The Best Earphones For iPhone (And Headphones): Complete Guide

Viswamitra Jayavant - Jul 23, 2019

The Best Earphones For iPhone (And Headphones): Complete Guide

With the disappearance of the 3.5mm jack on newer iPhones, finding best earphones for iPhone or headphones can't be easy. Here's a complete guide for you.

There are audiophiles who quite literally depend their entertainment and even professionals whose job came with using 3.5mm audio jack daily a description. So when Apple announced that they would do away with it a couple years ago from the iPhone 7 onward, needless to say there were a lot of outrages and groans: Finding a new, best earphones for iPhone can be very difficult.

Of course today, aside from those who still held stubbornly onto their iPhone 6 and older, you won’t be able to find a rounded jack anywhere on the newer phones like the iPhone X, Xr, Xs, or Xs Max. The reasoning behind this move was rather simple: Doing away with the jack can save a lot of space and weight to keep the company on track in their almost obsessive pursuit of a thin and light design.

>>> Read more: Apple AirPods Vs Samsung Galaxy Buds: Which Is The Winner?

The current line-up of iPhones doesn't support the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack.

But that just served to overcomplicate consumers’ search of the best earphones for iPhone to keep their ears sated, however.

The Two Choices You Have Left

So which earphones are best for iPhone?

First, you have to get used to the options you have. Apple left you with two choices when they removed the 3.5mm jack: You either use earphones or headphones equipped with the Lightning connector like the pair of EarPods you would get in the box along with your phone.

Of course, EarPods - despite the stylish look - absolutely lacks the fidelity audiophiles would look for. The shopping options for earphones with Lightning connectors are also very limited, making searching for the best earphones for iPhone of your dreams in this category difficult, if not, hopeless.

Though the Lightning EarPods is convenient, sound quality may not pleased serious users.

Or you can go full wireless and get a pair of Bluetooth earphones or headphones. There is no shortage of models that can be considered as the best earphones for iPhone wireless. Apple itself also doesn’t shy away from pushing people toward using Bluetooth with its infamous AirPods. However, the compression techniques of Bluetooth still means the music quality of any types of Bluetooth audio can yet match the lossless quality of wired audio devices.

Apple fully believes that the future is wireless, and doesn't shy from pushing you toward wireless options. Which can make finding the best earphones for iPhone a very difficult task.

But even when you have made your decisions on a category, finding the right earphones or headphones can be difficult. Especially when you’re in India as the price can be significantly higher getting a pair of Bluetooth or Lightning-equipped earphones. So to help you in your search of the best earphones for iPhone in India, here is a list of great names for you to look out for the next time you go out to search for the best earphones for iPhone India or headphones.

Best Bluetooth Earphones For iPhone India

1. Affordable Range: SoundMagic ES20BT Bluetooth Earphones

SoundMagic is a pretty popular name among audiophile communities, having a great balance between audio quality, design, and pricing in all of their market models. The ES20BT is the continuation of the highly successful E10S and E10C line, this time around with the added extravagancy of Bluetooth.

If your definition of the best Bluetooth earphones for iPhone is one that is as cheap as 1000 Rs, this one is for you. Although it was initially priced at about 2000 Rs, now you can find discounts and offerings online for as low as 1000 Rs. Making it one of the best earphones under 1000 for iPhone depends on where you look.

If you're on a budget, there aren't a lot of choices better than the SoundMagic ES20BT for the best earphones for iPhone.

The ES20BT is equipped with pretty decent hardware to handle transmission under Bluetooth standard 4.1 and can maintain an effective audio connection up to 10 metres away. Battery is satisfactory and can last you for most of the day with about five hours on a single charge.

The sound is considered by many to be a strong point of the ES20BT: Crisp bass that lacks the quality of being too ‘thumpy', mid-tones are done perfectly, and fluent high-tones.

But there’s a draw-back. The design, although visually appealing, is constrained to the budget of the earphones itself. The little wiring between the buds can be a cause of anxiety for many since it is considered as flimsy and breakable. The battery and mic-set that came with the earphones are quite bulky and tend to awkwardly dangle about your cheek and neck.

Microphone placement is awkward, but offers crystal clear audio reception.

One good thing that came with this, though, is that the mic can catch your voice very well so usually, calls are often perfect on the ES20BT in spite of the lack of comfort.

This pair of earphones in particular is a pretty good fit for the title of the best earphones for iPhone 7 Plus, 7, and older. All of them support Bluetooth 4.2 at their best. But if you have an iPhone 8 and later with hardware capable of supporting the latest iteration of Bluetooth 5, it would be a waste of additional processing power to use this earphones.


2. Luxury Range: Optoma NuForce BE Sport4

If you have the budget to spend for it and wish to go higher than the mere ceiling of 1000 Rs, look no further than the Optoma NuForce BE Sport4. It is the perfect compromise between price and overall quality.

Optoma Nuforce Be Sport4 4
If money is not as important as quality, then the Optoma NuForce BE Sport4 is a pretty great contender for the best earphones for iPhone title.

First thing first, with the ‘Sport’ in its name, it is not difficult to guess that it is geared toward people who are more active in their daily lives. But you can easily bring it out in any occasions, be it commuting or exercising. Lightweight and equipped with pretty good sound isolation so the noises of the street can finally be bearable when you walk out door. The hooks that grasp tightly into the nooks of your ears can affirm the staunchest affixation even when you’re jogging or being active. The buds can be attached to one another back to back through a built-in magnet, so you’re never at risk of losing them.


In term of pure audio performance, for something so small and so cheap at about 3,800 Rs, it is a capable pair of earphones in both lower and higher frequencies. The expansive sound stage makes it a pleasure to listen to all types of music genre without it feeling too specialised in one genre over another.

But most importantly, equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 and compatible with AAC (At the moment, iPhone users can’t use aptX). That’s why this pair can juice more performance out of your phone, given that it is newer than the iPhone 7 generation. Therefore, the Optoma NuForce BE Sport 4 is clearly worthy of the title of one of the best earphones for iPhone 8 and later.

Best Earphones For iPhone With Microphone: BeatsX

In a market where virtually every earphones are equipped with a built-in microphone, it is quite difficult to choose one that is the best in this category. However, considering the pricing, branding, and overall quality, we have decided that the BeatsX would be the best choice for this category.

>>> Readmore: Top Six Under Rs 7,000 Alternative Wireless Earbuds For The AirPods

If microphone is a must for whatever reason, the BeatsX can hold value very well as one of the best earphones for iPhone with microphone.

There are many reasons why despite being expensive at about 4,135 Rs (If you know where to look) and you often find yourself making important business calls. The BeatsX maybe a worthy investment.

First is the design. Available in a multitude of colours, is lightweight and minimalistic, but not to the point of being unstylish. The earphones was clearly designed and made to last, with the neckband made out of a nickel - titanium alloy that can survive the worst things you could possibly subject it to. The earphones is also water resistant against rains or occasional splashes.


The individual earbuds are magnetised, and each held within a capable 8mm drivers. At the end of the day, you’re offered a package that’s not only durable and reliable, but at the same time, impressive audio performance for the price that in comparison to most Beats products is a downright steal. Bass is warmer than the EarPods and AirPods, depends on your preference that can be a good thing. The treble, however, has a sibilance quality to it that it can make trebles a little bit of a turn-off for those who have a listening ear for it. The upper-mids frequencies of the sound stage is also affected.


Of course, the microphone’s quality is amazing, and Beats has also re-designed the RemoteTalk button to be more tactile and responsive to the touch. In tests, talkers have no problems of being heard by callers. So definitely there is a perfect balance between audio quality for normal music listening and business calls here, great for the travelling businessmen. Furthermore, with the noise isolation it is easier to hear the other ends when environmental noises are removed than other types of earphones like the AirPods.

As for its fit with iPhones in general, the best thing about this is that it is equipped with the W1 bluetooth chip that exists in the AirPods to make for seamless, automatic connection with the iPhone. And the BeatsX is charged with a Lightning cable instead of a micro-USB cable, so if iPhones are all you own, you wouldn’t have to shell out more to get an adapter and a micro-USB connector. Bluetooth 5.0 is also a good reason why it is one of the best earphones for iPhone XR and later

Best Wireless Earphones For iPhone

1. Earphones: AirPods

There is no doubt about it: The best wireless earphones you could possibly get is the one made by the iPhone maker themselves. The AirPods definitely have a lot to offer, and over the year has built for itself quite a cult following.

Audite 002
When it comes to integration, there are nothing that can match AirPods.

There aren’t much to say about the design quality. As with any Apple products, the design was crafted meticulously as well as built. Although it could be strange to some to have the earphones just hanging with its stems protruded out of your ears at first, due to the lightweight and tangle-free design, you’d soon forget all about it.

For Indians who often travel using motorbikes, having them fallen off somewhere along the road is a very real concern for a pair of earphones that is so expensive. However, if you can afford it, the AirPods actually offer a very firm grip on the ears and there were actually very little complaints about the security or ergonomics of the individual earbuds.


In term of battery life, the AirPods can last about five hours on a single charge. Enough to get you through an entire day. The second generation can last even longer and the charging case can be equipped with wireless charging coils if you want to spend a little bit further on it. Else, it’d charge using the standard Lightning cable.

In term of sound, the AirPods offer great audio for its size. Crisp vocals and balanced highs, however, the bass can feel a little bit too thumpy at time in contrast to the BeatsX’s warmer bass notes.

The W1 chip offers nearly instantaneous setup and connection to your device. Or in the case of the second generation AirPods, newer H1 chip. With the second generation, you can also have voice-activated Siri.

Bluetooth 5.0 and AAC support are obviously available. The core of this decision of placing the AirPods as the best wireless earphones for iPhone India along with anywhere else is how closely it is integrated with the iPhone. You don’t have to be awkward in the set-up phase or be boggled down by un-optimisation. With the AirPods, you can just snap the lid up and go. So clearly to us, the AirPods has found its place as one of the best earphones for iPhone XS Max and similar.

W1 Chip Airpods

The second generation AirPods starts in India from 14,900 Rs.

Best Over Ear Headphones For iPhone: Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT

While it is very tempting to account for a pair of Beats headphones, it is clear that the Beats - in spite of its deep integration with iPhones and great overall quality - cannot compete in term of cost and quality balance with the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT.

Lastly, an over-ear option: The Audio Technica ATH-M50xBT is the best over ear headphones for iPhone option currently exist.

The ATH-M50xBT is a Bluetooth version of the highly popular ATH-M50x line which has been endorsed by sound professionals and audiophiles alike for great sound quality and build quality.

The build quality although spartan is good enough for most users. Made of plastic, leatherette paddings and headband, along with some metal details particularly in the joints. It is a durable and reliable pair of cans that can be used by anyone and brought with them anywhere. Especially with the fold-down joints and rotating cups to minimise space in your backpack.

Its foldability and plastic construction makes it a very compact headphones.

In term of sound, the bass in the ATH-M50xBT is quite boosted, while adjustments to mids and highs’ highlights create a pretty good sound stage to appease consumers and professionals alike. Since it is pretty close to the ‘expensive’ range of headphones, the sound stage is also blessed with a good frequency response and larger speaker elements allow for a more planar wavefront. Because of that, if you were to compare this side-by-side with cheaper options, you can sense that the sound on the ATH-M50xBT, is clearer and more realistic than ordinary earbuds or headphones.


Though there is no active noise isolation, the padding of the ATH-M50xBT handles passive isolation quite well. If you’re on the street, you won’t have problems with listening to music. But on an aeroplane, however, that might be a problem.

The Audio Technica ATH-M50xBT costs about 18,450 Rs retail. Yes, it is very expensive. However, there is no doubt that if you have the budget to spend for it, you, your iPhone and this over-ear can turn wherever you are into a personal concert with little problems.


As you can see, finding the best earphones for iPhone or headphones isn't an easy task. But with this guide, we hope that we have given you at least an idea of what to look for, or even a pointer about your next brand-new earphones or headphones to enjoy on your iPhone.


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