The 10 Best Earbuds For Bass
10. Yamaha EPH High-Performance
- come with a quarter-inch adapter
- cable feels a bit flimsy
- bass can overpower mids and highs
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
9. Symphonized NRG 3.0
- come with an eco-friendly pouch
- can activate phone's voice control
- too much cable vibration feedback
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
8. JVC Wireless Stereo
- good choice for electronic music
- a protector guards against impacts
- mids are not well represented
|Rating||3.6 / 5.0|
7. Sony In-Ear Extra
- subwoofer-quality bass
- rubber-coated tangle-free cord
- somewhat large and bulky
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
6. Bose SoundSport Wireless
- available in four colors
- sound well-balanced
- battery lasts for only six hours
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
5. Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H3
- made from a solid aluminum block
- two-year limited warranty
- some find them uncomfortably heavy
|Brand||Bang & Olufsen Beoplay|
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
4. 1More Triple Driver
- three drivers provide dynamic sound
- low-profile when in the ear
- stylish rose gold accents
|Rating||4.8 / 5.0|
3. AKG Y20
- angled jack doesn't stick out much
- sleeves come in three sizes
- durable polycarbonate materials
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
2. Splaks HS1081
- two speakers per earpiece
- speakers measure ten millimeters
- look more expensive than they are
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
1. Sennheiser IE80S
- good amount of noise isolation
- accommodate two wearing styles
- cable can be replaced if needed
|Model||IE 80 S|
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
The Benefits And Compromises Of Earbud Form Factor
While their portable design originated with hearing aids, modern earbuds are arguably more popular than the standard headphones that preceded them on the market.
As earbuds grow in popularity, consumers continue to demand more from their tiny form factor, including an improved bass response. A number of manufacturers have stepped up to meet this challenge.
While well-suited for on-the-go audio enjoyment, earbuds do have drawbacks.
Because of their limited size, they will never compete with similarly priced full-size headphones when it comes to sound quality. The miniaturization of components adds a premium to earbuds, and if you're looking for the highest quality bass response at the most affordable price, headphones are likely the better option.
Not to be confused with the high-end in-ear monitors used by professional musicians both in the studio and during live events, modern earbuds are primarily a consumer product. While in-ear monitors are typically custom fitted to the shape of the user's ear canal, earbuds typically take a one-size-fits-all approach, or include a selection of rubberized tips of varying sizes for customization at home.
The inner-ear design of earbuds does filter out some outside noise, but on this mark they are less effective than their over-the-ear and on-ear alternatives. Though modern earbuds do effectively seal off the ear, that technology doesn't exclude outside noise as well as larger headphones.
But that is where the disadvantages end. For many people earbuds are more comfortable to wear over long periods, and they are much more likely to stay put while walking and running than headphones, making them the best choice for exercise. Bluetooth technology has added yet another level of portability to earbuds, which now can operate without the added bulk of wires.
Additionally, developments in earbud technology mean frequency response has improved at all levels, including bass. The sound quality of earbuds is as good as it has ever been.
Your Brain Loves Bass
There's a reason you seek earphones that emphasize bass.
Bass sounds represent the lowest part of the musical pitch range, extending from 32 to 512 Hz. Researchers have discovered these low frequency sounds touch humans on a primal level. The first sounds a fetus absorbs after developing hearing are in this range, and that early exposure, scientists speculate, makes all the difference. Those early sounds include the sound of both the mother's heart and voice.
This is why bass beats are a common component of music across the cultures and genres of the world, scientists have theorized.
Bass sounds even spark changes in adrenaline levels and heart rate among humans in the right setting, which may be why that one killer workout track is so effective.
In songs where the beat is carried by instruments in the bass range, nearly all humans are more likely to respond because we are all significantly more sensitive to changes in bass sounds than to those in other ranges.
As music and the technology to reproduce it have evolved, the use of bass sounds has increased. This is most apparent in the hip-hop genre, which fueled the 1990s and early-2000s subwoofer boom, during which custom car audio systems centered around bass reproduction and emphasis were popular. Today, subwoofers are ubiquitous in music clubs and concert venues.
A Brief History Of Earbuds For Bass
The first effective headphones were made in inventor Nathaniel Baldwin's kitchen in 1910. Early headphones like Baldwin's borrowed design characteristics from telephone receivers, generally had poor sound quality, and were uncomfortable to wear.
Headphones were used primarily by telephone workers until 1919, when a particularly sensitive design manufactured by Brandes made them feasible for work in radio.
It wasn't until 1958 that a predecessor to modern audiophile headphones was brought to market by jazz musician John C. Koss. The headphones designed by Koss were the first to translate a stereo signal, with different sounds in the left and right channels.
While they share technology with early headphones, the smaller earbud design originated with hearing aids before becoming popular for use with the first portable transistor radios around 1960. The 3.5 mm audio plug used by most earbuds today is a product of this marriage with the transistor radio, first used in the Sony EFM-117J, released in 1964.
As portable music devices improved in audio quality with the popularization of FM radios, and later CD and MP3 players, consumers grew to appreciate the benefits of high-quality headphones and earbuds. A cultural icon, the Sony Walkman was at the center of this movement, starting in 1979 with a cassette player, and continuing into the 1990s with the Discman, which played CDs.
In the late 2000s, the popularity of both the Apple iPod and the bass-heavy hip-hop genre led manufacturers like Monster and later Beats by Dre to focus on producing listening devices with improved bass response. Demand for this sound profile in the earbud form factor came soon after, thanks to the popularity of Apple's own earbuds, which were included with each new iPod. Apple's earbuds were featured heavily in their marketing of the iPod, and, despite limited sound reproduction capabilities, they remain popular in their modern incarnation, the Apple Earpods.