6 Best Earbuds for ASMR [2021]

Watching live online ASMR
Watching live online ASMR

Top earbuds and the specs that you should consider for better ASMR listening.

NameTypeSuitable Sleeping PositionNoise CancellationPrice
Shure SE215-K-BT1 Best Over-allBehind-the-neck, Over-the-ear, In-earAnyPassive BUY
Etymotic Research ER4XR Strong Runner-UplIn-earBack or uprightPassive BUY
Linklike Classic 6 Best BudgetIn-earBack, upright, or sidePassive BUY
MAXROCK Sleep Earplugs Best for SleepingIn-earBack, upright, or sidePassive BUY
Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Best True WirelessTrue Wireless In-earAnyPassive BUY
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Best for Noise CancellationTrue Wireless In-earBack or uprightActive BUY

How to Choose the Best Earbuds for ASMR

Watching live online ASMR
Watching live online ASMR

Since its introduction in 2010, there’s been a steady uptick in the popularity of ASMR videos. And it’s hardly a surprise. With the stress that many of us deal with in today’s world, it’s no wonder we’re always looking for new ways to relax. ASMR is certainly one of those ways – but what is it exactly and how does it work?

ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) is a physiological response triggered by certain sounds. These sounds can be anything from brushing hair, preparing food, eating, tearing paper, and most popular, speaking in soft, low tones.

ASMR audios are incredibly satisfying to hear and can trigger a tingling sensation that spreads from the head going downwards. The experience is so calming that it can relax and eventually lull you to sleep.

You can watch some ASMR videos without headphones and experience the same effects, but since ASMR is mostly audio-centric, it’s important to have good quality gear if you want to heighten that listening experience. If you’re an ASMR enthusiast and have a preference for earbuds over headphones, we’ve compiled a list of important buying factors to consider before you upgrade your gear.

Detail retrieval

When it comes to ASMR, the details are everything. You’ll want a pair of earbuds that can pick up the minute differences in different sounds, and be able to reproduce them well. Keep in mind, however, that overly detailed sound can harm the ears. As such, it’s best to go for buds that produce a good balance between sharp detail and smoothness for a richer ASMR experience.

EQ/Sound signature

All audio devices add their own unique color to sound. These can be categorized into 6 different types: Neutral, Bright, Analytical, Warm, Dark, V-shaped. A Neutral sound signature is typically best for listening to ASMR because there’s a good balance across all frequencies.

You shouldn’t confuse Neutral sound signature with Balanced sound signature. Though both signatures are extremely close in sound quality, a Balanced sound signature has slightly more emphasized bass and treble compared to a Neutral sound signature.

A Neutral sound signature has a nice, natural sound that allows you to appreciate all the audio details without being overwhelmed by too much bass or treble.

This signature type is also the most accurate because unnecessary frequencies aren’t amplified the way they are with other sound signatures. As such, you can hear recorded audio exactly the way the producer intended them to sound like.

Wired or wireless

The choice between wired or wireless earbuds is, ultimately, a matter of personal preference. Wired earbuds tend to perform better in terms of audio quality compared to their wireless counterparts. This is because audio data is transmitted efficiently through a wired connection. Battery longevity has greatly improved over the years, but battery-powered buds may be inconvenient if you’re out and have no means to charge them.

Can you sleep with them?

Comfort is an important factor, especially if you intend to use these ASMR earbuds for sleeping. Check to see if the earbuds have soft ear tips made from silicone or memory foam, as well as extra ones in different sizes. Try to also go for earbuds with a more streamlined profile and fewer protruding parts. If the earbuds are too bulky, they may become annoying and painful in the ears especially if you’re a side sleeper.

If sleeping with headphones is a priority, there are a lot of sleep headphones that you can go for. However, these headphones prioritize more on comfortability than sound quality so make sure to weigh in your priorities before making a purchase. 

Noise cancellation

Most earbuds have pretty good passive noise cancellation thanks to double/triple flange ear tips. These types of ear tips adapt well to the shape of your ear canal and give you a better seal. If you want even better noise cancellation with the bonus of hearing protection, go for earbuds with active noise cancellation. These will cancel out unwanted background noise, enhance sound quality, and minimize the need to increase volume.


If you’d like to go over the factors we’ve just discussed in more detail, you can check out our in-depth guide on how to pick the best headphones for ASMR videos.

6 Best Earbuds for ASMR [2021]

Shure SE215-K-BT1

Best Overall
Close look at Shure SE215-K-BT1 (From: Amazon)
Close look at Shure SE215-K-BT1 (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Noise Cancellation: Passive (37dB noise reduction)
  • Type: Behind-the-neck, over-the-ear, in-ear
  • Sleeping Position: Any
  • Connectivity: Wireless (Bluetooth 4.1)
  • Battery Life: 8-10 hours
  • Sound Profile: Enhanced bass, clear and balanced mids and highs

The Shure SE215-K-BT1 earbuds are precision-engineered to deliver clear, bass-rich sound quality suited for the most discerning ears. It’s also one of the most recommended in-ears for ASMR enthusiasts because of its noise isolation and comfort, making this our top overall pick for best earbuds for ASMR.

These ASMR earbuds deliver engaging audio with Sound Isolating™ which works to reduce audible distractions by up to 37dB. This gives you the impression of having a more expansive soundstage in which to enjoy all the intricate details in ASMR videos.

Aside from wireless Bluetooth, these versatile earbuds have three wired connectivity options – a 3.5 mm, Lightning, or USB-C cable. These allow you to easily connect the earbuds to Apple and Android devices. Multi-point pairing also lets you connect up to two devices, so switching from your laptop to your phone is a breeze.

The complete kit features optional foam and soft flex ear tips, to make sure you’ll always get a secure, custom fit with no sound leakage. When worn in wired mode, the behind-the-ear cable fits seamlessly around the ears so that your earbuds stay put even if you’re lying down. The earbuds’ ergonomic design also easily conforms to the natural contours of the ear canal, giving you long-lasting comfort.

In wireless mode, the battery status voice alert can get quite repetitive as battery levels become more depleted. This can be disruptive and annoying when you’re trying to wind down, so it’s best to give the earbuds a quick charge before using them.

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Etymotic Research ER4XR

Strong Runner-Up
Close look at Etymotic Research ER4XR (From: Amazon)
Close look at Etymotic Research ER4XR (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Noise Cancellation: Passive (35-42dB noise reduction)
  • Type: In-ear
  • Sleeping Position: Back or upright
  • Connectivity: Wired
  • Battery Life: N/A
  • Sound Profile: Slightly bright, with low bass and slightly accented treble

The Etymotic Research ER4XR is the brainchild of Etymotic Research, Inc., a company that creates quality products for music professionals, casual listeners, and those with hearing loss. The ER4XR in-ears produce high-quality audio accuracy with a crisp, natural sound. These earbuds come highly recommended by ASMR enthusiasts and are our Strong Runner-Up pick.

These in-ears are outfitted with balanced armature drivers, which have an unparalleled response accuracy of 92% in midrange to high frequencies. While they aren’t too heavy on bass, they’re exceptionally good at drawing out raw detail and texture in the mids. The soundstage isn’t as expansive, but the in-ears manage to maintain an open, airy quality to the overall sound. Combined with a high sensitivity output, the ER4XR delivers a stunningly accurate sound that ASMR enthusiasts will love.

The ER4XR in-ears have excellent noise reduction thanks to its deep ear design. This is further enhanced with an assortment of ear tips designed to fully seal the ear canal. With proper insertion, the in-ears can reduce as much as 98% of noise. This brings you closer to the smallest audio details while keeping your ears safe from damage.

The in-ears feature an industrial design. The slim, cylindrical body is made from sturdy aluminum and is virtually inconspicuous, making them easy to wear to sleep. The braided cables feel premium and are resistant to tangling – good news for restless sleepers. They also come with replaceable special filters to prevent earwax from clogging the ASMR earbuds.

The deep ear design of the ER4XR likely won’t be a problem for habitual back sleepers. However, side sleepers may find them uncomfortable as the position of the head may push the in-ear further into the ear canal and cause pressure.

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Linklike Classic 6

Best Budget
Close look at Linklike Classic 6 (From: Amazon)
Close look at Linklike Classic 6 (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Noise Cancellation: Passive (95dB ambient noise reduction)
  • Type: In-ear
  • Sleeping Position: Back, upright, or side
  • Connectivity: Wired
  • Battery Life: N/A
  • Sound Profile: Slightly enhanced bass, clear and crisp mids and highs

The Linklike Classic 6 are lightweight, affordable in-ears conveniently designed for ASMR lovers and side sleepers. They’re well-reviewed for their good design and sound quality due to their quad driver setup, making them our best budget pick.

The in-ears have a total of four 6mm coaxial dual dome-Ti drivers, with two distributed to each earbud. Together, they deliver clear highs, crisp mids, and warm lows for a balanced and immersive overall sound that’s ideal for ASMR listening. Not bad for a pair of budget earphones.

Weighing only 10g, the ultra-lightweight Linklike Classic 6 is designed for comfort and ease of wearing. The ear tips come in optional sizes so you can get a customized fit. This keeps your earbuds from falling out whenever you turn over in bed. The double flange ear tips also help enhance the passive noise cancellation by blocking up to 95dB of ambient noise, so you can enjoy your audio in peace.

These in-ears come with cords made with TPE and Kevlar, making them highly durable and resistant to everyday wear-and-tear. They also won’t easily become knotted or tangled even when used by chronic toss-and-turners.

The Linklike Classic 6 also comes with a noise-canceling mic optimized for voice calls. The mic and button controls, however, may not be compatible with certain devices. For a full list, feel free to contact Linklike Audio.

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MAXROCK Sleep Earplugs

Best for Sleeping
Close look at MAXROCK Sleep Earplugs (From: Amazon)
Close look at MAXROCK Sleep Earplugs (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Noise Cancellation: Passive
  • Type: In-ear
  • Sleeping Position: Back, upright, or side
  • Connectivity: Wired
  • Battery Life: N/A
  • Sound Profile: Accented bass, neutral mids, and crispy highs

The MAXROCK Sleep Earplugs combine decent noise isolation and sound quality with a super minimal profile that disappears right into your ear. Online forums also highly rank them as the most ideal in-ears for sleep, making them our top choice for the category.

Designed for sleeping, these in-ears feature a comfortable ergonomic design that allows you to keep them on all day or all night. The in-ears weigh no more than 0.8oz and are so compact that they sit completely flush inside the ears. As such, side sleepers can keep them on during the night without experiencing discomfort or pressure in their ears.

The double flange ear tips are made from super-soft silicone that molds to your ear canal to give you a secure, tailored seal. This secures the earbuds in your ears as you move around, and helps block unwanted noise more effectively for undisturbed listening.

The MAXROCK Sleep Earplugs house two 5mm drivers that deliver clear, crisp highs and mids and a slightly enhanced bass. Altogether expect a nice, balanced sound that’s perfect for ASMR listening.

The silicone ear tips and casing come attached as a single piece. So, if for some reason you’ve ripped them off and lost them, you won’t be able to use the earphones with a different pair of ear tips. The box also doesn’t come with extra ear tips, so it’s best to handle them with care.

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Samsung Galaxy Buds+

Best True Wireless
Close look at Samsung Galaxy Buds+ (From: Amazon)
Close look at Samsung Galaxy Buds+ (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Noise Cancellation: Passive
  • Type: True wireless in-ear
  • Sleeping Position: Any
  • Connectivity: Wireless (Bluetooth 5.0)
  • Battery Life: 11 hours
  • Sound Profile: Well-balanced, neutral sound in all frequencies

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ are often praised for their excellent voice call noise cancellation and superior sound quality. They have great reviews and often come highly recommended by ASMR fans versus the Apple AirPods, making these earbuds our top pick for the best true wireless category.

The two 2-way dynamic speakers of these earbuds consist of a tweeter and a woofer. The tweeter brings you crystal clear highs and the woofer delivers powerful, rich bass. The sound is fine-tuned with AKG audio expertise so that you’re getting a consistently detailed, balanced, and spacious sound quality that’s ideal for ASMR listening.

A long-lasting battery that provides up to 11 hours of playback powers the Samsung Galaxy Buds+. If you’re ready to wind down, but your battery isn’t, the fast charging function will easily give you an hour of playback on just 3 minutes of charging.

The Galaxy Buds+ kit comes with extra ear tips and wingtips in different sizes to help you achieve the perfect fit. It’s not only good for noise cancellation but will also keep the earbuds from becoming loose or falling out while lying down.

One thing to keep in mind, though, is that the Buds+ is outfitted with touch controls on the outer panel of the earbuds. Since they tend to be quite sensitive, accidentally brushing over the panel while adjusting your earbud may cause some jarring volume adjustments.

The Galaxy Buds+ also only has passive noise cancellation. If you value noise cancellation, the newer model, Galaxy Buds Live, may be a good option. However, note that when it comes to sound accuracy and detail, the Buds+ takes an advantage over Buds Live.

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Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

Best for Noise Cancellation
Close look at Bose QuietComfort Earbuds (From: Amazon)
Close look at Bose QuietComfort Earbuds (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Noise Cancellation: Active
  • Type: True wireless in-ear
  • Sleeping position: Back or upright
  • Connectivity: Wireless (Bluetooth 5.1)
  • Battery Life: 6 hours
  • Sound Profile: Accurate bass and relatively flat mids and highs, but with slightly emphasized high-mids for vocal clarity

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds combines passive and active noise cancellation designed to give you full flexibility over what you want to hear. Together with a comfortable look and feel, and that signature Bose sound, these earbuds come in at number one in the noise cancellation category.

The QuietComfort Earbuds have a whopping 11 levels of active noise cancellation to choose from. This allows you to go from full transparency mode to full noise cancellation, giving you greater control over the amount of noise reduction you’re getting.

These earbuds deliver the crisp, clear, and detailed audio of the acclaimed Bose sound. With the help of active noise cancellation, you’ll get gorgeous, lifelike audio that’s both rich and balanced across all frequencies.

The volume-optimized Active EQ technology also makes subtle audio adjustments by boosting certain frequencies where it’s needed. It’s a great feature for ASMR enthusiasts who are looking for that truly premium listening experience.

Long-wearing comfort is definitely at the forefront with these earbuds. The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds feature the StayHear® Max tip design, made entirely from soft silicone. This allows the earbuds to stay securely anchored without causing discomfort in the areas where the earbuds touch your ears. It also comes with 3 different-sized ear tips to ensure an optimum fit.

Even with the curved body design, the QuietComfort Earbuds are still quite bulky. With that, we can’t recommend these earbuds for people who sleep on their side

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