Finding headphones on a budget can be tricky, but you don’t need to break the bank to get a decent listening experience. The headphones on this list generally aren’t as comfortable or neutral-sounding as some of the more premium options out there, but you can find quality offerings at a reasonable price.
We’ve tested nearly 450 earphones and below are our recommendations for the best headsets under $50 you can buy. See also our tips for the best earbuds under $50, the very best wireless earbuds under $50 for sports.
Best Headphones Under $50 In 2021
1. Audio Technica ATH-M20X
ATH-M20x Monitor Headphones from Audio Technica are designed for both tracking and mixing applications and feature 40mm Neodymium drivers with copper-clad aluminium wire voice coils tuned for detailed low-frequency reproduction. The headphones have a closed-back, circumaural, around-the-ear design that provides sound isolation. Their 3-meter long cable has a single-side exit to help reduce tangles while working. A 1/4″ adapter is included.
2. Mpow H10 Wireless
The best headphones under $50 we’ve tested so far are the Mpow H10. These noise-cancelling over-ears are quite versatile, with a simple, straightforward design well-suited for casual use. Their active sound cancelling (ANC) feature blocks out a lot of noise, they have a fairly well-balanced sound, and their battery life is great.
While these headphones don’t have a very neutral sound profile, they still audio quite balanced. They have a lot of extra basses, but they also emphasize the treble range for an excited, yet versatile sound signature that doesn’t drown out vocals or instruments. Their ANC is especially impressive, as they do a great job at reducing the intensity of disruptive ambient noise, even the low thump and rumble of bus or plane engines. They also have a 23-hour battery life, which is great for long days of travel.
Unfortunately, they feel like pretty cheaply-made earphones. The even less expensive Mpow H5 Wireless feels better-built, but their ANC isn’t as good and they sound less well-balanced. There’s an upgraded version of the H10 available that might feel more durable, but we haven’t tested it to confirm. That said, they still provide excellent value for the price thanks to their solid combination of features.
3. TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79 Truly Wireless
The TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79 certainly is an amazingly decent couple of truly wireless headphones because of their price. While they’re fairly regular truly cellular in-ears, they offer good value overall thanks to their well-balanced audio profile, well-built style, and decently comfy fit. Making use of their balance fins on they experience very steady in the hearing, though regrettably, the fins will often prevent connection with the case’s charging pins, so you might believe they’re charging if they aren’t. While their 5.7-hour battery life is preferable to most true wireless headphones as of this price, it’s much shorter compared to the 8 hours TaoTronics advertises. The TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79 are decent overall headsets. They will have an amazingly well-balanced sound user profile which has a bit of additional punch and thump without having to be overpowering. While their 5.7-hour electric battery life is good for truly wireless headphones, it falls lacking the advertised 8 hours. They’re a fantastic choice for the fitness centre because of their stable suit and IPX7 ranking. They could not function as the most suitable choice for travel or office make use of as you will likely have to cease to cost them, plus they don’t block very much background sound. Their higher latency and mediocre general mic performance furthermore make them an unhealthy choice for video gaming.
4. SoundPeats True Wireless
If you want a decent pair of truly wireless earbuds that cost even less, get the SoundPeats TrueFree. They don’t sound quite as well-balanced as the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79 Truly Wireless, but they’re even more affordable. They still perform alright overall, with lots of bass for fans of EDM or hip-hop. However, they only last about 3 hours on a charge, and their case doesn’t have a lid. You nevertheless get a few extra charges out of the situation, though, and, although we haven’t tested it, there’s a version with a lid you can get for just a couple dollars more.
If you listen to more vocal-centric genres and want a better-balanced sound profile, go with the TaoTronics, but if you want something even cheaper, obtain the SoundPeats.
5. Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019
The best headphones under $50 with an earbud design that we’ve tested so far are the Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019. These wireless in-ears have an intuitive in-line remote and feel reasonably well-built, with dense plastic earbuds and an IPX7 rating for water resistance, although we don’t test for the latter. With an included selection of five differently-sized ear tips and three differently-sized stability fins, finding a comfortable, consistent, and secure fit shouldn’t be a challenge.
Their sound profile is quite bass-heavy, with enough thump and rumble to please all but the most demanding of bass fanatics. However, they seldom sound muddy or boomy thanks to their well-reproduced mids and treble. Meanwhile, their 18.4-hour battery life is among the longest we’ve tested for a pair of Bluetooth in-ears and should have no trouble getting you through a couple of long days at the office. They only take a little over one hour to charge, which is handy if you’re in a rush.
Unfortunately, while the earbuds are made of dense plastic material, their cable is quite thin and feels a little more fragile. They also lack any dedicated app support, although that might be expected at this price. Overall, these headphones are an excellent value and are among the best headphones we’ve tested to date.
6. Beats URBEATS3 Earphones
If you worry about audio latency and don’t want to deal with the hassle of charging times, take a look at the Beats urBeats3 Earphones. They aren’t as comfortable or as stable as the Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019, with earbuds that enter the ear canal pretty deeply, which might not suit everyone. However, their flat rubberized audio cables feel sturdy and provide the consistency of a zero-latency wired connection. If you own a newer-model iPhone without a headphone jack, they’re available with a Lightning port connector instead of a standard 1/8″ TRRS audio cable. On the downside, if you use these earbuds in conjunction with an Android device, you lose a lot of functionality, including in-line volume control.
If you prefer the freedom and flexibility of wireless design, go for the Anker, but if you want zero-latency audio, consider the Beats.
7. Anker SoundCore Life Dot 2 Truly Wireless
If you prefer a pair of truly wireless earbuds, consider the Anker SoundCore Life Dot 2 Truly Wireless instead. While these in-ears aren’t quite as comfortable, stable, and easy-to-use as the Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019, they still offer great value for a very versatile performance. Overall, their sound profile is decently neutral and packs an extra punch in the bass, so they suit most music genres. At just over 7 hours, their continuous battery life is decent, and their very portable charging case offers an outstanding 12.5 additional charges for when you’re on the go. These in-ears also do a good job passively blocking out ambient noise, making them ideal to use during your commute. On the downside, like most budget earbuds, they don’t have a companion app or sound customization options, but they should still please most casual listeners.
If you want a more comfortable pair of in-ears with a more stable fit, go with the SoundBuds Curve Upgraded, but if you prefer a truly wireless design, choose the Soundcore Existence Dot 2 instead.
8. JBL Endurance Sprint Wireless
The best wireless earbuds under $50 for the sound quality we’ve tested so far are the JBL Endurance Sprint. They have a very well-balanced, versatile sound profile that lends itself well to an extremely wide range of music genres. Their sports-oriented design with IPX7 rating makes them especially ideal for athletes looking who want affordable yet durable wireless earbuds without sacrificing audio quality.
These Bluetooth in-ears are among the best-sounding wireless earbuds we’ve reviewed to date for a reason. Their balance of deep, rumbling bass and clear, detailed treble is excellent. They pack a powerful punch without sounding muddy or boomy and reproduce vocals and instruments with outstanding accuracy. Their in-ear fit also isolates an impressive amount of noise, which can help you focus on your music.
On the downside, their auto-off timer is rather aggressive, powering off the headphones after only 5-10 minutes of inactivity. Their touch-sensitive controls are also very finicky, prone to triggering unwanted or incorrect commands. That said, it’s quite rare to see these features at all on earbuds this inexpensive, so they’re worth considering if you’re looking for satisfying sound quality.
9. Sony WI-C310 Wireless
Sony WI-C310 Wireless In-Ear Earphones from Sony, you can enjoy the freedom of listening to your favourite albums or podcasts while your smartphone or tablet remains safely tucked away. The C310 earphones stream audio from your compatible mobile device via Bluetooth technology and can play for up to 15 hours straight on a full charge. The earphones are connected via a convenient behind-the-neck style cable and the earbuds are usually magnetic. Just snap them together when you’re not hearing wear them around your neck.
10. Jaybird Tarah Wireless
The Tarah Wireless In-Ear Sport Earphones from Jaybird. These sporty earphones are made to withstand a rigorous exercise routine with its IPX7-rated construction that’s both water- and sweat-resistant. They stream audio via Bluetooth 5.0 from a compatible mobile device, such as your smartphone. If you pair it with your phone, you can take advantage of the built-in microphone for hands-free calls.
With the Tarah sport earphones, you have multiple ways to control your audio and calls. There are physical in-line controls on the neckband, or you can use your voice. Tarah earbuds support both Siri and Google Assistant. Stream your favourite music, audiobook, or, with the Jaybird app, sync up your Spotify account. On a full charge, you can listen for up to 6 hours, but if you’re in a hurry, you can add an hour of playtime with just 10 minutes of charging. Jaybird includes three pairs of silicone ear gels help ensure you enjoy a comfortable fit, no matter how long you listen.
11. Sony WI-SP600N Wireless
Sony WI-SP600N are wireless in-ear sports headphones designed to deliver customizable audio performance, extended listening time, and lifestyle convenience for athletes, music lovers, and sound aficionados exercising, travelling, or studying inside or outdoors. The behind-the-neck design won’t interfere with comfort or ease of use and IPX4 waterproof rating means that perspiration and precipitation are of no concern. Bluetooth version 4.1 and NFC technology grant simple and effective wifi integration with your mobile device.
The 6.1mm dynamic drivers utilize neodymium magnets and produce a wide frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, while a selectable bass boost function provides enhanced low-frequency reproduction. Activate the digital noise cancellation to keep your hearing experience isolated from external noise or use the Ambient Sound Mode to stay aurally connected to the outside world.
A built-in rechargeable battery affords up to six hours of listening time or around 200 hrs of standby period via a full charge. Thanks to the in-line remote’s integrated microphone and buttons, you can take calls and control playback without accessing your smartphone. The WI-SP600N earphones include multiple eartips, arc supporters, and a micro-USB charging cable.
12. Skullcandy Grind
The Skullcandy Grind is versatile and comfortable on-ear headphones. They have an above-average sound, they’re lightweight and surprisingly comfortable for an on-ear model. However, they’re not as portable as some of the other on-ears we’ve tested, and they do not block a lot of noise so they won’t be the ideal headphones for loud environments. The Grind is decent mixed usage headphones. They’re quite comfy for an on-ear design, they have an efficient and easy-to-use control scheme and a sturdy build quality. Unfortunately, they do not block enough noise for commuting, and they’re slightly too unstable for sports. On the upside, they deliver an above-average audio reproduction which should be good enough for most listeners.
13. Aukey Latitude Wireless
The Aukey Latitude are above-average mixed usage closed-back in-ears. They are great for sports and have surprisingly a great isolation performance for commuting and to wear at the office. These versatile budget headphones have a decent sound overall performance and should suit most users. Unfortunately, the in-ear fit might not be for everyone, and they aren’t the best-built earphones we’ve reviewed so far, but their price tag makes up for it. On the upside, they also have magnetic earbuds which are convenient for cable management and also have a great wireless range on top of supporting a lower-latency codec, which is good for watching video content. Great for sports. These headphones are very portable, and their cellular design is great for sports activities as you don’t have to worry about having a cable in the way or getting stuck on something. Also, their multiple stability fins and tip options help you find the most comfortable and stable fit for your physical activity and their IPX4 rating can make them a bit more sweat resistant.
14. JBL Tune 500bt
JBL Tune 500BT Wireless On-Ear Headphones from JBL. Thanks to Bluetooth multipoint technology, you can conveniently and easily use them with two different devices, such as a smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Pair to both simultaneously and quickly switch between them as needed. When paired with a smartphone, you can utilize the built-in microphone to conduct hands-free calls and interact with either the Siri or Google Now digital assistant software. Add in comfortable padding and long battery life, and the TUNE 500BT headphones can function as an all-day mobile audio solution.
15. Sony WH-CH510 Wireless
WH-CH510 Wireless On-Ear Headphones from Sony. These on-ear headphones provide up to 35 hours of continuous playback of your favourite music, podcasts, and more. Audio is pumped through 30mm closed dynamic drivers and streamed wirelessly from your mobile devices via Bluetooth 5.0 technology. If you pair the WH-CH510 headphones with your smartphone, you can also use the built-in mic for hands-free calls. The built-in mic can also be used together with your smartphone’s voice assistant by double-pressing the Play button, giving you access to asking your device questions, getting step-by-step navigation, playing media, setting reminders, and much more.