The biggest problem with buying smaller earbuds is that, historically, they have been frustratingly prone to breaking, deteriorating sound, or simply getting lost in the bottom of your bag. If you’re heading out on the commuter train or just looking for an easy pair of headphones to keep you company at the gym, what you really need is a high-end Bluetooth pair that comes with expressive sound and a battery that lasts for days A direct, instant, and stable connection to your smartphone, tablet or laptop.
The good thing is that this is the best time to buy a new pair of headphones, as there are so many good options out there, whether you need a premium set of true wireless earbuds or a set of noise-canceling earbuds designed for the audiophile in mind_mind. Top brands like Apple, Sony, Google, Sennheiser, and more understand how to bring the best music players in the business, and we’ve been busy testing them all to help you decide what to buy. Check out our three favourites.
What are the best earphones in 2022?
They could only be Apple’s newest earbuds, right? If you still don’t know the drill, these are the best earphones you’ll see or hear, with unparalleled noise cancellation, clean sound, and Apple’s usually clean design. The most expensive option we have on the list, but well worth the purchase.
For those who don’t have an iPhone, Sony’s WF-1000MX4 is as good as Apple’s offering but caters to Android users as well as iOS enthusiasts. Exceptional audio reproduction, world-class ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) and a comfortable fit will easily make these headphones a new favorite.
We all love a little musical spur to steer us into training, but if you’re looking for a killer pair that can keep up with the unnaturally challenging class of Crossfit, look no further than Jabra’s Elite 7 Active. Spread on one of the best sports earbuds on the market, and you’ll shrug off the sweat and keep up with your week-long gym sessions.
What is the most important thing to consider when buying in-ear headphones?
If you’ve ever bought a pair of headphones, you’ll have a pretty good understanding of what you’re looking for, but technology is moving fast and there may be some new features you haven’t heard of.
First and foremost, you want quality because there is no point in putting tractor tires on a Ferrari (your ears are Ferraris in this metaphor). Great sound quality often comes at a price, so we recommend spending at least £100 on a top-notch pair. For that price, you’ll likely get premium drivers to clearly push your tunes into your ears, but you might also see fancy features like active noise cancellation, which blocks out distracting outside sounds like a drone or that annoying co-worker, helping you focus on Music.
The best wireless in-ear headphones have lightning-fast Bluetooth connectivity to your phone (whether you’re using Team Android or iOS) and good battery life to keep you listening for longer. The smaller earbuds have less room for bulky batteries, so expect five to 25 hours of listening before you need to recharge. Almost all of our favorites come with a charging case that adds more listening time, prevents lint and dirt from reaching the ear tips, and also protects them from scratches while on the go.
Anyone planning to train with their new headphones should check the water resistance to make sure they don’t die if splashed with sweat or rain. All of the following have an IP rating of at least IPX4 to help protect them from at least a little water, but some of the more advanced models can survive full submersion if you need them.
Elsewhere, smart features from the likes of Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant voice control help you bounce around your playlists, while other models may have additional voice customization like aptX hi-def audio, built-in EQs, or dedicated apps that help you Manage your tracks. With all that said, here are our favorite in-ear headphones. Keen to explore the world of headphones? Check out our top roundup of the best noise-cancelling headphones, wireless earbuds, over-ear headphones, and in-ear headphones.
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Shop with GQ’s selection of the best earphones in 2022…