Budget wired earphones comparison

10 October 2021
We test some of the most popular entry-level wired earbuds under $30.

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  • Ratna kishore

Wired earphones are always better than wireless........

  • Anonymous

Anonymous, 10 Oct 2021Sennheiser CX 300S. You're welcome.I prefer headphones with a replaceable cable.

  • Anonymous

Yep, wired headphones are great and I'm still using them with my phone. Good audio headphones are decently priced these days and you don't have to pay a lot to get very good audio quality. And if you want better sound than what you can get out of the headphone jack on your mobile phone, you can buy a dedicated dac/amp that plugs into the usb-c port or connects via Bluetooth.

None of these looks sturdy enough, and a lot of hassle to untangle the cables which is also too weak looking.

Price of usd 30 for indian market is still high.. that's why companies like Boat are selling the headphones at cheaper rate.. as far as the wired headphones are considered, affordable in India means below 500 inr which comes to around 7-9 USD. Mi basic earphones cost 325 inr.. does the job well in every aspect. That's what we would call "budget earphones".

  • Anonymous

Missing Tanchjim Tanya from the list ... It is better than BL03 but with almost the same or cheaper price tag... Being using it with Sabre Ess9280 DAC .. pretty good for casual listening.

  • Anonymous

Sennheiser CX 300S.
You're welcome.

To be honest, it's not as simple as that, virtually all phones with 3.5mm jack have really poor sounding DACs (as well as noise from power supply), thus getting an inexpensive audiophile grade dac such as ibasso dc02 will sound better than nearly all phones, so far the best sounding phone would be Asus rog 5 and onkyo dp-cmx1

  • Anonymous

Shazzy B, 10 Oct 2021I was going to get those cheap Moondrops, but instead I wen... moreYeah, wired earphones are not only cheaper but more serviceable & better sounding than the more expensive, disposable wireless e-waste garbage whose purpose is to make more money.

  • Anonymous

Paired Moondrop aria with LG V30 and a impedance adaptor to engage the high impedance mode. Sounds amazing for the price, no wireless ones can produce the similar sound.

"Smartphones have pretty much taken over as the primary source of music for most people and smartphone manufacturers took this opportunity to kill the wired audio market so they could sell overpriced, mediocre wireless garbage to consumers"

Well done Prasad. At least someone at GSMarena has a brain

  • Anonymous

Moondrop "recently" released a better budget IEM, the Quarks, which have better subbass extension and less treble, all paired with a really good (albeit still non removable) cable. For $12/13 it's really hard to do any better in this category if you're looking for a mildly V-shaped but still "natural" IEM.
Another good alternative for a more V-shaped sound is the QKZ VK4, cable is removable but pretty bad, they have a stronger subbass and they're brighter than the Quarks (likely still less than the KZ) though upper midrange isn't as forward. Some say Quality Control isn't great, can't speak for that.

While phones with 3.5mm unbalanced output are increasely rare, with these inexpensive and decent iems you can use dedicated high resolution audio player such as sony nw-a50 which will sound better than every phone (only old onkyo dp-cmx1 or Asus rog 5 phone is even remotely comparable) in terms of sound quality

I have a few different KZ models (not these 2) and all of them have great sound quality. The only gripe I have with them is that sometimes the eartip comes off in your ear and that's super annoying.

I was going to get those cheap Moondrops, but instead I went with the Moondrop SSPs and for the money, they're probably my favourite earbuds right now. Build quality is great, the wire is serviceable (I'm just about to buy another one after about 8-9 months, but I'd say get it sooner for the sake of it), and the quality of the sound is very good. They're tuned for more bass, so the SSRs are the other version if you don't like that.

  • Anonymous

That's why I'm not gonna buy a phone without a headphone jack for at least next 10 years. That's the time needed for wireless earbuds to become comparable in sound quality and price.

GSMArena.exe - System Error.
This application failed to start because 3.5mm_Jack.dll was not found. Remove posting as anonymous to avoid haters users from saying BS which extremely negatively influence the smartphone market.