Earbuds, the technical term for headphones designed to closely hug the user’s ear canal, have emerged as one of the most popular forms of headphones. While practically every smartphone sold comes with a pair, the fact is that many consumers are eager to replace these. However, all earbuds are far from equal, and there is a vast difference between the free earbuds issued to passengers on a flight and the best earbuds with mic on the market.
This guide will serve to detail a number of the most important factors to keep in mind while shopping for a pair of the best earbuds with mic, starting with if earbuds are the best decision. Crucially, it will only examine earbuds that come with a microphone; these models allow the user to talk on the phone while keeping their device safe in a purse or pocket.
Earbuds With Mic Buying Guide
Before going any further, it may be worth considering if earbuds with a microphone are the best decision. First of all, if true to life fidelity of sound is required, earbuds simply lack the mass to produce really deep bass. That said, some of the more advanced models can produce respectable results all the same.
Instead, earbuds are created with portability in mind, and that portability is enhanced by having a microphone. A set of earbuds can easily slip into a backpack or even a pocket without causing the extra bulk of traditional headphones.
One other important factor to consider when looking at earbuds is the location of the microphone. Many models have the mic in line a few inches away from the user’s mouth, but this is by no means universal.
Finally, comfort is a significant factor. Earbuds fit snuggly against the user’s ear, and can be uncomfortable if not adequately cushioned or shaped. Further, those earbuds with special extensions to promote a snug fit may be painful if not adjusted properly.
Features to Expect From The Best Earbuds With Microphone
While each set of earbuds is different, there are a number of features worth expecting. First of all, many models today have a control switch on the earbuds, permitting the user to skip, repeat, pause, or play, as well as adjust volume, without pulling out the device. Additionally, some models have a multi-function button that does all of this.
As stated before, comfort is a major concern with earbuds, so manufacturers often include something to make their product more comfortable. Silicone or rubber tips mean less pressure on the ear canal, while volume limits can keep one from harming the inner ear.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that every set of earbuds that is discussed in this guide includes a microphone. Different models have different microphones of varying qualities.
Tips for Choosing The Best Earbuds with a Mic
Before going on to the reviews of each individual pair of the best earbuds with mic, here are a few basic guidelines to keep in mind:
Inline microphones are a common way to incorporate microphones with a pair of earbuds.
Earbuds, due to their relatively small size, will struggle to approach the true to life fidelity that larger headphones can recreate.
A number of connections exist for different earbuds; iOS products no longer use the 3.5 mm headphone jack. A growing number of earbuds rely on Bluetooth for a wire-free connection.
Wireless earbuds often rely on batteries in the carrying case to provide a quick charge on the go.
Comfort matters! Some users may prefer the security that an outer ear attachment offers, while others may look for earbuds that have a foam or rubber tip.
Most earbuds are stereo matched for left or right ear use, but only some of them have been molded to only fit a specific ear.
The Top Ten Best Earbuds with Mic Reviewed
These earbuds from JVC stick to the basics, but do them well. There are no inline controls, nor is there excessive molding for each ear; a rubber tip holds each bud in place. The earbuds even rely on the classic 3.5 mm connection. However, they are able to produce a truly impressive level of sound.
Better yet, the quality gets better with time. These headphones are especially lightweight and comfortable for longer use, and as they are used more, the different sound registers begin to truly come into their own. Further, there is little chance of disturbing those nearby, as the focus of the sound is into the listener’s ears, not outwards.
The Muse 5 earphones combine amazingly small size with a great experience. As wireless earbuds with mic, there is no chance that the cord will become tangled. Instead, the portable charging case provides up to three charges from internal batteries. The microphone is concealed in the earbuds, rather than inline, as is a single multitouch button that handles everything from pausing, skipping tracks, and adjusting the volume.
The Muse 5 earbuds seem to be designed to be as lightweight as possible, and that extends to the interchangeable tips for maximum user comfort. Listeners are advised to try numerous options to find the one that best fits their ear.
xFyro’s earbuds are designed with power users in mind, especially those who may forget to charge the carrying case. Each charge to the earbuds lasts between four and five hours, while the case can charge and recharge for up to thirty hours of playback. To put that into perspective, that is nearly two weeks’ worth of bus or train commuting an hour each way without recharging the case. Best of all, the case can also be used to recharge the user’s phone.
If that weren’t enough, xFyro also focuses heavily on quality. Their earbuds with mic are guaranteed by a one year warranty, and so waterproof that they can be even be used in the shower. All of this comes on top of earbuds that produce excellent sound quality.
Given the fact that Sony has been making earbuds for years, it is not surprising that their h.ear earbud is one of the best on the market. Additionally, it sticks close to what works well. Despite the relatively small size of each driver, the earbuds are capable of producing considerable sound. They connect via a 3.5 mm connection, which features an inline microphone.
One point of concern is that the control button can only be used to stop and play the track, rather than adjust volume. However, for those who care about having an earbud with a clean aesthetic, the h.ear is hard to beat.
These earbuds by Meidong are the first on this list to feature an over-the-ear support to help keep them in place while the user exercises. That said, that is not what makes them unique. Instead, the earphones are connected by a wire that runs under the user’s chin, with a microphone and inline controls attached. However, there is no wired connection to the device. Instead, a Bluetooth signal is used to transmit between the earbuds and the phone.
For some users concerned about losing their earbuds but who still wants the versatility of a Bluetooth device, this is a valued feature. Combined with a battery life of almost 15 hours, and for the right user, these Meidong earbuds are ideal.
Like the Meidong earbuds above, this model by Cowin features a wired connection between the earbuds themselves but a Bluetooth connection to the actual device. However, they are wholly secured by placement in the ear canal rather than any over the ear method. The earbuds themselves have a 5 hour playback time, but that can be extended to 15 hours using the rechargeable case.
What really makes these Cowin earbuds shine is the fact that they feature noise-canceling technology. While the effectiveness does not rival what is found in ultra-high end full headphones, it is still a considerable step forward. One that helps to set the Cowin model apart. They are not as waterproof as other models. However, they do have enough water resistance to survive a workout, light rain, or accidental submersion in water.
For serious athletes, this model from mifo is truly a world apart. More than just a set of earbuds, the i2 earphones are a solution for many of a runner’s needs. A full 8 GB of flash memory, enough to store almost 2000 standard sized songs, is present in the earbuds. Additionally, when used in concert with a dedicated app, the earbuds provide data. Particularly on steps, distance, and total time spent running.
The built-in microphone is also able to make recordings directly to the flash memory on the earbuds rather than the phone; mifo suggests that users can simply leave their phones at home. While many of these solutions will mean nothing to someone using earbuds to travel, for an athlete, they can be a considerable value.
Speaking of travelers, this model by Creative Labs was built to fly, literally! The Aurvana In-Ear 2 Plus earbuds with mic are lightweight and powered by a traditional 3.5 mm jack, but have an added advantage. A number of airlines use a two-jack configuration for their headphones. The Aurvana 2 Plus earbuds include an adapter that allows the user to take advantage of whatever the airline is playing.
Special attention has also been given to the everyday aspects of the earbuds. The grill backing of each earbud is designed to allow for deeper bass. Additionally, the inline microphone and control button features everything from volume control to an option to skip or repeat songs. Finally, the snug fit, provided by three sizes of easily changed tips, means that up to 95% of ambient noise is reduced.
These earbuds by URWILL provide a number of unique advantages over other earbuds with mic. Of course, like many other Bluetooth earbuds, there is a charging case that provides extra power. However, few of those other cases can provide up to 48 hours of feedback. Additionally, the earbuds are water resistant and offer some noise cancelling properties.
Yet what really makes these earbuds stand out is the thought put into going beyond simply using the earbuds solo. Options exist to share earbuds. Stereo quality is sacrificed so that each earbud gets a complete version of whatever is being played. This allows two people to share, or a driver to use one earbud without missing out on anything being played.
Finally, these earbuds with mic by TaoTronics offer the best of many worlds. While wired, they still require charging. This is because the TaoTronics model features active noise cancellation with a twist. In addition to working to reduce background noise, the headphones feature an ability to listen for relevant announcements. The hum of the train station will be lessened, but announcements will be all the more audible.
Beyond not having Bluetooth functionality, this model does feature many of the best aspects of other earbuds on the list. An inline microphone also features buttons with the ability to pause, play, skip, and repeat tracks. You can also adjust volume and answer calls. A number of earbud tips are provided to ensure comfort. There is also an airline adapter to make long journeys more bearable.