Wired earbuds (earphones) are a pair of small earphones connected by a cable to an audio source like a smartphone, music player, or computer. They have a bud tip that fits snugly in the opening of the ear canal or an earcup design that rests on the outer ear.
The wired connection transmits sound directly from the source device rather than using wireless technology like Bluetooth. This avoids issues like wireless interference or battery life.
Earbuds plug into the device’s headphone jack or USB port. Popular connections are 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C, and Lightning for Apple devices. Some require an adapter.
Audio quality can vary greatly. More expensive earbuds incorporate premium internal components and speakers to deliver fuller, crisper sound. Cheaper options may sound thin or muted.
In-line controllers and microphones on many wired earbuds allow you to control volume, select tracks, take calls, activate voice assistants, etc. without handling your device. Key specifications like frequency response, impedance, and sensitivity determine audio quality. Noise isolation and water resistance are also factors for some models.