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The 6 Best Earbuds Under $50 - Winter 2024 Reviews

Best Earbuds Under $50

If you take your headphones everywhere, you may find over-ears too large and bulky. In-ears and earbuds are great alternatives that are often very portable, and you can easily toss them into a pocket or bag. While some of the most popular in-ears can be extremely expensive, you don't have to spend a ton to get a good pair for everyday use. While typically, the term 'in-ears' refers to headphones that go deeper in the ear canal, and 'earbuds' simply sit in your ear, these terms are often used interchangeably, so we'll include both in this article.

We've tested over 315 pairs of earbuds and in-ear headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best options for under $50. Check out our picks for the best earbuds, the best cheap earbuds, the best headphones under $50, and the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds under $50.

  1. Best Earbuds Under $50

    The best earbuds under $50 we've tested are the JBL Vibe Buds True Wireless. These budget-friendly earbuds offer a solid performance with a default sound profile that's well-balanced compared to other competitors like the Anker Soundcore Life A2 NC Truly Wireless. Their sound can also be tweaked to your liking through the JBL headphones app, with both a graphic EQ and presets at your disposal. They're well-built, and their eight-hour battery life is enough to get you through long voyages without needing a top-up from their charging case.

    They don't have active noise cancelling (ANC) but do a decent job of passively isolating you from ambient sound like background chit-chat. Their IP54 rating for dust and water resistance also comes in handy if you get caught in a shower while jogging around the park. However, they aren't extremely comfortable for most people, and taking them out from your ears can cause a plunger-like effect due to the suction created by their deep in-ear fit.

    See our review

  2. Best Cheap Earbuds Under $50

    If you're looking for a cheaper option, check out the JLab Audio GO Air POP True Wireless, which are among the best cheap earbuds we've tested. They have a simpler design than the JBL Vibe Buds True Wireless, with no companion app or EQ for sound customization. However, they have a versatile sound profile, with clear and present instruments and vocals and some extra rumble and punch in the bass range. They lack more robust sound customization features like an EQ, but unlike most cheap earbuds, they have a few presets you can cycle through using the onboard controls.

    They have a decent passive noise isolation performance, so they can help reduce noise like background conversations. They also offer a decently comfortable fit, a solid build quality, and a fairly long continuous battery life of roughly nine hours. Their case holds about three extra charges and has a built-in charging cable, which means you won't forget the cable at home, but you'll have to replace the earbuds if it breaks.

    See our review

  3. Best Earbuds For Workouts Under $50

    The best earbuds for workouts under $50 are the Beats Flex Wireless. These comfortable, well-built earbuds have a much more stable fit than our top pick and won't slip out of your ears during workouts. They're wireless but have a flexible cable connecting the buds, so you can wear them around your neck when you're not using them. Their bass-heavy sound profile delivers extra thump and rumble, which is great if you like to listen to genres like EDM and hip-hop to keep yourself pumped up. However, these straightforward buds don't offer sound customization features like an EQ.

    They last around 11 hours of continuous use, which will last you through a few long workouts before recharging. However, their in-line controls make it easy to change the track or turn up the volume mid-workout, and you can turn on an auto-pause feature if you want your audio to pause when you remove the buds. Their W1 chip also makes it easier to pair them with iOS devices.

    See our review

  4. Best ANC Earbuds Under $50

    The Anker Soundcore Life A2 NC Truly Wireless are the best ANC earbuds under $50. There aren't many noise cancelling earbuds out there for less than $50, and these are usually sold a little above that price point. They have a much worse mic recording quality than the JBL Vibe Buds True Wireless and lack a few features compared to those earbuds, like an auto-off timer and a rating for dust resistance. Still, they're a budget-friendly option if you're looking for buds to help cut out ambient sound when working or commuting. You can set their ANC feature to different modes to suit your environment, and when set to 'Transport' mode, it does a good job of blocking the rumble of bus and plane engines as well as background chatter.

    Their default sound profile isn't as neutral as our top picks and delivers extra thump and punch in the bass range with clear, present instruments and vocals. It's a good match for genres like EDM, hip-hop, rock, and pop, but if you prefer a different sound, you can customize it with a graphic EQ and presets in the companion app. The earbuds are well-built, comfortable for most people, and offer a solid 11-hour continuous battery life to get you through the day.

    See our review

  5. Best-Sounding Earbuds Under $50

    Many of the picks here have a bass-rich sound profile, but you might prefer a more neutral sound for vocal-centric content or if you listen to a wide variety of genres. The Skullcandy Dime 3 True Wireless are the best earbuds under $50 for neutral sound that we've tested. Although the manufacturer have developed a reputation for releasing bass-centric earbuds, they have a more neutral sound profile than the JBL Vibe Buds True Wireless, and you might prefer them if you listen to podcasts or genres like classical. There are even built-in EQ presets to help you get the best out of your buds, including 'Podcast', 'Music', and 'Bass Boost', the latter of which injects some serious oomph into your audio.

    These earbuds even support Bluetooth multi-device pairing, a more premium feature that's nice to have in budget buds. This can be a blessing if you want to stay connected to both your phone and your computer while working at the office, and their eight-hour battery life can get you through long workdays. Like most earbuds recommended here, they don't have an ANC system and don't do a great job of passively isolating you from ambient noise.

    See our review

  6. Best Wired Earbuds Under $50

    If you prefer a wired design, look at the KZ ZSN. Unlike other picks on this list, these buds are in-ear monitors (IEMs), so they have a simple design that prioritizes sound and lacks all other features, including mic support. You can easily replace their sturdy braided audio cable if it gets damaged or swap it out for a cable with an in-line mic. The earbuds also have a metallic-finish backplate, making them feel durable and dense.

    Their warm sound profile delivers extra boom to mixes, which is good for genres like rock and jazz that can benefit from extra bass. However, they don't have an EQ or presets to adjust their sound. They don't have ANC and passively isolate you from even less noise than the JBL Vibe Buds True Wireless, so they may not be the best choice if you want to listen to audio in noisy environments like on a bus. While they come with four different pairs of ear tips, the overall bud shape is a bit bulky and may not fit well if you have small ears.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Skullcandy Smokin' Buds/Buds XT True Wireless: The Skullcandy Smokin' Buds/Buds XT True Wireless are cheap Bluetooth earbuds. They have a stable fit and a bass-rich sound profile with a few onboard EQ presets for sound customization. However, they aren't as well-built as the JLab Audio GO Air POP True Wireless and have a shorter continuous battery life. See our review
  • Sony WI-XB400 EXTRA BASS Wireless: The Sony WI-XB400 EXTRA BASS Wireless are usually on sale for less than $50 and are a solid option if you like a lot of extra thump and rumble in your audio. Like the Beats Flex Wireless, they have a neck cable design and a solid battery life but aren't as well-built. See our review
  • Samsung AKG Type-C: If you like wired earbuds, the Samsung AKG Type-C are a good alternative to the KZ ZSN if your phone only has a USΒ-C port. Their sound profile is more neutral, but they aren't as well-built. See our review
  • Logitech G333: The Logitech G333 are wired gaming headphones, but you can still use them casually thanks to their nondescript design. They're more comfortable than the KZ ZSN and even have an in-line mic for taking calls on the go. However, they aren't as well-built and have a much more bass-heavy sound. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Jan 12, 2024: To ensure consistency across articles, We've replaced the JBL Vibe Beam True Wireless with the JBL Vibe Buds True Wireless as our top pick. The Sony WI-C310 Wireless have also been replaced with the Skullcandy Dime 3 True Wireless as our best-sounding pick.

  2. Nov 16, 2023: Added the Skullcandy Smokin' Buds/Buds XT to Notable Mentions.

  3. Sep 20, 2023: Replaced the Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2 Truly Wireless with the JBL Vibe Beam True Wireless as the 'Best Earbuds Under $50'. Added the Beats Flex Wireless as the 'Best Earbuds For Workouts Under $50' because the SoundPeats TrueFree 2 Wireless are out of stock. Removed the Skullcandy Indy ANC True Wireless because their price has increased, and added the Anker Soundcore Life A2 NC Truly Wireless as the 'Best ANC' pick.

  4. Jul 20, 2023: Replaced the TOZO NC7 Truly Wireless with the Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2 Truly Wireless as the 'Best Earbuds Under $50'.

  5. May 24, 2023: Due to stock issues, we've replaced our top pick with the TOZO NC7 Truly Wireless and our pick for 'Most Customizable Earbuds' with the Skullcandy Indy ANC True Wireless.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best wired and wireless 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's the list of all our reviews for in-ears and earbuds under $50. 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.