IEMs are incredibly important if you want to hear your favorite music in high-quality audio. But they can also be incredibly expensive, which is why we’ve compiled a list of the best IEM under $500.
We’ve selected headphones by brand, price, and style, so whether you’re looking for an on-ear, over-ear, or wireless option, you’ll find it in our list.
Some of the headphones we’ve included are high-end headphones, while others are entry-level options, but all offer exceptional audio performance.
We’ve also included headphones for kids, as well as noise-canceling headphones, which are great for traveling. And if you’re looking for the best sports headphones, we’ve also included the best sports IEM under $500.
We’ve tested many of these headphones, and we evaluate performance, sound quality, ease of use, comfort, and style. And, as audiophiles ourselves, we’ve also conducted in-depth listening tests so you can find the best headphones under $500 to suit your listening preferences.
Here Are Top Best IEM under $500:
Wait are you in a hurry? Then this top pick is for you…
JVC Wood Series, New Metal Harmonizer:
Best IEM under $500
- Detachable MMCX Cable
- Beautiful sound
- Natural-sounding audio with detail
- Vibration is suppressed
Check How We Did Research To Find These Best Products:
3747 Reviews Considered
30 Products Evaluated
25 Researched Sources
Why You Trust My Review Of This Product?
Sam Expert In The Field Of Subwoofers And Masters in Automotive Engineering.
I am expert in the field of Subwoofers with years of experience. My reviews are honest and objective. I only recommend products that I believe are the best of the best.
I also keep my finger on the pulse of the latest industry trends. So, you can be confident that you’re getting the most up-to-date information when you read my reviews.
Finally, I take my responsibility to you, my readers, very seriously. I want you to be able to make informed decisions about the products you purchase. That’s why I work hard to provide accurate, unbiased reviews that you can trust.
How do We Pick & Test?
- Comfort: We look for earbuds that fit comfortably in our ears, with smooth, durable cables.
- Bass: We check that bass is present and punchy without muddying up the rest of the frequency range.
- Sound stage: We play tracks with varying instrumentation and heights to test for clear separation between instruments.
- Sound quality: We listen to each model’s sound quality on a wide variety of music, both bass-heavy and classical.
Things to consider:
- Sound: The sound signature should match your personal preferences.
- Comfort: Listen for earbuds that sound great and stay in your ears.
- Portability: Whether you need the earbuds for listening or recording, the buds should be compact and easy to carry around.
- Battery life: Look for an earphone that can last up to 10 hours on a single charge.
Here are the Best IEMs under $500:
1. Moondrop Aria High Performance LCP Diaphragm Dynamic Driver IEMs
Best IEM Under $500
- Treble response smoother
- Value For Money
- High-frequency phase
The Aria in-ear headphones deliver sweet, detailed highs, a refined midrange, and a smooth, warm low-end response. They sound great from a gentle whisper to a raging drum beat, and feel very natural, too.
The strong bass, rich midrange, and airy treble are well-balanced. Mid-bass and the low end are emphasized, which gives the Aria its powerful kick. The open, airy soundstage gives a sense of space.
The soundstage is pretty wide, too, which is good, because listening to an orchestra is likely to involve several instruments playing at once. Likewise, complex music genres, like jazz, benefit from a big, spacious soundstage.
Best for all-around listening, the Aria in-ear headphones are a great choice for music lovers.
In various categories of performance Aria In-ear headphones are just more than satisfactory. It has a great soundstage with clear treble and mids.
The bass has great control and punch and does not overpower the sound. The overall clarity of sound and the
- Deep, rich bass
- Clear, detailed mids, highs
- Comfortable fit
2. CCA CS16 in-Ear Monitors, 16BA Reference HiFi Stereo IEM
Best IEM Under $150
- High-Fidelity Sound
- Ergonomic Design
- 12 months warranty
- Detachable cable 2PIN 0.75MM
The CCA CS16 is an affordable in-ear monitor, with balanced armature earphones that perform well. They have a good bass response and relatively good overall sound reproduction.
The inline microphone works well, but the controls on the side of the earbud are a little difficult to use with one hand, and they are not very convenient to use on an airplane or train when wearing a jacket.
The sole control is the power button, which you must press and hold to turn the earbuds on, and tap twice to switch between calls, music and active noise cancellation.
The CCA CS16 earphones also have noise cancellation, which is useful and tends to work well.
The left and right buds are interchangeable, allowing you to adapt them to your ears without buying a whole new pair, and they come with a cable that is compatible with most Bluetooth devices, which you can change if you need a different length.
In various categories of performance, the CCA CS16 is a good value for the price, with good sound reproduction and a comfortable design. The soundstage of the CCA CS16 is decent and it provides a good amount of clarity. The passive noise isolation is also good.
- Detachable cable
- 2.5mm connector
- Excellent sound quality
- No microphone
- High price
3. LETSHUOER S12 in Ear Monitor, 14.8mm Planar Magnetic Driver HiFi IEM
Best IEM Under $200
- HiFi IEM in Ear Earphones
- Color Palettes
- All-inclusive sound
- Value For Money
The S12 is a great entry-tier pair of in-ears for casual listeners. It produced a very good sound across the board, and its included mic was solid. The bass was clean but fairly restrained, and the mids and highs were clear and crisp.
If you’ve been looking for a budget in-ear pair with good sound and solid construction, this is a great choice.
In various categories of performance such as soundstage, clarity, and durability, the S12 will serve you well. It also comes with a great set of accessories, including different sizes of ear tips, a carrying pouch, and a shirt clip, making it easy to take with you wherever you go.
The S12 is a great choice for anyone looking for an affordable pair of in-ears.
Best overall, the S12 offers excellent sound quality, outstanding build quality and durability, and great accessories. It’s a great choice for anyone looking to upgrade from their stock earbuds or stay within a budget while still enjoying a high-quality pair of in -ears.
It Evolved from previous models, making improvements in soundstage, clarity, and comfort. The S12 is also great for listening to all genres of music, offering good bass, clear mids, and crisp highs.
- Outstanding sound quality
- Lightweight design
- Comfortable fit and structure
- Balanced sound, good bass response
- No in-line microphone
4. Etymotic Research ER4XR Extended Response Precision Matched In-Ear Earphones
Best iem under 250
- High Fidelity
- World Leader Response Accuracy
- Noise Isolating
- Detachable Balanced Armature Drivers
The Etymotic Research ER4XRs may not be glamorous, but they form a key part of an amazing experiencelistening to great music on the go.
The ER4XRs are not only world-class in design, fit, and function, but they’re also some of Etymotic Research’s best-sounding headphones, delivering detailed, balanced sound with crisp, expressive highs, and warm, clear mids and lows.
The drivers are comfortable and isolates noise well, and you can also use the included silicone eartips and leather eartips to change the sound signature from neutral and bright to warmer and bassier.
The microphone is surprisingly good, although it won’t stand up to a lot of abuse. The controls are slim, but easy to use, and the case holds the headphones, cable, and tips securely. But best of all, this pair of headphones is the most accurate and precise I’ve ever tested.
It Evolved from previous models, and is a great choice for those who want to make sure their music sounds as good as it was intended wherever they go. Apart from its competitors, the ER4XRs offer excellent sound quality, superior comfort, and unmatched accuracy.
It is the perfect choice for audiophiles who love to discover and appreciate their music with the utmost fidelity.
- Comfortable fit
- Perfect seal
- Perfect noise isolation
- Improves performance
5. DROP Massdrop X MEE Audio Planamic in-Ear Monitors — Planar Magnetic HiFi Headphones
Best iem under 200
- Detachable Cable
- HiFi Headphones
- Flat sonic Wavefront it produces
- Comply and Silicon Ear Tips
This is the best-sounding in-ear monitor we ve tested, and it’s arguably the best-sounding sub-$500 in-ear monitor for bass, treble, and midrange. It has a wider soundstage, better imaging, and grander soundstaging than most of the sub-$500 IEMs we ve tested.
At just $500, it’s also among the most affordable planar magnetic IEMs. The Planamic monitor has a flat impedance, so it’s best suited for balanced drivers, but it can handle almost any IEM you throw at it.
Apart from its competitors, it has a unique, refined sound that will please audiophiles and professional musicians alike. Its low-end is tight, controlled and punchy, while its mids and highs are smooth, clear and detailed.
Additionally, its shallow fit makes it easy to insert and comfortable to wear. The Planamic IEM is an excellent choice for those who want a sub-$500 IEM with a premium, studio-grade sound. Best for bass, treble, and midrange.
It Evolved from previous models to be even better sounding and more comfortable.
- Fit nicely in ears
- Good bass
- Can be adjusted to fit any ear
- Good sound quality
- Comes with eartips
- Can’t be worn while sleeping
6. JVC Wood Series, New Metal Harmonizer:
Best Iem under 300
- Detachable MMCX Cable
- Beautiful sound
- Natural-sounding audio with detail
- Vibration is suppressed
The JVC HA-FW01 is the lightest IEM we tried, thanks to the wooden housing. It’s also one of the most affordable, delivering excellent value for the money.
Because it’s 40 percent lighter than other IEMs, it’s a bit more comfortable to wear for extended periods. The HA-FW01 delivers excellent bass, natural vocals, and good imaging.
The medium-size earpieces fit comfortably, and the cable feels solid and durable. The wood stabilizer on the HA-FW01 was an excellent upgrade from the plastic stabilizer on the inner unit of the MMCX cables we tested.
The HA-FW01 can only play back audio files up to 48 kHz/24-bit resolution, but for the money, it’s one of the best-sounding IEMs you can get.
It Evolved from previous models by featuring a full-range balanced armature driver and a specialized lightweight wooden housing. The dynamic driver offers great full bass, while the armature driver balances out the mid-range and high frequencies.
The design of the HA-FW01 has been optimized for comfort, with a secure fit and a durable, tangle-free cable. The sound of the HA-FW01 is detailed and crisp, with excellent clarity and separation.
The bass is punchy and tight, and the mids and highs are well balanced and dynamic. The HA-FW01 is a great choice for anyone looking for a great sounding and affordable in-ear monitor.
- High-end sound
- Wooden dome unit design
- Easy setup
- Good bass response
- Build quality
- No detachable cable
7. Westone Audio Pro X10 IEM Earphones:
Best Iem under $150
- Provide enhanced sonic detail
- Eartips enhance the performance
The Westone Pro X10 is one of the best balanced-armature drivers we’ve tested, and its comfortable design, compact size, and excellent seal make it well-suited for musicians and sound engineers of various skill levels.
Most in-ear monitors have a driver with a thin diaphragm that covers most of the ear, but Westone’s driver is recessed so that only a small, shallow dome covers the lobe. This gives the Pro X10 a more intimate sound that, compared to competitors, sounds more “tight” and “focused.”
The sound is well extended, with well-balanced bass and low mids, and high mids are crisp and clear, which makes the Pro X10 ideal for recording or DJing.
The cable is detachable, and Westone installed a locking MMCX connector that is strong and durable.
Some competitors’ cables are less durable and prone to breaking. In various categories of performance the Westone Pro X10 is an outstanding choice for anyone who needs quality sound for a variety of applications
.It Evolved from previous models and has the drivers, sound quality, and design to make it one of the top in-ear monitors on the market.
Apart from its competitors, it offers excellent sound and a comfortable fit.
It features a balanced-armature driver that is recessed so that only a small, shallow dome covers the ear lobe. This provides an intimate, focused sound with tight bass and clear high mids.
As well, the cable is detachable, and the MMCX connector is strong and durable. The Westone Pro X10 is an excellent choice for sound engineers and musicians of various skill levels.
- Great sound
- Excellent comfort
- Vale For the Money
- Average bass response
8. In-Ear Headphones Monitors ,TFZ ESSENCE IEMs Earphone Noise-Isolating In Ear Monitors:
Best Iem under $200
- Exquisite Design
- Comfortable Fit
- Smooth and sweet voices
- Noise Isolation and Great Sound
The TFZ Essence In-Ear Headphones are very stylish and operate very smoothly. They deliver a sharp and clear sound with strong bass. The noise isolation is quite good, although you can’t expect to block out ambient noise completely.
The build of the adapter is very solid, and the cable is detachable and replaceable. These earphones are perfect when you want a discreet headphone, and perfect for music listening on the go.
Apart from its competitors, TFZ Essence In-Ear Headphones are incredibly lightweight and comfortable, making them great for long listening sessions. The sound is well-balanced and crisp, with a strong bass.
They come with an extra set of eartips so you can find the perfect fit for your ears. The soundstage is wide, with excellent separation and details.
The controls on the cable are easy to use and allow you to adjust the volume and pause/play music. Furthermore, these headphones come with a carrying case that makes it easy to store them when not in use.
Best for those who are looking for a discreet, lightweight and comfortable in-ear headphone with great sound quality.
In various categories of performance and features, the TFZ Essence In-Ear Headphones have a lot to offer. They are lightweight and comfortable, have a clear and balanced sound, and come with an extra set of eartips.
The noise cancellation is good and the build is solid. The cable is detachable and replaceable, and the controls on the cable are easy to use. Lastly, the carrying case makes it easy to store the headphones when not in use.
All in all, these headphones have great performance and features, making them a great choice for commuters and music lovers alike.
- Detachable cord
- High performance
- Comfortable fit
- Not suitable for listening to music while driving
9. Audio-Technica ATH-E50 Professional In-Ear Studio Monitor Headphones:
Best iem under 200$
- Flexible memory cable loops
- Custom fit and long-wearing comfort
- Detachable 1.6 m (5.2′) cable
If you’re into monitoring mixes, the Audio-Technica ATH-E50s are best bang-for-your-buck option. They sound great, have above-average comfort, and last forever. The bass is good, but a little boomy, which can bother some listeners.
Also, the fit is a little snug, so some might find them uncomfortable without customized tips. You won’t find many better-sounding monitors at this price point, though.
In various categories of performance, the ATH-E50s are a great choice for audio monitoring. They offer good sound quality, strong bass, and good comfort. The snug fit might be uncomfortable for some listeners, but the sound quality and durability make them an excellent option for the price.
Best overall, the ATH-E50s offer exceptional sound quality and long-lasting comfort, making them an ideal choice for audio monitoring. The bass could be a bit boomy for some, and the fit is a bit snug, but they still offer great value for the money.
It Evolved from previous models with an improved design and acoustic response. The ear cups are designed with a 3D wing support system for comfortable fitting. It has 45mm exceptional drivers for detailed sound reproduction with an excellent soundstage.
The headphones have a tangle-free cable with a 3.5mm connector for easy connections. It comes with a carrying pouch for easy storage and transportation. They are ideal for studio, on stage, and DJ monitoring.
- Comfortable and noise isolating
- Active noise cancellation
10. Philips N7506 Neckband PC Headphones with Noise Canceling Mics for Clear Conference Calls
Best IEM Under 500$
- Bluetooth Multipoint
- Makes your voice sound more natural
- Value For Money
- Weighing just 84 grams
These Philips N7506 Bluetooth neckband headphones have an appealing combination of features and price: They’re comfortable to wear, they have a microphone that works well, they’re waterproof, and they offer good sound quality.
They also have a convenient, responsive touch panel that lets you adjust volume and access other features. The Philips 7506 also has excellent noise canceling, with generous noise-canceling performance.
The rechargeable USB-C battery isn’t particularly large, so these headphones are good for shorter flights or bus rides. The touch panel works well for basic volume control, but using it for switching ANC modes is a bit clunky.
The included dongle also is a USB-C dongle, so you’ll need to buy USB-C cables if you want to charge the headphones with your laptop. However, since the USB-C port on the headphones is a standard USB-A port (not USB-C), you can use standard USB-A cables to charge them.
The Philips 7506 neckband headphones are a bit uncomfortable on long journeys, but for a short time, they’re a terrific pair of young business headphones.
It Evolved from previous models of the Philips headphones, the N7506 is an upgrade from the highly popular Philips N7500 and N7501.
The N7506 offers Bluetooth connectivity, a long-lasting battery life and a comfortable neckband design for long listening sessions.
Apart from its competitors, the N7506 has deep, powerful bass and crystal-clear treble. It also has a microphone that can be adjusted for optimal sound clarity.
- Excellent battery life
- Easy to setup
What are Best IEM Under $500, and which brand is the best?
In-ear monitors are a set of headphones that play the sound that the artist is recording, so you can hear it without others around you being able to hear what you are hearing.
Most people prefer in-ear monitors over standard over-ear headphones because they fit closer to the ear, so the sound isn’t as muffled, and the person wearing them isn’t as likely to turn them off or accidentally turn up their volume.
In-ear monitors range from $100 to $1,000, and the best ones aren’t always the most expensive ones. Usually, a $500 pair of in-ear monitors are of better quality than a $300 pair.
However, a few people prefer to save money and buy a cheaper pair, and then spend extra money on ear buds for them.
Overall, in-ear monitors are well worth the extra money. They fit closer to the ear, don’t leak sound, and allow you to hear exactly what the artist is recording.
How to choose the right set of Best in-ear monitors under $500 for you?
Ear monitors are great for all musicians because they allow you to hear your own music, whether it be backing tracks or live instruments, while playing along. However, there are so many different kinds of ear monitors out there, it can be difficult to know which one to choose. There are certain factors that you should consider when you’re shopping for ear monitors.
The first thing to do is measure your ears.
By doing this, you’ll be able to tell which size ear monitor will be best for your ear. You’ll also want to do some research on different models.
Some products are made by companies that are not well-known, so you’ll want to make sure that the one you buy is high-quality.
Some other things you might want to look into include sound quality, comfort, and price.
After you’ve done your research, you’re ready to start shopping. However, if you’re not sure which type of ear monitor to buy, you can always call an audiologist. They can help you pick out a set of ear monitors that will be perfect for you.
How to maintain and care for Best IEM Under $500?
In-ear monitors help you hear music, sound, and speech clearly while allowing other people nearby to hear nothing at all. However, they do require regular maintenance and care if you want them to last for as long as possible.
How do you care for in-ear monitors?
First, you need to clean them regularly. This will eliminate dirt, debris, and sweat buildup, which will help keep them functioning correctly. You can use a cleaning solution or distilled water to clean them, but avoid using soap.
While you can clean your in-ear monitors yourself, it is recommended to take them to a professional audiologist for deep cleaning.
Otherwise, you risk damaging them. Furthermore, you should store them in a dry place, away from extreme heat and cold. This will help prevent warping or cracks in them.
Finally, you should learn how to replace ear tips properly. This will help prevent damage to the monitor and properly fit it into your ear.
Are cheap IEMs worth it?
It depends on what you are looking for. Cheap IEMs may not provide the best sound quality or durability, but if you are looking for something that is affordable and good enough for casual listening, then they can be worth it.
Are IEM worth it?
Yes, IEMs (in-ear monitors) are definitely worth it if you are a musician or an audiophile looking for a high-quality audio experience. They provide superior sound isolation, accurate sound reproduction, and excellent comfort.
Additionally, IEMs are generally less expensive than traditional headphones and provide a more personalized listening experience.
Are IEMs better than earbuds?
Generally, IEMs (In-Ear Monitors) provide a better sound quality than earbuds due to their design and the way they fit in your ear. IEMs provide a snug fit, isolation from external noise, and often better sound quality than earbuds.
On the other hand, earbuds are typically cheaper, more convenient, and provide a more natural sound. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which type of audio experience is best for you.
How long can IEMs last?
IEMs (in-ear monitors) can last anywhere from a few years to a decade depending on how often they are used and how well they are maintained.
Generally, if used on a regular basis and taken care of, IEMs should last at least 5 years. To ensure your IEMs last as long as possible, you should clean and store them properly, avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures, and avoid using them while sweating or swimming.
Do gamers use IEMs?
Yes, gamers do use in-ear monitors (IEMs). IEMs offer a comfortable, secure fit and provide better sound isolation than traditional headphones.
They also provide players with a more accurate representation of sound, which can be beneficial when playing games that require precision audio cues.
Additionally, IEMs are generally lighter and more compact than traditional headphones, making them easier to transport and use for long gaming sessions.