Top picks for in-ear headphones this summer

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Whilst an over or on ear headphone may bring certain audible benefits, they also have an obvious extra bulk that just isn’t practical for some. We’ve taken a look at some of the best options across all price points for those who prefer their listening to be somewhat more discreet.

For runners, commuters, or if walking along the street wearing a full on set of ‘cans’ just isn’t you, then the obvious choice is a set of good quality in-ear headphones (or earphones). So let’s start with a budget wonder that’s small on price, but big on sound…

Want top quality earphones at a bargain price? Then look no further than the Sennheiser CX475.

Want top quality earphones at a bargain price? Then look no further than the Sennheiser CX475.

The Budget Wonder – Sennheiser CX475
As old as the hills but definitely better at making headphones, Sennheiser are synonymous with great quality audio equipment. The CX475 represents great value from such a well-regarded brand. Coming with three sets of different sized silicon buds, you can all but guarantee a better fit than the cheap plasticky models that you’ll find for not a great deal less. Ample bass and extended highs make these a no brainer for those on a budget. Even as a cheap upgrade you’ll be surprised just how much better your music will sound when you ditch the free set that you got with your smartphone or MP3 player.

 

“Still going strong with a genuine, no-compromise proposition, this multi-Award winners latest update is a treat.” – What Hi-Fi.

“Still going strong with a genuine, no-compromise proposition, this multi award-winner’s latest update is a treat.” – What Hi-Fi.

The Award-Winning Supremo – SoundMagic E10 / E10S

The chances are that if you’ve popped into one of our stores to ask for earphones in the past few years, you’ve probably been asked to check out the E10 from SoundMagic. Winner of What Hi-Fi Awards in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and still hanging onto their 5-star rating this year, these are an exceptional buy for those big on sound. A wide frequency response of 15 – 22,000hz ensures that bass is deep and impactful, and the handy carry pouch keeps them safe when not in use. Those after an inline remote and microphone for both Apple and Android will love the E10S, the same great earphone, but with that little bit of extra flexibility.

The perfect commuting companion. The IE60 from headphone masters Sennheiser.

The perfect commuting companion. The IE60 from headphone masters Sennheiser.

The Noisy Environment King – Sennheiser IE60

Sennheiser’s second entry on our list is a few steps up the range, and is perfect for those who find themselves in a particularly noisy environment when listening to their tunes – hello London tube commuters and over-zealous gym bunnies. An incredible amount of thought has gone into their deign, with dual micro drivers delivering crystal clear treble and altogether superb sound. These noise-cancelling in ears can block up to an extra 20db of outside interference too, meaning you can listen at a lower volume and maintain all the detail and impact – truly genius!

 

“Another year, and another Award - these really are still the finest in-ears we've ever heard at this price.” – What Hi-Fi.

“Another year, and another Award – these really are still the finest in-ears we’ve ever heard at this price.” – What Hi-Fi.

The Studio Pro – Shure SE425

Shure are one of the world’s foremost microphone and earphone manufacturers, and their SE425 ‘in ear monitors’ are a shining example of why they’re so successful. Their unusual shape is designed in part to give a more ergonomic fit within the ear, which also helps block out outside sound. Amazingly they manage to pack a driver and a tweeter into both of their tiny buds, offering the level of sound that justifies the huge the time and effort that must have gone into their design. It also features a detachable cable so that should the worst happen (touch wood that it doesn’t), it can easily be replaced. Supplied with varying sized and shaped tips, these are truly a perfect match for any ear!

“The priciest in-ears we've reviewed. They're also, by a massive margin, the best.” – What Hi-Fi.

“The priciest in-ears we’ve reviewed. They’re also, by a massive margin, the best.” – What Hi-Fi.

The Ultimate In Ear – AKG 3003i

Yes, these definitely fall into the premium price bracket but they’ve won boatloads of awards for a reason and if you’re truly serious about wanting the best sound on the go, these AKG’s are a must audition. Their frequency range is an staggering and unrivalled 10 – 30,000kHz, giving a bass and treble response well beyond normal audible range (but giving the best possible chance for the smoother transition across these frequencies).

The numbers only tell part of the story, from the outside build to the materials used for cabling, these are a cut above everything else out there. Supplied with a number of latex tips to ensure a perfect fit, and arriving in a stunning leather carry case, the 3003i offers a superlative experience both in the hand and in the ear.

To get the best in-ear sound to suit your needs pay us a visit in-store or call our Telesales team on 0333 900 0093, with our expert knowledge and friendly advice you could start enjoying great sound on the go, pronto!

Author: Chris, Liverpool store