(I've decided to test-run a series I'm calling "One Great Thing", where I choose one thing I own that I think is really great. It's basically a mini-review saying, "Hey you, this is awesome." This is the first post in that series.)
Let's get this out of the way: The earphone/headphones that come with your phone are just sad. Yes, I know Sony and Samsung usually bundle some decent earphone into their products and you either absolutely love and fervently hate Apple's EarPods, but the reality is your ears deserve far better.
While I wouldn't consider myself anything of an expert, I can recognize the difference between good audio quality and bad audio quality. I've tried and listened to dozens of various earphones and headphones throughout my digital audio endeavors.
With the exception of Apple's earphones bundled with their various products, most of the time, my de facto pair of headphones would be whatever balance I could find between price and quality. Some pairs would sound great but have little setbacks like being uncomfortable after long listening periods or have the uncanny ability to tie themselves in an insane knot when I wasn't looking.
I've also had some really terrible sub-$15 headphones from Walmart that sound like the music was coming from a pair of tin cans attached by a string.
For a long time, I'd thought I'd be stuck with good sounding but uncomfortable earphones, as I'm unwilling to shell out $100+ for a true high-end pair of earphones. But then, at long last, they appeared.
Enter the Brainwavz Delta IEM Earphones. Thanks to the "best of" gurus at The Wirecutter, I discovered this wonderful pair of earphones. As of this writing, they are going for ~$20 on Amazon, depending on if you get the inline mic or not. I was lucky enough to get them on sale for about $11, which is a steal.
Regardless, even for $20, these are by far the best sounding earphones I've ever heard. As an added bonus, they are fairly well-constructed. While the chord itself leaves a bit to be desired, the earphones themselves are mad of metal and sound incredible. If your used to listening to Apple's earphones or EarPods, you're in for a wonderful treat. For those with smaller or larger ears, the Deltas come with three different size tips to get the fit you desire.
The Deltas come in black and silver and with or without an inline mic. At the time of this writing, only the silver color is available, but that could change with Amazon's stock.
If you're in need of a new pair of headphones or just want an extra pair to have as backup, you can't go wrong with these. They sound far better than what you would expect for $20 earphones. If you're like me and have a tendency to lose, damage or mistreat your earphones, the Brainwavz Delta IEM earphones will save your wallet without sacrificing audio quality.