Your 5 Best Buds for 2015 (and we ain’t talking about friends)

Nothing says I take my sound seriously and I take drowning you out even more seriously than a great pair of ear buds.

The average music consumer prefers in-ear headphones as opposed to the supra-aural designs most recently made popular by Dr. Dre and his Beats design. The ear bud – commercially bolstered by Apple with their famous (and rather androgynously dull) iPad campaigns – allows high-quality listening at lower volumes. They echo the ease, comfort, and simplicity of modernity. But they are hardly the crème de la crème of in-ear audiophilia.

Our top 5 choices (in no particular order) for the best ear buds of 2015 still slant toward the simple but largely give off the same, slick “I am man. Hear me roar!” vibe as the insistence that Bitches Brew is, in fact, your favorite album.

NHT SuperBuds Earphones

NHTIf ladies have the LBD then men should have the LBB (little black buds) and these $100 NHT SuperBuds should fill such a role. With 2-way coaxial drivers housed in aluminum enclosures with a braided cord for anti-coil, these buds are solid and comfortable. As an added value they feature smartphone support with a streamlined, in-line mic for call and music control.

NHT Audio SuperBuds




Bose Freestyle Earbuds

BoseAnother low priced entry into the bud filler market is the Bose Freestyles. At just a dollar or two over a Benjamin the buds feature Bose StayHear tips which conform naturally to the shape of your ears. There they rest gently but securely and offer three standard sizes for a near-custom feel. The coloring is a bit more edgy with the buds being offered in Indigo and Ice Blue so you can show a little style when out and about or on the train. Furthermore the Freestyles offer iPhone call support so they work seamlessly on calls to control volume and speech. While not the best sounding on the market they are good for the price with a flavor all their own.

Bose Freestyle Earbuds, Ice Blue


Etymotic hf5

EtymoticLiving at the corner of “nice” and “high-end” is a sweet pair of buds that offer High-Fidelity Noise-Isolating Earphone technology. Balancing price and sound quality these eartips offer proper seal and comfort. In fact they purportedly offer the highest noise isolation (documented) of any earphones on the market today. Hello? I can’t hear you ’cause I’m secretly jammin’ out to T-Swizzle.

Etymotic Research HF5 Portable In-Ear Earphones (Black)



Phonak Audeo PFE 132

PhonakSupposedly the best ear bud on the market this simple yet highly functioning set of buds highlight authentic sound over artificially enhanced bass lines and treble patterns. The PFE’s offer acoustically filtered sound that is for the true audiophile. RANDOM FACT: Phonak is one of the world’s largest hearing aid manufacturers so the company knows ears and knows appropriate sound levels.

Audeo PFE 132 Earphones with Mic and Remote



Shure SE425

ShureCall me a purist or a traditionalist or anything of the sort but I have long thought that Shure was the Sure [Bet] and the Shure SE425 sound-isolating earphones only confirm that thought. Designed to sound like a genuine live performance, the SE425 gives your ear canal the details of your music with Dual High-Definition MicroDrivers (patent pending) that sound more like a soundboard mixer at work in your head than a dual-cassette boom box unleashed in your oblongata. The SE425 is supreme quality. They fit easily into your ear canal, they are sleek in design, they are understated and they are downright sexy.

Shure SE425-V Sound Isolating Earphones with Dual High Definition MicroDrivers