The best cheap in-ear headphones - reviewed

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*WINNER* Beyerdynamic Byron

Price: £45

One of the better-known quotes of romantic poet and king dandy Lord Byron is “I awoke one morning and found myself famous.” But that’s unlikely to happen to the Beyerdynamic Byron earphones, as you’re more likely to find them at a pro audio store than on the high street.

It’s a shame, as these earphones have a sound we defy you not to like. The Byrons aren’t like some of the company’s studio headphones, designed for sound engineers or home studio buffs who need extreme accuracy - they’re for everyday folk - but they do come with a shot of that Beyerdynamic special sauce. That means that they’re the truest-sounding earphones in this test, with great mid-range detail that outdoes long-term Stuff favourite the SoundMagic E10.

There’s good punch to the bass too, getting you full, engaging sound without any sense of slouchy sludge you’ll hear in some less capable affordable pairs. Their treble isn’t super-sparky but doesn’t lack detail either. These are the kind of earphones you can wear all day, and that can skip between genres like it’s no big deal. Arch-rivals the Sennheiser CX 5.00 sound more expansive, though. 

Waving two fingers at headphone-hating iPhones, they have a 3-button remote that works perfectly with the Android phones we’ve tested: most remotes of this kind are, or at least were, made for iPhones. They also come with a basic felt carry pouch, three pairs of tips and a have a removable shirt clip on the cable. Despite looking a little plain, the design is good. The earpieces are metal apart from the easy-gripper ring of rubber at the back.

Ultimately, the Byrons are a good argument for the idea you don’t really need to spend more than £50 on earphones. 

Buy the Beyerdynamic Byron for £45 from Amazon

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