Best in-ear headphones 2021: which model to buy?

Are you looking for a new pair of in-ear headphones? You have come to the right place, dear readers. In this buying guide, we’ve listed all of the best headphones on the market, whether wired or wireless. At the end of the article, we also answer all your questions about buying an in-ear headset. Follow the leader.

Our selection of the best in-ear headphones

We have selected for you the best in-ear headphones of the current market. In the selection below, there will be something for all tastes and also for all prices. In conclusion, we offer you a small FAQ on the uses, functions and budget allocated to a pair of in-ear headphones.

Apple AirPods Pro

Apple AirPods Pro headphones

We start this buying guide with AirPods Pro, Apple’s premium solution. Sold at a price of 279 euros, the headphones designed by the Californian giant will especially delight iPhone users. Paired with an iOS device, the magic of AirPods operates to its full potential. An iPhone (or iPad) locates Airpods Pro within 2 seconds of opening the charging case.

A window then appears at the bottom of the screen and makes pairing easier: in 10 seconds, you will be able to listen to music. Apple promises around 4 hours of listening time with headphones. Thanks to the case, the fi rm provides an additional 24 hours of battery life. It’s just passable given the competition. Apple headphones stand out above all for their active noise reduction system.

Apple offers three listening modes: neutral (passive noise reduction), noise cancellation (active reduction), and transparency. Apple technology really makes it possible to find yourself in a bubble of silence and tranquility, whether in the subway, in the office or in the middle of a construction site. Hats off! The quality of phone calls, a strong point of previous AirPods, remains very, very good. To find out more, we invite you to read our test and opinion on the AirPods Pro.

The + The –

Compact and lightweight
The high price
Effective active noise reduction Especially ideal for iPhone / iPad
Good sound quality Fairly passable autonomy
Ideal for calls

Sony WF-1000XM3


We continue with the WF-1000XM3 with the unpronounceable name of Sony. Inspired by its high-flying, active noise-canceling headphones, the WF-1000XM3 opt for an Apple AirPods-style design. With the headphones, Sony includes a charging case to boost battery life. With the case, the Japanese manufacturer expects 24 to 32 hours of battery life. Without it, the headphones climb to 6 hours with noise reduction, compared to 8 hours if noise reduction is off.

Its best asset is the active noise reduction. Con fi gurable via an ultra-well-thought-out mobile application, it perfectly isolates exterior noise. Finally, the WF1000XM3 offer a balanced and punchy sound with a nice presence of bass. Reserved for the high-end market, the WF-1000XM3 are sold around € 249. They will be reserved for the most demanding buyers.

The + The –
Very good autonomy A price still a bit high
Perfect noise reduction
Very well designed companion app

Samsung Galaxy Buds +

Samsung Galaxy Bud +

In early 2020, Samsung launched the Galaxy Buds +, new in-wireless headphones. Samsung assures that its headphones are able to last 11 hours, and up to 22 hours taking into consideration their small charging case. On the autonomy side, Samsung’s solution is therefore very close to its most successful rivals.

Designed with help from AKG, they offer new functionality: with them, you can automatically launch your favorite playlist on Spotify with one command. Unfortunately, they ignore active noise reduction. On the other hand, Samsung has incorporated an “ambient noise” mode which helps prevent outside sounds from disturbing a voice call. Galaxy Buds + are available for purchase at a price of 169 euros.

The + The –
A contained price No active noise reduction
Good autonomy
Ambient sound mode

Jabra Elite Active 75T

Jabra Elite Active 75T

Jabra, the famous manufacturer of Bluetooth headsets, sells the Jabra Elite 75t at a price of around 175 euros. With their design inspired by Apple AirPods, the Jabra Elite 75t is comfortable and sits very well in the ear canal. Unfortunately, Jabra has not incorporated active noise reduction technology into its headphones.

The brand compensates with well-designed tips capable of plugging the ears and thus filtering out some of the sounds. It’s better than nothing. Jabra guarantees up to 7:30 hours of listening time on a single charge and over 28 hours with the charging cradle. In addition, 15 minutes in the case is enough to recover 1 hour of battery life. Basic but effective, these Jabra headphones will appeal to most.

The + The –
Good autonomy Uneven sound quality (especially for calls)
Comfortable No active noise reduction

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless

The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless confirms the brand’s expertise in audio. This is the ideal solution for the most demanding of us. Compatible with AAC codecs, but also aptX and aptX Low Latency, they really appeal to the most discerning ears. Sennheiser promises up to 4 hours of listening time on a single charge and up to 12 hours with the included charging case.

It’s a bit short compared to the competition. We strongly regret the absence of active noise reduction, a little incomprehensible on a product in this price range. Headphones are offered around 200 euros.

The + The –
Impressive audio quality No active noise reduction
Compatible with many codecs A little short autonomy
Luxury design Price too high

Powerbeats Pro

Powerbeats Pro

We finish this selection with the Powerbeats Pro. Designed by Beats, the brand of Dr Dre owned by Apple, the headphones promise a good battery life of 9 hours (24 hours with case). They stand out thanks to their design equipped with a hoop for the ear loop. Thanks to this construction, the support is just perfect. Ideal for athletes, they deliver a somewhat mediocre audio quality that will disappoint audiophiles. They are sold around 250 euros.

The + The –
Good autonomy Fair audio quality
Comfortable design Price too high
No active noise reduction

Bose QC30

bose qc30

In 2017, Bose launched the Bose QC30, wireless in-ear headphones but connected by a cable, in order to satisfy audiophiles. The brand’s headphones offer some of the best noise reduction on the market. So it’s perfect for users looking for silence and calm. They also stand out thanks to their amazing design. The wire that connects the 2 headphones has a neck strap system that improves stability and comfort.

This neck strap has several buttons to easily control the intensity of the noise reduction. It is possible to deactivate it almost entirely in order to perceive the conversations in the surroundings. Bose promises 10 hours of battery life with its headphones. That’s pretty good. We regret the absence of a box to recharge the QC30s without having to plug them in. Bose’s intra headphones are priced around 299 euros.

The + The –
Good support Not easy to transport
The best noise reduction on the market A little light autonomy
Comfortable A bit high price
Excellent sound quality

OnePlus Bullets V2

oneplus bullets v2

Extremely light, weighing only 14 grams, the OnePlus Bullets V2 are distinguished first by an extremely neat design. They incorporate a small flat “remote control” to adjust the volume and manage the sound tracks. Sold at just 99 euros, they promise 14 hours of battery life on a full charge. OnePlus equips its headphones with the Warp Charge 30, the same fast charging as the OnePlus 7 Pro for example.

It only takes 10 minutes of charging for 10 hours of listening. It’s impressive. On the other hand, they fail by its poor support, the charging cable is a little too short and the fact that it is not waterproof. Pity. To learn more about these headphones, we invite you to consult our complete test of the OnePlus Bullets V2.

The + The –
A mini price Charging cable too short
Exceptional autonomy Just decent sound quality
Fast charging

Anker SoundBuds Curve

Anker SoundBuds Curve

Sold at only 30 euros, the Anker SoundBuds Curve will appeal especially to the most limited budgets. Basic but effective, the headphones are connected by a cable equipped with a three-button remote control. The headphones guarantee a maximum battery life of 14 hours with a single charge. We regret the absence of a charging box that could increase the battery life. Unsurprisingly, the sound quality is disappointing. They will be reserved for athletes who have little regard for sound quality.

The + The –
A very reduced price A little cheap design
Good maintains Poor sound quality

1 More Triple Driver

1 More Triple Driver

We continue with the 1 More Triple Driver, another inexpensive alternative to the more expensive headphones in this selection. Marketed around 75 euros on Amazon, they quite simply offer the best value for money on the market. Unlike most of the other solutions in this guide, these are wired headphones. To use it, you will therefore need a jack port. They perform well with comfortable eartips, Hi-Res and THX certification, and great sound.

The + The –
Excellent value for money Wired connection
High quality sound
Sleek and solid design

Huawei Freebuds 3

Huawei Freebuds 3

If their design seems “inspired” by Apple Airpods, they are distinguished by their active noise reduction technology as well as a “revolutionary” voice recognition system. The Freebuds 3 combine the microphone with a bone vibration detection system to improve voice clarity during telephone conversations. When we first got started in Berlin, we were won over by Freebuds 3.

The + The –
Excellent sound quality Poor sound quality if you don’t have a Huawei smartphone running EMUI 10
Active noise reduction in low noise environments
Highly effective active noise reduction
Good autonomy
Fast and wireless charging
Value for money

🤔What uses for in-ear headphones?

In-ear headphones are particularly popular with users looking to isolate themselves from the outside world. This type of headset is in fact equipped with a device that fits into the ear canal, thus isolating the user from some of the noise. Coupled with an active noise reduction technology, the intra really allows you to find yourself in a bubble of silence.

However, it should be noted that the design of the in-ear devices sometimes annoys the most sensitive ears. This is why we advise you to pay attention to the tips that equip these headphones. If you feel any discomfort, you may just need to change the mouthpiece. All ears are different!

Regardless, intravenous devices are useful in many everyday situations: in the metro, at work … They will also delight the most athletic users. Indeed, in-ear headphones stay in the ear better than conventional headphones, whose tip does not penetrate the ear canal.

🙄Wired or wireless in-ear headphones?

In this selection, we have listed wireless earphones and wired, wireless earphones. Depending on your usage and lifestyle, you might want to opt for a pair without cables. This is particularly the case for athletes, who may be hampered in their movement by the cable that connects the accessory to the smartphone. If your smartphone does not have a jack port, as is the case with many phones on the market, you should look to wireless solutions instead.

🔋What battery life for in-ear headphones?

If you choose to purchase a pair of wireless headphones, you will need to charge them regularly. Most solutions come with a charging case that boosts the battery life of the headphones. On average, wireless headphones offer 4 to 10 hours of battery life. Thanks to the charging box, brands promise between 15 and 25 hours of battery life. It all depends on the headphones.

💰What budget for in-ear headphones?

These days you can find in-ear headphones at all prices. For an entry-level wired intra-pair, you just need to spend between 30 and 50 euros. For more complete and high-end solutions, count between 75 and 100 euros. Unsurprisingly, wireless headphones are a bit more expensive. They are found between 100 and 300 € on the market. It all depends of course on the brand and the functionalities.

We hope this guide to buying the best in-ear headphones on the market will allow you to make informed purchases. If you have any other advice for the PhonAndroid community, or if an error has inadvertently crept into this file despite our vigilance, we invite you to let us know in the comments below.

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