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 tested 115 earbuds and in-ear headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best earbuds under $50 to buy in 2019. 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.
The best earbuds under $50 we've reviewed so far are the Anker SoundBuds Curve. They’re among the most comfortable wireless in-ears we’ve tested and they offer great value for their price. They’re reasonably well-built and have a very stable ear-hook design that’s great for sports. Overall, they’re a decent option for anybody looking for everyday wireless earbuds.
They have a bass-rich sound that’s versatile enough for most music genres but is best-suited to more bass-heavy electronic music genres like dubstep or hip-hop. They also have a surprisingly long-lasting battery, achieving nearly 13 hours of playback on a single charge.
Unfortunately, their comfortable design results in mediocre noise isolation, so they won’t be ideal if you’re looking for earbuds that isolate a lot of noise. That said, these are still well-designed, decent-sounding in-ear headphones that provide a lot of value. They’re very easy to recommend and are overall the best budget earbuds we’ve tested so far.
If you’re looking for cheap wireless in-ears that have better isolation for commuting, get the AUKEY Latitude. Their more traditional in-ear design enters the ear canal more deeply than the Anker SoundBuds Curve, so they’re not as comfortable but they block out much more noise, which can help bring a touch of peace and quiet to your busy days. They’re fairly well-built for budget wireless headphones and have a punchy sound signature that fans of bass are sure to appreciate.
Unfortunately, their 7-hour battery life is a bit short, especially compared to that of the Anker SoundBuds Curve. On the upside, they can connect to 2 Bluetooth devices at once, which the Anker cannot. Overall, they’re well-rounded in-ears that are worth considering, especially if noise isolation is your top priority.
If you want earbuds that deliver accurate sound even during a workout, then consider the JBL Endurance Sprint. These wireless in-ears have a cool sporty look with a matte rubberized finish and are rated IPX7 for superior water resistance. They do a good job at isolating ambient noise and have remarkably high audio fidelity for in-ear headphones.
They have a very even, well-balanced sound. Their bass is deep and punchy without sounding boomy. Their treble produces just the right amount of detail and brightness, making them well-suited for a variety of genres, from hip-hop to classical. These headphones have an ordinary battery that lasts 9 hours and also feature an auto-off timer that helps save battery life.
Like the AUKEY Latitude, they can be a bit uncomfortable, and compared to the Anker SoundBuds Curve, their thick ear-hook fit isn’t as stable. They also have poor wireless latency, which means they won’t be ideal for watching videos on your smartphone on the treadmill. That said, they still remain the best sounding budget wireless earbuds we’ve tested and are likely to please fitness-loving audiophiles on a budget.
If you want to eliminate latency issues and don’t mind not having a microphone, then get the TIN Audio T2. They don’t provide the wireless freedom of the JBL Endurance Sprint, but they never need to be recharged. They have a durable, premium feel and come with a very nice braided cable that is detachable and replaceable, so you don’t need to repurchase them entirely if their cable gets damaged. They have good audio reproduction and isolate well, hardly leaking any sound, which ensures others won’t be bothered by the sound of your music.
Unfortunately, they’re not the most comfortable in-ear headphones, especially for smaller ears. That said, if you don’t mind their fit, they’re among the best budget in-ears for music that we’ve tested so far.
If you want to go truly wireless without breaking the bank, then get the SoundPeats TrueFree. They're the best true wireless earbuds under $50. They’re very well-made for their budget price and have a great stable fit. There aren’t a ton of truly wireless headphones under $150, let alone $50, so the SoundPeats TrueFree provide impressive value for their price. They’re fairly comfortable for in-ears and are great headphones for athletes on a budget.
The SoundPeats TrueFree 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 5 additional wireless charges and they charge in just over an hour.
Unfortunately, the SoundPeats TrueFree don’t have volume controls, so you’ll need to pull out your smartphone to adjust the volume of what you’re listening to when need be. The JLab Audio JBuds Air have much better controls, but they’re more expensive and take longer to charge than the SoundPeats TrueFree, which provide better value overall for the price.
If you like being able to fine-tune the way your headphones sound but don’t want to spend a fortune on customizable earbuds, then get the Jaybird Freedom F5 Wireless 2016. These sports-oriented wireless earbuds give you access to a great mobile app that lets you customize their sound profile when connected to your smartphone. They have slim earbuds that make them fairly comfortable to use and are the best earbuds for small ears that we’ve tested so far.
These headphones are compatible with the Jaybird MySound app, which is available for iOS as well as Android and provides an impressive parametric EQ for you to tweak their sound exactly to your liking. You can then save your EQ presets and even share them with other community members in the app. They also have great passive isolation thanks to their in-ear fit and hardly leak any sound at all, which is great if you like to blast your music at the gym.
Unfortunately, these wireless earbuds have a mediocre battery and only provide 4 hours of continuous playback on a charge. You can attach their charging clip to their in-line remote to double their battery life when in need, but it’s rather bulky and can feel awkward when working out. That said, there are very few earbuds under $50 that are as customizable as the Freedom, which makes them worth considering overall.
If you own a Samsung device and are looking for customizable earbuds that integrate with your smartphone or tablet, then get the Samsung U Flex. They’re not customizable with all devices like the Jaybird Freedom, but those with Samsung devices will appreciate their added features in the Samsung Level app. You can get access to a graphic EQ, room effects, volume monitors, and more when paired with a Samsung device which makes these wireless earbuds a feature-packed choice for Samsung users.
They have a flexible lightweight neckband and fairly comfortable in-ear fit, but their design won’t be for everyone. That said, they’re easy-to-use, can pair to multiple Bluetooth devices, and have a good 11.5-hour battery life that makes them a solid choice for Samsung users overall.
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.