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The 5 Best Over Ear Headphones Under $50 - February 2019
Reviews

Best Over Ear Headphones Under $50
311 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.

With so many headphones available, it can be difficult at times to find a good headset to satisfy your needs without spending too much. Over-ears typically cost a bit more than budget in-ears and earbuds, especially if you want a good sounding headphone that won't break immediately once you try them on. 

We've tested 298 headphones and below are our top recommendations for the best over-ear headphones under 50$ that you can purchase in 2019. See also our recommendations for the best over-ear headphones and the best headphones under $50.

  1. Best over-ear headphones under $50: Mpow H5

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    6.7
    Mixed Usage
    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:
    7.3
    Critical Listening
    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:
    6.5
    Commute/Travel
    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
    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:
    6.7
    Office
    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:
    6.0
    TV
    Score components:
    5.8
    Gaming
    Score components:
    Type : Over-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : Yes
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    The best over-ear headphones under $50 that we’ve tested so far are the Mpow H5. These wireless headphones have a basic, all-black style that is pretty classy and feels quite nice for budget headphones. The build quality is above-average and the controls are easy to use. These headphones sound decent and even have active noise canceling (ANC), which is pretty uncommon for headphones around this price range.

    The Mpow H5 offer great value considering how much they cost. Compared to the slightly cheaper Mpow 059, which are also Bluetooth wireless headphones, the H5 isolate more noise thanks to their ANC feature and sound significantly better. The Mpow H5 have very good bass, and although they have good mid to treble-range, they are slightly better suited for more bass-heavy genres like hip-hop or dubstep.

    Unfortunately, the microphone of the H55 is of below-average quality. Although it's not bad at noise handling, it has poor recording quality and people may have a hard time hearing you during calls. The noise isolation of the H5 is also rather disappointing and doesn’t block out ambient chatter very well. That said, it’s impressive that a pair of headphones under 50$ even has these features.

    See our review

  2. Best sounding over-ear headphones under $50: Superlux HD 681

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    5.8
    Mixed Usage
    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:
    7.7
    Critical Listening
    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:
    4.7
    Commute/Travel
    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:
    5.4
    Sports/Fitness
    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:
    5.4
    Office
    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
    TV
    Score components:
    5.7
    Gaming
    Score components:
    Type : Over-ear
    Enclosure : Semi-Open
    Wireless : No
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : No
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you care most about sound and do not need all the fancy active features that the Mpow H5 have to offer, then go for the Superlux HD 681 instead. Being critical listening focused headphones, the Superlux are not the most versatile over-ear to use outdoors with your phone. They also do not have the best build quality or comfort, and since they have a semi-open design, they leak quite a bit at higher volumes. 

    On the upside, the semi-open earcups give the HD 681 a more spacious soundstage than most of the recommendations on this list. They have a well-balanced frequency response that's near neutral in the midrange, which is great for instruments and vocals. They also pack enough bass to satisfy fans of more bass-heavy genres and have a decent treble range that puts a lot of emphasis on the detail and clarity of lead instruments, although they can sound a bit sharp on already bright tracks. 

    The Superlux HD 681 will not be the best headphones if you're looking for an all-purpose over-ear headset under 50$, however, if you only care about sound quality, then they're the best choice on this list.

    See our review

  3. Cheaper alternative: Koss UR-20

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

    If you’re looking to spend as little money as possible on headphones, then get the KOSS UR-20. The UR-20 are obviously budget headphones that don’t have the same build quality and exciting features as the Mpow H5. But, considering how much they cost, they’re still not bad. They have surprisingly decent sound with excellent bass and are comfortable enough for casual listening.

    Unfortunately, the Koss UR 20 have pretty poor noise isolation and do not mask out ambient noise very much. It’s also worth noting that the Superlux HD 681 only cost a little bit more and offer significantly better sound quality. That said, the HD 681 leak a lot of sound, and the leakage of the Koss UR-20 is actually better provided you can achieve a good fit. They may not be as well-built as our other top budget picks, but considering how little these headphones cost, they are likely to please people looking for an inexpensive headset with decent sound.

    See our review

  4. Best gaming over-ear headphones under $50: HyperX Cloud Stinger

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    6.5
    Mixed Usage
    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
    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:
    6.0
    Commute/Travel
    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:
    5.9
    Sports/Fitness
    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:
    6.4
    Office
    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
    TV
    Score components:
    7.2
    Gaming
    Score components:
    Type : Over-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : No
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you're looking for a gaming headset, then the best gaming over ear headphones you can get under 50$ are the HyperX Cloud Stinger. They are not the most versatile headphones, unlike some of the more premium options offered by HyperX, since you cannot remove their boom mic. They also have a somewhat cheap and plasticky looking design, although they do feel a lot more durable than the Koss UR-20 or the Superlux HD 681.

    On the upside, the Stingers have an excellent boom mic that will reproduce your voice accurately during in-game chats. They also have a good well-balanced sound that caters well to most tracks, genres and in-game music, with enough bass to get you pumped up when gaming. They're comfortable, fairly lightweight, and will work with both the PS4 and Xbox One when plugged into their controllers.

    The Corsair HS60 is a better headset overall when compared to the HyperX Stinger. They have a better build quality and a detachable mic that makes them a better option for more casual use. However, their price fluctuates a lot which means they aren't always under 50$. Overall, the HyperX are a slightly better value for your money if you're strictly using them for gaming.

    See our review

  5. Best designed over-ear headphones under $50: Polk Audio Buckle

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    6.0
    Mixed Usage
    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:
    6.6
    Critical Listening
    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:
    5.6
    Commute/Travel
    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:
    6.1
    Sports/Fitness
    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
    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:
    5.6
    TV
    Score components:
    6.3
    Gaming
    Score components:
    Type : Over-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : No
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you want a budget headset that looks and feels like it should cost a lot more than their price would suggest, check out the Polk Audio Buckle. They used to be a lot more expensive and they have a few issues with their sound quality, which is why they aren't often recommended. They have a dark audio reproduction that slightly overemphasizes bass and mid-range frequencies. They're also a bit bulky, have a below average mic, and aren't the most comfortable headphones.

    On the upside, they have a premium build quality that is almost unmatched at this price range. They have sturdy pleather-coated headband and dense well-padded ear cups. They also have a unique control scheme that's easy to use once you get used to it. They do not block a lot of noise, but their over-ear fit seals the ear well enough that they do not leak much even at higher volumes. 

    Overall, the Polk Buckle are decent headphones for most uses that used be around $200 at their initial release, which was not worth it for their performance and sound quality. However, now that they are below $50, this makes them a great value for most listeners as long as you do not mind a darker sound that won't be as good for critical listening.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Corsair HS 60. A good budget gaming headset with a great build quality and a decent sound. Good design, great mic but price fluctuates quite a bit. See our review
  • Mpow 059 Bluetooth over-ear. A more comfortable but less feature-packed alternative to the Mpow H5. See our review
  • Logitech G430. A customizable and great sounding budget gaming headset. Unfortunately, you can't remove their mic and they're a bit too bulky and cumbersome for outdoor use. 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-M20xBudget over-ear headphones with good sound quality. They're a decent substitute to the Mpow 059. See our review
  • Bluedio T4. Cheap yet sturdy wireless headphone. Awkward design and very high latency. See our review
  • Superlux HD 681 Evo. A good alternative for critical listening but not as versatile for everything else. See our review
  • Tascam TH-02. A budget critical listening headphones. Decent sound and portable design but poor build quality and not the most comfortable headphones. See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best over-ear 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 over-ears 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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