If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SPY.com may receive an affiliate commission.
If the only place you buy your wired earbuds is by the checkout line at a drugstore, you might assume that they’re all built cheaply, sound bad and are practically disposable. But, the best wired earbuds are actually built to keep up with wireless earbuds and even headphones. Besides affordability, there are actually several key benefits to owning a pair of wired earbuds, which set them apart from their wireless counterparts.
Some obvious benefits of wired earbuds are:
- They are much harder to lose
- They don’t need to be recharged
- They actually have better sound than wireless earbuds.
To the last point, some of the audio information gets lost in even the best Bluetooth headphones, but the analog signal of wired earbuds allows for a higher-quality listening experience.
What to Consider Before Buying Wired Earbuds
Just like with any headphones, there are a wide variety of styles and price points for wired earbuds. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before buying a new pair:
- Are you looking for the cheapest thing that will do the job or do you want something that really makes the music sing?
- How important is powerful bass to the music you listen to? There are technical details to consider like drivers, which determine the quality of the audio.
- Do you need any special shape to fit in your ears or will any ergonomically designed earbuds work for you? Do you prefer squishy or hard buds? Do you want an extra earloop to keep the buds in place while working out, or would you rather have a streamlined pair?
- What kind of extras do you need built into your earbuds? You can choose from things like microphones, tangle-free cords and noise cancelling technology.
Once you’ve answered the questions above, read on to find the best earbuds for you.
How We Chose the Best Wired Earbuds
Of course, the main drawback with wired earbuds is that they can get tangled, and the wires tend to get damaged and worn out over time. That’s why when looking for the best wired earbuds, we sought out high-quality pairs that have more durable, tangle-resistant cables. We also looked for ergonomically designed buds, so that they’ll be comfortable in most ears.
We have found through years of testing and owning various wired earbuds that the sound does vary tremendously from one pair to the next based on the drivers included and their impedance. Therefore, we have only included wired earbuds with the very latest technology, suitable to the sound quality you’re used to in 2021.
We’ve rounded up some of the best wired earbuds that you can buy online below. Keep reading to find out more about the benefits and disadvantages of each one, before choosing the best wired earbuds for your needs.
1. Sony MDREX15AP In-Ear Earbuds
Sony makes some of the best audio gear for the money, and these classic earbuds are a great option for most users. They have a squishy silicone tip that’s designed to fit in ears of different sizes, and there’s a convenient microphone, making it a great option if you’re using these to make calls. If you don’t need to make calls, there’s also a version without a mic available from this listing. The 9mm dome-type drivers are designed for a quality listening experience.
2. Apple EarPods
Remember those silhouette commercials for the iPod from the mid-2000s? Apple’s earbuds are iconic for a reason, and they’re still a great option for basic music listening. The egg-shaped design is meant to be more comfortable in the ear, and they have the standard 3.5 mm jack. If your phone doesn’t have a jack, these earbuds are also available with a lightning connector.
3. JVC Earclip Earbud
JVC’s earbuds are great options if you’re looking for something secure for running, working out or even just walking around. The ear clip design ensures they won’t fall even if they pop out of your ear, and they’re designed to resist sweat, so they’ll keep up with your workouts. There are three earpieces included, so you can find the one that’s most comfortable for you.
4. Rayleigh Wired Earbuds 5 Pack
One of the worst things about headphones is how easy they are to lose. You might leave them sitting on the subway or they get placed in some weird spot around the house where you’ll find them again five years later. Either way, you’ve likely lost more than one pair of headphones, so it’s always a good idea to buy a multi-pack of earbuds, like the Raleigh Wired Earbuds. This five pack comes in a variety of attractive colors. The earbuds themselves also boast a high-quality membrane, providing stereo-quality sound. And, if you don’t need five pairs of earbuds, share them with your friends and family.
5. JBL Endurance RUN
BEST FOR EXERCISE
Built for working out, the JBL Run are a flexible and versatile option for working out or casual wear. The unique shape of the buds allows them to be worn in the ear like regular buds, or you can run the cables behind your ear and wear them like sport buds. Two earbud sizes are included. The inline controls and built-in mic make it easy to take calls.
6. ULIX Rider Earbuds
BEST SOUND QUALITY
For true music lovers, you can’t beat the ULIX Rider Earbuds. The company designed these headphones to provide a “natural and realistic listening experience.” That’s why they developed tiny speakers with an impedance of 48 Ω. This means this product provides some of the best bass and crystal-clear sounds available in wired earbuds. But, ULIX didn’t stop there. They also developed a metal casing for the earbuds that is not only attractive but also enhances the sound performance. And, if you ever have any issues, the company provides 24/7 customer support.
7. Samsung EO-EG920LLEGUS Active InEar Headphones
Samsung’s earbuds are a versatile option for a wide variety of settings, thanks to the inclusion of different ear tip styles. There are three regular rounded soft buds, as well as a set with contoured wings that are designed to form a snug fit in your ear. The contoured tips help block out noise, and they’re also great for working out. Plus, the inline controls can be used to change the volume and take calls.
8. Sony MDRXB50AP Extra Bass Earbud Headphones
While we already have one pair of wired earbuds from Sony at the top of this list, we just had to include the Sony Extra Bass Earbud Headphones as a secondary option from the brand. After all, Sony is probably the top producer of wired earbuds. This particular pair boasts a 12 millimeter dome driver to deliver an amazingly powerful deep bass. In addition, the red metal exterior and red cord makes this an attractive option for those who want to stand out from the crowd.
9. Shure SE215 PRO Wired Earbuds
The future is wired with the Shure PRO Wired Earbuds. Not only do these earbuds provide a unique, over-the-ear wearing style, they are also highly tuned to provide the best sound quality possible in such a small package. The full-range sound is provided by a single, vented balanced armature driver. This device has been personally tested by professional musicians to ensure it emits the right levels of bass and treble. And, as an added bonus, the earbuds come with three sizes of foam sleeves, so that you can fit them perfectly to your ears.
10. Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones
Despite the high price, Bose’s QuietComfort 20 is one of the most popular options among wired earbuds, and that’s because of their noise-canceling abilities. The QuietComfort 20s boast Bose’s top-of-the-line noise-canceling, and you can switch to “Aware” mode if you need to be in tune with your surroundings. The earbuds are also designed with a cushioned hook that fits more comfortably in your ear. A carrying case is included as well.