Our ratings compare a range of earphones based on customer satisfaction as rated by Australians. This means you can find out what other Aussies think about their earphones before buying — it’s like asking your friends and family which earphones they think is best, but all in one place!
Canstar Blue surveyed 920 Australians for their feedback on earphones they’ve purchased in the last two years. This refers to in-ear earphones and includes products such as wireless earbuds. This does NOT include headphones (over-ear or on-ear).
Survey respondents are asked to rate their satisfaction with their earphones brand from zero to 10, with zero meaning extremely dissatisfied and 10 meaning extremely satisfied. Earphone brand satisfaction is rated on the following criteria:
The winning brand is the brand that receives the highest Overall satisfaction rating. All the scores from the Overall satisfaction criteria are then combined and averaged to determine the overall winner.
To qualify in the ratings results, brands must have received a minimum of 30 responses to be included. Therefore, not all earphone brands in the market will be compared in this survey. Brands rated in this survey are listed below in order of best overall satisfaction.
Find more information on our Most Satisfied Customers ratings.
It’s back-to-back wins for Apple in our best earphones ratings, with five stars for overall satisfaction and design. It took out four stars for durability, battery and charging performance and user friendliness, while it scored three stars for value for money.
Coming in second was Samsung with four stars in most categories, including overall satisfaction, while it scored five stars for durability — the only brand to do so in this year’s ratings. In third was JBL with four stars for overall satisfaction, durability and battery and charging performance, while it scored five stars in the remaining categories.
In fourth was Sony with four stars for overall satisfaction, followed by Kmart and Beats by Dre respectively, both with three stars for overall satisfaction.
When purchasing earphones or earbuds, 30% of our survey respondents ranked price as the main deciding factor — with an average price paid of $149 — followed by 20% ranking the earphone brand as their main deciding factor. While 23% had tried multiple brands of earphones, 14% wish they had purchased better earphones.
Of those surveyed, 43% purchased earphones/earbuds with wireless/Bluetooth capabilities and 34% chose wireless earphones specifically because they’re easier for using while active. Only 8% regretted not buying earphones with Bluetooth/wireless capabilities.
38% of respondents used their headphones daily, while 25% use their headphones multiple times a day and 24% use them a few times a week. The most popular place to use earphones (56%) was while on public transport/commuting, followed by just under half (49%) using their earphones/earbuds at the gym or while exercising, while 43% use their earphones while doing housework.
Not all brands that produce earphones have qualified for our ratings (based on the minimal sample survey size) but that doesn’t mean that these brands aren’t also worth considering. Many tech brands — including brands that specialise in smartphones — tend to produce earphones/earbuds, so there are plenty of choices. If you’re looking for a new pair of earphones, here are some other brands you might want to look into.
Emma Bradstock has been an authority on consumer phone, internet, technology and streaming markets in Australia for the last 4 years, with a dedication to providing Aussies with all the information they need to make better purchasing decisions. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Media from Macquarie University and has a decade of professional writing experience in print and digital media.Meet the Editorial Team
Samantha Howse is Canstar Blue’s Consumer Research Specialist, coordinating the consumer research program behind our customer satisfaction awards across Canstar and Canstar Blue in Australia and New Zealand. Sam has earned a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) from Griffith University and, with seven years in market research and 2 years in marketing, she is experienced in survey design, implementation and analysis, coupled with an understanding of marketing principles and best practice.Meet the Research Team
Canstar Blue surveyed more than 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased new earphones in the last two years – in this case, 920 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
Here are the previous winners of Canstar Blue’s earphone ratings:
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