Woodees Classic IESW101B
Woodees Classic IESW101B

Best budget earphones

Budget earphones rarely get above average marks by reviewers, but Woodees Classic IESW101B earphones deliver a warm, open sound. Highs are bright, which could put off some listeners, and bass improves with burn-in. The earpieces are unique because they're made of wood, which some find more elegant than plastic or metal. For $10 more, you can buy them with a microphone (Woodees Classic IESW100B) for taking calls on your cell phone, although microphone quality is only average. If you've got the cash, Klipsch Image S4 earphones (or Klipsch Image S4i if you need a microphone) are a better value.
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Klipsch Image S4
Klipsch Image S4

Best-value earphones

Reviewers are unanimous about the Klipsch Image S4's clear, detailed sound and declare it a great value worth the price tag nearly double that of the Woodees Classic. Some reviewers and owners say bass is on the aggressive side, making the highs sound weak on some tracks. These earphones are light and comfortable, though, and for an extra $20, you can get the microphone-equipped Klipsch Image S4i, which doubles as a headset for compatible devices. As with many inexpensive earphones, users express some durability concerns.
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*Est. $70 Estimated Price
Klipsch Image S5i Rugged
Klipsch Image S5i Rugged

Waterproof workout earphones

Earphones designed specifically for the gym focus on durability and secure fit over music quality. Though the Klipsch Image S5i Rugged don't quite match the sound quality of the Klipsch Image S4/S4i, they deliver strong bass and highs with midranges that can keep up with them. These earphones include an inline microphone so you can take calls and operate compatible Apple devices. Earpieces, cable and case are all waterproof, as is the control pad, which can be operated even with gloves on. The control unit is on the heavy side, though, which users say can be awkward during bouncy exercises.
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*Est. $130 Estimated Price
Panasonic RP-HC55
Panasonic RP-HC55

Best noise-canceling earphones

Many in-canal earphones are effective at passively keeping out noise, but active noise-canceling technology is better at blocking low, droning sounds like airplane engines. Among noise-canceling earphones, experts say the Panasonic RP-HC55 are most effective. The noise-canceling circuitry, built into a pen-sized unit along the cord, works well but can pull on the earbuds if not clipped to a shirt. Reviewers say the earphones fit comfortably and sound good, though not great. The price, however, is tough to beat.
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*Est. $50 Estimated Price
Klipsch Image X10i
Klipsch Image X10i

Best audiophile earphones

Klipsch successfully competes with high-end earphones from the likes of Etymotic and Shure with its X10i model. Reviewers say these earphones have excellent clarity and balance, though midranges can suffer from inaccuracy on some tracks. Overall, the price boost over the Klipsch S4/S4i is justified as the Image X10i handles all sonic ranges with aplomb. The light weight, comfort and secure fit are all praised in reviews as well. The X10i earphones include a microphone, which works well, and a remote for compatible devices. The thin cable presents some durability concerns, so don't throw the earphones in a bag or stuff them in your pocket without the included case.
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*Est. $350 Estimated Price
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