Why settle for Apple‘s boring earbuds when you can upgrade to something cooler? These are the very best earbuds and headphones you can buy for your iPod or iPhone.
1. Best Earbuds for Runners & Athletes: Powerbeats by Dr. Dre
Powerbeats by Dr. Dre are the ideal headphones for running, or any other athletic pursuit. These headphones were designed by Dr. Dre, in concert with none other than LeBron James…so you know they stand up to the demands of athletes. They’re a bit pricey, but they really are the best option for active people who like to listen to music while they work out.
Available in six cool colors
Comes with three different ear tips
Designed to pump clear bass at any volume, while letting in ambient traffic noise
Design provides snug fit, but some people dislike the over-ear look
Some user reviews indicate headphones are prone to breakage
Some user reviews complain about sound quality
Could benefit from additional waterproofing to increase durability
2. Best Headphones for Audiophiles: Sennheiser HD 598
Sennheiser is one of the best names in headphones. You could easily spend over $1000 buying a pair of Sennheisers, which is what makes the $249.95 MSRP of this model so appealing. The Sennheiser HD 598 is premium, without being overpriced. These are ideal for anyone who puts audio and comfort first, and you can find them under list on sites like Amazon.
Cushiony velour earpads
Easy to get replacement parts
Cool, retro-inspired look
Hits the sweet spot between quality and price
Great for the person who wants headphones for iOS, amp, computer and turntable use
Treble and bass may be too prominent, to some ears
May require special adapter for other devices/stereos
Not many color/personalization options
Not ideal for audiophiles who are also active
3. Best All-Around Earbuds for iPod & iPhone: Etymotic HF5
Given top marks by Headphone.com, these earbuds from Etymotic completely dispel the myth that earbuds produce wimpier sound than headphones. These earbuds offer some of the most robust sound possible. Plus, they come with a 2-year warranty.
Kevlar-reinforced cable for durability
Three color options
Multiple ear-tip options to assure your comfort
Documented highest noise isolation of any earphones or headphones on the market today
Still a bit on the pricey side
Not the best choice for those who crank their bass up high
Some of the ear tips are extra-long, may be uncomfortable for some
User reviews suggest sound may be tinny
May be hard to find in your area, unless you buy online
4. Best Earbuds For Those on a Tight Budget: Skullcandy 50/50
If you want intense bass on a budget, these are the earbuds for you. They scored a favorable review in PC Mag. These 50/50’s retail for between $39.99 and $49.99, but with some poking around, you should be able to find them for under $30 online.
Over 10 color options
Built-in iPod/iPhone controls
Passive noise reduction
Candy-colored offerings may not be to your taste level
May require some adjusting to get the fit just right
Has a tendency to blow one bud, leaving just one operational
Likely to fall out of your ears when running
While surprisingly durable, lacks premium build materials
5. Best Headphones for Travelers: Bose QuietComfort 20
While nearly $300 may seem like a lot for a pair of headphones, the Bose QuietComforts are worth investing in if you are a frequent traveler in need of good noise cancellation. The noise cancellation lasts for 16 hours on a fresh set of batteries.
Has inline mic/remote on cord
Decent battery life on noise cancellation feature
Ideal for use on airplanes, cars, trains, or buses
Available on installation for just $25/month if you buy from Bose
Only comes in one color, and it’s boring
Rechargeable battery can not be replaced
Sound quality not worth the price you pay
Does not come with multiple ear tip options
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