Get better Earbuds than what's included with portable players!
Earbuds -- not to be confused with 'in-ear monitors' [IEMs] -- are the small headphones commonly included with most portable players like iPod, iPhone, iPad and DVD or MP3 devices. Earbuds seat into the concha ridge (the small cupped area around the ear canal in the center of your outer ear) and are usually efficiently designed so they can be cleanly driven by any mobile audio device. Cheap earbuds often sound poorly detailed and, because of their small size and lack of seal within the ear canal, they are also often woefully lacking in bass response. However, many portable listeners find earbuds easy to wear and unobtrusive to use so we've carefully selected a few models that make a nice upgrade for lowly 'stock' earbuds.
Amongst the top inexpensive earbuds we've found are the very durable Sennheiser MX 680, a quite decent 'bud with built-in volume control and 2-year manufacturer's warranty or the smooth-toned and nicely priced DENON AH-C360. YUIN has become famous in audio enthusiast circles for making great headphones in unusual categories. Rather plain-looking and also rather expensive for an earbud at $79, the Yuin PK2 sonically out-performs any other 'non-amplified' earbud we've ever heard and works very well direct from any portable device. Sounding almost like a solid mid-level audiophile headphone, the extremely high-impedance Yuin PK1 model is simply extraordinary and likely the best-sounding -- and most expensive -- earbud available today. However, the PK1 is quite inefficient and won't reach full sound quality or loud volumes from some mobile players. Put a quality portable headphone amp like one of the FiiO units or the USB-ready HeadRoom BitHead between your iPod / mp3 player and the PK1, and you'll likely be a bit stunned by the excellent mobile musical experience! Finally, for heavy-duty exercise and/or active uses, the colorful line of Polk earbuds can not be beat for toughness of build and solid sound quality.
We've listed our top HeadRoom 'Earbud' picks below but you can click here to see all our earbud headphones.