COVID-19: the government of Quebec is shutting down non-essential businesses till April 13. Therefore, our lab is temporarily closed and we can't test new products. In the meantime, we will continue to update articles from home.
Updated

The 5 Best Earbuds Under $50 - Spring 2020
Reviews

Best Earbuds Under $50
436 Headphones Tested
  • Store-bought headphones; no cherry-picked units
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
  • Supported directly by you via insider access and when you purchase through our affiliate links
Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

There are quite a few advantages to in-ear headphones. Compared to over-ear headphones, they’re more portable, less bulky, and can even sometimes provide better noise isolation. There are a lot of choices out there, though, and sometimes it feels like there is no end to the selection of earbuds and in-ears you can get.

We’ve nearly 150 pairs of earbuds and in-ear headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best earbuds under $50 to buy in 2020. If you’re looking for our top picks in general or are curious about different features, check out our recommendations for the best earbuds overall, the best cheap earbuds, the best headphones under $50, and the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds under $50.


  1. Best Earbuds Under $50: Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019

    Test Methodology v1.4
    7.2
    Mixed Usage
    7.0
    Neutral Sound
    7.6
    Commute/Travel
    8.2
    Sports/Fitness
    6.9
    Office
    5.4
    Wireless Gaming
    5.3
    Wired Gaming
    6.7
    Phone Calls
    Type In-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Yes
    Noise Cancelling No
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    The best earbuds under $50 we've tested so far are the Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019. This new version of an old favorite has the same comfortable ear-hook design and sound quality, but now provide even better value than ever.

    While the first version of these earbuds was already a hit, the 2019 upgrade is even better. Their exciting sound profile remains untouched, which is great for fans of pop or rock music, but they now boast an impressive 18 hours of battery life, have an easier-to-use in-line remote, and even feature an IPX7 rating for water resistance.

    Like most wireless earbuds at this price point, they don't have any customization options. If you'd like something that you can personalize to your tastes, the Jaybird Freedom F5 Wireless 2016 are compatible with a great app that lets you tweak the way they sound to your heart's content, but their battery performance is rather disappointing. All things considered, these are among some of the best wireless earbuds we've seen to date.

    See our review

  2. Better-Isolating Alternative: AUKEY Latitude Wireless

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

    If you have a particularly noisy commute and need something with better noise isolation, check out the AUKEY Latitude. Their earbuds fit more deeply inside the ear canal which makes them quite a bit less comfortable than the Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019, but they isolate a lot more noise. Their battery doesn't last as long, and some might find they sound a bit boomier, but they support multi-device pairing, which is quite rare for a cheap pair of earbuds.

    For a better-rounded pair that's more comfortable for longer listening sessions, go with the Anker. However, if excellent noise isolation is a must, then you'll prefer the AUKEY.

    See our review

  3. Best Truly Wireless Earbuds Under $50: SoundPeats TrueFree/True Wireless

    Test Methodology v1.4
    6.9
    Mixed Usage
    6.5
    Neutral Sound
    7.5
    Commute/Travel
    8.1
    Sports/Fitness
    6.7
    Office
    5.0
    Wireless Gaming
    4.9
    Wired Gaming
    6.0
    Phone Calls
    Type In-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Truly Wireless
    Noise Cancelling No
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    The best truly wireless earbuds under $50 we've tested so far are the SoundPeats TrueFree. They're surprisingly well-made with a great stable fit providing impressive value for their price. They’re fairly comfortable for in-ears and are great headphones for athletes on a budget.

    These headphones have deep, thumping bass that fans of rap, hip-hop, and EDM are sure to love. Their isolation performance is pretty good, too, and if you can get a good seal, they isolate a fair amount of ambient noise. They get just over 3 hours of playback on a single charge, which isn’t great, but their charging case holds up to five additional wireless charges and they charge in just over an hour.

    Unfortunately, they don’t have volume controls, so you’ll need to pull out your smartphone to adjust the volume of what you’re listening to, but their mix of adequate sound, good build quality, and very good sound isolation still makes them one of the best truly wireless headphones we've tested so far.

    See our review

  4. Best Wired Earbuds Under $50: Beats urBeats3 Earphones

    Test Methodology v1.4
    6.4
    Mixed Usage
    7.2
    Neutral Sound
    6.1
    Commute/Travel
    6.9
    Sports/Fitness
    6.1
    Office
    5.1
    Wireless Gaming
    7.1
    Wired Gaming
    7.1
    Phone Calls
    Type In-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless No
    Noise Cancelling No
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    The best wired earbuds under $50 we've tested so far are the Beats urBeats3. They're nice and small, easy to shove into a bag or pocket, and even come with a soft rubber case to help protect them when not in use. If you have you have an iPhone without an audio jack, they're also available in a lightning cable variant.

    These earbuds have deep, thumpy bass for fans of EDM or hip-hop, but they still sound balanced enough to be suitable for a variety of music genres. They have a surprisingly decent microphone and are great for those who take a lot of calls on their headphones, though unfortunately, their in-line remote doesn't offer full functionality on Android.

    Like most in-ears, their earbuds enter the ear canal quite deeply, which some may not find comfortable. This does help with noise isolation though and, on the upside, their earbud design is fairly slim, which also makes them the best wired earbuds for small ears that we've tested so far.

    See our review

  5. More Durable Alternative: TIN Audio T2

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

    If you're looking for wired in-ears but want something with a more durable, premium feel, go with the TIN Audio T2. They don't come with a microphone like the Beats urBeats3 Earphones, so you can't use them to take calls on-the-go, but they feel much better built with a braided, detachable cable and solid metal buds. They aren't the most comfortable, though, especially if you have smaller ears.

    Get the Beats if you have smaller ears or just want something with a decent microphone, but if you care more about durability, get the T2.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Anker SoundCore Spirit X Wireless: Good wireless sports in-ears, similar in design to the Anker SoundBuds Curve but with better-advertised sweat resistance, which we don't currently test. See our review
  • JLab Audio JBuds Air Truly Wireless : Decent truly wireless in-ears with better controls than the SoundPeats TrueFree, but price difference won't be worth it for most people. See our review
  • Sony WI-C300 Wireless: Simple wireless in-ears that are good for sports and not bad for most other uses, but with weak build quality. A bit expensive compared to headphones that provide better value like the AUKEY Latitude or the Anker SoundBuds Curve. See our review
  • Sony WI-XB400 EXTRA BASS Wireless: Usually on sale for less than $50, a solid option if you like the design of the WI-C300 but want a bit of extra bass. See our review
  • JBL Endurance Sprint Wireless: Wireless sports in-ears with a very well-balanced, neutral sound, but not the most comfortable and touch-sensitive controls are rather finicky. See our review
  • Samsung U Flex Wireless: Customizable in-ears that provide great value for Samsung devices, but limited with other brands. See our review
  • Jaybird Freedom F5 Wireless 2016: Older model that's very customizable for the price, but battery performance will be inadequate for most people. See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best earbuds under $50 for most people to buy. 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 in-ear headphones. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect headphones and everyone perceives the comfort and sound of their headphones differently.

Recent Updates

02/04/2020: Anker SoundBuds Curve replaced with Upgrade 2019 version. Removed JBL Endurance Sprint, JLab Audio JBuds Air, and "Most Customizable" category.

12/09/2019: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.

10/15/2019: Replaced 'Best Sounding Earbuds' with 'Best Wired Earbuds', added JBL Endurance Sprint to 'Best Earbuds Under $50', added JLab Audio JBuds Air to 'Best Truly Wireless Earbuds', added Beats urBeats3.

Recommended Articles

LOG IN

JOIN RTINGS.com

Be part of the most informed community and take advantage of our advanced tools to find the best product for your needs.
Join our mailing list:
Become an insider

Unlimited access to full product reviews, test measurements and scores

test table UI

Product prices across the site on reviews, tables and tools

product prices UI

Additional votes for our
next reviews

Additional votes UI

Early Access
to our reviews and test measurements

Early Access UI

Create Discussion