If you are like me who wears the earbuds while working out and commuting, you may be looking for some of the most durable earbuds.
Last update on 2019-11-12 / Affiliate links / Updated prices and images from Amazon Product Advertising API
I know the pain you feel.
When you buy a good pair of earbuds and they go broke after some months of abuse.
In fact, in my closet, there are dozens of broken cheap earbuds that I bought for everyday use from 7 years or so.
I now know all of the things to look while buying rugged/durable earbuds. After testing some earbuds that are reported as durable by many people, I've put together some of the best durable earbuds like Shure SE215, RHA T20i, and JLAB J4 and many more in this post.
|Product||Warranty||Frequency range||Sensitivity||Amazon product page|
|Klipsch Image S4i Rugged – Best value for money||3 years||16 Hz to 40kHz||90 dB||Check price|
|Sennheiser IE80 – Best pick||2 years||20Hz to 20kHz||115 dB||Check price|
|RHA T20i In-Ear Headphone||2 years||1 Hz to 20kHz||125 dB||Check price|
|Brainwavz M2 G||NA||20Hz to 20kHz||97 +/- 3dB||Check price|
|JLAB J4– Best durable earbuds under $50||1 year||20Hz to 20 kHz||102 dB||Check price|
|Shure SE215 – My pick for durable earbuds under $100||2 years||22 Hz to 17.5 kHz||107 dB||Check Price|
| GOgroove AudiOHM RNF Earbuds ||2 years||10 Hz to 19 kHz||110 dB||Check price|
Often, people neglect some of the aspects and features of the earbuds that make them more durable.
The trap is that they either will go brand-crazy or fall in love with the design of the earbuds.
Meanwhile, they forget about the durability of the earbuds. Some simple features like strain relievers at the junction of the cable and connector can save you lots of money in the long run.
There are some simple features that people often tend to miss while getting good durable earbuds.
Then let's go.
Features you need to look for durable earbuds
It all comes with the driver housing. Most of the earbuds that do not splice into halves, come with steel and aluminum driver housings.
Most of the cheap earbuds and also some of the premium earbuds come with plastic housings, that do not ensure the longevity of the earbuds.
With a little observation of the build material, you can easily figure out whether the earbuds are durable or not.
Good durable earbuds have stress relievers both at the point where wires enter the drivers and above the 3.5mm jack.
In some of the good durable earbuds, the stress relievers are also present above and below the inline mic (if present).
These hinges ensure that the wires won't get broken when you pull the wires roughly.
Although this seems like a simple feature, because of the absence of this particular feature I broke several earbuds.
If you are a regular reader of SoundMaximum, you may have read one of the previous articles on best tangle-free earbuds.
In that post, I've mentioned that earbuds that come with braided or flat cable do not tangle.
As you may have guessed, one of the main reasons why people break the earbuds is that because of their impatience to untangle the earbuds.
I'm also like that.
Go for earbuds that come with the wire that is either flat or braided. With these tangle-free earbuds, you can carelessly stuff your earbuds in your backpack or the pocket without worrying about the durability.
Although the earbuds I mention come with durable wires, the support for swapping in a new wire in case if wire breaks in a nice addition.
This comes to your rescue when you are in need to buy a new pair of earbuds mainly due to the broken cable.
Most of the people go with wireless earbuds as there is no risk of cables.
Water or sweatproof
If you are willing to use the earbuds while working out or while it's snowing, you may look for earbuds that are moisture and sweat resistant.
Some most durable earbuds chosen by me
Keeping mind all the things I've said earlier, I've chosen some of the good rugged earbuds that are worth it.
Along with that, I also took only the earbuds that are durable and also excel in terms of sound quality.
Let's dive in.
- Earbuds Form Factor – In-ear
- Earbuds Technology – dynamic
- Frequency Response – 10 Hz
- Sensitivity – 110 dB
- Impedance – 18 Ohm
- Diaphragm – 0.3 in
- In-Cord Volume Control – Yes
- Microphone Operation Mode – uni-directional
- Included Accessories – 4 pairs of ear tips, carrying case, clothing clip
The earbuds are rugged than most of the other Klipsch earbuds. The cable has a nice rubbery feel on them and is rugged and durable.
They are also tangle-free so that you can easily keep these in your pockets without worrying to untangle them on the go.
Although these earbuds are not meant to be waterproof, they withstand sweat and is solid for everyday use.
The only complaint about the wire is that they tend to produce some cord noise on movement.
However, this can be fixed with a shirt clip and avoiding rubbing the cord against your clothes.
Want to know more?
The bass of these earbuds are quite punchy but it's not certainly for bass-heads. The mids are clear and the vocals tend to outperform the bass and lows.
The treble is great.
If you listen to genres like classical or acoustics, you'll certainly love the performance of these earbuds in the treble part of the music.
Most of the durable earbuds are quite heavy with metallic construction. But these Klipsch Image S4i earbuds, being a rugged one, are very lightweight which is a plus point.
They rest in your ears comfortably for hours without causing any discomfort. The package comes with various sizes of ear tips so that you find the right fit.
#2. Sennheiser IE80
- Impedance – 16 Ω
- Frequency response – 10 – 20,000 Hz
- Sound pressure level (SPL) – 116 dB (1 kHz / 1 VRMS)
- THD, total harmonic distortion – < 0.1 % (1 kHz / 100 dB SPL)
- Ear coupling – Ear-canal
- Jack plug – 3.5mm, straight
- Cable length – 1.2m
- Attenuation – – 26 dB
- Headphone connector – Sennheiser proprietary 2-pin connector
The build quality of these Sennheiser IE80 earbuds is awesome.
They are made out of high-quality plastic and the metal plate gives a premium look to the earbuds.
The earbud cable is detachable, it can be unplugged out from the earbuds. This feature alone combined with the 2 years of warranty by Sennheiser ensures the longevity of the earbuds.
The 3.5 mm jack of the earbuds sit at the right angle, and it thus ensures that the stress on the cable is reduced when you pull off the cable by holding the wire. Also, stress relievers do a great job.
What's the use of durability, without a good sound quality?
So, let's look at the sound quality of these earbuds.
The bass in these earbuds is excellent. You can feel the boominess of the bass. The bass is well balanced and doesn't overpower the details and the clarity of the treble and mids. The fidelity in mids and treble is excellent.
The soundstage effect is great in these earbuds. The frequency response is ranging from 1Hz – 20,000 Hz.
So, there's a certainly slight emphasis on the low-frequency profile.
They offer great comfort for longer periods. They fit perfectly in your ears, filtering out a good amount of ambient noise.
Due to the perfect fit, the earbuds won't tend to fall out of your ears even while jogging. This IE80 headphone is a minor upgrade over the previous IE8.
So, there's really no strong reason for you to upgrade from IE8 to IE80.
- Drivers – 770.1 Dynamic Drivers/Td>
- Driver type – Dynamic
- Impedance – 16 Ohms
- Sensitivity – 100dB
- Frequency response – 16Hz – 40,000Hz
- Wired connectivity – 3.5 mm input
- Microphone – No
These RHA T20i earbuds come with 3 years of warranty. It speaks volumes about the durability of the earbuds.
As usual, like that of all of the RHA earbuds, the driver housing is metallic. Once you unbox the earbuds the first thing you admire is the build quality. The earbuds are certainly crafted to last.
The cable is heavy, thick and sturdy. The strain relief is excellent. The cord is not detachable like that of SE215 I reviewed above.
This is the only reason that made me rank these earbuds below the first one. The length of the cable is very long, you need a clip-on to keep the cables from swinging to and fro while on the move.
In addition to that.
They are very heavy for wearing them while jogging or running. That's a downside these earbuds come with.
The earbuds are extremely comfortable. When you wear these on, the wire goes behind your ears giving a secure fit. They offer excellent sound isolation with this secure fit.
The earbuds come with 3 different filters (Bass, Reference, and Treble). If you listen to bass-centric music like rock and hip-hop, the bass filter would be great for you.
If you listen to classical and acoustics the treble filter gives you the best experience. The reference filter is for you to enjoy the music without any coloring.
In the reference filter, the separation between the lows, mids, and highs are clear. Out of the box, the earbuds come with reference filter activated.
#4. Brainwavz M2
- Drivers: Dynamic, 10.7 mm
- Rated Impedance: 20 Ω
- Frequency Range: 20 Hz ~ 20 kHz
- Sensitivity: 115 dB at 1 mW
- Rated Input Power: 10 mW
- Cable: 1.3 m Y-Cord, Silver Plated
- Plug: 3.5 mm, Gold Plated
Once you unbox these Brainwavz M2 earbuds, the first thing you notice is the build quality of these earbuds.
The metallic body of the earbuds seems premium and the build quality is above average. You also notice that the cable is braided and rugged to prevent tangling.
The cable is stiff and they won't tangle easily. These are, without a doubt will be long-lasting.
If you consider the build of these earbuds, these earbuds are certainly made out of better materials than that of Klipsch and other earbuds in this range. The thin reinforced cable really adds up to the longevity of these earbuds.
When it comes to sound quality, these offer good bass that is not overpowering. It is well balanced.
The mids are more emphasized on these earbuds. This means the details and vocals of the singers can be heard crystal clear without any loss in quality. The treble part is smooth and above mediocre.
Overall, the sound quality is great with a slight emphasis on mid-frequency ranges.
The comfort is great.
Once you find a good pair of ear tips, the earbuds fit deeply in your ear, offering you good comfort for at least 2 hours of time.
#5. JLAB J4
- Body Material – Aluminum
- Additional Features – Tangle-free, flat cable
- Earphones Form Factor – In-ear
- Connectivity Technology – Wired
- Sound Output Mode – Stereo
- Frequency Response – 20 Hz
- Sensitivity – 90 dB
- Impedance – 16 Ohm
- Diaphragm – 0.3 in
- Connector Type – Mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm
These earbuds are made to last forever. The main things that contribute to the longevity of these earbuds are the aluminum housing and also the kevlar reinforced rugged cable that's tangle-free.
The stress relievers and the cord itself are built great and will definitely last longer. If you've ever tried the Jbuds (older one), these earbuds are their newer version and have good build quality than them.
Again, the cable won't tangle even a little bit whatsoever. The JLAB J4 earbuds are built only with heavy-duty materials.
The bass is great and is very boomy.
It is outstanding!
It performs well in low frequencies without any rattling sounds. The mids and highs are also pronounced greatly – there is a good balance of sound across various frequencies.
Although the treble part is not as high as the Jlab J5, they are clear. But they are certainly as good as J5 when it comes to durability.
There is a decent balance between the bass and the treble part of the music. These earbuds require a decent burn-in time (about 40 hours) before they perform to their fullest potential.
When it comes to comfort, these come with 7 ear tips. Once you find the right set of ear tips, you hardly feel the fact that you are wearing these earbuds.
The softness of the ear tips also adds to the overall comfort. The earbuds come with different colors that suit your taste.
#6. Shure SE215 – My pick for durable earbuds under $100
- Weight:30 g
- Sound signature: Detailed sound + enhanced bass
- Sensitivity:107 dB SPL/mW
- Impedance:17 Ω
- Frequency Range:22 Hz – 17 kHz
- Cable length:162 cm
- Sound Isolation (up to):37 dB
- MicroDriver: Single Dynamic
- Cable type: Detachable
- Color Options: Black, Clear, White, Blue
- Special Features: Inline Mic
The cable does not tangle and withstands good wear and tear. With these earbuds, you get 3 pairs of Comply foam and also 3 pairs of rubber ear tips.
The Comply foam ear tips are made exclusively by Shure for maximizing the build quality.
The cable is detachable from the actual earbuds. This feature adds to the longevity of the earbuds.
In case if the stock cable breaks for any reason, rather than ditching the earbuds themselves, you can pick up a new cable and use it with the earbuds. The cable does not tangle easily.
The driver housing is also made of premium plastic, that won't break easily and is rugged. They are transparent so that you can see the internal circuitry of the earbuds.
But wait- there's more!
The Shure SE215 earbuds perform well across the entire frequency band. If you are a true audiophile, you may notice that these earbuds perform great at lower frequencies than that of mids and highs. These are pretty bass-centric.
The bass is great but doesn't overpower the other details of the music.
As I said earlier, these earbuds come with foam and rubber ear tips of various sizes.
Among these, the Comply foam ear tips excel in terms of comfort and sound isolation. These foam ear tips when inserted, expand inside your ear. This it offers a good fit and sound isolation.
You can barely hear ambient noise when listening to music with these earbuds on.
- Cable Length – 48 inches
- Audio Input – 3.5mm audio plug
- Speaker Power – (3mW x 2) 6mW RMS
- Driver – 9mm
- Impedance – 18 Ohms
- Sensitivity – 98+3dB
- Frequency Response – 20HZ- 20KHz
- Weight – 0.85 ounces
For the price of under $20, these are the most durable earbuds you can get. These are indestructible and built greatly.
The driver housing of the earbuds is metallic, which gives a premium look and the solidity to the earbuds. The cable is reinforced and is very thick. The connectors are absolutely strong so that you need not worry about breaking your cable.
The sound quality in these earbuds is decent and not too excellent. The bass response and mids are great. The mids are warm. The treble part is a bit lacking and is weak.
If you often listen the classical you may not love these earbuds. These earbuds are suitable for bass-heavy genres like rock and hip-hop.
To be honest.
You may go for RHA T20i instead of these if you hear treble-heavy music more often.
The earbuds seem to be a little heavy for wearing. The earbuds come with various sizes of rubber ear tips.
Once you find the right size of ear tips for your ears, the earbuds offer good comfort.
FAQs on durable earbuds
Earbuds may not really need to have replaceable cords to be durable. Because of their size, it may not be so convenient to add replaceable cords to earbuds.
However, this is not really a problem, because the kind of impact that may damage your cord will probably take the earbuds off you altogether. This is not the case with headphones; hence the need for them to have replaceable cords. Most of the most durable earbuds do not have replaceable cords.
The earbuds are primarily built to withstand the abuse that comes from everyday use. There's an occasional accidental pull, tug or stepping-on that happens, but not very often.
While they are built to withstand the abuse, deliberate destructive action may prove fatal. Also, most durable earbuds are water-resistant.
Usually, it's the material they are made of. Even though most earbuds are made of plastic, these plastic materials have varying levels of strength. For instance, resin as a material for plastic is quite strong and will endure higher levels of abuse than some other types.
The material used to make the cord is also quite important because, for most earbuds, a bad cord means you have to replace the whole thing.
A large number of these earbuds are comfortable; at least the manufacturers intend that they are. However, you must also consider the fact that these earbuds are made for "average" ear hole sizes. At times, your ears may be a bit small, such that the earbuds don't really fit well.
A strain reliever will generally increase the lifespan of the earbuds. This means that the same earbuds will last longer with strain relief than without it.
Strain relief is generally used in lots of electrical and mechanical applications. Its function is to maintain the performance of the cable by preventing stress and tension that could affect its internal components. The internal component is the conduction part that carries the signal from your device to your ears.
These are some of the most durable earbuds you can buy today.
Finding a durable pair of earbuds is easy, but finding the right balance between the sound quality and durability is a tough job.
I hope you found this post helpful.
Make sure you consider the above factors that I explained while choosing a durable set of earbuds.
If you want the earbuds that are both durable and comfortable with good sound quality, go for earbuds that are at least above $50.
Hi, I’m Jennifer I’m a passionate singer and an audiophile from Detroit, MI.
I’m on a mission to help music creators to create fine music that help them position uniquely in the saturated music space.
Follow my blog for regular content :-)