This price range is for listeners who want a low-budget and potentially disposable headset. This means the headphones in this list won't be the most comfortable, durable or well-rounded. They also won't sound very good. However, they're cheap and would be ideal for a last minute purchase or if you need a temporary pair of headphones. Below are our recommendations for the best headphones under $25 we have tested so far.
Best Over-Ear Headphones under $25
The Sennheiser HD 201 are affordable but mediocre-sounding headphones that are not well suited for loud environments. The long, non-detachable cable is a bit cumbersome, but on the upside, they're lightweight and stable enough to use while jogging. They also don't leak too much which is good for recording. However, their sound lacks a bit of bass and excitement.
The Koss UR 20 are not particularly impressive. They're bulky and lack the versatility to be used as casual, everyday headphones. Their build quality also feels a bit fragile, which is to be expected at this price range. However, on the upside, they have a sufficiently decent sound for a budget critical listening experience.
Best On-Ear Headphones under $25
The Sennheiser HD 202 II have a unique look and a much better sound quality than the HD 201. For the price, they deliver a relatively balanced audio reproduction, which packs enough bass. They have a stable fit and a lightweight design. However, they feel a little plasticky and the low-budget price range shows the weak build quality. Their on-ear design is also not the most comfortable, especially, for long critical listening sessions.
The AmazonBasics Lightweight On-Ear have a simple, straightforward design that's not the most versatile but delivers a decent and reliable sound quality. They're lightweight and stable enough to use as low-budget gym headphones. Unfortunately, their build quality is flimsy and plasticky. They won't be very durable headphones, but it's to be expected for under $25.
Best In-Ear/Earbuds Headphones under $25
The SoundPeats QY8 are affordable wireless headphones that perform decently well for most use cases. They're stable enough for sports, they're easy to carry around, and they block a fair amount of ambient noise for regular commutes. Unfortunately, they do not have the best sound quality and run out of battery pretty quickly. Also, their in-ear fit and awkward control scheme are not for everyone.
The Panasonic RP-HJE120-K ErgoFit have a very minimal and simplistic in-ear design with no additional features. They barely leak, even at incredibly loud volumes, and their sound quality is sufficiently adequate to make them great for studio recording, as long as you are comfortable with the in-ear fit. They're quite cheap, being under $10 which is great, but this also shows in their build quality. They won't be the most durable headphones.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best headphones under $25 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 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. They're cheaper than the Rovking V1 but also perform slightly worse. See our review
- SoundPeats Q9A. Similar fit and design to the Powerbeats 2 at a much lower cost. Not as well built and poorly isolates. Currently low on stocks. 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 cheap headphones. Personal taste, preference and listening habits will matter more in your selection.