If you love music, you’ll be disappointed with the earphones that came with your smartphone. To get the best sounding music on the move, you need to upgrade your earphones to something that offers much better audio quality.
Here at the Best Earphones Guide, we don’t believe that you have to spend a fortune just to get great sounding earphones. We use our ears to judge earphones, not an empty wallet! Because of this, we often recommend some lower priced earphones in our recommendations as we feel that they offer incredible performance. Bring on our list of the best earphones of 2014.
1 – Ei8htball EX811
You may not have come across Ei8htball before as they are a relatively new brand. They are aiming themselves squarely at the Smartphone market with the EX811 earphones.
Everything about the Ei8htball EX811 oozes quality – the packaging is absolutely stunningly designed, it looks fantastic & feels high quality to the touch.
The earphones themselves have beautifully detailed solid, yet lightweight metal casings that are finished to a very high standard. The woven cable provides another level of detail and style, also attached inline is a microphone with button (call answering & play/pause) which hangs to the side of your head.
Overall the EX811 earphones are very light and comfortable – very comfortable, more so than many other earphones we’ve tried.
We know that looks can be deceiving when it comes to audio quality – but these deliver on every level. Bass is deep and plentiful, enough to satisfy bass heads but remaining detailed at the same time. Where they really, really come alive is in the mid range. The imaging and detail that the Ei8htball EX811 earphones deliver is simply stunning. You can clearly hear vocal reverbs, backing vocal placements and squeaky bass drum pedals. Snare drums have a good depth and snap that many other earphones miss. The top end or high frequencies provide the shiny icing on the top – clear and airy with no nasty edges at all. In short, they sound amazing.
The only harsh criticism we can give is that we would have liked to see a storage case or pouch included and that the woven cable can get a little caught up when you keep them in your pocket as a result. For us, this isn’t a deal breaker as everything else about them is spot on.
Overall we are absolutely amazed by the Ei8htball EX811 in ear headphones – they look fantastic and sound incredible, for less than £30 what are you waiting for – these are the best earphones 2014 & are a must buy! For more info, read our Ei8htball EX811 review.
MediaDevil are known for producing smartphone accessories – the Artisanphonics EB-01 are the first set of earphones that they have produced.
These beautiful earphones are made from wood that has been reclaimed from high quality furniture manufacturers. The wood is beautifully finished and the earphones feel very solid, yet light to the touch.
The cable is a tough woven type that helps keep tangling to a minimum. As you can see in the photo, there is a microphone and button control which positioned on the left side cable which hangs conveniently near your mouth to pick up speech.
The sound of the MediaDevil EB-01 earphones is big – the bass is very warm, rounded and big. It still manages to retain punch and details – but packs a lot of weight. The mid range sounds natural without any additional enhancement – this fits with the bass nicely. The treble is quite mellow, but still retains a good amount of air and space – a little added EQ will help lift this further.
Compared to the Ei8htball earphones above, these sound warmer and softer, mostly due to the wood used.
We have recently found that the MediaDevil EB-01 earphones are excellent to use when plugged into a PS4 controller either for chat, or for all in game audio. For chat use, your voice seems to come through clearer than the Ei8htball EX811’s while the extra bass makes impacts and explosions sound huge. In short, the MediaDevil earphones are great for gaming as well as music.
In the box, you also get a natural fibre bag – this is great for storing your earphones out of harms way when they’re not in use…more manufacturers should include these!
We think that the MediaDevil EB-01 earphones are a fantastic set of earphones. Even now, a few months after the initial test and review – they still get used regularly, and work brilliantly with a PS4 controller! Many will find the artisan wooden styling and use of reclaimed materials a great selling point as well – however you look at them, the MediaDevil EB-01 earphones are seriously worth buying. For more information, read our MediaDevil EB-01 review.
3 – SoundMAGIC E10
The previous king of the hill – the award winning SoundMAGIC E10 earphones. Coming in at around the £30 mark, these are still amazing value for money.
The earphones are again, made from metal which gives them a nice weighty feel as well as a solid base for the audio drivers to perform from.
These come with 7 sets of adaptors, so finding a good fit won’t be a problem. They do also include a case and a cable clip which make for very nice additions. The case has room for the earphones as well as the adaptors and is suitably tough to stop them from being crushed in your bag.
The cable is of the silicon coated tangle free variety, which is a little stiffer than most other cables of this type – this can lead to minor tangles, but the coating prevents this from being an issue. One thing to be aware of is that they don’t have a microphone or play/pause button.
The sound that the SoundMAGIC E10 provide is fantastic. Loads of bass, they do still retain detail – but some may find it a little too much (we found ducking the eq at 400hz a little helped a lot). Mid range frequencies are crisp and detailed with plenty of space and no harshness. The top end is open, airy and balanced. The character of these is more hi-fi in nature than some other earphones – this perhaps makes them better suited for listening to pop, dance or classic rather than rock.
Overall the SoundMAGIC E10 earphones offer incredible value for money and sound fantastic. We do think that they benefit from a minor eq tweak on your smartphone, and they do feel a little cheaper than the Ei8htball EX811 above. You can also read our full SoundMAGIC E10 Review.
We hope that our round up of the best earphones 2014 has helped you make a choice so you can enjoy great sounding music on the move.