14 Best In Ear Headphones in 2021
Though you can make-do with large over-ear headphones, it is more convenient to carry a pair of in-ear headphones. The best in-ear headphones will offer you great features while providing portability. Whether you want to listen to music or answer calls, they will do it all for you. You won’t have to worry about the bulk that over-ear headphones put on your head.
What to Consider before buying In Ear Headphones?
Though you can get by with any cheap in-ear headphones from the market, the best in-ear headphones will offer you the best experience. When you are looking for the best in-ear headphones, there are multiple things you need to consider to ensure better quality. Let’s discuss these to get a better understanding of the best in-ear headphones.
Comfort & Fit: The first thing to consider when buying the best in-ear headphones is their comfort factor. If you think about it, you’ll be spending a lot of time with them whether you’re at work, the gym, or you’re studying. The best in-ear headphone feels fine after 20 to 30 minutes of use.
Lightweight in-ear headphones will feel much nicer than the heavier ones. Compared to larger headphones the best in-ear headphones don’t have many comfort issues due to their size. These headphones will do just fine as long as they fit in your ear.
Cable: The cables on the best in-ear headphones should be long enough where you can easily connect it to your device in your pocket. As long as it’s not exceptionally long, you should not lose any quality when it comes to audio. The best in-ear headphones offer shielded cable that can help minimizing the noise.
Even if you get a pair with pretty short cables, you can always get some extension cables to make up for the length. However, make sure that the quality of the extension cable matched up with the quality of your in-ear headphones. Also, try to minimize the number of extension-cables you might need.
Cables that are single-sided will have circuitry inside that carry audio signals to your correct side. Most of the people prefer single-sided ones as the double-sided ones can tangle very easily.
Portability & Durability: Considering the size of the best in-ear headphones there shouldn’t be much issue with carrying them. The wireless kind among these will offer better portability, but there’s the issue of charging them or replacing batteries regularly. Make sure that the wires on the in-ear headphones aren’t too long as that might make it messy inside your bag.
Durability is an important factor to consider for the longevity of the best in-ear headphones. Often you will find yourself accidentally sitting on your headphones and breaking them. Though these tend to gain weight as quality improves, the best in-ear headphones will offer better quality materials along with lightweight now. As long as the build of the main headphones is sturdy and the wires can’t easily be torn apart, you’re good to go.
Acoustic System: The acoustic system of the best in-ear headphones determines how the sound plays. If it is a closed system, less noise will be able to go or enter from the outside. But, if it’s an open system, the sound will leak out and people will be able to hear what you’re listening to.
Closed systems don’t necessarily mean that the headphones will have noise cancellation or the audio won’t get out at all. If you turn up the volume of the headphones, sound will get out even from closed systems. The best in-ear headphones will offer good fit to efficiently reduce the noise entry or leaks.
Sensitivity: Sensitivity of in-ear headphones get calculated in dB per milliwatt, which shows the amount of sound headphones can produce using 1 milliwatt electrical signal. You’ll get higher sound, if the sensitivity of the headphones is higher. Typically, the range is between eighty to 110dB for the best in-ear headphones.
Frequency Range & Impedance: The frequency range of a pair of in-ear headphones determines the range of frequencies that pair can produce. The best in-ear headphones can play a wider range in case of frequencies. Impedance is the resistance of the circuits of a pair in-ear headphones to electrical signals.
Higher impedance means that the amount of electric signal to get through is reduced and sound level produced is less. So, it is better to have it lower in most of the cases, and it should be less than 25 Ohms ideally. Look for the best in-ear headphones with low impedance, if you are going to use them with devices without amplifiers built-in. It’s better to have high impedance headphones, if there are amplifiers.
Type of Magnet: You’ll come across various headphones that come with Ferrite or Neodymium magnet type as values. The best in-ear headphones will come with Neodymium as it’s used more in modern tech. You can get the headphones with the newer type, however, there aren’t any significant differences to consider here.
Noise Cancellation & Wireless Technology: For a full-on audio experience, it’s better to go with the best in-ear headphones that feature noise cancellation. Noise cancellation eliminates the background noise to give you a clearer experience when listening to any audio.
If you are going for wireless type best in-ear headphones, you should consider what kind of wireless technology is being used in them. The most common is Bluetooth®, and the majority of headphones utilize this technology. You can connect to devices within a radius of ten meters with this.
Radio Frequency technology provides a wider range, but you have to use the transmitter that comes with the headphones for use. It provides comparatively better sound quality, but there can be interfered if the same technology is used nearby. There’s also the Infrared technology, but it’s only good, if you use your in-ear headphones for your Home Theatre.
Finding that pair of best in-ear headphones can be quite tedious as there are tons of manufacturers out there right now with various qualities of in-ear headphones. To ease the tension on your shoulder, we have compiled a list of 15 best in-ear headphones. We’ve gone through each of these – what to us are the best in-ear headphones – and talked about their features, and things to be happy or worried about.
1. Flare Audio Flare Pro 2HD
First in our list of best in-ear headphones is the Flare Audio Flare Pro 2HD. The company has been producing quality headphones for some years now. This 3rd iteration of their Pro line is truly something that they can show off, and the best part about this product is that you can use this pair of in-ear headphones as both wired and wireless.
You can add the DAC included in the big packaging to the headphones instead of the 3.5mm connection to use them as wireless in-ear headphones. These headphones offer incredible audio, and the sound is significantly better, if used through a wire. When it comes to amplification, the Pro 2HD doesn’t have significant demands.
The pair truly falls among the best in-ear headphones with its delightful and huge soundstage. Sounds swirl around the head, and you’ll notice nuances and details you never knew existed. These are easy to carry around and the wireless option makes sure that you don’t have to drag around wires with your ears. For its features, even though the price is fairly high, it is justifiable.
- Sound is amazing
- Fits perfectly
- Wired & Wireless options
- High price
2. SoundMAGIC E10
Next in the best in-ear headphones list is the SoundMAGIC E10. Its balance of comfort, quality build, balanced sound quality, and design helps to secure a position among the best in-ear headphones. It is difficult to find a budget in-ear headphones model out there that can match the superior offerings of this product.
The pair will easily fit in your ears, and there’s good sound isolation. External noise will not be able to interrupt your music sessions, but you’ll still be able to hear what’s happening around you. This is especially important for people who wear in-ear headphones out in the streets. The ear tops can be replaced with original smaller ear tips, if you have smaller ears.
The E10 boasts a metal casing, which gives these in-ear headphones a premium look and makes them durable while doing it. It excels in terms of sound quality, and the balanced high, low, and medium bass sounds truly makes it one of the best in-ear headphones available. However, you won’t find inline controls on the product.
- Audiophile standard sound
- Premium feeling durable finish
- Great value for money
- Won’t suit bass heads
3. MEE Audio M6
If you want to get the best value out your purchase, the MEE Audio M6 is one of the best in-ear headphones in the market. For its price the M6 brings a strong competition to the market. The memory wire helps to make the stay secure in the ears while ensuring comfort. This makes the product ideal for sports.
You get six different ear tips with the product, so the fit shouldn’t be a problem here. The memory design makes the wires very durable because of the metal protection. This pair of in-ear headphones are water-resistant as well as sweat-proof. You can expect these to be able to go through a lot of abuse without breaking.
This model doesn’t have inline controls, and the carry-bag is sturdy and quite nice, especially for regular gym goers. The sound quality is very detailed, warm, and smooth and there’s strong bass response. You’ll experience great tones of low bass, as well as rich and clean midranges. Though the highs aren’t the best, you’re still getting great, warm in-ear headphones for the price.
- Punchy bass
- Balanced design
- Lots of accessories
- Upper midranges are harsh
4. Klipsch R6I II
Klipsch has had a great track record over the last few years when it comes to headphones. They are well-known for their high-quality products, and the R6I II is a contender for the best in-ear headphones you can buy. The product comes with dual magnet, patented ear tips that are oval, and design of moving coil driver.
You’ll find the tips to fit snuggly without causing any discomfort. The R6I II is made using elastomer and aluminum, and the curved back lets your finger sit on them perfectly when putting them in. The feedback from the playback control buttons is good, and the control looks stylish.
These in-ear headphones are as incredible sounding as their looks, and despite what you are playing, you will be met with impressive transparency. They will not round-off the music and offer pure fidelity. The treble won’t be too sharp or the bass won’t be too weighty due to the perfect tonal balance of the product. Almost in every area the R6I II will offer more refined, balanced, and engaging sound.
- Fit is great
- Punchy & exciting sound
- May not suit the purists
5. Flare Audio Flares Jet 3
Flares Jet 3 is another contender for a spot among the best in-ear headphones. The makers have been in the market for little while. They initially created a niche through producing affordably yet very audiophile in-ear headphones. But in the last few years they have started making headphones that emphasize on fidelity. Because of this their appeal has broadened quite a bit.
The Jet 3 will sound incredible, if you run it through any good DAC, which is especially great considering the price. Even if you plug them into any of your old phones, they will provide impressive audio. The source file doesn’t need to have extremely high specs, and Tidal Hi-Fi as well as Spotify will provide great audio.
The headphones have an eccentric design and you have to choose the ear-tips carefully as the stems that go in are long. You may face problems with anchoring the ear-tips properly. In case you have issues with the stem pulling out the tips, you can use comply tips to resolve the issue.
- High price to quality ratio
- Classical sounds sweet
- Suitable for almost all genres
- The design is quite offbeat
6. Sennheiser CX 300 II
The Sennheiser CX300 II will treat you right, if you are a bass lover. They are made by a German company who are known for great headphones. These in-ear headphones offer good value for what you are paying with, bass-driven powerful sounds. For the price point the CX 300 II is perhaps the best in-ear headphones model in terms of budget.
These in-ear headphones will offer a nice fit and they will stay in your ears in most cases. You can even use the CX 300 II during sports or workout sessions as well. The noise isolation of these is average, but it depends on which ear tips you choose to use.
Plastic is used to make these in-ear headphones, and they are lightweight when you start putting them on. You can expect high build quality, and the compact, small build makes them very durable. Their wires can be easily untangled and go through tons of punishment. They provide a bass-heavy sound, but with a sacrifice of clarity in the mid and high ranges.
- Punchy, quality bass
- Suits bass-heads
- Durable, high-quality design
- Lack of sound detail balance
7. Beyerdynamic Byron
If you want the best in-ear headphones for audiophiles, Beyerdynamic would be the go-to option. The produce top-quality headphones, and with the Byron in-ear headphones, they have shown that they’re still great at it. These in-ear headphones offer treats for the audiophiles using their response of neutral frequency. Significant contributions of metal make the build of these headphones reliable.
The Byron has a control of three buttons that is compatible with Androids. These headphones boast a sophisticated look while offering affordability. Aluminum encases the drivers, so the main ear pieces will withstand a good beating. You won’t get weight down by the headphones, and the mic is close enough to your mouth to pick up sounds of your voice quite clearly.
You’ll get a premium experience from the Byron when it comes to audio. The perfect balance of midrange, treble, and bass work together to create great audio. Mid and high ranges on these in-ear headphones have been given more emphasis, and the clarity in case of details is incredible.
- Natural, neutral sound
- Mid and high ranges detailed
- Driver casing of aluminum
- Have plain looks
8. SoundMAGIC E11C
We have another pick from SoundMAGIC in our list of best in-ear headphones. These are the newer version of the previous E10 with the hopes of offering better comfort, build, design, and overall sound quality. For the budget the E11C can be extremely desirable due to the offerings of this specific product.
Logically the E11C is supposed to as good as the previous model if not better, and the model truly doesn’t disappoint. Compared to the headphones priced at twice the amount of these ones, they sound equally as good. They have a sound quality when it comes to build quality. There are metal buds and the cable is reinforced. These building methods or materials doesn’t reduce the size, comfort or weight in any way.
You don’t have to wrap the E11C over the ears as they will stay put as they are, just fine. Through a DAC or even from the socket of a compatible phone, these headphones can punch above their weight. You’ll experience engaging sound while experiencing strong bass.
- Sound is improved
- Detail is good for price
- Earpieces of aluminum
- Accessories package cut-down
9. The SoundPeats QY7
For the features that the SoundPeats QY7 offers at the price point, these in-ear headphones are very popular online. Gym freaks, joggers, and anyone who isn’t a fan of wires to begin with should consider buying these headphones. The QY7 is built to fit and there are mic and buttons on there too. The audio quality equals the workout place’s powered environment.
There are two big ear pieces that are connected through a cable, which go behind the head. The volume control button as well as the other control keys are on top of one driver casing. On the other you will find a cover for pull-out with charging port. The angles sit away from the case to help stay comfortably in your ear.
For wireless connectivity, Bluetooth 4.0 is used in these models to better leverage in terms of wireless community. The battery can last you for four to five hours, and there’s water-resistance. These will stand through sweating, and they boast the CVC 6.0 technology for reducing music.
- There’s Bluetooth
- Ear hooks included
- Sound clarity and punchy bases
- Lack of reliability
10. Symphonized NRG 3.0
Though relatively unknown, Symphonized has grabbed a ton of attention using their NRG 3.0 in-ear headphones. Real wood is used to make these headphones, and for that reason, the design really stands out. Also, wood is great in terms of acoustics, and speakers are made using wood. This makes the NRG 3.0 a great choice to pick up one pair of these best in-ear headphones.
There are six pairs of different ear tips that should suffice for anyone’s fitting needs. A tighter fit will mean that the isolation of noise is better, and proper choice of these will offer better audio isolation. The comfort of these headphones is high as the great ear tips along with wood make them fairly lightweight.
You’ll get used to the headphones after short use, and you can expect longer durability because wood is used. As a matter of fact, it makes them quite sturdy, but make sure to keep them far away from water. There’s an inline mic for calls, and control for volume adjustment.
- Balanced, detailed sound quality
- Wood is used to make
- Comfort and durability
- Affordable and innovative design
- Wood-y sound may not suit some
11. Brainwavz Delta
Next in the best in-ear headphones list is the Brainwavz Delta, and you’ll be quite surprised at what kind of value you can get from it at the price. These headphones fit quite well in the case of most people, and the ear tips quality selection surely helps with that. There are four ear tips sets made of silicone, and there are of different sizes.
These headphones are quite comfortable when you find the correct ear tips. Though the mic is not the most lightweight, you have any comfort impact due to this. You will find better build quality than expected for the price. The casing is made of aluminum which makes it sturdy with a premium look of metal.
You can get different models for Android devices and iOS devices of these headphones. There is an inline mic, and remote – a great feature for the price. The sound quality of the Delta is balanced and clean. Emphasis has been given to mid and high ranges but these can recreate clean bass.
- Sound comparable to expensive headphones
- Long-lasting, durable design
- Great value at the price
12. Sony MDR-XB50AP
Sony is a brand we all know for their great quality products, and their MDR-XB50AP sure has the capability of making it into the best in-ear headphones list. These headphones are specially made for the bass-heads who care about the overall quality of audio. This type of bass works to enhance the already existing frequencies.
The model has a sophisticated and modern design while the feel shows evidence of good durability. Ear tips of the headphones are angled away from their casing and they sit ergonomically. The cables are resistant to tangling, and daily abuse won’t be an issue for the product. There’s an inline remote button, and an omnidirectional mic for picking up sounds easily.
Both bass-heads and casual listeners will be able to appreciate the sound of these headphones. Sony’s expertise can be seen as the bump in bass rise gracefully. The bass will only enhance available frequencies to add weight. You will find a cool sound signature from this, which is clear in frequency response.
- Helps extra bass
- Audio response is clear
- Great noise isolation from secure fit
- Reliability isn’t the best
13. Panasonic RPHJE120K
The price and features combination get the Panasonic RPHJE120K in the best in-ear headphones list. This is a popular product from Panasonic and under the price range, you probably can’t get a better deal. These in-ear headphones only cost little money for an ideally balanced durability, build quality, and audio quality.
They are very lightweight, so you won’t get pulled down when wearing them. Right ear tips will make sure that you don’t notice wearing them at all. You can wear them easily for hours on. Three additional ear tip pairs are included to have your options open for comfort. However, the build quality isn’t the best you can get for the product’s price.
You won’t find special features, such as a mic or remote at this price point. But, in the case of sound, the average base is quite good. The midrange tones produced are balanced and clean. Overall, the price to quality ratio is still high on the good side, and there aren’t any big flaws with these in-ear headphones.
- Good fit & comfort
- Mid tones are balance
- Bass is good
- Material isn’t the best
14. TaoTronics TT-EP01
The TT-EP01 from TaoTronics can be considered as an affordable pair of in-ear headphones with ANC. Not many prefer to spend tons on headphones or get over-ear headphones. The metal architecture gives this pair of headphones a premium build. You can notice a drop of 30dB when ambient noise is considered.
There are drovers made using aluminum alloy that is light metal. This brings the metal’s durability, and the plastic brings lightweight to the equations. The company also claims that this decreases battery consumption. You get small ear hooks with this model and they help to get proper grip of the ear on the inside. They are quite easy to replace or remove.
Though these in-ear headphones cannot do noise cancelling like other more expensive headphones like Bose, they can still effectively cancel low frequency noises. There’s good audio response and the bass, highs, and mid tones are properly balanced. You’ll notice it more when the ANC isn’t running. Bass will remain tight, and the highs and mid tones are crisp clean.
- ANC is excellent for price
- Audio is naturally clear
There can be cable noise
We have discussed about the top 15 best in-ear headphones that offer you the most value for your money. Feel free to go through their reviews to get an idea about the products.