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  1. Table of Contents
  2. Intro
  3. Best Over-Ear
    1. Alternative
  4. Best On-Ear
    1. Alternative
  5. Best Earbuds
    1. Alternative
  6. All Reviews
  7. Q&A
Updated

Best Headphones under $50 - Winter 2018
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 in this list won’t be the most comfortable or neutral sounding, but you can find quality offerings if you want a budget headset to use casually. The best earbuds and headphones under $50 offer a fair sound quality and wireless Bluetooth.

So far, we've tested 28 headphones under $50 and below are our recommendations for the best ones you can buy today.  

Best Budget Over-Ear Headphones: Logitech G430

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
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Test Benches:

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
6.2
Mixed Usage
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What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
7.5
Critical Listening
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What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
5.2
Commute/Travel
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What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
5.8
Sports/Fitness
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What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
5.9
Office
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What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
5.9
Home Theater
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Score components:
7.2
Gaming
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Score components:

The best over-ear headphones under $50 are the Logitech G430. They're a gaming headset with good sound and a surprising amount of customization options for their price. They sound slightly better than the Superlux HD 681 and 668 B although the Superlux headphones are a bit more specialized for critical listening since they have a more open sound and no mic.

On the upside, this means that the Logitech G430 are also good for gaming and home theater thanks to the microphone customization options offered by the Logitech software on PC, and the low latency wired connection. Unfortunately, you can't remove the mic, and the headset adapter has a regular AUX and a mic input, which works, but isn't ideal for use with mobile devices. 

See our review

Alternative For Everyday Use: Mpow Bluetooth Over-Ear

If you want a more practical option that you can use every day, then get the Mpow 059 Bluetooth Over-Ear. They're well-rounded, wireless headphones with a decent sound, a good range and a simple to use control scheme.

They don't have the balanced sound of the Logitech G430 or the Superlux HD 681, but they're a lot more versatile and more practical to use outdoors. However, their latency performance is not ideal for watching videos. If you do not care much about watching video content though, then we also recommend the Bluedio T4. They have a better overall performance but worse latency.

See our review

Best Budget On-Ear Headphones: Koss Porta Pro

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
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Test Benches:

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
5.9
Mixed Usage
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What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
6.8
Critical Listening
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What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
5.0
Commute/Travel
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What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
6.4
Sports/Fitness
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What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
5.5
Office
Show Help
What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
5.7
Home Theater
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Score components:
6.6
Gaming
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Score components:

If you prefer the compact format of on-ear models and still want a pair of headphones with an above-average sound quality under $50, then we recommend the Koss Porta Pro.

They are lightweight headphones that are so comfortable and breathable that you barely feel them once they’re on your head. Their build quality is a little flimsy, especially when compared to the Sound Intone CX-05 which are a lot cheaper. On the upside, they sound better and they're more portable and can fit into your pockets.

See our review

Alternative For Everyday Use: Diskin Wireless Bluetooth

If you want a feature-packed headphone but have a limited budget, then consider the Diskin DH3 Bluetooth Wireless. They're noise canceling, wireless and a bit better built than the Koss Porta Pros.

They can be uncomfortably tight on some heads and they have an inconsistent manufacturing tolerance which causes some units to have battery issues. On the upside, they're one of the only wireless, noise-canceling on-ears you can purchase at this price range.

See our review

Best Budget In Ear Headphones: Samsung Level U Pro

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
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Test Benches:

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
6.8
Mixed Usage
Show Help
What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
6.9
Critical Listening
Show Help
What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
7.0
Commute/Travel
Show Help
What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
7.4
Sports/Fitness
Show Help
What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
7.1
Office
Show Help
What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
5.5
Home Theater
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Score components:
5.4
Gaming
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Score components:

The best budget earbuds under $50 we've tested so far are the Samsung Level U Pro. If you’re looking for a budget, all-purpose pair of headphones to use every day and don't mind the around-the-neck design, the Level U Pro are the headphones to get.

They’re decent for most use cases and slightly more comfortable than most in-ears thanks to the flexible in-ear tips. They have a reliable and fast wireless connection, a good battery life and a customizable sound profile if you have an Android device.

See our review

Cheaper Alternative: MEE audio M6 PRO

If you don't need a wireless design and don't want to worry about battery life, then get the Mee Audio M6 Pro. They're a simple, wired in-ear with an above-average sound and a surprisingly high-end design for their price. They come with two cables like some of the pricier in-ear models, such as the Shure SE425 but of course, they do not feel quite as premium.

On the upside, they're a good budget choice that's more durable and sounds better than most of the other in-ears in this price range. They're also super portable and come with a sturdy case so you can have them on you at all times.

See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Audio-Technica ATH-M20x. Budget over-ear headphones with a good sound quality. They're a decent substitute to the Superlux HD 668B. See our review
  • Symphonized NRG 3.0. Straightforward and simple design. Good isolation performance. Subpar sound and the wired design is a bit limiting for their price and competition. See our review
  • Sony MDR-XB50AP. Budget in-ear headphones with a decent sound and a lot of bass. Not as versatile as the Level U Pro or the SoundBuds sport. See our review
  • Bluedio T4. Cheap yet sturdy wireless headphone. Awkward design and very high latency. See our review
  • Polk Buckle. Typically expensive but often on sale in this price range. Great build quality and decent sound but a rigid design and poor isolation. See our review
  • Superlux HD 668B. Good budget headphones but the Superlux HD 681 are cheaper. See our review
  • HyperX Cloud Stinger. Decent budget gaming headphone with an average sound quality but a good microphone. Not ideal for all use cases and the mic is not removable See our review

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 (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 $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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