Best In Ear Headphones of 2018: Complete Reviews with Comparisons

Best In Ear Headphones of 2018 Complete Reviews with Comparisons
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When it comes to listening to music on the go, unless you want to be extremely rude, it’s best to use a pair of headphones.

Not only is it polite, but it’s also the best way to listen to your favorite tunes in the highest quality. 

The best in ear headphones around today are able to take advantage of premium materials and intelligent design to deliver high-quality audio straight into your ear.

In this guide, we’re going to look at five of the most popular models on the market today. We’ll go into the pros and cons of each model, and highlight which could be the best option for you.

Best In-Ear Headphone Reviews

1. Panasonic ErgoFit In-Ear Headphones

We kick off the list with these entry-level headphones from Panasonic. They are, of course, one of the most widely recognized electrical manufacturers in the world, but are they bringing anything to the table here besides a famous name?

Product Highlights

This product has a very basic design, but the headphones themselves are tipped with Ergo-fit buds that are designed for an instantly comfortable but secure fit. It has a decent frequency response ranging from 20Hz to 20,000 Hz. It is available in a range of colors and comes with 3.6-foot cord, and the jack is 3.5mm and nickel-plated.

What's to like about the Panasonic ErgoFit In-Ear Headphones

The big stand out is the simplicity of the design, both in terms of appearance and use. Design-wise, these are not eye-catching headphones. Instead, they are simply going to blend in. That is a bigger pro for some people, but if you want a more stand out a set of headphones, remember that they are available in a range of more vivid colors.

Aside from that, you have the build quality that you would expect from Panasonic. The frequency range is about average, so they sound pretty good too. There are undoubtedly headphones out there that produce a better sound quality, but they are also going to be coming in at a higher price tag.

All in all, these are very simple but effective headphones that do exactly what you think they will, and nothing more.

What's not to like about the Panasonic ErgoFit In-Ear Headphones

It is hard to be too harsh on these headphones since their price tag identifies them as a basic model. There a few issues such as the fact that the audio jack is only nickel plated, not gold. But again, nickel is what you expect to see on a basic headphone, so it feels a little unfair to criticize it too harshly.

PROS

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    Great build quality
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    Comfortable fit
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    Available in multiple colors
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    Great value for money

CONS

  • Basic design
  • Nickel-plated jack

2. GGMM Ear Bud Headphones

Our next product comes from GGMM and is quite different from the basic model we just looked at from Panasonic. This is a high tech, a multifunctional product with a range of additional built-in features, but are they still a good pair of headphones?

Product Highlights

These headphones boast durable, rubber constructed earbuds that are mounted at a 20-degree angle for comfort. They also come with several extra sets of tips so that you can change out the various sizes to find the right fit for you.

There is also an inline control unit that allows you to skip, pause, and play music. It also has a built-in microphone, allowing the headphones to operate as a hand-free call kit with most types of cell phone.

What's to like about the GGMM Ear Bud Headphones

We love the product's earbud tips for two reasons. Firstly, they come in three sizes (and all sizes are included in the pack), so you can select the right one that gives the most comfortable and secure fit. The buds are also mounted at a 20-degree angle to the headphone body, which gives it a more comfortable or ergonomic fit.

The speakers are of a titanium construction for a well-balanced and smooth sound while the headphone exterior is of tough aluminum, and they look pretty good. We also did like the inline control that is both easy to use and also very responsive. It’s great to be able to control your phone without taking it out your pocket.

What's not to like about the GGMM Ear Bud Headphones

Nothing is too concerning beyond the fact that this is another budget-level product. However, while it does a great job, especially considering the price tag, it is missing a few premium features. It has, for example, a basic, nickel-plated audio jack.

The wire is also quite thick and wide, which seems to make it more likely to twist into knots. The microphone is also not of the highest quality, and you may struggle to be heard in windy conditions.

PROS

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    Multi-functional device
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    Intelligent ergonomic design
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    Good noise canceling capabilities

CONS

  • Poorly designed microphone and jack
  • Cord twists easily

3. SoundPEATS Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

This next product is of the modern, Bluetooth enabled breed of in-ear headphones. By lacking a connecting wire, they already come with a cache of high tech features, but is that enough to make them the best headphones on the list?

Product Highlights

These headphones will be ideal for people who want a product to wear when exercising. There are several reasons for that, but one of the big ones has to be the fact they are explicitly described as being sweat proof!

In addition to that, SoundPEATS have worked hard to make sure that a secure fit it easy to achieve. Again, we have a range of sizes of earbuds so that you can achieve the best fit as well as ergonomic ear hooks to help secure the headphones.

The sound quality is good, and the headphones use upgraded Bluetooth 4.1 technology. This allows for faster data transfer, again improving the overall sound quality. Like the previous model, this set also includes an inline control panel that includes a microphone. This means this set can also double as a hands-free kit.

What's to like about the SoundPEATS Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

We love the fact that this pair of headphones can be used not just as a way to listen to music on the go, but also to receive calls without having to reach for your phone in your pocket.

Also, the quality of sound transmitted will ensure that you can listen to quality music, whether you are walking, working out, or just resting. What we love most about these headphones is that they fit securely and comfortably.

What's not to like about the SoundPEATS Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

The battery life of these headphones is about eight hours. There are a number of Bluetooth headsets we know off with a far better battery life. Still, remember to keep it charged up, and this shouldn’t be a huge issue.

They are also quite expensive and are the priciest model on the list today. That is, of course, because they are of the wireless, Bluetooth model.

If sound quality is more important than being wireless though, you may be better off investing that extra money into a pair of wired headphones. At least then you know that the extra money is going into the audio playback features rather than on being a wireless design.

PROS

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    Multipurpose
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    Do not wear easily when exposed to water and sweat
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    Comfortable to use
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    Great sound quality

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Average battery life

4. Betron Headphones

Our next product comes from Betron. With this design, we return to the wired and multi-functional style of headphones we saw with item number two. They are also packing a lot of premium features as well as an eye-catching design.

Product Highlights

These headphones are designed with a bass-enhanced sound for superior audio quality. They also have an inline control panel that allows you to control music and also general functions on your cell phone such as answering calls.

There is a built-in microphone that also allows for hands-free call taking. Additionally, they have a tangle-free cord, high-quality 24K gold plated audio jack.

What's to like about the Betron Headphones

The most stand out feature of these headphones is obviously their design. There is gold trim on the headphones, golden inline control, and a cool see-through wire like you used to find on Apple Macintosh computers back in the 90’s before Apple decided that white and grey were the most exciting colors on Earth.

The thing that impressed us most though is that it’s not just surface details here; there are premium features underneath too. Those gold trimmed headphone units are packing a bass heavy speaker system that just sounds great. The buds are soft and comfortable, and they come with spares.

That clear wire is also designed to resist tangling. The jack uses gold as it’s plating material because it provides a better connective surface, improving sound quality. These headphones look awesome and have the features under the hood to back up the looks with premium quality performance.

What's not to like about the Betron Headphones

The main issue is that the design is quite eye-catching, and if you don’t like it, you won’t be inclined to buy these headphones. Obviously, that is a matter of personal taste though. Aside from that, they do use a fair amount of metal, so they are a little heavier than some other headphones.

PROS

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    Eye-catching design
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    Great sound quality
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    Multipurpose

CONS

  • Design won’t appeal to everyone
  • Quite heavy

5. Symphonized NRG Ear Bud Headphones

Our final pair of headphones also has a very interesting but far subtler design. It boasts premium construction materials and techniques. Are these the best headphones to make our list?

Product Highlights

These earphones are made from handcrafted, natural wood. They are tipped with silicone buds for a comfortable fit and include high levels of noise isolation.

They also come with a wide range of different bud tips so that you can experiment for a comfortable fit. An inline control is also integrated to allow for music control and hands-free cell phone usage.

What's to like about the Symphonized NRG Ear Bud Headphones

The wooden construction of the earphones is not a gimmick. Wood has been used for instrument construction for centuries with a good reason, which is it has superb acoustical properties.

They also look great, and while they are not as eye-catching as the design we looked at above, they still have a sleek and subtle attraction. The inline control is easy to use and intuitive, and making and receiving calls is easy with high-quality audio in and out.

They also come with a handy carry pouch and no less than six pairs of silicone bud tips. That will help you to find a comfortable and secure fit. The noise isolation properties of the device are very strong too, so it is worthwhile experimenting with all the bud tips to find the best design.

What's not to like about the Symphonized NRG Ear Bud Headphones

We've found only a couple of issues with these headphones. The connecting wire is quite short compared to some other models, though it should have the length for you to keep your phone or music player in a coat pocket, perhaps also a jeans pocket if you’re not too tall. It’s also a shame that there is no gold plating for the audio jack that could have helped the sound quality be even higher.

PROS

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    Constructed out of premium materials
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    Great sound quality
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    Understated but attractive design

CONS

  • Cable is a little short
  • Standard jack

BUYER'S GUIDE

That is our rundown of five of the best in ear headphones on the market right now, but with so many different designs and materials out there, which is the right one for you? In this next section, we’ll look at some of the most important features that you should bear in mind when you’re making your decision.

After that, we’ll look at some of the most frequently asked questions about these useful little accessories. Then, you should have all the information you need to pick the right model that suits your needs.

Frequency Response

This refers to the frequency range the headphones can reproduce. It is given as two numbers, say 20 to 20,000, which means the frequency response is between 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz. Very simply, the bigger the response (so, the bigger the gap between the two numbers), then, generally speaking at least, the better the audio will be.

Noise Isolation vs. Active Noise Cancellation

At a basic level, in-ear headphones work by being put into your ear. That may sound like an oversimplification, but it’s true!

By placing the earbud part of the headphone into the ear or more specifically into the ear canal, two things happen. One, the headphone speaker is placed very close to your ear. That way a small volume suddenly sounds very loud.

The other thing the headphone does is block noise. It does this in one of two ways, which are noise isolation and active noise cancellation. The first of these, which is noise isolation, works by blocking your ear to outside noise effectively. It’s simple and straightforward.

On the other hand, active noise cancellation works by sensing the frequency of outside noise and inserting a counter frequency into your ear via the headphone speakers. It works by using physics and sound waves, and it’s pretty complicated. It’s also generally pretty expensive and only found on premium-level headphones.

Soundstage

If someone whispers in your left ear, you know you need turn to your left and ask them why the heck are they whispering in your ear. Soundstage is the same, but for headphones. So, a pair with a good soundstage will be able to put audio into your left (or right) ear as it was designed to be.

This can be useful for audiobooks and songs. Many music producers will have the music set up so that, for example, the bass is heavier on the left channel, drumming heavier on the right. A set of headphones with good soundstage abilities will, therefore, be better able to relay music the way it was intended to be heard.

Open vs. Closed Back

This is only really something you’ll find on larger headphones or the types that enclose your ears by fitting over them. A closed back has solid back panels, which block outside noise. However, the headphones will generally have a worse soundstage because of this

On the contrary, open back headphones allow some of the ambient sound around you to leak in. Open back headphones will generally have a better soundstage, but will do a worse job of blocking out disturbing noises in your immediate environment.

Headphone Fit

Headphone fit can be tough. When you’re buying online, you only have the images and product dimensions to go by. Of course, if you were buying in a shop in the real world, they wouldn’t exactly let you try out the headphones first by sticking them in your ear, would they?

Most people’s ear canals are pretty similarly sized, and in-ear headphones are designed to have the widest possible fit. Thus, look for models that come with several different earbuds so that you can try differently shaped and sized buds for the best fit.

Design

At the end of the day, people are going to see your headphones as they are right there sticking out your ears. So, you might as well choose a design that you like. On our list, designs run the full gamut from unremarkable to stand out and eye-catching. Pick one you like the look of, it’s as simple as that!

In-Ear Head Phones F.A.Q.

How to wear in-ear headphones?

What many people don’t know is that there is a way you are supposed to wear your headphones, and that is with the wire looped over the top of your ear. The wire then helps to support the weight of the earbud.

How to clean in-ear headphones?

It is an unfortunate side effect of the design that headphones will often get a little grubby. Never immerse them in water, even if they say they are waterproof.

Simply remove the buds and clean them in warm, soapy water, leaving to dry before replacing. Then, clean the earphones themselves with a dry kitchen paper or a cotton swab.

How to use in-ear headphones?

Using in-ear headphones really depends on what you want to use them for. If you just want to listen to music, hook them up to your music player or your cell phone, hit play, and away you go.

If you wish to use them as a hands-free device, it goes without saying that they need to be connected to your cell phone. You also need to wear them in such a way that the built-in microphone is kept unobstructed and can pick up your voice clearly.

What are in-ear headphones?

The clue as to what they are and why they differ from over-ear headphones is in the product name. These are in-ear headphones in the sense that this type is designed to be placed in the ear. Specifically, as we mentioned already, into the ear canal.

Are in-ear headphones safe?

The headphones themselves are very safe, and they are unlikely to do you any damage. What they can do though is limit your awareness of your surroundings. When you wear them when you are out and about, be aware that they can distract you, or stop you from hearing something important like a car.

You should also take care not to have the volume turned up too high, as that can damage your hearing in the long run.

FINAL VERDICT

Looking for the best in ear headphones amongst this list was hard, as they are all stand out contenders. After much consideration and a lot of music listening, we have decided that the Symphonized NRG Ear Bud Headphones just wins out.

For us, we really liked its design since it is both subtle and appealing visually, while also helping to deliver crisp, high-quality audio. Great looks, excellent performance, and a very reasonable price tag make this set of headphones the best on the list!

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