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In-ear earphones vs. earbuds vs. headphones: What is the best option in 2023?

With the advancement of technology and increased use of our advanced smartphones, there is higher demand than ever before for high-quality accessories that pair with these to make the experience whole. And, what accessory is better than a good pair of earphones, earbuds, or headphones? 

Because Game online specials and SoundXShop always carry a deal or two on earphones, pods, or headphones, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with many factors at play, such as price, durability, and additional features considered. This short guide will simplify selecting the best option in line with what’s most beneficial and convenient for your needs. 

By definition, in-ear earphones are the classic wired headphones that can connect to various gadgets using a 3.5mm audio jack. The universal application of the audio jack makes them highly interchangeable, which is great but might phase out going into the future as wireless options are coming up. 

Earbuds are a more pronounced wireless choice that fits in or on the ear. They rely on a wireless connection. Bluetooth makes it possible to link them to most contemporary devices with connectivity. Smarter brands will connect much easier, plus add greater functionality like AI assistants or automated connectivity. 

Headphones are the clunkiest choice whether they come as an over-ear or on-ear, wired or wireless, closed or open back. But despite their clunkiness, they still offer better sound quality and battery life. 

All these factors would confuse anyone, but whichever choice is better, here are a few things to consider on your road to your selection; 

Headphones Sound Quality
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Sound Quality

Headphones are the best choice, especially over-ear variants like the Sony WH-1000XM4. It offers better sound quality mainly because it has more significant drivers that recreate sounds much better at variable frequencies. Therefore, this makes headphones the best option for most gamers and music lovers.

Headphones are the best choice
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Ease of carrying around

Wireless earbuds are a clear winner here as most wireless earbud options come in small compact casings, making them easier to travel with and use on the go. Added functionality brings loads of choices that aren’t “brand ecosystem” centered, like the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, which can connect to most software services with minimal effort.


Currently, there is no clear-cut winner when it comes to durability. However, suppose the facts are stacked regardless of the user’s amount of care. In that case, wireless earbuds are stronger as most options are splash and shock-resistant due to inbuilt stabilizers and their lower weight. 

Comfort & Fitting

The way earphones, buds, or headphones fit for each individual is one of the essential factors in a purchase decision. Galaxy Live Buds reportedly offer less ear fatigue. Headphones are also a good option as they provide better sound quality but are often known to cause fatigue.

Comfort & Fitting earphones buds or headphones
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When it comes to pricing, it’s no surprise that earpods options are the more expensive option, whichever brand you choose. Take, for example, the Airpods Pro by Apple. They cost around $249. However, though not necessarily future-proof, wired earphones will be a cheaper option; Apple wired earphones cost $19. One can find various brands in the earphone market as every brand has at least one variant of these still on sale.

Battery Life

 Wired headphones and earphones, together with their Bluetooth versions, have the upper hand here. Some headphones brands like the Sennheiser Momentum 3 wireless over-ear headphones have added functionality. They have a port for a wired 3.5mm audio jack which then allows you to also use them when the battery runs out. Advances in technology have also birthed the JBL Eternal Reflect headphones, which use solar power to charge.

Last words

Finally, the best option for each person is distinct by the level of convenience the option provides. But wireless earbuds are the most well-rounded option. Still, connectivity to a preferred ecosystem will be critical in the selection process because these will be used primarily on your smartphone, we presume.