When looking for quality earbuds under $150, it is important for consumers to consider what these in-ear headphones are being used for. Unlike higher end, over-the-ear headphones, earbuds are valued for their portability, weight, and size. People use them to travel, go to the gym, take a run, or anywhere else a larger set would be too cumbersome. In recent years they’ve gained popularity and outsold traditional headphones.
We’ve reviewed the top selling earbuds on the market to come up with a short list of best picks for 2018, please continue below to see our other top choices and detailed earbud reviews. *At the time of writing these earbuds were all under $150, current prices may be higher.
Here is a list of five exceptional earbuds that offer great sound while meeting the unique needs of most listeners (Note: these earbuds are varied in sound, so you can pick a pair based on which sound signature you prefer: strong bass, balanced sound, warm and smooth, or V-shaped sound).
Best Earbuds Under $150
With most compatible smartphones, the Bose SoundTrue Ultra also let you switch back and forth between calls and music. The inline 3-button remote lets you control playback, adjust volume, or take a call with the press of a button. These Bose earbuds exclusive custom bag which is great for protection, storage and travel.
Though the SoundTrue Ultra are sports earbuds, they offer clear and open sound which may impress even those who are picky about sound quality. The bass is punchy and adequate while the treble is pleasant and mid-range is warm and slightly recessed.
A big problem with earbuds is they keep falling out. The beautiful thing about the Bose SoundTrue Ultra is the tips conform to the shape of your ears so they rest comfortably and securely. Like most earbuds, they are tiny and lightweight. However, unlike less expensive models, the ends of these come in three unique sizes to help accommodate different ear sizes.
- Custom fit for extreme comfort
- Well balanced sound
- Integrated inline remote
- Custom protective case
- High price
- Microphonic noises
Here is a closer look at the Bose SoundTrue Ultras:
2. Beats Tour 2.0 – Top Pick for Bass
These cool looking, great sounding, bass enhanced Beats Tour 2.0 earbuds are water resistant which makes them perfect for the gym or a long run. Like most higher end models, they come in various sizes and have custom wingtips which contour to each individual’s ear aiding in both comfort and sound performance.
The Beats Tour 2.0 comes with a cable clip which keep the cords from getting tangled. The RemoteTalk control provides hands free listening. It offers the convenience of switching tracks, changing volume or taking a call without ever having to take out your phone.
The Tour 2.0 was ranked not just their flashy and stylish design, but for its heavy-bass sound signature, which packs “plenty”, I could say it is overdone and boomy. So they would be a ideal pair for R&B music lovers or fitness enthusisats who need strong beats for their workout.
- Rich bass tones
- Multi sized ear pieces
- Secure fit wing tips
- Hard carrying case
- Hands free remote
- Cable clip
- Water resistant
- Hands free remote does not work with Android devices
3. RHA MA750 / MA750i – Warm & Smooth Sound
RHA have delivered a fantastic set of in-ear headphones for the money with these RHA MA750 and MA750i. The balanced sound offers a depth and control which is fantastic compared to most earbud performance. The stainless steel design is durable and elegant with incredible attention to detail. The various size and formed ear pieces offer listeners comfort and security.
RHA MA750 and MA750i also offer a 3 year warranty.
- Warm and smooth sound quality
- Two sets of ear pieces per size
- Custom leather case
- Durable stainless steel design
- 3 year warranty
- Jack is prone to breaking
- Phone calls offer poor audio performance
- Loops for over-ear wearing style are not for everyone
- A bit weighty due to metal build
4. Etymotic Research HF5- Balanced Sound
The Etymotic Research HF5 are a high-performance noise-isolating earphone which delivers superior value for the price.
They offer exceptional sound accuracy with the highest market tested noise isolation feature of any ear or head phone on the market. They come in black, red and blue, and offer various sizes of eartips to ensure proper fit and comfort. This set also comes with a pouch, and a two year warranty. The Etymotic HF5 earphones are an exceptional choice for those who value sound isolation and do not want to sacrifice sound quality or looks in the process.
- Balanced sound accuracy
- Excellent mid and highs
- Stellar noise isolation
- Quality design
- Available in an array of colors
- Bass tones
5. Alpha & Delta AD01 -Best V-shaped sound
Alpha & Delta adopted 2mm dc plug connector pins to prevent loose connections and ensure reliability. The tips come in three different sizes to accommodate multiple ear sizes. The smooth durable housings are solid, but some users complain that the angle and length make it a little impractical for over-the-ear use. This is an
- Detachable cables
- Bass can over shadow mid and high tones
- No microphone or remote cable
- Fit can be an issue for some
If sound quality is not critical for you and you need wireless earbuds for an active lifestyle, check out this post where I rounded up some of the best Bluetooth earbuds on the market for running.
If the earbuds in this post are over your budget, you may want to check out some in the slightly lower price range.