The Elite Active 65t feature an ergonomic design, with three different sets of eartips to guarantee a good seal. The excellent passive noise isolation means you get the most out of every note, and you can also lower the volume for less ear strain. Overall sound quality is good, coming through clear and balanced, with punchy bass response and a very dynamic treble register.
Bose’s QuietComfort 20 aren’t specifically designed to be sleep earbuds, but they’re so good at their job that they’re also one of the best choices when your head hits the pillow (you can also use them equally well at work or play, which is handy). The active noise cancellation will help get rid of annoying environmental noises so you can get to sleep more easily, while the “Aware” button allows you to tap back into surrounding noises in case someone is calling your name or you need to listen to announcements. The tips also do a great job of staying in your ears without being too obtrusive. If necessary you can also take calls on the earbuds, but make sure you pick the model that corresponds to your phone, iPhone or Android.
If you won’t compromise on sound quality—and you’re willing to pay for it—the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E6 may be for you. It doesn’t come cheap, but the Beoplay E6 is one of the best portable wireless models we’ve ever tested. In addition to sound quality, it has design perks including magnets that clip the earpieces together (and automatically turn the headphones off) for easy transport, a braided cable for added durability, and water resistance, according to the manufacturer.
Earbuds have small speakers that rest on the ear canal of the wearer. These are usually much less expensive than on-ear and over-ear headphones and reproduce the sound well. However, outside sounds, such as traffic or power tools, can get past the earbuds and interfere with your enjoyment. Earbuds also don't stay in place very well if the wearer is moving much, such as exercising. These also are lower fidelity than on-ear and over-ear headphones.