Best earbuds 2019: the best earbuds, earphones and in-ear headphones for any budget

Best Earbuds and In-Ear Headphones Buying Guide: Welcome to TechRadar’s round-up of the best earbuds, in-ear headphones and earphones you can buy in 2019.

Earbuds. Earphones. In-ear headphones. Whatever you call them, they’re undoubtably one of the most convenient ways to listen to your music, whether you opt for wired, wireless, or true wireless earbuds

They used to have a reputation for sub-par audio quality, but today’s best earphones, the most high quality earbuds, can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with even the greatest over-ear headphones. 

True wireless earbuds have really come into their own recently, with the Sony WF-1000XM3s and the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1s joining our roundup of the best earbuds. 

What you need to know about Black Friday 2019
It’s no secret that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are some of the best times to find fantastic wireless headphone deals. Usually you’ll find that mid-range brands like Optoma and Jaybird get the biggest discounts at retailers like Amazon, but it’s worth bearing in mind that Sony has recently released a new pair of neckbud earphones – the Sony WI-1000XM2 – and that means older models could be discounted.

If you’ve got some money burning a hole in your pocket, you might want to check out some of the other top earbuds like Audeze’s latest earphones, which cost a staggering $899 / £849 (around AU$1300 – there are plenty of cheap earphones on the market, though. Keep an eye out this Black Friday and Cyber Monday too for any last-minute sales.

Some of our favorite in-ear headphones come for smaller brands like 1More, RHA, Optoma, and Jabra, proving that the best earbuds don’t have to be expensive.

Of course, there are plenty of big brands making some of the best in-ear headphones, and with Apple recently releasing the AirPods Pro, there’s more to choose from than ever.

What you need to know

How to choose the best earbuds for you

The best pairs of in-ear headphones need to be ultra-comfortable to wear for extended periods of time, and must fit securely in your ear for decent noise isolation. 

If you’re looking for a pair of running headphones, your new buds should have an IPX4 water-resistance rating or above; this means that they’ll be able to withstand a little sweat as well as a spot of rain.

There are wired and wireless earbuds on this list, but newer models can be completely wire-free. Our current favorite true wireless earbuds, the Sony WF-1000XM3 go one step further, combining truly wireless sound with high quality noise cancelation tech.

If you do opt for wireless or true wireless earbuds, make sure the battery life is up to scratch, otherwise you could find yourself caught short without any music in the middle of your commute. 

Most importantly, they need to sound good. If you’re a dedicated audiophile, look for buds that support Hi-Res Audio codecs like LDAC and aptX HD Bluetooth for stellar connectivity. 


The best earbud and in-ear headphones FAQ: quick questions answered

Which brand’s earphones is the best? That totally depends on what you’re looking for – but we’re careful with our lists. That means all of the earbud and in-ear headphones below come from brands we trust – you can’t go wrong with our picks below.

What are the best cheap earbuds? At least half of the buds in this list are below the $80 / $80 mark, which makes them ideal for those who need a new set of headphones but can’t justify a splurge. We recommend taking a good look at the RHA MA390 Wireless, as well as the 1More Triple Drive In-Ear Headphones. If they’re still too pricey for your current budget, then check out our guide to the best cheap headphones of 2019.

Which is better, earbuds or headphones? It’s up to you. Some people love the feel and immersive sound experience of over-ear headphones, others prefer the freedom and compact size of in-ear headphones and earbuds. It all depends on what your priorities are. 

How do I keep my earbuds from falling out? Although most of the high-end in-ear buds and headphones are designed to stay put, everyone’s ears are different. Which means there’s still a chance they’ll fall out – especially if you’re running or moving. If this keeps happening, we recommend opting for a pair built with sports in mind, these tend to have better support and even a different design that anchors them into your ear better.

Should I buy wireless earphones? Wireless and true wireless earbuds are a great option for those who want to listen to music on the go without the hassle of tangled cables getting in their way. However, some audio purists think that the sound quality afforded by Bluetooth connections still doesn’t compete with traditional wired models.

Best earbuds 2019, at a glance:

  1. 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphone
  2. Sony WF-1000XM3 True Wireless Earbuds
  3. RHA MA390 Wireless
  4. Cambridge Audio Melomania 1
  5. RHA T20i
  6. Optoma NuForce BE Sport4
  7. OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2
  8. Jabra Elite 65t True Wireless
  9. Sennheiser CX Sports Wireless
  10. 1More Quad Driver In-Ear Headphones

Our top earbud picks

What are the best in-ear headphones?

in-ear headphones

(Image credit: 1More)

1. 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphone

Your search for great sounding, good value headphones ends here

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: N/A | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: 20 – 40,000Hz | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 99 dB at 1KHz | Impedance: 32 ohms | Battery life: N/A | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A

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