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Best IEM for gaming in 2024

In-ear monitors (IEM) for gaming may not be as popular as headsets, but offer more than a few advantages. Good noise isolation, tiny earbuds, and low latency are perfect for on-the-go gaming with Steamdeck or Nintendo Switch.

On the other hand, even the best gaming IEM lacks an immersive soundstage, and mostare wired. That's why knowing your exact requirements is best. It may be a perfect traveling companion and reduces environmental noises to a minimum when playing in crowded spaces. However, those prioritizing sound quality should consider the best audiophile headphones for gaming instead.

After considerable research and testing, we've compiled this list to help you choose the best IEM for gaming. Let's take a look at the top five picks!

Top 5 IEMs for gaming – shortlist

How to choose the best IEMs for gaming?

Gaming IEMs can be quite pricey, so examining their features and benefits before purchasing is best. Here's what you should consider to make the right choice:

  • Sound quality. Clear and spatial audio reproduction is paramount for an immersive open world and in-game awareness. IEMs like The Fragrant Zither T2 offer excellent bass quality that outlines shooting sounds in FPS games. Best IEMs for gaming mix clear bass with outlined treble.
  • Low latency. The time gap between audio signal and sound reproduction in earbuds should be minimal, which is standard for wired IEMs.
  • Noise isolation. All IEM gaming earbuds use passive noise cancellation because they slide into the ear canal. For example, the Final Audio VR3000 model uses a softer silicone ear tip exterior that adapts to the ear canal for better sound insulation.
  • Durability. In most cases, a faulty cable puts IEM earbuds to rest. You should seek gaming IEMs with sturdy but flexible detachable cables like the FiiO FH3 model on this list.
  • Microphone quality. Many IEMs lack a microphone because they weren't primarily designed for gamers but for live performers. However, three gaming IEMs on this list–The Fragrant Zither, Linsoul BLON BL03, and T2 and Final Audio VR3000–include Mic for multiplayer.

8 Best gaming IEMs – our detailed list

We focused on sound quality and noise isolation as essential features of gaming IEM. We also considered brand reputation, cable sturdiness, and microphone quality to ensure they are long-lasting and suited for multiplayer.

1. SOUND PANDA SPE-G9 Plus+ - the best overall gaming IEMs

Sound quality:Excellent
Cable feature:Retractable
Built-in mic:Yes
Impedance:16 ohms

Sound quality. The SOUND PANDA SPE-G9 Plus+ is a remarkable product that offers an unparalleled audio experience. The triple driver 3D sound feature, powered by a robust 6mm premium triple driver, delivers dynamic and superior sound quality. This feature enhances the gaming experience by providing realistic surround sound and completely eliminating external noise.

Microphone. The SPE-G9 Plus+ also comes with a dual microphone system, which includes a removable boom microphone with a high sensitivity sensor and a built-in microphone. This ensures clear, noise-free conversations, making it ideal for gaming and professional use. The boom microphone can be easily adjusted to any angle and can be removed to use the earbuds for regular use.

Compatibility. One of the standout features of the SPE-G9 Plus+ is its wide compatibility. It can be used with a variety of devices including PC, PS5, Xbox One, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. However, a Y-jack is needed for PC connection and a connection terminal is required for mobile phone connection.

Design. The SPE-G9 Plus+ is available in two colors - black for everyday use and red for a distinctive style. The package includes the SPE-G9 Plus earphones, boom microphone, a premium leather pouch, and ear tips in three sizes (S/M/L). Overall, the SOUND PANDA SPE-G9 Plus+ offers a comprehensive package for an immersive audio experience.

2. The Fragrant Zither T2 – great choice for multiplayer FPS enthusiasts

Sound quality:Excellent
Detachable cable:Yes
Built-in mic:Yes
Impedance:16 ohms

The Fragrant Zither T2 is the best IEM for gaming that truly outperforms others regarding first-person shooter (FPS) games.

Sound quality. The Fragrant Zither T2 is a V-shaped sound signature IEM with expressed bass and treble with a lower mid-range. It uses the 12mm dual magnetic circuit for a clear and accurate sound reproduction, but the soundstage is a bit narrow.

Noise isolation. You may have to try a few earbud tip sizes to find the right fit. But once they seal your ear canal fully, the passive noise cancellation efficiently blocks outside distractions.

Cable specifics. The detachable cable length is 1.2m with a standard 3.5mm jack plug. The cable is made from oxygen-free copper (OFC), and it should be a while before you may need a replacement.

Additional features. These in-ear monitors for gaming have a mic that accurately picks your voice. Additionally, Fragrant Zither T2 is one of the more affordable options that provide outstanding audio quality within the price range.

3. FiiO FH3 – excellent for soundtrack-heavy video games

Sound quality:Excellent
Detachable cable:Yes
Built-in mic:No
Impedance:24 ohms

FiiO FH3 is one of the best IEMs for gaming that mixes sound quality with longevity–they will enhance your gameplay audio for many years.

Sound quality. The bass is more on the soft end, but it has a good weight to it. The 5kHz to 20kHz treble range goes into the upper limit, resulting in a brighter audio reproduction. Overall, it gives a cozy feeling with minimal fatigue.

Noise isolation. The FiiO FH3 passive noise cancellation is excellent. It has longer nozzles that cover the ear canal fully and completely block environmental sounds.

Cable specifics. These IEMs use a thick, detachable silver-plated copper cable with standard 4 wire strands. The cable is quite stiff, which might cause some discomfort when listening to music in bed, but it fits tightly during movement.

Additional features. These earbuds are made of aerospace-grade aluminum-magnesium alloy shell, greatly extending their durability. Furthermore, an excellent dynamic range produces clear audio even in high volume.

4. Sony IER-Z1R Signature Series – best audio quality for a hefty price

Sound quality:Excellent
Detachable cable:Yes
Built-in mic:No
Impedance:40 ohms

Sony IER-Z1R Signature Series provides state-of-the-art audio quality, making them the best IEM for gaming audiophiles.

Sound quality. This model has a balanced V-shape tuning with expressed bass in the 20 to 60 Hz sub-bass region. The treble is also reserved for the lower range but easily provides smoother higher frequencies. Sony IER-Z1R Signature Series has perfect audio imaging for an amazing sense of sound direction, and it is excellent for open-world games.

Noise isolation. You will have no trouble blocking outside distractions once you pick perfect-sized earbuds. Luckily, these IEMs come with 6 different Triple Comfort and 6 different-size Hybrid earbuds.

Cable specifics. The silver-coated cable is made from oxygen-free copper wire and is optimized to reduce signal loss to a minimum. You will get balanced and unbalanced cables for a cleaner signal and loud volume or cost-effectiveness at shorter distances.

Additional features. These IEMs are optimized for High-Resolution Audio and use resin for material housing, magnesium for inner housing, and the rear cover is made out of aluminum. Everything is manufactured in Japan, taking care of every tiny detail.

5. Fanmusic TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero – comfortable choice for long gaming sessions

Sound quality:Good
Detachable cable:Yes
Built-in mic:No
Impedance:10 ohms + adapter

Fanmusic TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero is the best IEM for gaming, and it provides good audio quality at an affordable price.

Sound quality. Fanmusic TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero has a well-balanced audio quality with accurate low-bass reproduction but feels slightly off at a higher treble range. The bass becomes a bit distorted at higher volumes, but everything within standard measurements falls in place nicely.

Noise isolation. This model has a decent passive noise cancellation. Although it does not use any tricks to reduce background noises, it packs 6 pairs of additional silicone ear tips and a pair of memory foam tips in three sizes.

Cable specifics. The detachable cable is flexible with a thicker single strand. It has a rubbery feeling similar to friction resistance and an angled L-shape jack.

Additional features. The Fanmusic TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero comes with a cool anime box and a carrying pouch, which some buyers simply adore!

6. Final Audio VR3000 – IEMs focused on imaging and soundstage

Sound quality:Good
Detachable cable:Yes
Built-in mic:No
Impedance:18 ohms

Final Audio VR3000 IEM for gaming is optimized for FPS and open-world games but falls behind regarding more complex soundtracks.

Sound quality. These gaming IEMs have one of the best imaging and soundstage capabilities we've tested. You will get an excellent sense of sound direction in FPS games, but they aren't as good for instrumental soundtracks.

Noise isolation. Final Audio VR3000 uses softer exterior silicone tips that adapt to the ear canal for better sound isolation. You will also get 5 different-sized ear tips to ensure you find a good pick.

Cable specifics. This IEM comes with a 1.2m OFC non-detachable cable with a standard 3.5mm plug and volume control. Additionally, you will get ear hooks with a lock mechanism that prevents the cable (and mic) from rubbing against the body surface.

Additional features. The Final Audio VR3000 is one of a few gaming IEMs with a mic. In 2022, it was upgraded with excellent voice representation and has 3 button controls for easier management. It weighs barely 20g, including cable.

7. Linsoul BLON BL03 – great budget IEMs for gaming

Sound quality:Good
Detachable cable:Yes
Built-in mic:Yes (optional)
Impedance:32 ohms

The Linsoul BLON BL03 are budget but durable gaming IEMs suited for long sessions.

Sound quality. Linsoul BLON BL03 are U-shaped sound signature IEMs with elevated bass and treble and a bump to mids. That brings instruments and vocals closer to the front, which is excellent for immersive soundtracks.

Noise isolation. Because of their tight fit and curved shape, these IEMs efficiently block outside sounds. Simultaneously, they prevent the audio from escaping into the environment, so shooting sounds and teammate pings will not distract your roommates.

Cable specifics. The 1.2m detachable cable is made from a 4-strand anti-tension wire that uses a 2-pin connector instead of the MMCX.

Additional features. You can choose a cable with a built-in mic for multiplayer games. These gaming IEMs are made out of zinc-based alloy that guarantees longevity.

8. Sennheiser IE 900 – IEMs with unmatched bass quality

Sound quality:Excellent
Detachable cable:Yes
Built-in mic:No
Impedance:16 ohms

Sennheiser IE 900 is another pricey IEM for gaming on this list that offers a second-to-none bass response.

Sound quality. Like most Sennheiser audio equipment, the IE 900 brings outstanding sound quality with an excellent soundstage and a focus on bass that doesn't overcome other sounds regardless of volume.

Noise isolation. This model uses adjustable ear hooks and comes with 3 pairs of silicone and 3 pairs of memory foam ear-tips of different sizes to buff up passive noise cancellation.

Cable specifics. The Sennheiser IE 900 comes with 3 cables: 3.5mm single-ended, 2.5mm, and 4.4mm balanced. These are high-quality para-aramid reinforced with gold-plated MMCX connectors cables.

Additional features. In the box, you will also find a cleaning tool and cloth, a carrying case, a presentation manual signed with a certificate, and a cable clip.

Comparison of top 3 IEM earphones for gaming

The Fragrant Zither T2FiiO FH3
Sound qualityExcellentExcellentExcellent
Detachable cableNoYesYes
Built-in micYesYesNo
Impedance16 ohms16 ohms24 ohms
Main features
  • Triple dynamic drivers
    Excellent sound quality
  • V-shaped audio signature
  • 12mm dual magnetic circuit
  • Excellent noise isolation
  • Detachable cable

How did we select these IEM earbuds for gaming?

Audio quality defines soundtrack immersion and video game object distancing, so we considered it first. Sturdy detachable cable ensures longevity, and comfort is crucial for long gaming sessions. Below are the top 4 criteria we analyzed to pick the best IEMs for gaming:

  • Audio quality. A clear video game audio lets you fully immerse yourself in a vast open world, position yourself better as a first-person shooter, and communicate clearly with teammates. For example, the Fragrant Zither T2's accurate bass and treble reproduction strengthens your in-game awareness.
  • Cable features. Most gaming IEMs are wired, and a non-detachable broken cable can render them useless. Look for models like FiiO FH3 with a sturdy cable you can easily replace.
  • Comfort and fit. A tight but comfortable fit ensures good sound isolation and lets you use gaming IEMs for a dozen hours straight without noticeable fatigue.
  • Microphone availability and performance. Although many in-ear monitors for gaming do not pack a mic, we found three models that do, and we have verified their microphone performance.

Can earbuds be used for gaming?

Yes, earbuds can be used for gaming and have a few advantages over headphones and headsets. Firstly, they are much smaller and a perfect choice for on-the-go gaming. If you enjoy traveling with gaming handheld consoles, you should pick wireless earbuds over a wired headset.

Because earbuds play the audio directly into your ear canal, they produce a more immersive experience. The soundtrack will sound closer as if forming in your head. On the other hand, the audio may lack soundstage because headsets provide no air gap.

Are IEM earbuds good for gaming?

Yes, IEM earbuds are becoming more popular among gamers. Having low latency is essential for quicker in-game reaction and noticing teammate pings. Because most gaming IEMs use an OFC wire, they have minimal latency, sometimes much better than a wireless Bluetooth connection.

Because IEMs slide into your ear canal, they provide good passive noise cancellation. You will experience fewer environmental distractions compared to open-back headphones. However, gaming headsets can use more sophisticated microphones for voice clarity. Luckily, more and more gaming IEMs develop compact mics with built-in noise reduction for a better multiplayer experience.


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