15 best hi-fi earbuds for your Android, iPhone, and other devices

15 best hi-fi earbuds for your Android, iPhone, and other devices
Last week, we presented you our round-up of the 10 best wireless headphones for your device of choice - be it your Android or iOS smartphone, your desktop or your tablet. This week, we're heading in a different direction. We'll be shopping for good old twisting, knotting, falling from your ears, and completely loveable wired earbuds! Everyone's owned a pair of these, sometimes for years! One of us here held onto his pair of $10 AKG's through high school and university, thinking they have been endowed with the gift of immortality. But after years of dutiful service and thousands of hours of music played, this incredible pair o' buds withered away too. Nothing is eternal, folks.

Ok, after this lyrical interlude, we'll be showing 15 of the best hi-fi earbuds we could come across. They come in price points ranging from the minute to the extreme. Some have noise cancellation, some don't. Others have been designed for a secure fit, or are made sweat-resistant to please the sporty types. All, however, should sound pretty good for their money. And one pair in there sounds exceptionally good for its money. No joke. Enjoy this roundup, and shop smart.


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22 Comments

1. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

LOL......Skullcandy, seriously ?! Soundmagic E10 deserves a mention. Best pair of in-ear headphones for $45 price tag. Rated the best value earphones by almost all the reputed audiophile sites.

6. luis.d

Posts: 354; Member since: Dec 04, 2013

I've researched these, and it's how I discovered the Pistons for myself -http://www.head-fi.org/t/709399/torn-between-picking-soundmagic-e10-or-xiaomi-piston-ii

12. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Fair enough. Although the person makes a good point and appears to know his stuff but to choose someone's opinion from a blog over a tech site's verdict is not something I'd recommend. Also, Soundmagic e10 has undergone several revisions since 2012-13 which makes that post outdated.

13. tadaa

Posts: 267; Member since: Apr 18, 2013

i'm rocking a pair of mi pistons and for $16 dollars they provide better value but i've had the chance to try the e10's and they sound better overall but not by a mile.

17. ZEUS.the.thunder.god

Posts: 1184; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

I am using Xiaomi Piston and sound is incredible. Here in India it costs roughly $13.

11. chocowii

Posts: 478; Member since: Jan 30, 2014

Soundmagic really makes a name nowadays. Cheap but good quality earbuds. I own an Soundmagic ES18. Best earbuds for a $12 price tag.

2. T-rex unregistered

Anybody interested in buying a $1000 ear-buds ???

4. lhtbinh1909

Posts: 94; Member since: Apr 02, 2013

Me, if I can afford. So sad :)

3. lhtbinh1909

Posts: 94; Member since: Apr 02, 2013

As cheap IE, Soundmagic E10 and Xiaomi Piston 2 are both OK. But moving up I don't think Skullcandy is a good choice. And you made a mistake at No.8 ATH, picture is a bose

5. mixedfish

Posts: 1570; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

How can you have a list of 'best' earphones, and not have any of Sony's XBA or EX range. And Shure SE846 on a phone is just LOL, save your money. Shouldn't be using anything on a phone with more than 32ohm impedence, they're just not powerful enough.

7. ChriisM

Posts: 11; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

What earphone would have the best sounding bass between Soundmagic E10 and Xiaomi Piston 2? I hear the E10 are good for acoustic music,and wouldn't be the best for dance or edm. But since I've never tried either I don't know. Anyone give there 2cents?

9. lhtbinh1909

Posts: 94; Member since: Apr 02, 2013

I believe Piston 2 has deeper bass, will suit more for dance than the E10. But E10 has wider soundstage, more balance.

8. romeo1

Posts: 825; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

Omg How can this be the list for best hifi earbuds? The prices vary so much and you cant tell me that the skull candy or xiaomi etc come near the high end buds. If it was the list of the "best" earbuds, the high end line of senhesenheiser, sony should be on there at least. Bose can't be in the top 3 not if you put on buds like the shure se846-cl. You should better make list with best in price range cause i don't think anyone is going to believe this.

15. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

They are being considered from their price point. Not that a $10 headphone can compete with $200 one.

16. romeo1

Posts: 825; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

But the title is "15 best hi-fi earbuds" The title is just wrong or the content is wrong.

10. a_tumiwa

Posts: 393; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

these are actually IEM (in-ear) not earbuds

14. mrmessma

Posts: 271; Member since: Mar 28, 2012

AKG's active noise canceling still charges with a mini-USB, haven't seen one of those in 5 years at least.

18. Ebsound

Posts: 3; Member since: Feb 12, 2015

I also found Piston II, a very good earbuds for the money, but if compared to Brainwavz Delta, I still like Brainwavz that is even better than E10

19. revampmybrain unregistered

Am I the only one that hates in-ear earphones? I much prefer earbuds as they don't feel like they stick so far into my ear.

20. Ebsound

Posts: 3; Member since: Feb 12, 2015

but Earbuds is not good for noise-isolation, and you will never get all about that bass you like.

21. benjdbs

Posts: 5; Member since: Oct 21, 2015

I'm very pleased with this article. ''The best...'' very much say it all. 2 of my previous & current IEMs are listed here. The 391NC & W10s respectively. No doubt about the list. All the best in selecting your picks..

22. jithu_10

Posts: 2; Member since: Mar 27, 2017

Some of these earphones are not available in India. If you are from India I suggest checking this wonderful List goo.gl/6jp9hG

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