Preferred headphones store
Updated

The 11 Best Earbuds And In-Ear Headphones - Summer 2019
Reviews

Best Earbuds And In-Ears
390 Headphones Tested
  • Store-bought headphones; no cherry-picked units
  • Retest after major updates
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

From cheap earbuds to the top of the line, in-ear headphones offer a lot of options for all situations, whether you want to use them at the gym, at the office, or during your commutes. Earbuds are ultra-portable and very convenient thanks to their small size and weight. While earbuds rest at the edge of the canal, in-ear headphones have special tips that are inserted into the ear canal.

So far, we've tested over 120 earbuds and in-ear headphones. Below are our recommendations for the best in-ear headphones and earbuds to purchase in 2019. See also our recommendations for the best truly wireless earbuds, the best wireless earbuds and in-ears, and the best sounding wireless earbuds.



  1. Best Wireless Earbuds: Jaybird Tarah Pro Wireless

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
    7.2
    Mixed Usage
    7.2
    Critical Listening
    7.6
    Commute/Travel
    8.2
    Sports/Fitness
    7.4
    Office
    5.9
    TV
    5.7
    Gaming
    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    The best earbuds we’ve reviewed so far are the Jaybird Tarah Pro. They have a balanced, versatile sound that is well-suited for a range of music genres straight-of-the-box, plus you can use the great parametric EQ available in the Jaybird MySound app to customize their sound even further. They’re one the best earbuds for running we’ve tested too, thanks to their great sports-oriented design with an IPX7 rating and have a very stable fit.

    Unfortunately, these headphones cannot connect two devices simultaneously, whereas the cheaper Jaybird Tarah and Jaybird X4 can. They also have a proprietary charging cradle, so if you forget their charger at home, you won’t be able to use your phone’s. That said, the Tarah Pro are still the best in-ear headphones we’ve tested so far and are likely to please anyone looking for great sports headphones that are versatile enough for everyday use.

    See our review

  2. Best Truly Wireless Earbuds: Samsung Galaxy Buds Truly Wireless

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
    7.1
    Mixed Usage
    7.2
    Critical Listening
    7.5
    Commute/Travel
    8.2
    Sports/Fitness
    7.4
    Office
    5.6
    TV
    4.8
    Gaming
    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Truly Wireless
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    The best truly wireless earbuds we’ve reviewed so far are the Samsung Galaxy Buds. They’re super portable yet surprisingly comfortable earbuds that have a solid price-to-performance ratio. They have great audio reproduction and their battery provides over 7 hours of continuous playback, which is quite good for truly wireless earbuds. They’re the best wireless earbuds for Android we’ve tested thanks to their compatibility with the Samsung Wearable app.

    While they sound balanced enough to be suitable for most people, some will find they lack a bit of bass. If you have an Android phone, you can boost their bass a bit with an EQ preset in their companion app, but iOS users won’t have that option. You can also only access button mapping the app, so if you have an iPhone you won’t be able to access volume controls either. That said, they still perform very well overall, even if you don’t have an Android device, and are easy to recommend in general.

    See our review

  3. Sports-Oriented Alternative: Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless

    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Truly Wireless
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you’re looking for truly wireless earbuds with a better design for sports, then get the Beats Powerbeats Pro. They’re not as compact as the Samsung Galaxy Buds since they have a bulkier ear-hook design and larger charging case, but they’re just as comfortable and their physical controls make them easier to use while working out. They’re made with Apple’s H1 chip, which makes them the best wireless earbuds for iPhone we’ve reviewed. Unfortunately, they don’t have any customization options, so if you want sports-oriented truly wireless in-ears you can customize, you’ll want to check out the Jabra Elite Active 65t, which also perform very well overall.

    Get the Samsung Galaxy buds if you’re an Android user looking for more truly wireless earbuds with a smaller form factor, but if you’re on iOS and want a better design for sports, then you can’t go wrong the Powerbeats Pro.

    See our review

  4. Best Wired Earbuds: 1More Triple Driver

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
    6.8
    Mixed Usage
    7.1
    Critical Listening
    6.8
    Commute/Travel
    7.4
    Sports/Fitness
    6.6
    Office
    6.0
    TV
    6.7
    Gaming
    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : No
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Hybrid

    The best wired earbuds we’ve tested so far are the 1More Triple Driver. They’re one of the best-sounding wired in-ears we've tested and they're much cheaper than most of the critical listening in-ears we’ve tested from some of the more established brands out there. They're well-built, compact, and are easy to use and to carry around. They also have great, deep bass which makes them one of the best bass earbuds we’ve tested so far.

    These headphones look good, but don't feel as well-built as the KZ AS10 or the TIN Audio T3. However, they sound better and feature a mic for added convenience. Although wired headphones may not be as versatile for day-to-day use as wireless ones, if you want a simple in-ear design, the 1More Triple Driver are the best wired earphones we’ve reviewed so far and are easy to recommend.

    See our review

  5. Cheaper, Yet More Durable Alternative: TIN Audio T2

    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : No
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : No
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you want more affordable wired headphones, then go with the TIN Audio T2 instead. They might not sound quite as good as the 1More Triple Driver since they can sound a bit sharp or piercing, but they're very well-built with solid metal earbuds and detachable cables that you can replace if they get damaged. They’re also even less expensive, which is great considering how durable they are.

    Get the 1More Triple Driver if you’re mostly concerned about sound quality, but if durability is more important to you, then you’ll want to get the TIN Audio T2.

    See our review

  6. Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds: Bose QuietControl 30/QC30 Wireless

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
    7.0
    Mixed Usage
    7.0
    Critical Listening
    7.5
    Commute/Travel
    7.6
    Sports/Fitness
    7.4
    Office
    5.6
    TV
    5.3
    Gaming
    Type : Earbuds
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : Yes
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    The best noise cancelling earbuds that we’ve tested so far are the Bose QuietControl 30. If you usually find in-ears a bit uncomfortable, then their earbud fit may be the solution you've been hoping for. They have a well-balanced, bass-rich sound and their neckband design ensures your music is always at arm’s reach. They have very good noise cancelling and also hardly leak any sound, which makes them a good choice for use while commuting or at the office. 

    Unfortunately, their neckband isn’t the most durable and the rubber sleeve that protects the inner components tends to peel apart with time. Consider the Jabra Elite 65e as a better-built yet cheaper option with superior mic performance and more customization options, but they don’t sound as well-balanced and their battery doesn’t last as long. All things considered, the QC 30 still perform quite well overall and are good travel headphones.

    See our review

  7. Customizable, Better-Built Alternative: Sony WI-1000X Wireless

    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : Yes
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Balanced Armature

    If you want in-ears that have ANC but can also be customized with your smartphone, then get the Sony WI-1000X. They have a more traditional in-ear design, so they’re not as comfortable as the Bose QuietControl 30, but they feel much more durable and are highly customizable thanks to their compatibility with the Sony | Headphones Connect app. Their neckband is very rigid, though, and they also don’t come with as nice of a carrying case as that of the Bose, which is a bit disappointing considering they’re generally very similarly priced.

    Get the Bose if you’re looking for noise cancelling earbuds that are more comfortable for long car rides or international flights, but if you want something that feels more durable and has more customization options for more casual use, you’ll prefer the Sonys.

    See our review

  8. Best Earbuds Under $100: Anker SoundCore Liberty Air Truly Wireless

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
    7.1
    Mixed Usage
    7.3
    Critical Listening
    7.5
    Commute/Travel
    8.1
    Sports/Fitness
    7.4
    Office
    5.6
    TV
    4.6
    Gaming
    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Truly Wireless
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    The best wireless earbuds under $100 that we’ve tested so far are the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air. They’re versatile truly wireless in-ear headphones that are very easy to carry around thanks to their ultra-compact design. They have outstanding audio reproduction and deliver a balanced, neutral sound that caters well to music of virtually all genres. Their battery only provides about 4 hours of continuous playback, but when you put them in their case they charge when not in use, so you could get up to nearly 16 hours of total battery life throughout the day.

    Unfortunately, they aren’t the most comfortable headphones we’ve tested since they fit quite deeply into the ear canal. They do isolate quite a bit of noise, though, especially considering they have no active noise cancelling features. They’re a good choice for commuters who appreciate the extra isolation and are versatile enough to be suitable for everyday casual use, too.

    See our review

  9. Alternative For Running And Working Out: JBL Reflect Mini 2 Wireless

    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you’re looking for wireless earbuds with a more stable fit for running or working out, then get the JBL Reflect Mini 2. They’re not truly wireless like the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air, but their design helps keep them more securely in place while working out and their physical controls are easier to access when running. They’re not customizable, but their battery lasts a long time. You’ll want to get the Liberty Air if a super compact, portable truly wireless design is what you’re after, but if you have fitness goals in mind, then you’ll want to check out the Reflect Mini 2 instead.

    See our review

  10. Best Cheap Earbuds: Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
    6.8
    Mixed Usage
    6.9
    Critical Listening
    7.0
    Commute/Travel
    7.9
    Sports/Fitness
    6.9
    Office
    5.6
    TV
    5.4
    Gaming
    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    The best cheap earbuds we’ve tested so far are the Anker SoundBuds Curve. They feel surprisingly well-built for their price and are stable enough to wear while running or working out. They sound pretty decent, especially compared to most wireless in-ears at this price point, and have an exciting bass-rich yet balanced sound that lends itself well to a wide range of music genres. Their battery also lasts for nearly 13 hours, which is longer than even some of the most expensive wireless in-ears we've tested.

    These earbuds feel pretty well-designed for sports, but don’t seem as durable as the JBL Endurance Sprint which boast an IPX7 rating. However, their touch-sensitive control scheme is a bit finicky and they're not the most comfortable. Overall, the SoundBuds Curve offer the best value at this price point out of all the cheap earbuds we’ve tested so far.

    See our review

  11. Best Sounding Wireless Earbuds: Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
    6.7
    Mixed Usage
    7.7
    Critical Listening
    6.3
    Commute/Travel
    7.8
    Sports/Fitness
    6.5
    Office
    5.6
    TV
    5.2
    Gaming
    Type : Earbuds
    Enclosure : Semi-Open
    Wireless : Truly Wireless
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    The best sounding earbuds we’ve tested so far are the Bose SoundSport Free. They’re very comfortable truly wireless earbuds that have a remarkably well-balanced sound and semi-open design that helps produce a more spacious, immersive listening experience than other earbuds we’ve reviewed. Since they let in a lot of ambient noise, they’re a good choice if you’re an outdoor runner who needs to remain aware of your surroundings.

    They only provide about 5 hours of continuous playback on a charge, but this is about average for truly wireless earbuds and they can last you all day if you keep them in their case whenever you’re not using them. That said, their rubberized buttons are quite difficult to use and they’re rather expensive. If you like the way they sound but want to consider a cheaper alternative, you can check out the SoundSport Wireless which are a bit easier to use and have a slightly longer battery life, but don’t come with a charging case so they’re a bit less versatile overall. 

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Jabra Elite Active 65t Truly Wireless: Versatile truly wireless in-ears that are customizable, but a bit bulky and not comfortable on everyone. See our review
  • Jaybird Run XT Truly Wireless: Truly wireless in-ears that sound okay but are customizable. Expensive compared to Jabra Elite Active 65t which perform better overall. See our review
  • B&O PLAY Beoplay E8 2.0 Truly Wireless 2019: Premium truly wireless headphones with a great design, but very expensive. See our review
  • Apple AirPods 2 Truly Wireless 2019: Versatile and well-rounded wireless earbuds that charge very quickly but are best for iOS. See our review
  • JBL FreeX Truly Wireless: Decent truly wireless in-ears that have surprisingly great audio reproduction but a short battery life and no app support. See our review
  • JBL Endurance Peak Truly Wireless: Nearly identical to the Endurance Sprint but in a more expensive truly wireless design. Powerbeats Pro provide a better experience overall but Peak may be worth considering. See our review
  • SoundPeats TrueFree/True Wireless: Budget truly wireless in-ears that perform fairly well overall and provide good value for their price. Decent truly wireless alternative to the Anker SoundBuds Curve. See our review
  • JBL Endurance Sprint Wireless: Wireless in-ears with great audio reproduction and a matte sweatproof design, but bulky ear-hook design isn’t the most comfortable. See our review
  • AUKEY Latitude Wireless: Wireless in-ears with remarkable passive isolation but not the most comfortable. See our review
  • Samsung U Flex Wireless: Customizable wireless in-ears that sound alright, but are only fully compatible with Samsung devices. The Anker SoundBuds Curve have no device restrictions and provide better value. See our review
  • Sony WI-C600N Wireless: Decent noise cancelling wireless in-ears that have good isolation but a mediocre battery life. See our review
  • Jabra Elite 65e Wireless: A cheaper alternative to the QC 30, but slightly worse performance overall. See our review
  • Bose SoundSport Wireless: Comfortable earbuds with a good wireless range. One of the best-sounding earbuds, but inconsistent durability and slightly bulky design. See our review
  • Jaybird Tarah Wireless: Less expensive than Jaybird Tarah Pro with nearly half the battery life. Support multi-device pairing while Tarah Pro do not and have auto-off timer unlike X4. See our review
  • Jaybird X4 Wireless: Similar to Jaybird Tarah; sound slightly better and have a longer battery life, but no auto-off timer. Decent alternative if Jaybird Tarah Pro is too expensive. See our review
  • AKG N200 Wireless: Well-rounded wireless in-ears with great audio reproduction but their battery is disappointing. See our review
  • Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless: Well-designed, stylish in-ears that sound decent. Similar ear-hook design to the Anker SoundBuds Curve but may not provide as much value overall. See our review
  • Jaybird Freedom F5 Wireless 2016: A lightweight and well-built sports headphone with a customizable sound. The charging clip may be a deal-breaker for some. See our review
  • MEE audio M6 PRO: Decent wired earbuds for small ears. Good build quality and a decent sound for the price. A bit too sharp on some tracks. See our review
  • KZ AS10: Decent wired in-ears that are well-built and have good audio reproduction; worthwhile alternative to the 1More Triple Driver. See our review
  • TIN Audio T3: Very well-built wired in-ears that sound decent. Some may find them more comfortable than the TIN Audio T2, but they're more expensive. See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best in-ear headphones and earbuds to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (cheaper headphones win over pricier ones if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no headphones that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our reviews for earbuds/in-ear earphones. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect headphones. Personal taste, preference, and listening habits will matter more in your selection.

Recommended Articles

LOG IN

JOIN RTINGS.com

Be part of the most informed community and take advantage of our advanced tools to find the best product for your needs.
Join our mailing list:
Become an insider

Unlimited access to full product reviews, test measurements and scores

test table UI

Product prices across the site on reviews, tables and tools

product prices UI

Additional votes for our
next reviews

Additional votes UI

Early Access
to our reviews and test measurements

Early Access UI

Create Discussion