Earphones, Earbuds and IEM Buyers Guide and FAQ
Wireless Earbuds vs. Wired Earbuds
Wireless earbuds, strangely enough, can now be categorized into 2 different types. One that is completely wireless. These are often referred to as true wireless earbuds, of which we have a fully dedicated list of the best models. The other type is the cable that runs between the 2 earbuds, but there is no physical connection to your phone or DAP (Digital Audio Player).
Both of these styles have their advantages but generally speaking, earbuds with the cable between each other have better battery life and sound quality. Still, a few truly wireless earbuds are starting to show that this technology is the future and we expect it to be the dominant style of earphones in the consumer market in the coming years.
Wired-in-ear headphones on the other hand are the traditional type of earphones that most people are familiar with. They have a cable you plug directly into your phone (although this is nowadays, you will need to use a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter to connect to most new phones). Even though most phones have removed the headphones jack this technology is far from dead and with many earphones now offering balanced cables out the box they are still class-leading when it comes to all-out fidelity.
However, there really is no answer as to the best type of earbuds for you. It should come down to a range of factors to help make your decision. For example, if you want full freedom of movement, buy true wireless earbuds. If you want the absolute best sound quality go wired. If you don’t want to worry about charging your earbuds all the time, go wired. Etc etc, the possibilities and use cases are endless.
Really it’s best to think about how you intend to use your earbuds and then buy something that will fit your needs.
How much do good earbuds cost?
Price is definitely going to be a factor for most people when buying a set of earbuds, and the good news is that you can get an awesome set for far less than you would have just a few years ago.
The rise of a phenomenon known to hobbyists as the “Chinese HiFi revolution” has seen hundreds of new headphone companies spring up. They offer tech such as multi-driver earphones and hybrid earphones for a budget that would cost a fortune from brands like Shure or Westone.
That newly emerging market has also forced more traditional earbud companies to become more competitive at certain price points. As a result, it is now easier than ever to get amazing cheap earbuds.
What are the best-sounding earbuds, IEM’s or earphones?
A lot of people want to know what the best sounding IEM’s are (In-Ear Monitors). In fact, that is a major reason why people visit this site. We give advice centered around sound quality and identify the best-sounding earbuds at each particular price point for our readers.
Below we will give some recommendations for earphones that we think sound incredible and can really enhance your listening experience.
Just be warned if you are going to start dipping your toe into the world of high-end earphones and earbuds, you can end up spending a lot of money. I will list some sub $100 earbuds and others all the way north of $1000, so I’m sure there will be something to fit you but if not, feel free to send me a message on Instagram with the type of music you listen to and your budget and we can maybe help with some personalized suggestions.
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