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The 8 Most Durable Earbuds in 2021 (Heavy-Duty Models)

Last updated: 4 weeks ago
8 min read

Here are the unbreakable, heavy-duty earbuds for all occasions.

Rating Price Material Water protection Warranty Battery (Connection) Mic & Controls More info
Jaybird Vista 2 Toughest overall
Jaybird Vista 2 small image
4.0
Under $200
Rubberized plastic
IP68
2 years limited
8 hours (Bluetooth 5.0)
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4.3
Under $180
Brushed plastic
IP57
2 years extended
7 hours (Bluetooth 5.0)
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4.6
Under $250
Hard Plastic
IPX4
1 year limited
11 hours (Bluetooth 5.0)
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4.2
Under $150
Zinc alloy
n/a
2 years
Wired – 3.5mm
Optional
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Best noise cancelling
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
4.3
Under $200
Plastic
IPX7
2 years
5 hours (with ANC)(Bluetooth 5.0)
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4.0
Under $100
Plastic
IPX7
2 years limited
9 hours (Bluetooth 5.0)
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4.0
Under $40
Plastic
IPX8
2 years limited
7 hours (Bluetooth 5.0)
checkmarkcheckmark
4.1
Under $60
Plastic
IPX8
2 year limited
4 hours (Bluetooth 5.0)
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Table of Contents

    Tired of earbuds constantly breaking and becoming useless?

    Are you wasting your hard-earned money on buying new earbuds just to see them break easily in a couple of months?

    Here is a solution.

    The 8 best durable earbuds you can get today that are tough enough to survive “hell” (in our opinion).

    All of the earphones here are made of better materials, like tough plastics and aluminum, don’t have major weak points, and are simply resistant to “human abuse”.

    No matter how much money you want to spend on your new in-ears, if you get these, you’ll get the most durable earbuds that last long.

    Related: Also, check out the most comfortable earbuds.

    The Most Durable Earbuds

    1. Jaybird Vista 2

    1st-place Toughest overall
    Jaybird Vista 2 covered in dirt

    One of the most durable wireless earbuds out there, with an IP68 water-resistant rating and MIL-STD-810G military standard of endurance.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 6mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 8h + 16h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 2h + quick charge – USB-C & Qi wireless charging | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IP68 (IP54 on case) | Features: Ambient mode, mono mode, EQ
    • Great out-of-the-box sound
    • Excellent comfort and stability
    • Extremely durable with water-resistant charging case
    • Good battery life
    • Feature-rich companion app
    • Decent active noise cancellation
    • Occasional connection stutters
    • Error messages during firmware updates

    Expect the best sound quality among the most durable earbuds right out of the box. It gets even better when you tweak some EQ settings inside the Jaybird app. It’s punchy and energetic, with a good-sized soundstage.

    They have a soft rubberized finish with a silicone ear fin that locks them securely into place no matter the ear size. Three sizes of fins and silicone tips are part of the same ear gel, so you don’t have to worry about losing them.

    These tough true wireless earbuds come with an IP68 rating of water protection, while the Qi wireless charging case sports an IP54 rating. 

    For the added shockproof protection against drops, Jaybird made sure to meet the MIL-STD-810G durability standards.

    The toughest earbuds come in a sleek case that is small enough to fit easily in the pocket, with a short string attached to it.

    Jaybird Vista 2 review

    2. Jabra Elite Active 75t

    2nd-place Runner-up
    Jabra Elite Active 75t earbuds

    The Jabra Elite Active 75t are fully waterproof and dustproof wireless earbuds and are built to last.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 6mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 7h + 20h in case | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 2h 20min + quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes, built-in | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, BT-CVSD, mSBC | Water-resistance: IP57 | Features: EQ, "find my buds" feature, ambient aware
    • Reliably stable during movement
    • Comfortable for hours thanks to smart ergonomics
    • Fully waterproof with IP57 (IPX7)
    • Great sound quality with equalization
    • HearThrough awareness mode (useful for runners, cyclists…)
    • Competitive battery life at 7 hours per charge (+20h in case)
    • Perfectly designed physical controls
    • High build quality
    • Tiny soundstage (all sounds come from the middle of your head)
    • Pricier than most alternatives
    • Only right earbud can be used as mono

    Out of the box, Jabra Elite Active 75t are quite bass-heavy with superb low-end extension and clear, detailed highs. And, you can pick different frequency responses in the Sound+ app to better suit your taste.

    The Jabra Elite Active 75t are exceptionally rugged earbuds. They’re built from brushed plastic, with some areas covered in the softer, premium-feeling silicone material. On top of IP57, you also get a 2-year warranty against dust and water damage.

    Most earbuds would stop working. But you can throw these earbuds in the sand or submerge them in water, and they’ll keep working like new.

    Thanks to smart ergonomic design, these are very stable and comfortable for hours. Because of their excellent sound isolation, they also offer the HearThrough feature, which makes you more aware of your surroundings when you want to.

    Jabra Elite Active 75t review

    3. Beats PowerBeats Pro

    trophy Best bass
    Beats PowerBeats Pro review

    With its durable construction, rich sound, and great stability, PowerBeats Pro are an amazing workout companion for any basshead.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 12mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type:: In-ear | Battery Life: 11h + 24h in case | Range: 33ft – 10m | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: Under 1h + quick charge – Lightning | Mic & controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IPX4 | Features: Ear hooks, H1 chip, volume controls on both sides
    • Deep, punchy bass that energizes modern music (slight V-shaped signature)
    • Great battery life with quick charging (we got over 11 hours out of them)
    • Perfect stability for working out
    • High build-quality and nice materials
    • Sweatproof, but can’t be submerged
    • They get slightly uncomfortable after 30 minutes
    • Pricey
    • Large charging case
    • No way to turn them off without the charging case
    • Mids sound a bit subdued

    Beats is finally going for more clear sound quality, although PowerBeats Pro are still primarily basshead wireless earbuds. They have a very distinct V-shaped frequency response, which is very enjoyable for a bass lover.

    When it comes to build quality, the PowerBeats Pro are amazing. Construction is excellent, with hard plastic housing and a flexible ear-hook design for extra stability.

    Not only are the PowerBeats Pro dependable, but they’re also very long-lasting earbuds. With officially 9-hour capacity, in our tests, we got over 11 hours per one charge with an additional 24-hours from the charging case.

    With the IPX4 water protection, they are sweatproof, although we don’t recommend submerging them into water.

    All in all, these are durable earphones with an integrated mic, volume control, and the option to summon a voice assistant, that are perfect for active use.

    Beats PowerBeats Pro review

    See related:

    4. MEE audio Pinnacle P1

    wired Best wired
    MEE Audio Pinnacle P1

    While they don’t offer water protection, their metal housing makes them extremely durable against accidental drops.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 10mm copper-clad aluminum coil
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: In-ear monitor | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Optional | Impedance: 50 Ohm | Weight: 1 oz (29 g) | Cable lenght: 51 inches (130 cm) | Features: Detachable cable
    • Smooth, detailed sound (with foam tips)
    • Heavy but very comfortable
    • Can be worn straight down or over the ears
    • Sturdy zinc alloy housing
    • You need an amp to get the most out of them
    • Cable noise is pretty noticeable

    Great IEM below $200 with amazing sound quality, natural mid-range, pinpoint accurate imaging, and great 3D soundstage. From personal experience, the sound quality is best if you use foam ear tips.

    Pinnacle P1 housing is made of zinc alloy that’s tougher than aluminum. It will survive any accidental drops, as long as they don’t land in water (no IP rating, unfortunately).

    Durable wired earbuds have detachable silver-coated wires. By twisting two cables together, you get an extra thick wire that’s harder to break. For tangle-free storage, you get a compact carrying case inside the box.

    You can find all replacements on the official website, and you can even buy an individual earbud.

    For maximum comfort and secure fit, the cable goes over your ears, which also helps with microphonics.

    You can get the Pinnacle PX model from the Drop website, but it comes with worse quality cable and overall fewer accessories.

    5. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

    anc Best noise cancelling
    Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro earbuds soaked

    Dual drivers create a balanced sound quality, while the noise cancellation mutes the ambient noise.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 11mm woofer & 6.5mm tweeter
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 5h (with ANC) + 13h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: Quick charge – USB-C & Qi wireless charging | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, SSC | Water resistance: IPX7 | Features: 6 mics, ANC, Ambient mode
    • Very balanced sound
    • Comfortable fit
    • Useful features inside the mobile app
    • Not the best noise cancelling performance
    • Only Bixby as smart assistant

    Like Galaxy Buds+, the Pro model also uses dual drivers to separately output lower and higher frequencies. They have a good sound profile with very balanced frequency response. There’s a little bit of high-end and sub-bass boost.

    Interestingly, despite offering noise cancellation, the earbuds appear to be a reasonably solid pair with an IPX7 water-resistant rating. So far, there are no other earbuds with ANC that can offer the same water protection.

    The battery life is more than adequate, playing your favorite music for 5 hours before needing to recharge (with ANC enabled). The carry case holds extra 13 hours and supports Qi charging.

    Buds Pro are can also help with phone calls, offering great call quality no matter how noisy the environment gets.

    6. JBL Reflect Mini NC

    JBL Reflect Mini NC earbuds

    True wireless earbuds around $100 with many other features from the premium models that still retain high durability.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.1
    Driver size icon Driver size: 6mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 7h + 14h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 2h – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IPX7 | Features: Ambient Aware, TalkThru, mono mode, EQ
    • Excellent sound quality (after EQ)
    • Great stability during workouts
    • Comfortable fit
    • Stable Bluetooth 5.1 connection
    • Companion app with custom EQ
    • Durable build with an IPX7 rating
    • Poor active noise cancellation performance
    • Control customization could be better

    You can tame the default enhanced bass within the app’s EQ. After some corrections, it gets a more natural sound signature yet still very energetic and punchy.

    Earbuds are rather big and bulky, but as long as you don’t have really small ears, they should provide a perfect fit.

    Different sizes of mushroom-shaped silicone ear tips ensure good noise isolation. The latter is crucial since the active noise-canceling is rather poor.

    To ensure great durability, the Reflect Mini NC are made of hard plastic and tested for an IPX7 rating. And to prevent accidental drops, earbuds use long ear fins to latch into your pinna.

    JBL Reflect Mini NC review

    Check similar:

    Best true wireless earbuds under $50

    Best earbuds under $100

    Best cheap headphones

    7. Aukey EP-T32

    Aukey EP-T32 earbud

    The Aukey EP-T32 are one of the most durable cheap wireless earbuds under $50.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 12mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 7h + 28h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 2h + quick charge – USB-C & Qi wireless charging | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX | Water resistance: IPX8 | Features: Ear hooks, auto play/pause, mono mode
    • Excellent comfort and stability thanks to ear hooks
    • Reliable touch controls
    • Extreme water protection (IPX8)
    • Enjoyable, punchy sound
    • Great Bluetooth stability and coverage
    • Support for Qi wireless charging
    • No multipoint support
    • Subpar microphone quality
    • Mediocre passive isolation due to shallower fit

    Fun sounding earbuds with slight elevation in low-frequencies. They’re overall smooth in presentation, free of any sibilance or harshness. For a better audio experience on Android, they use the aptX Bluetooth codec.

    They do well for sports earbuds, with extra stability provided by ear hook design (like Beats PowerBeats Pro). The latter is very gentle and doesn’t push the earbuds into the ear canal, making them surprisingly comfortable.

    There are no visible weak points on the buds, and they come with a high IP rating of IPX8. You can practically dunk them in water and use them afterward without any problems.

    The Qi wireless charging case is quite big and not very pocketable, but it offers fast charging.

    Aukey EP-T32 review

    8. TaoTronics Soundliberty 80

    earbud Best earphones
    TaoTronics Soundliberty 80 on a moss

    These AirPods lookalikes are one of the most durable earbuds on the market, with IPX8 to ensure the ultimate protection.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 12mm
    Frequency range icon 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

    Classic earphones don’t usually sound that full, but the Soundliberty 80 do. Even though the deep bass response is a bit lacking, the rest sounds pretty good. Smooth and without any sibilance.

    These Apple AirPods lookalikes have an interesting design with a shiny, blueish exterior and a pointy stem. The latter serves as a microphone extender.

    Speaking of an integrated microphone, these are probably the best true wireless earbuds for making phone calls. Call quality is clean, and buds can even completely block background noise.

    Another great thing is that these are surprisingly durable in-ear headphones. They offer a fully waterproof design with an IPX8 rating.

    Sadly, the battery life is a let-down, only giving slightly below 3 hours of playtime per single charge, with another 16 in the charging case.

    TaoTronics SoundLiberty 80 review

    More related guides:

    Honorable Mentions

    RHA MA750 Wireless (Check MA750 price) – A durable pair of earbuds offer impressive stainless steel housing with IPX4 protection against water splashes, oxygen-free cable, comply foam tips, shirt clip, and a handmade 560.1 driver made in Japan. Because of their neutral sound signature, they’ll sound great with a wide variety of genres.

    RHA MA650 Wireless (Check MA650 price) – Another durable earphones from RHA with uncompromising build material quality and sweat proof rating. These are some of the most durable earbuds under $100. They have an impressive battery life of 12 hours and a crisp and clear sound.

    ToughTested wired earbuds (Check ToughTested price) – Bad sound quality for anything more than basic listening, and not as though as marketed.

    Shure SE215 K wired (Check SE215 price) – One of the most durable earbuds with a cable (best value for most people and even professional musicians). Shure SE215 do a great job, thanks to the thick plastic design, weather-resistant housing, replaceable cables with gold-plated connectors, and plenty of passive isolation from external noises.

    TaoTronics SoundElite 72 (Check SoundElite 72 price) – It can be hard to find tough headphones that allow wireless listening at such a low price point as this. The TaoTronics provide surprising quality and are an absolute bargain.

    GOgroove AudiOHM RNF (Check AudiOHM RNF price) – Tough heavy-duty earbuds with thick aramid fiber cable and metal housing. These are practically indestructible, making them a great choice for someone who’s a bit clumsy.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    What Makes Earbuds Durable?

    Quality materials: Strong, durable plastic is lightweight and offers great protection from physical damage. A metal housing is even better which offers better structural integrity, and it looks nice.

    Water resistance: For athletes and fitness freaks sweatproof earbuds are a must. Look for minimum IPX4, or waterproof, IPX6, earbuds. You can find many of the best waterproof Bluetooth headphones. What’s IPX?

    Or check the best workout headphones for the gym.

    No weak points: A lot of earbuds have weak points, whether it’s a badly made connector, inadequate strain relief, or weird, crack-prone earphone shape. These weak points are always revealed after the first few weeks of use so it’s impossible to know them beforehand.

    Hinge design: If hinges are present, it’s important they’re made for long-term use and don’t crumble after a few weeks.

    Cable coating: Some cables are reinforced with Kevlar and some have extra layers of rubber coating, but since cables are one of the usual weak points, cable strength plays an important role.

    A good warranty helps: Customer support plays a big role in deciding whether to buy certain earbuds. If you know that you have access to good customer support that can quickly replace your broken pair of earbuds, then it’s much easier to make the purchase. Especially if the product has a lifetime warranty like Koss’s.

    How Long Do Most Durable Earbuds Last?

    Average quality earbuds last from 3-4 years. Some quality ones have the higher build quality, with the longest-lasting earbuds enduring up to 5 years+ with medium use.

    Of course, with wireless earbuds, the biggest problem is the battery and not the build quality itself. Bluetooth gadgets usually last around 3 years before the battery capacity drops significantly.

    Now, that’s true if you’re a light user, and take good care of your gear. But if you listen to music every day in a gym and throw them around, you can’t expect them to last for many years.

    Are Headphones More Durable than Earbuds?

    Generally speaking, yes. Most over-ear and on-ear headphones have a metal headband, and at least some other metal parts. Plus, they’re heavier and bigger so we tend to take better care of them.

    Earbuds are often thrown into backpacks, carried in pockets, and exposed to clumsy situations that end their “life”. Normal wear and tear are harder on earphones on the long run.

    Are True Wireless Earbuds Durable?

    Yes, and a good pair can be even more durable than normal wired earbuds since the cable is usually the weakest part. True wireless earbuds can be fully waterproof and drop resistant, which is something not many wired buds possess.

    However, no matter how durable set you pick, the batteries eventually deteriorate, so truly wireless headphones can’t last forever. If you aren’t able to replace the battery, they become e-waste.

    Why do earphones break?

    There are many reasons:

    • You can drop them on the floor
    • You can sit on them
    • You can crush them in a pocket/backpack
    • Water can damage their electronics
    • You can pull on the wires too strongly
    • You can snap their cable
    • Your cat or dog can chew the wires
    • And there are probably more reasons that belong to “other” category (tell us in the comments)