Best classic earbuds: find the best match for your music

Earbuds are essential jewelry that we all possess. Whether you are an audiophile, a music-lover, or simply anything to listen to, you need a good pair of earbuds. In this article, I will talk about some of the best classic earbuds that are affordable, sturdy, and comfortable.

The earbuds are typically made of plastic that you plug into the outer side of the ear rather than inserting it into it. Some of these earbuds are wireless making it ideal to use during sports, jogging, or in gyms. While Apple makes some of the best earbuds, there are other brands that are worth mentioning. In this article, I will illustrate some of the best classic earbuds.

Although classic or traditional hard plastic earbuds were famous in old days, some people still search for them because they find these comfortable to use. Once you read this article, you will have a comprehensive idea of the best classic earbuds and you can choose accordingly.

What is the difference between classic earbuds and in-ear earphones?

In-ear monitors (IEM) or earphones are popular among many due to their features and ease of use. These silicone-based earplugs need to be inserted into the ears whereas the classic earbuds remain on the outer side of the ears.

Since they don’t completely seal your ear, you can still hear outside noises like car horns or dog barking which acts as a safety measure if you are walking or jogging on the road. They are best for casual listening and you can use them for long hours.

If you use the IEM for a longer time, you may experience ear fatigue. IEM is famous because it can reduce the external or surrounding noise, remains well-fitted into the ear, and provided undistorted audio with proper sealing. Some people don’t like to push earphones into their ears and feel comfortable to wear the earbuds.

List of best classic earbuds:

  Type Battery Sound pressure level (dB)
Apple Airpod 2 Wireless 5 hours Unknown
Edifier H190 Wired none 96dB
JBL TUNE 205BT Wireless 6 hours 100dB
Philips ActionFit Wired None 110dB (sensitivity)
Sennheiser MX 375 Wired None 122dB

Best for Apple users: Apple Airpod 2

Pros Cons
  • Ideal for Apple-ecosystem
  • Strong plastic material
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Connects with different devices easily
  • Can’t reduce outside noise

The Apple Airpod 2 is very lightweight and feels comfortable to use for a long time. Not only does it belong to one of the most popular brands, but it is also packed with features. The H1 chip helps to connect to an iPhone immediately and allows ‘seamless transition’ between different iOS devices like iPhone, iPad, or Mackbook.

You can use it with Android by the pairing mode. The Bluetooth 5.0 connection is stable and strong which has a range of around 33ft. Although it will not provide firm sealing with your ear and might fall off if you are doing vigorous excursive or if you sweating.

A wireless charger is another smart addition to the Airpod 2 and if you charge it for 15min, you will get a battery life of 3 hours. If you are willing to use it for talking mostly, then chances are that you will run out of battery quickly.

In terms of sound, since they are classic earbuds, the bass is not well-presented due to their no noise exclusion feature. The highs and mids are decent but the bass is lacking and if you love deep bass music then you might not like it.

Overall, it has a strong build quality of plastic and is best in the Apple ecosystem. You can also tweak the audio by adjusting the EQ settings in iOS. The compatibility with Siri, the build quality and price range along with the brand name makes it famous among users

You get an enjoyable, airy sound, that is very suitable for vocals. By design, the low-end is lacking sub-bass extension. With some additional features like noise reduction, wind-noise reduction, and flexibility of use with Androids, you can choose the Huawei FreeBuds 3.

Best affordable: Edifier H190 Premium Earbuds

Pros Cons
  • Cheap
  • Durable build
  • non-tangle wire
  • Compatible with both Apple and non-Apple device
  • May slip off the ear

The Edifier H190 is one of the cheapest earbuds that you can get without compromising quality. It has a 3.5mm connector and 32 ohms’ impedance. The Sound Pressure Level is 97dB. It has a 15 mm Neodymium unit and a 6-micron diaphragm that ensures the audio you hear is full, airy, and decent.

The earbuds are made of high-quality plastic and strong body so it can handle sudden drops or hit against a surface. It is lightweight and is easy to wear without pressing into your ears. You can easily carry it for a long time while traveling. The device has TPE anti-winding wire so that it doesn’t tangle.

These earbuds are designed in such a way so that it tries to avoid unwanted noise so that you can listen clear treble, accurate mids, and punchier lows. It comes with foams that add greater comfort and protects ears from any pain. The Edifier H190 works with any device including smartphones, tabs, music players, PC, or MacBooks. It also works with the iPhone and iPad.

The product is one of the affordable earbuds that also comes with a one-year warranty. It is a wired earbud which means you don’t have to worry about battery life. The wire is strong and has an anti-tangling feature.

Best features: JBL TUNE 205BT

Pros Cons
  • Intelligent design
  • Anti-tangle flat cables
  • Better Bluetooth connectivity
  • SPL of 100dB @ 1kHz
  • Enhanced bass and overall decent audio
  • Bright blue LED glows in the dark

JBL is a renowned brand that belongs to Harman Kardon. This JBL earbud has a flat cable and has a control option attached to the wire.  The flat cable avoids the problem of tangling and is long-lasting. You need to wear it behind your neck so that the cable falls back.

The earbud is slim and soft so that you can use this for a longer period of time. It has 12.5 mm drivers ensures you get the best sound with deep bass. The Bluetooth allows it to connect to your phone or tabs and it has a 4.1 version. The audio quality is impressive based on the size and price but it is expected from JBL.

These earbuds are known to be bass-heavy and the performance doesn’t show otherwise. The bass is tighter but it could be better. The mids are clear with vocals that sound realistic and the highs are balanced too. The soundstage is natural and ear-filling. Although the sound quality could be improved, at this price range, and being wireless, the audio is quite good.

It has a battery life of 6 hours that takes only 2 hours to charge. It is best to use and move around because it is wireless and doesn’t have the hassle of messy wires. The control buttons make it even easier to use. With the multi-function button, you can play/pause songs or answer a call.

Best for sports: Philips ActionFit SHQ1300LF/27

Pros Cons
  • Ultra-strong build
  • Strong Kevlar reinforced cable
  • Anti-sweat and waterproof with an IPX4 rating
  • Stable audio quality during exercise
  • 8.6mm neodymium drivers ensure better sound
  • C-shaped ear tips of three different sizes.
  • Some people may prefer wireless.

This Philips earbud is designed for workouts or sports activities. It is very light to wear and has a C-shaped ear tip so that the earbud will stay put firmly into your ear. It comes with three ear tip sizes so that it will fit everyone perfectly. To make it ideal for sports, it is sweat and moisture-proof which means sweat or rain will not hamper your music.

The device has 8.6mm neodymium drivers that ensure you get the ultimate experience from these earbuds. The performance is airy and balanced.  It has an open acoustics design which means it will not completely eliminate outside sound which is essential for safety measures. If you go for a run or sports outdoors it will help you to stay alert.

Philips ActionFit also has Kevlar® reinforced headphone wire. The cable is designed to be extra tough and strong so that it can withstand any rough forces during the workout. It is a wired earbud so there is no hassle charging although some people may not like it.

The quality of these earbuds is very extra-strong and the sound quality will remain smooth and continuous during jerky movements of workouts. At this price range, Philips comes with compact earbuds with great design and audio.

Best performance: Sennheiser MX 375

The Sennheiser earbuds are made of plastic, it has a matte black texture and is a wired earbud. Just like other earbuds it is lightweight and comes with foams that make it even more comfortable to wear. They stay put in ear and will not slip off occasionally.

The audio quality isn’t audiophile-grade and it is expected to be so. The performance is clean and clear with adequate bass but not very punchier. Compared to regular headphones, the sound quality is ear-filling with balanced mids and highs.

You can use the MX 375 with all audio equipment like MP3, iPad, iPod, or iPhone which means you will not be isolated if you own Apple devices. However, it doesn’t have the noise reduction feature so you will hear external sounds that might bother you.

The product comes at a cheap price rate and has a 2-year warranty. They are sleek and stylish and ideal for regular use.

Conclusion

Plastic classic earbuds are preferable among many users because they find them easy to wear rather than inserting IEM deep into the ear. Although these are not designed to completely cancel out outside noises so you will experience some disturbance while listening to music.

This article presents some of the best classic earbuds for the different use cases at different price ranges. Some earbuds use advanced features that can partially remove outside sound. Others have a C-shaped ear tip or hooked ear tip so that it remains in your ears firmly.

There are earbuds for sports especially those that are sweat and rainproof. Almost all earbuds including Airpod 2, the quality of the material is plastic and very strong. So that if it falls on the floor, it will not be damaged. They deliver sound with clarity and some have better control over different frequency ranges. You can use it for a long period of time without any ear fatigue.

FAQ

Do earbuds cause hearing loss?

Answer: Earbuds are that tiny little thing that has the power to damage your ears permanently if used inappropriately. The loudness is the main feature that is responsible. The loudness of a chainsaw is 100dB whereas the loudness of a song playing at 70% volume is around 85dB. So if you listen to such high volume for a longer period of time, slowly without realizing you will suffer from hearing loss.

What should you do to prevent damage to the ears?

Answer: usually teens are more addicted to music and suffer from this issue more frequently. For this reason, doctors recommend that you may listen to music but not too excessively. They suggest to listen for a long time of about 60min and after that take a break.

You should also listen to songs with a volume that is 60% of the maximum volume. In this way, the earbuds should be used but music lovers should follow some guidelines to protect their ears.

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