Headphone options are nearly endless, but for anyone looking to rock out while hitting the gym in-ear headphones, also known as earbuds, are pretty essential. After all, the last thing you want is a big set of ear cans bouncing around while you jog.
Even if it’s just a commute to school or work, earbuds are a solid and affordable option. These days, in-ear headphones come in all shapes and sizes, and there’s even a decision to make between wired or wireless. Here’s a handy list of some of our favorites, sure to keep the music flowing while staying securely in your ears.
TL;DR – These Are the Best Earbuds:
1. 1More Triple Driver
Out of all the earbuds we’ve tested 1MORE’s Triple Driver offer the best balance of value to audio quality and feature. Available in either a gold or titanium finish, the Triple Driver earbuds come with metal casings and a thick audio cable. Aesthetics aside, the 1More Triple Driver features a good deal of passive noise isolation and well-balanced audio.
These in-ear headphones produce punchy bass while mids offer a warm tonal notes to the vocal and acoustic part of your music. High notes and treble, however, lack some detail, but overall we’re very impressed by the sound quality you can squeeze our of earbuds this affordable.
2. Sennheiser CX 300S
Best Budget Earbuds
For a pair of simple, affordable earbuds you can plug into any old 3.5mm headphone jack, the Sennheiser CX 300S get the job done. These earbuds aren’t too flashy, but they do provide a bit of style with matching color accents on the earbuds and cable. The Sennheiser logo is also a touch on the shiny side. They may not be Bluetooth, but that means they also won’t suffer from audio syncing or pairing issues.
The Sennheiser CX 300S will make it easy to get a good fit and seal as they include four different ear adapter sizes. That improved fit will also make for a better listening experience. The earbuds include a simple in-line control to play and pause audio or to answer a call. They also feature a microphone, so you can leave your phone in your pocket when you’re on the go and need to take a call.
3. Creative Outlier Air
Best Wireless Earbuds
Most modern smartphones and even tablets are starting to drop the headphone jack like a bad habit. While it’s frustrating, it’s led to a massive step forward in wireless earbud technology and one of the best pairs you can buy is the Creative Outlier Air.
At $70, the Creative Outlier Air is almost as affordable as our top pick in this list, you can completely ditch any cables for truly wireless connectivity. They’re one of the most well-rounded sets of wireless earbuds with 12 hours of battery life and another 34 in it’s accompanying charging case. It also supports the latest Bluetooth 5.0 standard and all the low-latency audio codecs.
4. Optoma NuForce Be Live5
Best Bluetooth Earbuds
If you like the idea of wireless earbuds but still have some anxiety about them falling out and down a sewer grate, then maybe a pair of Bluetooth earbuds is what you need. The Optoma NuForce Be Live5, as all Bluetooth earbuds do, comes with a cord connecting the two earbuds that lays on the back of your neck.
Not only does this provide a little more security, but the neckband also gives you a way of dangling the earbuds should you need to take one or both of them out. The large band on Bluetooth earbuds can also hold a larger battery, which typically last longer than the small cells built into truly wireless options.
5. JLab Epic Sport
Best Earbuds for Running
The JLab Epic Sport earbuds are our recommendation for anyone hitting the gym or needing music during a rigorous workout. These Bluetooth buds are super comfortable, and the sound is excellent for such an affordable pair of highly durable earbuds.
Unlike truly wireless earbuds, there’s a bungee cable running between either end, so you get a little more insurance in case they come loose while you’re working out. At the same time, because Epic Sport is connected over Bluetooth rather than directly with your phone, you don’t have to hear an annoying cable flopping around while you’re working out. Plus, with a 12-hour battery life, sweat and dust resistance, and a nice range of colors, these buds are hard to beat.
6. Apple Airpods
Best Earbuds for Apple Users
No list of desirable earbuds would be complete without Apple’s spectacular Airpods. If you own any combination of an iPhone, iPad, Mac computer, or Apple TV, you almost owe it yourself to a pair of these easy to connect wireless earbuds.
Of course, you can use Airpods with Android and Windows devices as well, but you’ll miss out on some of the features. However, you’ll still get the main benefits including total wireless freedom, all-day comfort, and superb audio quality. Battery life isn’t the best at only five hours per charge, but that’s certainly enough for your commute or a half marathon.
7. Shure SE215
Best Sound-Isolating Earbuds
If you’ve spent any time around a microphone, you’ve undoubtedly encountered the Shure brand. The company makes more than just mics though, as Shure also produces quality audio electronics such as these great earbuds. The SE215-K also fit nicely and snug in your ear.
Beyond the excellent sound clarity and comfort for $100, the SE215-K have a unique feature where the cable between the earbuds is actually detachable and replaceable. You can go wireless too with an optional Bluetooth cable.
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