Best Gaming Earbuds in 2023: Budget, Mid-range, Premium
In the wide world of video gaming accessories, over-ear headphones tend to be thought of as king. They are good for isolating the game’s sound into the player’s ears, and they tend to provide superb sound quality overall.
However, some players prefer in ear gaming headphones, also known as gaming earbuds. They tend to be much smaller, and as their name suggests, they are placed in the player’s ear. They have certain benefits and downsides, just like any accessory, and not all earbuds are created equal. It is important to tailor your earbud choice to your specific needs, and this article will help you do just that.
General tips for buying earbuds
There are a wide variety of considerations to make when looking at the vast selection of earbuds on the market. For the purposes of this article, however, let’s consider some of the upsides and downsides to earbuds.
On the upside, earbuds are small and lightweight, and they often carry a microphone built in for talking on the phone. Some have navigation buttons as well. Because they go directly in the user’s ears, they can provide a degree of isolation similar to that of over-ear headphones because of their location in the ear canal. Also, while it may seem trite, many people prefer earbuds because they do not get in the way of earrings or mess up the user’s hair during use.
On the downside, however, earbuds often do not have the sound quality that might be possessed by larger and bulkier headphones on the market. Some can be difficult to insert and remove, and the two-cable design that is inherent in even the best gaming earbuds can prove to be downsides.
One big consideration to make when buying headphones is a concept called frequency response. Frequency response is the measure of a headphone’s capability to reproduce the recorded frequencies equally. This means that the bass and treble should be on an even keel, with equal highs and lows. This is a theoretical measure, and it cannot be measured exactly. Frequency response is measured in a number beginning with the deepest bass frequency, the lower the better, and the second number refers to the highest frequency that a headphone is able to produce.
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Certain headphones offer the unique ability to profile your ears by sensing your hearing ability and tailoring its sound according to a personalized listening experience that the headphone itself develops for you. This option is not for everyone, as you may not be able to afford such headphones, but a sound profile is something important to consider as a whole because knowing your sound profile can help choose headphones.
Noise-isolating versus noise-canceling
Noise-isolating headphones and noise-canceling headphones are two very different concepts, and they must be paid attention to when purchasing headphones at any price level.
Noise-canceling headphones use a microphone to listen to incoming sound and create inverse waves fed into the headphone in order to cancel out the sound outside of them. Noise-canceling headphones tend to work best when they are tasked with canceling out the noise of a car or airplane engine. Voices don’t generally get filtered out, as they are at a frequency that noise-canceling headphones sometimes don’t detect or affect. Essentially, noise-canceling headphones simulate that you are sitting in a much quieter place.
Noise-isolating headphones function differently. Noise-isolating headphones physically isolate the user from ambient noise. This is what in-ear and on-ear headphones often do. In-ear headphones such as earbuds can often create a good seal in the user’s ear, making their noise-isolating capabilities that much more heightened.
Now, without further ado, let’s run down the best gaming earphones on the market in 2022.
Betron DC950 Headphones
20Hz - 20kHz
Deep Bass Ports; large 11.5mm Neodymium driver; S/M/L; case; 3.5 mm Audio jack.
TaoTronics Active Noise Cancelling Headphones
20Hz - 20kHz
Reduce background sounds by up to 25dB; 3.5 mm Audio jack.
Razer Hammerhead Duo Wired Earbuds
20Hz - 20kHz
3.5 mm Audio jack; works with most portable audio/mobile/computing devices.
True Wireless Earbuds, VANKYO X200
20Hz - 20kHz
Bluetooth 5.0; noise cancelling; built-in mic;charging case
Bowers & Wilkins C5 Series 2 In-Ear Headphones
10Hz - 20kHz
9.2mm dynamic driver;
2-year limited warranty;
Ear tips - S, M, L
Shure SE215-K Sound Isolating Earphones
Gold plated MMCX Connector;
Ear tips - S, M, L;
1MORE Triple Driver In Ear Headphones
20Hz - 40kHz
Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones; 6 sets of silicone ear tips; 3 sets of foam ear tips; Magnetic clasping traveling case; Attractive storage case; Quality dual prong airline adapter
Best budget gaming earbuds
If you aren’t looking to spend a lot of money, the Betron DC950 Headphones Earphones In Ear Canal, Tangle-Free just might be the way to go for you. These either include a Deep Bass and mic, but they may be a very good option if you’re looking for gaming earbuds with mic. These earphones have positive reviews online, and some reviewers even report that after four years of use, they still work like they were just taken right out of the box. Betron boasts that these earphones combine sound, fit and comfort with noise isolating, bass driven, high definition in ear canal, tangle-free, replaceable earbuds for or Iphone, Ipod, Ipad, MP3 Players, Samsung, LG with Microphone. The only cons is a only one color choices and size of earpads for the user. The 3.93-foot cord and 3 sizes of earpads provide flexibility and comfort for users. These are noise-isolating, but they run very cheap, meaning they just might be worth giving a listen to.
Best mid-range gaming earbuds
Active Noise Cancelling Headphones
Only one color
Built-In MEMS Noise Cancelling Microphone
If you’re looking for mid-range gaming earphones the TaoTronics Active Noise Cancelling Headphones might be right up your alley. Constructed of aluminum, these well-reviewed headphones feature noise-reduction, and boast 15 hours of playtime and a built-in microphone. They also boast a great deal of stability in terms of featuring interchangeable earbuds and earhooks in order to accommodate any shape of ear. The metal construction makes them very durable, and the noise-cancellation feature drowns out any ambient noise that might be happening around the user. The long battery life is obviously desirable as well. Some people even report washing these in the washing machine and still being able to use them, though testing this claim obviously isn’t recommended.
Finally, the built-in microphone is essential in choosing good gaming earbuds, and it’s certainly a plus that the gaming earphones review on these headphones is very much positive.
Best gaming earbuds with a microphone
Designed for gamers
Models for any connection
Bluetooth/Apple Lightning Connector
Razer Hammerhead Duo Wired Earbuds features flat-style cables, an omnidirectional microphone and built-in volume control right on the cord. These headphones have recently been redesigned by Razer to improve body design and to add flat-style cables in order to enhance the gaming experience. The headphones feature a quick-action control button, making it easy to activate these controls on the fly. The microphone is compatible with iOS and Android devices, making it desirable for mobile gaming as well as PC gaming.
These headphones boast superior sound isolation and customizable comfort due to the versatility that comes packed in with them. Some reviewers report poor audio quality and a bad microphone, so be wary before purchasing this option.
Best wireless gaming earbuds
Works with any Bluetooth device
5 hours work on 1 charge
Charging to long
Wireless earphones are only for certain people who prefer them, but the True Wireless Earbuds Bluetooth 5.0 Headphones Sports in-Ear TWS Stereo Mini Headset w/Mic Extra Bass IPX5 Sweatproof Low Latency Instant Pairing 15H Battery Charging Case Noise Cancelling Earphones are a solid option if you are considering them. These headphones are obviously wireless, and many reviewers report that they are very comfortable to use. Users also report good battery life. These headphones works wit any devices with Bluetooth 5.0. The portable designed charging box built with large capacity battery, which can support 3 times fully charging for wireless earbuds. You can enjoy up to 3 hours continuous music time after fully charged. There are other options out there, so be sure to research the best gaming earbuds with mic before purchasing them.
Best premium gaming earbuds
Can be uncomfortable for some people
2 year waranty
When it comes to paying a premium for your earbuds, the Bowers & Wilkins C5 Series 2 just might be the best option for the best in ear gaming headphones. They may be pricey, but they have been recently redesigned for premium audio and comfort, and they come built-in with an iPhone microphone with controls. It’s of the utmost importance to research the best in ear gaming headphones, because purchasing a premium option is a big investment for many gamers. These earbuds also feature a secure loop design so that the headphones are held in place, and it prevents them from getting tangled.
The audio quality here is also something to write home about, with a so-called “micro porous filter acting as a sonic diffuser, opening up the sound and making the music feel rich and expansive. Because of the superior audio quality, these gaming earbuds might be a good candidate for the best earphones for gaming and music as well.
Most durable gaming earbuds
Comfortable sound isolating sleeves block up to 37 dB of ambient noise
Detailed Sound with Enhanced Bass
Rare problems with quality
Vast color models
If you plan to beat up on your headphones to any extent, durability is an important consideration. The Shure SE215-K Sound Isolating Earphones with Single Dynamic MicroDriver just might be the perfect headphones for you. Reviews report that these are very durable headphones that can survive anything the user throws at them. They are sound-isolating, and they boast to have been tested by professional musicians. The cable is durable and reinforced, meaning it won’t reak, rip or tear easily.
These headphones also claim to have enhanced bass and solid replacement options due to a detachable cord. One top reviewer claims that these headphones “knocked it out of the park” making Shure’s offering some of the best in ear gaming headphones with mic.
Best overall gaming earbuds
Only 2 colors
When it comes to overall quality, price and durability, it’s hard to beat the 1MORE Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones with Microphone. These headphones feature three drivers in order to balance the frequency response, and they deliver an accurate listening experience in line with what was originally intended by the music producer. This is so true, in fact, that a Grammy Award-winning sound eningeer (Luca Bignardi) helped to perfect the headphones.
They feature an in-line remote control located to allow volume control, and they feature a microphone for chatting with squadmates during gaming sessions. Reviews report that these are some of the best headphones on the market, and while they do not qualify as budget headphones, they won’t break the bank, either.
In conclusion, the best gaming headsets are one thing, but considering the best gaming earbuds is something else entirely. Earbuds are a special breed of product, and must be considered as such. The best earbuds for gaming and music are not always one in the same, so paying attention to reviews and articles like these is very important. Consider what you plan to use your headphones for and don’t be afraid to return headphones that don’t work for you. Consider USB gaming earbuds carefully in order to tailor the experience directly to your own gaming experience.