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4 earbuds that offer big sound in little pieces

CNET has picked 1More Triple Driver In-Ear headphones

CNET has picked 1More Triple Driver In-Ear headphones as one of the best earbuds of 2016. Photo Credit: CBS Interactive

Earbuds, those small in-ear headphones originally designed for use on the go with a Walkman or transistor radio, offered tinny sound without much audio range or depth. That time has thankfully long passed. These four models offer some of the most amazing sound you can get.

The following CNET staff contributed to this story: executive editor David Carnoy, CNET contributor Steve Guttenberg and senior editor Laura K. Cucullu. For more reviews of personal technology products, visit


CNET RATING (out of 5)

4 stars (excellent)

THE GOOD These are among the most comfortable in-ear headphones available and they deliver clean, well-balanced sound. The headphones stay securely in your ears, and an integrated inline remote works well for making cellphone calls. As a bonus, they come with a nice, compact carrying case.

THE BAD They’re a little expensive.

THE COST $128.99

BOTTOM LINE If you’re looking for clean-sounding, comfortable in-ear headphones, the Bose SoundTrue Ultra should be on your short list.


CNET RATING (out of 5)

4 stars (excellent)

These lightweight, comfortable bud headphones fit nicely in your ears and offer impressive sound, with full bass and pleasantly crisp treble. There’s an inline one-button remote and microphone for cellphone use and a carrying case is included.

THE BAD They let in a little more ambient noise than most noise-isolating headphones. Their added transparency magnifies the flaws in poorly produced tracks or heavily compressed recordings.


BOTTOM LINE These relatively affordable audiophile-grade in-ear headphones provide sound that’s easy to listen to for long stretches.


CNET RATING (out of 5)

4 stars (excellent)

THE GOOD The terrific-sounding 1More Triple Driver headphones are attractively designed, with nicely finished aluminum ear pieces and a Kevlar-reinforced cable. Other features include a three-button inline remote and microphone that’s compatible with Android and iOS devices, comes with a variety of eartips, and includes a nice carrying case.

THE BAD You can lose the tight seal if you’re walking around.

THE COST $97.98

BOTTOM LINE Great-sounding in-ear headphones for a relatively modest price.


CNET RATING (out of 5)

4 stars (excellent)

THE GOOD The Beyerdynamic DX 160 iE features impressive sound for the money, with meaty, tight bass. A nice carrying case is included.

THE BAD There’s no inline remote or microphone for making cellphone calls, and treble clarity is a tad lacking.

THE COST $65.63

BOTTOM LINE While the Beyerdynamic DX 160 iE clearly has some small downsides, it’s a bona fide audiophile in-ear headphone at an invitingly affordable price.

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