It's a sure bet that whenever Apple unveils a new…well, anything, it's going to capture media and audience attention. Hey, it's Apple. It's what they do. That always in the spotlight approach also spills over into Apple's most popular spinoff brands, which now include premium audio makers Beats after their 2019 purchase.
But while the new Beats Studio Buds debuted to fine reviews and plenty of press attention this summer, consumers inevitably pay a premium for all that hotness. In the Studio Buds' case, that equals $149.99.
Beats is a quality brand, but don't kid yourself — there are plenty of quality earbud makers producing stellar headphones that are all coming in well below that price point. And not only are almost all the 15 earbud models featured here available at well under $150, but you can also enjoy an extra 15 percent off as part of the ongoing Semi-Annual Sale. Just use the code ANNUAL15 and that instantly takes that extra few dollars off the price of your purchase.
If you can work out with earbuds, why not swim with earbuds? With the xS2's, you're fully covered with IP67 waterproofing, which means these buds can survive underwater for up to 30 minutes. As for connectivity, the cutting-edge Bluetooth CSR 4.2 makes for a seamless connection with your devices, and users get up to 300 hours of standby time with the accompanying carrying cash/charging station.
CNET said these earphones "sound excellent…particularly for the price." That's probably the 7mm dynamic drivers serving up crystal-clear sound with Qualcomm aptX technology and an AAC hi-res transmission in this ultra-efficient package. Plus, users get an extra 24 hours of battery life with the charging case.
Refined for listening through your workouts and other outdoor activities, the HyperSonic Lites are water-resistant and form-hugging comfort that cuts down on ear fatigue. But the real selling point here is the exclusive LinearFlux DL02 Immersive Sound Engine, which enhances the clarity and bass of your audio with a sound profile perfectly tuned for listening to streaming services like Pandora or Spotify.
With Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity to stay in range at up to 33 ft. away, the Stix are made to take on whatever the world dishes out. They've got built-in mics for hands-free calling as well as onboard smart touch features for controlling music and calls with a simple press. It also comes with a rechargeable docking case to make sure the music never stops.
Treblab X5 True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds (2020 Upgraded) – $42.49 after code ANNUAL15; originally $99
One of Treblab's most popular models, the X5s have been fully upgraded with even more audio-improving features. The expandable silicone tips help reduce environmental noise so you can focus on the crisp, clear stereo-quality sound from the 8.2mm drivers. And they deliver more than 35 hours of extending listening time with the portable charging case. There's a reason these buds are rocking a solid 4.3 out of 5-star rating with Amazon purchasers.
Treblab X3 Pro: True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds with Earhooks – $54.39 after code ANNUAL15; originally $99
The 11mm drivers are the heart of the X3 Pros, offering up dynamic sound quality from these wireless premium earbuds. With clear quality sound reproduction and a built-in CVC 8.0 mic for enhanced voice activation and voice assistant capabilities, the X3 Pros have a feature many models neglect: ear hooks for securely fastening your buds around your ear without ever fearing weighty or uncomfortable.
You don't always find true active noise cancellation with wireless earphones, but these Indiegogo-backed beauties from PaMu are the exception to the rule. Featuring top-flight Qualcomm chips, the Quiet is just that — quiet. Using a hybrid feedback and feed-forward noise cancellation method to deliver the most affordable and comfortable system in its class, these earbuds can help listeners truly immerse themselves in the music while never missing any important sound in the world around them.
Of course, there are other active noise cancellation earbud models on the street — like these gems from Lune. Packed with the Airoha flagship Bluetooth connectivity and advanced front and rear dual feedback microphones, Lune can intelligently interpret ambient noise at different frequencies, then actively reduce the noise by up to -35dB. And thanks to Lune's ultra-low power consumption, these buds will be sounding off long after others need a recharge, delivering up to 45 hours of battery life.
An Amazon's Choice Favorite, the earbuds from Nokia are sporting stylish graphene drivers and the latest Bluetooth 5.0 technology for stable, studio-quality wireless audio. They're ready to roll in all kinds of environments with their IPX7 waterproof rating, not to mention an industry-leading 150 hours of backup power with their beefy portable charging and protection case.
The E50s realize that if your earbuds don't feel comfortable, you won't wear 'em. But with six different-sized soft silicone gel tips, users can customize these headphones to fit their particular ears securely to make sure they never fall out. Along with passive noise cancellation and up to 25 hours of playtime, these buds are optimized for an on-the-go lifestyle.
xFyro Active Noise Cancelling AI-Powered Wireless Earbuds – $212.50 after code ANNUAL15; originally $250
These earbuds from xFyro actually enlist artificial intelligence to achieve a better listening experience. Using sound from its four onboard mics, the AI actually sifts through all that outside noise balanced with your music — and makes smart decisions about what sound to screen out and what to let through. Backed with 7mm graphene drivers, a custom-engineered ergonomic fit, and 100 hours of playback time, listeners get the best possible music-immersive sound session.
Weighing less than an ounce, the Beacon comes with multiple ear tip and wing sizes for up to 12 different combination options for fitting each listener like a glove. The 8mm drivers serve up brilliant audio, while the charging case can hold 3 to 4 additional charges for making sure the music keeps rolling all day long. It's also got full voice control Siri and Google Assistant compatibility for added versatility.
The Palladium is a set-it-and-forget-it kind of earbud. With Bluetooth 5.0, they'll connect to your chosen device instantly, with the 6mm drivers powering dynamic, stereo sound with a click. The earbuds themselves can deliver for up to 3 hours, but with the charging case, you can get another 90+ hours in standby mode to keep the music playing all day long.
No matter what you want most from your earbuds, the Culture can check the box. For sound quality, these earbuds have Bluetooth 5.0 technology to avoid lost connections and tangled wires. For features, you've got built-in touch controls to pick up calls, adjust volume, or switch tracks. For active users, the Culture is IPX67 waterproof, so you can jog, hike, and more in any condition. And the charging case bolsters your playtime by up to 25 hours.
Digital Trends says these earbuds are "the best ANC you'll find in a pair of sub-$100 true wireless earbuds." A 2021 CES Innovation Awards winner, these headphones, tuned by Grammy-winning sound engineer Luca Bignardi, offer the exclusive QuietMax active noise cancellation technology combining hybrid ANC technology, precise audio tuning, dual-band ANC, and wind noise reduction in one suite for an uncompromised all-around sound.
Prices subject to change