The best earbuds (in-ear headphones) in the price range of $30 – $50.
1. Jlab Audio Jbuds Air
Jlab Audio Jbuds Air are one of the best wireless earbuds under $50.
Frequency range:n/aType: True wireless | Battery life: 6h + 18h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: Under 2h – USB-A (attached) | Mic & Controls: Yes, built-in | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IP55 | Features: Rubber sleeves
- Good water protection IP55
- Stable fit suitable for sports
- User-friendly magnetic design
- Good sound quality for the price
- Annoying physical controls (Air Icon have touch controls)
- Can become uncomfortable after prolonged time for small ears
- Phone calls require the right earbud
The sound doesn’t disappoint, but considering the price point, you get what you pay for. It can’t compare to more expensive headphones as it lacks sparkle and details. But you get 3 different EQ settings you can choose from: Signature, Balanced, and Bass Boost sound profile.
When it comes to cheap true wireless earbuds, Jbuds Air come to the top in many categories. These are predominantly workout earbuds but work fine for any other use as well.
You get a secure fit that sticks in the ears, the background noise isolation is above average thanks to in-ear fit, and the water protection keeps them safe from damage (IPX5).
Plus, the built-in microphone is quite decent for talking over the phone or using voice commands for Siri or Google Assistant.
2. Aukey EP-T32
Best earbuds under $50 with ear hooks for improved stability.
Type: True wireless | Battery life: 7h + 28h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 2h + quick charge – USB-C & Qi wireless charging | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX | Water resistance: IPX8 | Features: Ear hooks, auto play/pause, mono mode
- Excellent comfort and stability thanks to ear hooks
- Reliable touch controls
- Extreme water protection (IPX8)
- Enjoyable, punchy sound
- Great Bluetooth stability and coverage
- Support for Qi wireless charging
- No multipoint support
- Subpar microphone quality
- Mediocre passive isolation due to shallower fit
For a budget solution like EP-T32, the sound quality is excellent. 12mm drivers, while not the cleanest out there, produce a good balance between bass and midrange even at higher volume levels.
Delivery is punchy and warm, but not overly congested. The treble is smooth but sparkly enough when a song calls it.
These earbuds boast superb comfort. Mostly due to shallow insertion and gentle rubber hooks that aren’t in a way, even if your wear glasses.
Also, earbuds appear very durable, with no noticeable parts that would break easily. With their IPX8 rating, you can even clean them in water after a workout.
3. Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo
Great budget option for sportspeople who need secure earbuds that can stay in their ears no matter what.
Type: True wireless | Battery life: 5h, 9h in case | Charging: 1.5h + quick charge – Micro-USB | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Yes, built-in | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water-resistance: IPX7 | Features: Ear fins
- Very comfortable
- Ear fins provide secure fit
- Reliable Bluetooth 5.0 connection
- IPX7 water resistance
- Good sound quality with graphene drivers
- Pretty decent build quality
- The charging case seems a bit flimsy
- Charging via micro USB
- Bass isn’t very agile
- Physical controls are annoying and only support basic commands
Punchy bass is definitely the star of a show, with other frequencies slightly subdued. Still, you’re getting good vocal clarity and a smooth, non-fatiguing treble. If you listen to a lot of popular music, these are a perfect pick.
Thanks to the ergonomic design, Liberty Neo’s are very comfortable to wear. Finding a tight seal is easy, and with the addition of ear fins, they provide a secure fit. You can run with these or shake your head rapidly: these are not falling out.
These cheap earbuds are also excellent in durability, with rigid plastic construction and an IPX7 water resistance rating, meaning you can wash them under a tap without worries. A top of that, you can also rely on a good Bluetooth connection throughout the house.
TaoTronics SoundLiberty 92
Great classic earphones that easily rival Apple AirPods.
Driver size:13mm PU
Type: True wireless | Battery life: 5h + 20h in case | Wireless range: 50ft (15m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 2h + quick charging – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IPX8 | Features: Touch controls
- Comfortable and lightweight
- The fairly neutral sound signature
- Responsive touch controls
- 5-hour battery life on a single charge
- Good build quality
- IPX8 water-resistance
- Loose fit
- Poor noise isolation
Interestingly, these earbuds provide a fairly neutral sound profile, with smoothen-out highs to prevent harshness. Even the bass is a bit more present than you might expect. Overall, they’re fun, with good imaging capabilities.
The housing of these earbuds is nicely rounded with no sharp corners that could poke into your ears. That is why they’re very comfortable for extended listening experience.
They’re incredibly robust. Earbuds are made from hard, glossy plastic, protected with an IPX8 water resistance rating. The latter means you can drop them in water for more than an hour without fear of damaging them.
But you’ll have to listen to them at higher volume levels due to shallower fit.
5. Tribit FlyBuds 3
True wireless earbuds with the charging case that can also charge your smartphone.
Type: True wireless | Battery life: 5h + 95h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 2h + quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IPX7 | Features: Powerbank option, touch controls, ear fins
- Amazing total battery life
- Good stability with ear fins
- Enjoyable V-shaped sound
- With no EQ, you’re stuck with stock sound signature
FlyBuds 3 offer an entertaining sound performance with punchy bass and bright treble. This kind of sound signature is most suitable for popular genres. Even though these are only $40, you get a fair amount of detail in the mix.
They come with a generous array of ear tips and ear fins so that you can find the perfect fit. Once you do, they can be used for everything from casual listening, long walks, and even workouts (IPX7). The built-in 2.600mAh battery can also charge other devices via a USB-A port.
Despite the low price tag, they come with USB-C charging, 5th gen Bluetooth, and an MFB button. The latter is useful for the fast pairing process, and if you want to display the battery percentage of the case on your phone.
How to Find the Best Cheap Earbuds?
You shouldn’t look just at prices. There are too many choices. And many of those are bad ones.
Look for things that you might prefer, like:
- Better sound quality
- Strong, powerful bass
- A long battery life
- High comfort
- Water protection (IPX4 or more)
Many times it’s wise to spend $10 or $20 more and get a pair of earbuds that will last you longer and have high-quality audio comparable with more expensive models.
Most of the cheap earbuds don’t produce the kind of bass and audio performance that you are looking for, but some are close.
You can get a great pair of earbuds with quality audio for very little money if you pick right. But you need to know what kind of audio signature you want.
The most common signatures in cheap earbuds:
- Bass emphasized
- Balanced, neutral
- V-shaped (boosted bass and treble)
Cheap true wireless earbuds should last at least 5 hours per charge. If you’re looking at a model with shorter battery, you can always get better.
Regular cheap wireless earbuds, with a wired between buds, should last at least 10 hours. Though they’re out of fashion by 2021.
Even cheap earbuds can be comfortable. You need to get the right eartips.
Memory-foam eartips are the best by far. They change the shape to fit your ear canal when they warm up and fit most ear sizes.
Quality eartips are cheap but make a big difference in comfort and noise isolation. Get them if you’re half serious about earbuds.
Durability – Water Protection
Cheap price doesn’t have to mean low-quality.
Generally, cheap wireless earbuds are made generically. Not necessarily fragile, but don’t expect them to be as durable as an expensive pair of headphones.
And, if you are looking for specific earbuds, like headphones for running, you’ll usually have to shelve out more money. Companies have figured people are willing to pay more for specialized headphones.
Expect to pay more for active noise canceling technology. It’s getting cheaper thanks to modern chips which support it naturally.
But it still adds to the price. Decent noise cancelling earbuds cost more than 50 bucks.
The same is true for best noise-cancelling headphones which cost from $100 to over $300.
There are some cheaper options, see the best budget noise cancelling headphones.
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