Here are the best open classic earbuds (non-in-ear) you can get right now. Sometimes in-ears don’t feel right, and these are the best alternatives. HeadphonesAddict is user supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Previous Next Rating Price Connection Mic & Controls Water protection More info Apple AirPods 3 Best true wireless 4.6 Under $180 Bluetooth 5.0 checkmark IPX4 Review SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe Best sound 4.3 Under $50 Bluetooth 5.2 checkmark IPX4 Review Edifier P180 Best wired 4.2 Under $20 Wired – 3.5mm P180 model None Review TaoTronics SoundLiberty 92 4.4 Under $40 Bluetooth 5.0 checkmark IPX8 Review JBL Tune 205BT 4.1 Under $25 Bluetooth 4.1 checkmark n/a Review TaoTronics Soundliberty 80 Great call quality 4.2 Under $80 Bluetooth 5.0 checkmark IPX8 Review Sennheiser MX 365 4.2 Under $30 Wired – 3.5mm cross None Review Venture Electronics Monks Plus 4.4 Under $10 Wired – 3.5mm Optional None Review CONTENTS (show more) What’s the Difference Between Classic Earphones and In-Ear Headphones (In-Ear Monitors)? The difference between classic earbuds and in-ear earbuds (also known as in-ear monitors (IEMs) or in-ear headphones) is their design. Classic earphones lay on the outside of your ear canal. There is no ear canal irritation, which can occur in in-ears. The classic Apple earbud design is one of the most popular ones to date. These earbuds don’t go into your inner ear but stay on the outside of the ear. In-ear earphones enter further in the inner canal. They’re also called in-ear monitors (IEMs). The in-ear headphones come with rubber or foam ear tips that you can replace to adjust the fit. Shure SE215 are one of the most popular in-ear earbuds by musicians and non-professional users alike. What Does That Mean for User Experience? Classic Earphones Better environmental awareness since they don’t use tips to seal your ear canal. Airier sound due to open design without in-ear insertion. They’re more comfortable for most people since some dislike the in-ear fit with silicone ear tips. Sound can be quite good but not on par with proper in-ear headphones. Still, if you want a simple solution for audio books or casual listening, these are the way to go. Poor passive noise isolation means worse overall sound quality due to louder ambient noise. Also, the bass doesn’t get very deep due to the lack of a proper seal. Unstable fit for most users, which makes them a poor choice for intense workouts or commuting (since you don’t want them to fall out on the street). In-Ear Headphones Wider frequency range due to better seal and deeper bass response. That also means that the sound quality can get much higher, even at lower volume level. Good passive noise isolation block more sound from the outside world. Superior stability since tips creates traction between them and the canal, preventing earbuds from falling out. Some users find in-ear fit uncomfortable due to tips scratching the ears, especially if they have smaller ear canals, or the tips creating unpleasant pressure. Due to deeper fit, tips push more earwax back into your ears, which could lead to infections. The Confusion About the Name Since the in-ear design (in-ear monitors (IEMs), in-ear headphones) has become the standard in popular consumer electronics, most people call them just earbuds even though that is technically incorrect. Among the audiophile community, people understand the difference between earbuds and in-ear monitors and name them accordingly. Since most people aren’t audiophiles we use the name “earbuds” for in-ear monitors/in-ear headphones because this is what people expect. If you go to a store, most people will understand what you mean if you say classic earbuds or in-ear earbuds. Now, let’s check detailed reviews of each classic earbud model below. 8 Best Classic Earphones/Earbuds 1. Apple AirPods 3 BEST WIRELESS CLASSIC EARBUDS Apple’s Airpods 3 are the best classic earbuds combining a desirable look with an impressive Apple ecosystem integration. Apple AirPods (3rd Generation) with Lightning Charging Case – White Apple AirPods (3rd Generation) with Lightning Charging Case – White $153.95 $169.00 in stock Buy now eBay Apple AirPods (3rd Generation) Wireless Earbuds with MagSafe Charging Case. Spatial Audio, Sweat… Apple AirPods (3rd Generation) Wireless Earbuds with MagSafe Charging Case. Spatial Audio, Sweat… $197.50 in stock 3 new from $197.50 as of June 2, 2023 8:13 am Buy now Amazon.com AirPods (3rd generation) with MagSafe Charging Case AirPods (3rd generation) with MagSafe Charging Case $204.99 in stock Buy now Walmart.com Apple AirPods 3 review Connection: Bluetooth 5.0 Driver size: Custom Apple driver Frequency range: n/a Type: True wireless | Battery life: 6h + 24h in case | Wireless range: 50 feet (15.2m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: Quick charge – Lightning + Qi wireless + MagSafe | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IPX4 | Features: H1 chip, Spatial Audio, multipoint Good sound quality Comfortable fit Useful features (for Apple users) Excellent microphone quality No audio lag in videos/games (on iOS) Basic functionality with non-Apple devices Not the most stable fit Poor passive noise isolation Pricey Hear the Apple AirPods 3 A/B Sound Test: Apple AirPods 3 Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict You get a (surprisingly) punchy, somewhat balanced sound quality that is suitable for casual listening. By design, the low-end is lacking sub-bass extension. These wireless earphones work great with an Apple device. The H1 chip inside is making sure that pairing with an iPhone or MacBook is both super fast and stable. There are also intelligent touch sensors on the outside of the earphone, that work really well. The new 3rd generation AirPods are equipped with a new case that can be wirelessly charged (Qi wireless and MagSafe compatible). Another improvement compared to the previous generation is that they now support Spatial Audio and have an IPX4 rating, offering full sweat resistance. Furthermore, earbuds are very comfortable to wear and provide decent stability thanks to the special “grippy” plastic they’re made of. Apple AirPods 3 review Check price 2. SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS RUNNER UP Another great substitute for AirPods, with good sound quality and a full-fledged companion app. SoundPEATS Wireless Earbuds Air3 Deluxe HS with Hi-Res Audio Certification and LDAC Codec,… SoundPEATS Wireless Earbuds Air3 Deluxe HS with Hi-Res Audio Certification and LDAC Codec,… $49.99 $59.99 in stock 2 new from $49.97 7 used from $29.99 as of June 2, 2023 10:41 pm Buy now Amazon.com SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS Bluetooth 5.2 Earbuds Hi-Res Audio Wireless Earphones SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS Bluetooth 5.2 Earbuds Hi-Res Audio Wireless Earphones $49.99 in stock Buy now eBay SoundPEATS Wireless Earbuds Air3 Deluxe HS with Hi-Res Audio Certification and LDAC Codec,… SoundPEATS Wireless Earbuds Air3 Deluxe HS with Hi-Res Audio Certification and LDAC Codec,… $81.56 in stock Buy now Walmart.com SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS review Connection: Bluetooth 5.2 Driver size: 14.2mm dynamic Frequency range: 20-40.000Hz Type: True wireless | Battery life: 6h + 15h in case | Wireless range: 35ft (10.6m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 1.5h – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC | Water resistance: IPX4 | Features: Custom EQ, Adaptive EQ, Game Mode Clear sound with natural midrange (after EQ tweaks) Good battery life for classic earphones, with 6 hours per charge Good call quality, especially in quieter environments Light & comfortable to wear during long listening sessions Wide selection of features & an app at a budget price Poor passive noise isolation & sound leakage Below average Bluetooth indoor range of 35 feet (at best) Hear the SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS A/B Sound Test: SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS are, so far, the best-sounding classic earbuds on the market. Even though they only cost $50. Earbuds produce a relatively full, detailed sound, with natural mids and clear treble. They’re surprisingly clearer than Apple AirPods 3. To get the best result, you should enable LDAC audio codec (standard Air3 Deluxe support aptX Adaptive, which offers better latency). Furthermore, they have an app that works on iOS and Android, supplying both systems with extra features. Such as Adaptive EQ, Game mode, in-ear detection, and custom EQ. The latter can make the sound even more natural (you can find our settings in the full review). On top of that, earbuds are very comfortable to wear but only passable at providing a secure fit. They also only support IPX4, whereas most competition is fully waterproof. SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS review Check price 3. Edifier P180 BEST WIRED The Edifier P180 earphones deliver great sound in a traditional earbud design that fits well for a low price. These are quality replacements for your smartphone earbuds. Edifier P180 Computer Headset with Mic and Inline Control – Stereo Earbud Earphone Headphone with… Edifier P180 Computer Headset with Mic and Inline Control – Stereo Earbud Earphone Headphone with… out of stock as of June 2, 2023 6:12 am Buy now Amazon.com Edifier P180 Headphones with Mic and Inline Control – Stereo Earbud – Black Edifier P180 Headphones with Mic and Inline Control – Stereo Earbud – Black out of stock Buy now Walmart.com Connection: Wired – 3.5mm Driver size: 16mm Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz Type: Earphones | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 32 Ohm | Weight: n/a | Cable length: 4 feet (1.2m) | Features: / Great sound for the price Good soundstage Decent build quality Users with smaller ears might find them uncomfortable The exceptional sound quality of the Edifier H180’s powerful drivers is rather impressive, even at higher volume levels. Bass frequencies are presented with a solid presence but aren’t overwhelming or over-pronounced like in best bass earbuds. Highs are crisp and clear with good sibilance control. The soundstage is reasonably wide and provides good depth. Most users will find Edifier H180 earphones more comfortable than other brands. The provided foam covers add an extra layer of padding and comfort level, with no pressure points. The H180 earbuds tend to fit better and stay more secure than a lot of stock earbuds supplied by phone and electronics manufacturers. The lack of ear tip insertion means poor ambient noise isolation. On the other hand, that can be a good thing for safety measures if you want to be aware of ambient noise. The P180 version comes with an in-line mic. Check price Get Free Headphones by Joining Our Giveaway Click on the button below to find out this month’s giveaway prize. Go to Giveaway to Join 4. TaoTronics SoundLiberty 92 An excellent budget and better-sounding alternative if you find Apple AirPods too expensive. Taotronics SoundLiberty 92 Bluetooth 5.0 TWS Earbuds IPX8 Waterproof Hi-Fi Taotronics SoundLiberty 92 Bluetooth 5.0 TWS Earbuds IPX8 Waterproof Hi-Fi $11.99 in stock Buy now eBay SoundLiberty 92 Bluetooth 5.0 TWS Earbuds IPX8 Waterproof Hi-Fi 30H Playtime SoundLiberty 92 Bluetooth 5.0 TWS Earbuds IPX8 Waterproof Hi-Fi 30H Playtime $49.99 in stock Buy now Ravpower.com Wireless Earbuds, TaoTronics SoundLiberty 92 Bluetooth 5.0 Earbuds with Charging Case Hi-Fi… Wireless Earbuds, TaoTronics SoundLiberty 92 Bluetooth 5.0 Earbuds with Charging Case Hi-Fi… out of stock Buy now Walmart.com TaoTronics SoundLiberty 92 review Connection: Bluetooth 5.0 Driver size: 13mm PU Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz Type: True wireless | Battery life: 5h + 20h in case | Wireless range: 50ft (15m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 2h + quick charging – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IPX8 | Features: Touch controls Comfortable and lightweight The fairly neutral sound signature Responsive touch controls 5-hour battery life on a single charge Good build quality IPX8 water-resistance Loose fit Poor noise isolation The sound quality is surprisingly close to neutral, with a full-bodied midrange. That makes them musically superior to the AirPods and more enjoyable for all sorts of music genres. TaoTronics classic earphone design makes them very comfortable. There is a small dip at the beginning of the stem, which grabs your ear lobe better, providing a slightly more stable fit. Soundliberty 92 offer a crazy IPX8 water resistance rating, giving you the option to submerge or wash them fully. You can command them via an intuitive remote control, with up to 5 hours of playback on one charge, with another 20 hours inside the charging case. A 5-minute quick charge gives you an hour’s worth of juice. TaoTronics SoundLiberty 92 review Check price Here are similar alternatives. The best earbuds under $50. 5. JBL Tune 205BT Simple wireless buds with classic design and surprisingly full sound. JBL TUNE 205BT – In-Ear Wireless Bluetooth Headphone – Black JBL TUNE 205BT – In-Ear Wireless Bluetooth Headphone – Black $29.95 $39.95 in stock 2 used from $29.95 as of June 2, 2023 5:43 am Buy now Amazon.com JBL Lifestyle TUNE 205BT In Ear Bluetooth Earphones with Remote – Black JBL Lifestyle TUNE 205BT In Ear Bluetooth Earphones with Remote – Black $55.99 $59.93 in stock Buy now Walmart.com JBL Tune 205BT Bluetooth Wireless Neckband Earbud Headphones JBL Tune 205BT Bluetooth Wireless Neckband Earbud Headphones out of stock Buy now eBay Connection: Bluetooth 4.1 Driver size: 12.5mm Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz Type: Wireless in-ear | Battery life: 6h | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 2h – Micro-USB | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC | Water resistance: n/a | Features: JBL Pure Bass Sound Decent sound quality Comfortable Older tech (Bluetooth 4.1, Micro-USB) Below average battery life You usually don’t expect earbuds around $40 to sound good, especially earphones. While JBL advertises Tune 205BT as bass-heavy earbuds, they aren’t as monstrous. Instead, you can expect good detail and control in the bass, reasonably balanced mids, and smooth higher frequencies that avoid being sibilant. Otherwise, the wireless earbuds sport a minimalistic design, with flat, tangle-free cable. There are 2 modules on the wire, one is the battery, and the other houses a multi-function button and an in-line microphone. The latter offers all the essential commands for controlling earbuds without touching your smartphone. The battery life isn’t all that impressive, boasting only around 6 hours of playtime. Check price 6. TaoTronics Soundliberty 80 TaoTronics Soundliberty 80 take the best things out of Soundliberty 88 and Soundliberty 92 and merges them together, making the one of the best classic earbuds. TaoTronics SoundLiberty 80 True Wireless Bluetooth 5.0 Stereo Earbuds TT-BH080 TaoTronics SoundLiberty 80 True Wireless Bluetooth 5.0 Stereo Earbuds TT-BH080 $22.99 in stock Buy now eBay TWS SoundLiberty 80, Bluetooth 5.0 Earbuds with AI Noise Canceling Mic TWS SoundLiberty 80, Bluetooth 5.0 Earbuds with AI Noise Canceling Mic $54.99 in stock Buy now Ravpower.com Wireless Earbuds TaoTronics SoundLiberty 80, Bluetooth 5.0 Earbuds with AI Noise Canceling Mic,… Wireless Earbuds TaoTronics SoundLiberty 80, Bluetooth 5.0 Earbuds with AI Noise Canceling Mic,… out of stock Buy now Walmart.com TaoTronics Soundliberty 80 review Connection: Bluetooth 5.0 Driver size: 12mm Frequency range: n/a Type: True wireless | Battery life: 4h + 16h in case | Wireless range: 50ft (15m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: Quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX | Water resistance: IPX8 | Features: Mono mode, touch controls Good overall sound IPX8 water-resistant rating Excellent microphone quality Support for both AAC and aptX No audio lag with videos and games No passive isolation whatsoever Subpar battery life Poor stability The Soundliberty 80 audio quality is surprisingly full, despite the open-air design. You get a decent punch without bass distortion or driver rattling, whereas the mid-range and treble stay clean, articulate, and sibilance-free. Earbuds are rocking AirPods design with long, pointy stems. They sit in your ears quite comfortably but don’t expect excellent stability. On the inner earbud side, they have built-in proximity sensors. They’re extremely sensitive, and you can’t disable them. These are the best classic earbuds for call quality. Active noise cancelling for microphones does a great job picking up your voice, even in the loudest situations. Buds are overall very sturdy, more so than most other earbuds, and have a water-tight IPX8 rating. TaoTronics Soundliberty 80 review Check price Check the best noise cancelling earbuds if you want to block background noise. 7. Sennheiser MX 365 Don’t let the low price fool you on these Sennheiser MX 365 earphones. The sound quality is much better than you might expect from a sub-$20 earphones. Sennheiser MX 365 Earphones – Red Sennheiser MX 365 Earphones – Red $79.39 in stock Buy now Walmart.com Connection: Wired – 3.5mm Driver size: n/a Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz Type: Earphones | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 32 Ohm | Weight: n/a | Cable length: 4 feet (1.2m) | Features: / Smooth, balanced sound Spacious soundstage (for in-ears) Comfort depends on ear sizes The soundstage is much better than in most earbuds and the overall sound signature is quite smooth and balanced. Bass is present and forward enough without sounding exaggerated and over-produced. Mids are balanced, warm, and deliver good vocal clarity that isn’t too sharp. Highs are strong but can sound just slightly turned down, which can work well to combat ear fatigue if you’re listening for a long periods. The plastic enclosure on Sennheiser earbuds feel very lightweight, which is ok for comfort and stability. The included foam earpads add a nice cushion if you want to soften the feel of the plastic earbud shell. Check price 8. Venture Electronics Monks Plus Monks Plus are well-known earbuds in the audiophile community, holding a deserving spot in our best classic earbuds guide. Get them if you want a Hi-Fi sound quality on a tight budget. Venture Electronics VE MONK Plus earbud earphone Venture Electronics VE MONK Plus earbud earphone $9.90 in stock as of June 2, 2023 6:12 am Buy now Amazon.com Venture Electronics VE MONK Plus earbud earphone Venture Electronics VE MONK Plus earbud earphone out of stock Buy now eBay Venture Electronics VE MONK Plus earbud earphone Venture Electronics VE MONK Plus earbud earphone out of stock Buy now Walmart.com Connection: Wired – 3.5mm Driver size: 15.4mm Frequency range: 8-22.000Hz Type: Earphones | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Optional | Impedance: 64 Ohm | Weight: 0.5 oz (15g) | Cable length: 4 feet (1.2m) | Features: / Enjoyable, Hi-Fi sound Warm/smooth presentation Good soundstage Memory wire Poor quality foam covers Monks are a bit midrange forward, with a warm presentation and smooth, rolled-off highs. The bass response has a punch and a decent speed but doesn’t go very low. They are overall very dynamic and natural, with a good-sized soundstage, which makes their listening experience enjoyable. The plastic earbud enclosures feel quite hard and durable. Although the strain relief isn’t very reassuring. They come in different color choices. With the lightweight housing and foam covers, you don’t even know you are wearing them in your ears. VE Monks Plus are a quality set of earbuds, that you should definitely have. Even if you already own much more expensive gear. They are a great example of how good the best cheap earbuds can be. Check price Get Free Headphones by Joining Our Giveaway Click on the button below to find out this month’s giveaway prize. Go to Giveaway to Join Honorable Mentions Apple AirPods 2 Previous, second-generation AirPods 2 have come down in price, offering a decent deal for that who want earbuds for seamless Apple ecosystem integration and need great microphone quality. Apple AirPods 2 review Apple EarPods Wired The iconic earphone from the year 2012, that still comes included with the new iPhones. You can see many people using them on the streets. Soundwise they are similar to more expensive AirPods, therefore a solid option for Apple users on a budget. Check EarPods Wired price For more earbuds, check the guides below: Best earbuds under $50 Best earbuds under $20 FAQ: Are there earbuds that don’t go in the ear? Earbuds that don’t go in the ear exist and are called earphones, classic earbuds, or open earbuds. Their advantage over in-ear earbuds is comfort. Are open ear earbuds good? Open-ear earbuds are a more comfortable alternative to in-ear earbuds. But generally, their audio quality isn’t as good due to a lack of noise isolation. So, if you’re looking for comfort they’re a great option. If you prefer sound quality, then get in-ear headphones. Related: Best earbuds under $100 Best headphones for kids If you want to receive future updates and more news about the best old and newly released headphones subscribe or like our website. Have your own opinion about classic earphones? Leave a comment below, we want to hear it!