In-Ear Headphones Buyers Guide
What Are In-Ear Headphones?
In-ear headphones are known by several other names, including earphones and earbuds. It’s one of the most common types of personal audio equipment.
It’s quite a simple product. Basically, they are earbuds that have small drivers inside them that are used for reproducing audio. These earbuds will either connect to a smartphone or music player via a cable or through wireless technology, such as Bluetooth.
Why Choose In-Ear Headphones?
In the past, in-ear headphones were not as popular as they are today, as they were seen as being cumbersome and uncomfortable. Fortunately, there have been lots of technological advancements that have meant new earphones are comfortable to wear, offer excellent sound quality, and remain secure in your ears, even when you’re exercising.
Many active people love this product because earphones are compact, lightweight, and portable. Often, they will include a microphone, which also allows people to make hands-free phone calls while on-the-go. Perhaps another top feature of this product is the price. You can find a set of in-ear headphones for a fraction of the price of over-ear models.
What To Look For When Buying In-Ear Headphones?
A key element of this product is the ear tips. It’s essential as they are made from a soft, pliable material, as this will ensure better comfort. Silicone or memory foam are two quality materials that many manufacturers use.
Many companies opt for removable tips and provide a range of sizes. If you’ve found earphones to be uncomfortable in the past, then choosing a product with several ear tips is a good option, as it will be more likely you’ll be able to select ear tips that suit your ear canals better.
Many active people choose this product because of its lightweight nature and easy portability. If you want to use them for exercise, then it is critical that they’re designed to stay in place during vigorous movement.
There are a few different concepts for keeping them in place. The most common method, however, is by the incorporation of fins and hooks. Some models have innovative solutions such as magnetic tips which snap together to form a necklace when not in use, or collars that sit comfortably on the back of your neck suspending the buds between use.
One feature that will also appeal to people who exercise is the ability to connect wirelessly to the earbuds. This means that there’s no cable that can be caught or snagged while you’re pumping your arms when running.
If you’re keen on a wireless model, then just make sure that it features the latest version of Bluetooth technology, so that you can be assured a stable connection.
For anyone who wants the option to make or answer phone calls, then ensuring the earphones include a quality microphone is crucial. You should opt for a mic that has noise-canceling technology so that the people you speak to will be able to hear you loud and clear, without external noise or the wind making you incoherent.
The only downside to wireless earphones is that the sound quality can be inferior to a wired model. You also need to consider battery life, which isn’t an issue with a wired product.
If you want a wired version, then you just need to be aware that wires can break if they haven’t been designed with rugged use in mind. Many of the models on our list feature thoughtful designs that counteract the problems that lead to breakages. For example, if you pick a model with a tangle-free cord, then this means it will likely offer an improved long-term durability. It’s also a good idea to check if the connectors have been reinforced, as this will also lengthen its lifespan.
The two most important features to look out for are sound quality and build quality. It’s critical that both of these characteristics are delivered by the product. Of course, you will be limited by your budget, as cheaper products won’t deliver the same quality as more expensive models.
The key component for sound quality is the driver. You want to pick a model that features drivers that are at least 9mm or 10mm in size. Any smaller than that, and you could find the sound to be tinny and weak. It’s also important to check the frequency response, as the wider it is, the more dynamic and detailed the sound will be.
There we have it. Now you’ve seen ten awesome products that will appeal to consumers who have a range of requirements. There’s something for everyone on our list, with budget models at one end of the spectrum and in-ear headphones for audiophiles at the other end.
The key to choosing the right product is to first define your budget. Once you know how much you’re willing to spend, then you can isolate your time and energy on products that are in the right price range.
Next, you should decide if you want a wired or wireless model.
After that, you can then focus on the key characteristics, such as sound quality, durability, and battery life, if it’s wireless. You should also ensure that the product has received good reviews in terms of comfort. A secure fit is also important, and choosing earphones with several ear tips will make this more likely.
We hope that you’ve found this article useful. Enjoy listening to your favorite tunes with your new earphones!
If you are specifically looking for a sports model, then you might find our 10 best headphones for running in 2022 article a very interesting read.
Did you Know
Skullcandy was one of the first companies to make in-ear buds as opposed to the traditional large circular earbuds that were common at the time. Skullcandy was also one of the first to integrate mics into its earphones.