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The 6 Best Headphones under $50
Reviews

Best Headphones under $50

241 Headphones Tested
  • Store-bought headphones; no cherry-picked units
  • Retest after major updates
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

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 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 26 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: test

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

The best over-ear headphones under $50 are the Logitech G430. These are gaming headphones 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.

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

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

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. If you do not care much about watching video content, then we also recommend the Bluedio T4. They have a better overall performance and they are noise canceling with a sturdy build quality that feels a lot more durable than the Mpows. Unfortunately, they have one of the worse latency performance that we've measured.

See our review

Best Budget On-Ear Headphones: Skullcandy Grind

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
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Test Benches: test

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
6.5
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:
7.2
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:
6.2
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:
6.8
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:
6.6
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:
5.8
Home Theater
Show Help
Score components:
5.6
Gaming
Show Help
Score components:
Type : On-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

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 Skullcandy Grind.

Only certain color variants are available under $50, however, they are one of the best performing and most comfortable on-ears that we've tested. They're also wireless with a regular audio jack if you need to use them wired with your devices. 

They have a sturdy metal design that isn't as portable as the Koss Porta Pro, but they are a lot more versatile thanks to their closed-back ear cups and convenient wireless range. If you don't mind the slightly less popular color schemes, then the Grind are the best on-ear you can get at this price.

See our review

More Portable Alternative: Koss Porta Pro

Type : On-ear
Enclosure : Open-Back
Wireless : No
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

If you need something portable but do not like the fit of in-ears, then the Koss Porta Pro are a good option. They are lightweight headphones that are so comfortable and breathable that you barely feel them once they’re on your head.

They also have a decently well-balanced sound quality with an open design that creates a more immersive sound quality than the Skullcandy Grind. The build quality of the Koss 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 can fold to fit into some pockets so you can have them on you at all times.

See our review

Best Budget In Ear Headphones: Samsung Level U Pro

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
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Test Benches: test

  • 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
Show Help
Score components:
5.4
Gaming
Show Help
Score components:
Type : In-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The best budget earbuds under $50 we've tested so far are the Samsung Level U Pro. They're an affordable, all-purpose pair of headphones to use every day and they're 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. However, they won't be the most portable or stable headphones for sports, so if you need a wireless option for the gym that's also versatile enough for casual use, get the Anker SoundBuds Curve instead. However, the Level U Pro have a lot more features and customization options.

See our review

Wired Alternative: MEE audio M6 PRO

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

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 simple, wired in-ears with an above-average sound and a surprisingly high-end design for their price.

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 two cables and a sturdy case so you can have them on you at all times.

See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Anker SoundBuds Curve. A good wireless option for sports with a stable ear hook design. Affordable and decently well built but no customization options. See our review
  • SteelSeries Siberia 200. Excellent sound quality and a good microphone for gaming. Poor build quality is a deal breaker for most. See our review
  • Audio-Technica ATH-M20x. Budget over-ear headphones with a good sound quality. They're a decent substitute to the Mpow 059. 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 Logitech G430 sound slightly better. See our review
  • Superlux HD 681. Good alternative to the Logitech G430 but not as versatile. See our review
  • Samsung U Flex. Just above $50 but a great alternative to the Level U Pro if you have a Samsung device. 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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