When I set out to review the best earbuds for bass I knew the stakes were high. Bassheads are some of the most notorious audiophiles, and if you’re reading this you probably want rich head splitting sound in a tiny package. That’s a tall order. Thankfully modern audio technology has come to the rescue and offers a few options that will satisfy even the most devoted deep sound fanatics.
Why are the best earbuds for bass so hard to find?
Before we get to the list, let’s explore the science behind why bass-heavy earbuds are a challenge to find. Science speak says bass is low frequency waves that your eardrums and bones can detect. The brain interprets these vibrations as part of the listening experience. But low frequency is problematic for compact headphones, because a large cone is needed to properly focus lower frequency vibrations from the source to your ear.
Your skull can also help detect the low frequency vibrations of bass. Bone conduction is why concert speakers feel so much more powerful than non-pro equipment. The giant cones in those speakers focus and transmit bass vibrations in the air and to your body. Over ear headphones can have a similar effect by vibrating your skull, which is why they usually sound much better than earbuds. So the problem of most normal earbuds and bass can be summed up as a size issue. The speakers inside those tiny earbuds are just too weak to produce the richer lower vibrations needed to create a strong bass effect.
It’s another reason why none of the products on our very popular best Bluetooth earbuds roundup made it on this list. Tiny, wireless devices just aren’t great at producing the biggest bass sound.
The best earbuds for bass have solved this issue with hardware. That makes composing a best of list easy: We simply measure the frequency of waves that can be produced and check that against the quality of sound. The lower the frequency, the richer and more fuller sounding the bass. Let’s check out the list.
1. Onkyo’s E700MB takes the title of best earbuds for bass
In order for earbuds to be effective at transmitting bass they must seal your ear canal as tightly as possible. Earbuds must also eliminate loss of sound energy as it travels from the speaker units to you head. Thanks to an all-aluminum design and excellent craftsmanship Onkyo takes first place in our exploration of the best earbuds for bass.
The E700MB’s are a real treat to listen to. High frequencies are crisp and singing. Low frequencies are deep and rich. And at a price point of $99.99, they need to be the best.
2. Runner up: 1MORE has quad drivers for maximum range in a compact shape
When it comes to the science of sound, 1MORE has always delivered a well-engineered product. Using four drivers to modulate and deliver sound is a clever trick for earbuds. The results are a clearly superior low range and an ear-splitting high range. So why isn’t the 1MORE Quad Driver in top position on our list of best earbuds for bass? Simple. Price. At $199.99 we can’t recommend them over the Onkyo E700MB despite the fact that 1MORE produces better sound. While true audiophiles won’t hesitate to spend on the best, value remains a concern for most readers.
Not ready to bring on the aural pain? Check out our round up of the best noise cancelling earbuds and bask in the sweet silence.