Wireless technologies have come a long way in recent years, and you don’t need to pay a small fortune to own decent wireless headphones anymore. Wireless headphones still have some flaws, though: Bluetooth headphones generally aren’t great for gaming since they tend to lag too much and have poor mic quality, but gaming headphones that use dedicated wireless transmitters lack the portability and versatility of Bluetooth headphones. That said, there are a lot of wireless headphones out there and you’re sure to find a pair that suits your needs.
We’ve tested nearly 200 wireless headphones and below are our recommendations for the best budget Bluetooth headphones to buy in 2019. If you’re looking for a more specific type of headphones, check out our recommendations for the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds under $50 or $100, or take a look at the budget category for our best wireless gaming headsets.
The best budget headphones under $50 that we’ve tested so far are the Mpow H5. There aren’t very many decent pairs of over-ear headphones in this price range, but these are Bluetooth over-ear headphones with active noise cancelling (ANC) that are surprisingly well-rounded for the price.
They’re fairly comfortable and their build quality feels on par with headphones that cost significantly more. They come with a great hard case, too, which is a nice touch at this price point. They even support multi-device pairing, so you can pair them with two devices simultaneously. They sound decent in general, but will sound a bit boomy and muddy to more critical listeners. They have an ordinary rechargeable battery that lasts for 12 hours, but they also support passive playback, so they can be used wired when their battery dies.
Unfortunately, their noise cancelling performance isn’t very good, as it fails to isolate noise well. If you care most about noise cancellation, consider the Cowin E7 Wireless, which isolate much better but sound significantly worse and feel more cheaply made. All things considered, the Mpow H5 are the best cheap Bluetooth headphones.
If you prefer the portability of earbuds and are looking for something even cheaper than the Mpow H5, get the Anker SoundBuds Curve. They’re the among the best cheap wireless in-ears we’ve tested so far and provide very good value for their price. They’re surprisingly comfortable for in-ear headphones and fit very securely. They have good, deep bass, and although they lack a bit of emphasis on vocals and lead instruments, they sound decent overall. They also have a 13-hour battery life, which is quite good.
These headphones have a fairly premium look for their price, but their audio cable feels quite thin and prone to breakage. They’re also not sweat-proof, so although they have a nice stable fit, they might not survive your toughest workouts. If you need more durable earbuds for sports, check out the slightly more expensive Anker Soundcore Spirit X. Otherwise, it’s hard to beat the SoundBuds Curve.
The best budget Bluetooth headphones under $100 that we’ve tested so far are the Mpow H10. They’re comfortable over-ear headphones that are quite versatile. They don’t isolate as well as some of the more premium options out there, but they’re still among the best noise cancelling headphones we’ve seen to date, especially for their price.
These headphones provide a satisfactory listening experience thanks to their fairly well-balanced sound. They have decent noise isolation and reduce noise across the spectrum reasonably well. They’ll help attenuate the deep thump and rumble of bus engines, as well as the sounds of a lively office to a decent degree. They also have a great 23-hour battery life that doesn’t take too long charge. They can even be used while charging, which is a great feature that some more premium headphones we’ve tested are lacking.
On the downside, they don’t have the best build quality, especially compared to the even cheaper Mpow H5. They also leak quite a bit, so you might not want to blast your music at the office. The Anker SoundCore Life 2 Wireless are better-built and leak less, but they don’t isolate noise as well. Overall, the Mpow H10 are one the best cheap wireless headphones; they provide very good value thanks to their comfortable fit and fairly well-rounded performance at their price point.
If you prefer the more compact format of truly wireless earbuds over the Mpow H10, then get the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air. They have a sleek, low-profile design, similar to that of the Apple AirPods 2 2019 but with much better audio reproduction and passive isolation. Their battery performance is about average for truly wireless in-ears in 2019, and they provide about 4 hours of continuous playback but will last for 12 more hours if you store them in their charging case throughout the day.
Unfortunately, they have worse latency performance than most Bluetooth headphones, which makes them a poor choice for watching videos or playing games on a mobile device. Their battery also only lasts for about 4 hours, but their charging case provides up to 12 extra hours of playback. Overall, they’re decent truly wireless headphones for most uses and are among the best true wireless earbuds we’ve reviewed.
If you need sports-oriented earbuds to handle your most intense workouts, get the Jaybird Tarah Wireless. They’re not truly wireless like the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air, but they have an IPX7 rating for superior water resistance and have a very stable fit that makes them a great choice for sports. They sound decent and are compatible with the impressive Jaybird MySound app that gives you access to a great parametric EQ so you can customize your sound your way.
Unfortunately, they come with a proprietary charging cradle that’s rather restrictive. The cradle is not only proprietary to the brand, but also to the model of headphone, so if you upgrade to another model like the Jaybird Tarah Pro, you’ll get a different charger once again. Besides that, though, these are all-around great sports in-ears that are worth considering.
The best budget headphones under $150 that we’ve tested so far are the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. They’re comfortable, easy-to-use headphones that come with an ergonomic physical control scheme that’s simple and efficient. They have lots of active features, sound very good, and feel very durable, which is great at this price point.
These headphones have an exciting, bass-rich sound that can bring out the thump and rumble of more bass-heavy genres like EDM and hip-hop without drowning out the vocals and lead instruments of pop, rock, or jazz music. Their 30-hour battery life is outstanding, and they have lots of power-saving features like an auto-off timer and smart pause to help further save power.
Unfortunately, they aren’t the sleekest-looking headphones. Their companion app also doesn’t feature an EQ, which is a bit disappointing. If you prefer a more neutral sound with a more streamlined design, the Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 Wireless are a good choice, but they’re a bit less comfortable. All-in-all, the BackBeat Pro 2 provide very good value and are among the best Bluetooth headphones we’ve tested.
If you’re looking for a great pair of gaming headphones that won’t cost you a fortune, consider the SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition. They’re not Bluetooth-enabled like the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2, so you can’t use them wirelessly with your mobile devices, but they come with a low-latency wireless transmitter for lag-free gaming from the comfort of your own couch. They’re compatible with PC and the PS4 and have a great boom microphone that’s perfect for multiplayer games. They’re comfortable, sound good, and have a great 25-hour battery life.
Like most gaming headsets, they’re quite bulky. They have a unique ski goggle-inspired headband that fits most people fairly well, but those with larger heads may find them too tight. They also have sub-par frequency response consistency, which means that different people may find they don’t sound the same, especially if you wear glasses. That said, you can EQ the way they sound with the SteelSeries Engine software to better suit your tastes.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best budget wireless headphones for most people to buy. We factor in the price (cheaper headphones win over pricier ones 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).
If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our reviews of cheap wireless headphones. 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.