After much real-world earphone testing, these are my picks:
- The Best Earphones Under $50: Dunu DN-12
- The Best Earphones Under $100: VSonic GR07
- The Bear Earphones Under $300: Etymotic Research ER4P-T
I’ve tested many earphones at Reactual over the last two years — probably about 30 earphones in total. Overall, I’ve been underwhelmed by most earphones on the market — even those that are recommended by magazines and blog (brands such as Beats, Audio-Technica, JVC, Sennheiser, MEElectronics, Sony, Symphonized and Westone).
My top issue with most earphones is a lack of sound quality — I’m very fond of rich sound with well represented bass. I also like my earphones to be comfortable and durable. I eventually found some earphones that were worthy of purchase — here are my picks:
The Best Earphones Under $50: Dunu DN-12 Noise-Isolation Earphones
These $33 Dunu DN-12 earphones are very comfortable to wear and quite good looking too. In your hand, the DN-12’s body feels solid. More importantly, these are the best sounding earphones I’ve heard for under $50. The bass is very well represented, and the mid-range is warm and prominent. The treble is just right too — there is no sibilance at all — which makes for fatigue-free listening. Overall, the sound clarity is wonderful, especially for the price.
These are not sports headphones however — while walking or running these earphones tend to fall out your ear, due to their metal body.
The Best Earphones Under $100: VSonic GR07
The VSonic GR07 earphones have excellent fidelity and a very balanced sound. If you read the Amazon reviews on this earphone — you’ll find almost everyone raves about the sound quality. Also, this is one of most comfortable earphones I’ve tested (my wife agrees — she loves these earphones).
If you are a bass enthusiast, check the Bass Edition of these earphones.
The Best Earphones Under $300: Etymotic Research ER4P-T
The Etymotic Research ER4P-T is significantly more expensive then the previous two earphones I’ve highlighted. But if you want audiophile quality from earphones, you’ll get it from these $264 Etymotic earphones. Basically, you are paying about $150 more than the VSonic GR07 for another level of sound clarity.
The people at Head-Fi reviews (who obsess about headphones) have this to say about the ER4P-T:
“Very clear, precise and flat sound, speed and response. excellent isolation, build quality and warranty.”“superior accuracy; clarity and detail fest; timbre fidelity; neutral signature; pace; imaging; versatility; great isolation; build quality; comfort”
The ER4P-T is also very comfortable to wear.