For decades, manufacturers like Sennheiser, JBL, and Audio-Technica dominated the headphone market. However, as earbuds, in particular, have grown more popular, the number of brands looking to meet demand has also grown.
We compiled the top ten earbud brands of 2021, with options priced from under $10 to as much as $2,000. To give you all of the information you need, we’ve separated this series into two parts. In part one, we’ll discuss the top five. You can also read part two of our Top Earbuds Brands series
to find out what other five brands make it into the top ten.
Here’s a closer look at the first five (out of ten), in no particular order, of the biggest earbud brands and models this year and heading into 2022.
Apple’s now-ubiquitous AirPods
have helped to redefine the earbud market in recent years. Prices range from $159 for a pair of entry-level AirPods to $249 for Apple’s most expensive AirPods Pro earbuds. Both include a charging case, although only the costlier model benefits from wireless charging.
Apple customers can also still pick up the brand’s classic wired EarPods. With either a 3.5mm headphone plug or Lightning connector, these cost just $19 – value for money that’s hard to beat, especially considering their excellent all-around performance.
Samsung Galaxy Buds
Launched in 2019, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds
are a relative newcomer to the earbud market. An ever-growing choice of Galaxy Buds, Galaxy Buds+, Galaxy Buds Live, Galaxy Buds2, and Galaxy Buds Pro models cost between $129.99 and $199.99. In addition, buyers can find a pair of Galaxy Buds+ in a choice of colors for under $100.
Samsung’s wired offering is limited to two USB-C pairs, one with and one without active noise control. Don’t expect a bargain, though, as these will set you back $99.99 and $29.99 apiece, respectively.
Google Pixel Buds
Considering the sheer range of earbuds on offer from Samsung, Google’s line-up is refreshingly simple and much more Apple-like. Right now, that means a choice of either Pixel Buds or Pixel Buds A-Series
. The pricier Pixel Buds get a wireless charging case and a few other benefits over the entry-level A-Series model. Both come in white and either black or olive, depending on which style buyers choose.
Pricing is straightforward, too. These earbuds cost $179 for Google’s latest generation of its flagship Buds and $99 for the more basic A-Series alternative. Like Samsung, Google also offers a wired option in the shape of its Pixel-branded USB-C earbuds at $30.
Sony is one of the more old-school earbud brands when it comes to both headphones and earbuds. There’s a dizzying range on offer, with prices from under $10 to just a penny shy of $2,000
. Across its range, Sony’s earbuds boast a variety of strengths and weaknesses.
Among the most highly rated are the brand’s WF1000XM4
noise-canceling wireless earbuds at $279.99. Elsewhere, the out-and-out variety on offer from Sony makes the manufacturer a good choice for music fans looking to fine-tune their listening experiences. Be sure to shop around for a deal as well. Discounts are often available, especially on slightly older but still popular earbud models.
There’s no denying that Jabra is somewhat of a less-talked-about brand, especially compared to giants like Apple and Sony. Better known for its office and call center headsets, the manufacturer also boasts a growing range of impressive wireless earbuds.
More recently, Jabra has moved away from the likes of its bargain Vox, Rhythm, and other wired earbuds. Instead, the focus is on options such as its Elite 75t
wireless earbuds. These were recently named among the best on the market by Wirecutter in its look at the top wireless Bluetooth earbuds
. Across the Jabra wireless earbud line-up, prices start from under $100 and climb to closer to $300 for its various top-of-the-range products.
Protecting Your Earbuds with an Extended Warranty
Earbuds from each of these top five brands will provide you with stunning sound and aesthetic designs. However, all earbuds are susceptible to damage due to their portability and size. To protect your earbuds from damage, purchase an Upsie
- Accidental damage, including drops, spills, and scratches
- Sound or speaker failure
- Mechanical failure
- Manufacturer defects
In addition, Upsie’s warranties cost up to 70 percent less than warranties from competitors, making them the best choice to protect your devices. Further, Upsie gives customers the option of local or shipped repairs. If repairs don’t make sense on the first claim, Upsie will even replace the earbuds.
For unparalleled protection, purchase an Upsie warranty.
Learn More About Portable Audio: