Your might be thinking that in-ear monitors are only for rich professionals. But whether you’re a music enthusiast, a frequent traveler, or simply someone seeking a sonic escape, in-ear monitors (IEMs) can transport you into a world of pure audio bliss. However, finding the best budget IEMs that combine exceptional sound quality, comfort, and affordability can be a daunting task. That’s where we come in!
We’ve looked across the market to bring you the best budget IEMs available today. Each pair has been tested against the criteria that matter most to you: sound quality, comfort, value for money, From innovative driver configurations to ergonomic designs and cutting-edge connectivity options, these IEMs have all the features you need for the ultimate listening experience – without breaking the bank. So, let’s get started on our list of the top 5 best budget IEMs!
Product Comparison Table: Best Budget IEMs
|Best in class
|Shure SE215 PRO Wired IEMs
|Best Under $100
|DUNU TALOS 14.6mm Planar Driver in-Ear Monitors
|Best Under $200
|Linsoul 7HZ Timeless AE 14.2mm Planar HiFi in-Ear Monitors
|Best Under $300
Moondrop Blessing2 1DD 4BA Hybrid Technology In-Ear Monitor
|Best Under $400
|Sennheiser Pro Audio In-Ear Audio Monitor
|Best Under $500
The Shure SE215 PRO Wired IEMs provide detailed sound with enhanced bass for both professional monitoring and personal listening. Road-tested by professional musicians, they use a single, vented balanced armature driver to deliver a great full-range sound. The SE215 PROs’ sound isolating technology blocks up to 37 dB of noise with a traditional over-the-ear design that ensures earphones stay in place and the (potentially annoying) cables remain out of the way – even though they’re double-reinforced and tangle-free. Unfortunately, they’re not wireless or Bluetooth compatible, although they do come with a travel case.
- Legendary Shure brand
- Great value low price
- Comes with travel case and tangle-free cable
- Not wireless or Bluetooth compatible (but comes with travel case)
Apparently Elvis Presley was a famous fan of the Shure brand. However, an endorsement from the King is not the only reason the Shure SE215 PRO IEMs. Delivering on sound, comfort and durability at such an impressive price point, they’re everything you’d want from a super-low-price IEM – as long as you don’t mind being stuck with a cabled connection.
The DUNU Talos IEMs use dual custom-tuned balanced armature driver units for excellent clarity and resolution in the high frequencies. On top of this, precisely crafted aluminum alloy cavities provide a natural sound response, whilst a high-purity silver-plated monocrystalline stock cable gives a high-efficiency signal transmission with low coloration. Plus, a 14.6mm planar magnetic driver that delivers an incredibly detailed and immersive soundscape. If that sounds a little too techy for you to follow, then trust us on this: they sound really, really good for $200!
- Impressive specs
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Competitive price
- Garish black and gold colourway
The DUNU TALOS 14.6mm Planar Driver in-Ear Monitors are our best budget IEMs under $200, mainly because of their impressive specs: if we listed them all, they’d probably take over this whole article. However, our favourite is the planar tuning mode accessible by the switch on the side, which offers a sophisticated and varied sound experience. Just make sure you like black and gold.
The Linsoul 7HZ Timeless AE 14.2mm Planar HiFi in-Ear Monitors offer an incredible sound quality, with fast response and excellent dynamic range and frequency characteristics, no matter if you’re playing Vivaldi or vaporwave. What sets the 7HZ Timeless apart is their 14.2mm planar driver, which is the largest driver in this price range. Not only is it loud, but it’s clear too, and pairs beautifully with the 7HZ Timeless’s array of N52 magnets; all genres of music sound powerful and dynamic streaming out of the Timeless’s lightweight CNC-machined aviation-grade aluminum alloy shells. Audio distortion is absolutely nonexistent, too.
- Largest driver in this price range
- Timeless sound
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Glass-back design
The Linsoul 7HZ Timeless AE 14.2mm Planar HiFi in-Ear Monitors would easily by some of our best budget IEMs under $500 – but lucky for you, they’re under $300! Our favourite feature of the 7Hz Timeless IEMs is the way they hit high volumes without losing quality – sound through these just gets clearer as it gets louder. But the biggest negative point is the glass back, which has a similar problem to newer iPhones; now you won’t just have to worry about smashing the front AND back of your phone, you’ll have to worry about smashing your headphones too!
The Moondrop Blessing2 1DD 4BA Hybrid Technology In-Ear MonitorsThey feature a 10mm dynamic driver for bass (known for its natural sound and excellent bass response); dual Knowles SWFK balanced armature drivers for treble (known for their low distortion and excellent high-frequency range); and proprietary dual mid-BA drivers for accurate and detailed mids. That’s three whole drivers – and an immersive sound comes with them. Plus, the Blessing2’s 3D printed physical band pass & low pass filter ducts, and Resistor Capacitor, reduce unwanted resonances for a natural tone..
- Three precision-targeted drivers
- Hybrid crossover tech
- Fantastic sound
- Large and bulky
The Moondrop Blessing2 1DD 4BA Hybrid Technology In-Ear Monitors are our best budget IEMs under $500. This is down to three factors: the crispy sweet treble, accurate mids, and a deep bass response. Their stunning performance also explains why the Moondrop Blessing 2 are some of the most popular IEMs on the market; the Blessing2s are often talked about alongside the Campfire Audio Andromedas, at a fraction of the price!
The Sennheiser Pro Audio In-Ear Audio Monitors feature a single dynamic driver for bass with high-quality neodymium magnet, and dual balanced armature drivers for the mids and treble. This combination performs true to the next-generation TrueResponse driver system Sennheiser have pioneered. Overall, he sound is stunningly immersive, with extremely high resolution and distortion-free sound even at high SPLs. Despite the stereotypes, there’s no “Sennheiser Veil” (rolled off from the upper midrange to the high treble) here either! Moreover, the IE 500’s 3D printed faceplate, stainless steel housing, and memory foam ear tips are super comfortable to wear.
- Unbeatable sound performance
- No ‘Sennheiser veil’
- Comfortable and secure fit
- More expensive
The Sennheiser IE 500 are our best budget IEMs under $500, without a shadow – or a whisper – of a doubt. They’re perfect for anyone looking for a pair of IEMs that offer great sound quality, features, and value – with the Sennheiser brand as an irresistible sweetener. Although they may be more expensive than the other budget IEMs on this list, sometimes you have to pay for top quality.