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Top 13 Best Wired Earbuds In 2023 Review

Music, podcasts, videos – it seems like there is an infinite range of things to listen to all around us. But most of the time, whether you’re working out, at work, or even taking a call, you want to keep your sounds to yourself.

You need earphones!

While headphones and earphones come in a wide variety of types, today, we’re going to focus on the little unobtrusive ones that hide in your ears, plus the ones that you don’t need to keep charging.

So, join us as we test out some of the best wired earbuds out there and find the perfect pair for you…

Best Wired Earbuds

Top 13 Best Wired Earbuds In 2023 Reviews

  1. Sony – MDRXB55AP Wired Extra Bass Earbud – Best Low Cost Wired Earbuds
  2. Moondrop – Starfield IEMs – Best Wired IEMs
  3. Final Audio – A4000 – Best Value for Money Wired Earbuds
  4. Campfire Audio – Holocene IEMs – Best Premium Wired Earbuds
  5. Etymotic – ER2XR – Best Affordable Wired Earbuds
  6. Shure SE215 – Best Wired Earbuds with Replaceable Cables
  7. SoundMagic E11C – Best Wired Earbuds with Inline Controls
  8. Shure SE425 – Best Premium Wired Earbuds
  9. Monoprice Triple Driver – Best Wired Earbuds for High End
  10. Status Audio IEM-2X – Best Value for the Money Wired Earbuds
  11. Beats by Dr. Dre UrBeats3 – Best Wired Earbuds for Bass
  12. JBL Tune 210 – Best Budget Wired Earbuds
  13. 1More 1M301 – Best Low Cost Wired Earbuds

1 Sony – MDRXB55AP Wired Extra Bass Earbud – Best Low Cost Wired Earbuds

Sony’s been a big hitter for years, and people gravitate toward the name because it’s always a safe bet. Despite making some of the best wireless earbuds and headphones out there, they’re still putting out wired sets like the 55APs. 

Inside the box…

…you’ll find four sizes of ear tips and a nice carrying pouch for the earphones. The design of the 55APs is by no means sleek or minimalist, but they manage to remain understated enough so as not to be grotesque. They are available in Black, Blue, and Red. 

The build quality is as good as you’d expect from Sony, plastic does feature largely, but the earphones do come in at under $30, so you can’t expect lights and a spoiler. The rubberized cable is covered in some kind of rugged plastic sleeve that makes it more durable, but I would still have liked a braided cable as there are competitors that offer this in the same price range. 

90-degree…

The 55APs is equipped with a 90-degree jack which to some users is a big plus but, to most, will be an irritation. That being said, it won’t go getting frayed and torn nearly as quickly as its straight counterparts.

It is in the controls department that the 55APs lose the most points, there is a single button on the back of the microphone for answering calls, and that’s it. Again I reiterate that we are in the sub $30 range, but even then, a simple volume rocker with track-skipping functionality would have been nice; even the pair of earphones that came with my smartphone has that. 

Wearing the 55APs for hours would not be a problem; despite their size, they are very lightweight and sit very comfortably in the ear. I would recommend trying all the sizes of ear tips, though. Once they’re in, you can feel free to go running or to the gym with them. 

Great sound, considering the price…

Sound Quality is where it counts most for a lot of users, and the 55Aps do not disappoint. Previous models by Sony that were marketed as having “extra bass” tended to have a signature that emphasized the bass to such a degree that the rest of the frequencies were drowned. This is not the case with the 55APs.

The low end is most definitely enhanced, but it is tastefully done; the sound is sculpted rather than merely boosted. You’re not going to be impressed if you’re a bass-head, but it’s definitely pleasing across all genres. The 12mm driver means there’s plenty of volume, and while the mids don’t sound enhanced, they are clear and up-front where they should be; sometimes neutral is best.

The high end is the only area where the 55APs are lacking a bit; at high volumes, the treble side can sound weak and recessed; it’s not that things get lost; they’re just not as present as they ought to be. 

Pick somewhere quiet…

The microphone quality on the 55APs is decent enough, and you’ll have no problem having phone calls. The lack of noise canceling means you’ll have to pick your spots, though. 

Sony - MDRXB55AP Wired Extra Bass Earbud
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Comfortable
  • Well made
  • Balanced sound signature
  • Carrying pouch included
  • Three colors to choose from

Cons

  • Weak sounding highs
  • Lack of a braided cable
  • No volume controls

2 Moondrop – Starfield IEMs – Best Wired IEMs

These days, if you’re budget is around $100, a lot of users and even pros are suggesting that you get IEMs instead of headphones. The Starfield IEMs by Moondrop certainly make a strong case for this. 

Premium price = premium quality…

Right off the bat, the Starfields look and feel absolutely premium. The striking blue paint job with the grey branding and graphics exude an air of money well spent. The die-cast shells are made from Zinc Aluminum alloy, which brings two things to mind, high performance and durability. The Starfields don’t just look the part; at nine grams each, they feel it when you hold them in your hand as well. 

As far as fit and comfort, the Starfields are very nice fitting and comfortable IEMs. Despite the weight, they are well-designed, so they don’t feel cumbersome or awkward. You’re not going to do jumping jacks with these, mind you, but that’s not what they’re for anyway. Long sessions of recording and editing will be no problem, though. 

Not sure about the cable?

The only aspect in terms of design that I will deduct points for is the cable. Despite all the hype about how much better it’s supposed to sound and how great the matching color scheme is, the fine braiding looks like it won’t stand up to wear and tear very well. 

The materials are top-notch, don’t get me wrong, it’s just the thin ropey design that might cause problems. There is an over-ear kink that will be a plus to many users and a nuisance to others; I found it to be no problem. The cable terminates at a 90-degree angle on a 3.5mm jack. 

In the box, you get six pairs of tips to allow any user to find their perfect fit, a well-made zippered storage case, six replacement mesh filter grills, a set of tweezers, and the manual.

What about the sound?

When it comes to how the Starfields sound, my overall impression is that if you’re looking for the best all-round wired earbuds, these are very hard to beat. This might sound like a bit of a boast, but here’s why.

When you’re in the $100 price range, you often get a sound signature that emphasizes one or more of the frequency ranges. While this might be pleasing in some cases, it does unbalance the sound and makes for inaccurate monitoring. 

The Starfields, however, are impeccably balanced. The overall signature never sounds dull or overly sharp. There’s enough bass to be respectable, but don’t go thinking it’s going to satisfy your needs if you’re looking to get into the Sub-bass frequencies. 

And the mids and high frequencies?

The mids are where the Starfields really shine, they never get a buddy or dirty, and the middle section has a fullness that makes it very three-dimensional. Long story short, the mids never sound anything other than bang-on.

The most sensitive response for the IEMs is in the treble ranges, but there is just enough of a roll-off to make them sound well-rounded, even at high volumes. 

The soundstage is not the widest in the world, but definitely wide enough to create a sense of immersion. The separation of elements, however, is absolutely fantastic, and every single sound can be placed from left to right with the point of a finger. Some users might want a bit more depth in the forward and backward space, but for that, you’ll have to increase your budget significantly. 

Fantastic value…

Overall I cannot recommend Starfields enough as an allrounder that will give superb results in this price range. They sound excellent, and they’ll last as long as you take care of them. They would undoubtedly be the best value wired earbuds you could buy if it wasn’t for the next set I tested…

Moondrop - Starfield IEMs
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Well priced
  • Well built
  • Stunning paint job
  • Carry case and accessories 
  • Fantastic sound quality
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Cable design 

3 Final Audio – A4000 – Best Value for Money Wired Earbuds

Final Audio is coming up on twenty years in the business, and if you ask me, they’ve spent that time very well. The vast majority of users are impressed with their models right across the board. 

Designed and constructed with care…

One thing that users have pointed out is that even the lower-priced models feel like a lot of effort went into them. At around $150, the A4000s are by no means in the premium price category, but I can say that they feel and sound like an obsessed team of scientists made them. 

As mentioned before, consistency is something Final Audio has become known for, and this applies not only to quality but design and functionality as well. 

The A4000s come in sleek white packaging with a velvety black interior that other models do. You’ll find the earphones inside the sturdy rubberized carrying case. Feel like Batman already? 

Stealthy design…

Once you take the A4000s out of the case and look at them, you’ll understand why I made the Batman joke; though I’m sure Darth Vader would approve as well, a stealth fighter also comes to mind. 

Jokes aside, the sleek geometric design is modern and understated but still eye-catching once you rest your eyes on them. Final Audio doesn’t need to do branding or logos when they have such a distinct design aesthetic. 

Build quality on the A4000s is on par with the best out there if you ask me, and the rubberized cable ends in a 90degree 3.5mm jack. The fit is comfortable ad very secure thanks to the over-ear design of the two-pin cable. If you want to hit the gym or go for a run, don’t worry about these falling out. There are five sizes of ear tips included, and they even come in their own handy carry case. 

They sound like they look…

A 6mm driver might seem like bringing a knife to a gunfight when you look at the driver sizes of the competition, but the A4000s are deadly enough. There’s plenty of power, and it gets delivered well.

The sound signature will appear pretty neutral when you first start listening to songs, and this is because that is the intent of the A4000s. Nothing will jump out at you at first unless the source was mixed to do so. 

The frequency is well-represented, and you don’t get the sense that anything is getting muddied or lost. They’re not what you would describe as Bass heavy, but there is a definite warmness and presence. The low end also retains its integrity well at high volumes. 

What about higher up the frequency range?

The mids are full and rich, with the lower mids being very punchy without getting muddy. The higher mids are enhanced but not harsh or sharp in any way. The treble end is perfectly smoothed out, and there’s just enough sparkle to make them clear and striking but never sibilant or sharp. 

The soundstage and separation are where the A4000s really shine, in my opinion. The rating I would give for the sound stage is far above average when compared to others in the price range. The separation is superb, so nothing gets lost, even in the widest mixes. 

Overall the A4000s are easily some of the most appealing wired earphones within this price range at the moment. 

Final Audio - A4000
Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Pros

  • Well priced
  • Well built
  • Carrying case and ear tips
  • Comfortable
  • Great sound
  • Amazing value for money

Cons

  • Braided cable would have been nice 
  • No controls for pause, play/skip, etc

4 Campfire Audio – Holocene IEMs – Best Premium Wired Earbuds

Around $650 is a lot for a pair of IEMs, and it makes the Holocene one of Campfire’s most expensive models. Luckily though, the money is well spent, as one would come to expect from Campfire Audio. 

So, what’s included?

As usual, the distinctive packaging houses a pair of IEMS with a cable, some drawstring pouches for accessories, and a nice carrying case. The case is made by Sequal Yarn which is an initiative started to fight against marine plastic pollution.

Inside the drawstring pouch, you’ll find four sizes of ear-tips that come in both silicone and foam for a total of eight pairs. There is also a small brush for cleaning.

The IEMs are in the usual geometric shape that Campfire users should know and love; if it works, why change it, right? The soft, metallic brow color is in contrast to the bright colors Campfire usually puts out, but the IEMs look no less pleasing for it. And as with the other high-end models from Campfire, parts of the cable will glow in the dark to make finding the IEMs in the dark a bit easier. 

Stays in place…

Despite the size and weight of the Holocenes they make for a very comfortable and secure fit. It might take you some time to get the right size tip, but as soon as you’ve got them adjusted, they will stay there till removed with no problem.

When you start playing the first tune through the Holocenes, you will immediately know where that cash has gone to. Just a warning to new users, these are some very loud IEMS, so don’t go being brave when you fire them up for the first time. 

Sound signature…

The low end is by no means enhanced, so bass-heads will probably want to look elsewhere for their fix, but if you still want the low end with integrity and all its parts there, then these will do just fine. 

The mid-range is where the most sculpting has taken place, and it has been very beneficial. The high mids have a few pointed, narrow cuts in a few strategic places to remove any unwanted harshness from the mid-range. In turn, these cuts make the lower mids that much warmer and more pleasing to the ear.

As far as the high end is concerned, you will notice a definite brightness; I say bright and not harsh for a reason. There is a prominent enhancement in the high end, but it manages to just stay behind the line that crosses over into undue resonance and sharpness. 

They just got it right…

Overall the frequency response is superb, and you don’t have to worry about anything ever getting lost. 

Soundstage and separation are probably where the Holocenes will impress listeners most. The soundstage is tremendously wide and had great depth as well. No matter how large the mix, these bad boys will ensure that nothing gets lost in the mix. Picking apart the different sonic elements is as simple as closing your eyes and pointing. 

Campfire Audio - Holocene IEMs
Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Pros

  • Superb build quality
  • Great sound
  • Glow in the dark cable
  • Accessories 

Cons

  • Expensive

5 Etymotic – ER2XR – Best Affordable Wired Earbuds

And finally, in my rundown of the Best Wired Earbuds, the ER2XRs are the more toned-down version of Etymotic’s flagship ER4s, but they are well worth a serious look. They come in at around $100, which makes them far from premium priced. 

What’s in the box?

Well, you get the IEMS, a nice carrying pouch, and some extra ear tips that come in foam and silicone. There is also a plastic fastening clip to secure the cable when in use.

The ER2s are well made, but the rubbery feeling cable and super lightweight do make them feel a bit flimsy when compared to some other options around. 

Extended tips…

When it comes to the fit, you will either love the extended tips, or you’ll hate them. I was able to wear them for extended periods without any discomfort while testing them, so I’d say that the long tip issue isn’t a problem, but it might be for some users. 

Despite being the budget option from Etymotic, the ER2s seem to have a bit more depth than their more expensive counterparts. The higher-end models tended to produce a more two-dimensional image of all the elements, whereas the ER2s create a better sense of not only left and right but also foreground and background as well. 

Nicely balanced for the price…

As far as frequency response, you’ll find the ER2s to be well representative of all the frequencies. The low end is nice and full but will by no means satisfy a bass-head. The mids are where the IEMs shine most, and vocals are a particular treat to listen to. The highs can seem subdued at times, but this might be more a matter of taste than fact. Overall I cannot fault the way these IEMS sound. 

Etymotic - ER2XR
Our rating:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Decent sound
  • Secure fit
  • Great soundstage

Cons

  • Rubber cable feels cheap
  • The fit might be a problem for some

6 Shure SE215 – Best Wired Earbuds with Replaceable Cables

Colors: Black, Blue, White, and Clear

Shure has two entries on our list, and they’re both a bit pricey. But with the SE215 pair at a little more than a third of our priciest entry, they’re still pretty economical.

Let’s look at their features…

These earbuds have plastic housings that angle into your ears. They come with three sizes (S, M, L) of flexible silicone and three sizes of black foam tips, so you can find a very specific and comfortable, personalized fit.

Shure claims passive sound isolation of up to 37 dB of ambient noise. We tested all our earbuds out the same way – in a busy office, and while playing a drum kit, loud! With a tight fit, we were impressed with the noise isolation and were able to hear our tunes even over the drums (a little, anyway).

Stay where they should…

Designed to fit on behind and hook over your ears, the cable keeps in place perfectly, though some people might not find that positioning comfortable. This is a reinforced, tangle-resistant cable that fits to a 1/8” (3.5mm) standard jack.

However, a very fancy feature of the Shure earbuds is that the cable is replaceable. This means you can change it if it ever gets damaged, switch it to a Lightning connector for Apple products, or replace it with a cable with a mic and in-line controls. Yes, those are unfortunately lacking on these earbuds.

Solid sounding…

Finally, for sound, we think these earphones are solid. They have a frequency range of 22 Hz – 17.5 kHz, so you’ll miss out on some low lows and some of the ultra high end, but what was left was clear and smooth.

Not bad!

Shure SE215
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Decent passive noise isolation.
  • Replaceable, good-quality cables.

Cons

  • A bit pricey.
  • Not the best frequency range.

7 SoundMagic E11C – Best Wired Earbuds with Inline Controls

Colors: Black and Gunmetal (grey)

Next up, SoundMagic throws their hat into the ring with the E11C.

What are these buds all about?

First off, the C in E11C stands for controls. This pair of earbuds has convenient in-line controls and a built-in microphone for taking calls while hands free. Because the cable fits a 1/8” (3.5mm) jack, these are compatible with all devices that have a standard headphone port. Sorry new iPhone users!

And speaking of the cable, it’s silver-plated copper with a coated rubberized sleeve that is tangle-resistant. These will still tangle a bit, but only with a certain amount of effort. The silver-plated copper braid helps to cut down on line noise and boost clarity. We think it does the trick here.

What about sound?

These earphones use single 10mm drivers. We found the sound to be fairly well balanced and true to the actual audio. The bass is decent. It’s warm and strong but not overpowering. The high end can border on tinny with some tracks, but overall this wasn’t much of an issue.

As for noise isolation, the three sets of foam and three sets of silicone tips provided allow you to get a good fit, and this blocks out a bit of background noise. These worked well in our office setting, but with the drum kit test, they did more or less nothing.

Built to last…

The best part of these buds is the aluminum construction and quality cable, which both speak to a durable product. The downside for some ears might be their straight-as-a-bullet shape. However, some of our testers found that these casings were uncomfortably pressed on their ear canals.

SoundMagic E11C
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Quality construction.
  • Good sound for a good price.

Cons

  • Not much noise isolation.
  • Straight shape may be uncomfortable for some ears.

8 Shure SE425 – Best Premium Wired Earbuds

Colors: Clear and Silver

Coming back to Shure, we get to look at the most expensive earbuds on our list in the model SE425 earphones. These are nearly three times the price of the SE215 and five times the SoundMagic E11Cs.

Are they worth it?

We can keep it simple. In most senses, the construction, shape, and features of these in ear monitors are the same as the cheaper SE215 model. They have a loop over ear design with the cable coming up the backs of your ears. This might tickle some ears, possibly, but in general, we found this a snug and secure design.

As far as we could tell, the cable is the same as the cheaper model. It hasn’t got controls, but the standard 1/8” (3.5mm) jack can match most devices, or be swapped out to a cable that includes a mic and in-line controls, a lightning connector, USB-C, or Bluetooth toggles for wireless use. This set also comes with a 1/8” to 1/4″ jack adapter for stereo listening.

Is the sound superior?

In a word, yes! These earbuds are powered by dual high-def microdrivers with a frequency range of 20 Hz – 19 kHz. With this broader range, you’re able to pick up on deeper bass tones and higher highs. The bass here is noticeably more robust and very warm. All ranges, low, mid and high, are clear and sound really good here.

As for noise isolation, we found no difference between these and the SE215s. But those were already pretty darned good for just passive noise blockers. Again, the fit has to be just right, of course.

Great sounding, but…

Overall, these earphones sound better. Significantly better. But three times as good? Not sure.

Shure SE425
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Comfortable and quality construction.
  • Great overall sound and good noise isolation.

Cons

  • Expensive!

9 Monoprice Triple Driver – Best Wired Earbuds for High End

Colors: Black

Next up, Monoprice weighs in with a triple-threat – their Triple Diver earbuds. So, let’s see what stands out about these phones.

These bad boys come in black, jet black, and look pretty serious. They might seem a bit big for earbuds, but that’s because they’re packing three separate drivers in each plastic casing. Each one has a 10mm dynamic driver as well as a 3.8mm mid-range balanced armature and a 2.8mm high-frequency balanced armature.

How’s the resulting sound?

With this combination, the Triple Drivers produce an impressive 20Hz-40kHz frequency response, which means you’re getting pretty much the whole range of musical sounds you could want. We found the low end to be lush and DEEP, and the mid-range clear as crystal. The soaring high end can risk being too high, however, on some tracks.

Not recommend for bagpipe music!

These earphones also feature a 115dB sound pressure level or sensitivity. In other words, they really amplify sound, so where other earphones might not pick up well on tracks recorded at low levels, even at their maximum volume, these give you a real boost.

Again, these earbuds come with three sets (S/M/L) of interchangeable tips. Though they don’t advertise noise isolation, these buds still do a decent job of blocking out a basic level of background sound with a snug fit. However, it’s worth trying out the different tips to find the best compromise. A really tight fit blocks out sound well but can be uncomfortable and far too bass-focused.

A bit of a tangle…

These buds also have in-line controls and a built-in mic, but unfortunately, the cable can tangle pretty easily.

Monoprice Triple Driver
Our rating:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Pros

  • Great, clear, powerful sound.
  • Affordable mid-range price.

Cons

  • Cable can tangle easily.
  • Noise isolation only really works with a quite tight fit.

10 Status Audio IEM-2X – Best Value for the Money Wired Earbuds

Colors: Jet Black and Gunmetal (bluish-grey)

Status Audio follows on the heels of Monoprice with a slightly cheaper and very comparable set of earphones – the IEM 2X. They claim these to produce “audiophile sound” at a mid-range price.

Let’s have a look…

In fact, this is a perfect time to talk about in-ear monitors or so-called IEMs. These can be considered a sub-group of earbuds. Whereas many earbuds sit on the outer edge of the ear canals, IEMs are designed to go right inside. This design tends to give good sound isolation and clarity.

That’s what we find in the IEM 2X…

Each end of this pair of earphones is powered by a pair of drivers, a 9mm dynamic driver, and a balanced armature driver tuned to push out the low end. Together they pick up a frequency range of 20 Hz to 40 kHz, about the best you’re going to do with earbuds.

So it’s no surprise that this product gives a very clear, balanced sound across all ranges and a bit of a bass boost.

How about comfort?

These IEMs really get into your ears. They come with three sizes of silicone tips, but these are thin and designed to really get squeezed in there. We found them quite comfortable, and they also do a halfway decent job of tuning out background noise. We didn’t hear anything in our office test, and they were nearly as good as the Shures in a drum kit test.

They also have in-line controls and a mic, but with music or on calls, we didn’t hear any annoying line noise even when moving around a lot.

In short, affordable great sound!

Status Audio IEM-2X
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Lower-mid-level price.
  • Great sound quality – balanced and clear.

Cons

  • Cord tangles fairly easily.

11 Beats by Dr. Dre UrBeats3 – Best Wired Earbuds for Bass

Colors: Black, Matte Black, Yellow, Coral (pink), Satin Gold, and Satin Silver

Where would an earphone review be without Beats by Dr. Dre? This Apple-paired company loves making a splash, focusing on beat and bass heavy sound and style.

With the urBeats3, they’re right on track with their m.o. These are sleek, good-looking earbuds with solid bass sound.

Let’s take a closer look…

Starting out, these rubber-coated plastic housings have a cool feature – their magnetic backs to help them snap together for easy storage. Combined with tangle-free flat cables, these earbuds are certainly convenient. For size and comfort, they come with four sets (S/M/L/XL) of silicone ear tips, a range that really will fit anyone.

Now the sound…

Beats is famous for drawing the deep bass out of beat-heavy tunes. Here the urBeats3 use a combination of a single axial-aligned driver and laser-cut holes in the acoustic chamber to deliver on this bassy promise.

And it works, with a really solid bass boost you can feel. At the same time, these earbuds have a frequency response of 20Hz – 20 kHz, so they do miss out on some of the high-end sound. The mid-range is clear enough, but there’s a huge bass bias here.

The perfect fit…

A snug fit with the right choice of tips gives decent passive noise isolation. We found these earbuds easily blocked out most office sounds, but on the drum kit, they didn’t fare well.

Overall, if you have a bass bias in your listening, you’ll probably love them. But for clear, balanced audio, these probably aren’t your buds.

To find out, even more, check out our in-depth review of the UrBeats3 Wired Earphones.

Beats by Dr. Dre UrBeats3
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Tangle-free cables and a slick look.
  • Solid bass and overall good sound.

Cons

  • Bass-heavy at the expense of mids and highs.
  • Relatively high price driven by brand popularity.

12 JBL Tune 210 – Best Budget Wired Earbuds

Colors: Black, White/Chrome, and White/Rose Gold

We’re now getting into the real low-priced end of our product review, so it’s quite a surprise to see the name JBL down here. This famous speaker brand should have enough sound-producing experience to come out with a great pair of earbuds, right?

Let’s see how they did?

The Tune 210 is one of JBL’s cheapest products but is still well-built. With these earbuds, you’re getting metallic-finished housings and flat cables that really are tangle-free. They come with a built-in mic and a single-button in-line control for taking calls or adjusting audio tracks. As usual, they give you three sizes of silicone tips to choose from.

Hmm, what happens to all those poor tips that never get used?

As for sound, JBL advertises this product as giving the JBL “Pure Bass” sound. We found the low-end warm and strong without being overpowering. The single 8.7mm drivers give a fairly balanced sound with a moderate 20 Hz – 20 kHz frequency range, but we can’t say it’s as clear as the Shure, Monoprice, or Status Audio buds.

However, the high end here can get quite tinny at high volume, which is something that may bother sensitive listeners.

Also, they could be louder…

Another slight issue is that these earbuds offer only a 96 dB driver sensitivity. This can lead to some low-level tracks being too quiet to hear easily on these headphones.

Overall, JBL has done well for this ultra-low price range. But it’s just probably worth investing more.

JBL Tune 210
Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Pros

  • Cheap and good quality.
  • Tangle-free cables.
  • Good overall sound and strong bass.

Cons

  • Somewhat tinny high end.
  • Low sensitivity = no volume boost on quiet audio.

13 1More 1M301 – Best Low Cost Wired Earbuds

Colors: Black/Red and Gold/White

The last pair of earphones on our round-up come in under $20 and surprisingly comes from 1More, a company that’s currently smashing it on the audio scene.

Is there something we’re not getting here?

The 1M301 earbuds are made from aluminum alloy casings and Kevlar-reinforced, nylon wrapped wire. This is looking like some serious durability! Rather than sticking straight into your ears, these buds are angled at 45 degrees for comfort. As usual, you get three sets of interchangeable tips, but this time in XS/S/L sizes.

Actually, the wires are nylon wrapped up to the Y splitter, and then rubber from there up for comfort against the skin. That means the lower portion is tangle-free, but the rubber portion can tangle.

So how do they sound?

Constructed with a single driver in each ear, these earbuds have the standard range of 20 Hz-20 kHz, so you miss out a bit on the high end. We found the bass warm but not exactly powerful. The mid-range was clear and level. Highs were a bit tinny here as well, though less so than the JBL buds.

Noise isolation? Not really. Despite a snug fit, these earbuds did little to block out office sounds and nothing at all against a booming drum kit. However, for this price, we weren’t expecting miracles!

Good, if you’re on a budget…

For a very cheap set of earbuds, these work just fine if you’re more concerned with price than perfect sound quality.

1More 1M301
Our rating:4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

Pros

  • Very inexpensive for decent sound.
  • Durable and (mostly) tangle free.

Cons

  • Bass and high-end both unimpressive.
  • No real noise isolation.

How to Buy Yourself the Best Wired Earbuds

Best Wired Earbuds Review

With literally thousands of options out there, making a choice of earbuds can be paralyzing. Don’t worry; we’re here to help! To supplement our product reviews, here are a number of features to consider before choosing the best wired earphones your money can buy…

Price

Despite the booming popularity of wireless Bluetooth earbuds, wireless earbuds are still on the scene. This is due to two basic factors. They don’t need to be charged, and they are cheaper. Usually.

Cheap but OK earbuds can be had for under $20. If you can push your budget up to around $50, you’re absolutely going to find some great options that should be enough for most people out there.

If you’re a fashionista or a true audiophile, you might be willing to push your budget up to $100-$200+, of course, but be warned that small improvements in sound are usually represented by big bumps in price!

Durability

Surely a twin factor with price is durability. If you shell out for $200 earphones and they start to fall apart after a few months, you’re not going to be happy! Look to the construction materials and, in most cases, the company’s reputation. Most big-name producers aren’t going to risk putting out garbage, after all.

Earbuds usually fail in their cords, so look for reinforcement like Kevlar or nylon wrapping. Tangle-free or tangle-resistant cables reduce the risk of failures caused by pulling out knots.

Earbud casings should be made of a strong, lightweight material. Aluminum is tough but can create tinny sounds. Plastic comes in many different grades, so look to the reputation of the manufacturer to help you tell the difference.

Noise Isolation

Noise isolation can be a huge factor in choosing wired earbuds. Background noise can be irritating when you’re trying to focus or just get down to your favorite jams. Some earbuds or in-ear monitors can be used quite effectively for musicians as well, isolating monitor audio and cutting through the buzz.

While several brands offer active noise-canceling features, these can actually produce extra pressure on the ears and be uncomfortable long-term. Passive noise isolation, on the other hand, uses ear-tip fit and bud shape to block out your surroundings.

One consideration, though, is safety. If you jog in busy traffic areas or frequent areas with mean dogs, you might want to avoid noise isolation, and so you can keep track of important sounds happening around you.

Sound

Of course, sound quality is the most important feature that sets earbuds apart. Most audio lovers aim for a clear and balanced sound that replicates what’s on the original tracks without any necessary enhancement. Look to frequency ranges of at least 20 Hz – 20 kHz to cover the basic range of most music and video content, and a broader range for excellence.

Bassheads, on the other hand, will want to experience the buzz that booming bass brings. These folks will look to an enhanced, deep bottom end for their audio pleasure.

Looking for more quality earbud options?

Then check out our comprehensive reviews of the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, the Best Wireless Earbuds for Small Ears, the Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds, the Best Headphones and Earbuds for Sleeping, and the Best Earbuds under 50 Dollars you can buy in 2023.

Or how about the Most Durable Earbuds, the Best Earbuds under 100 Dollars, the Best Earbuds for Running, the Most Comfortable Earbuds, or the Best True Wireless Earbuds currently on the market.

Which of these Best Wired Earbuds should you buy?

For my money, the best pair of Wired earphones you can get at the moment are the…

Final Audio – A4000

They are so good that when you listen to them while looking at your more expensive pair of earphones or IEMs on the shelf, you’ll seriously begin to doubt how well you spend your money.

Final audio makes every product feel like it’s high end and for $150, you’ll almost get double the value in terms of sound. Plus, all your friends will think you’re Batman!

Now, where did Robin go? 

5/5 - (115 votes)
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About Corey Hoffman

Corey is a multi-instrumentalist who has played in numerous bands over the years, some good, some not so good. He has also written countless songs and recorded five albums in professional studios across America. Today he is a hobby musician but still loves the guitar after over 15 years of playing.

He considers his writing as a way to share what he has learned over the decades with younger generations ad always can't wait to get his hands on the latest gear.

He lives just outside New York with his wife Barbara and their two German Shepherds, Ziggy and Iggy.

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