While over the ear cup headphones are the kings of the gaming world, earbuds have their own kingdoms. Compared to the bulky ear cup headphones, earbuds are small, sneaky, handy and come with nearly if not equal to the sound quality and capacity of a standard headphone. Moreover, you get to use it for your regular commute and much more while stoving them away in your pockets.
In this article today, we are going to talk about the various types of gaming earbuds available in the market. We are going to weigh in the pros and cons of buying each type of earbud and then conclude which one is the best pick. Our choices are mostly based on three important factors.
- Sound Profile:
This defines the bass and treble of the device. Ideally, you would be looking at a balanced sound profile that offers not too much bass and not too aggressive treble.
- Frequency Response:
This refers to the bandwidth of frequency within which you can hear clear audio. An ideal earbud should be within the range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz because this is the frequency range within which a human being can hear sounds.
- Noise Isolation and Noise Cancelation:
Noise isolation and noise cancellation are two very different things. Noise Isolation refers to blocking out any external noise and clean passage of audio through earbuds to give you isolated listening experience.
Noise Cancelling, on the other hand, refers to a technology to counter any noise produced from the outside and provide clear audio. An ideal earbud has either of these but with an end goal of enabling you to hear the audio and no external noise.
Apart from these 3 factors, there are a bunch of other factors that you need to take into consideration before making a choice. We have included all of them in the Buying Guide section of this article. Make sure that you are giving it a read as well.
Now without any further ado, let us jump into the article and list down the best gaming earbuds for 2020.
List of the Best Gaming Earbuds in 2020
|Gaming earbuds||Type||Battery Life||Microphone||Warranty||Buy Now|
|Wireless Gaming earbuds|
|Apple AirPods Pro||Bluetooth||24 hours||Touch||1 Year|
|TOZO T10 Bluetooth Wireless Earbuds||Bluetooth||4 hours||Touch||1 Year|
|Samsung Galaxy Earbuds||Bluetooth||6 hours||Touch||1 Year|
|Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones||Wired||6 hours||Button||1 Year|
|Wired Gaming earbuds|
|Sony MDRXB50AP Extra Bass Earbuds||Wired||N/A||In-Line||90 days|
|Skullcandy Ink'd Plus In-Ear Earbud||Wired||N/A||In-Line||2 Years|
|Symphonized NRG 3.0 Earbuds Headphones||Wired||N/A||In-Line||1 Year|
|KLIM Fusion Wired Ear Buds||Wired||N/A||In-Line||5 Years|
|MINDBEAST Super Bass Isolating Earbuds||Wired||N/A||In-Line||30 days|
|HyperX Cloud Earbuds||Wired||N/A||In-Line||2 Years|
We have divided this list into two sections
1. Wireless Gaming Earbuds and
2. Wired Gaming Earbuds
List of the Best Wireless Gaming earbuds in 2020
Wireless buds are highly convenient and are some of the most preferred types of earbuds for mobile gamers. You have the flexibility of using it anytime, anywhere without any hassle and they come with cool command functions as well.
Surprisingly enough, topping our list is the Apple AirPods Pro. The AirPods pro is a great pair of buds that are built not just for gaming but for an overall and highly customized listening experience.
- Immersive sound effects with the active Noise Cancellation technology
- It also comes with an innovative transparency mode for enabling the AirPods to pass through some sound from the outside world. You can both listen to the outside world and also play your game.
- Water and Sweat resistant body build
- Automatic tuning of music and sound to suit the shape of your ear with the Adaptive Equalizer
- Automatic turn on and off when placed or removed off the case
- Double tap to skip songs or pause or toggle some basic functions such as picking up or declining phone calls
- Quick Siri Access by uttering “Hey Siri”
- 24 Hours of battery life and a Wireless Charging Case
Battery Life: 24 hours
- Design and Trust of Apple
- 1 Year manufacturer’s warranty
- Highly Durable
Next on our list are a pair of budget-friendly and also high feature-filled Bluetooth based gaming earbuds, the TOZO T10. The TOZO T10 Wireless Earbuds are based on Bluetooth 5.0
- Most advanced Bluetooth 5.0 technology with in call stereo sound
- Stable and very fast untangled transmission of sound
- Powerful Bass performance with its 8MM Large Size speaker Drivers
- 177 times larger drive area than typical bluetooth earbuds
- Great noise cancellation feature
- Comfortable material when placed in the ear
- Inner nano-coating to make the buds IPX8 Waterproof for 30 minutes and at 1 meter depth. Great against sweat and watersports as well.
- Wireless charging station with 4 hours playtime for gamers (in a single charge) and 14 hours when placed in the charging case (standby charge duration).
- Charging case too supports wireless charging
Battery Life: 600 mAH battery capacity with 4 Hours of gaming playtime.
- Affordable budget pricing
- Available in 5 different colours (Black, Blue, Grey, Gold and White)
- Comes with 4 different bud extensions for different ear sizes
- 1 Year manufacturer’s warranty from the date of purchase
- None too specific to mention about
Giving a strong competition to the Apple airpods pro is the Samsung Galaxy Buds. These buds are powerful and pack a punch all while coming at a fraction of the price of Apple.
- Comes with 6 hours of battery life and an additional seven hours of battery life when using the case which is also the wireless charger of the buds.
- AKG tuned premium sound and the drivers are optimized to give a great bass.
- Special volume driver to give you wider volume changes without disturbing the bass
- Surround noise control for ambient feel and also to let you listen to what people around you are saying
- Fit feel and comfortable grip to the ear. Comes with 3 ear tips that can be adjusted and varied wingtip sizes
- Supports both Android and iOS devices via bluetooth.
- Internal microphone that can be used to command your device with your voice
- Touch based control to pick calls, increase or toggle the volume etc.,
- Splash and water proof for a great extent
Battery Life: 6 hours
- Economic buds that can pack a punch for quality
- Ergonomic fit and great for gaming
- 1 Year warranty
- Some minor reports of sync issues but the support seems to be solving the issues if not you can claim the warranty for any manufacturing defects
Debuting on our list are the Beats Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones that are powered with design and ergonomics and built to last. They are dominating the workout and fitness community with their ergonomics and feel fit design and their booming sound performance as well.
- High Performance Earphones with over 9 hours of listening time and battery life and they give more than 24 hours of life when placed in the carry case/charging pod.
- Easy and ergonomic fit with dedicated earbuds for either side. This way, they do not slip our and fall off when you are running or working out or playing an intense video game
- Water splash and Sweat resistant design that makes it ideal for intense workouts or running in drizzle or rain too
- Volume control and track change controls available on each earbud. You can also use individual earbuds as well.
- Equipped with Voice and automatic pause play features
- Apple H1 Headphone Chip and Class 1 bluetooth that give you a more than normal range with almost no synchronous dropouts. Seamless transmission without interruption
- Better Call handling and call performance than cheap rip offs
- Fast Charge feature gives you a 1.5 hours run time with just 5 minutes of charging
- 4 changeable size tip options available
Battery Life: 6 hours
- Ergonomic and high performance for workouts and gaming
- Each earbud has its own set of controls making it a great utility even as a single bud
- 1 Year warranty
- None too specific to mention
List of the Best Wired Gaming earbuds in 2020
Wired buds are budget-friendly and give you high-quality sound output at a convenient price range. They have been that way for a long time and are compatible with any laptop or desktop with a jack port making it the long-standing choice for multi-platform gamers (PC+Console+Mobile gamers)
Sony has always been a go to for audiophiles for a long time. The MDRXB50AP comes with a 3.9 feet long rubber flat style cable tends to forfeit any tangling issues. The L shaped jack is not too big making it an ideal fit in any kind of phone case.
- 12mm neodymium dome type magnetic drivers for clear balance for bass and treble.
- Ideal for gaming and music lovers but the absence of volume controls can be easily felt.
- Inline microphone is clear and not shaky at all
- Extra Bass gives the buds a good bass boost. (Even a bit better than the Apple earbuds)
- Clear audio output and a decent level of noise isolation
- The buds may feel a bit snuggly for people with small ears
- Comes with 3 extra pairs of bud tips and a carry case.
- Available in 3 different colour variants to choose from.
- 90 days of manufacturer’s warranty
- Enhanced and clear bass boost
- Great Noise Isolation
- Sturdy Body and quality
- Not that great quick access control button
- Absence of Voice Control
- Heavier body of earbuds
- Smaller warranty period
Skullcandy is known for its bang for a buck products that have tremendous quality and power. The SkullCandy Ink’d are a pair of ear earbuds that fit your pocket just as its price fits and more over, are great for gaming and bass treble balance music lovers as well.
- Perfectly plugged buds with great noise isolation fit
- In line microphone
- In line volume and track control settings and also call buttons as well.
- 2 extra ear gel sets for different sized ears
- Highly economic
- Available in more than 6 colour variants
- Superior comfort
- Great quality of sound
- 2 years of warranty which is typically not found in most earbuds
- Not water splash proof
Next on our list are a pair of handcrafted Wooden earbuds from Symphonized. The Symphonized NRG 3.0 Earbuds are in ear noise isolating earphones that have a balanced bass and an inline microphone and volume control
- Handcrafted body from genuine natural wood.
- Powerful and Crisp sound with deep bass and natural acoustics wooden acoustics. The audio output is fine tuned to studio set up and gives you a premium yet crystal clear clarity
- The earbuds fit comfortably into your ear. Additionally, three different custom made silicone tips are provided for different small, medium or large sized earbuds.
- Great noise isolation due to the perfect ear fit of the buds.
- Inline volume control buttons also double for toggle and quick call action buttons too
- Classic style and is available in 6 different colour options
- Compatible with any device that has a 3.5mm audio jack
- Economic and ergonomic handcrafted wooden earbuds
- Comfortable fit
- Great sound
- 6 Colour Variants available
- Come with a 1 year warranty
- Great product but needs to use a little sturdier material
KLIM’s Fusion Earbuds come with a massive 5 years of warranty that no budget nor premium earbuds or bluetooth earbuds offer. What’s more? They come with memory foam ear tips as well making them great grabs.
- Metal bodied earbuds with simple design
- Wired inline mic and volume adjustment with Play/Pause/Call answer button.
- Magnetic background makes it easier to stick to each other and thus helpful in prevention of breakage and tangling.
- The box comes with 6 pairs of extra bud tips (3 memory foam and 3 ordinary).
- The 3.5mm jack comes in an L shape
- The chord is a bit thinner and may not be ideal for rough handlers or for fast track workouts
- The noise isolation for this product is pretty decent for gaming
- Moderate bass but good treble settings
- 5 years of warranty
- Memory Foam
- Slide styled Volume Control
- Good quality Quality Microphone
- Magnetic Earbuds
- No Bass Boost
- May not have complete noise isolation. Manageable
- Some users (people with smaller ear holes) may find the fit to be a little discomfortable
Next on our list are a bass first pair of earbuds from Mindbeast. The MindBeast Super Bass earbuds have a 90% noise isolation factor. They emit ambient sound effects and provide a comfortable gaming experience
- Exclusive drivers to pump out ultra clear sound and deep bass. The in the ear isolation technology removes about 90% of noise and gives you a relaxing stereo sound effect
- Light in weight and is also Sweat proof making it great for runs, workouts and intense gaming as well.
- Comfortable fit in the ear. Three additional pairs of replacement tornado shaped silicone tips are also provided for small, medium and large ear hole sizes for perfect fit and no fall out.
- 135 Degrees 3.5 mm jack that is easy to use and fits almost instantaneously for iOS and Android systems alike.
- Built in microphone and remote voice control and also volume toggle keys available
- Heavy duty wire that is not easily broken by accident
- Comes with a leather zipper case where you can store away the buds when you are not using them.
- Great for noise isolation and ambience
- Comfortable wear
- Portable case to store the buds when not in use
- Heavy duty wire that does not easily break down
- Only 30 days of warranty provided
Last on our list is HyperX Cloud Gaming Earbuds, that are specifically built for mobile gaming and even more specifically built for the Nintendo Switch. But they are universally compatible and can be used for any device with a 3.5 mm audio jack.
- Built for handheld comfort
- Comes with the Signature HyperX comfort and has 3 different silicone tips for different ear hole sizes
- Enhanced bass, crystal clear audio and treble all combine to give you an immersive audio experience
- Slim inline microphone with a single button for calls, gameplay chat, pause or play toggle
- Has a 90-degree angled plug for better ear comfort
- The cable is rubberized and tangle-free
- Comes with a small and safe carry case
- Great and ergonomically great fit product
- The extra silicone tips are perfect for different ear sizes
- 2 years of warranty
- Not so awesome sound quality
Buying Guide: How to pick the right earbuds for gaming
In this buying guide, we are going to talk about all the important factors and features that you need to take care of before buying a pair of gaming earbuds.
Wireless Earbuds VS Wired Earbuds: Which is the best pick?
By now you might have had a nuanced understanding of the difference between a wireless earbud and a wired earbud.
|Wireless Earbud||Wired Earbud|
|Can be use wirelessly across any connected device||Have to be physically plugged into a jackport to be able to use them|
|Comes with a wireless battery and often a storage case||Does not need battery to function|
|Has no tangling issues of wires or any hassle as such||Can cause wire tangling issues if stored irresponsibly|
|Great for not just gamers but everyday commuters and people who are always on the move. Excellent workout partners||Great for gamers and music lovers as most wired earbuds come with superior bass boost and treble qualities.|
|Comparatively higher pricing||Easier on the budget|
If you are more of an on the move mobile gamer who wishes to use your earbuds for more than just gaming, it is suggested that you go ahead with a bluetooth wireless earbud. But if you are more inclined towards budget, compatibility with desktops, laptops and other consoles, then your choice should be a pair of wired earbuds.
Important Factors to consider while choosing a pair of earbuds
Before you choose to pick any earbud, you have to understand that there is a HUGE DIFFERENCE between the terms “Cheap Earbuds” and “Budget Earbuds”.
Cheap Earbuds refer to those earphones which are manufactured and targeted towards people who have no intention of experiencing good audio quality. They might as well pick the lowest of the lot and be done with that.
Budget Earbuds are economic alternatives to premium earphones. They provide value for the money invested in them in terms of quality and design. These are high quality in the provided budget.
What decides the pricing of these earbuds is the quality they possess and how ergonomic they are for your needs. For any earbud you choose, Check with its technical and comfort specifications. Let us first understand what are the technical specifications that you need to take care of before buying a pair of earbuds
Technical specifications of earbuds refer to all the technological inclusions that they come with. These specifications decide the sound quality, output, volume levels etc.,
1. Frequency Response
Frequency Response refers to the highest and lowest range of frequencies an earbud can reproduce without causing any sorts of distortions.
An ideal earbud should be within the range of 20Hz to 20KHz because this is the frequency range within which a human being can hear sounds.
Higher Frequency Response Ranges does not equate to better sound quality. Run away from earbuds which promise you better sound quality because they have higher frequency response.
2. Sound Profile
In layman terms, the sound profile lets you know about the bass and treble quality of the product. This score tells you how the earbud reproduces a given sound.
For instance, if the product has large drivers and lower frequencies, then the reproduced sound has heavier bass.
Most people mistake higher bass and higher treble with better quality, but the trick lies in choosing an earbud which has equal bass and treble ratio. This gives you the utmost quality of audio.
3. Noise Isolation and Noise Cancelation
Noise isolation and Noise Cancelation are two very different terms.
Ever come across people who plugin earphones which leak audio and make sure that everyone in the subway is listening to Kanye West? Or maybe you plugin your earphones and put your volume high and still able to hear the lady besides you yelling at her husband?
Noise Isolation refers to making sure that you and only you are able to hear the audio. Noise Isolation earbuds create a vacuum tight air seal when plugged into your ears. Thus, they do not let any other sounds come in or let this sound go out.
Noise Cancelling on the other hand is a bit technical. It uses the inbuilt microphone to hear the noise coming from outside. Now it creates an anti-noise to cancel out the noise from outside. And now you have good audio. Go on, listen to Kanye West.
Drivers are hardware components that convert electrical signals into audio signals. Bigger the driver, louder the sound. Many numbers of drivers mean that the product can handle wider frequency ranges and provide undistorted output.
5. Frequency Range/ Frequency Response
Frequency Range or Frequency Response is the range of sound frequency which you would be comfortable to hear and at the same time, enjoy. Typically, humans have a comfortable hearing frequency range of 20 to 20000 Hz. While some headphones may offer higher and lower ranges as well (there are headphones that offer even low 5 hz to high 33000 hz frequency ranges), they are not an advisable nor enjoyable option. The aforementioned average frequency range is the most comfortable if not a range of best sound quality
6. Impedance and Impedance matching
Impedance of earbuds speak about the acceptable volume levels the earbuds can handle. The impedance capability of a pair of earphones can also be known by looking at the voltage capacity of the earbuds as well.
Typically higher impedance will give you low power when you are using a lower voltage source and better quality when using high voltage sources. This means that the buds adjust to the voltage parameters of the devices they are connected to.
For your pick, always try to choose the higher impedance models. They not only adjust to varied voltages but they also give out better, clear and transparent bass definition. For better bass, you can get 9 ohm impedance earbuds.
Yet another thing that you need to take care of when you are going with high impedance is the impedance matching. Impedance matching refers to the matching of the source impedance to that of the earbuds impedance. For better audio quality, both of these values should match. If you are hearing smaller volume when you are connecting a high bass song, it means that the impedance values of the earbuds are mismatched
7. Total Harmonic Distortion
THD or the Total Harmonic Distortion is the voltage or current distortion that occurs due to the harmonics of the sound signal. THD is important as it tells you the margin of quality error that might occur. In ideal cases, lower the THD, better the quality of the earbuds are.
8. Sensitivity and Sound Pressure Level (SPL)
This is yet another indicator of how loud and powerful the earbuds can be. Sensitivity of an earbud is known by how efficiently the bud can convert an electrical signal into a sound signal. It is also sometimes called the efficiency of the earbuds. SPL is the measure of this sensitivity and the units are usually SPL per milliwatt. Good quality headphones come with a sensitivity range of 85 and 120 dB SPL per mW.
These are the specifications that contribute to the overall usability of the earbuds. They deal with how comfortable the earbuds are to wear every time you use them. They also include the aesthetic appeal of the earbuds as well.
1. Fit and Wear
After looking after all the technical specifications, you would next look at the fit of the product. This is important because it often happens that great products have the worst possible fit. This is true even for branded items such as the AirPods pro. There have been reports of the AirPods falling off the ear of many users because of their ear’s hole.
The best possible solution is to use the suffix bud fittings that come with the earbuds.
The design of the earbud refers to how the bud is placed inside the ear. Buds can be ergonomic, simple push and plugs.
Ergonomic buds are those which have dedicated sides of which one goes left and which one goes right (which are great for gaming and immersive sound experiences). Then there are normal push buds (the old apple model) which are good enough for gaming and regular usage. The small push plugs are great for bass boost etc.,
3. Multi Platform Support
The next most important thing to consider while picking an earbud is its compatibility. We all know how Apple is stingy when it comes to compatibility (you cannot use an Apple Smart watch with anything else than the iPhone). But even Apple is reasonable when it comes to earbuds.
Apple’s AirPods are multi platform supported which make them usable for Android and any device with bluetooth connectivity. Apart from wireless connectivity, for wired earbuds, you need to check with cross device compatibility as well. There are a lot of local brand earbuds which are good enough for mobiles but all hell breaks loose when you try to use them for you PS3, PS4, PC or any other console.
A minimum of one year warranty speaks of the trust and quality of the product that you are buying. While most of the good quality Earbuds come with 1 or more years of warranty, many a chinese manufacturer’s provide only 6 months of warranty. Surprisingly, they are also good enough for basic if not full fledged gaming usage.
Before buying anything, make sure you are giving the user reviews of the product a thorough check. This helps you understand more about the product and thus helps you make an informed choice.
Wrapping it up:
Apple’s AirPods pro comes with the most advanced Bluetooth 5.0 technology and it has an in call stereo sound. It is highly stable, has very fast transmission speed, boasts powerful Bass performance, has 8MM Large Size speaker Drivers and has a great noise cancellation feature too. Combined with that, it comes with the trust of apple, handy quick features, nifty and sleek design making it one of the best earbuds for gaming purpose.
While that was our list, we are interested and intrigued by what you think. Did we miss out on anything? Or could we have added something to this list? If so, feel free to write to us in the comments section below. Our team of product experts will write back to you as soon as possible.