This guide has the purpose of helping you navigate the current market of earbuds. I picked a model of each brand personally, going from cheap models to others a bit more expensive for those looking to spend more on sound quality. I am sure there is at least one earbud for each person, so read carefully.
Best Cheap Earbud
The Moto Buds 100 doesn’t have such a high volume. At a medium level, it delivers a bit low audio, requiring a little appeal to a setting closer to the maximum to hear the music well.
A positive point, however, is that the sound quality is very similar both at medium and at maximum. This means the sound doesn’t start to get squeaky highs or booming bass when it’s too loud.
Speaking of frequencies, the Moto Buds 100 is not a headphone for lovers of well-referenced bass. Instead, it offers a more balanced sound with a slight emphasis on the treble.
The battery is the main highlight of the Motorola pair of headphones. The brand promises up to 14 hours of use, with 5 hours of charging the buds plus 9 hours of the case. In my tests, however, I achieved autonomy far beyond that.
Like any other Bluetooth headphones, the Moto Buds 100 have touch playback control. However, in the absence of advanced features and modes, gestures only let you fast-forward, rewind a song, pause, and resume playback.
Edifier TWS1 Pro
Greatest In The Midrange category
All frequencies are well defined, but I felt that the mids and highs stood out a little over the lows, resulting in a dull experience for more picky ears.
This feeling was very present when listening to rock music, such as “A Little Peace Of Heaven” by Avenged Sevenfold, as I could hear the guitar and cymbal clearly. But, simultaneously, the bass drum and bass were muted.
Mainly, I prefer low tones that are a little thicker, as with some JBL headphones. For those who like more balanced models in this sense, however, the Edifier model does the trick.
In other genres, the Edifier TWS1 Pro doesn’t disappoint. In pop, Lady Gaga’s “Applause” has energetic beats and well-defined synths. The vocals are also clear, especially the female ones.
I also noticed that in genres with artificial elements, like synth pop, indie pop, hip hop, and electronica, the TWS1 Pro did well in prioritizing effects and beats.
Another positive point of the Edifier headset is that the sound quality is maintained even at maximum volume. It’s not that loud, so the sound doesn’t sound shrill, and even in the most generic pop, I could make out all the elements ideally.
Amazon Echo Buds
Best for Amazon services
Echo Buds offer good sound quality, constant performance, and no loss of quality when set to a maximum volume setting. In this scenario, some headphones tend to have strident and/or burst audio, but that’s not what happens with the Amazon accessory.
The volume isn’t that loud, and if set to a mid-range setting, it won’t be enough to listen to music with such immersion. On the other hand, the maximum level is already more pleasant, and it’s not absurd high – which is good to avoid problems with the ears.
In that regard, it’s similar to the Moto Buds 100 I’ve tested recently: both offer not-so-loud volume but are nice if set to a higher level.
For those who enjoy a strong bass, it is important to give a warning. Although frequencies like this are very accentuated, this is not the strong point of the Echo Buds. However, in it, there is a very welcome balance.
In Iron Maiden songs, for example, known for their very present bass and striking guitars, all the instruments are clear, without anyone standing out over the other. Of course, there is still a slight emphasis on the bass — but it is important to emphasize the “light.”
The pair of headphones still offer active noise cancellation (ANC) to “block out” external sounds and increase the feeling of immersion even more. In addition, the Ambient Sound mode allows you to talk to other people without having to remove the wearables from the ears.
Beats Fit Pro
best for sports practicing
The sound of Beats Fit Pro is proof of the honing that Apple has been doing in the audio of its company focused on music accessories. As a result, the headphones can provide a pleasant wearing experience in different scenarios.
That’s because the Fit Pro manages to fulfill the proposal of being premium. The bass has a strong presence, filling the songs when the lower frequencies are required. In addition, the medium and high are also present in the songs, as is the case of “Church” by Jennifer Lopez.
An advantage of this balanced distribution of frequencies is that the user will not feel one tone overlapping with the other. In addition, it will be possible to have a more realistic perception in other types of content, such as videos and series.
The maximum volume is good but not the most powerful I’ve ever used. However, as an advantage, the company delivers a product with no distortions when its total quality is explored, which is very good.
Beats Fit Pro also proves to be a great option for those who play on mobile. This is because it has low latency, which makes the response time in battle royale games — such as CoD Mobile — very accurate.
Another feature worth mentioning is compatibility with Spatial Audio — dynamic soundtracking to provide 360° music playback. However, this feature can only be used on Apple devices, which is a limiting factor of the experience for those with an Android phone.
FAVORITE OF APPLE USERS
The sound quality, has it improved with the new generation? Cutting to the chase: yes, it has improved, and Apple has made the bass a little louder compared to the AirPods (2nd generation).
Of course, I didn’t expect low levels of AirPods Pro, even because of the headphone proposal and the more limited speakers. Still, I was surprised by the quality if we consider its format.
In Billie Eilish’s “Oxytocin,” Apple’s phone held the beats clearly, but with less intensity and vibration, perhaps because of the more open profile. Simultaneously, the singer’s vocals remained bright and unremarkable.
In “Up,” by rapper Cardi B, a song with greater details, the AirPods 3 preferred the mids and highs but did not leave the bass hidden. My only criticism is the speaker limitation at higher volumes, which can sound squeaky.
In rock and alternative, all instruments sound clear but lack depth. This isn’t necessarily a problem, as everything seemed to be in order. Still, I was expecting a little more presence on the kick and bass, for example.
Despite the sound improvements, the performance of the AirPods 3 is much closer to second-generation AirPods than to the AirPods Pro. It’s not a negative point, but don’t expect a sound much superior to the predecessor.
One of the features that the AirPods 3 imported from the AirPods Pro was Spatial Audio — dynamic soundtracking to provide 360° music playback. It’s interesting, but I recommend activating it only in movies and series because, in music, the experience isn’t cool.
On the microphone, Apple says the AirPods 3 have “special acoustic meshes inside to reduce wind noise during calls.”
Realme Buds Q2
cheapest earbud with noise cancellation
Realme Buds Q2 has a great sound quality for its segment. In fact, I was quite surprised when I used it for the first time. Of course, you might expect a model with average performance and a little “disheartened” sound for the price range, but that’s not what you get when using it.
Regarding specs, the Realme Buds Q2 has a 10mm dynamic driver. In addition, it has a booster to make the bass more prominent, which is easily noticeable during use.
In practice, it is possible to notice that sounds with lower frequencies – such as bass and drums – are much more accentuated, especially in rock songs.
For example, on the Rolling Stones’ Sympathy for the Devil, it is possible to hear much more clearly — and with a certain pulsation — the bass sounds that give rhythm to the whole song.
It is important to note that the application still offers a “Bass Boost+” equalization mode, increasing the presence of bass. However, these frequencies are well marked even in “balanced” mode. Of course, there is a greater gain in the “Bass Boost,” but the normal function does not disappoint.
In addition to these two settings, the app also offers a “Brightness” equalization mode. This one increases the volume a little more and leaves the sound a little “cleaner,” with wider audio. Here, mid and high frequencies receive greater attention.
Other than that, the Realme Buds Q2 still has a “Game Mode,” which reduces game latency and offers a feeling of more sonic reality in matches.
A positive point is the customization of the tones within the “Headphones” application to bring it closer to what pleases the ear of each one. However, even configuring to explore the lower tones, the bass did not have all the expected strength explored.
However, there are some highlights such as an adaptive volume in which the sound volume is optimized according to the location. In addition, Sony managed to adjust the headphones’ microphone well to give greater clarity in calls, which is essential for those who are always carrying out this type of communication.
The LinkBuds connectivity has fast pairing via Bluetooth 5.2, which brings, among the many advantages, technological advances that allow greater stability. However, this Sony headset had signal reception failures in several situations, considerably hampered the usage experience.
To improve the fit of the earphones, Sony provides 5 pairs of rubberized arch support. However, not even this complementary accessory can assist in the product’s comfort.
Something surprising is the built-in commands, as you can activate the options via touch on the sensitive area of the phone and in front of your ears. This second mode brings an attractive air of innovation to the device.
Galaxy Buds Live
BEST FOR BASS TONES
Samsung promises two things concerning the construction of Buds Live: ergonomics since the body of the phone has been completely redesigned, imitating “the curves of the ear and face”; and exclusivity because, at least until now, we have not had a model with a similar structure.
In fact, the Bluetooth headset fulfills its promise, but with some caveats. In my ears, the Buds Live design fit perfectly and at no time threatened to fall out, which I found surprising given its shape that doesn’t enter the ear canal.
Because it has a more open design and doesn’t enter the ear canal, I could have sworn that the mids and highs would overpower the lows. But, surprisingly—for better or worse—what I got was the opposite.
Anyone who has read other reviews of Bluetooth headphones by me should know that I like full-bodied bass but a balance between frequencies above all. On Buds Live, I felt that Samsung tried to deliver the first but forgot about the second.
In “Up,” by rapper Cardi B, for example, I noticed a very muffled vocal due to the absence of mids.
“Royals,” by singer Lorde, also exemplifies how Samsung “had its hand” on the bass of Buds Live. The beats sound full, but the singer’s voice doesn’t accompany them, staying in the background throughout the track.
If my experience with pop and synth wasn’t the best, it was in a rock and alternative music that Buds Live won me over. “Uncomfortable,” by the band Halestorm, is played with heavy bass drums and crystal clear guitar, and the instruments don’t sound congested.
In the fire test, with “Tragic Kingdom,” by the band No Doubt, a song more focused on the mids and highs, Galaxy Buds Live is right in not tangling the instruments but fails to highlight Gwen Stefany’s brilliant vocals.
Redmi Buds 3 Pro
BEST FOR THOSE ON A BUDGET
The Redmi Buds 3 Pro is yet another affordable Bluetooth headset that tries to please all users with a more open sound profile, like the Edifier TWS1 Pro.
It is not a feature I value in a Bluetooth headset, as I prefer fuller bass. However, I even liked the Redmi Buds 3 Pro performance because the lower tones sound more present than in the TWS1 Pro.
In “A Little Piece Of Heaven,” by Avenged Sevenfold, a song more focused on mids and highs, but with a lot of bass drum and more bass effects, the Redmi Buds 3 Pro reproduces balanced frequencies and beats present, different from the timid performance of the rival of edifier.
Xiaomi’s phone also did very well with Muse’s “Reapers,” in which I noticed a presence of guitar, crystal clear vocals, and full-bodied beats. Only the bass solo could shine a little more.
In synth-pop was the rhythm at which I noticed the open profile of the Redmi Buds 3 Pro. James Young’s “Infinity” reproduces clearly, but the song’s lower beats and effects sound very shy with the loudest synths.
Although the Redmi Buds 3 Pro is a Bluetooth headset that transitions between the entry-level and intermediate categories, its noise canceling technology (ANC) is quite good — and even better than that of the Beats Studio Buds also I had the opportunity to test.
JBL Tune 125TWS
amazing JBL earbud with great price
The sound quality of the JBL Tune 125TWS is very interesting for users who enjoy listening to different music genres. Fortunately, these headphones are much better than the Tune 115TWS we recently reviewed. They sounded close to devices that cost 1/3 of their value.
Despite some songs being exaggeratedly high-pitched, it is clear that the company has improved the audio of these headphones to deliver a more complete user experience to the public.
The bass, the main characteristic of JBL’s audio signature, is still lacking. Still, the sound experience with the Tune 125 TWS is not as focused on the midrange as some models of this new line. You can hear the beats in lower tones well, but some songs require greater pressure than the headphones can’t give.
A negative point is that they get a lot of hiss at volumes above 80%, which can be a headache for those who like to listen to music as loud as possible.
Something that deserves praise in the JBL Tune 125TWS is the low latency of these headphones because it is possible to watch videos without experiencing delays between the image and the audio. This feeling is repeated in games, allowing users to enjoy the game without fear of delaying an attack.
One of the highlights of the JBL Tune 125TWS is, without a doubt, the battery. The company promises up to 8 hours on a single charge. Still, the case guarantees up to three additional recharges for 32 hours.
In practical use, like other JBL models, the Tune 125TWS reached durability of 9 hours and 25 minutes. This average is the result of continuous use in volume by 50%. Still, results may vary according to the type of content consumed.