Best Earbuds in 2021 (March Reviews)

Jason Loomis
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I love the quality of music when I listen to my favorite song via headphones, but I was not happy about the fact that I could not share my music with others while on a train or anywhere else for that matter.

I needed good headphones for everyday use, but it would be nice if they worked as wireless earbuds as well.

That’s why I researched some of the best wireless earbuds available on the market.

I were also open to alternative earbuds, such as the Apple earbuds (which were just simply not good enough for me compared to the Bose earbuds), so I included them in my research, as well as earbuds that you can connect to your laptop or TV (good when disco dancing at home). I’ve got them all in my Best Earbuds in 2021 Review & Buyer’s Guide.

Other than reading my review, you might also find some earbud buying tips useful at the bottom of the page:

NameCategoryProduct
Shure SE215-K Professional Sound Isolating EarphonesBest OverallShure SE215-K Professional Sound Isolating Earphones
Jaybird X2 Wireless Sweat-Proof Micro-Sized Bluetooth Sport HeadphonesBudget PickJaybird X2 Wireless Sweat-Proof Micro-Sized Bluetooth Sport Headphones
Shure SE846-CL Professional Sound Isolating EarphonesUpgrade PickShure SE846-CL Professional Sound Isolating Earphones

1. Shure SE215-K Professional Sound Isolating Earphones

Our rating: 9 / 10

Shure SE215-K Professional Sound Isolating Earphones

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Pros:

  • Sleek ergonomic design
  • Attractive packaging
  • Lightweight and comfortable fit
  • Impressive audio quality
  • Great at blocking out external noise
  • Extra set of tips included
  • No cables, which means you’re not always worried you’ll break it
  • 12-month audio warranty

Cons:

  • No volume control button
  • A bit expensive
  • Not the greatest design
  • May not fit everyone

Shure SE215-K Professional Sound Isolating Earphones offer the best audio quality in our review roundup for a small price.

They come with 9 mm drivers, which deliver a rich base and high highs, along with a neutral midrange. They’re very comfortable to wear, thanks to their oval-shaped tips and lightweight body.

These earbuds offer a non-reflective matte finish and come equipped with a lightning connector.

2. Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

Our rating: 8 / 10

Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

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Pros:

  • Great noise-canceling function
  • Long battery life (20 hours)
  • Excellent audio quality
  • Comfortable fit

Cons:

  • Not waterproof
  • Lacks bass
  • You’ll need to get used to wearing them

Bose QuietComfort 20 headphones are wireless and are compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. They feature Apple’s Bluetooth technology, which makes them extremely easy to set up and use. They come with a carrying case and a cable to hang the headphones around your neck when not in use.

This pair of headphones is fantastically designed and built to last. The build quality is fantastic and the sleek, low-profile design gives the headphones a premium look. The ear cups are comfortable; there’s plenty of padding on the underside of each one. The headphones look like they’re made of metal, but the material is actually plastic. In terms of size, the Bose QuietComfort 20 have a slim, compact design.

The QuietComfort 20 headphones come with a built-in microphone. It’s crystal-clear and works well for making calls.

3. Shure SE535-V Sound Isolating Earphones

Our rating: 8 / 10

Shure SE535-V Sound Isolating Earphones

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Pros:

  • The headphones are pricey but amongst the best earbuds in 2020
  • They offer solid noise isolation
  • The lightweight design feels much lighter than its competitors
  • These are considered some of the top-earphones in the market, but they are not the best when it comes to hearing.
  • The music quality is crisp and smooth
  • The secure fit ensures the earbuds stay in place and don’t fall out
  • The earbuds offer a great soundstage

Cons:

  • Some users have reported a squeaking noise during playback
  • The earphones are relatively bulky
  • The customer service has been given low ratings for these earbuds
  • Sound leakage is pretty average

4. Shure SE846-CL Professional Sound Isolating Earphones

Our rating: 8 / 10

Shure SE846-CL Professional Sound Isolating Earphones

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Pros:

  • Great sound quality
  • Best comfort you’ve ever experienced
  • Sturdy build meant to last

Cons:

  • A bit bulky
  • Average lifespan
  • Heavy cable

Shure’s SE846 earphones provide fantastic sound quality that remains consistent at different volume levels. While the subwoofer isn’t actually a full subwoofer, the dual-diaphragm True Subwoofer provides a good amount of low-end bass response.

The earphones come with 4 silicone eartips that include three sizes and feature memory wire for the most secure fit you’ve ever experienced in a pair of earphones. Shure also provides a safe-hearing guarantee – basically, if you feel that your hearing has been compromised to any degree, they’ll make good on it. I know I’d feel a lot more at ease with taking the risk of exposing my ears to damaging music while using earphones.

5. Shure SE425-V Sound Isolating Earphones

Our rating: 7 / 10

Shure SE425-V Sound Isolating Earphones

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Pros:

  • Exceptional sound quality
  • Very comfortable for the average listener
  • Very lightweight
  • Attractive and durable design
  • Detachable cable
  • Each earpiece can be connected to its own device
  • Secure, comfortable and noise isolating fit
  • Detailed, clear sound

Cons:

  • The bass may be a touch too emphasized for those who like to listen to a finer balance of frequencies
  • Smaller earbuds are known to have a shorter lifespan compared to others
  • They may fall out for those with bigger ears

The Shure SE425-V is a phenomenal set of earbuds that is sure to impress even the most discerning listeners with its remarkable performance. Despite their affordable price, these earbuds were designed and crafted with style and substance – something that is hard to find in this price range.

The Shure SE425-V was designed to fit most people thanks to its customizable 10-sets of silicone ear tips, as well as two different styles of foam ear tips. It also comes with 3 pairs of silicone earhooks to accommodate for those with bigger ears since this is where most in-ear headphones tend to have the most trouble fitting.

6. V-MODA Zn In-Ear Modern Audiophile Headphones

Our rating: 7 / 10

V-MODA Zn In-Ear Modern Audiophile Headphones

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Pros:

  • Great sound
  • 30 days money back guarantee
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Sweat-proof

Cons:

  • The microphone quality is not the best, but adequate
  • Not the most comfortable

The V-MODA Zn In-Ear Modern Audiophile Headphones with microphone are the most attractive, expensive, and stylish headphones I've ever seen. So modern that it's unbelievable, it's a masterpiece of industrial design.

They look and feel expensive, and they have special features that make them very desirable. They use the MMCX connectors which are very good quality, they look really cool, they're also easy to use and they feel really nice.

The sound quality of these headphones is literally perfect. The sound is so clear, and balanced. They literally sound like they don't have any drivers in them. And the bass is not really what you'd expect from in-ear headphones. These are almost studio monitor quality sounding. Almost like you put a studio speaker right inside your ears.

7. Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear

Our rating: 7 / 10

Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear

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Pros:

  • Awesome sound quality
  • Fantastic design
  • Tangle free cords
  • Comfortable fit
  • Great noise isolation and noise cancellation
  • Affordable
  • Built with quality materials and excellent craftsmanship

Cons:

  • The length of the cords could be longer
  • Not waterproof
  • Due to the high bass levels, we feel the quality of sound could be better, but at this price, it’s still great

The all new Sennheiser Momentum earbuds puts you in a new world of sound with its new hybrid active/passive noise cancelation system.

What that means is you’ll get unmatched levels of comfort and active noise cancellation (ANC), all within a lightweight design. The in-ear design uses Ergonomic Acoustic Refinement (E.A.R) technology, which creates a perfect seal in your ear without feeling trapped or having to mess with wires or the length.

The Momentum In Ear has a portable design that makes it easy to take your music on the go. The three button inline remote (one on-off, two volume) and mic will allow you to control the music, calls, and even voice assistant features easily.

8. Jaybird X2 Wireless Sweat-Proof Micro-Sized Bluetooth Sport Headphones

Our rating: 7 / 10

Jaybird X2 Wireless Sweat-Proof Micro-Sized Bluetooth Sport Headphones

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Pros:

  • Perfect for wireless sports and fitness
  • Great sound quality
  • Sweat-proof feature keeps them from getting damaged in the gym or outdoors
  • Comfortable
  • Perfectly designed case to charge ear buds and store extra tips
  • Five different sizes of secure fit ear tips
  • Great battery life
  • Incredible noise isolation
  • Charges quickly
  • Music and call controls easy to operate

Cons:

  • Noise isolation feature makes it hard to hear external sounds
  • Sound quality may be lacking for some
  • Difficult to store in small carrying cases
  • Eartips tend to fall out of ears
  • Fit is less secure

The best new design in the wireless earbuds is by far the Jaybird X2 Bluetooth Earbuds. These comfortable wireless earbuds offer excellent battery life – you can use them for 8 hours before you need to recharge them.

9. RHA T10i High Fidelity

Our rating: 5 / 10

RHA T10i High Fidelity

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10. Shure SE315-CL Sound Isolating Earphones

Our rating: 5 / 10

Shure SE315-CL Sound Isolating Earphones

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Pros:

  • Truly wireless earbuds
  • Great sound
  • Lightweight
  • Long battery life
  • Waterproof

Cons:

  • Bulky charging case
  • Persistent connectivity issues
  • Average microphone
  • Pricey
  • Bass can be muddy

If you want the best-sounding true wireless earbuds, the Shure SE315-CL delivers. Sound quality is awesome for casual listening, and the bass is full-bodied and deep for a wireless earbuds.

The combined fit and comfort of the earbuds are pretty good. Not the best, but better than other models.

The removable ear and wing tips are also far better than you’d expect.

11. RHA T20

Our rating: 5 / 10

RHA T20

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Pros:

  • The most comfortable earbuds we’ve ever used
  • Great noise isolation
  • Crisp and clean sound with a warm bass

Cons:

  • A little on the pricey side
  • You’ll need to replace the earbuds’ silicone smallest

The RHA T20i Engineered In-Ear Monitors are hands down the most comfortable earbuds we’ve ever worn. They fit inside your ear perfectly so they don’t seem to have any weight attached. We’ve worn them for hours – even forgetting that we had them on.

Thanks to the unique design of the earbuds, these keep out the ambient noise without sacrificing audio quality.

If you’re looking for a crisper sound with a higher emphasis on mids and highs, we recommend the RHA T20i. This is ideal for electronic dance music genres. The higher emphasis on mids and highs translates to better instrument separation.

12. Etymotic Research HF5 Noise-Isolating In-Ear Earphones

Our rating: 4 / 10

Etymotic Research HF5 Noise-Isolating In-Ear Earphones

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Pros:

  • Great value for the price
  • Best for electronic, rock, classical and other acoustics
  • No rolling off the top
  • Overall very clear sound with no unwanted background sounds

Cons:

  • Doesn’t look expensive
  • Short cord
  • Cord is not very flexible

The Etymotic Research HF5 is the kind of headphone that you can wear for hours due to the great fit. They are made for people with small ears because they provide a perfect fit. The sound quality is also very good, but don’t expect headphones on the same level as the Shure SE535, Sennheiser IE80 or other expensive headphones.

In my opinion, this pair of headphones is ideal for electronic, rock, classical, and other acoustic sounds.

Another benefit is that they don’t have any kind of rolling off the top (treble), which makes listening to some songs unbearable. So, the last thing to mention is the overal clear sound with no unwanted background sounds. The only real downside of this pair of headphones is that they don’t look very expensive, so don’t expect to impress anybody with them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the best true wireless earbuds 2021?

Best true wireless earbuds in 2021 can be found here.

What are the best earbuds for sound quality?

A lot of high-end earbuds in our reviews have a tendency to leave the bass lacking. This is somewhat common, as going for a big bass sound can and will muddy the sound spectrum and cause middling sounds to be less important.

The best sound quality earbuds tend to be the ones that keep the entire spectrum of sound levels even and balanced. These ones, then, have a tendency to be more neutral-sounding as they don’t sacrifice the highs, mids, or lows. These tend to be the least flashy earbuds with a very balanced and accurate sound. They are far less likely to draw your attention by being too deep or high in the sound spectrum, and thus less likely to cause discomfort.

Which company earbuds is best?

Logitech, V-Moda, MEElectronics, TaoTronics, Sony, Etymotic, Brainwavz, Rocketek, Symphonized, Photive, Trust.

Which model is best?

MEElectronics M6, Sony MDR-XB300, Symphonized NRG 3.0, Etymotic ER6I, Logitech UE6000

Which wireless earbuds have the best microphone?

Conclusion

The Etymotic ER4PT is the best earbud in the market in September of 2016, considering performance and price ratio. It is highly durable and it needs very little care to work well.

If you are looking for great performance at a higher price, then the Klipsch X5 M would be the ideal choice for you. It can deliver richer sound quality and it is ultra comfortable.

You also get the Klipsch Image S4i, which offers a more balanced sound for those who want a cheaper device than the 2 earphones mentioned above.

Below are the other earphones we have considered and discarded when making our recommendations.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Shure SE215-K Professional Sound Isolating EarphonesBest OverallShure SE215-K Professional Sound Isolating Earphones
Jaybird X2 Wireless Sweat-Proof Micro-Sized Bluetooth Sport HeadphonesBudget PickJaybird X2 Wireless Sweat-Proof Micro-Sized Bluetooth Sport Headphones
Shure SE846-CL Professional Sound Isolating EarphonesUpgrade PickShure SE846-CL Professional Sound Isolating Earphones