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The 7 Best Headphones Under $50 - Summer 2022 Reviews

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 out there, but you can find quality offerings at a reasonable price.

We've tested over 675 headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best headphones under $50 that you can buy. Also, make sure to check out our picks for the best earbuds under $50, the best wireless earbuds under $50, and the best gaming headsets under $50.

  1. Best Truly Wireless Headphones Under $50

    The best truly wireless headphones under $50 that we've tested are the Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2 Truly Wireless. What makes them stand out from the crowd is their under 100 hours of total battery life, thanks to the 12.5 additional charges in their carrying case. They also have roughly 7.3 hours of continuous playback time, and they're even equipped with a standby mode to help conserve battery life when not in use.

    These headphones have a slightly bass-heavy sound profile that adds extra thump, body, and boom to your mixes, which fans of EDM and hip-hop can enjoy. While they don't have noise cancelling like the TOZO NC7 Truly Wireless, they can still passively isolate you from a good amount of ambient noise like office chatter. They have a decently comfortable fit, are well-built, and have an IPX5 rating for water resistance, making them a solid choice for use at the gym.

    Unfortunately, they don't have a companion app and lack an EQ to help you adjust their sound. Their integrated mic also struggles to separate your voice from moderate ambient noise around you, so you may not want to take calls if you're out on a busy street. Still, these in-ears offer versatile overall performance and a very long total battery life.

    See our review

  2. Cheaper Alternative

    If you're looking for even cheaper truly wireless in-ears, look at the JLab Audio GO Air POP True Wireless. They have a shorter total battery life than the Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2 Truly Wireless since their case holds fewer charges, but otherwise, they offer a similarly solid performance. They're well-built, decently comfortable, and have a stable fit as well as an IPX4 rating for water resistance. Their roughly nine-hour continuous battery life can last you through a long workday, and their case holds about three additional charges. They have a bass-rich default sound profile that makes them well-suited for genres like EDM and hip-hop, and you can also cycle between two other EQ presets using the onboard controls. They also have a decent passive noise isolation performance, although they don't block out as much mid-range ambient sound like conversations as the Anker. 

    Try the Anker if you want a better overall battery performance, but consider the JLab instead if you're looking for cheaper wireless earbuds and don't need a very long total battery life.

    See our review

  3. Best Over-Ear Headphones Under $50

    The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless are the best over-ear headphones under $50 that we've tested. These headphones are the predecessors to the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless, but they're still available and come at a lower price. They offer a comfortable fit and over 32 hours of continuous battery life to get you through long days on the go. 

    They're equipped with an ANC feature, and while it doesn't deliver the same noise isolation performance as our top ANC headphones on this list, they can still block out a good amount of office-type noise like conversations. Their v-shaped sound profile pack extra thump, rumble, and boom, while vocals and lead instruments are detailed and bright, making them particularly well-suited for genres like EDM and hip-hop as well as pop and rock.

    Unfortunately, they don't do a very good job of isolating you from noise like rumbling bus and plane engines. Their app also lacks sound customization features like an EQ or presets. That said, if you're looking for over-ear headphones for under $50, they offer a versatile sound and a long continuous battery life.

    See our review

  4. Neutral Sound Alternative

    If you're looking for budget-friendly over-ear headphones and want a neutral sound, you may prefer the Superlux HD 681. They lack a mic and don't have ANC, so they're a little less versatile than the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless, but they have a much more flat, 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. That said, 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. 

    Take a look at the Anker if you want more versatile over-ears with a mic and ANC. However, get the Superlux if you value a more neutral sound profile and immersive audio experience.

    See our review

  5. Best Noise Cancelling Headphones Under $50

    The best noise cancelling headphones under $50 that we've tested are the TOZO NC7 Truly Wireless. These headphones have an active noise cancelling (ANC) system that can block out a great amount of background noise. When you're on the go or on your daily commute, they can cut down bass-range noise like the low rumble of bus engines. They can also reduce ambient chatter at the office.

    These buds have a good build quality certified IPX6 for resistance against direct water contact. They also have a stable and decently comfortable fit. Out of the box, they have an excited sound profile with a bit of extra thump and rumble, while sibilants like cymbals are bright. Their over eight hours of continuous battery life should last through long days at the office, but their carrying case holds an additional two charges if you need it.

    While their integrated mic has a decent recording quality, it struggles to separate your voice from moderate ambient noise. As a result, it may be difficult for the person on the other end of the line to hear you clearly if you're calling from a busy street. If blocking out background noise is highly important to you, these wallet-friendly noise cancelling buds are worth checking out.

    See our review

  6. Best Wired Earbuds Under $50

    The best wired earbuds under $50 that we've tested are the KZ ZSN. Unlike the TIN Audio T2, which are similarly designed in-ear monitors (IEMs), you can purchase the KZ with or without a mic, making them a bit more versatile for day-to-day life. They also have a sleek look that comes in a few different colors to match your style.

    These IEMs have a great design that feels durable and well-built. There are metal-finish backplates on the buds, and the braided audio cable is detachable, so it's easily replaceable should it get damaged. Their excited, v-shaped sound profile is well-suited for genres like pop and rock as they deliver extra boom and warmth while vocals and lead instruments sparkle. Depending on your tastes, you may find their sound muddy and harsh.

    If you have small ears, their somewhat bulky design can be uncomfortable. They also struggle to block out background noise, so if you're wearing them during your commute, you'll hear the rumbles of bus engines. They do a better job cutting down ambient chatter at the office or in a cafe.

    See our review

  7. USB-C Alternative

    If you're looking for wired headphones with a USB-C connector, try the Samsung AKG Type-C. Although they're not as well-built or durable as the KZ ZSN, they connect to your device via USB-C, which is great if you have a newer smartphone without an AUX port. These wired in-ears have a comfortable and lightweight design. Their slightly bass-heavy sound profile also delivers extra thump, rumble, and boom to audio, making them a solid choice if you like to listen to genres like EDM and hip-hop. Thanks to their in-line mic, it's easy to take calls on the go. It has a good recording quality, so your voice sounds clear and intelligible to the person on the other end of the line. Unfortunately, it has some trouble separating your voice from moderate ambient noise, and you could be drowned out if you're taking a call from a busy street.

    Check out the KZ if you're looking for wired earbuds with a more traditional 1/8" TRS/TRRS connector. However, if your device only has a USB-C connector and you value more comfortable earbuds, consider the Samsung instead.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • TIN Audio T2: The TIN Audio T2 are wired headphones that feel very well-built and have a fairly well-balanced sound profile. However, their fit may not be comfortable for users with smaller ears. See our review
  • Sony WI-C310 Wireless: The Sony WI-C310 Wireless are in-ear neck-cable headphones with a fairly neutral sound profile and roughly 17 hours of playback time. However, parts of their design seem very fragile. See our review
  • Skullcandy Dime True Wireless : The Skullcandy Dime True Wireless are versatile in-ears that are well-built and have a slightly bass-rich sound profile. Unfortunately, they have a continuous battery life of fewer than four hours, which is disappointing. See our review
  • KZ ZST: The KZ ZST are very similarly designed headphones to the KZ ZSN. However, the ZSN have a slight edge as they feel better built and their sound profile is slightly more neutral, which some users may prefer. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. May 11, 2022: Checked that picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are available.

  2. Mar 30, 2022: Replaced the Samsung AKG Type-C with the KZ ZSN as the KZ have a more traditional 1/8" TRS/TRRS connector, which you can use with more devices than a USB-C connector. Moved the Samsung to 'USB Alternative'. Reordered the picks for better clarity and consistency.

  3. Jan 21, 2022: Added the TOZO NC7 Truly Wireless as 'Best Noise Cancelling Headphones Under $50' as they offer a solid noise isolation performance.

  4. Nov 19, 2021: Replaced the Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 Wireless with the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless as the Plantronics are now mostly out of this price point. Also replaced the Skullcandy Dime True Wireless with the JLab Audio GO Air POP True Wireless as the JLab offer better overall performance. Added the Superlux HD 681.

  5. Sep 20, 2021: We've checked our picks for product availability and accuracy. There hasn't been a change in our recommendations.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best headphones under $50 to buy 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.

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