Headphones:

Best earbuds (in-ear headphones)

Updated

Earbuds are commonly issued as freebie headphones with portable players, but higher-performance earbuds can offer sonic performance that rivals their full-size linemates. Their tiny earpieces rest on the outer ear or need to be inserted into the ear canal. Ultracompact and lightweight, earbuds are the most portable of all headphones, and they can provide excellent isolation from external noise when paired with a well-fitted tip.

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Klipsch Image S4A for Android (Black)

Klipsch's ultracomfortable, noise-isolating ear tips are just one of the reasons I love and recommend the S4-series headphones. If you're an Android user shopping for a new pair of earbuds, the Image S4A headphones are definitely worth the $99.

Price: $44.95 - $59.99 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Klipsch Image S4i (II)

The Klipsch Image S4i II in-ear headphones add a new, more durable tangle-resistant flat cord while retaining the S4 model's very respectable sound quality and superior comfort.

Price: $44.95 - $73.99 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Shure SE425

The Shure SE425 sound-isolating earphones are an excellent choice for eclectic listeners who demand stellar audio and a high-quality design.

Price: $299.00 - $299.99 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Etymotic hf5

The Etymotic hf5 earphones are an excellent option for those who want the highest level of sound isolation without sacrificing sound quality, portability, or style.

Price: $129.00 - $149.00 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Bose SEI2 & SEI2i

While they're no bargain, the Bose SEI2 and SEI2i have an appealing, sweat-resistant design, are very comfortable to wear, and offer decent sound.

Price: $149.95 - $149.95 Check prices

3.5 stars Very good

Bose QuietComfort 20

Despite some downsides, including a high price, the Bose QuietComfort 20 offers the best noise-canceling in an in-ear headphone and should tempt frequent travelers looking for a more compact alternative to a full-size NC headphone, such as the Bose QuietComfort 15.

Price: $299.00 - $299.99 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Westone 2 True-Fit

The Westone 2 True-Fit Earphones offer great sound and features for the money; those who find triple-driver earbuds too large for their ears should take heed.

Price: $384.95 - $384.95 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Etymotic ER-4PT MicroPro

While the Etymotic ER-4PTs have less low-end oomph than some competing earphones in this price class, they deliver excellent sound with very accurate tonal balance.

Price: $274.28 - $289.00 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Ultimate Ears 700 (Dark Silver)

With a sleek design, a range of ear tips, and supreme sound reproduction, the Ultimate Ears 700 headphones are worthy of an audiophile's ear and earn our recommendation.

4 stars Excellent

Velodyne vPulse

While some folks may encounter come comfort issues, the Velodyne vPulse in-ear headphones offer excellent sound for the money and will particularly appeal to bass lovers.

Price: $57.99 - $99.00 Check prices

3.5 stars Very good

Phonak Audeo Perfect Bass 022 Earphones (with Microphone, Black)

The Audeo Perfect Fit Earphones PFE 022 + Mic are a solid choice for iPhone owners who desire balanced audio and a light, compact design.

Price: $162.05 - $162.05 Check prices

3.5 stars Very good

Bowers & Wilkins C5

While the Secure Loop design may not be a perfect fit for every ear, the Bowers & Wilkins C5s are among the best-sounding earphones in their sub-$200 price class.

3.5 stars Very good
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