Best in-ear headphones of 2015

May 21, 2015

David Carnoy - Special from CNET

Earbuds are commonly issued as freebie headphones with portable players, but higher-performance earbuds can offer sonic performance that rivals their full-size linemates. Their tiny earpieces rest on the outer ear or need to be inserted into the ear canal. Ultracompact and lightweight, earbuds are the most portable of all headphones, and they can provide excellent isolation from external noise when paired with a well-fitted tip.

(Note: Prices in SGD are direct conversions from USD pricing unless otherwise stated)

Bowers & Wilkins C5 S2

The Secure Loop design may not be a perfect fit for every ear, but the Bowers & Wilkins C5 Series 2 sounds better than the original and is one top in-ear headphones for less than $200.

Price: USD 179.99 (SGD 240)

RHA T10i
While the design may not work for everyone, the RHA T10i earbuds are great-sounding and well-built, with some nice extras, including three sets of swappable acoustic filters.

Price: USD 199.95 (SGD 318 at Stereo)

Beyerdynamic DX 160 IE (Black)
While the Beyerdynamic DX 160 IE has some small downsides, it’s a bona fide audiophile in-ear headphone at an invitingly affordable price

Price: USD 117.90 (SGD 198 at Lazada)


Etymotic hf5
The Etymotic hf5 earphones are an excellent option for those who want the highest level of sound isolation without sacrificing sound quality, portability, or style.

Price: USD 129.00 (SGD 172)

Bose Freestyle Earbuds
While it may not be the best-sounding headphone for the money, the Bose Freestyle's superior design and comfort level make it a go-to choice for anyone seeking a sporty and stylish in-ear model.

Price: USD 129.99 (SGD 174)

Shure SE425
The Shure SE425 sound-isolating earphones are an excellent choice for eclectic listeners who demand stellar audio and a high-quality design.

Price: USD 299.00 (SGD 409 at Stereo)

NHT SuperBuds Earphones
The NHT SuperBuds are are a good value at $100 and well worth a long look, particularly if you're someone who listens to a lot of bass-centric music.

Price: USD 99.00 (SGD 132)

Klipsch R6i
If you're looking for comfortable in-ear headphones with very plump bass, the Klipsch R6i model will do it, but they're also short on detail and clarity.

Price: USD 76.99 (SGD 169 at Lazada)

Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear
The Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear doesn't measure up to the high standard set by other more expensive headphones in the Momentum line, but it still has a lot going for it for the price.

Price: USD 99.99 (SGD 149 at Stereo)

Phonak Audeo PFE 132
The Phonak Audeo PFE 132 is a remarkably clear and accurate headphone and deserves the ears of a true audiophile.

Etymotic ER-4PT MicroPro
While the Etymotic ER-4PTs have less low-end oomph than some competing earphones in this price class, they deliver excellent sound with very accurate tonal balance.

Price: USD 299.00 (SGD 439 at Lazada)

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