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Apple EarPods (2016)
Etymotic ER3XR
See Top Ranked Earphones

Apple EarPods (2016) vs Etymotic ER3XR

Analysis:

While the Apple EarPods (2016) makes for a fairly good Earphone for people with a $10 budget, we weren't able to find enough data on the Etymotic ER3XR to come to any reliable conclusions.

In either case, we suggest that you look at some other options at the $10 and $120 budget ranges before committing to one of these.

If you'd nonetheless like to learn more about the Apple EarPods (2016) and Etymotic ER3XR, however, we wrote a summary of what we know about them:

The Apple EarPods (2016) was loved by reviewers at SoundGuys, a highly trusted source that performs reliable in-depth testing. It did great in its "Best Lightning headphones of 2020" roundup where it was named its "Ranked 1 out of 5", which, in itself, makes it a product worth considering.

As for the Etymotic ER3XR, it was really well-received by reviewers at PCmag, a reliable source that's known for conducting its own, high-quality, in-depth testing. It performed great in its "The Best Earbuds (In-Ear Headphones) for 2021" roundup and was named its "Ranked 1 out of 11", which, on its own, makes it a product that warrants a closer look.

We conducted an analysis of all of the review data that we could find on these two products. First, we focused on sources that tested and rated both of them, like Head-fi and PCmag, and learned that they all showed a preference for the Etymotic ER3XR.

Then we took a look at the highest review scores that these two Earphones received. We found that the Apple EarPods (2016) managed to earn a rating of 8 from PCmag, whereas the Etymotic ER3XR got its highest, 9.6, score from reviewers at Head-fi.

Lastly, in order to better compare them to the rest of their competition, we averaged out their review scores. The Etymotic ER3XR managed to get 8.8 out of 10 - considerably better than the 7.3 review average of Earphones in general - whereas the Apple EarPods (2016) earned 6.6 points.

It should be said that doing a direct Apple EarPods (2016) vs. Etymotic ER3XR comparison might not be entirely fair due to the difference in their prices - some sources don't put much weight on value for money and thus tend to give better review scores to more expensive products.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
SoundGuys
PCmag
Rtings
Tom's Guide
What Hi-Fi?
Expert Reviews
Head-fi
TrustedReviews
Techradar
The Verge
Tech. Specs Comparison
Apple EarPods (2016)
$12
Etymotic ER3XR
$99
Canal Earphone
No
-
Earbud
Yes
-
In-Ear Monitor
No
-
Noise-cancelling
No
-
True Wireless
No
-
Wireless
No
-
Below average expert review score
Higher than average expert review score
7.4
Overall Avg. for Earphones
8.8
Avg. Review Score
Score
Recommended by trusted experts
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Lightning headphones of 2020” 
Last updated: 10 Mar 2021
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #4 out of 15
in “I tested 15 of Amazon’s cheapest headphones — here are the best and worst” 
Last updated: 21 Jul 2021
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #5 out of 15
in “Best cheap headphones 2021: The best budget earphones, earbuds, on-ear and over-ear headphones you can buy in the UK” 
Last updated: 6 Sep 2021
Recommended by trusted experts
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best Earbuds (In-Ear Headphones) for 2021” 
Last updated: 8 Sep 2021
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Wired Headphones for Galaxy S10 in 2021” 
Last updated: 13 Dec 2020
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Audiophile Headphones for 2021” 
Last updated: 8 Sep 2021
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Wired Headphones for Samsung Galaxy Note 9” 
Last updated: 28 Sep 2018

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