Best In-ear Headphones in 2018
Whether you’re looking for a budget option or a high-end pair of earbuds, these are the best in-ear headphones available today.
Choosing a pair of in-ear headphones is tough. We all have different tastes, budgets, and needs, and there are thousand sof models to choose from. The audio industry has evolved over the last two years as more and more brands continue to get rid of the headphone jack, leading to a healthy selection of Bluetooth in-ear headphones as well as truly wireless options.
With such a diverse array of options available across price points — ranging from $20 all the way to $900 — there’s no dearth of in-ear headphones to choose from. We’ve compiled a list of the seven best options available, including budget picks that start off at just $15, USB-C earbuds, neckbuds, and wireless options.
The products listed below are sorted by price — starting from the most affordable to the costliest option. Without further ado, these are the best in-ear headphones available today.
- Panasonic RP-TCM125 Ergofit
- Xiaomi USB-C Earphones
- HiFiMan RE-400
- Marshall Mode EQ
- Jaybird X3
- Jabra Elite 65t
- 1MORE Quad Driver
Panasonic RP-TCM125 Ergofit
If you’re looking to get a pair of budget earbuds to replace the ones bundled in your phone’s box (if there’s a pair included in the first place), then the Panasonic RP-TCM125 should be at the top of your list.
The RP-TCM125 has been in the market for some time now, and its popularity stems from the fact that it is extremely affordable — it costs just $12 on Amazon, which is a steal for what’s on offer.
The earbuds deliver sound that’s on par with products that cost thrice as much, and you get a durable construction as well as an integrated microphone, and it comes in several color options.
See at Amazon
Xiaomi USB-C Earphones
If your phone doesn’t have a headphone jack and if you don’t want to go the wireless route, then the best option is to pick up a pair of USB-C earbuds. There aren’t many products that cater to this market, and the few that do cost in the vicinity of $100.
Xiaomi is also one of the manufacturers that decided to get rid of the 3.5mm jack on its flagships, but on the bright side its USB-C earbuds are some of the most affordable around.
The Mi USB-C Earphones has a durable construction that sees a braided cable and a titanium-plated housing for the earbuds. The sound quality is great, there’s a built-in mic, and best of all, it comes with the ability to tune out ambient noise.
Xiaomi built its name making affordable products that offer great value for money, and its USB-C headphones are a continuation of that effort. For $49, they effectively undercut Essential’s USB-C earbuds by half.
See at Gearbest
HiFiMan rose to prominence thanks to its planar magnetic headphones, but the brand’s in-ear offerings are nothing to scoff at either.
If you’re looking for a pair of $50 earbuds, the HiFiMan RE-400 is an excellent choice. The earbuds offer an extremely comfortable fit, and they deliver a neutral soundstage that makes them stand out from the rest of the offerings in this price range.
The RE-400 manages to deliver exquisite detail while listening to movies or music, while not overcompensating on the bass. If you want a pair of earbuds that offer a balanced soundstage, then you’ll love what the RE-400 has to offer. Best of all, it costs just $49.
See at Amazon
Marshall Mode EQ
Marshall made its foray into the world of headphones a few years ago, licensing its brand name to Sweden’s Zound Industries. The company started rolling out products that resembled Marshall’s iconic guitar amps, and the sound quality on offer wasn’t all that bad either.
The Marshall Mode is like the HiFiMan RE-400 in that it delivers a balanced soundstage, but there’s an option to turn up the bass by pressing a toggle on the remote. It comes with a sturdy construction, a single-button remote that lets you receive calls and control music playback, integrated microphone, and retro design flair that makes it stand out.
For $99, you can’t go wrong with the Marshall Mode EQ.
See at Amazon
If you’re looking for a solid pair of workout earbuds that will endure the rigors of the gym, the Jaybird X3 is a great option. They’re extremely durable, the neckband connecting the two earbuds can be configured over- or under-ear, and Jaybird offers a one-year warranty against sweat-related damage.
The sound quality is pretty great, and you’ll particularly like these if you listen to bass-heavy tunes. There’s also the option of tailoring the EQ via the Android app, and you get over eight hours’ worth of battery life from a full charge.
The Jaybird X3 offers a variety of Comply tips, allowing you to find the perfect fit and making sure the earbuds don’t fall out in the middle of your workout. Overall, the $129 Jaybird X3 is a great choice if you’re looking for wireless workout earbuds.
See at Amazon
Jabra Elite 65t
There are a few decent options available if you’re in the market for truly wireless earbuds, and the Jabra Elite 65t is one of the best in this category. For $169, you get great sound quality, a comfortable all-day fit, volume controls, and they work with Google Assistant.
The Elite 65t offers two microphones in each earbud, and it does a fantastic job when it comes to eliminating background noise. The earbuds pair with your phone over Bluetooth 5.0, and you should see improved connection quality as well as better range provided your phone also has Bluetooth 5.0.
You get a five-hour battery life, and the charging case has a built-in battery that’s good for charging the earbuds twice over. The fit and finish as well as the overall sound quality makes the Jabra Elite 65t a great option if you’re looking to go truly wireless.
See at Amazon
1MORE Quad Driver
1More is known for delivering audiophile-grade sound for a fraction of the cost, and its latest Quad Driver earbuds are further proof that you don’t need to shell out big bucks for impressive sound quality. The 1MORE Quad Driver features four drivers in total — three BA (balanced armature) drivers along with a diamond-like carbon driver — and they manage to deliver stellar sound that’s balanced and full of detail.
The Quad Driver has robust build quality with kevlar-coated cables, and the housing for the earbuds is milled out of aluminum. You get a mic and a three-button remote for music playback controls, nine ear tips, and a leather carrying case. Oh, and they’re the world’s first THX-certified headphones.
See at Amazon