Best In-Ear Headphones For 2017
Looking for a new pair of in-ear headphones? We’ve collected the best earphones and earbuds available in 2017 and reviewed them to help you choose.
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Read More: Best Full Size Headphone Buying Guide
Best In-Ear Headphones Under £50
Sleek sporty look with a perfect fit, the P281 Sport are some new budget kings on the block. Coming in at £24.99 they are a huge step up to any headphones that come with a phone.
Offering a well balanced sound with good kick down low, they offer an engaging and fun listening experience when out and about, yet still allow plenty of detail to be heard. From top to bottom there are not real peaks or dips, they have a smooth and easy to listen to sound. What is also great is the inclusion of a microphone and button for taking calls or skipping tracks.
What can be better than the award winning SoundMAGIC E10 for under £50? The E10C has the same superb build quality and sound signature as the E10 but with the added function of a universal smartphone in-line microphone – need we say more?
The E10C has tight bass with plenty of weight – the mids are well defined and the top end sparkles. These earphones are perfect for listening on the go as the sound is fun and they will sound great with whatever you throw at them.
If you have £40 to spend on some new earphones then go for the SoundMAGIC E10 – if you need an in-line microphone then go for the E10C. Easy.
If you are looking for a more detailed and neutral sound than the E10C, take a look at the MEE Audio M6 Pro. With it’s monitor like sound and styling, detachable cable and great looks, it is a steal for under £50.
Well the M6 Pro with Blackbird S20 foam tips may have become a new favourite for under £50. These really managed to have everything and sound very engaging, the highs do not disappoint with their presence and tone, the midrange is slightly up front and the mid bass has a mild boost, as a stage monitor I can see these being good and the sound would be easily tuneable with EQ.
For under £50 you won’t find this level of detail, clarity or separation from another in-ear headphone. Add to that brilliant build quality and you have a winner.
Best In-Ear Headphones Under £150
Looking for a more bass oriented in-ear headphone with an upfront and engaging sound, yet without losing out on the finer details and comfort, you need the Oriveti Basic.
A 10mm titanium coated driver supplies an impressive amount of bass. Now I am not much of a bass head but after listening to these for a while I found myself really enjoying them.
They’re not audiophile and they won’t give you a reference sound but if you like your earphones to be fun and enjoyable with plenty of punch then these could be for you. The isolation and comfort is also really impressive and along with replaceable cables they are a great buy!
Oriveti are new on the scene and they certainly know how to make an entrance. The new Oriveti Basic earphone packs a punch and gives you plenty of features for its modest price tag.
READ MORE: Oriveti Basic Full Review
Looking for a in-ear headphone with quick snappy transients, whilst retaining a well balanced sound signature? Take a look at the New Westone UM Pro10, revised in 2017 to be even better and more comfortable.
Predictably, the balanced armature makes short work of replicating higher frequencies accurately, but the real interest is at the low end where single BA IEMs are concerned. Provided a decent seal can be achieved, the bass is in good balance with the rest of the presentation, although bassheads will be wanting more.
If you fancy the idea of a single balanced armature earphone, but don’t fancy the protruding capsules of the Etymotic designs then the UM Pro 10 is worth a close look. Sometimes the best designs are the simplest and I really think there is something to be said for single-driver IEMs. Makers may be able to tune the sound signature a little more with multiple drivers, but this risks muddying the sound with possible phase/imaging issues as the audio from these different drivers reaches our ears at different times.
In short – choose the simple life and get the UM Pro 10!
Best In-Ear Headphones Under £300
One of our best sellers, the New Primacy has a well balanced sound signature with class leading separation and clarity.
The Oriveti New Primacy has a bit of a mid forward sound signature, with excellent clarity and air throughout the range, the bass digs deep and is very articulate, the mids have a habit of bringing out all the detail in recordings but not in an unpleasant way. The highs are airy and well extended, without fatiguing properties, overall a very comfortable and enjoyable listen. The New primacy manages to be a very coherent sounding hybrid design, with a very well textured and layered sound.
READ MORE: Oriveti New Primacy Full Review
Best In-Ear Headphones Under £600
Our top pick for under £500 is the Dunu DK-3001, with impressive technical capabilities that are really enjoyable to listen to as well. Punchy and clear sound with a wide soundstage, these are truly excellent.
The Dunu DK-3001 is a very well done hybrid IEM, the bass is dynamic and punchy, with excellent and realistic body. The midrange is well layered and very detailed, with a hint of smoothness to it. The highs are always present, yet not fatiguing. These work well with all genres, the bass is fun and energetic in EDM, and rock comes across with detail and layering. Jazz has a very natural tone, and they just take all genres in their stride, however their ability to control heavy metal is truly impressive.
READ MORE: Dunu DK-3001 Full Review
If you don’t mind the open back design, the Audeze iSine20 will offer a listening experience more like a full size headphone than an in-ear model.
Offering an open sound with excellent punch the iSine20 offers a relaxing listening experience with slightly polite treble. Keeping in tone with their house sound the iSine20 offers good bass quantity with non-fatiguing treble and a natural tone. This is a very unique IEM that is well worth looking into if you want a more traditional headphone sound. The sound is slightly v-shaped; it’s a warmish, ‘fun’ tuning yet still retains excellent detail retrieval.
Best In-Ear Headphones Price No Object
The W80 are an incredible performer, with a very detailed, spacious yet smooth sound plus an added Alo Audio cable you are sure to be impressed. Fitting 8 BA drivers into this tiny housing is no easy task, yet Westone have done it without sacrificing anything at all.
Some of the most comfortable IEM’s available; the Westone W80 is a pleasure to use for long periods of time, especially with their non fatiguing sound. The bass has body and impact adding a little warmth to the overall sound, the midrange is smooth and non fatiguing, yet the finer details still shine thought. The treble is slightly relaxed but still retains a certain level of sparkle and extension; they are not analytical but still extract the finer details with ease. A very well balanced IEM, that is comfortable and easy to listen to.
The FI-BA-SST35 is one for the detail lovers, being very unforgiving of the source material you will want to listen to well recorded music to get the most out of these.
Final are kings at squeezing the most out of one single BA driver, and the FI-BA-SST35 is no different. Using their proprietary BAM design they move more air, and dig deeper than most conventional single BA driver designs. The bass is always well controlled but offers good impact and articulation without becoming overwhelming or adding much body to the overall sound. The midrange changes depending on the track you are listening to, yet is always very detailed and very transparent. The treble is not fatiguing yet offers incredible insight into the recording, again play well recorded tracks and you will be rewarded with great sound. The soundstage and separation are both excellent, and the timbre is very good for a single BA driver.