The 6 Best Budget Wireless Headphones - Winter 2021 Reviews

Updated
Best Budget Wireless Headphones
551 Headphones Tested
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Wireless headphones can be much more convenient than their wired counterparts; they give you an extra level of freedom and help eliminate annoying cables from your life. While wireless headphones have been around for a long time, you used to have to pay a fairly substantial premium for the luxury. However, in the past few years, that's changed and you can now get surprisingly decent wireless headphones on a budget. While most wireless headphones use a Bluetooth connection, gaming headsets generally use a dedicated wireless transmitter as that will give you better microphone quality as well as less lag, at the expense of portability and versatility.

We’ve tested over 320 pairs of wireless headphones and below are our recommendations for the best budget Bluetooth headphones to buy. 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, the best headphones under $50, or take a look at the budget category for our best wireless gaming headsets.


  1. Best Cheap Wireless Headphones Under $50: Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 Wireless

    7.2
    Mixed Usage
    7.8
    Neutral Sound
    7.2
    Commute/Travel
    7.2
    Sports/Fitness
    7.1
    Office
    5.9
    Wireless Gaming
    7.5
    Wired Gaming
    6.6
    Phone Calls
    Type Over-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Yes
    Noise Cancelling Yes
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    The best cheap wireless headphones that we've tested are the Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 Wireless. These over-ears have a decently versatile overall performance that can please many different types of listeners. They have a stable fit, and their 24.5-hour continuous battery life is ideal for long days on the go.

    These headphones have a very neutral, balanced sound profile that's suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content. There are a few EQ presets available on the Backbeat App to help you customize their sound to your liking. They don't leak a lot of sound, so you can listen to your favorite songs at loud volumes without annoying those around you.

    Unfortunately, while their ANC feature can block out higher-frequency background noises typically found in an office, they struggle to isolate against bass-heavy sounds like bus and plane engines. Also, while they feel pretty sturdy, they don't look as premium as pricier headphones. However, if you're on a tight budget, these versatile headphones are a solid choice.

    See our review

  2. In-Ear Alternative: Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019

    Type In-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Yes
    Noise Cancelling No
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    If you're looking for cheap wireless headphones but prefer an in-ear design, consider the Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 instead. While their battery life isn't as long and their sound profile isn't as neutral as the Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 Wireless, their in-ear design is more portable and breathable. These well-built headphones have an ear-hook design that gives them a stable fit, so you can also wear them during your workouts, and they shouldn't fall off your ears. Some listeners may prefer their bass-heavy sound profile, which adds an extra boom and a punch to audio. They don't leak a lot of noise, either, and their 18.4-hour continuous battery life should still be more than enough to get you through your workouts.

    If you prefer on-ear headphones with a more neutral sound profile, check out the Plantronics. However, if you prefer an in-ear design and a bass-heavy sound, consider the Anker instead.

    See our review

  3. Best Budget Headphones Under $100: Mixcder E9 Wireless

    7.0
    Mixed Usage
    7.3
    Neutral Sound
    7.4
    Commute/Travel
    7.1
    Sports/Fitness
    7.1
    Office
    5.5
    Wireless Gaming
    7.1
    Wired Gaming
    6.5
    Phone Calls
    Type Over-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Yes
    Noise Cancelling Yes
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    The best budget wireless headphones under $100 that we've tested are the Mixcder E9. These over-ear ANC headphones are comfortable thanks to their well-padded headband and ear cups, and they have easy-to-use physical controls. They feel decently well-built, despite being a bit plasticky, and they come with a nice hard carrying case.

    Their sound profile is fairly well-balanced and is versatile enough for a wide range of content and genres. They may be lacking in detail and brightness to some people, though it shouldn't be too noticeable overall. Their ANC works decently well, and they actually do a better job at blocking out the low rumble of engines than background speech, which is fairly uncommon and makes them better for commuting than to help keep you concentrated in the office.

    Unfortunately, while their 18.3-hour battery is good, it isn't nearly as long as their advertised 24-hour battery life and is shorter than the other over-ear options on this list. They also leak a bit more audio than other over-ears, so you may not want to blast your music if you work in a very quiet office. Overall, they offer a good price-to-performance ratio and are the best budget headphones under $100.

    See our review

  4. Truly Wireless Alternative: Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Truly Wireless

    Type In-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Truly Wireless
    Noise Cancelling No
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    If you prefer the extreme portability of truly wireless in-ears, get the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2. Their in-ear fit may not be as comfortable for everyone as the over-ear design of the Mixcder E9 Wireless, and their battery doesn't last as long off a single charge, but they're much more portable and isolate background speech better. They last just over six hours off a single charge, which is good for truly wireless headphones, and their case holds an additional three charges to help you get through the day. Unfortunately, their touch-sensitive controls may not be for everyone, and if you prefer physical controls, you may want to consider the similarly-performing Anker SoundCore Life P2 Truly Wireless, though they don't have a companion app.

    Overall, if you prefer over-ear headphones and want something with a long battery that will get you through a couple of full workdays, go for the Mixcder, but if you prefer the truly wireless experience and want something you can easily toss into your pocket or bag, get the Anker.

    See our review

  5. Best Budget Headphones Under $150: Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Wireless 2016

    7.3
    Mixed Usage
    7.7
    Neutral Sound
    7.4
    Commute/Travel
    7.1
    Sports/Fitness
    7.4
    Office
    5.9
    Wireless Gaming
    7.5
    Wired Gaming
    6.6
    Phone Calls
    Type Over-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Yes
    Noise Cancelling Yes
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    The best budget Bluetooth headphones under $150 that we’ve tested are the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. These comfortable over-ears are very easy to use and have a premium and well-made design. Their 30-hour battery life is great, and they support multi-device pairing so you can easily switch between two devices.

    While they're a bit more expensive than the other options on this list, it shows in their very accurate and well-balanced sound profile. Almost the entire profile is accurate and neutral, with a bit of extra thump that doesn't come across as over-powering or muddy, making them well-suited for almost all genres and content.

    Unfortunately, their companion app doesn't include any EQ settings, and while they have ANC, it's only decent and won't help bring you too much peace. They provide great value overall and provide a lot of extra features like multi-device pairing, an auto-off timer, and NFC pairing.

    See our review

  6. Alternative For Gaming: SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition Wireless

    Type Over-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Yes
    Noise Cancelling No
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    If you’re looking for the best budget wireless headphones for gaming, get the SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition. They don't have Bluetooth like the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Wireless 2016, so you can't pair them to your phone, but they have a much better microphone and lower latency, thanks to their dedicated wireless transmitter. While their out-of-the-box sound profile is very well-balanced, their frequency response consistency is sub-par, so different people may experience it differently. On the bright side, they can be EQ'd via the SteelSeries Engine software to suit your preferences, and they're comfortable enough for extended gaming sessions. Unfortunately, they're only compatible with PC and PS4, and can't be used wirelessly with the Xbox One.

    If you're looking for a day-to-day pair of Bluetooth over-ears, get the Plantronics, but if you want a good gaming headset that won't break the bank, go for the SteelSeries.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Skullcandy Jib Wireless: The Skullcandy Jib are inexpensive earbuds that perform okay but don’t provide as much value as the Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019. See our review
  • JBL E65BTNC Wireless: The JBL E65BTNC are decent over-ear headphones that have decent noise isolation and sound good, but don’t have the great battery life of the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. See our review
  • HyperX Cloud Flight: The HyperX Cloud Flight is a good wireless gaming headset with an outstanding microphone, but not as well-built as the SteelSeries Arctis 7. See our review
  • Logitech G935 Wireless Gaming Headset: The Logitech G935 Wireless Gaming Headset is a good wireless gaming headset with tons of customization options, but they don’t have as good of a microphone as the SteelSeries Arctis 7. See our review
  • Jaybird Tarah Wireless: The Jaybird Tarah are great wireless sports earbuds with a fairly neutral sound profile and a dedicated companion app, but not as portable as the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2, and use a proprietary charging cable. See our review
  • JBL Endurance Sprint Wireless: The JBL Endurance Sprint are decent wireless in-ears that have a more neutral sound profile than the Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 but aren’t as comfortable and are more expensive. See our review
  • Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless: The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 are noise cancelling over-ears with impressive battery life, but their V-shaped sound profile may not appeal to all listeners. See our review
  • FIIL T1X True Wireless: The FIIL T1X are a truly wireless alternative to the SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019, but their integrated microphone doesn't perform as well as the Anker's in-line mic. See our review

Recent Updates

12/11/2020: Replaced the Mpow H10 Wireless with the Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 Wireless and removed the Aukey Latitude Wireless from Notable Mentions due to changing availability.

10/13/2020: Replaced the Anker SoundCore Space NC Wireless and the Skullcandy Grind Wireless with the FIIL T1X True Wireless and the Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 Wireless as Notable Mentions.

08/13/2020: Replaced the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless with the Mpow H10 Wireless to reflect pricing changes.

06/17/2020: Updated text for clarity and accuracy; moved the Mpow H10 to Notable Mentions.

04/16/2020: Replaced the Mpow H5 with the Anker SoundCore Life Q20 for consistency.

All Reviews

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 of our headphones reviews in the budget range. 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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