The Pocket-lint Gadget Awards will be taking place in November, celebrating the nominations across 18 categories from smartphones and tablets to cameras and headphones.

All of the devices and products nominated have been reviewed by us in full over the last 12 months and there are some brilliant contenders across the board. As usual, we have been diving a little deeper into each category, giving you a run down of the nominations and why they have been shortlisted.

Here we are looking at the best in-ear headphones, following on from the best on-ear headphones, best laptop, best tablet or 2-in-1best mid-range smartphone, best smartphone, best camera, best soundbar and best game.

Pocket-lintBeoplay E8 hardware image 1

B&O Play Beoplay E8 wireless in-ear


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The Beoplay E8 wireless from B&O Play is one of the best sounding and best designed pairs of wire-free earphones we've tested. The sound quality and EQ profile versatility is what shines, plus the included carry/charging case is great. 

There is a lack of features and the audio transparency isn't as good as some competitors. Battery life isn't quite the best in class either, although it's certainly good enough for even the longest daily commutes. In the end, the Beoplay E8 represents a pricey pair of wireless in-ears, but ones that sounds great and therefore won't leave you regretting spending the money. 

Pocket-lintBose Soundsport Free image 1

Bose SoundSport Free


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While the Bose doesn't have some of the smart fitness features you get in the likes of the Lifebeam Vi or Jabra Elite Sport - no heart-rate or cadence measure - we'd still comfortably call the SoundSport Free the best sports earphones for pure music enjoyment.

With a design that's not too embedded within the ear, these buds are comfortable enough to wear for hours on end, won't fall out, plus the battery life of five hours per charge (and two charges in the accompanying case) means they can last an impressive 15 hours total. In short: the SoundSport free is fantastic.

Pocket-lintLibratone Track review image 1

Libratone Track+


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The Libratone Track+ are a pricey bit a kit at £169 - a healthy chunk more expensive than the Beats X or OnePlus - which will put some people off the Libratone. If it's just a pair of Bluetooth headphones that you're after, then daresay those two other brands will deliver enough.

But if you want exceptional in-ears for when you're out running, the Libratone Track+ is a great shout. There's excellent active noise-cancellation (with adjustable passthrough levels), a balanced fit that won't budge whatever you're doing without compromising comfort, and an adjustable sound profile that simply sounds great.

Pocket-lintMaster and dynamic mw07 earphones image 1

Master & Dynamic MW07


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There's no doubt about it: the M&D MW07 are great for people who don't want plain-looking in-ears and love their music to be loud and full. Although not the cheapest around by any stretch of the imagination, these earphones' unique combination of full sound and grand design makes them among our favourite wire-free in-ears ever. 

Perfection isn't quite achieved though. Battery life isn't as good as the best performing wire-frees out there, while the lack of equalisation customisation will be frustrating for some. Still, they look cool and the stainless steel case is awesome. So we're forgiving of any shortcomings.

Pocket-lintOnePlus Bullets Wireless image 1

OnePlus Bullets Wireless


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With its first attempt at wireless earphones, OnePlus has given us yet another fantastic example of how much you can get for your money. The earphones are light, comfortable, easy to wear, have great fast-charging, can survive in the rain and your sweaty workouts, and sound really good too.

If you can forgive the slightly-less-than-stellar battery life, and don't mind there not being massive low-end bass, then it's hard to think of a better pair of everyday in-ear headphones at this price point. Got £70 to spend on a pair of earphones? Go get these. Heck, even if you have a higher budget, save some money and get the Bullets Wireless anyway. They're surprisingly brilliant. 

Pocket-lintSony WI-1000X review image 1

Sony WI-1000X


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Sony's WI-1000X are, without doubt, among the best in-ears we've tested in a while. Given how much technology is stuffed inside, how great they sound, how well they're made, and how versatile the ambient noise-cancelling is, the £260 price tag, while not small, is well worth it. 

Sure, they could be a little lighter, they could last a little longer on a charge, and they could be a tad more comfortable to wear, but all that fades into insignificance once you start listening to music and adjust the sound to how you want it. As neckband earphones go you'll rarely find better than the Sony WI-1000X.


Voting in the 15th annual EE Pocket-lint Awards is now open, so you can let us know which one of the great in-ear cans above you think should win the Best In-Ear Headphones award for this year and give us your verdict on all, or some, of the other tech across the 17 categories.

Winners will be announced at the exclusive event in London on 13 November in association with EE. Voting closes on 2 November.