5 Best Earbuds Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

Since it’s always good to get a personal recommendation, we did some research and pulled out the best earbuds on Amazon, based on actual customer reviews. We looked at which products have the most reviews and highest star ratings to compile this list, which features the earbuds that the greatest numbers of people have been happiest with. We’ve also split them into categories: the ones you’ll need a headphone jack or the beloved dongle for, the wireless Bluetooth earbuds that are still connected with a cord, and the truly wireless earbuds that are as discrete as you can get.

Top 5 Earbuds

$20.00Bestseller No. 1
Apple AirPods with Charging Case
60,837 Reviews
Apple AirPods with Charging Case
  • Automatically on, automatically connected
  • Easy setup for all your Apple devices
Bestseller No. 2
Heavy bass Earphone Color Call with Mic Stereo Earbud Headphones Mixed Colors (Black + White + Pink + Green 4 Pairs)
1,675 Reviews
Heavy bass Earphone Color Call with Mic Stereo Earbud Headphones Mixed Colors (Black + White + Pink + Green 4 Pairs)
  • We have improved the sound quality of the headphones, in order to bring you a better experience.
  • Each package contains 4 headphones in different colors with 3.5 mm standard audio jack. The length...
$7.00Bestseller No. 3
Skullcandy Ink'd Plus In-Ear Earbud - Black
1,392 Reviews
Skullcandy Ink'd Plus In-Ear Earbud - Black
  • Noise isolating fit
  • Call and track control
Bestseller No. 4
Purity True Wireless Earbuds with Immersive Sound, Bluetooth 5.0 Earphones in-Ear with Charging Case Easy-Pairing Stereo Calls/Built-in Microphones/IPX5 Sweatproof/Pumping Bass for Sports,Workout,Gym
8,502 Reviews
Purity True Wireless Earbuds with Immersive Sound, Bluetooth 5.0 Earphones in-Ear with Charging Case Easy-Pairing Stereo Calls/Built-in Microphones/IPX5 Sweatproof/Pumping Bass for Sports,Workout,Gym
  • SUPERIOR SOUND QUALITY- Experience music, movies, podcasts, calls, and more in a whole new way....
  • QUICK PAIRING- Stress-free pairing right out of the charging case. Purity earbuds will give flashing...
$80.00Bestseller No. 5
Wireless Earbuds, ENACFIRE F1 Wireless Earbuds CVC 8.0 Noise Cancellation Apt-X Stereo Sound Wireless Headphones 208H Cycle Playtime IPX8 Waterproof Bluetooth 5.0 Headset
2,326 Reviews
Wireless Earbuds, ENACFIRE F1 Wireless Earbuds CVC 8.0 Noise Cancellation Apt-X Stereo Sound Wireless Headphones 208H Cycle Playtime IPX8 Waterproof Bluetooth 5.0 Headset
  • 【8H Playtime per Charge】ENACFIRE F1 is the wireless earbuds that has the longest playtime...
  • 【Premium Audio Quality】By using the cutting-edge Qualcomm chip, ENACFIRE F1 wireless earbuds...

Earphones vs. Earbuds

If you’re a music lover, chances are you’re not happy with your phone or media player’s bundled earphones. Most of the time, they sound pretty dismal. Some devices don’t come with any earphones at all, but even the models that do include them tend not to offer a high-quality listening experience. Your music and video can definitely benefit from an upgrade.

Technically speaking, earbuds are not earphones, as they don’t enter your ear canal. Instead, they sit just outside of it, where it’s easy to become loose and cause problems when it comes to accurate stereo imaging (in which both ears get the same amount of audio) and bass response. Earphones, meanwhile, fit in the ear canal and form a seal inside your ear, blocking outside noise while piping sound directly into your ears.

That said, the term earbuds have become synonymous with earphones and in-ear headphones, so the difference is ultimately academic. Whatever you call them and whatever they say on the box, you should look for earphones that form a good seal inside your ear with silicone or foam ear tips. They’ll sound much better than plastic-covered drivers cupped against your ear canal.

Wired, Wireless, or Wire-Free?

Earphones can connect to your smartphone through a 3.5mm cable or wirelessly over Bluetooth, depending on the model. Wired earphones are generally less expensive, and you don’t need to worry about keeping them charged. Bluetooth earphones are more convenient because you don’t have to physically connect them to your smartphone, but they need battery power to work. For the most part, you won’t find a 3.5mm port and removable cable on Bluetooth earphones; when they’re out of power, they’re out of commission until you charge them again.

We’re starting to see some very compelling wire-free earphones now, with companies like Bose and JLab offering sets with the power, longevity, and intuitive controls necessary for us to recommend them. Typically wire-free earphones are more expensive than conventional wireless earphones, but if that wire running between the earpieces is a constant nuisance for you, it could be a worthy purchase.

Good for Workouts

Earphones might not be as eye-catching as headphones, but they can be much more convenient. Besides their size and weight, earphones are often more resilient than headphones when dealing with moisture. This is important if you want to listen to music at the gym. Earpads can get soaked and worn with a solid sweat, and they aren’t built to withstand the regular, constant friction that comes with working out. Earphones can be built to be water- and sweat-resistant, and hold up much better to activity.

Not all earphones are workout-friendly, though; don’t assume your earphones will handle what you throw at them unless they’re fitness-oriented earphones, or at least are explicitly listed as water- and sweat-resistant. Really pricey earphones can be as fragile as really pricey headphones, and you don’t want to accidentally ruin a $200 pair with ear sweat.

Caring for Your Earphones

Whichever model you choose, make sure to use the included pouch or carrying case as often as possible in order to preserve the longevity of your earphones. Balling them up, shoving them into a pocket, and then untangling them each time you want to listen does more to wear them out prematurely than just about anything else. For more details, check out 5 Easy Tips to Extend the Life of Your Headphones.

If you don’t want to get tripped up on wires, check out the Best Wireless Headphones. If you place a priority on blocking out external sounds so that you can enjoy your favorite music in peace and quiet, read the Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones. And if you’re shopping on a budget, scan our picks for The Best Headphones Under $50.

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