150 bucks might seem like a random number, why not just do $100 earbuds or $200 headphones like other sites? While we’ve come up with some of those, we realize that $100 is a pretty big jump. Not only is there a big gap in the kind of earbuds you can buy, most importantly is your budget, blowing an extra hundred dollars on a pair of earbuds is not something to take lightly and realistically if you’ve budgeted for a specific amount you don’t want to blow double the amount had budgeted to spend.
So, we figured $150 made sense since it’s the halfway point. Plus look at some of the cool stuff you can buy on Amazon for under $50 bucks with the money you save. Oh, wait a minute the idea was to save, not spend the more!
If you’re looking for a quick recommendation, we think the
We’ve reviewed the top-selling earbuds on the market to come up with a shortlist of best picks for 2019, 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
Bose SoundTrue Ultra: Overall Pick
With most compatible smartphones, the Bose SoundTrue Ultra also lets 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 a clear and open sound that 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
RHA MA750 / MA750i – Warm & Smooth Sound
RHA has delivered a fantastic set of in-ear headphones for the money with these RHA MA750 and MA750i. The balanced sound offers 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 earpieces offer listeners comfort and security.
RHA MA750 and MA750i also offer a 3-year warranty.
- Warm and smooth sound quality
- Two sets of earpieces 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
Jabra Elite 65t Earbuds
The Jabra Elite 65T earbuds are true wireless earbuds that are ideal for working out, running or taking calls on the go. When Jabra originally released these back in January 2018, they retailed for just a tinch over our $150 budget at $169. With the release of the next generation Jabra 75T, the 65s have come down a bit in price and can often be found for under the $150 mark. The “Active” version (with better quality rubberized surface and improved sweat-resistance) will run you slightly more.
The 65T excels where you’d expect for a 100% wireless earbud- compact design and secure in-ear fitting are a good match for listeners that lead an active lifestyle. Where they excel is taking phone calls on the go and the sound quality is surprisingly good for such a small package, although bass-heavy tunes may sound a bit lacking. There have been a few complaints of audio dropoff while listening to streaming.
While truly wireless buds tend to be a let down when it comes to battery life, the 65Ts do pretty well when compared to other competitors on the market coming in with an average battery life of 5 hours on a single charge as well as a 15 mins quick charge will give you 1.5 hrs partial charge. They come with a convenient portable charging that fits in your pocket.
- Call connectivity
- Decent battery life
- Compact charging case
- IP55 waterproofing (sweat)
- Backing bass
- Average sound quality
The Apple Airpods have retailed for $159 on apple.com since they came out, however we often see them on sale online and they sometimes do drop below the coveted $150 mark (check current Amazon price on Apple Airpods). Even at the full retail price of less than $10 over the mark, we think they are definitely worth including on the list.
The minimalistic look of the Apple Airpods is now a common sight on the street since apart from the huge popularity since they launched, there has been a huge influx of cheap knock-offs flooding the market.
Similar to the Jabra 65T reviewed above, the Airpods give you 5 hours of listening time on a single charge. The 15 minute gives you 3 hours of listening time( or 2 hours of talk time) which doubles the quick charge of the Jabra. As far a fit, the Airpods have a less ergonomic feel than the Jabras which feel a lot more stable if you’re looking to use them more for sports.
- Very Compact Design
- Improved battery over Gen 1
- Better Quick Charge
- Not a great fit for sports
- Average sound quality
- Very little sound isolation
Etymotic Research HF5- Balanced Sound
The Etymotic Research HF5 is a high-performance noise-isolating earphone that delivers superior value for the price.
They offer exceptional sound accuracy with the highest market-tested noise isolation feature of any ear or headphone on the market. They come in black, red and blue, and offer various sizes of ear tips 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
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 overshadow 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.
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 that contour to each individual’s ear aiding in both comfort and sound performance.
The Beats Tour 2.0 comes with a cable clip that keeps the cords from getting tangled. 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 an ideal pair for R&B music lovers or fitness enthusiasts who need strong beats for their workout.
- Rich bass tones
- Multi-sized earpieces
- Secure fit wingtips
- Hard carrying case
- Hands-free remote
- Cable clip
- Hands-free remote does not work with Android devices
If the earbuds in this post are over your budget, you may want to check out some in the slightly lower price range.