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Update: We updated this article in August 2020 with a new selection of earbuds.
Most earbuds are not built to last, that is the sad fact with most technology, but there are some companies out there who do take pride in the quality and durability of their products.
The growth in smart devices has caused an increase in the popularity of earbuds too. As devices become smaller and more compact, users want earbuds to match, often forgoing larger headphones. Earbuds are inconspicuous, won’t get in the way, and don’t mess with your hair.
The most common failure point with earbuds seems to be the wires. That is why we have only looked at the wired earbuds with the best durability along with wireless earbuds. With both, we have taken into account the build quality, ensuring that you get the best of the best.
If you are looking for some new earbuds or just an upgrade, then we’ve found some of the most durable wired and wireless earbuds on the market.
The 3 Most Durable Wired Earbuds
Shure SE215 Earphones
These earbuds come in a cool retro clear design, though there are other color options out there, and they are among the most durable wired earbuds on the market.
These earbuds are often used by professional musicians for monitoring and listening. They offer detailed sound with enhanced bass, also blocking out up to 37 dB of ambient noise, leaving only the crisp sound of your audio.
The earbuds are lightweight with an optimized nozzle angle for more comfort when you have them in your ears. The cable is durable with extra reinforcement and is also easy to replace should the wires wear over time.
The over-the-ear configuration keeps the wires out of the way, and there are three sizes of foam sleeves included in the fit kit, giving you a customized and comfortable fit. This also locks in the sound and locks out the ambient noise, providing comfort that can be worn for hours.
A soft-zip, compact carrying case allows for tangle-free storage and protects the earbuds when they are not in use.
Comfortable earbuds with excellent sound and exquisite build.
Sennheiser CX 300S
The German precision engineering of these earbuds means that you have detailed, dynamic sound, and extreme durability.
The Sennheiser transducer technology provides an enhanced sound with amazing bass. With over 70 years of innovation, Sennheiser has a history of quality when it comes to sound. The in-ear design also reduces ambient noise, creating crisp audio for music, podcasts, audiobooks, and everything else.
The 18-ohm transducers also provide excellent compatibility, allowing you to move seamlessly from smartphones to laptops to any other smart device that you have. The smart remote sits conveniently on the wires allowing you to control the music with the single button, and take calls if you are connected to your smartphone.
The silicon ear adapters offer you real versatility. There are four sizes to choose from, allowing you to customize your audio experience, and find the adjustment that will give you the maximum comfort when you need to be wearing earbuds for prolonged periods.
The custom-fit not only provides excellent comfort and performance, but it also blocks out the ambient noise. The precise fit locks in your audio and blocks out the annoying noises, perfect when you are outside and on a call.
Excellent wired earbuds that are comfortable and precise.
JBL TUNE 210
These wired earbuds do not only look amazing, but they feel amazing too. They are one of the lightest sets of wired earbuds that we could find, and the compact size makes them great for travel, giving a seamless fit within your ear.
The metallic-finished housing adds extra strength and durability to the earbuds, along with offering a more polished look. Underneath the flashy exterior, you will find a pair of 9mm drivers capable of punching out some serious volume along with rich, deep bass. The technology helps to replicate the kind of sound that you would find in a concert hall and arenas.
A perfect set of wired earbuds for professional musicians, they also feature a single-button remote control for intuitive use. You can control music playback and take calls with the inbuilt microphone. A great set of wired earbuds for working on the go.
The flat cable is tangle-free, saving you from headaches when you are traveling, and the wires are as durable as they come. The weak points have been reinforced, so the wires will not wear and fray like cheaper versions will.
A set of wired earbuds that do not compromise on the quality of the build. A solid pair of earbuds that proved rich, bass-heavy sounds.
The 3 Most Durable Wireless Earbuds
Bose SoundSport Wireless Earbuds
A set of wireless earbuds that are designed for those engaged in sport, but are also perfect for any of your audio needs.
With no wires to get in the way, these Bose Sound Sport earbuds give you a powerful and rich sound when you are moving, providing comfort and stability through the Stay Hear+ technology.
The soft silicone material and unique shape ensure a secure fit that stays in your ear, no matter what you are doing. Lots of comfort, even when you are working hard and sweating.
You can connect to any of your smart devices easily with the Bluetooth and NFC pairing and, when you do, the remote can control the audio, while the microphone lets you take calls and more. Add in the Bose Connect app and you can easily switch between multiple devices at the touch of a button. You can personalize your settings for faster and easier connection and listening experiences.
You can even use the app to update the earbud software or locate your earbuds should they go missing.
With up to 6-hours of battery life per charge and water-resistance, these are the perfect wireless earbuds for an active lifestyle.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2
These wireless earbuds look like something from the future and, when you hear the sound that you get from them, you might think that they are.
The best thing about these earbuds is the bespoke drivers. The included technology allows you to switch between musical genres and enjoy optimum sound in any of them. From classic to rock, your music will sound amazing when played through these earbuds. The bass is deep, the mids have a natural sound, and the treble is incredibly detailed.
Not only that, but you can add in the Smart Control app to play with the built-in equalizers for a customized sound that you cannot replicate with other earbuds or headphones.
The earbuds fit snugly, and that enhances your comfort when you are wearing them. They are ergonomically designed for the best possible fit and are earbuds designed to be used for a long time, especially when you factor in the 28-hour battery life and 7-hours of audio on a single charge.
The customizable touch controls allow you to control the audio with a single tap, take calls when they come through, or activate your apps. When your earbuds are removed, they automatically pause, and the audio resumes when you put the earbuds back in your ears.
With advanced technology and an IPX4 splash-resistant rating, these earbuds are designed for everyone. Whether you are working from home, walking and talking, or involved in sports, these wireless earbuds can handle it all.
JBL LIVE 300 – Premium True Wireless Earbuds
With an amazing, slick appearance, these wireless earbuds come in a fantastic storage case and feature all of the technology that you need to listen to your audio how it was intended to be listened to. These earbuds are small, but they pack a punch.
The reputation of JBL in the audio world brings a lot of expectations, and these headphones deliver. The audio is immersive, with rich, clear sound that has crisp highs and lows. You can also move between your audio and your surroundings seamlessly.
The TalkThru and Ambient Aware technology allows you to switch to the surrounding audio without removing your earbuds, letting you talk to your friends, or listen to the ambient noise without taking the earbuds from your ears. All you have to do is swipe on them to activate the handy feature.
The earbuds also come with up to 20 hours of battery life. That means that you have 6 hours of audio playback on a single charge. The carry case also doubles as a charger and you can get a one-hour boost to the battery life in just 10 minutes.
A set of wireless earbuds that give you true wireless freedom. They are durable with an exceptional build, and the audio is among the best out there. Long-lasting and extremely functional.
What To Know Before Buying Earbuds
Wired or Wireless
This is one of your main decisions when you are buying earbuds. The main difference comes down to audio quality vs. convenience.
Generally, wired headphones have superior audio quality while wireless earbuds offer you more convenience. The wires deliver better audio to the earbuds but they can become tangled or get in the way.
That is not to say that you cannot find amazing audio quality through wireless earbuds, but generally speaking, wired is the way to go for the best sound.
The convenience of having no wires may be a consideration if you are active and want to use earbuds while you workout as wires will not get in the way, but you do have to make sure that you charge them.
In essence, wireless offers you convenience, and wired offers superior sound.
If you want your earbuds to last, you need to consider the build material. Many earbuds are crafted from flimsy plastic and, while this keeps the cost down, the earbuds will not last.
We recommend looking for better casing materials such as aluminum. Ceramic or reinforced plastic is also a great choice and will protect the earbuds from damage. Always match the quality of the earbud casing to the wires too. There is no point in having ceramic earbuds if the wires are thin and break easily.
Thick wires and premium casings will cost a little more, but your earbuds will last infinitely longer.
There are almost no earbuds which are completely waterproof (unless you are buying specialized earbuds for snorkeling or scuba diving), but many are water-resistant. Resistance to moisture is going to make your earbuds durable and longer-lasting. Especially great if you wear your earbuds to the gym and work up a sweat as the beats are blasting out.
The cable is going to twist and bend and is often the weak point of your headphones. This is the part that is going to fray or tear, revealing the wires underneath. You want a cable long enough so that you do not need to stretch it but short enough so that it does not become tangled. The material should be high-quality and heavy-duty. You could also go the other way and invest in wireless earbuds, forgetting about the nuisance of a cable altogether.
We are looking for durability with our earbuds, but that does not mean we should compromise with the sound quality. The main reason you are buying earbuds is for sound. This is an area where we never compromise. We are out to find you the longest-lasting earbuds, but we also want to find quality ones too. The great thing is that durable earbuds are generally well-made, so paying for high-quality materials means that you usually pay for high-quality sound.
A lengthy warranty is often an indicator of how durable a product is. When a manufacturer has confidence in their product and does not expect it to easily break, they will have no problem offering a great warranty.
A one-year warranty is standard, so look for that or longer. Also, check the reviews for the manufacturers who are easy to deal with and accessible. If you need to have your earbuds replaced, you should be able to with no problems.
Of course, the price of an item is always a big concern. However, when we look at the cost of an item, we look at the value vs. the price.
This is an investment in a pair of dependable earbuds.
With cheaper pairs, you are buying them again and again. With a durable set, you buy it for life. A little investment at the outset will save you money in the long run. When you are searching for your perfect earbuds, think about the pair, which is going to become your lifelong friend.