The Best In-Ear Headphones

Posted on 9 May 2022

After 4 hours of researching 20 models and testing 12 of them, we have determined that the best in-ear headphones available nowadays in terms of price-quality ratio are the Symphonized NRG X.

This comparison is certified 100% impartial and follows our selection process.

Our choice, Best mid-range

Symphonized NRG X

With their premium appearance, these in-ear headphones offer an excellent price-quality ratio. The Symphonized NRG X headphones combine high quality audio with meticulous finishing touches.

£ 29.99 on Amazon

Presented in a small rigid pouch, the NRG Xs are pleasantly surprising thanks to their wooden finish and meticulous assembly. With three sizes of ear tips, available in two depths, and an integrated remote control, they have everything you need for an everyday use. Of course, it cannot be worthy without a good sound quality. After our tests, we can say that this is the case here, with an excellent rendering of the different frequencies, including a deep and sufficiently present bass. This is particularly beneficial to the musicality of the whole, highlighted by a clear rendering of the sound stage, even on the busiest tracks.

 

 

Best budget

Sony MDR-EX110LP

Despite being a basic model, these in-ear headphones manage to deliver convincing results on all types of tracks, while being comfortable enough to be used during long listening sessions.

See the price on Amazon

During our tests, the EX110LP succeeded where the majority of their competitors failed. Indeed, when listening to different titles, they offered a balanced and musical sound with sufficient bass without drowning out the other sounds. It is true that the power is more limited than on other models, but this is not an obstacle and it allows you to fully enjoy your favourite songs. They are also comfortable and supportive.

 

Best high-end

MediaDevil CB-01

These quality in-ear headphones manage to top the high-end models thanks to their careful performance and overall quality. They are also designed with an eco-friendly aim.

£ 49.97 on Amazon

The CB-01s have everything you would expect from a pair of headphones at this price, with a sound quality that we found to be neat, both in terms of frequency reproduction and sound stage. Moreover, there is a fabric-covered cable to prevent damage, a more durable angled plug and an integrated remote control. In parallel, we notice the small attentions of the brand to reduce its ecological footprint with a packaging minimising the use of plastic, a pocket in recycled fabric and the presence of wood on the earbuds. The latter is also beneficial to the overall look.

 

Budget alternative

JBL Tune 110

Although not as effective as their competitor, these headphones stand out for their hands-free function, remote control and flat cable, which is more practical for an everyday use.

£ 7.99 on Amazon

Although they do not generate an impeccable level of bass, the Tune 110 remain a relevant pair of in-ear headphones for an everyday use. Indeed, our tests showed that their performance is perfectly usable for most songs, except for those centred on these sounds. On the other hand, they are much more convenient than their competitor thanks to their flat cable, which is easier to untangle, and a remote control for hands-free operation and control of music, calls and the voice assistant.

 

Alternative haut de gamme

Samsung EO-IC500B

This model is the only USB-C solution in our selection. In addition to a convincing sound quality, it has sound control, which is quite useful for isolating yourself from your surroundings.

See the price on Amazon

As the jack on our beloved smartphones disappears, it is handy to have headphones that connect natively to USB-C. As well as avoiding the need for adapters, this allows them to offer additional features such as active sound control. The IC500Bs are able to stand out from their competitors thanks to this technology, which is not available on headphones that use a 3.5mm jack. Our tests have shown that they also offer good sound quality and a finish worthy of their price.

 

Our selection

Our choice, Best mid-rangeBest budgetBest high-endBudget alternativeHigh-end alterantive
Symphonized NRG XSony MDR-EX110LPMediaDevil CB-01JBL Tune 110Samsung EO-IC500B
Symphonized NRG XSony MDR-EX110LPMediaDevil CB-01JBL Tune 110Samsung EO-IC500B
With their premium appearance, these in-ear headphones offer an excellent price-quality ratio. The Symphonized NRG X headphones combine high quality audio with meticulous finishing touches.Despite being a basic model, these in-ear headphones manage to deliver convincing results on all types of tracks, while being comfortable enough to be used during long listening sessions.These quality MediaDevil headphones manage to top the high-end models thanks to their careful performance and overall quality. They are also designed with an eco-friendly aim.Although not as effective as their competitor, these headphones stand out for their hands-free function, remote control and flat cable, which is more practical for an everyday use.This model is the only USB-C solution in our selection. In addition to a convincing sound quality, it has sound control, which is quite useful for isolating yourself from your surroundings.
£ 29.99 on Amazon See the price on Amazon £ 49.97 on Amazon £ 7.99 on Amazon See the price on Amazon

 

Honorable mentions

Samsung IG935 (£12,48 upon publication): an excellent alternative to our choice. They stand out thanks to their many qualities, including quality materials, an interesting sound quality and a good level of comfort. However, they are not as good as the Symphonized, which are still a step above.

Sony MDR-XB50AP (£36,70 upon publication): interesting qualities on all levels. The XB50APs have everything to please and even manage to offer a clearer rendering and better exploited bass than their Korean competitor. However, the NRG Xs are still out of reach.

1More Triple Driver (£69,99 upon publication): often cited as an example. The Triple Driver suffer from a slightly higher price than its competitors, which destines it for users who are more demanding in terms materials used and finish. They do come with a good range of accessories, but this does not fully justify the extra investment.

 

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How to choose your in-ear headphones?

The difficulty in finding in-ear headphones of quality is the number of models available, especially among the affordable wired ones.

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It is important to be able to sort through the multitude of products on the market. | Source : Selectos

To help you, we have determined the necessary criteria to consider before purchasing this product.

  • Support: this will determine whether or not the earpieces are lost. It is essential that they are well integrated into the ears to avoid this scenario.
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It is important that the earbud fits properly in the ear. | Source : Selectos
  • Comfort: generally, brands offer different sizes of ear cushions or several silicone tips to provide the best possible ergonomics.
  • Sound quality: this includes the quality of bass, the treble, etc. An equaliser allows you to balance the sounds. The model is either already set up or customisable it through its application.
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It is important to check the quality of the sound they produce. | Source : Selectos
  • Soundproofing: in the case of wired headphones, passive insulation is the most important factor. This is generally much better with in-ear monitors because they block the ear canal. It is determined by the quality of the ear tips offered and the materials used. Some models that use USB-C directly may also offer active sound control.

 

Translated by Aylin Akturk 

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