EARPHONES EARBUDS Image Credit: Fairlady
EARPHONES EARBUDS Image Credit: Fairlady

Earphones & Earbuds

Listening to music at work, the gym or on the move? We test a variety of options.

Tasneem Larney


We assessed sound quality: clarity, depth, bass and audio enhancement; sound leakage and noise isolation; and ease of use: fit, comfort, weight and resilience to sweat. We also looked at connectivity, design, features and overall aesthetic. (All devices are compatible with Android or Apple iOS. The SE215M+ Special Edition fully supports iOS with Siri control).

Fit, comfort and stability: They shouldn’t fall out, even with slight movements. Comfort and fit are vital if you’re going to be wearing them for long periods. Some products are designed to fit the natural lines of the ear to enhance comfort and stability, while others are made with wings to hold on to the ear pinna to ensure they stay in place. Those with wings are more secure and ideal for intense workout activities.

Built-in microphone/control module: Some products have control modules and mics that are on the wire or built in, so you don’t have to pull out your phone to access the controls. You can do several things, like answer calls or control your music. Check that the controls match your preferences.

Battery life: In addition to daily uses (like music and calls), some products support extra features such as a fitness tracker, though it uses a fair bit of power. Some earbuds come with charging cases.

For the cost-conscious: Buying earbuds or earphones comes down to

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