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The 5 Best Headphones Under $50 - Spring 2024 Reviews

Updated
Best Headphones Under $50

Finding headphones on a budget can be tricky, but you don't need to break the bank to get a decent listening experience. The headphones on this list generally aren't as comfortable or neutral-sounding as some of the more premium options, but you can still find quality offerings at a reasonable price.

We've tested over 770 headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best headphones and earbuds that you can find for under $50. Also, check out our picks for the best earbuds under $50, the best wireless earbuds under $50, and the best budget and cheap gaming headsets.


  1. Best Headphones Under $50

    The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless are the best headphones under $50 we've tested. They're the previous generation of the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless, which are among the best wireless Bluetooth headphones under $100 we've tested. Although the Q20's price point fluctuates just above the $50 mark, these headphones still offer high value as they're equipped with an active noise cancelling system to help block out background noise.

    They can reduce sounds like ambient chatter very well, which is handy if you work in a noisy office, but they have trouble cutting down the rumble of bus engines. They also last over 32 hours continuously with the ANC on; you can use them wired when you run out of battery life. Their V-shaped sound profile packs extra thump, rumble, and boom, while vocals and lead instruments are detailed and bright, particularly well-suited for genres like EDM, hip-hop, pop, and rock.

    Even though they don't have a companion app, they have a bass-effect feature built into their controls so you can adjust their thump and boom. They have a decent build quality and are comfortable enough for long listening sessions, but they feel a bit plasticky and lack a sturdy carrying case to help protect them when you're on the go.

    See our review

  2. Best On-Ear Headphones Under $50

    On-ear headphones can be a good option if you don't like the feeling of your ears being closed off from the world when wearing over-ear headphones. If this sounds up your alley, you'll want to try the Sony WH-CH520 Wireless, one of our picks for the best Bluetooth headphones under $50. These comfortable cans are plush and padded, making them ideal for longer listening sessions. Their price fluctuates a bit, so they can sometimes be priced above $50, but they still represent a good option for around that price.

    These headphones boast some cool features, like multi-device pairing and a battery life of well over 52 hours. Given the price, their build quality isn't the most impressive, but they're still suitable enough for most uses. Out of the box, these headphones have a slightly warm sound profile. The bass and mid-ranges are flat and balanced, producing a clear and full-bodied sound. Dips in the low-bass and treble slightly dull higher-pitched sounds like cymbals, though.

    If you want a different sound, you can always use the graphic EQ and presets in their companion app to switch it up. The app is also where you'll find Sony's 360 Reality Audio feature, which analyzes your ear shape to integrate a virtual soundstage through compatible services like TIDAL. If you love on-ears, these feature-packed headphones are a solid pick that won't break the bank.

    See our review

  3. Best Cheap Headphones Under $50

    Looking for a cheaper option? The Logitech G435 LIGHTSPEED Wireless are the best wireless headphones under $50 for gaming we've tested in this price range. While these headphones are designed for teens and tweens and have a volume limiter, don't let this dissuade you from considering them, as they'll still fit most adult heads and may even save your ears if you're a recovering tune-cranker.

    They support Bluetooth and have a wireless USB dongle for lower latency connectivity while gaming or watching a video on your PC. Their sound profile is slightly warm, with extra high-bass complementing genres like folk or rock. Vocals and instruments are clear and present but a bit bright. Unfortunately, they don't have a companion app or customization features.

    Their build quality reflects their price, with a flimsy plastic construction and padded fabric that could easily get damaged over repeated use. The mic is also just fair. Your voice sounds clear but thin, unnatural, and easily lost amid moderate and loud background noise. Fortunately, their battery lasts nearly 20 hours, so you can use them all day without worrying about losing power.

    See our review

  4. Best Audiophile Headphones Under $50

    If you're looking for budget-friendly over-ear headphones and want a neutral sound, the Superlux HD 681 are the best audiophile headphones we've tested for under $50. These headphones aren't for casual use; they lack a mic and don't have ANC, so they're less versatile than the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless. However, they have a much flatter, neutral sound profile. Their bass and mid-range responses are very neutral, so your music isn't overwhelmed by extra thump and boom, and vocals and lead instruments sound preset, detailed, and clear.

    They also have a semi-open design, which helps them create an open and natural-seeming passive soundstage. They're comfortable and lightweight, making them suitable for long listening sessions. They aren't the best choice for your commute or the office since they don't block out very much ambient noise. Their build quality also feels plasticky and a bit cheap.

    However, if you're looking for better-built audiophile headphones, it's worth considering the Audio-Technica ATH-M20x instead. These over-ears feel sturdier, and their closed-back design means they leak less audio at high volumes. However, they're less comfortable and have a more recessed treble, which veils vocals and instruments and dull sibilants like cymbals.

    See our review

  5. Best Earbuds Under $50

    Current Deal: The JBL Vibe Buds True Wireless is on sale for 20% at Amazon.com.

    The best earbuds under $50 we've tested are the JBL Vibe Buds True Wireless. These small and lightweight buds are a great option if you're looking to bring your tunes around with you on the go. They have a balanced sound profile out of the box, with plenty of low-end boom and rumble to add excitement to your music. They also have extra features compared to similarly priced models, including a 10-band graphic EQ and presets in their companion app. They have a comfortable and stable in-ear fit and boast over eight hours of continuous battery life, so you won't need to recharge in the middle of your workday.

    These headphones are certified IP54, which is a nice touch for listening on the go since it protects against exposure to water splashes and dust. At this price point, it's also worth considering the JBL Vibe Beam True Wireless, which have a better mic performance, making those headphones a solid choice for taking phone calls. They're not as comfortable as the Vibe Buds, though, and their fit isn't as stable.

    If you're looking for more budget in-ear picks, check out our recommendations for the best earbuds under $50.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Razer Opus X Wireless: The Razer Opus X Wireless are over-ears with a comfortable fit, better build quality, and significantly better battery performance than the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless. Their ANC doesn't perform quite as well, and their price often fluctuates above the $50 mark. See our review
  • Audio-Technica ATH-M20x: The Audio-Technica ATH-M20x are wired over-ear headphones with moderate comfort and a well-balanced sound profile. They're a good option if you're looking for low-cost reference headphones, but they don't offer the same audio fidelity as the Superlux HD 681. See our review
  • Skullcandy Dime 3 True Wireless: The Skullcandy Dime 3 True Wireless are in-ear headphones with a fairly neutral sound profile and roughly eight hours of continuous battery life. They're well-built and feature a Bluetooth multi-device pairing, which is rare at this price point. However, they're less comfortable than the JBL Vibe Buds True Wireless. See our review
  • TRUTHEAR x Crinacle ZERO: The TRUTHEAR x Crinacle ZERO are wired in-ear monitors (IEMs) designed for audiophiles on a budget. They're not as versatile as the JBL Vibe Buds True Wireless, as they don't have a built-in microphone, but they have an exciting sound profile delivered via a dual-driver design. See our review
  • TRUTHEAR x Crinacle ZERO: RED: Like the TRUTHEAR x Crinacle ZERO, the TRUTHEAR x Crinacle ZERO: RED are budget-friendly wired IEMS. They aren't as good for casual use as the JBL Vibe Buds True Wireless, since they lack a mic and ANC, but they have a more neutral bass response than the ZERO variant. They also come with a 10 ohm resistor if you want more bass. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. May 21, 2024: Added the TRUTHEAR x Crinacle ZERO: RED to the Notable Mentions since they're a good alternative to the JBL Vibe Buds True Wireless if you're looking for wired earbuds or care most about audio quality.

  2. Mar 22, 2024: We've validated this article, ensuring that our picks are still up-to-date and available.

  3. Jan 22, 2024: We've replaced the JBL Vibe Beam True Wireless with the JBL Vibe Buds True Wireless as our pick for the 'Best Earbuds Under $50'. We also replaced the Sony WI-C310 Wireless with the Skullcandy Dime 3 True Wireless in the Notable Mentions.

  4. Nov 24, 2023: We've updated this article to ensure our picks are still up-to-date and accurate. We added the TOZO T6 Truly Wireless as an in-text alternative for the 'Best Earbuds Under $50' pick.

  5. Sep 28, 2023: Made minor updates to the text and checked that the products are in stock.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the top wireless headphones under $50 for most people. 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 for headphones under $50. 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.