The main benefit of in-ear headphones—or as they’re more commonly known, earbuds—has always been one of convenience. After all, they’re easier to wear and carry around than a pair of full-sized, over-ear headphones. This has only become more evident with the advent of Bluetooth technology, which as helped the industry dispense with those pesky wires.

But another thing happened over the last decade: Earbuds started to sound a lot better. Thanks to smaller speaker drivers, active-noise cancelling (ANC) technology and other developments, you can now buy a pair of in-ears that sound as good, if not better, than a deluxe pair of traditional headphones. We’re now at the point where there are number of earbuds—not just one or two—that deliver a true high-quality listening experience.


We tried a range of top-flight earbuds. Here are eight of our favorites.

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