Really appreciate these reviews and I'd like to give a bit of feedback if I may.
Having searched the internet for reviews of budget/cheap earbuds I was glad to see this article. Got to say though that my enthusiasm was dampened by the first review saying a pro was it's low price. At £49.99 it's the highest price possible in the category of "under £50" so, while it's a pro in general it's kind of missing the point of the list and should really be a con here.
The JBL sports earbuds come out well but I don't feel informed enough to buy with confidence. When looking at reviews for budget sports earbuds, apart from obvious quality issues, I check for the following:
Do they stay in your ears when you run?
Do they have good bass?
Does one bud start losing volume after a week or two, indicating that the waterproof rating was a lie and they can't even handle sweat?
I don't put much faith in reviews on comfort because people have different requirements for that; I'd like to know if they do what the manufacturers claim.
I'd like to know what happens if the earbuds are actually submerged 1m for 30 minutes, or at least worn in the shower. Pretty much all the £19.99 earbuds on Amazon claim to be IPX7 or 8 but have dozens of reviews saying otherwise.
I'd like to know they've been worn on a few 5k runs and stayed in place, otherwise I'll have to assume buds with earhooks are a better choice.
One thing I found in general online is that budget or cheap are widely interpretated and few sites are, IMHO, realistic. I don't see £160 as cheap. I don't even see £49.99 as cheap. The market for under £25 earbuds is clearly huge because so many are sold and reviewed by customers, but none of my Google searches found trustworthy sites going anywhere near that price range.
So I was very pleased to see your review of the £5 Amazon earphones and your acknowledgement that there were thousands of positive but possibly unreliable reviews.
Amazon has many, many sports earbuds for around £20-25, some with a handful of reviews and some with many thousands. Few reviews can be trusted as some companies apparently offer free gifts if you leave a good review.
I, like tens of thousands of other customers, would love to know if any of these brands are any good and if maybe the risk isn't worth it and JBL are the best option in the end, even if they, possibly, don't stay in my ears.
Thanks again. I hope this feedback was ok. It's just the POV from a low income music lover, but I think that's a collective that has always been important to musicians.