Your Complete Guide To Buying Earbuds: Everything You Need To Know

By: Editorial Team

Choosing the perfect pair of earbuds can be challenging, with endless options and technical jargon making it a daunting task. Did you know that not all earbuds are created equal, with each type serving distinct needs? Our guide will help unravel this complexity, helping you understand everything about different types of earbuds, what to consider before buying them and which ones suit your specific needs.

Intrigued? Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • There are different types of earbuds to choose from, including wireless, wired, in-ear monitors, and gaming headsets.
  • Consider your preferences and needs before buying earbuds, such as the type of headphones you prefer (wireless or wired), desired audio quality, and the fit that is most comfortable for you.
  • Factors to consider when buying earbuds include audio quality, fit and comfort, features like noise cancellation and water resistance.

Types of Earbuds

A variety of stylishly organized earbuds in a bustling atmosphere.

There are several types of earbuds to choose from, including wireless earbuds, wired earbuds, in-ear monitors, and gaming headsets.

Wireless earbuds

A photo of wireless earbuds surrounded by vibrant nature.

Wireless earbuds are a hit. You don’t need wires to use them. This makes it easy for people on the move. They run off battery power.

Do you want high-quality wireless sound? Brands like Apple, Sony, and Samsung can help. Prices will range from $25 to $400 though so be careful! Battery life is also important in these earbuds.

So is how they charge up after use.

Wired earbuds

A pair of wired earbuds surrounded by musical notes on a wooden table.

Wired earbuds come with a cord that you hook up to your device. They are often cheaper than wireless earbuds. The sound quality of wired earbuds is better than their wireless counterparts.

There’s no battery to worry about, so they will work as long as your device has power.

Linsoul Tin HiFi T4 is the second-best wired earbuds in 2023. But FiiO FD3 Pro topped the list for the best-wired buds this year. These top picks give rich, clear and sharp sounds to enjoy music or movies more.

If you like sports or go out a lot, look for wired earbuds that resist water well. Some have special tips that keep them snug in your ears even when you move a lot. Wired ones may be not as handy but they offer great value for money and top-notch sound! Most gamers prefer these because there’s no delay in sounds coming from their games.

In-ear monitors

A variety of in-ear monitors are surrounded by musical instruments in a bustling atmosphere.

In-ear monitors are special earbuds made for singers and musicians. They fit right into your ear canal. This design helps the user hear better, even in loud places. Many artists use them on stage or in music studios.

These types of earbuds come with two cable styles. You can get them with straight cables or over-ear ones. Both work well but offer a different feel and look. Some people prefer to have their cable go over their ear for added comfort.

You can also ask to have in-ear monitors made just for you! These custom molds will fit your ears perfectly, making sure they don’t fall out while performing live or recording new tracks! They give high-quality sound that other earbuds may not provide.

In short, if you want top-notch audio quality, think about getting in-ear monitors.

Gaming headsets

A collection of gaming headsets displayed on a futuristic gaming setup.

Gaming headsets are an important accessory for gamers. They are designed specifically to enhance the gaming experience by providing high-quality audio and clear communication with other players.

The Razer Hammerhead Hyperspeed is rated as the best overall gaming earbud, offering excellent sound quality and comfortable fit. When choosing a gaming headset, it’s crucial to consider factors like audio quality, comfort, and connectivity options.

Some headsets also come with features like noise cancellation and water resistance, which can be beneficial during intense gaming sessions.

If you’re a gamer looking for a new headset, it’s important to find one that suits your needs and preferences. Whether you prioritize surround sound for immersive gameplay or need a noise-canceling feature to block out distractions, there are options available for every requirement.

What to Consider Before Buying Earbuds

A collection of earbuds and headphones in a variety of styles.

Before purchasing earbuds, it’s important to consider the type of headphones you prefer, whether you want wired or wireless options, the desired audio quality, and the fit that is most comfortable for you.

Type of headphones preferred

When choosing earbuds, it’s important to consider the type of headphones that you prefer. There are a few different options to choose from, including wireless earbuds, wired earbuds, in-ear monitors, and gaming headsets.

Wireless earbuds are great if you like the freedom of movement without any wires getting in your way. Wired earbuds can be more reliable and offer higher audio quality since they don’t rely on a wireless connection.

In-ear monitors are designed for musicians or audiophiles who want precise sound reproduction. Lastly, gaming headsets usually have built-in microphones for clear communication while playing games.

A set of wireless earbuds placed next to a laptop and smartphone.

It’s also important to note that each type of headphone has its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, wireless earbuds may have limited battery life, whereas wired earbuds require a physical connection to your device.

In-ear monitors provide excellent sound isolation but can feel uncomfortable for some people due to their design. Gaming headsets often prioritize comfort and microphone quality over audio fidelity.

Wired or wireless

A variety of electronic devices surrounded by wired and wireless earbuds.

There are two main types of earbuds to choose from: wired or wireless. Wired earbuds have a physical connection to your device using a cord, which can be either detachable or built-in.

This type is great if you prefer simplicity and don’t mind dealing with cords. On the other hand, wireless earbuds give you more freedom of movement because they connect to your device via Bluetooth.

They are usually smaller and more portable than their wired counterparts. However, it’s important to note that wireless earbuds require charging and may have shorter battery life compared to wired ones.

Before deciding between wired or wireless earbuds, think about your needs and preferences. If you enjoy activities like running or working out where wires can get in the way, wireless options might be better for you.

However, keep in mind that losing a small pair of completely wire-free earbuds is easier than misplacing traditional wired ones. Consider how often you’ll need to charge them as well.

Audio quality

A pair of wireless earbuds surrounded by vibrant soundwaves.

Audio quality is a crucial factor to consider when buying earbuds. The way your music, podcasts, or calls sound will depend on the audio capability of the earbuds. It’s important to find a pair that delivers clear and crisp sound with good bass and balanced tones.

Keep in mind that not all earbuds offer the same level of audio quality, so it’s essential to do some research before making a purchase.

When it comes to finding great wireless earbuds with impressive audio quality, you shouldn’t rely solely on looks, price, or brand. Take the time to read reviews and compare different models based on their sound performance.

Some reputable brands are known for producing high-quality earbuds with excellent audio reproduction.

Remember that everyone has different preferences when it comes to sound, so what might be considered great audio quality for one person may not suit another person’s taste. However, by looking for earbuds with positive reviews and reliable testimonials regarding their audio performance, you can increase your chances of finding a pair that offers an immersive listening experience.


A diverse array of earbuds on a colorful background.

Fit is one of the most important considerations when buying earbuds. It determines how comfortable they will feel in your ears and whether they will stay securely in place during use.

When earbuds fit properly, they provide optimal sound quality and prevent any unwanted audio leakage. Perfect fit also ensures that you can wear them for extended periods without discomfort.

It’s important to choose earbuds with different sizes of ear tips or customizable options to find the best fit for your ears.

Remember that everyone’s ears are unique, so what works for one person may not work for another. Take the time to try out different sizes and styles to find the perfect fit for you.

The right fit will enhance your listening experience and make using your earbuds a pleasure rather than a hassle.

Features such as noise cancellation and water resistance

Earbuds on a sandy beach with crashing waves in the background.

Noise cancellation is an important feature in earbuds that helps to block out external noise. This means you can enjoy your music or podcasts without being disturbed by sounds around you, like traffic or conversations.

It creates a more immersive listening experience and allows you to focus on the audio. Additionally, water resistance is another useful feature to consider when buying earbuds. With water-resistant earbuds, you don’t have to worry about sweat or rain damaging them during workouts or outdoor activities.

It provides extra protection and ensures that your earbuds will last longer even in wet conditions.

Best Earbuds for Different Needs

A photo featuring wireless earbuds amidst colorful workout equipment.

Discover the top earbuds for every situation, from workouts to sound quality. Don’t miss out on finding your perfect pair!

Best overall

The best overall choice for earbuds is the Google Pixel Buds A-Series. These wireless earbuds are highly rated for their excellent sound quality and comfortable fit. They have a sleek design and are available in different colors to suit your style.

The Google Pixel Buds A-Series also come with touch controls, making it easy to play or pause music, answer calls, and activate voice assistants like Google Assistant. With a long battery life of up to 24 hours with the charging case, you can enjoy your favorite tunes all day long.

One important fact to note is that the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds offer the best active noise cancellation among all the earphones tested. This means they effectively block out background noise, allowing you to immerse yourself in your music or podcasts without any distractions.

A still life photo featuring high-quality wireless earbuds surrounded by audio equipment and musical notes.

With these noise-canceling earbuds, you can enjoy pure audio bliss even in noisy environments like crowded cafes or airplanes. The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds also deliver impressive sound quality and have a comfortable fit that keeps them securely in place during activities.

Whether you’re listening to music on your daily commute or while working out at the gym, having high-quality earbuds can greatly enhance your audio experience. The Google Pixel Buds A-Series and Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds are top choices when it comes to finding the best overall earbuds that provide great sound quality, comfort, and useful features like touch controls and noise cancellation.

Best noise-canceling

Aerial photograph of headphones submerged in water with splashes.

The Sony WF-1000XM5 is considered the best choice for noise-canceling earbuds in 2023. These earbuds are highly praised for their effective noise-cancellation capabilities, allowing you to enjoy your music without any distractions from the outside world.

They use advanced technology to analyze and block out ambient noises, providing a more immersive listening experience. In addition to their exceptional noise-canceling performance, the Sony WF-1000XM5 also delivers impressive sound quality with rich bass and clear treble.

With long battery life and comfortable fit, these earbuds are perfect for those who want to enjoy their music in peace.

Another top contender in the noise-canceling category is the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds. These earbuds are known for their superior sound quality and excellent noise cancellation. They offer a balanced audio profile with deep, powerful bass and crisp highs that make every song come alive.

The active noise cancellation feature effectively blocks out external noises so you can fully immerse yourself in your favorite tunes or podcasts. Additionally, they have a comfortable fit and long battery life. making them ideal for extended listening sessions or travel purposes.

Best for workouts

A pair of wireless earbuds next to fitness equipment and a towel.

If you’re looking for the best earbuds to use during your workouts, there are a few options that stand out. Wireless earbuds are great because they don’t have any cables getting in your way while you exercise.

One popular choice is the Beats Fit Pro earbuds. They have an IPX4 water resistance rating, which means they can handle sweat and light rain without any issues.

Another option to consider is the JBL Reflect Aero TWS true wireless earbuds. These are specifically designed for workouts and stay securely in place even during intense activities.

They provide a comfortable fit and offer good sound quality so you can enjoy your music while staying active.

For those who prefer on-ear headphones, supra-aural workout headphones are a great choice. They are smaller and lighter than over-ear headphones, making them more suitable for moderate exercise at the gym.

Best for specific phone brands

A variety of phone models surround a pair of earbuds in a busy setting.

If you have a specific phone brand, there are earbuds that are designed to work best with them. For Apple users, the AirPods Pro are a popular choice. They offer excellent sound quality and seamless integration with iPhones.

Sony also has earbuds specifically made for their smartphones, such as the Sony WF-1000XM4. These earbuds have great noise-canceling capabilities and fantastic audio performance.

For those who prefer Samsung phones, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro is a top pick. These earbuds deliver impressive sound quality and come with convenient features like water resistance and touch controls.

Bose offers earbuds that work well with both Android and iOS devices, such as the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds. They provide excellent noise cancellation and a comfortable fit.

Beats by Dre is another brand known for its compatibility with Apple products. The Beats Powerbeats Pro is a favorite among iPhone users, thanks to its secure fit during workouts and powerful sound quality.

Best for sound quality

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are known for their exceptional sound quality. These earbuds provide a dynamic and rich audio experience, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in your favorite music or podcasts.

The bass is deep and powerful, while the treble is clear and crisp. Whether you’re listening to classical music or energetic pop songs, these earbuds deliver impressive sound that will enhance your overall listening experience.

Another great option for excellent sound quality is the Pixel Buds A-Series. Despite their affordable price under $100, these earbuds offer solid sound performance. You’ll enjoy well-balanced audio with good clarity across different frequencies.

From vocals to instrumentals, the Pixel Buds A-Series deliver an enjoyable and immersive sound signature that will make your favorite tunes come alive.

In conclusion, if you prioritize superior sound quality in your earbud purchase, both the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds and the Pixel Buds A-Series are excellent choices that won’t disappoint.


A pair of high-quality wireless earbuds on a modern desk.

In conclusion, this guide has provided you with all the information you need to make an informed decision when buying earbuds. Whether you prefer wireless or wired, noise-canceling or for workouts, this guide has covered it all.

Remember to consider factors such as audio quality, fit, and features before making your purchase. Happy shopping!


1. What does ANC mean in earbuds?

ANC means Active Noise Cancellation. Earbuds with ANC can cut off outside noise, so you can only hear your music.

2. How do earbuds with ANC work?

Earbuds with ANC use a special tech to block unwanted sound. You get clear audio from your device and no other sounds around you.

3. Are all earbuds made with ANC?

No, not all earbuds come with the ANC feature. Some might have it, while others will not.

4. Why should I buy earbuds with ANC?

You should buy them if you like to listen to music or watch movies without any noise around you.