Earphones vs Earbuds: Which is Better?

Earphones Vs Earbuds

The question you should ask is, “What’s the difference?”

The major difference is in their appearance. You’ll notice Earphones are bigger than Earbuds. It’s because Earphones are meant to go into your ear canal and Earbuds rest outside your ear canal. This leads to the difference in audio quality, weight and portability.

Before we study that, let’s talk a bit about their history and origin.

History of Our Favorite Accessory: Headphones

Do you know how did headphones originate? It dates back to the 1800s when Ezra Gilliland decided to combine the technology of a telephone and a radio and came up with the idea of having “mini boom-boxes” around the shoulder that would operate “hands-free”.

Nathaniel Baldwin Headphone

As time went by and people from different ages came up with similar ideas, Nathaniel Baldwin invented a similar device (in his kitchen!) that resembles today’s headphones. Sadly, he did not have any idea how popular his invention would be in today’s age.

Vintage iPod with Headphone

And then we all know what happened. Steve Jobs decided to invent the iPod in 2001 and later added a wired earphone for an “on-the-go listening experience”.

New Age Earphones

As time passed, the big headphones became smaller and smaller in size, and today we have these tiny little headphones or as we know them- Earphones/Earbuds

Earphones VS Earbuds

People tend to use Earphones and Earbuds interchangeably but they are two different types. Earphones go into your ear canal and beyond your concha while Earbuds rest outside your ear canal—no more confusion.

Which is better? Let us study their pros and cons first.




  1. The audio quality is superior.
  2. Better fit as it’s available in different ear cushion sizes.
  3. Noise-canceling options are available.


  1. The high-quality, branded ones are very expensive.
  2. Not so comfortable/durable.




  1. Less expensive than earphones (you can get them at a fraction of the price!).
  2. Does not cancel out all noises so you are not completely out of touch with the world.
  3. Easier to clean.


  1. Fall out easily as they are not available in different sizes.
  2. Sub-par audio quality.


Which of these better suits you depends on your requirement. If your primary concern is superior audio quality and good fit, you should go for Earphones. But if you also care about its lightweight and you don’t want to completely block out the outside world, you should go for Earbuds.

Brands like Apple, Sony, Sennheiser, Samsung, and JBL offer a wide range of high-quality wired and wireless earphones/earbuds.


Is there any difference between Earphones and Earbuds?

Yes, absolutely. There’s major difference in audio quality and fit.

What is the earphone called that don’t have buds?

In-ear headphones. They can also be fitted with foam or rubber ear tips.

Which is better: Wireless or Wired earphones/earbuds?

Wired headphones do have a better audio quality but with the advancement in wireless technology, their audio quality is getting a lot better.


Unless you actually use the headphones, you won’t be able to figure out which works better for you. Our suggestion is you give them both a try and find out what suits you best. Start with the less expensive ones and, once you’ve figured out your comfort zone, you can go for the high-quality, branded ones.