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Best wired earbuds for iPhone

Plug in and tune out with the best wired earbuds for your iPhone.
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Published onOctober 26, 2023

Apple EarPods (USB-C)
MSRP: $19.00
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Positives
Superior comfort
High-quality audio
Built-in remote
Wide compatibility
Integrated microphone
No audio interruptions
Negatives
Wired connection
Potential tangling
Limited distance range
Pricey
Symphonized iPhone wired earbuds
MSRP: $39.99
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Positives
MFI apple certified
High audio quality
Durable
Easy to use
Secure fit
Wooden design
Negatives
Reliability issue
May not fit small ears
Not compatible with iPhone 15
Thin and potentially prone to cable breakage
Guguearth lightning headphones
MSRP: $25.99
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Positives
Designed for Apple products
In-line media controls
Affordable
Negatives
Only has Lighting connection
Satisfactory sound quality
UliX Rider USB-C Headphones
MSRP: $9.99
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Positives
Durable build
Long-lasting cord
Noise isolation
High-quality sound
Comfortable fit
5-year warranty
Negatives
Incompatibility with some devices
Microphone picks up background noise
Ear tips may not fit all users
Cord still prone to tangling
Apetoo USB-C wired earbuds
MSRP: $13.99
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Positives
Affordable
Decent sound quality
Same-day delivery
Comfortable fit
Clear sound on calls
Fashionable design
Negatives
Occasional static in calls
Not noise-canceling
In-ear design may not suit everyone
Sound may require settings adjustment

In a world obsessed with wireless tech, why would anyone opt for wired earbuds? Simple. Wired earbuds offer zero latency, better sound quality, and never need a battery charge. They’re the plug-and-play champions for those who crave simplicity and performance. The AirPods Pro may take the crown for the best earbuds for iPhone, but we’ve rounded up a shortlist of the top wired earbuds for iPhone to make sure there is something for everyone.

Editor’s note: this list was published on October 26, 2023, and is the first version of the article. Updates will follow as the market changes.

The best lightning-wired earbuds for iPhone

If you’re already immersed in the Apple ecosystem, Lightning earbuds are likely your go-to. They’re MFi certified, ensuring seamless compatibility with your iPhone. Plus, they often come with built-in remotes for easy music and call control.

Best overall: Apple EarPods (Lightning)

A hand holding the Apple EarPods in their fingertips.
Adam Birney / SoundGuys
The king of cheap earbuds returns.

These are the OG of iPhone earbuds. Made by Apple, they offer seamless integration with your iPhone. They feature reliable sound in the low-end and mid-range right out of the box and feel comfortable, especially for small ears.

Apple EarPods (Lightning)Apple EarPods (Lightning)
Apple EarPods (Lightning)
Exceptional sound • Comfortable fit • Convenient controls
MSRP: $16.99

The built-in remote lets you adjust the volume, control music, and video playback, and even answer or end calls with a pinch of the cord. For less than $20, you can’t go wrong with having these on hand.

Best isolation: Symphonized iPhone headphones

Symphonized iPhone wired earbudsSymphonized iPhone wired earbuds
Symphonized iPhone wired earbuds
MFI apple certified • High audio quality • Durable
MSRP: $39.99

Because these wired earbuds are Apple MFi Certified, they are compatible with pretty much every iOS device dating back to the iPhone 7 (except for the new iPhone 15, although there are newer Symphonized USB-C Headphones). Unlike the Apple EarPods, these come with three sets of ear tips in three different sizes, ensuring you can get a good seal on your ears for proper isolation.

What makes the Symphonized earbuds unique is their wooden design, which looks stylish and helps absorb noise vibrations. Although, that does come with the tradeoff of not being waterproof. They also have a built-in mic and volume controls.

Best ergonomic: Guguearth in-ear headphones

Guguearth lightning headphonesGuguearth lightning headphones
Guguearth lightning headphones
Designed for Apple products • In-line media controls
MSRP: $25.99
Feature-packed wired earbuds with Lighting connector
The Guguearth Lighting Headphones are wired earbuds that use the proprietary Lighting connector for Apple devices. These simple earbuds are a reliable solution to your personal audio needs.

These lightweight earbuds offer a magnetic design that keeps them together when hanging around your neck and helps prevent them from getting tangled. They are MFi-certified, ensuring compatibility with iOS devices, and sport soft silicone ear tips with several size options for a secure fit.


The best USB-C wired earbuds for iPhone

Got the new iPhone 15? Then you will need USB-C earbuds. These picks are versatile, offering compatibility with a broader range of gadgets, including Android phones and laptops. They’re the future-proof choice for tech enthusiasts.

Best overall: Apple EarPods (USB-C)

These EarPods are future-proof, thanks to the USB-C plug. They’re compatible with the latest iPhone 15 and other USB-C devices. Just like their Lightning counterparts, these EarPods offer reliable sound quality with good bass and mids. And the built-in remote lets you control your music, take calls, and adjust the volume without reaching for your phone.

Apple EarPods (USB-C)Apple EarPods (USB-C)
Apple EarPods (USB-C)
Superior comfort • High-quality audio • Built-in remote
MSRP: $19.00

Best isolation: UliX Rider USB-C headphones

For just under $10, these headphones offer a budget-friendly option that features a fairly balanced sound profile. Best of all, they come with small, medium, and large silicone ear tips to help you find the right fit and improve isolation.

UliX Rider USB-C HeadphonesUliX Rider USB-C Headphones
UliX Rider USB-C Headphones
Durable build • Long-lasting cord • Noise isolation
MSRP: $9.99

The backside of the earbuds is magnetic, reducing the chances of tangling. They also come with a metal carrying case for easy storage and a five-year warranty to ensure their longevity.

Best sound: Apetoo USB-C headphones

Apetoo USB-C wired earbudsApetoo USB-C wired earbuds
Apetoo USB-C wired earbuds
Affordable • Decent sound quality • Comfortable fit
MSRP: $13.99

The Apetoo USB-C Wired Earbuds stand out for their HiFi sound quality. If you’re looking for an immersive audio experience without breaking the bank, these earbuds are a solid choice. The magnetic design also allows for easy storage and reduces tangling.


The best wired earbuds for iPhone: Notable mentions

A lot of wired earbuds designed for the iPhone try to resemble the classic white look of EarPods, but we’ve tried to select a few that stand out for their unique design and features. Here are a few options that didn’t make the list but may better serve different needs.

What you should know about wired earbuds

A picture of the Etymotic ER2SE wired earbuds being worn by a woman.
Nobody wants to worry about a private company listening in on their conversations.

Even though all of the wired earbuds on this list are relatively inexpensive, you want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Here’s what you need to know:

How Should Earbuds Fit?

Fit and seal are crucial for any earbuds. A good seal improves sound quality by isolating ambient noise. Poor sealing can degrade bass reproduction due to auditory masking. If the earbuds you choose don’t offer a snug fit, consider investing in third-party ear tips for better sound quality.

Compatibility: The Lightning vs. USB-C Debate

Lightning ports have been Apple’s go-to for years, but they’re being phased out in favor of USB-C. If you’re buying Lightning earbuds, you are likely content with your current iPhone and don’t plan to upgrade to the iPhone 15 lien for some time. And if you do, know that you might need an adapter for future Apple products. On the flip side, USB-C earbuds offer broader compatibility with various devices, not just iPhones.

How we choose the best wired earbuds for iPhone

An iPhone 12 mini displays the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) spatial audio modes with the case and a smart watch next to it.
Lily Katz / SoundGuys
The iPhone Settings app and Control Center are where you go to customize the listening experience.

We’ve got years of experience and countless reviews under our belt. Our selection process is a blend of hands-on testing, expert input, and analyzing a wide range of consumer reviews. We aim to bring you a list that is reliable and diverse.

Why you should trust SoundGuys

We’re audio aficionados with a knack for sifting the gems from the junk. We rely on objective measurements and a transparent review process. Our ethical guidelines are rock-solid, and you can read them here.

Frequently asked questions

The Apple EarPods are our top pick for both Lightning and USB-C options.

Yes, but only those with a Lightning port for most iOS devices or USB-C connectors for the new iPhone 15 series are compatible. None of the iPhones since the iPhone 7 have a headphone jack.

Wireless earbuds using Bluetooth are generally compatible with iPhones. For wired connectivity, only earbuds with a Lightning or USB-C connector will work with newer iPhones like the iPhone 15.

If your wired earbuds aren’t working, they may not be compatible with your iPhone’s port, or they could be damaged.

They are called Apple EarPods.

Yes, Apple EarPods offer good sound quality and comfort and are highly reliable.

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