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Raycon earbuds are everywhere, but are they any good?

The influencer earbuds that just couldn't.

Published onMarch 6, 2021

A man holds the Raycon E25 case open which reveals the true wireless earbuds.

Give a click to any YouTube video, and there’s a good chance you’ll see an ad for the Raycon E25 true wireless earbuds. Better yet, your favorite neighborhood YouTube star may have some Raycon-sponsored content on their channel. But ubiquity doesn’t equate to good sound quality: just look at the Apple AirPods.

While we want to trust our favorite social media presences, they’re not always the best at distinguishing a good audio product from a bad one. At a glance, the Raycon E25 are innocuous enough, but if you want the best bang-for-your-buck, these ‘buds aren’t it. Here are a few reasons you should avoid Raycon’s true wireless earbuds, and instead get a quality pair of budget earphones.

This article was informed by the audio experts at our sister site SoundGuys. Check out their in-depth take on the Raycon E25.

The Raycon E25 earphones sound bad

According to our sister site SoundGuys, the Raycon E25 frequency response takes bass amplification too far. At first read, this may appeal to you bass heads, but even the most ardent bass-lover respects that bass is just one ingredient to good sound, not the whole recipe.

The Raycon E25 earbuds on a wood surface.

The E25 emphasize low notes in every song to an egregious degree, which makes it much harder for you to hear vocals and string instrumentation. To get an idea of how this sounds, just play the Eagles’ song Hotel California. This is one of the most salient reference tracks in the audio community, and it’s painfully obvious how much bass notes mask treble notes. A layman’s description might identify this as a “muddy” sound.

Learn more: Headphone buying guide: Everything you need to know

Sloppy frequency response aside, the Raycon E25 earbuds are unable to properly isolate you from the outside world. Even when you get the Raycon E25 to fit perfectly, background noise like office foot traffic, A/C units, train car din, and nearby chatter will all remain audible. This really boils down to a flawed design in the earbud housings, nozzle angles, and flimsy ear tips.

The Raycon E25 uses outdated, cheap hardware

A man holds the Raycon E25 true wireless earbud with its LED indicator alight.

A pair of earbuds that costs $79 should afford modern comforts, but Raycon decided against this when the team opted for a micro-USB charging port, rather than a USB-C one. The case doesn’t support fast or wireless charging either, two features that are easy enough to come across at this budget.

The plastic earbuds lack touch controls, and instead use buttons for playback. Now, button controls aren’t indicative of a cheap product, some of our favorite noise-canceling headphones use buttons, but the mechanism on the Raycon E25 is tenuous. Worse yet, the buttons can cause pain to your middle ear because of the temporary suction sensation that occurs every time you press one. Raycon isn’t the only manufacturer with pain-inducing headsets on the market, just look at the Anker SoundCore Life P2.

These earbuds are overpriced for what you get

Relative to some legitimately premium true wireless earbuds, $79 may seem like a good deal, or at least a reasonable one. But if you buy the Raycon E25, you’re missing out on a host of features that competitively priced alternatives include. One of the biggest omissions: Raycon doesn’t have a mobile app where you can remap the controls or EQ the sound profile. You’re really stuck with what you get when you purchase these earbuds. Sure the E25 have an IPX4 rating and can resist sweat and water droplets, but so do the more affordable and comfortable 1MORE PistonBuds.

Related: Best earbuds under $50

What should you get instead of the Raycon E25 true wireless earbuds?

Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 true wireless earbuds mobile app equalizer
Lily Katz / Android Authority

One of our favorite sets of true wireless earbuds under $100 is the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2. This package costs the same as the Raycon E25 but the earbuds feature touch controls, a premium case with USB-C and wireless charging, long battery life, and a customizable sound. Anker SoundCore’s earphones aren’t perfect, but are much closer to it than Raycon’s.

Listeners who like the idea of a small footprint should consider the 1MORE ColorBuds. These earbuds are a bit more expensive than Raycon’s, and usually cost $99 USD. It’s easy to find them on promotion though, and they feature an IPX5 rating, fast charging, auto-play/pause functionality, and support both the aptX and AAC high-quality Bluetooth codecs.

There are plenty of great true wireless earbuds under $100 with more features than Raycon's earphones.

Another great option is Monolith by Monoprice M-TWE, which includes Sonarworks SoundID for a custom, optimized listening experience. These IPX4 earbuds support the AAC and aptX Bluetooth codecs, and have an impressive 10-hour standalone playtime. These earbuds use hybrid active noise-canceling technology, which reduces external and inner-ear noise.

What if you still want the Raycon earbuds?

A man wears the Raycon E25 earbuds.

Let’s say the reason you want the Raycon E25 is simply because your favorite YouTuber endorsed them and you want to be like said YouTuber — more power to you. If wearing the Raycon E25 somehow improves your day, that’s great. It’s just important that you make an informed decision before buying a set of earbuds.

What do you think of the Raycon E25?

984 votes

Try to interrogate your gut reaction: is this person who fawns over the Raycon E25 an authority in the audio space? Did they use concrete examples about why they liked the earbuds, rather than rely on effusive energy to hype them up? For many of us, $79 is nothing to shrug off. If you plan to spend that much money on a pair of earbuds, we want you to enjoy them for as long as possible. And if you just have to buy a pair of Raycon earbuds, you can always buy a pair of Comply memory foam ear tips. But why entertain the sunk cost fallacy when you can just avoid these earbuds altogether?

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