10 Best Sound Quality Earbuds in 2022

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Kate Brunotts

Kate Brunotts FOR MUSIC CRITIC

Sound Quality Earbuds Buyers Guide

Trying to find a pair of earbuds which provide great sound quality is no easy task especially when the market is bursting at the seams with products, some offering unbeatable value for money and others just a cheap imitation.

Generally speaking, earbuds aren’t known for their audiophile approval when compared to an over-ear or around ear model. This is because larger diaphragms respond much better, upping their performance capabilities, this is especially true when it comes to producing lower frequencies.

A larger magnetic field and extra cone surface area provide the characteristics required to deliver better audio quality. Of course, this theory depends on how well they are engineered as well.

Fortunately, there are a handful of experienced companies with plenty of expertise in the engineering department. They work unbelievably hard to develop compact drivers which employ very clever methods to function optimally despite their dimensional constraints.

As a result, we are seeing products which perform far better and as these technologies evolve and age the costs drop measurably, leading to affordable audio solutions which serve up premium audio at a fraction of the cost.

That being said, if you have audiophile tastes you aren’t going to find anything particularly impressive until you are far above the hundred dollar mark, so you may end up spending much more to satisfy your needs.

Earbuds have plenty of pros going for them most importantly their tiny size which means they fit in a pocket for traveling with. With modern life being quite a fast-paced affair they are more often than not a go-to music solution but if you want to enjoy your playlist properly there are a number of factors to consider to ensure you are getting the best set your budget allows for.

What To Look For When Buying Best Sound Quality Earbuds?

When shopping for a set of headphones with the best sound quality, Driver size is imperative. Earbud models typically start at 8mm and sit between that and 10mm with the majority on average measuring 9mm.

There are many on the market which offer up to 12mms in size, the extra drive space doesn’t necessarily restrict their use to larger ear canals either if they have been developed cleverly enough.

Sound quality is of course, relatively subjective, and the genres you enjoy will color your opinion somewhat. If you prefer bass heavy music then large aperture drivers and enhanced bass processing will be important to you. Some headphones have an extended frequency response which can pick up lower frequencies than a standard set.

If you listen to a lot of podcasts and radio talk shows or are often conferencing via your earbuds you will need a set with optimized mid-ranges and higher definition. The spoken word can become muffled if the audio reproduction isn’t dynamically balanced and clearly detailed.

Earbuds provide an immersive listening experience they pump audio directly to the listener but this can be exhaustive to your ears. Comfort and functionality should be considered the next 2 vital factors to postulate.

The tip design is critical here as the headphones are worn somewhat internally. The materials used should have a good deal of flexibility and ideally be formed from something skin friendly.

Typical materials utilized in the manufacturing of earbud tips include memory foams, rubbers, plastics, and silicone.

Next, you need to consider the design of the tip itself. If the fit isn’t ergonomically approved then they could be damaging to your ears if worn for long periods.

Ear canals vary slightly from person to person and some manufacturers sell their earbud headphones with a few tips to choose from to help provide a better-tailored fit. This is a good way to go to find a comfortable solution.

In terms of functionality, your personal habits will have to be thought about carefully to settle on a design style.

In the past in-ear models were prone to falling out of ears, they were much rounder (as companies experimented with larger drivers to combat the sound quality issues they were having). Today there is a tonne of concepts which employ some sort of earbud support system coupled with their ergonomic shapes.

These include collars, braces, neckties, necklaces, sweatbands, auricle fins, LockFit systems, and over ear hooks. Each help to keep the earbuds in the optimal placement for listening and some provide a stable enough solution to allow for much more motion.

If you have a particularly active lifestyle you will want to look at a sports model. They are developed to allow for rigorous motion, some can even stay in place when users are upside-down perfect for yoga, gymnastics, and suspended sit-ups.

If you are after a sports set you might find our 10 Best Headphones For Working Out article worth a look.

Wired or Wireless?

If you are most likely to listen whilst you are out and about via mainly mobile devices then a wireless set of earbuds will likely be best for you.

They allow users to move far more freely and they are often a bit more durable as the wires receive the most wear and tear during long-term use, and they are also prone to tangling up in your pockets.

To be honest, if you have a lower budget then a wired pair is probably the better option you given that we are looking at sound quality in today’s article.

As audio quality goes many Bluetooth models in the lower price region just aren’t there yet as far as audio quality is concerned. A direct wire just provides a far more stable signal path to play which gives a more accurate digital reproduction. Bluetooth streaming can sound stuttered and on occasion becomes out of sync with the visuals on your mobile device due to latency issues. Though there are some amazing Bluetooth sets out there if you are able to afford something a little more high-end.

Given the tangling and durability issues, we recommend you source a set with reinforced entry and exit points and something in place to manage entanglement.

Conclusion

If an in-ear model is more suitable for your individual needs but your audio is important to you then as you will have learned from our guide there are a few things to think about which can make all the difference.

Ultimately the budget you have will have to weigh in significantly as will how comfortable and suitable the set is for your lifestyle.

We are optimistic we have found a few models which have many merits and provide the best audio quality respectively. The market is so over-saturated finding a set shouldn’t be problematic so long as you have narrowed down your parameters using our buyer’s guide.

Expert Tip

If you have a very low budget in mind then the manufacturing quality becomes just an important as the audio abilities. Some companies have to sacrifice one over the other in the low-price regions.

Did you Know

If you are unsure about whether you want a wired or wireless option, some Bluetooth models.

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