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No Battery, No Bluetooth, No Problem: The Best Wired Earbuds to Buy in 2022

SPY logo SPY 6/30/2022 Jonathan Zavaleta

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SPY.com may receive an affiliate commission.

If the only place you buy your wired earbuds is the checkout line at a drugstore, you probably think they’re all shoddy, sound bad and are practically disposable. But the best wired earbuds are built to keep up with wireless earbuds and even headphones. Besides affordability, there are several key benefits to owning a pair of wired earbuds that set them apart from their wireless counterparts, including being harder to lose, not requiring charging and, yes, better sound. Some of the audio information gets lost in even the best Bluetooth headphones, but the analog signal of wired earbuds allows for a higher-quality listening experience.

The main drawback with wired earbuds is tangling, and the wires tend to get damaged and worn out over time. That’s why, when looking for the best wired earbuds, we sought out high-quality pairs with durable, tangle-resistant cables. We also looked for ergonomically designed buds so that they’ll be comfortable in most ears.

We have found through years of testing and owning various wired earbuds that the sound varies tremendously from one pair to the next based on the drivers included and their impedance. Therefore, we have only included wired earbuds with the very latest technology, suitable to the sound quality you’re used to today.

We’ve rounded up some of the best wired earbuds that you can buy online. Keep reading to find out more about the pros and cons of each, before choosing the best wired earbuds for your needs.

Read More: A Sound Investment? Here’s What You Need To Know About Bone Conduction Headphones

  

1. Etymotic Research ER2XR Extended Response High Performance In-Ear Earphones

BEST OVERALL

What’s killed every set of wired headphones you’ve ever owned? The wire frays. Not so with the Etymotic Research ER2XRs: The metal earbuds detach from the wires, which can be replaced. That alone would put it high on the list, but they’re also really good earbuds. The enhanced bass is super solid, and while they do not have Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), they do isolate up to 35dB of external noise. The triple-cone gel tips make for a snug, comfortable fit.

Etymotic Research ER2XR Extended Response High Performance In-Ear Earphones © Provided by SPY Etymotic Research ER2XR Extended Response High Performance In-Ear Earphones

Buy: Etymotic Research ER2XR Extended Response High Performance In-Ear Earphones $87.96 (orig. $109.95) 20% OFF

  

2. Sony MDREX15AP In-Ear Earbuds

RUNNER UP

Sony makes some of the best audio gear for the money, and these classic earbuds are a great option. They have a squishy silicone tip designed to fit in ears of different sizes, and there’s a convenient microphone, making it a great option for calls. There’s also a version without a mic. The 9mm dome-type drivers are designed for a quality listening experience.

Sony MDREX15AP In-Ear Earbuds © Provided by SPY Sony MDREX15AP In-Ear Earbuds

Buy: Sony MDREX15AP In-Ear Earbuds $9.99 (orig. $19.99) 50% OFF

  

3. Apple EarPods

MOST ICONIC

Remember those silhouette commercials for the iPod from the mid-2000s? Apple’s earbuds are iconic for a reason, and they’re still a great option for basic music listening. The egg-shaped design is meant to be more comfortable in the ear, and they have the standard 3.5 mm jack. If your phone doesn’t have a jack, these earbuds are available with a lightning connector.

Best wired earbuds apple earpods © Provided by SPY Best wired earbuds apple earpods

Buy: Apple EarPods $17.62

  

4. JVC Earclip Earbud

QUALITY PICK

JVC’s earbuds are great options if you’re looking for something secure for running, working out or just walking around. The ear clip design ensures they won’t fall even if they pop out of your ear, and they’re designed to resist sweat, so they’ll keep up with your workouts. There are three earpieces included, so you can find the one that’s most comfortable for you.

Best wired earbuds jvc earclip earbud © Provided by SPY Best wired earbuds jvc earclip earbud

Buy: JVC Earclip Earbud $7.46 (orig. $9.95) 25% OFF

  

5. Rayleigh Wired Earbuds 5 Pack

BEST MULTI-PACK

One of the worst things about headphones is how easy they are to lose, so it’s always a good idea to buy a multi-pack like the Raleigh Wired Earbuds. This five-pack comes in a variety of attractive colors. The earbuds themselves boast a high-quality membrane, providing stereo-quality sound. If you don’t need five pairs of earbuds, share them with your friends and family.

Best wired earbuds rayleigh © Provided by SPY Best wired earbuds rayleigh

Buy: Rayleigh Wired Earbuds 5 Pack $12.99 (orig. $16.99) 24% OFF

  

6. JBL Endurance RUN

BEST FOR EXERCISE

The JBL Run is a flexible and versatile option for working out or casual wear. The unique shape of the buds allows them to be worn in the ear like regular buds, or you can run the cables behind your ear and wear them like sport buds. Two earbud sizes are included. The inline controls and built-in mic make it easy to take calls.

Read More: Get Hooked on the 13 Best Hook Earbuds for Running

Best wired earbuds jbl endurance run © Provided by SPY Best wired earbuds jbl endurance run

Buy: JBL Endurance RUN $19.95

  

7. 1MORE Quad Driver in-Ear Earphones

BEST SOUND QUALITY

1MORE is a brand that tends to fly under the radar, and we can’t figure out why because they’ve been making earbuds and earphones known for truly high-end sound engineered by Grammy Award-winning sound engineer Luca Bignardi. This model has four drivers to deliver super crisp, wildly accurate sound, with spacious reproduction that brings more of the sound of a concert hall and not a club. They also come with luxury-level gift packaging including nine sets of ear tips and a faux leather traveling case. Classy earbuds, amazing sound, solid recommendation.

  1MORE-Quad-Driver-In-Ear-Earphones © Provided by SPY 1MORE-Quad-Driver-In-Ear-Earphones

Buy: 1MORE Quad Driver in-Ear Earphones $99.99 (orig. $129.99) 23% OFF

  

8. ULIX Rider Earbuds

BEST SOUND QUALITY (BUDGET)

For true music lovers, you can’t beat the ULIX Rider Earbuds. The company designed these headphones to provide a “natural and realistic listening experience.” That’s why they developed tiny speakers with an impedance of 48 Ω. This means this product provides some of the best bass and crystal-clear sounds available in wired earbuds. But ULIX didn’t stop there. They also developed a metal casing for the earbuds that is not only attractive but enhances the sound performance. And the company provides 24/7 customer support.

Best wired earbuds ulix rider © Provided by SPY Best wired earbuds ulix rider

Buy: ULIX Rider Earbuds $17.97

    

9. Sony MDRXB55AP Wired Extra Bass Earbuds

BEST BASS

Sony’s MDRXB55AP earbuds come with “extra bass” in their name, and they mean it. The 12mm neodymium driver units give you truly powerful bass but free from distortion, and the Powered Bass Duct++ technology gives you EXTRA BASS (yes, in all caps) for all of the molar-rattling, club-level oons oons oons you could want. On top of that, they come in three colors, have an inline remote and mic for hands-free calling, four different sizes of tips and ring in at under $50.

  Sony-MDRXB55AP-Extra-Bass-wired-Earbuds © Provided by SPY Sony-MDRXB55AP-Extra-Bass-wired-Earbuds

Buy: Sony MDRXB55AP Extra Bass Wired Earbuds $48.00

  

10. Shure SE425-CL Sound Isolating Wired Earbuds

BEST SPLURGE

Shure is a known and trusted name among audiophiles, podcasters and anyone who wants and relies on clear sound. The SE425-CL Sound Isolating Wired Earbuds live up to the rep with Active Noise Cancellation and a dual high-def driver giving you an amazing range of pristine sound, and the over-the-ear design combined with detachable buds and three sizes of black foam sleeves ensure a great fit and fewer intrusive cables. On top of that? They look awesome. The clear buds and cables and the gold-plated connector give the Shure SE425-CLs a futuristic vibe we can’t look away from.

Shure-SE425-CL-wired-sound-isolating-earbuds © Provided by SPY Shure-SE425-CL-wired-sound-isolating-earbuds

Buy: Shure SE425-CL Wired Earbuds $269.00

  

11. Sennheiser CX 300S In-Ear Headphone With One-Button Smart Remote

ALSO CONSIDER

The Sennheiser CX300S buds bring you Sennheiser’s precise German engineering and no-nonsense design for a very reasonable $50. Two ergonomically pleasing buds, a one-button remote, detailed sound and enhanced bass are all you need in a set of wired earbuds.

Sennheiser-CX-300S-In-Ear-wired-earbuds © Provided by SPY Sennheiser-CX-300S-In-Ear-wired-earbuds  

Buy: Sennheiser CX 300S In Ear Headphone with One-Button Smart Remote $49.95

  

Consider This Before Buying Wired Earbuds

As with any headphones, there are a wide variety of styles and price points for wired earbuds. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before buying a pair.

  • Check your dongle: It’s a given now that the 3.5mm headphone input is gone forever from smartphones. But check your laptop or tablet, because they’re vanishing there as well. Adapter dongles are plentiful and inexpensive, but be thorough in your research to see if you need one and, if so, which kind.
  • Am I saving money by going wired? In most cases, but you can also quickly find yourself shelling out as much on wired earbuds as you would on wireless. What you will find are way more inexpensive wired earbuds than wireless ones, which is great for stashing spare pairs in places like your gym bag or car. But count on those having a short shelf life. Wired earbuds are like anything else: You get what you pay for. Invest in a really good pair and a couple of cheapo spares to stash.
  • Do wired earbuds sound better than wireless? In other words, is there a retro sort of “older sounds better” thing like with vinyl records? No, but there is a school of thought among audiophiles that Bluetooth sound is lower resolution and sounds flatter compared to wired headphones or earbuds.
  • Is there any noise-canceling difference between wired and wireless? No. Active noise canceling (ANC) works just as well with wired headphones as with wireless ones, so if you’re looking for good noise-canceling wired earbuds, make sure they have ANC.
  

Updates: This review was last updated on June 27, 2022, at which time we added additional product photos and new Things to Consider Before Buying Wired Earbuds. We added the Etymotic Research ER2XR Extended Response High Performance In-Ear Earphones as our Best Overall and moved the Sony MDREX15AP In-Ear Earbuds to Runner Up based on the Etymotic Research’s replaceable cables and overall quality. We added the 1MORE Quad Driver in-Ear Earphones as Best Sound Quality and moved the ULIX Rider Earbuds to Best Sound Quality (Budget), and removed the Samsung EO-EG920LLEGUS Active InEar Headphones (Most Versatile) since they are not currently available. We replaced the Sony MDRXB50AP Extra Bass Earbud Headphones as Best Bass with the updated Sony MDRXB55AP Wired Extra Bass Earbuds model, added the Shure SE 425-CL as Best Splurge to replace the Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones which are not currently available, and added the Sennheiser CX 300S In-Ear Headphone with One-Button Smart Remote as an Also Consider.

  

SPY connects you with the latest top-rated products in tech, style, grooming, fitness and home essentials. Our expert team of editors and product reviewers have researched and vetted over 100,000+ products to bring you only those worth your money. Our job is to do the research for you so you can spend time enjoying your purchase rather than shopping for it. Most importantly: We never recommend a product or service we wouldn’t buy ourselves.

1. Sony MDREX15AP In-Ear Earbud Headphones

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SPY.com may receive an affiliate commission.

Sony makes some of the best audio gear for the money, and these classic earbuds are a great option for most users. They have a squishy silicone tip that’s designed to fit in ears of different sizes, and there’s a convenient microphone, making it a great option if you’re using these to make calls. If you don’t need to make calls, there’s also a version without a mic available from this listing. The 9mm dome-type drivers are designed for a quality listening experience.

Pros: Affordable option. Includes mic for making calls. Lightweight design for comfort.

Cons: Only one button on the microphone, making controls more difficult.

wired earbuds © Provided by SPY wired earbuds
Buy: Sony MDREX15AP In-Ear Earbud Headphones

2. Samsung EO-EG920LLEGUS Active InEar Headphones

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SPY.com may receive an affiliate commission.

Samsung’s earbuds are a versatile option for a wide variety of settings, thanks to the inclusion of different ear tip styles. There are three regular rounded soft buds, as well as a set with contoured wings that are designed to form a snug fit in your ear. The contoured tips help block out noise, and they’re also great for working out. Plus, the inline controls can be used to change the volume and take calls.

Pros: Three pairs of round tips included, plus one contoured pair. Available in several colors. In-line controls include volume and multi-function buttons.

Cons: Only one pair of contoured tips included, which may not fit every ear.

samsung active inear headphones © Provided by SPY samsung active inear headphones
Buy: Samsung EO-EG920LLEGUS Active InEar Headphones

3. JVC Earclip Earbud

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SPY.com may receive an affiliate commission.

JVC’s earbuds are great options if you’re looking for something secure for running, working out or even just walking around. The ear clip design ensures they won’t fall even if they pop out of your ear, and they’re designed to resist sweat, so they’ll keep up with your workouts. There are three earpieces included, so you can find the one that’s most comfortable for you.

Pros: Three ear tip sizes included. Ear clip makes it a good option for working out.

Cons: Cord could be longer.

wired earbuds © Provided by SPY wired earbuds
Buy: JVC Earclip Earbud

4. Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SPY.com may receive an affiliate commission.

Despite the high price, Bose’s QuietComfort 20 is one of the most popular options among wired earbuds, and that’s because of their noise-canceling abilities. The QuietComfort 20s boast Bose’s top-of-the-line noise-canceling, and you can switch to “Aware” mode if you need to be in tune with your surroundings. The earbuds are also designed with a cushioned hook that fits more comfortably in your ear. A carrying case is included as well.

Pros: Features active noise-canceling. Contoured tip that fits comfortably in the ear. Comes with a carrying case.

Cons: The in-line noise-canceling component is bulky, making these less portable than other options.

wired earbuds © Provided by SPY wired earbuds
Buy: Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

5. Apple EarPods

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SPY.com may receive an affiliate commission.

Remember those silhouette commercials for the iPod from the mid-2000s? Apple’s earbuds are iconic for a reason, and they’re still a great option for basic music listening. The egg-shaped design is meant to be more comfortable in the ear, and they have the standard 3.5 mm jack. If your phone doesn’t have a jack, these earbuds are also available with a lightning connector.

Pros: Classic design. Available with either a 3.5mm or lightning connector.

Cons: You can have it any color, as long as it’s white.

wired earbuds © Provided by SPY wired earbuds
Buy: Apple EarPods

6. Rayleigh Wired Earbuds 5 Pack

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SPY.com may receive an affiliate commission.

One of the worst things about headphones is how easy they are to lose. You might leave them sitting on the subway or they get placed in some weird spot around the house where you’ll find them again five years later. Either way, you’ve likely lost more than one pair of headphones, so it’s always a good idea to buy a multi-pack of earbuds, like the Raleigh Wired Earbuds. This five pack comes in a variety of attractive colors. The earbuds themselves also boast a high-quality membrane, providing stereo-quality sound. And, if you don’t need five pairs of earbuds, share them with your friends and family.

Pros: Thea headphones are ergonomically designed for long wear and come with a built-in microphone.

Cons: The longer-than-normal cord is more cumbersome than most competing models, but it won’t break from being wound too tightly.

Best wired earbuds rayleigh © Provided by SPY Best wired earbuds rayleigh
Buy: Rayleigh Wired Earbuds 5 Pack

7. ULIX Rider Earbuds

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SPY.com may receive an affiliate commission.

For true music lovers, you can’t beat the ULIX Rider Earbuds. The company designed these headphones to provide a “natural and realistic listening experience.” That’s why they developed tiny speakers with an impedance of 48 Ω. This means this product provides some of the best bass and crystal-clear sounds available in wired earbuds. But, ULIX didn’t stop there. They also developed a metal casing for the earbuds that is not only attractive but also enhances the sound performance. And, if you ever have any issues, the company provides 24/7 customer support.

Pros: The impedance of 48 Ω provides some of the best sound quality found in earbuds, and the built-in MEMS microphone means the sound output is also pure.

Cons: While the company has done extensive research into ear canal comfort, some people complain that these earbuds can easily become dislodged and consequently fall out.

Best wired earbuds ulix rider © Provided by SPY Best wired earbuds ulix rider
Buy: ULIX Rider Earbuds

8. Sony MDRXB50AP Extra Bass Earbud Headphones

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SPY.com may receive an affiliate commission.

While we already have one pair of wired earbuds from Sony at the top of this list, we just had to include the Sony Extra Bass Earbud Headphones as a secondary option from the brand. After all, Sony is probably the top producer of wired earbuds. This particular pair boasts a 12 millimeter dome driver to deliver an amazingly powerful deep bass. In addition, the red metal exterior and red cord makes this an attractive option for those who want to stand out from the crowd.

Pros: The hybrid silicone dome in the tip of these earbuds is designed for both a secure and comfortable fit.

Cons: The extra powerful bass provided by these headphones can be hard to get used to if you normally use an inferior pair of headphones.

sony extra bass earbud headphones © Provided by SPY sony extra bass earbud headphones
Buy: Sony MDRXB50AP Extra Bass Earbud Headphones

9. Shure SE215 PRO Wired Earbuds

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SPY.com may receive an affiliate commission.

The future is wired with the Shure PRO Wired Earbuds. Not only do these earbuds provide a unique, over-the-ear wearing style, they are also highly tuned to provide the best sound quality possible in such a small package. The full-range sound is provided by a single, vented balanced armature driver. This device has been personally tested by professional musicians to ensure it emits the right levels of bass and treble. And, as an added bonus, the earbuds come with three sizes of foam sleeves, so that you can fit them perfectly to your ears.

Pros: In addition to having an amazing in-bud sound system, these headphones can also block up to 37 decibels of noise in order to eliminate distractions around you.

Cons: Some people may not like the see-through appearance of these earbuds.

shure pro wired earbuds © Provided by SPY shure pro wired earbuds
Buy: Shure SE215 PRO Wired Earbuds

10. JBL Endurance RUN

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SPY.com may receive an affiliate commission.

Built for working out, the JBL Run are a flexible and versatile option for working out or casual wear. The unique shape of the buds allows them to be worn in the ear like regular buds, or you can run the cables behind your ear and wear them like sport buds. Two earbud sizes are included. The inline controls and built-in mic make it easy to take calls.

Pros: Unique design works as a behind-the-ear sport bud and as a regular in-ear bud. Includes mic.

Cons: In-line controls don’t have volume control.

wired earbuds © Provided by SPY wired earbuds
Buy: JBL Endurance RUN

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