird Tarah Pro headphones are wireless sport headphones for the endurance runners, athletes and fitness nuts out there. With a neck cable to keep the earbuds together, they aren’t quite ‘true wireless’, but will be practical for those concerned about dropping and losing a costly earbud in the heat of a race or training session.

As the first in Jaybird’s new ‘Pro’ range of Bluetooth earbuds and aimed at offering higher quality audio and materials, the Tarah Pro will suit anyone not willing to sacrifice audio quality in harsher outdoor conditions or indoor workouts and who don’t mind spending a bit more to get a premium product.  

What Should I Look Out for When Buying Earbuds?

Lightweight

The whole purpose of an earbud over a headphone is forfeited if it isn’t light and sleek enough to be carried around comfortably.

Secure and Comfortable In-Ear Fit

When shopping for an earbud, make sure that the earphones have a firm, non-slip, and comfortable in-ear fit to help maximize the experience. They should come with a soft lining made from a material like silicone.

Strong Audio Performance

Ensure that whatever brand of the earbud you are going for has a track record of producing devices with quality and clear sound output. You could confirm by reading through reviews on the product before purchasing.

Water-Resistant

It is very important for your earbud to be water or splash-resistant, especially if you get involved in sports activities a lot. This reduces the risk of damage caused by moisture and wetness.

Good Battery Life

A wireless earbud that has poor battery performance could create for you a bad and dissatisfying experience because it would prevent you from fully optimizing your earphone’s value.

Silicon or Foam Tips

These are much more comfortable and give a much better sound output than earphones with plastic or rubber covers.

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