The Best Earbuds to Buy in 2020

Earbuds have become all the rage in the past couple of years and that’s sparked competition among manufacturers to dominate the market. As a result, earbuds today come with a host of design and performance features unheard of just a few years ago. Deciding which is the “best” depends on what’s most important to each person.

What are the Best Earbuds Right Now?

Some people want earbuds that deliver the best sound quality while others want a pair that will stay in place during exercise or a workout. Still others might look for a particular brand, a price point, long battery life, waterproof design, the best fit, or even earbuds that cancel outside noise. Depending upon the criteria in a particular earbud wish list, these three models certainly make it into the top ten for virtually everyone.
  • 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphone
  • Sony WF-1000XM3 True Wireless Earbuds
  • Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2
For detailed technical specs, Tech Radar reviews these three and others. They provide a broad overview of other models that may well be “the best earbuds” for some. You can view this page for a glossary of tech terminology related to headphones.

Are Expensive Earbuds Worth It?

Once again, it depends. Some people buy the cheapest earbuds they can find because, as they say, “they’re always breaking, so why waste money on them?” While the costliest earbuds aren’t necessarily the best, most of the more expensive models offer more durability and better sound quality. Professional sound engineers point out that these features, generally available only in more costly models, make listening more enjoyable and justify the higher costs.
  • Active noise canceling (ANC)
  • Sound control via a dedicated mobile app
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Voice assistant access (Alexa, Siri, etc.)
  • Atmos or 3D sound support
  • Water/sweat resistance
  • Multi-point connectivity

What Wireless Earbuds have the Best Sound Quality?

For the audiophiles among us who expect the best sound quality, these two models are widely recognized for delivering excellent sound across the entire frequency spectrum.
  • The Sony WF-1000XM3 is one of the best-sounding wireless earbuds. They’re priced in the $170 range and they offer active noise cancellation. [1]
  • The Momentum True Wireless 2 from Sennheiser offers up to seven hours of listening with sound quality that reviewers claim, “is clearly superior to the AirPods Pro.”

What Wireless Earbuds have the Best Bass?

The Jabra Elite Active 75t offers a comfortable, lightweight design that has an IP57 rating for water and dust resistance, which makes them nearly ideal for those who want to wear them while exercising. Its sound profile is adjustable through the Jabra Sound + app using a 5-band graphic equalizer that lets you dial in just the amount of bass and punch you want.
For people who prefer wired earbuds that plug into a phone, computer, or tablet, the 1More Triple Driver model delivers good, punchy bass sound. They’re a great choice for folks who work at a computer all day and need noise cancellation, comfort, and a well-balanced sound signature. The 1More company points out that this model has three drivers that deliver everything from deep bass to sizzling highs.

Do More Drivers Mean Better Sound?

Loudspeakers are designed to optimize different frequencies of sound, which is why we have tweeters, woofers, and mid-range speakers on many entertainment systems. All of them vibrate to the sounds being played and move air, which we interpret as sound.
Earbuds work on the same principle, except that the vibrating parts inside – known as drivers because they “drive” the sound waves into your ear – are much smaller than those of a loudspeaker. In earbuds with multiple drivers, each driver is designed to respond to a particular frequency range. The more drivers, the better the overall sound quality.

Are AirPods Worth the Price?

AirPods have a huge following among Apple aficionados who understand that Apple products usually cost a bit more than the competition. To those people, price isn’t as much a concern as getting the brand they want. The AirPod Pro comes with a case that can wirelessly charge the earbuds and is often recognized for its superior noise cancellation and overall sound quality. In the end, whether they’re worth the price is up to you.

Is an Extended Warranty on Earbuds a Good Idea?

No matter which earbuds you choose, protecting them against damage just makes sense, especially for those who opt for a more expensive model. Upsie headphone extended warranties protect against hazards the manufacturer’s warranty does not, and at a fraction of the price. Imagine dropping an earbud in a sink full of water. Unless it’s got an IP68 rating, it’s not likely to survive. With an Upsie contract, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing your investment is protected.

What is Covered Under an Earbud Warranty Plan?

The Upsie Headphone Warranty covers drops, liquid damage, mechanical failure, and problems with sound volume, sound quality, controls, and microphones.
Further, you can buy your service contracts within 60 days of purchasing your earbuds (or other music-playing devices). Just upload a copy of your receipt to document your purchase. Besides that, Upsie gives you the following options you’ll not find with the earbud manufacturers.
  • Far lower cost than big-box retailers or manufacturers
  • Upsie covers both new and used or refurbished earbuds.
  • Both 2- and 3-year terms are available. You can get repairs at a certified repair facility or ship it to Upsie with a prepaid box and label we provide. Genius Bar repairs are available for Apple AirPods.
  • If the repair is too costly, the earbuds can be replaced.
  • Real humans answer Upsie phones. No more having to wade through voice menus only to find yourself waiting interminably on hold. You can even chat with us via Twitter and Facebook.
Upsie works with the same insurance carriers the big box retailers use, but we don’t add their expensive retail markup. Give us a call 1-877-844-7745 if you have questions. We look forward to serving you.

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* This article is over 6 months old and may or may not be updated.