The best earbuds are ones that you forget are even in your ear. The technology has changed drastically over the past decade. Earbuds are now more comfortable than ever, provide better sound, and are even wireless! Some form of headphones are essential for working from home. But earbuds provide a lightweight and highly mobile option to your work from home setup. Here are our favorites.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of Apple’s AirPods. Like most of their physical devices, Apple’s AirPods are well designed and very easy to set up. Their tap/touch controls are also very nice so that you can start/stop sound with just a tap on one of the pods. We also love that they are wireless and charge very quickly – 25 minutes of charging gets you a full day’s charge!
The Apple AirPods Pro are the top tier set of earbuds on the market today. This set comes with a charging pack that will give you 24 hours of battery life. The different sizes of silicone tips are also nice to make sure it has the perfect fit and contour to your ear. Their tap/touch controls make it super easy/fast to use. The noise cancelling technology makes these our premium choice!
Apple’s EarPods are a very simple yet effective take on earbuds. They are contoured very well to fit comfortably in your ear – something that most circular earbuds struggle with. Their sound quality is excellent, and the built-in speaker + remote makes it easy for you to speak and control sound while on the move.
The Back Bay Audio American EQ 40 are great because they offer an earbuds solution that can be wired or wireless. This is especially nice if you are running low on batteries but need to take a call on them – just plug in the headphone auxiliary cable and you are all set. They are also great for the gym or workouts with their attached fin for extra stabilization around the ear.
Amazon’s Echo Buds are a great pair of wireless earbuds that also come standard with Alexa voice control. They are built using Bose’s noise cancelling technology. Although they are made by Amazon, they will also support Siri and Google voice assistants. A quick charge of 15 minutes will give you two hours of playback time if you’re in a pinch.
If you rely on Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant for work and want noise cancelling headphones, voice control, and an affordable product then the Echo Buds will work very well for you. The product itself is a combination of sleek hardware and integrated software. On the hardware side the Buds are light, comfortable, water resistant, and enable voice controls. The long-lasting battery is another big plus; you can work from home without thinking about constantly recharging your headphones.
Jabra’s Elite 75t earbuds are known for their excellent fit inside the ear canal which has a great impact on the overall sound quality. Coupled with a very high playback per charge at 7.5 hours, these earbuds are some of the best on the market and are Apple’s closest competitors to their wireless airpods.
If you like Jabra earbuds but don’t want to break the bank, the Jabra Elite 65t earbuds might be best for you. These offer similar features to their premium counterpart, but with a lower battery life at 5 hours of playback per charge. Their fit and contour are also an older design and not as comfortable as the 75t series.
JLab’s Jbuds Air earpods are a very affordable priced set of wireless, bluetooth enabled earbuds. They have a very good battery life and come standard with a built-in mic (just like all of our recommended earbuds). These buds also come with Signature, Balanced and Bass Boost sound modes for different types of sound when listening to music.
Panasonic’s ErgoFit earbuds are well designed and contoured for the ear and to output excellent sound quality. These come with an extended 3.6 foot coord. The biggest selling point on these headphones: they are incredibly cheap but get the job done if you don’t want any added bells and whistles.
LETSCOM’s bluetooth earbuds are wired meets wireless. While both earbuds attach with a wire, the set of buds are wireless and connect through bluetooth to your device. They are water-resistant, sweat-resistant, and fit very well on the ear, making them great for workouts. These offer another affordable option to folks who don’t want to break the bank.
Buyers Guide To The Best Earbuds
Earbud technology is rapidly growing from a variety of different product brands these days. The basic marketplace trends include implementing more wireless technology, noise cancelling technology, improved sound quality, and overall comfort. Thus, it is becoming more compelling to purchase them for your everyday lifestyle and work needs. Many people opt to get rid of their larger over the ear headphones and only go with earbuds these days.
Our site and blog content focuses on all things working from home. However, our buyer’s guide on earbuds will make sure to cover lifestyle needs as well. Since they are so pervasive in everyday life, we thought it important to do so. So if you’re a runner, audiophile, or alexa user, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Here is what we look for in our headphone reviews:
Wired vs Wireless
The biggest distinction to make between wired and wireless earbuds is that wireless ones will need constant charging. It’s quite simple, if they run out of battery charge, they won’t work until you recharge them again. Wired earbuds connect over a 3.5mm cable to your device’s headphone port. If you have an apple iphone, you will need their wired earbuds which have an iPhone specific input jack. Or, you will need an adapter handy to use with normal headphone input jacks. The amount of battery life between different wireless earbuds varies. That being said, they are all somewhere in the ballpark of between five to eight hours of listening time and roughly two hours of talk time. This means that for people who are on a lot of calls, you may need to charge your wireless earbuds multiple times a day.
Also worth stating the obvious here: wired earbuds are almost always less expensive than wireless ones.
Microphones And Sound Quality
Not all earbuds come with built-in mics. Since working from home is our main focus, we only reviewed and ranked earbuds with this technology. And just like our review of over the ear headphones, we gave preferential treatment to those that incorporated outside noise reducing technology on their mics.
Sound quality is obviously essential to a good pair of any listening device. With earbuds, there are two main factors that contribute to their sound quality. These are the sound technology in which they are built with, and their fit inside your ear. If your earbuds are out of place just a little bit, that will compromise the sound fidelity and allow some sound to escape. For true audiophiles, there are headphones that specifically boost bass sounds, have higher decibel level outputs, and can handle higher frequencies. We stayed clear of these add-ons for the most part and focused on the nuts and bolts instead.
Comfort And Fit For Your Lifestyle
Earbuds are generally made with silicone tips that don’t irritate the ear. The better fitting ones are contoured in such a way to fit snug into the average person’s ear canal. Our favorite and best ranking earbuds are the ones that work well for you in your home office, but can also double for a run or at the gym.
If you are specifically looking for ones that are great for workouts, we recommend the Apple Airpods Pro because of their superior fit into your ear canal, or other earbuds with built-in fins that contours around the ear and holds them in place very well.
Storing Your Earbuds
Earbuds are fairly durable. However, the single most likely cause to decrease their overall sound quality or performance is by not treating them with care when they are not in use. If you opt for wireless earbuds, you should always store them in their charging case when not in use. And if you opt for wired earbuds, try to avoid just shoving them in your pocket all the time and letting the cord get tangled. Investing in a small pouch will help them stay cleaner and not pick up little pieces of lint from your pockets. If they get any earwax buildup, we recommend reading the specific brand’s product instructions on the best ways to clean it out.
Overall, you should figure out what you want to optimize for and make your buying decision based off of that. If you don’t care about having a cord and don’t intend to workout with earbuds on, there are plenty of very affordable options for less than 30$. If you are looking for additional features such as a highly contoured fit, better noise cancelling technology, and bluetooth connections, the price will start to increase for you. Good luck! We’d love to hear what your primary thoughts are when shopping for headphones and what you ended up choosing!