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Best In-Ear Headphones (In-Ear Headphones and Earbuds Review)

Updated on January 12, 2014

Music to Your Ears!!!

The experience you have with your music is directly proportional to the sound quality of the music. Sound quality will come from two sides. First being, from the music file itself and the second being, the audio devices you use. The first aspect is more or less uncontrollable to us. If we get hold of a superb quality (bit rate) music file, say like 320kbps, it's great and if we get hold of a low quality sound file, we are doomed. The one thing that will be under our control is the type of audio devices we use to listen to our favorite music.

This article will specifically focus on the In-Ear and Earbud headphones. Personally I love to listen to music whenever I'm travelling on a bus or a train, to kill the time and also well, I love music. So for travelers and sportsmen and joggers and whoever's on the move, in-ear headphones and earbuds are the obvious choice. So I will only be focusing at those audio devices in this hub. I will make another set of hubs about best headphones and best in-ear and earbud headphones for low budgets. So stay with me for more updates.

In-Ears and Earbuds
In-Ears and Earbuds | Source

Difference Between In-Ear Headphones and Earbuds

Yes, the two are quite different. The main difference will be that in Earbuds, the ear-piece will stay within the ear, but not inside the earlobe. You cannot screw it inside the earlobe. It will just hang in the space outside the earlobe. On the other hand, In-Ears will go inside the earlobe and create an airtight space inside the ear with it's rubber sleeves or cushions. In-Ears work best for noise isolation, and will give you the best music experience.

Best In-Ears and Earbuds?

I have dug around the Internet for days trying to find the 'best' earphones. But this is such a subjective matter, that it is almost impossible to find a 'best' pair of earbuds for a group of people. The 'best' will widely vary based on your budget, on the type of music and even your individual tastes of music.

This hub will guide you through the mid range in-ears and earbuds. These are great for a superb quality music for audiophiles, gamers, music and movie lovers. But these are not for professionals. Professional earphones will cost over $1,000 at times. and those professional earphones will cover every aspect of absolute music. So at a lower price, some aspects will have to be given up. But those given up will be barely noticeable for the untrained ears. So you should be good with these earbuds and in-ears.

So keep in mind that the following are not ranked in any specific order-just the best of the best that made into my list out of the many reviews I researched on the Internet.

Cast your vote for this list

3.4 out of 5 stars from 11 ratings of Best In-Ear and Earbud Headphones

Klipsch Image X7i

Klipsch is undoubtedly one of the best in the business. This brand has been manufacturing high quality audio devices ever since it's beginning.

Klipsch Image X7i is just one product of the Klipsch Image series, which contains even better in-ears at a higher price.

The Klipsch Image X7i Black In-Ear headphones arrive at just $199 on Amazon and personally I believe it gives an amazing sound quality. Your money will be totally worth it.

Klipsch Image X7i comes in Black and White and equips a standard 3.5mm jack so it can be used with any device and the built in mic and a three button controller will allow you to engage in conversations very easily.

The earbud sleeves comfortably sit inside the ear and block out the entire outside world. This means absolutely no noise from the outside, so you can enjoy your music to the best.

The deep bass and crisp highs are the best thing about the Klipsch Image X7i. If your earphones budget is $200, this is definitely your gadget.

Klipsch Image S4

Another Klipsch Image series earphone makes into my list, because of the very high user ratings on this in-ear headphone. And what's more? This is an entry level in-ear available just for $72 on Amazon.

Contrasting to the previous Klipsch earphone, Klipsch Image S4 is known for it's noise-isolation or noise-cancellation capabilities.

Noise-isolating (in-ear) phones use a passive system, simply sealing the ear with a variety of foam canal tips. -

So the Klipsch Image S4 comes with three different sizes on sleeves or cushions that can be changed to find the best fit to your ears. This will give you a perfect seal, and almost eliminate the noises from the surroundings. Perfect for those who travel or work in noisy environments.

Again the Klipsch Image S4 will provide you deep bass and superior highs to give you the best music experience.

Shure SE315

Shure is another brand who is one of the best in the business. They produce earphones and headphones ranging from a few hundred bucks to thousands.

Shure SE315 may not be the golden egg of Shure, but this is definitely the best value in-ears you can get. On Amazon Shure SE315 sells at $190 after a 25% slash in listed price. So there's another plus for you.

Looking at the design, Shure definitely takes their products to another level with the 'clear' cable edition of Shure SE315. For a larger picture go to the Amazon page. It is beautiful. It comes in full Black as well.

Again, as in previous earphones, Shure SE315 gives almost near-perfect noise isolation on your in-ears music experience. The cushion is slightly slanted to give the best fit into anyone's ears and provide the best seal possible.

The most lucrative feature of Shure SE315 is that this gadget comes with Hi-Definition sounds. Yeah, that's right. Hi-Def music in your ears. Trust me this makes you feel like you are on the front row seat of a music concert. The acoustics will feel almost live-like. The HD MicroSpeakers will provide unbelievable bass and perfect lows, mids and highs.

If you are looking for best music quality and stylish design for a reasonable price, Shure SE315 is your takeaway.

Shure SE535

If you want to take your music experience up a notch, Shure SE535 is the one for you. Notch is an understatement, because the jump in music quality compared to the previously reviewed is immense. And so does the price take an upward turn. Shure SE535 currently sells at $499 after a 10% discount on Amazon.

Despite the price, many audiophiles love the Shure SE535 due to the nature of sounds it generates. There are small chips placed on each earpiece which consists of Triple High-Definition MicroDrivers that will guarantee an out-of-the-world music experience.

The Shure SE535 is best known for it's perfect balance of lows. mids and highs in music and this will ensure that whatever the type of music you play-be it Jazz, Techno, Country, HipHop or plain acoustics-this gear will give you the best possible balance of tunes. From deep bass to high trebles, they will all dance in your ears with the amazing Shure SE535.

If you have a little more money at expense, this is your dream in-ear headphones.

Shure SE535 will come in Black, Clear, and a Limited Red versions.

Sennheiser IE80

You've probably heard and used this brand. Sennheiser is one of the top music equipment manufacturers in the world. Don't take my word for it. Listen to what top artists have to say about Sennheiser. Sennheiser too produces a rage of in-ears and earbuds from a low price range to a very high price range.

The Sennheiser IE80 is a mid range in-ear device which currently sells at $360 after a 20% slash in list price, on Amazon. But the features it offers are unparalleled.

The Sennheiser IE80 has been specifically designed for comfortability standing in lines with eargonomics to give the best possible fit in your ears. And as we know, with a best fit comes best noise isolation abilities. Sennheiser IE80 is one of the best at noise isolation. They guarantee to reduce the external noise up tp 20dB, which means almost nothing. So this will provide crisp noise reduction and just pure music to your ears.

What's more? The earpiece speakers are specially built to provide clarity in sounds (with some 'neodymium magnets' thing, which I'm not really aware of), but the proof is there.

I have upgraded from a set of Klipsch X10i to these Sennheiser ie80 and I am delighted.

- MR33606 from Amazon

Guess what? You have the ability to adjust bass in your music with Sennheiser IE80. With Bass tuning function, now deep bass is your choice.

So to feel like you are on the stage of a music concert, when in fact you are at a noisy construction yard, your choice is Sennheiser IE80.

Sennheiser CX 890i

Let's look at another entry level in-ear headphone device from Sennheiser. If you are unsusre of Sennheiser as a brand, you can jump into these earphones and discover why they are such a great brand.

This is Sennheiser CX 890i, an entry level in-ear headphone for music lovers. The Sennheiser CX 890i currently sells at just $99.50 after a 33% discount on the original list price.

The Sennheiser CX 890i looks very trendy, with circular earpieces and transparent back on the earpiece, which shows the Sennheiser logo within. This is a gadget sure to impress. Don't let the looks fool you. Sennheiser CX 890i is designed to produce the best music for value.

For all you gamers and not-so-serious music lovers Sennheiser CX 890i will do the job for you. It has excellent noise isolation and the significant improvement is the sound clarity. This means Sennheiser CX 890i is able to capture highs perfectly and optimize it for best sound output. The bass is excellent according to customer reviews.

Also Sennheiser CX 890i comes with built in mic and controllers for easy navigation of music and engaging in conversations.

If you want to try out Sennheiser or your budget is restricted these are the in-ears you should be craving for.

Bose SIE2 Sport Headphones

Bose is another brand that has won a massive reputation for the unimaginable audio devices produced throughout it's years. Bose too produces earphones and headphones ranging from low price levels to high end, high price levels.

So here is something for you sportsmen, or joggers, or for your workout sessions at the gym. If you have used in-ears or earbuds during exercises or sports before, you would know the issues with the audio devices. Some fall off from ears, some stops working, some you have to protect from rain and sweat and some are just purely uncomfortable. Well, Bose SIE2 Sport Headphones are designed keeping all those in mind and giving solutions to them.

Bose SIE2 Sport Headphones are specially designed to hold on to our ears once it's placed in. A special hook near the earbud will ensure that they will stay on during heavy movements. Also some kind of special material keeps sweat and water out of the earbuds so they will last much longer. Also you will receive an awesome armband which can be used to hold your music device so it won't jump out of your pocket during exercises.

While giving out all those benefits, the Bose SIE2 Sport Headphones will also give you an incredible music experience. Noise isolation features will allow you to listen to your favorite music while you work out in the noisy outdoors or indoors.

All of these features come at a cost as low as $120 on Amazon.

If you are looking for a pair of earbuds for your workouts and gym sessions, this is the best you can get.

Let everybody know your experience with earphones

What is the best brand of in-ear or earbud headphones you have used?

See results
Beats | Source

Beats Tour 2.0

Beats is another brand very popular with audiophiles for the superb music they produce. Beats have integrated with many top artists around the world to produce custom branded music devices such as; Beats by Dre, Beats by LeBron, Beats by Lil' Wayne and so on. And due to this publicity stunt, the Beats are said to be overpriced and that may be quite true.

However Beats Tour 2.0 are not that overprices, currently trading at less than $150 on Amazon.

Beats are most famous for its innovative design of flat cords which do not tangle inside pockets or pouches. Also the Red/Black combination gives it a cool look.

The Beats Tour 2.0 will give you sounds like any other earbud within the range (maybe a little less). Well, I guess the price is pumped up a bit. You can surely scroll up and find a better pair for $150 that will give you better sound quality.

If Beats brand gives you something, that will be the prestige. But to achieve prestige you'd have to climb up a little more in the price scale-or maybe go for over ear headphones.

Westone 4R

Lastly we will inspect another product from another top brands in the music industry. Westone is a company reputed for finest audio equipment manufactured.

Westone 4R is a series which includes Westone 4R Single-Driver, Dual-Driver, Three-Driver and Quad-Driver. We will be assessing the Westone 4R Quad-Driver, which currently sells at about $320 after a slash of $180 off the list price, on Amazon.

By the looks itself one can predict to the quality that will be delivered by this unique device. Westone 4R Quad-Driver incorporates 'four drivers' which will produce music like no other. The accuracy of tones and highs and lows will blow your mind.

Westone 4R Quad-Driver will fit perfectly in your ears thanks to the eargonomic design to best fit every ear. The cable itself it braided to avoid annoying tangles, and also adds extra support for the cables.

The best feature about the Westone 4R Quad-Driver would be the most realistic sounds it delivers, and will make you feel like your favorite artist is singing in your ears. Of course it is not required to mention that this gadget clears out noise almost perfectly to deliver the best quality music.

For a mid range audiophile Westone 4R will be an ideal toy.

Important Notice to Audiophiles!!!


Buying these awesome earphones will not suffice to give you best music experience. You need to have awesome audio devices that are capable of delivering the real music packed in the audio files. For an example check your mobile phone with different music files and determine if the phone is able to produce good music. Otherwise it will all be in vain.

Another aspect is the audio file itself. The MP3 files and AAC (that comes with iTunes music) are not the best at delivering the true musics of the song. Some fine aspects of music are lost in the process of converting the original music files to smaller and manageable file sizes known as MP3 and AAC (WMA is useless). So it id better if you can get hold of Lossless music files to listen to your music. Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) files are the original sound files that have all the highs and lows and bass and trebles that were intended on the audio file. So try to get FLAC format audio files as much as possible.


So there you go. These are some of the 'best' in-ear headphones and earpods your money could buy, that are guaranteed to blow your mind away.

Of course these are the best earphones according to my view and could vary according to your impression of what is 'best'. If you think otherwise or if you agree with my list, please leave a comment. Anything you comment will be of much help to all the audiophiles around the world.

Thank you for reading through.

If you like this hub, make sure to like, rate, comment and follow me on HubPages.


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    • Nimesh De Silva profile imageAUTHOR

      Nimesh De Silva 

      4 years ago


      Thanks for the comment

    • tstgroup profile image

      Tona Sam 

      4 years ago from India

      Nice hub. Mose of them are expensive in ear headphones. Here, Top 3 best in ear headphones comes under 10 dollars: Checkout link below.

    • Nimesh De Silva profile imageAUTHOR

      Nimesh De Silva 

      4 years ago


      Thanks for the input.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      sound magic es 18 are awesome

    • Nimesh De Silva profile imageAUTHOR

      Nimesh De Silva 

      4 years ago


      You are from India right? Well, it's good that you have at least three of the best brands. Sri Lanka doesn't have Bose as far as I know, and only very few Sennheiser merchants.

      Anyway, you can order each and every one of these earbuds from Amazon and get them shipped free to India if you spend over $25 per purchase.

    • AvineshP profile image

      Avinesh Prahladi 

      4 years ago from Chandigarh

      WOW !!! These are some great in-ear headphones, but the only thing I am concerned about is the availability in my country. I am only aware of the availability of three brands - Bose, Sennheiser and Beats.

    • Nimesh De Silva profile imageAUTHOR

      Nimesh De Silva 

      4 years ago


      They do look good with very positive reviews.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Did not see Panasonic RP-TCM125-K. Nice ones, and very cheap.

    • Nimesh De Silva profile imageAUTHOR

      Nimesh De Silva 

      5 years ago

      Well I came across some JVC earbuds, but not the ones you mentioned. Definitely worth checking it out. Thanks for the comment.

    • prog47 profile image


      5 years ago

      The best ones I've used so far are the JVC HAFX1X Xtreme Xplosives In Ear Canal Headphones. Amazing bass and only 10 pounds !


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