The 5 Best Headphones under $25
- Store-bought headphones; no cherry-picked units
- Retest after major updates
- Easily comparable results
- No ads; unbiased 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 $50' for more choices). Below are our recommendations for the best budget headphones we have reviewed so far.
Best Cheap Over-Ear Headphones: Koss UR-20
If you're looking for cheap over ears, then the Koss UR 20 are the best headphones under 25$ that we've tested so far. They have large, spacious and comfortable ear cups and a decently well-balanced sound. This makes them above-average budget headphones for critical listening.
However, they do not have any fancy active features and they're quite bulky, so they won't be practical to use in all situations.
Best Cheap On-Ear Headphones: AmazonBasics Lightweight On Ear
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, but on the upside, they sound surprisingly well balanced for their price range.
They're also decently portable and they don't leak much, so you will rarely distract those around you in quieter settings. If you want a sturdier on-ear headphone, consider the Sound Intone CX-05. They're better-built and much more durable than the AmazonBasics but they do not sound as good.
More Portable Alternative: Koss KSC75
If you want a more portable alternative and do not like the fit of in-ears, then get the Koss KSC75. They have an above-average sound that reproduces instruments and vocals surprisingly well, and they're lightweight and compact, unlike the AmazonBasics On-Ear.
You can easily fit them in your pockets and they have a stable ear-hook design that makes them somewhat decent for sports. Unfortunately, they're a little uncomfortable for some and they don't have enough bass for most listeners due to their open design.
Best Cheap In-Ear Headphones: Anker SoundBuds Curve
If you want a cheap wireless headset, then the best earbuds we have tested at this price are the Anker Soundbuds Curve. They have a stable design that’s great for sports and a good set of active features, especially considering their price range.
They're wireless, have a decent battery life and they're very portable so you can have them on you at all times. They’re also a bit more comfortable than typical in-ears and barely leak, so they’re great to use in quieter environments when you do not want to disturb those around you. The Soundpeats Q9A are a good alternative to the Curve but they look and feel a bit cheaper and they do not sound as good.
Wired Alternative: 1More Piston Classic
If you want a more typical in-ear to carry on you at all times, then consider the 1More Piston Classic. They do not have the convenience of a wireless design but you also don't have to worry about battery life.
They sound decently balanced although not as good as the more expensive headphones from 1More like the Triple and Quad Drivers. On the upside, they are fairly well built for cheap headphones and surprisingly comfortable for an in-ear design.
- SoundPeats Q9A. A good alternative to the Anker SoundBuds Curve but they do not sound as good. See our review
- Rovking V1. Cheap 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
- MEE audio X6 Plus. Budget headphones with a simple, wireless in-ear. Average audio reproduction but a mediocre-at-best build quality. See our review
- Sound Intone CX-05. A sturdy and well-built on-ear for the price. Deal breaking sound quality. See our review
- Mpow Jaws. An affordable around-the-neck design with decent battery life and above-average wireless range but a subpar sound quality. See our review
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).
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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