Home » In-Ear Earphone Review List


Welcome to the headphone list, where we have listened to and evaluated hundreds of in-ear headphones to help you find the best fit for your needs and preferences. This is ljokerl’s table in interactive format that provides an easy way to narrow your selection down to fit your needs. To view all reviews (sorted by most recent), see here: All IEM Reviews. We are constantly adding new reviews, so be sure to check back or follow us on facebook, twitter, or google+.

Don’t see your model listed? Try checking the “Show Discontinued Products” box.

For a more concise listing of our favorite sets for various tastes and budgets, check out our continuously updated Earphone Buyer’s Guide by Sound Signature.

Color coding:
Blue = denotes custom-fit earphones (CIEMs)
Red = denotes discontinued models (select “Show discontinued products” checkbox on left to display)

i column denotes Headset functionality:
blank = no headset functionality
1 = mic + 1-button remote (universal)
3 = mic + 3-button remote for Apple iOS devices
a = mic + 3-button remote for Android devices
v = mic + 1-button remote + analog volume control (universal)

Rating Breakdown
All ratings are scaled to how the particular IEM peforms compared to the best set I’ve heard to date in a particular category.

Accessories: Depends on both quantity and quality of the accessories, as well as on how well-suited they are for the earphone.
Build Quality: Based on choice of materials, assembly quality, physical design, and overall feel. Also includes any observations on the durability of the earphones while in my care.
Isolation: Amount of reduction in ambient noise provided by the IEM. All IEMs isolate external noise by virtue of sealed ear coupling, some more than others. The most isolating IEMs are capable of providing is upwards of 30db of attenuation, an 8-fold reduction in ambient noise volume (enough to reduce the volume of a vacuum cleaner to a whisper).
Microphonics: Susceptibility to cable noise, a common malady affecting in-ear earphones. See here for more info. Mitigating factors such as the inclusion of a shirt clip or cable cinch and the ease of wearing the IEMs over-the-ear are taken into account.
Comfort: How comfortable the earphone is over long stretches of time. Typically tip- and ear-dependent, but general trends still apply.

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1,181 Responses

  1. Very tough to do – the BA200 is one of the best earphones I’ve ever tried in the $200 range.

    The e-Q5 is very good but it has a brighter sound vs the warmer, slightly more midrange-focused BA200. If you’re okay with a slight change to the tonal character and balance compared to the BA200 it’s a good earphone.

    Staying with the warmer sound of the BA200, the closest I can think of is the Sony MDR-7550. Price of these fluctuates but I’ve seen them in the ~$220 range. It has a VERY different form factor to the BA200, but the sound is very good.

    Don’t know about the XBA-40 but the XBA-4 did not sound as good as the BA200 to me. More drivers definitely does not mean better sound – tuning plays a bigger role in earphone performance.

  2. Hello ljokerl,

    Do you can recommend an alternative or substitute to the discontinued TDK BA-200? Similar price, please.

    Perhaps Ortofon e-Q5? Should the Sony XBA-40 superior due to the quad balanced armature?

    A greeting.

  3. Not familiar with the Moto G as a source so I can’t say. The Nexus 5 handles them alright, not the best but still enough to make them better than the alternatives.

    Not sure how the Pro 2 compares.

  4. I read your review on the havi B3 pro, i would say i am really pleased with what i read, the problem is, i will be driving them with my moto G 2nd gen, would that be enough to power them or it would be underpowered?

  5. It’s unlikely that the SE215 is less durable in the long run than the VSD3. There’s just many more owners of the Shures than any particular VSonic iteration (currently VSonic models seem to get replaced after <1 year) so you're much more likely to run into SE215-related complaints. Plus, there's the ability to replace the cables if they go bad - something you don't get with a lot of sub-$100 earphones. Not sure about the M6 PRO - never seen one up close - but it's also a fairly new release like the VSD3.

    There are dozens of other IEMs that are worn over-the-ear - Havi B3 Pro I, Phonak 022, UE600, SteelSeries Flux Pro, Creative In-Ear 3, and so on. Even the VSonic GR07 Classic can be had under $100.

    Most of these aren't too popular so we don't really know how the long-term reliability is. To me, the Shure SE215, Soundmagic E30, Havi B3, and Creative IE3 would seem to be the safest choices. If you treat them well, all of them should last a long time.

  6. Hi Jocker, i am looking for a new pair of IEMs, my budget is $100 and i really want the earbuds to be used over the ear, my top picks of the moment are: MEElectronics M6 pro, Vsonic VSD3, SoundMAGIC E30 and Soundmagic PL30. Is there any other IEM that i didnt look? Which one do you recommend? (also, i need the earbuds to be durable, i seen shure SE215 but i read that they tend to break a lot, i am not from the US so i cant apply the warranty). Thank you

  7. EPH-100 would still be a good choice with its warmer tone and smooth treble. If he’s not big on enhanced bass, though, you can get a cleaner and more accurate sound out of something like a HiFiMan RE-400 or Brainwavz R3. These are slightly on the warm side of neutral (not as much as the EPH-100) and trade off the heavy bass of the Yamaha for better clarity and detail.

  8. Oh, and I have another question. My brother likes jazz, bluze, reggae kinda music. I wanted to ask, which earbuds would you recommend for this kind of music at the same price range?

  9. You can extend that to pretty much anything, really. Boomy bass, sharp treble, odd timbre characteristics – you name it, someone out there will like it.

    Advantages of the EPH-100 over the DN-1000 can all be negated by personal preference, but for me they would be the greater bass quantity and warmer tone (if needed, of course), smoother upper mids and lower treble, and the (arguably) less “recessed” mids (largely due to it having less treble lift). The latter two things will make it sound more natural (tone, timbre, etc) to some – not everyone likes brighter, sparklier highs. You also don’t have to worry about the recording quality much with the EPH-100 – it’s not too revealing and it won’t butcher sibilance-prone recordings the way the DN-1000 will.

  10. The KC06 will be a huge change from the EPH-100. It’s certainly clear and not overly bassy, though it still has a slight mid-bass boost so for things like bass texture and detail it won’t quite keep up with a flatter set. For how bright it is, however, it is surprisingly not very prone to sibilance. So yes, it fits your requirements for clarity and more level bass, but texture is just OK and it’s a much brighter sort of earphone than you’re used to. If that sounds appealing, then it’s a great choice.

    If you’d rather have something less bright/more smooth and with even less bass quantity but better quality, the HiFiMan RE-400 may be a good option. And of course there’s always the Etymotic HF5. It will have a more neutral sound than a KC06 and RE-400 but with even better clarity. As with the RE-400, you’ll be giving up the enhanced bass of the KC06 for better bass quality and clarity.

  11. hmm. I’m still really torn between EPH-100 and dn-1000. Does EPH-100 have real advantage vs DN-1000 besides bass, mid, and treble quantity? (which are totally up one’s own personal preferences) like Timbre, Imaging, Bass extension etc.

  12. Hey Joker,

    I’m looking for a pair of IEM’s to compliment my Eph-100’s. I love the Yamaha’s but sometimes I can’t help but wish for some buds that offered better clarity and textured sound and had less bass, especially for Jazz and Acoustic. Would the Ostry KC06 offer something better suited for theses genres? What would you recommend under $150? Thanks so much!!

  13. Thanks joker I had the rha 750 it was way airy for me what kind of sound sig is the dunu dn 1000 I love it’s sig my type is sig is accurate and clear vocals with nice soundstage and have you listen to the Sony Xbah1?

  14. Not really. I guess the fit can take some getting used to if you’re new to IEMs (the tips are a little odd, but I didn’t find them uncomfortable) and it doesn’t have any “extra” features like detachable cables, etc.

  15. Thank, you!

    I guess, I will go with this one. Asking on other forums, they recommended this one, too.

    Oh, and is there downside for this earbud?

  16. The GR07 BE won’t be warmer or bassier than the DN-1000. I personally wouldn’t say it’s more fun, either – despite the name it has a more balanced and accurate sound than the DN-1000. The EPH-100 is a warmer-sounding, fun earphone, though. Or the RHA MA750, which is probably also in that price range used.

  17. Those options are kind of all over the place in terms of sound – some warm and dark, some bright/neutral. From personal experience and the feedback I’ve received from more serious EDM listeners, I typically recommend the EPH-100 in this price range. It has the basics covered very well – deep bass, good clarity, not overly dull/laid-back treble, and good layering. Just a good combination of traits for that kind of music.

  18. Hey joker,

    I wanted to ask, what is the best earbuds for listening electronic music like progressive house(I usually only listen to progressive house with rich melodies). I’ve red reviews of Shure SE215, Razer Adaro, VSonic VC1000 and Audio Technica CKR9/CKR10 but I am really unsure which are the best one. Can you recommend, which one of these are or you can recommend something better than these.


  19. hello again i love my dunu dn 1000 its crystal clear and its great. But this time i am looking for a more fun has more soundstage warmer and analytical i got addicted to buying headphones

    for $100 budget should i get the eph 100 or the gr07 bass edition also i think the eph100 is like $50 used and gr07 is around $70-80 used if am not mistaken. Only problem is i heard the eph 100 has a high failure rate if i buy it used and all of sudden dosent work i dont have a warranty.

  20. I personally prefer the VSD1S and recommend it as long as you are not looking for smoother treble. Ultimately, though, it depends on exactly what you’re looking for in your IEMs.

  21. Very much in vain, possibly you will be surprised with quality of a sound for the price. DT3 (bassy) and ED3 (balanced) recommend. It is very interesting to learn your opinion and comparison with IE4/7.

  22. How’s the dunu dn 1000 compare to the k3003. I heard there is a color that the dn 1000 come with that sounds like the k3003

  23. Not sure about the XB30 but the XB40 I had was pretty muddy. Maintaining enhanced bass and warm overall tone, the two upgrades I’d recommend under $150 are the MA750 and the Yamaha EPH-100. Can’t really say one sounds better than the other but they’re very different in other ways – the MA750 is worn over-ear and has great build quality and warranty. The EPH-100 can be worn cable-down and has great noise isolation. Can’t really go wrong with either.

  24. I am looking for something better than xb30 Joker as i got them and sound clarity is not that good. I have used mh750 and very impressed by the sound quality. Do you recommend me something similar to mh750 or better. I am done with xb30 there is no sound clarity in it.

  25. Hmm.. out of the earphones made specifically for workout use the only one that comes to mind is the Audio-Technica CKX5. I thought the cable noise on it was alright, and the fit is good.

    Out of IEMs not specifically designed for sports (meaning they might not have been designed with any sweat resistance in mind) but that still fit the bill, I would look at JVC. Their cables almost always have low noise and durability generally tends to be good. For heavy bass you’re looking at something like the FX101 or FR301 from the XX series.

  26. Hey Joker. I’m looking for a good pair of workout IEM’s under $40. My main criteria are microphonics when worn straight down and durability. Since I tend to listen to EDM when in the gym, I wouldn’t mind a more bass-heavy signature. Are there any headphones that come to mind? Thanks so much for this great site!

  27. The RE-400 is a more accurate, balanced, and neutral earphone. It depends more on your personal preferences but for classical I would take the RE-400 over the MA750 (and for EDM probably the opposite) so if you think you will enjoy a more balanced sound with no enhanced bass, go for the RE-400. One area in which it does definitely miss out is the build quality/durability of the RHA, but if you’re careful with your gear it shouldn’t be a problem.

  28. Hi, it’s me again. I just went to the store to buy the RHA MA750 but the sales guy said that the HiFiMan RE-400 sounds better than the RHA MA750 but I decided to take your advice for this matter. He also said that not only does it sound better than the MA750, it also costs cheaper ($110).

    Please let me know which one sounds better. Again, I listen to classical music most of the time, but I listen to rock, jazz, and EDM sometimes.

    Thanks again!

  29. Damn, that’s a lot of money for an FXT90. They can be found for almost half of that here in the US. Things could be worse, though… your options could’ve been Skullcandy vs Munitio or something.

    Anyway, while I think both are more colored than I would personally like for classical music (lots of bass, among other things), they work very well for EDM and some types of rock. Most of the classical listeners I’ve interacted with have asked for a flatter sound, but that’s not a guarantee that you’ll prefer the same thing they do. Between the two you’re considering, I would take the RHA – it’s a smooth and spacious earphone, and should sound more natural overall with what you’re listening to compared to the more aggressive FXT90.

  30. Hi, Joker! I just bought a Fiio X1 and I just wanted to ask which of these two (JVC FXT 90 or RHA MA750) would sound better for listening mostly to classical music? I also listen to rock, jazz, and EDM sometimes. But if these two earphones don’t jive with the genre I listen to, please recommend other options. My budget is around $100-150.

    These two products are the only earphones I can get EASILY in my country and I can get either of them for about $150… would that be a great deal?

    P.S.: I’m a newbie audiophile.
    Thanks in advance!

  31. I personally prefer the VSD3S, but ultimately it depends on whether you would rather have a stronger, more prominent midrange (KC06) or slightly deeper and more solid bass (VSD3S).

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