7 Most Durable Earbuds in 2017 That Are Unbreakable (Mostly Under $50)
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.
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 in this post.
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. In the meantime, 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 long run.
Yes. There are some simple features that people often tend to miss while getting good durable earbuds.
Features you need to look in durable earbuds
Build: It all comes with driver housing. The 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.
Stress relievers: 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.
Tangle-free: 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.
Replaceable cables: 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.
Water or sweat proof: 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.
#1. Shure SE215 - My Pick for Durable Earbuds Under $100
The greatest strength of these earbuds is their solid build quality. The cable is thick and is Kevlar braided. 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.
The 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.
These 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. Added to that, they are very heavy for wearing them on 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 reference filter, the separation between the lows, mids, and highs are clear. Out of the box, the earbuds come with reference filter activated.
#3. JLAB J4M - Best durable earbuds under $50
These earbuds are made to last forever. The main things that contribute to the longevity of these earbuds are the aluminium 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 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.
The earbuds are rugged than most of the other Klipsch ear buds. 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 of the cord against your cloths.
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 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.
#5. Sennheiser IE80
The build quality of these 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, the 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 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.
#6. Brainwavz M2
Once you unbox these earbuds, the first thing you notice is the build quality of these earbuds. The metallic body of the earbuds seem 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 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.
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. 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.
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.