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    Table of Contents
  1. Intro
  2. Best Over-Ear
  3. Best On-Ear
  4. Best Earbuds
  5. All Reviews
  6. Q&A
Updated

Best Headphones under $25 - Summer 2017
Reviews

Nowadays, you can get a decent pair of headphones on a very tight budget. Cheap headphones are ideal for a last-minute purchase or if you need a temporary pair of headphones. However, the choice is limited and the build quality tends to be poor (check our article 'best headphones under $50' for more recommendations). Below are our recommendations for the best headphones under $25 we have tested so far.

Best Over-Ear Headphones under $25

Usage Ratings
5.5Mixed Usage
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What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
7.0Critical Listening
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What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
4.9Commute/Travel
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What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
4.5Sports/Fitness
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What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
5.6Office
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What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
6.7Home Theater
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Score components:

The Koss UR 20 are the best over-ear headphones below $25 we have tested. They have large, spacious and comfortable ear cups and a decently well-balanced sound. That makes them above average headphones for critical listening, especially at their price range. Unfortunately, they have a pretty weak and flimsy design that's not particularly durable. They're also quite bulky and cumbersome so they won't be the most practical headphones for all use cases.

See our review

Best On-Ear Headphones under $25

Usage Ratings
6.1Mixed Usage
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What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
6.9Critical Listening
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What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
5.6Commute/Travel
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What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
5.9Sports/Fitness
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What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
5.8Office
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What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
6.5Home Theater
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Score components:

If you prefer on-ear headphones and only have $25 to spend, we recommend the AmazonBasics On-Ear. They’re still somewhat flimsy headphones that are not versatile enough to use in loud noisy environments and they look and feel a bit cheap. However, they sound surprisingly well balanced for their price range, they’re portable and do not leak much.

See our review

Best In-Ear / Earbuds Headphones under $25

Usage Ratings
7.1Mixed Usage
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What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
6.5Critical Listening
Show Help
What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
6.9Commute/Travel
Show Help
What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
7.7Sports/Fitness
Show Help
What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
7.5Office
Show Help
What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
6.3Home Theater
Show Help
Score components:

If you want wireless headphones, the best cheap earbuds we have tested are the SoundPeats Q9A. They have a stable design that’s great for sports. The below-average sound quality may be a deal breaker for some. However, they’re more comfortable than typical in-ears. They also barely leak, so they’re great to use in quieter environments when you do not want to disturb those around you. 

See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best cheap headphones to buy for most people. We factor in the price (a cheaper headphone wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors and availability (no headphones that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

A few examples of cheap headphones under $25 that didn't make the cut:

  • Rovking V1. Cheap budget sports headphones. Low leakage but poor sound quality and isolation. See our review
  • Venstone X1.  Low leakage and a stable ear-hook design, but they perform slightly worse than our recommendations. See our review

If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our reviews for headphones under $25. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect headphones. Personal taste, preference and listening habits will matter more in your selection. 

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