There are few things that are more pleasant and comforting than being able to listen to your favorite music and podcasts anywhere you go.
For that reason, a good set of earbuds has become an essential piece of equipment for anyone who loves audio in any of its forms.
Take a look:
Most Durable Earbuds
Shure SE215-K Sound Isolating Earphones|
|4.6 ounces||22 Hz – 17.5 kHz||107 dB SPL/mW|
|Bose SoundSport In-ear Headphones||0.6 ounces||22 Hz – 18 kHz||105 dB SPL/mW|
|Sennheiser IE80 Headphone||4.8 ounces||10 Hz – 20 kHz||99 dB SPL/mW|
|Skullcandy Unisex Smokin Bud 2 Iridium Headphones||12.8 ounces||100 Hz – 18 kHz||100 dB SPL/mW|
|Monster iSport Victory In-Ear Headphones||11.2 ounces||20 Hz – 18.5 kHz||108 dB SPL/mW|
|1MORE Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones||0.8 ounces||20 Hz – 40 kHz||100 dB SPL/mW|
|SoundMAGIC E10 Noise Isolating In-Ear Earphones||0.3 ounces||15 Hz – 22 kHz||100 dB SPL/mW|
Other Earbuds and Headphone guide:
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- Reviews & Buyer’s Guide to the Best Selling Noise Cancelling Earbuds
- A Guide to the Best Bass Headphones
- $100 Earbuds Buyer’s Guide
- Buyer’s Guide & Reviews on the Top Bluetooth Headphones
1. Shure SE215-K Sound Isolating Earphones
Despite being compact and lightweight, its buds are able to produce a potent, clean and crisp sound with powerful low ends. Using its patented Sound Isolation technology, this product prevents outside noise from disrupting your listening experience.
In terms of comfort, few in-ear headphones are more ergonomic than the SE215. Its low-profile shape has an optimized nozzle angle that adapts itself perfectly to the inside of your ear. In addition, its materials are lightweight, flexible and soft, ensuring maximum comfort during listening sessions.
So, what about functionality and usability? Besides its detachable cable with Wireform Fit, the SE215 allows wireless earphone options using a Bluetooth-enabled cable. Both these features allow easy, hands-off use that’s both convenient and liberating.
- Single high-fefinition microDriver speaker
- 107 dB SPL/mW sensitivity.
- 64” Detachable with Wireform Fit cable.
- Gold-plated 3.5 mm (1/8”) input connector.
- The SE215 allows easy and affordable cable replacement due to its formable wire detachment option, greatly extending its lifespan.
- Featuring technology that evolved from live performing gear, the SE215 offers continuous and reliable functioning through all kind of activities.
- In order to suit the personalities of as many customers as possible, the SE215 comes in four different colors.
- The product includes a Fit Kit with three sizes of soft flex sleeves in order to fit different ear sizes.
- In order to be as versatile as possible, the SE215 can be configured to be used either in-ear or over-the-ear.
- Customers who are accustomed to loudness may dislike the product’s noise limitation features.
- Its construction is not as tight as that of some of the most durable wireless earbuds in the market.
2. Bose SoundSport In-ear Headphones
Completely made with sweat and weather-resistant materials, the Bose SoundSport has been designed to resist the inclemencies of an active lifestyle. Its construction is clean and precise, ensuring durability and a consistent quality of sound. At the same time, despite being lightweight and compact, this product produces a fair amount of sound volume.
Without a doubt, the most outstanding thing about these earbuds is the straightforward nature of their design. Speaking in general, sports enthusiasts tend to look for practicality, simplicity, durability and resilience.
Apart from being incredibly resistant to the wear and tear that is caused by environmental conditions, Bose SoundSport headphones are able to resist the kind of powerful impacts that are par for the course when engaging in sports. Additionally, in order to maximize duration, the product includes a matching protective carrying case.
- TriPort sound technology driver.
- Stay Hear tips adaptable earbud tips that come in three sizes.
- 0.6 ounces total weight.
- Comes in two different colors, charcoal and frost.
- Thanks to its proprietary Stay Hear tips, these earbuds have the ability to conform to your ear’s shape.
- Its sport-inspired case is perfect for an on-the-go lifestyle.
- Using the proprietary Stay Hear technology, the tips of these earbuds are able to adapt themselves to the shape of your ear.
- Despite being compact and lightweight, the Bose SoundSport delivers a clear and crisp sound with potent highs and round lows.
- Unfortunately, this product’s ability to produce low sounds is not as impressive as that of others in-ear headphones.
- The volume control is not as sensitive and precise as many would wish.
3. Sennheiser IE80 Headphone
So, what is it about this product’s audio that is so impressive? For one, its dynamic speaker system uses a cutting-edge technology to deliver the clearest and strongest sound possible without distortion or saturation of any kind. Complementarily, the Sennheiser IE80 provides an outstanding attenuation of ambient noise of up to 26 dB.
Apart from providing an excellent quality of audio, the Sennheiser IE80 was built to last. Both its brushed metal housing and rugged cable are made from extremely durable plastics, resulting in a long-lasting, impact-resistant product. Simultaneously, its interior sound-transporting connections are mainly made with enameled copper wire, ensuring durability and a reliable quality of audio.
- Plug: 3.5 mm
- 1.25 m (4 ft) cable length.
- 20-40,000 Hz frequency range.
- 99 dB sensitivity.
- 18 grams of weight.
- Both in terms of construction and audio quality, this product is exceptional.
- Its interchangeable cable feature is capable of greatly extending the Sennheiser IE80’s lifespan.
- The product’s technology is the result of over 65 years of in-depth audio research.
- Sleek and ergonomic, its sleek design enhances the auditive experience by elevating comfort.
- Its built-in sound equalizer is practical and efficient at the same time.
- There have been customers who complained about the quality of the product’s packaging.
- This product is a good deal more expensive than most of its kind.
4. Skullcandy Unisex Smokin Bud 2 Iridium Headphones
Despite being very affordable, the Skullcandy Unisex Smokin Bud 2 headphones produce a high-quality sound that’s well-rounded and potent. Featuring a 9mm dynamic driver that’s capable of delivering a wide range of sounds, the Skullcandy Unisex Smokin Bud 2 does not shy away from loudness.
Without being ostentatious, the Skullcandy Unisex Smokin Bud 2 has a sturdy, resistant body that is perfect for customers that have an active lifestyle. Tightly constructed, the product is among the most durable earbuds under 30 dollars that are available right now. Although it’s a solid product, the Skullcandy Unisex Smokin Bud 2 features gel tips that are soft and ergonomic, becoming unbelievably comfortable for most ear shapes.
- 0.2 ounces of weight.
- 9mm dynamic driver sound delivery.
- Mic1 in-line mic.
- Remote connection for smartphones.
- Due to its advanced materials and construction, the Skullcandy Unisex Smokin Bud 2 is extremely lightweight (0.2 ounces) and portable.
- In order to protect the integrity of the audio housing, the product features tactical rubber buds for protection.
- Aiding the reduction of distracting and disturbing outside noise, the product’s rubber buds have been optimized for noise canceling.
- The type of rubber that the Skullcandy Unisex Smokin Bud 2’s tips are made of is not as ergonomic as one would desire.
- Due to its delicate construction, the product does not hold up well to constant oversaturation, often resulting in damaged internal wiring.
5. Monster iSport Victory In-Ear Headphones
Featuring a unique and efficient ear hook, the product offers its customers an unshakable grip that helps optimize the listening experience that it provides. At the same time, its OmniTip swivel nozzle provides an ergonomic and efficacious way to adapt to all ear shapes and sizes. The result is a supremely comfortable hold that will make you rethink whether you have headphones on or not.
In addition to the most common features that high-quality earbuds tend to have, the Monster iSport Victory headphones boast an in-line mic with controls for iPad, iPhone and iPod. Additionally, supported by iPod shuffle, this product takes huge strides towards maximum usability, making itself highly commendable.
- The product’s net weight is 11.2 ounces.
- Product dimensions: 1.6 x 6 x 9.1 inches.
- 24K Gold-Plated Contacts
- ControlTalk in-line mic with controls for iPad, iPhone and iPod.
- Being entirely waterproof, the Monster iSport Victory is easily washable and impervious to sweat.
- Featuring the patented SportClip technology, these are earbuds that simply will not leave your ear.
- The product’s proprietary sealed housing is incredibly resistant to impact and regular wear and tear, extending the product’s lifespan.
- Monster iSport Victory’s Pro Sound-Isolating Eartips ensure a pulsating, vivacious listening experience everytime the product is used.
- Its volume controls do not work with all the models of iPads and iPhones.
- Unfortunately, its play and pause buttons are too close to each other, making it difficult for most people to tell the difference between them without looking.
6. 1MORE Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones
Without a doubt, there are many people who wonder: What makes the 1MORE Triple Driver different from all the other high-quality earbuds in the market? For one, its intelligent control technology allows users to conveniently control volume, select songs and take calls. Additionally, its MEMS microphone features independent ground wires that help eliminate cross-talk and background static.
As if all the previous benefits were not enough, the 1MORE Triple Driver’s sound was personally calibrated by an expert. Internationally acclaimed producer, mixer and sound engineer Luca Bignardi was recruited by 1MORE to provide invaluable input for tuning the product’s overall auditive specifications. As a result, these earbuds deliver a life-like, vivid sound that perfectly represents the source of the audio.
- 1.25 m (4 feet) cable length.
- Enameled copper wiring.
- 20-40,000 Hz frequency range.
- 18 grams of weight.
- Enabling users to control volume, select songs and take calls, its intelligent control technology is incredibly convenient.
- In order to satisfy as many customers as possible, the product includes six sets of silicone ear tips and three sets of foam ear tips that can be interchanged.
- Ensuring comfort for all customers, the 1MORE Triple Driver includes nine different tip sizes.
- Its MEMS microphone has independently set ground wires, helping reduce and often eliminate background static and cross-talk.
- Tuned exclusively by Grammy award-winning sound engineer Luca Bignardi.
- There have been customers who complained about the quality and durability of the product’s foam tips.
- Its buttons have no markings, making it difficult for users to decipher what they are meant to do.
7. SoundMAGIC E10 Noise Isolating In-Ear Earphones
Using a dynamic 10mm neodymium driver, the SoundMAGIC E10 delivers an intense and clear sound with a frequency range of 15Hz~22KHz. Most notably, it produces a well-rounded and deep low-end sound that improves the output of any bass by adding punch and power.
In order to guarantee perfect functionality at all times, the SoundMAGIC E10 has a tangle-free cable that includes a practical wire clip. Additionally, these headphones give users the option to choose between two types of silicone tips. These include the double flange silicone tips that adapt perfectly to the inside of your ear.
- Dynamic 10mm neodymium driver.
- 15Hz~22KHz frequency range.
- 100dB/mW @ 1KHz (+/- 2dB) sensitivity.
- 3.5mm gold plated plug connection.
- Due to its wide dynamic driver, the SoundMAGIC E10 is capable of delivering amazingly powerful low ends.
- Both its body and hardware are made entirely with two-toned metal, guaranteeing durability.
- Even though is very affordable, it delivers a high-end, professional sound.
- Even though it’s supposed to be tangle-free, the cable has a certain amount of physical memory that causes it to fold uncomfortably at times.
- Due to the size of its driver, the SoundMAGIC E10 is not able to reach a high volume of sound.
8. RHA MA750 Noise Isolating Premium In-Ear Headphones
Its handmade dynamic driver (model 560.1) is able to reach extremely high volumes without breaking a sweat. Additionally, in order to resist the amount of sound power that the MA750 is able to deliver, its housing is made from machined, high density, 303F stainless steel.
Rounding up the design by reducing external noise, the product includes six sets of RHA’s dual density ear tips. Made with a special kind of memory foam, these tips are able to adapt perfectly to the shape of your ears, ensuring a perfectly comfortable fit. As if that wasn’t enough, the RHA MA750 includes a stainless steel ear tip holder that’s ergonomic and practical.
- Handmade dynamic driver (model 560.1).
- 303F grade stainless steel body and housing.
- 1.35mm oxygen-free copper cable with shielding.
- Signature Aerophonic design.
- 1.3 ounces of weight.
- At one time, its silicone tips feature both a soft outer layer for comfort and a firm core that ensures a tight seal.
- Inspired by high-end audio gear that is used professionally, this product’s cable has reinforced oxygen-free copper cores.
- Despite the product including 10 pairs of extra tips, there have been customers who complained about the fitting of these earbuds.
- Unfortunately, the RHA MA750 is somewhat heavier and clunkier than some of the most durable earbuds under 100 dollars.
9. ActionPie VJJB-V1S High Resolution Heavy Bass In-ear Headphones
Apart from delivering a great quality of audio, the ActionPie VJJB-V1S offers an ergonomic and comfortable design. In combination with its lightweight body, the tightness of the ActionPie VJJB-V1S’s construction makes for a perfect product for on-the-go listening.
Perhaps most notably, these headphones use a triband tuning technology that allows users to adjust their auditive experience to their own tastes. At the same time, this technology detects and eliminates glitchy sounds, resulting in a smooth and pleasant listening experience.
- 8 ounces of weight.
- Driver units made of neodymium magnets with iron and boron.
- Two driver units calibrated for performance with dynamic driver systems of 6.0mm.
- 8 Ohm rated impedance.
- 110dB sensitivity.
- 20Hz -24000Hz frequency response.
- In order to be as versatile as possible, this product is compatible with all brands of smartphones.
- Its lightweight and compact size make it ideal for travel, sports and everyday use.
- Despite being very affordable, the product is extremely well-constructed, even making it to the list of the most durable earbuds under 20 dollars.
- There have been complaints made by customers regarding the lack of stability of the ActionPie VJJB-V1S’s foam tips.
- The product’s lifespan is nothing to write home about, often malfunctioning in less than a year after purchase.
10. Audiophile In-Ear Headphones
Apart from delivering a high level of auditive quality, the Audiophile In-Ear Headphones are well-constructed and resistant to environmental conditions. As a matter of fact, these durable earbuds are made with high-quality components that are normally found in products that cost over 100 dollars.
One of the most outstanding characteristics the Audiophile In-Ear Headphones have is that they were calibrated to extract the best sound from devices of all kids. Whether it’s an old-school cell phone or a smartphone of any brand, plugging in this product into it will result in a high-quality, smooth and pleasant sound.
- 0.3 ounces of weight.
- 118 decibels audio output.
- 5 Hz to 31,000 Hz frequency range.
- 16 Ohm impedance.
- 24 karat, gold-plated, 3.5mm input jack.
- In order to guarantee a continuous stream of high-quality audio, the product features a lossless copper cable with tangle-resistant rubber coating.
- Audiophile guarantees a full refund to any customer who does not love the quality of the product’s audio delivery.
- Unfortunately, there have been complaints regarding the large diameter of the tips.
- The product’s cable is thin and fragile. This, in combination with its propensity to become entangled, can easily result in breaking or damage.
Durable Earbuds Buyer’s Guide
What Are the Main Technical Aspects of Earbuds?
- Impedance: Unlike most of the technical aspects of earphones, impedance is one that’s better the lower it is. Generally speaking, impedance in earbuds ranges from 12 to 35 Ohms.
- Driver diameter: This number represents the size of the driver unit that is inside every earplug. Basically speaking, the bigger the driver the wider the range of frequencies it can attain. This difference is particularly noticeable in the lower ends. Normally, earbud drivers range from nine to sixteen millimeters in diameter.
- Connector type: In order to be compatible with most devices, the great majority of earbuds have connectors of 3.5 millimeters. What tends to vary the most is the material that each connector is made of. The most common materials are bronze, chrome and gold. Without a doubt, gold is the material that is most conducive out of the three, resulting in a better audio quality.
- Sensitivity: Because it can’t be too high or too low, sensitivity is a tricky issue. Most earbuds have a sensitivity that is around 100 dB/mW.
- Noise isolation: In order to prevent external sounds from disrupting and distorting the listening experience, many of the best earbuds in the market have noise isolation capabilities. Without a doubt, this is a desirable feature that has the ability to improve the quality of the listening experience. However, it’s not a requirement as external noises are not always a problem.
- Magnet type: Earbuds and other types of headphones use magnets as a main component of their electrical system. Currently, the best type of magnet for this end is the neodymium magnet. As a result, it’s advisable to go with a product that has this type of magnet as one of its features.
- Frequency response: Simply put, a wider frequency range translates itself to a richer, more expressive sound. The human ear can hear from 12hz (low) to 20kHz (high). Taking that into account, it’s safe to say that a range that’s around 15Hz-20kHz will be entirely satisfying for most people.
- Wireless connection: Currently, there are two main types of connection for earbuds: Corded and wireless. Some products offer users a choice between the two of them.
- Waterproof construction and materials: Some of the best models of earbuds feature waterproofed construction and materials, allowing users to take them to the pool or the beach without a problem. At the same time, waterproof earbuds are particularly useful for sports enthusiasts due to being impervious to sweat.
- Variable ear pads, ear cups and canal tips: Adaptable ear cups, memory foam pads and canal tips are ingenious ways that designers have to help you achieve a comfortable fit despite your ear size.
- Ear clips and hooks: Used in combination with the actual earplugs, ear clips and hooks can help provide an added grip as well as stability and security during the listening experience.
- Battery for wireless earbuds: Wireless earbuds need to be powered by batteries in order to function. It’s important to take into account the type of battery a product uses before deciding to make a purchase. Without a doubt, rechargeable batteries are the most convenient.
- Type of cable: Another aspect that should be taken into account when trying to decide on a particular product of this kind is its type of cable. Ideally, it should be sturdy enough not to break too easily. At the same time, it should be long enough to be used comfortably without losing manageability. Without a doubt, any cable worth the name needs to be shielded to minimize noise.
- Connector shape: There are straight connectors and L-shaped connectors. Although they both function equally well, it’s normal to have a preference that takes into account comfort and practicality.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What’s the Difference Between Earbuds and Over-The-Ear Headphones?
The main difference between these two types of audio equipment is fairly straightforward: While earbuds are placed within one’s ear orifice, over-the-ear headphones are placed on the outside of the ear, normally covering it entirely. However, this is not a simple difference in style. Because they tend to have larger drives, over-the-ear headphones usually have a wider frequency range and can reach a high level of decibels. At the same time, there is a difference in the level of noise isolation that each type of equipment provides.
Should I Get Earbuds or Headphones?
Normally, over-the-ear headphones are used in more controlled settings. Because they have more elevated audio capabilities, they tend to be recommended almost exclusively for professional use, particularly during the processes of recording and mixing. However, earbuds tend to be much more practical when it comes to on-the-go listening. This is particularly true for activities that demand lightness and practicality such as sports and travel.
Without a doubt, the best way to evaluate a pair of earbuds is by simply listening to them. However, you will not always have the chance to do so, particularly when ordering a product online. In those occasions, it’s always a good idea to take a look at the product’s specifications between making a purchase. The size of the driver is a good place to start. Normally, a larger driver means a greater ability to reproduce low frequencies bass). Potential buyers that are knowledgeable in audio will also benefit from taking a look at other specs such as sensitivity and impedance.
Are Certain Earbud Models Better For a Particular Kind of Music?
Even though a good set of earbuds should work for every kind of music, there are certain types of music that benefit from a particular sound signature. For example, lovers of rock music and metal will find that a pair of earbuds with a bright treble will make a positive difference in their favorite tunes. Conversely, hip-hop enthusiasts will often favor a product that emphasizes low ends, providing a fatter, more satisfying bass sound. It’s worth noting that various manufacturers offer products with sound signatures.
How Can the Audio Source Affect My Listening Experience?
No matter how great your earbuds are, the sound they produce will not be good unless its source boasts a high quality. The bit-rate of audio files is a determinating factor in this matter. Files that are 128kbps or lower will produce an audio of poor quality. IN order to enjoy the best possible quality, aim for at least 256kbps of bit-rate.
How Do Corded Models Compare to Wireless Models in Terms of Audio Quality?
In the past, Bluetooth technology for audio has had its fair share of problems and limitations. However, this technology has greatly evolved over the last five years, resulting in a quality of audio that is almost indistinguishable from that which is generated through cabling. However, at times, wireless connections can generate a small amount of background hissing and dynamic range compression, resulting in deadened sound and small audio glitches.
- Compact and lightweight: Without a doubt, one of the most obvious and important characteristics of earbuds is their reduced size. This characteristic makes earbuds incredibly practical and portable.
- Built-in microphone and controls: Enabling users to answer phone calls and navigate through tracks during their listening experience, many earbuds include a built-in mic and simple controls.
- Good noise isolation: Because they are inserted directly into your ear cavities, most earbuds offer noise isolation that ranges between moderate and very high.
- No interference: Having a straightforward and simple design, most earbuds do not interfere with your hairstyle or objects you wear on your head such as glasses, earrings and hats.
What Are the Main Disadvantages of Earbuds?
- Lower sound quality: Although the best earbuds in the market are capable of producing a great sound quality, over-the-ear headphones will always produce a better one because they have a structure that is bigger and more equipped.
- Can cause discomfort: No matter how comfortable they are initially, most earbuds can cause discomfort over extended use. However, taking regular breaks during a listening experience can prevent this problem.
- Bigger chance of tangling: Because they need to have a dual cable design, earbuds tend to get tangled more often than other types of headphones.
I Lost the Ear Tips of My Earbuds. Do I Need to Buy a New Set of Earbuds?
In most cases, the manufacturer will replace your lost ear tips if you solicit this service. Normally, they will charge a small amount for this replacement. However, many manufacturers only charge for the shipping.
What is the Difference Between Equalized Frequency Response and Flat Frequency Response in Earbuds?
Anyone who has listened to the same piece of audio media in different headphones knows that there are often differences in equalization. Also known as sweetening, the act of equalizing headphones is often used by manufacturers to enhance the sound they produce. In the case of earbuds, low frequencies tend to be emphasized in order to balance the natural tendency of an open ear canal to favor medium and high frequencies.
The great majority of earbuds in the market are sweetened to some extent. The most common modes of equalizing or sweetening earbuds are:
- Free Field (FF): It simulates an open listening environment without any kind of reflection.
- Defined Field (DF): Contrary to FF, DF simulates an enclosed environment by providing a certain amount of reflection.
This guide features some of the best and most durable earbud sets in the market today. Hopefully, going through each of the items in it will narrow your list of potential purchases. However, not every item that is featured here will take care of your auditive needs. For that reason, it’s a good idea to give the subject matter a fair amount of consideration before making any purchases.