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Top 10 Best Durable Earbuds On The Market 2020 Reviews & Buying Guide

Are you sick of having to replace broken earbuds after just a few short months of use? How many do you think you’ve had to replace over the years? Let’s face it; most earbuds are not made with longevity in mind. It’s time to stop burning money and invest in a pair of earbuds that will last the test of time whilst still sounding great.

But which are the most durable earbuds? The good news is we’ve done all the hard work for you by reviewing 10 of the most durable earbuds on the market. Together with our handy buyer’s guide, we will provide all the information needed to stop throwing money away and arm you with the pair of heavy-duty earbuds you deserve that will last you a lot longer than your last pair did!

Top Features of a Durable Earbud

A durable earbud needs to be tough enough to take the general stresses of daily life whilst providing a level of sound quality that gives you goosebumps. So what should you be looking for?

Quality of Materials

Earbuds will only be as durable as the materials used in their construction. The material used to house the drivers is of particular importance. Look for drivers with steel or aluminum housing, which will provide the best protection for your buds.

Cheaper plastic housings are best to be avoided unless the plastic is extremely tough. Steel or aluminum can resist way more or the abuse that your earbuds are subjected to on a daily basis.

Cable Coating

Look for earbuds with thicker rubber protecting the wires. Thin coatings are easily damaged, and the main cause of earbud failure. Some high-end models reinforce their cables with Kevlar, significantly strengthening the wire. Look out for braided or flat cable designs, too, as these are usually tangle resistant. Impatient untangling of cables is another major reason earbuds can fail.

Stress Relief

Damage to the cable connection points is probably the number one reason you have to buy new earbuds. Constant bending or pulling of the cable either at the earbud or cable end can lead to a failed connection. You, therefore, need these points to be as sturdy as possible. Make sure the cable design incorporates stress relief hinges or the ability to detach from the buds completely.

Replaceable Cables

Cables are an obvious weak point. It’s nice to have the option to replace the cable cheaply in the event of failure, rather than having to rebuy a new set of earbuds. Obviously, it’s not essential as some of the most durable models we’ve reviewed don’t have or really need this feature. However, it’s still good to have the choice.

durable earbuds

Waterproofing

Make sure your earbuds have adequate protection from rain and sweat, another main cause of earbud malfunction. The design, overall fit, and the materials used will determine how water resistant your buds will be. If you mainly intend on using your buds outdoors or for exercise, then make sure you’ve purchased buds with high level moisture protection.

Warranty Length

The longer the warranty, the more confidence the manufacturer has that their product will not malfunction. Most companies offer a standard 1-year warranty on earbud headphones. Look out for those offering a longer time period, as this is a good indicator of durability.

Sound Quality

It’s all well and good having the most durable earbuds, but if the sound quality is poor, it just means you’ll have to listen to bad headphones for longer. If you listen to a lot of music, then audio performance should be near the top of your considerations.

So we now know what to look out for, time to review 10 of the most durable earbuds from across the price range.

Best Durable Earbuds Comparison Table

NameCasingCable

Rating
Sound

Quality
Price
Casing
Plastic
Cable

Rating
*****
Sound

Quality
****
Price
$$$
Casing
Stainless steel
Cable

Rating
****
Sound

Quality
***
Price
$$$
Casing
Metal
Cable

Rating
***
Sound

Quality
*****
Price
$$$
Casing
Metal/plastic
Cable

Rating
*****
Sound

Quality
*****
Price
$$$$$
Casing
Plastic
Cable

Rating
****
Sound

Quality
***
Price
$$$
Casing
Metal
Cable

Rating
***
Sound

Quality
****
Price
$$
Casing
Aluminium
Cable

Rating
****
Sound

Quality
***
Price
$$$
Casing
Metal/plastic
Cable

Rating
***
Sound

Quality
****
Price
$$$
Casing
Metal
Cable

Rating
***
Sound

Quality
***
Price
$$
Casing
Metal
Cable

Rating
***
Sound

Quality
****
Price
$

Top 10 Best Durable Earbuds You Should Buy 2020 Reviews

best durable earbuds

1 SHURE SE215 Sound Insulation Earbuds

Shure has a long-standing and reputable name amongst audiophiles, but how does this model measure up in the toughness department?

Well, durability has been given a high priority…

The cables have been reinforced with Kevlar adding to the tensile strength and protecting the wires from puncture. The cable is also detachable from the earbuds allowing for easy replacement if need be. The Y-joint, where the cables meet, is also well constructed, allowing for a good degree of flexibility. The L-shaped plug is also another tick in the box for durability.

On the downside, the plastic driver casings will not provide the same level of protection from big knocks that aluminum or steel casings do. That being said, you would probably have to take a hammer to these to do them any real damage.

So how do they sound?

Amazing for the price point. All ranges are well represented, producing a balanced sound great for listening to all types of music. This is the kind of sound quality you’d expect from earphones twice the price. Exceptional noise isolating capabilities are also a feature with noise up to 37 decibels being blocked out.

A lack of microphone means you won’t be taking any calls with these earbuds; however, they do come with volume and track control attached to the memory wires. Once you get used to attaching them, the memory wires allow the buds to stay in your ears even when exercising. Initial worries about comfort are soon blown away once you get used to the system.

All this adds up to them being an instant contender for the most durable earbuds.


SHURE SE215 Sound Insulation Earbuds

Our rating:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Pros

  • Superior sound quality.
  • Kevlar reinforced detachable cable.
  • Sweatproof.
  • Stay in your ears well.
  • Exceptional noise reduction.

Cons

  • Relatively expensive.
  • Takes time to get used to memory wire set-up.
  • No mic.

2 RHA MA750

When looking at durability, the RHA MA750 is hard to beat. The driver housing is made of corrosion-free aluminum and should stand up to anything you can throw at it. For this reason, they are slightly heavier, but it’s not uncomfortable. Actually, most of the hardware is metal construction giving these buds a futuristic and sturdy feel. Industrial chic.

The cables are covered by a thick rubber coating providing decent protection and have good stress relief at all the reinforced connection points. They are also tangle-free, which means no chance of damage when impatiently untangling. A long 3-year warranty and good waterproofing give you confidence that these will go and go.

Well balanced, but careful with the high end…

Audio wise, the RHA MA750 packs a lively bass and clear sound for an overall enjoyable listening experience. The sound map is slightly on the bassy side but within acceptable limits. The mid-ranges are expansive and rich, which is unusual for earphones of this size. However, the high ranges can occasionally cross over into harsh territory.

What’s in the box?

Accessories include nine different sized ear tips, seven silicone, and two foam, which should provide any user with the correct fit. A leather carry-case, a shirt clip, and a stainless steel holder for ear tips are also included.

Overall, top notch durability combined with decent sound certainly put this model right near the top of the list.


RHA MA750

Our rating:3.8 out of 5 stars (3.8 / 5)

Pros

  • Strong, durable materials used.
  • Aluminum earbud housing.
  • Very long 3-year warranty.
  • Nice array of accessories.
  • Good audio quality.

Cons

  • Slightly heavy
  • Can only be worn over the ear.

3 Bose SoundSport

Formed in 1964, Bose is one of the biggest names in sound reproduction. They set a very high standard when it comes to audio quality, and they’ve certainly kept that tradition going with the SoundSport earbuds. A classically warm low range is nicely complemented by complex mids and precise highs. You’d expect nothing less from Bose, and they don’t disappoint.

But do they stand the test of time in the durability department?

Fortunately, Bose has a good reputation for building long-lasting equipment too. Designed using sweat and splash proof materials, these earbuds are built to withstand the rigors of an active outdoor lifestyle. Metal housing protects the drivers from any accidental knocks, and the audio cable looks relatively resilient.

On the flip side, the cable is non-replaceable, so if anything does go wrong with it, you’re looking at a new set of earbuds. The control pad also needs to be kept dry as it doesn’t seem to be as waterproof as the buds themselves.

Great for a workout…

The expandable Stay Hear ear tips conform to the shape of your ear, guaranteeing a good fit and the ability to stay in during vigorous exercise. The lightweight design provides good comfort for hours.

The basic model comes without a mic, so it’s only good for audio. Volume and track selection can be made from an in-line panel, although some users complain it is situated too low to be convenient.

All in all, excellent sounding earbuds with commendable durability, if not quite hitting the levels of toughness seen elsewhere.


Bose SoundSport

Our rating:4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

Pros

  • Bose sound engineering.
  • Stay Hear ear tips make for a comfortable fit.
  • Sweat and splash proof materials.
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • No mic
  • Nonreplaceable cable
  • Panel placement inconvenient.

4 Sennheiser IE 80 S

The most expensive earbuds on our list, the name Sennheiser is synonymous with high-end and professional audio production. More famous for over the ear headphones, with the IE 80 S, they’ve managed to bring the same high-end spec to their earbud range.

Durability has clearly been given a high priority with metal protected drivers and cables protected by thick rubber. The Kevlar reinforced cables are also detachable so they can be replaced if lost. They also separate easily if caught on something. These earbuds are definitely built for the duration, and if any problems arise, there’s a 2-year warranty to fall back on.

Comfort all the way…

Comfort wise, the ten pairs of ear tips provide enough of a range to fit any ear type. The ergonomics of this design are well thought out, so much so, you could forget you’re even wearing them. The stable fit is good for any kind of exercise or work out.

Sound quality is excellent but not necessarily that much better to justify the extra cost. Considering it’s twice the price as the next most expensive buds on this list, we have to question whether the extra outlay is worth it. That being said, they do sound great. An immersive soundscape carrying great clarity across all ranges, with bass, mids, and treble, all having ample room to breathe.

Superb sound comes at a cost…

For those without budget constraints, these Sennheiser earbuds offer the best sound with a sturdy design. But, unless you are a complete audiophile or an audio professional, are they worth the extra outlay?


Sennheiser IE 80 S

Our rating:3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Best sound quality.
  • Detachable cables.
  • Robust materials.
  • 2-year warranty.
  • Lightweight.

Cons

  • Expensive.
  • Debatable value for money.

5 Klipsch Image S4i Rugged

Klipsch call these ‘all-weather headphones,’ and that’s a pretty solid description. Designed to be used in extreme outdoor environments, the tough rubber moldings will stand up to most weather conditions or any sweat from exercise. The control panel is also made with extreme conditions in mind, featuring big easy to locate and multi-functional buttons. In fact, these buds wouldn’t look out of place on a mountaineering or arctic expedition.

Cables are well protected by heavy-duty rubber and, although not detachable, look well stress protected at all connection points. Although not the toughest looking earbuds, buyers report reliable performance in harsh conditions. I guess looks can be deceiving. However, we’re still not sold on whether these earbuds could take as hard a knock as the RHA, for example.

What’s the fit like?

They come with four pairs of silicone ear-tips. Not quite the range of other models but enough to cover most ear sizes. Once they’re in, you’ll have hours of use with no discomfort.

Sound quality isn’t a disappointment. They are slightly bass-heavy at the expense of treble clarity, but audiophile complaints aside, provide a good listening experience for most listeners. They won’t win any ‘best sound’ awards but do provide enough quality at this price point to satisfy most.


Klipsch Image S4i Rugged

Our rating:3.6 out of 5 stars (3.6 / 5)

Pros

  • All-weather design.
  • Functions well in extremes.
  • Comfortable fit.
  • Practical control panel.

Cons

  • Sound quality – not the best.
  • Smaller range of ear-tips.

6 1MORE e1001-svc Triple Driver Earbuds

Towards the lower end of the price range, 1MORE is a relatively new company aiming to deliver audiophile sound quality at affordable prices.

Design innovation is the name of the game with these most durable earbuds. The triple drivers in each bud deliver a richly dynamic sound, punching way above its weight compared to similarly priced models. The sound signature was personally created by famed producer and all round sound expert, Luca Bignardi. The outcome is a very pure sound for the price, and the voices and instruments occupy their own space beautifully.

Built to last…

Metal driver casings and the Kevlar reinforced cable add significantly to the durability. The cable is tangle-free, which always increases its lifespan. It’s a shame though that after the cable splits in two, less sturdy rubber is used. The metal piping from the driver casing extends down the wire for extra joint protection around the bud.

The jack housing and inline control are mainly made from metal, giving a nice weight and feeling of quality to the headphones.

What’s in the box?

Comfort is guaranteed with nine sets of silicone and foam ear tips to choose from. A stylish and tough case comes as standard as do the mic and volume controls attached to the cable.

Generally, a great sound for the price, but do they offer enough durability?


1MORE e1001-svc Triple Driver Earbuds

Our rating:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Pros

  • Best sound for a lower-priced model.
  • Innovative driver design.
  • Metal reinforced parts.
  • Stylish design.
  • Good value.

Cons

  • Cables covered by weaker plastic after they split.
  • No detachable cables.

7 SoundMAGIC E10 Earphones

When it comes to headphones this cheap, it’s easy to dismiss a budget pair like the E10’s as being too low priced to be any good. Well, in this case, you’d be missing a trick.

Here’s why…

These earbuds have one of the toughest builds of any headphones under $50. Built to handle the rigors of everyday use, these buds provide a level of durability way above what the price suggests. Aluminum housing protects the drivers well, and other traditional points of weakness, the jack, and splitter are also a metal construction.

The cable is a twisted design made using a tough rubber material, providing tangle-free usage. It’s not a detachable design, but at this price, that would be a little too much to ask.

But what they sound like?

Sound quality is also surprisingly good value for money. The focus is firmly on the lower end of the spectrum, with a rich bass leading the way. Mid and high ranges can feel a little swamped as a result. But if bass is your thing and you don’t want to spend a fortune, then the E10’s could be the bargain you’re looking for.

So they’re comfortable, well constructed using sturdy materials, tough and with a sound that should cost more, what’s not to like? Hands down a winner for those on a budget, but can it compete with our higher-end models?


SoundMAGIC E10 Earphones

Our rating:3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)

Pros

  • Amazing value for money.
  • Durable build.
  • Decent sound for the price.
  • Strong stress relief.

Cons

  • None – you can’t go wrong for the money.

8 Audiophile Elite Earbuds

Another low budget offering from Audiophile, the Elite earbuds, also punch well above their very low price point.

The overall build quality is of a good standard. They look capable of withstanding most day to day abuse. However, you might want to look for something more durable if they are to be used in more extreme environments. The tangle-free cable should keep the buds from getting knotted up in your bag, although the cable coating doesn’t look too durable.

Not a lightweight…

Metal casings protect the dual drivers from any unexpected knocks. They are on the heavy side, so you’ll need to find the correct fit from the limited selection of ear-tips provided. Hopefully, this won’t be a problem, and you should be able to anchor them well enough.

Sound wise; these bargain earbuds pack a very loud punch at around 128dBs. This is a dangerously high level of exposure and could lead to permanent damage if used over prolonged periods. Some wouldn’t consider this a problem, although your hearing may already be compromised if they don’t consider this too loud.

High-end features…

Lossless Copper cables and a gold plated jack are features you wouldn’t expect to see on such a cheap model, and improve overall sound quality.

Apart from the excess volume, these earbuds do provide a quality sound. And Audiophile is confident enough to provide a full refund to anyone not happy with the results.

A solid entrant, but not quite hitting the value for money that the SoundMagic buds achieve.


Audiophile Elite Earbuds

Our rating:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Pros

  • Remarkably cheap.
  • Well balanced audio quality.
  • Refund if not happy.

Cons

  • Dangerously loud.
  • Cable material doesn’t look strong
  • Limited ear-tip range.

9 Brainwavz M2

Also, at the lower end of the price spectrum, the Brainwavz M2 are another very affordable and well constructed pair of the most durable earbuds. The aluminum ear casings look like they’d stand up to rough treatment whilst also being very sleek and stylish.

Thick braided cables provide good wire protection and strong tangle resistance. However, a low waterproof rating means that you’ll want to be careful exposing these buds to any moisture. Light rain and sweat shouldn’t be a problem, but anything more extreme should be avoided.

Lightweight for a comfy fit…

The Brainwavz come with a short 1-year warranty, which, although lower than others, isn’t too bad considering the price point. Although using a lot of metal in construction, they are still quite light, and with the range of ear-tips provided, finding a comfy fit should be easy.

Sound quality is fine without blowing you away. The mid range features most prominently allowing vocals to shine through above the bass. Sound isolation is acceptable if not as efficient as higher priced models. Overall, a bright and fun sound is achieved.

A real budget contender, though, as with eth Audiophile Elite, they do not hit the kind of audio quality of the SoundMAGIC E10’s.


Brainwavz M2

Our rating:3.4 out of 5 stars (3.4 / 5)

Pros

  • Value for money
  • Strong metal construction.
  • Sleek design.
  • Well protected cable.

Cons

  • Audio quality surpassed by the cheaper SoundMAGIC E10’s.
  • Less waterproof.
  • Only a one-year warranty.

10 Granvela VJJB V1

The cheapest of all the models reviewed here, the VJJB’s offer exceptional value for money. The cheap price doesn’t mean durability is overly compromised. Made using tough construction materials, the metal housing is complemented by sturdy strain reliefs and a strong rubber cable. The gold plated jack will also improve overall performance.

However, these buds are not sweat or water resistant in any way, so they may not be the best choice for exercise or outdoor activities. However, keep them moisture free, and they should go for a while.

Excellent sound for the price point…

Sound quality is aided by two drivers per earbud, one handling mid to high ranges and the other focusing on delivering the lows. This results in a nicely balanced sound worthy of headphones 3 or 4 times the price.

Able to be worn both over and under the ear, the lightweight design and well angled nozzle will fit most ears well once you’ve found the right ear-tip. That being said, users report a lack of stability when exercising. That, combined with no sweat resistance, make these buds unsuitable for any sporting activity.

But, there’s a catch…

A number of users also reported malfunctions within a year of purchase. However, this is probably more to do with moisture damage than structural failure.


Granvela VJJB V1

Our rating:3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)

Pros

  • Affordable for everyone.
  • Good audio for the price.
  • Look great.

Cons

  • Not sweat resistant or waterproof.
  • They are not stable during exercise.
  • Not the most durable on this list.

Well, that completes our review section. All that remains to be revealed is our overall winner. With so many contenders, we have to say this wasn’t easy. But, before we announce the winner, let’s look at some more options…

Other Earbud Options

Not convinced on any of these yet? That would be surprising because there are some excellent choices included at a range of prices. But if it is the case, it might be worth checking out our in-depth reviews of the Best Bass Earbuds, the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, the Best Earbuds under 50 dollars, the Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds and the Best Earbuds and Best Headphones for Sleeping currently available.

So What Are The Most Durable Earbuds?

For outstanding build quality that addresses all potential points of failure, combined with a whopping 3-year warranty and high-quality audio, all at a very reasonable mid-range price, we had to make our overall winner the…

Price did play a big factor here. At over two times cheaper than the Sennheiser, it gives unbeatable value for money that couldn’t be overlooked.

Whilst not the best performer in the audio department, especially in the high frequencies, the sound quality will more than satisfy the vast majority of users, and the durability features should keep you from having to buy new earbuds for many years to come.

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