If you don’t like the cumbersome design of over-ears and prefer wireless portable headphones, then earbuds or in-ears are going to be the way to go. You also don’t have to empty your bank account to be able to find a great pair of headphones. Some more budget headphones can have great sound, be comfortable and come with some neat features.
We’ve tested 279 headphones so far and below are our recommendations for the best wireless earbuds under $50 to purchase in 2018. See also our recommendations for the best wireless earbuds and the best sounding wireless earbuds.
The best wireless earbuds under $50 are the Anker SoundBuds Curve. They offer great performance for their price and have the best value in this list. Their ear-hook and earbud-like in-ear design is comfortable and stable enough for sports, especially once you achieve a good fit with the multiple tips and fins options provided in the box.
They have a decent sound quality with a deep and powerful bass which can be great for bass-heavy genres like EDM, Hip Hop, House, and Dubstep and keeps you pumped during your strenuous workouts. They have a decent wireless range and an above-average battery life which makes them quite versatile overall for everyday casual and a great headset for sports.
Unfortunately, like most wireless headphones, they have too much latency to watch a lot of video content. The Curve also do not isolate ambient noise as well as some of the other in-ears we've tested so they won't be ideal for crowded gyms and busy commutes, but should be fine for an office environment, especially if you’re playing music to mask the noise. They also have a great 12-hour battery life which should last you all day without any problem.
If you prefer having control over your audio and have an Android smartphone, then get the Samsung Level U Pro. These around-the-neck designed headphones might not be as portable as the Anker SoundBuds Curve because of the neckband, but they have a compatible app with equalizers and presets so you can customize the sound to your liking.
They have a decent sound quality, even without an EQ, and the neckband design is stable enough for sports as well. They have a good 9.5-hour battery life, which isn’t as great as the Curve’s 12 hours, but they have an adjustable auto-off timer in the app that the Anker headphones lack.
Unfortunately, their isolation performance isn’t the best, and the build feels fragile due to thin cables that could get damaged from wear and tear. On the other hand, they have low latency (36ms) if you have a device that supports the aptX-LL codec.
If build quality is important for you and you think the thin cables and stiff neckband of the Samsung Level U Pro might be too fragile, take a look at the Samsung U Flex; they're the best Bluetooth earbuds under $50 for build quality. They have very similar overall performance to the U Pro but have a more premium feeling. The neckband is also a bit more flexible and makes them more portable since you’ll be able to store them into large pockets.
They have a decent sound quality, but their bass is a bit lacking in rumble and thump. They have a good battery life with 11.5 hours of playback, and it fully recharges under 2 hours. Like the U Pro, you can also use them even if they are charging, which can be useful at the office if you’re near a power source like your computer.
The U Flex are also compatible with the Samsung Level app, but only on Samsung devices which is disappointing. You get graphic and parametric equalizers, room effects, volume monitors and a music playback timer, but barely get anything other than notification management and battery level status that doesn’t show the actual percentage of battery left if you’re connected to a non-Samsung Android device. If you have an Android device, the U Pro is a better choice.
If you’re looking for better sounding budget in-ears, get the JBL Endurance Sprint. They are sports-oriented headphones with bulkier over-ear hooks than the Soundbuds Curve but have better default sound quality but won’t be as comfortable.
They are rated IPX7, so they should be more sweat and water resistant, although our current test bench did not allow us to test this precisely. They have slightly overemphasized bass which helps to keep you going during workouts. They have a 9-hour battery life who takes about 1.7 hours to charge fully. The JBL Endurance Sprint also come with a touch-sensitive control scheme, which is rare at this price point.
However, this touch-sensitive control scheme is very inaccurate and sensitive. You might pause your music often instead of changing the volume level. Nevertheless, the JBL Endurance Sprint are good sports headphones that are great in a crowded gym thanks to their amazing noise isolation performance.
If you’re looking for a versatile pair of headphones that you’ll be able to use everywhere at any time, go with the JBL E25BT; they're the best Bluetooth earbuds under $50 for commuting. They are simple headphones that perform decently in almost every type of usage. They are also a good option for commuting since they have decent noise isolation and they barely leak, so you’ll be able to mask even more ambient noise by raising your volume without bothering people around you.
They might not have a touch-sensitive control scheme like the JBL Endurance Sprint but the JBL E25BT are comfortable and easy-to-use headphones. They are a decently good sounding pair of headphones and have about 10 hours of battery life.
Unfortunately, they don’t have the best build quality and might feel cheaper than some other options in this list, but on the upside, you’ll be able to connect them to two devices simultaneously which is great when you want to switch between your computer and your phone.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best Bluetooth earbuds under $50 to buy for most people in each price range. 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 wireless Bluetooth in-ear headphones and earbuds. 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.