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How to Choose the Best In-Ear Headphones


Looking for in-ear headphones? Our handy guide is here to help you find headphones options with excellent sound quality and comfortable fit. Read on for tips on features like water resistance, sound quality, comfort level, noise reduction and compatibility to find the headphones that best suit your needs and budget.

An image of a man with earbuds, looking at the phone

Earbuds vs in-ear headphones

The difference lies in their design and fit. Earbuds rest loosely in the outer ear without entering the ear canal. In-ear headphones fit snugly into the ear canal, creating a tight seal. In-ear headphones generally deliver superior sound isolation and audio quality; earbuds are more comfortable thanks to their loose fit.


All purpose. Think about what you'll be using your headphones for–working out, commuting or taking virtual meetings from home? If you frequently switch between different environments and devices, the multipoint feature might just be what you need. It lets you connect to multiple devices at the same time, making your life a whole lot easier.

Exercising and sports. Planning to use your headphones for exercise or outdoor activities? Then going for the ones that are sweat-proof would be useful. Also, think about the specific exercise or sports you'll be doing while wearing them. Will they need to fit under a helmet or withstand submersion during swimming? Or maybe you'd like to keep your headphones on while showering post-intense running?

Check our top picks of exercise and sports headphones.

Sound quality

Quality headphones should deliver exceptional sound quality with a well-balanced bass, midrange and treble. You can assess sound quality by testing headphones across various genres of music and volume levels. If high-quality sound is a priority for you, go for a model with superior resolution and extensive frequency range.

Check our top picks of headphones with recognised good sound quality.

Fit and comfort

Consider the size of your ears and whether the headphones are suitable for children. Headphones come in diverse sizes and shapes, with earplugs adjustable to the shape and size of your ear. Go for a model that fits comfortably and doesn't cause pain or discomfort in a short period of use.

Noise cancellation

Active noise cancellation (ANC) can be a game changer for those frequently distracted by ambient noise. ANC uses microphones and electronics to produce an inverse sound wave that neutralises unwanted sounds. This is particularly effective in neutralising predictable noise, such as those from engines or air conditioners.

Passive noise cancellation functions much like ear defenders–physically blocking out sound. It often plays a crucial role in enhancing the overall listening experience. The efficiency of this feature depends on the headphones' design and fit.

Check our top picks of headphones with active noise cancellation.

Brand and compatibility

JBL, Sony, Bose, Marshall, Sennheise... The line-up of in-ear headphone brands is diverse. Some stand out for their superlative quality, while others for affordable choices. Using multiple devices (like mobile phones and laptops) from the same brand can offer a frictionless user experience. Plus, it makes tech support easier.


Prices differ across various models and brands. Least expensive models are generally wired–so make sure to pick the right headphones for your needs.

Check our top picks of affordable headphones.

Choose headphones that not only offer features tailored to your needs but also deliver excellent sound quality. And test how well they fit in your ears–this is crucial for both your comfort and the overall sound quality.

Happy shopping!

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So are the best deals on headphones. Keep an eye out for price drops.

Black Friday Deals on Headphones


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