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The Best Earphones For Sound Quality In 2016

by Justin Thomas •

After much real-world earphone testing, these are my picks:

The Details

Some of the earphones I've tested

Some of the earphones I’ve tested

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).

The Best Sounding Earphoens: A few more earphones I've tests

A few more earphones I’ve tested

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

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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 Dunu DN-12 is available on Amazon for about $33.

The Best Earphones Under $100: VSonic GR07

VSonic_GR07_Photo_Main

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 VSonic GR07 is available on Amazon for about $99.

The Best Earphones Under $300: Etymotic Research ER4P-T

ER4P-xlarge

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.

The Etymotic Research ER4P-T is available on Amazon for about $264.

Comments 1

  1. If you can afford to splurge a bit, the Etymotic Research ER4P-T are worth every penny, the sound quality is amazing and you won’t even feel them. Regardless if you use them when you go for a run or when you have a long flight ahead, you will forget you have these on! The noise isolation is almost 100% so I don’t recommend you wear these in traffic or in a crowded area, they’re just that good #keepsafe

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