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The 5 Best Cheap Earbuds - Winter 2024 Reviews

Best Cheap Earbuds

Spending a lot of money on earbuds doesn't necessarily mean that you will get better performance. You don't have to break the bank to find the best product for your needs, as many products are available at a very affordable price that can give you a good bang for your buck.

We've bought and tested over 315 pairs of earbuds and in-ears, and below are our top picks for the best cheap and affordable earbuds. Also, check out our recommendations for the best cheap wireless earbuds, the best Bluetooth earbuds, and the best earbuds under $50.

  1. Best Cheap Earbuds

    The JLab Audio GO Air POP True Wireless are the best cheap earbuds we've tested. These wallet-friendly buds have a versatile performance that can please lots of different listeners, with some extra features to help them stand out from similarly-priced models. Their continuous battery life of about nine hours lasts through a 9-5 workday, and their case holds about three additional charges. Their fit is comfortable, breathable, and stable, making them a solid choice for workouts. They also have a good build quality and an IPX4 rating for resistance against water splashes.

    They have three EQ presets built-in, which let you adjust their sound to suit your tastes better. With the 'JLab Signature' EQ preset, their most neutral setting, they have a bass-rich sound profile that delivers extra thump, rumble, and punch to your audio. It's not too overwhelming, so they're still suitable for various genres and types of content. However, like most cheap earbuds, they don't have active noise cancelling and don't do a good job of blocking out ambient sound. The TOZO T6 Truly Wireless are cheap earbuds with good passive noise isolation, and they do a better job of isolating you from sounds like background chit-chat at the office. They also do an okay job of blocking out noise like rumbling engines. They have a bassy sound that can work well for genres like EDM, but these headphones lack sound customization features.

    See our review

  2. Best-Sounding Cheap Earbuds

    The best-sounding cheap earbuds we've tested are the Sony WI-C310 Wireless. Although they have a little extra punch and warmth in the bass, these neck cable headphones are still quite neutral, making them a versatile choice for most kinds of audio. Their mid-range is very flat and even, so vocals and lead instruments sound accurate and clear. Their treble range is smooth, ensuring adequate brightness in your mixes. They have a decently comfortable fit; you can even wear them around your neck when you're not using them. The long cables feel a little thin and can get snagged on something if you're not careful, though.

    Although not designed to block out commuter noise, like the rumble of bus and plane engines, they can help cut down ambient chatter and the high-pitched hum of an AC unit, which is nice if you work in a noisy office. They also last roughly 17 hours continuously but lack any power-saving features to help conserve battery life when you're not using them. You won't find customization options like with the JLab Audio GO Air POP True Wireless.

    See our review

  3. Best Cheap Sports Earbuds

    If you're looking for buds you can take to the gym, try the JLab Audio JBuds Air Truly Wireless. Their price fluctuates slightly, but you can sometimes find them under $25. They have an IP55 certification for dust and water resistance and have stability fins to ensure they stay in place for tough workouts. They're also well-built and decently comfortable. However, using the controls can put pressure on your ears and cause discomfort, so you may want to use the controls through your phone instead.

    These buds have a very bass-heavy sound that deliver extra thump, rumble, and boom. This can help keep you pumped up during reps, but if you find it overwhelming, you can also take advantage of the three EQ presets built-in to help adjust their sound to suit your liking. Unfortunately, they have a very low playback time of 3.3 hours, so you'll want to recharge them between workouts. Luckily, their carrying case holds an extra ten charges if needed.

    See our review

  4. Most Durable Cheap Earbuds

    If you want an option that doesn't sacrifice build quality, the Skullcandy Sesh Evo True Wireless are the best cheap earphones with a durable design that we've tested. While not quite premium-feeling, these earbuds have sturdy build quality, so they'll survive multiple accidental drops and bumps. They also have an IP55 rating for protection against dust and water exposure, meaning that they're a good choice if you like to do sports outdoors. Passively, they can't block out the loud rumble of a bus or plane engine, but they do a much better job of keeping you isolated from ambient chatter or the high-pitched hum of an AC unit. These earbuds have a very bass-heavy sound profile. It's great if you like a lot of thump and rumble when listening to hip-hop, metal, or EDM, but it can overpower and muddy vocals or lead instruments.

    While they can't connect to a companion app, they have three EQ presets integrated into the buds themselves, allowing you to have some control over their sound. Their battery lasts just over 4.5 hours on a single charge, so you'll need to use one of the case's three extra charges if you use them all day.

    See our review

  5. Best Earbuds Under $50

    The best earbuds under $50 we've tested are the JBL Vibe Buds True Wireless. If you don't mind spending a little more, they offer more features than the JLab Audio GO Air POP True Wireless. These buds have an app with a graphic EQ and presets, so you can customize their bass-rich default sound profile to suit you. While they don't have ANC, they do a good job of passively blocking out sounds like voices. They have a couple of ambient sound modes meant to let you hear your surroundings: TalkThru, which lowers the volume on your audio so you can hear conversations, and Ambient Aware, which lets you hear what's going on around you.

    They're decently comfortable and have a sturdy build. They're rated IP54 for dust and water resistance, which can help protect them during outdoor workouts in the rain or along a dusty path, but they aren't extremely stable and can slip out of your ears. They last almost nine hours off of a single charge, similar to the JLab, and have an auto-off timer to help save power when you're not using them.

    If you're still looking for the right earbuds, try our list of the best earbuds under $50.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Skullcandy Jib True Wireless: If you're a fan of bass-heavy music, the Skullcandy Jib True Wireless deliver intense thump, rumble, and boom to mixes. However, they have significantly shorter continuous battery life than the Sony WI-C310 Wireless. See our review
  • Skullcandy Jib Wireless: The Skullcandy Jib Wireless are a good alternative to the Sony WI-C310 Wireless if you prefer a more bass-heavy sound profile. However, they aren't as well-built, and their continuous battery life doesn't last as long. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Jan 22, 2024: Replaced the JBL Vibe Beam True Wireless with the JBL Vibe Buds True Wireless as the 'Best Budget' pick, since they have a more comfortable, stable fit.

  2. Nov 24, 2023: Added the TOZO T6 Truly Wireless an alternative to the JLab Audio GO Air POP True Wireless with better noise isolation.

  3. Sep 29, 2023: No product pick changes. Some minor text updates for clarity.

  4. Aug 01, 2023: We've replaced the Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2 Truly Wireless with the JBL Vibe Beam True Wireless since the JBL have a more neutral sound profile that's customizable. We've also removed the Skullcandy Indy ANC True Wireless and added a 'Best Cheap Sports Earbuds' pick, as the Skullcandy have been discontinued.

  5. Jun 06, 2023: Due to stock issues, we've replaced the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Truly Wireless with the Skullcandy Indy ANC True Wireless as the 'Most Customizable Cheap Earbuds'. We've replaced the KZ ZSN with the Skullcandy Sesh Evo True Wireless as the 'Most Durable Cheap Earbuds' to better align with our current pick methodology.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best cheap earphones to buy for most people in each price range. 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 earbuds and in-ears 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.