Musical enthusiasts prefer to have their musical favorites conveyed with a clarity and presence that enlivens the experience, even when they are out and listening on the go.
But all too frequently, the in-ear headphones that come with most phones disappoint in some way. The regular stock earbuds do not usually sound that great. Not even flagship phones normally ship with a high-end pair that can please audiophiles. Users can usually find a better set that would be a practical upgrade over what they already have.
We are serious about audio performance, so we decided to try a few of the top in-ear headphones with microphone that have the kind of quality features that users would appreciate. So before we continue, here are the best earbuds with mic that we cover in this review.
Among these worthies should be one that can meet your need for the best audio and headset quality and comfort.
Panasonic Ergofit RP-TCM125 (Editor’s Pick)
This particular Panasonic has become quite popular due to surprisingly good audio quality and conveniences coupled with budget-friendly pricing. If you get this to replace your phone’s stock set you will likely be pleasantly surprised like many, many owners.
Over the past year, tens of thousands have given this model some very nice reviews. It’s been the biggest selling in-ear model at many online sellers. The balanced sound has enough clarity to play most music types with no distortion. This inexpensive model doesn’t offer powerful bass or the ultra-detailed highs and the rich midrange presentation of higher-end designs. But for a low price, it conveys a pretty smooth and musical sound with more presence than many supposedly premium sets.
The plastic design may not look spectacular, but the earpieces are smartly slanted to fit the typical listener’s ears. The in-line controls utilize a single button for playback and call control, which works well. The omission of volume adjustments can be annoying, though.
The mic section is more than good enough to handling your daily calls, although the thin cable has a tendency to tangle. Three pairs of ear tips are included in the packages, which seal well against external noises once you’ve selected one for a proper fit. Panasonic’s Ergofit RP-TCM125 is not a premium pair of in-ear headphones in any sense. But for what it delivers in terms of sound performance and convenience features, it’s noticeably better than anything else in its price range but for the lack of volume controls. This bestselling model remains our pick for best cheap earbuds with a microphone.
Samsung’s standard earbud design is another popular budget model. Its hybrid earbud/in-ear shape is comfortable and made even more stable with ergonomic fins that press into the inside ear. It offers the noise isolating performance of canal-type earpieces combined with the comfortable feel of simple earbud-type models.
The sound is relatively clear in the highs and rich around the mids, and the 12 mm drivers provide a bit of bass within a somewhat balanced audio profile that tends to recess vocals a little. The housings are built with advanced material that reduce wind noise for quieter music encounters as well as clearer calls.
Call and volume controls worked great with Android phones as expected and playback functions were supported on iPhones, although the anti-twist cable can still get twisted at times. Along with three sets of ear tips in the box was an accessory card to organize the stuff in the included carrying bag, which is a thoughtful inclusion.
For such a low price, it’s hard to go wrong with Samsung’s EO-EG920BW hybrid, as inexpensive earbuds with a microphone for replacing your phone’s stock units.
Play X Store’s wired model is another good budget choice that offers relatively decent audio performance. This model’s frequency response profile is somewhat tonally balanced, which is good for most types of music.
Audio quality was quite good in general, with enough smoothened detail and presence in the mid to high ranges to satisfy all but demanding listeners. You can’t expect the kind of sharp treble or well-bodied bass that pricier models can provide, though, and the build quality is only average.
Each plastic earpiece is coated with rubbery materials for a more comfortable feel. The design also features a modicum of moisture resistance and sports features, for we noticed that housings are readily gripped even with slippery fingers. The earpieces were exceptionally light and compact and once a good fit is secured, can be comfortably worn for hours at a stretch.
The 3-button controls were easy to operate and call, playback, volume functions worked well with iOS mobiles and newer Android phones. Only two extra pairs of comfortable ear tips are provided.
In any case, Play X Store’s Stereo Wired performs well above its price level. It perennially sells as one of the top 5 earbuds with mic in its class.
AUDIST’s in-ear model offers good performance along with full headset controls. The drivers smoothly render a variety of musical recordings with enough presence to please most users.
The highs are clear enough while mid-range and bass notes are delivered with surprising strength, when you consider how inexpensive this set is. The usual distorting effects common to most cheap designs are not perceptible and the efficient drivers are capable of powerful volumes.
That said, you cannot expect its audio quality to compare well with that of higher-end designs. On the other hand, the comfort of the lightweight earpieces and soft ear tips is probably the strongest feature of this model.
The in-line control module has a single button, which may be convenient for calls but is less so for music playback. We think the mic might be located a bit too low on the cable for some users, but it served us well enough.
AUDIST’s SX-3511 are decent cheap earbuds with mic that can be good substitutes for the stock units that the typical phone comes with.
Among the few Bluetooth models that work well in active use, Play X Store’s Bluetooth model features moisture-resistant earpieces that can withstand light sweating. With their rubberized coatings, they remain easy to hold even with wet or slimy hands.
The dynamic drivers produce a nicely balanced response curve that’s fine for most types of genre music. There’s enough detail and warmth to satisfy most users, and the bass notes are punchy enough to drive the pace in gym settings. Although the audio performance is good, the volume can be a bit too low at times, even when set to maximum.
We think that its sound output with some audio sources might not be enough to please enthusiasts of highly dynamic musical tracks such as classical and certain acoustic genres. And as this is a Bluetooth model, you can’t just connect and stream music through an external headphone amp as you could easily do with wired headphones. But it sure can keep the beat engaging in a gym setting.
It’s true that the units’ battery life is good for many days as reported in the specs, and they readily charged in a little over an hour. The advanced Bluetooth connections rely on efficient AptX compression to stream more audio data, resulting in music and voice quality that can be as good as that of a wired model.
Three pairs of ear tips are supplied for tailoring the fit for a better seal against surrounding noise. The ear hook design is comfortable, and the fin-like protrusions help to keep the earpieces comfortably in place for listening while on the go. In-line controls worked as expected with iPhones for playback, volume, and calls. The decent mic combined with the wireless connection was a boon for taking calls while vigorously moving about.
Aside from infrequent issues with too-quiet playback, Play X Store’s Wireless Bluetooth in-ear headphones offer a lot of performance and convenience for users who can use its advantages. It’s our obvious pick for the best in-ear wireless headphones with mic.
Sunvito’s wireless model is one of the better inexpensive Bluetooth 4.0 designs in the market. There aren’t that many worth considering as candidates for best wireless earbuds with microphone, but this offers a lot of sound with conveniences.
Like most wireless models, the earpieces are slightly oversized. But they can render clear treble and rich midrange along with some deep and moving bass, which is surprising for such a cheap set. Their sound profile tends to warmth, but overall performance with the efficient AptX codec can match that of a wired model.
Our favorite tracks showed no signs of the distorting effects that cheap models are prone to generating. CVC 6 noise-reduction circuitry also worked in tandem with the sealing effect of the ear tips to stop most external noises from intruding.
The plastic construction of the slightly bulky earpieces seems solid enough although we suspect that they wouldn’t survive being sat on. They do remain stable in place with the ear hooks on, which is good for users with overly active lifestyles. One set of ear hooks and two sizes of ear tips are packaged in the box along with a USB cable for charging.
The earpiece controls handled calls with ease and clarity and managed music playback as well, while the voice-command functions worked fine most of the time. We got almost a full day of calling and listening out of the batteries, which readily charge in less than two hours.
Sunvito’s RQ8 wireless in-ear headphones are convenient for enjoying music while outdoors or at the gym. These are some of the bestcheap wireless earbuds you can find.
Bose’s advanced noise-cancelling models are meant for serious people who crave for undisturbed listening, particularly while travelling. Those who require its ability to deliver superb sound under all conditions will find that this model stands alone in its class.
Its noise-cancelling technology represents the very best available. The system is capable of recognizing a wide range of adjacent voices and noises and mutes these as it concurrently processes your music. In effect, it constantly insulates you from your surroundings whenever it’s activated.
Due to advanced signals processing features, the resulting sound can come across as slightly over-processed. The drivers themselves produce satisfyingly rich mid- and low-range notes along with clearly detailed mid to highs in most types of music. The Aware Mode is especially convenient for turning the scheme off and on whenever you want give an ear to others or must remain alert to your surroundings.
Like with many noise-cancelling schemes, an almost unnoticeable hissing can be sometimes heard with the system active. The effect can be slightly more bothersome in very dynamic recordings, such as classical pieces that have alternating quiet/strong passages.
Just the same, many travelers like to leave it operating in the background while they relax. Apparently, that steady whispering helps to mask the much more annoying rumbling that pervades the cabins of planes and trains. The long battery life conveniently services an entire day, a great plus for travelers.
Three sets of ear tips are included, along with ear hooks that are used for securing the earpieces in place while you’re moving about. Also in the box is a charging cable, a clothing clip, and a useful carrying case. The 20i version we reviewed here is designed for optimal use with Apple devices, with a full set of call, music playback, and volume functions controlled via an easy-to-use interface.
Call quality was among the best we’ve encountered, doubtless due to assists from the advanced signals-processing scheme. The in-line battery and control module integrated into the extra-long cable is a bit bulky though, and can be a bit cumbersome in daily use.
Bose’s QuietComfort 20i are currently the only game in town for users who desire the kind of undisturbed musical experiences that only active noise cancelling can deliver. These pricey in-ear headphones remain our pick for the overall best earbuds with mic.
Klipsch is a venerable audio brand that is well known to audiophiles. Their relatively affordable in-ear model features an excellent dynamic design that’s tweaked to please bass lovers with an accurately detailed yet slightly warm profile that emphasizes the bass section.
Constructed of lightweight yet robust elastomeric materials with metal highlights, the lightweight earpieces were comfortable to with the proper fit. The model we reviewed had a dark scheme, although there seems to be a white version available as well.
The provided four sets of oval-shaped ear tips are among the most comfortable we’ve tried, and helped to attain a good noise-isolating seal for various sizes of ears. The thin cable tends to tangle and some microphonic noise at times, but the clothing clip is a useful inclusion along with the nice carrying case.
Most models feature call and music control functions for BlackBerry and Windows phones in addition to iOS and Android mobiles. The 3-button in-line controls will let you take calls as well as manage track selection, playback, and volume with ease.
Klipsch’s Image S4i conveys the company’s bass-rich signature sound, which will surely pull in many long-time basshead fans. It’s definitely one of the top 5 earbuds with mic.
Bose’s SoundTrue is the company’s first “true’ in-ear design and is also one of the most comfortable available. The durable noise-isolating earpieces produce a clean, well-balanced sound.
The dynamic drivers convey a mostly neutral frequency response that features pleasingly well-bodied but not too excitable bass at the lower end. Detailed highs and well-defined mids are cleanly expressed within Bose’s traditionally smooth and pleasing sound profile. However, the staging is not as nuanced overall as that of the most revealing driver designs.
The housings may look like that of regular noise-isolating designs, but they are designed to provide a ‘floating’ fit with the use of wing-like ear tips that press on your inside ear to hold in place. When properly positioned, the inner rims of their plastic ends angle away from the canals’ sides. They don’t need to be push further inwards to attain a tighter seal.
The result is one of the most comfortable yet stable earbud-style experiences around. Active listeners can keep running or moving around without worrying too much about the earpieces readily falling off. The specialized tips come in three sizes, and if you have small ears, one of these can probably provide for a comfortable fit.
A full set of call handling and music playback and volume functions are controlled using a tactile button cluster that’s easy to operate by feel. The iOS version works quite well, and a nice compact carrying case is included in the package.
Bose’s SoundTrue Ultra in-ear headphones offer a literally a good fit for users who won’t have things pushed into their ears. This model mixes pleasingly balanced sound with superb comfort and steady usage for active users, and are among top 5 earbuds with mic.
Pioneer’s new in-ear design offers excellent audio performance that is only exceeded in practical use by Bose’s advanced noise-cancelling model. The dynamic drivers render a mostly balanced sound with detailed high notes smoothly presented with rich and well-defined mids along with clean and responsive bass.
The ‘exciter’ low-frequency module brings on the kind of full vibrating bass that you wouldn’t think is possible with such a tiny design. Bass-happy listeners will feel themselves quickening, but even highly dynamic musical genres will be rendered faithfully if equalized right.
The earpieces might be a bit too large for some users, though. The weight of their housings can lead to their bouncing around uncomfortably as you walk, which makes this model more appropriate for mainly stationary use.
Three pairs of silicone ear tips are provided along with a durable rubberized carrying case. The detachable anti-twist cable is sturdy but also somewhat heavy as well. It can be tiring to wear these for a few hours. The good news is that the cable can be swapped out with a lighter one with an MMCX connector.
Pioneer’s SE-CX8-K is a unique design that delivers clean and pounding pass as engaging as that of most full-size headphones. It would be our particular pick for top in-ear headphones with microphone for listening while seated. Among in-ear models without noise-cancelling features, this is as good as it gets.
A Quick Guide To Finding The Best Earbuds with Mic - Buyer's Guide
The following are some things you may want to consider when looking for a good pair of earbuds with a microphone.
In-ear models are smaller and lighter than regular full-sized headphones, for you just have to place these within your inside ears. All models have cushy ear tips on their earpiece ends, which are designed to press against your ear openings in order to form a seal that isolates against ambient sounds.
Most of these tips are made of silicone rubbers or foams and some earpieces have additional stiff but bendable stems or else hooks that help to keep everything in place. These special ear hooks press on the inside of your ears for increased stability whenever you engage in runs and other vigorous exercise.
Good headphone designs should fit comfortably at all times, whether you’re stationary and seated or else actively moving around. They should isolate noise and channel soundwaves in the usual public settings. The better designs also reverse-seal your own music to some degree, preventing most of it from escaping and being readily heard by others nearby.
You’re the only who would know whether the benefits of Bluetooth audio are good for you. This depends on whether you’ll be mostly enjoying your music while you’re active and about or else seated and mostly stationary. Conventional wired in-ear headphones would be better choices in the latter case, since they normally offer better audio quality for the money when compared to similarly priced Bluetooth designs.
If you’re the type to be out in the filed or in the gym, you’ll likely enjoy the wire-free advantages that Bluetooth headphones can give you. With these, you can also stream music from other sources such as your car audio or PC Bluetooth connections.
Dynamic drivers are typically designed into the majority of in-ear earbuds and are capable of producing rich and deep bass along with a generally richer and warmer sound. Designs with balanced armatures are more easily tweaked into rendering more detail in the middle notes. But these aren’t as intrinsically competent at the kinds of deep lows and pounding bass for which dynamic driver designs are known.
One thing to remember is that the compact housings of these small types will seldom be as durable as that of full-sized headphone models. The key benefit of those larger units is found in the better comfort that their around-the-ear design provides to the majority of listeners. You might consider getting a full-size pair instead of a tiny in-ear type, if you will be mainly listening to your music at home or other quiet environments where the advantages of in-ear headphones are less pronounced.
For a better idea of what’s available out there that’s appropriate for your personal needs and tastes, you can always look up the top 5 earbuds with mic in every story at the most popular audio review sites.
A video of useful reviews of some of the best in-ear headphones:
Various designs are marketed to meet the needs of different users. Bluetooth models that wirelessly stream music and calls normally have larger earpiece housings or in-line controls for containing their batteries.
Most wired models are built of lighter metal-alloy or plastic materials, with angled housings that point their stems either down or upwards to allow their attached connecting cable to either drop or else loop around your ear. The majority feature drop-down cables, but the added stability and comfort of looping designs can be advantageous for physically active owners.
The in-line button or slider controls that these earbud types feature are nice to use with the smart functions of today’s phones. They can take calls and also manage navigation and playback of your favorite selections tracks, and most will let you adjust sound volumes as well. Some wireless models will even let you swap connections among multiple Bluetooth devices, which can be really convenient.
Bear in mind that you cannot really expect the tiny mics that are integrated into the in-line control units of the majority of these designs to provide call and voice recording quality that can match that of professional headset designs.
In-ear headphones featuring active noise-cancelling systems usually provide better handling of calls. Their aggressive shaping of their sound stage to withstand noisy environments can also pay off in quieter and more enjoyable music listening.
Tiny in-ear designs are more readily designed with anti-sweat features owing to their compact shapes. Those that are marketed as ‘Sport’ models are made to withstand the severe abuse and rough handling that’s typical in outdoor or exercise conditions.
Most have fin-like accessories or stiff stems to keep their earpieces in place whenever you move about and get sweaty while doing so. These work either by holding in place against the inside of the ear or else by forming a hanging loop over the top.
We handpicked our selection to feature in-ear models that are regarded as the upcoming best earbuds of 2017 by many online reviewers. But among these are a few standouts that we are recommending.
Budget earbuds with mic
Enthusiasts looking for a very affordable yet dependable in-ear model will be pleased with Panasonic’s ErgoFit RP-TCM125. While fine alternatives are available at similar prices, the ErgoFit offers the best combination of audio quality and comfort among its peers. So long as you can live with lack of in-line volume control, we think you’ll agree that it’s the best pair of affordable in-ear headphones with mic.
Wireless earbuds with a mic
Play X Store’s Stereo Bluetooth model features an especially good mix of excellent audio quality, steady usage, and convenient Bluetooth connections. Listeners with active lifestyles who like hands-free operation along with audio performance will find a lot to like in this pair of Bluetooth earbuds with mic.
Overall best earbuds with microphone
You might think that only critical listeners would spend for the kind of performance that can lift you into a peaceful realm of listening. But Bose’s QuietComfort 20i represents a great advance in noise-cancelling headgear that frequent travelers can also appreciate. Given their technologically amazing performance and practical advantages, they remain our pick as the overall best earbuds with mic.
Pioneer’s SE-CX8-K offers the most performance among models without noise-cancelling features. Given the superbly balanced and detailed sound field that it is capable of rendering, this is another option worthy of consideration for the best. For listening in quiet and stationary settings, these are one of the two top in-ear headphones with microphone that we can recommend wholeheartedly.
Our advice when you’re trying out stuff on display is to enjoy yourself by playing your favorites on them. Try any pair that grabs your attention, feels comfortable, and sounds quiet enough for use in long listening sessions. This way, you might end up with a great pair that you wouldn’t have taken seriously beforehand.
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