Be it headphones, earphones, or earbuds – they have become an integral part of our everyday living. For most of us, not a day goes by without using them for work or leisure.
But let’s admit it! Not all of us are looking for studio-quality sound or earth-shattering looks when it comes to earbuds. PRICE is an important factor to a major section of customers and why not? With brands focussing on what we call affordable luxury, cost-conscious buyers are getting what they want without compromising on quality or looks at a great price tag.
If you are already onboard the budget bandwagon, we have collated some cool earbud options under $30 that are creating waves in the tech market.
Wired or Wireless? We have got it covered. For once, let your wallet thank you!
1. AUKEY True Wireless Earbuds (EP-T21S)
Why we picked it – Value centric and reliable product at a great price
These new generation earbuds pack superb high fidelity wireless music in the typical Aukey brown box. The total playtime is remarkable 30 hours on-the-go with the case. With wide compatibility, these buds connect to almost all Bluetooth enabled devices, such as Android, iPhone, and laptops.
These earphones offer snugly fit and are ideal for everyday use. Tons of positive online reviews and recommendations are a testimony to the quality and performance of these buds. Hence, no surprise that they top this list of inexpensive earbuds.
- Reliable and fast wireless connection with Bluetooth 5.0 technology
- 10 mm enhanced dynamic drivers
- MEMS microphone technology allows you to make clearer calls. There is a mic on each earbud
- USB-C Quick Charge – up to 5 hours of energetic sound output on a 1.5-hour quick charge
- Touch control for convenient audio playback and calls
- One step connection after opening the charging case
- Comes with three pairs of ear tips (S/M/L) and a USB Cable
- Excellent volume and sound for the money
- Strong midrange and clear treble notes
- Slim and portable charging dock
- Maximum comfort fit owing to the different ear tips sizes
- Decent battery life with the battery indicator on the case
- Bass is not dominant and drowns among other frequencies
- It’s passive noise cancellation, where the ambient noises are still audible
2. TOZO T10 Bluetooth 5.0
Why we picked it – Crowd favorite and IPX8 super resistant to water
If you don’t want to second guess your choice and want quality in the best possible price range, go with these TOZO earbuds. It features the most advanced Bluetooth available and can connect to any mobile phone.
TOZO uses a proprietary nano-coating to make their earbuds truly water-resistant and dare we say even washable. These silicone buds literally conform to your ear canal, and hence no worries about any discomfort. The wireless tech on this is beyond belief.
- 8 mm large size speaker driver, with drive area about 1.77 times than the average driver area
- The wireless charging case that can be used to charge headphones
- Bluetooth 5.0 works with all mobile phones
- Silicone ear tips that conform to ear canal shape
- Nano-coating water-resistant earbuds that are waterproof for 1 meter deep for 30 minutes.
- TOZO T10 wireless earbuds can last for over 4 hours’ playtime from a single charge and 14 extra hours in the compact charging case
- Top-notch sound quality with nice highs and lows
- Affordable budget pick
- Suitable for sports and gym use owing to their water-resistant and sweat-resistant build
- No strings no-hassle – convenient wireless charging
- Ergonomic design for an active lifestyle
- Phone call quality is just alright, not great
- Some issues might crop up to pair with equalizer devices
- The sound may drop if a lot of movement is involved
3. Sony MDR-XB50AP/R Extra Bass Earbud Headset
Why we picked it – Best bass quality in the under $30 price bracket
If you value deep bass response, then this set of earbuds can be the best bet for your buck. The bass quality truly complements today’s’ popular music genres. A tightly sealed acoustic design allows for a high level of sound isolation which aides in extended bass response.
It’s an ideal companion for your smartphone, especially if you are an android user as the Smart Key app enables control functions directly from your phone. Noise cancellation is one of the best in the under $30 price category.
- Wired connectivity
- 0.47 neodymium drivers
- 12-millimeter dome type driver units for high-quality bass
- Integrated microphone and smartphone playback control
- Hybrid silicone earbuds
- High energy neodymium magnets for powerful sound
- Comes with a soft carry pouch for convenient storage
- Powerful deep bass
- Earbuds offer a comfortable and secure fit
- Tangle-free, Y type flat cord with slider is a joy to use
- Lightweight for ultimate music mobility
- Long-lasting comfort with XS, S, M, and L earbuds for perfect fitment
- The sound quality gets overpowered by the low range, and hence the high and medium notes get muddled
- Little big in size for in-ear headphones
4. Symphonized NRG 3.0
Why we picked it – Sleek looking, stylish wood casing with smooth sound quality
Lesser price doesn’t mean compromising on the looks or sound. Symphonized NRG 3.0 justify this statement with their luxurious wooden finish and rich acoustic performance for the price.
Symphonized, leverages the natural acoustical properties of wood to deliver crisp and clear sound. Thanks to their price, these wooden wonders can also be a cool option for gifting purposes.
- Wired connectivity
- 8 mm neodymium drivers and 3.5 mm gold plated audio jack
- 9 pairs of silicone ear tips
- Premium all-natural wooden housing
- In-line controls and microphone
- Protective hardshell case with carabiner clip
- 3 types of wooden housing – Walnut, Sapele, Zebra
- The lightweight wooden frame that adds sophistication to its looks
- Different ear tips for different ear sizes, for that perfect comfy fit
- User-friendly voice control and a decent in-line mic for calls
- No sound leakage renders balanced and even sound
- Durable cables and build quality
- Portable case to carry around
- Rubbing of cables is audible in earbuds that might disrupt calls/music experience
- Not water resistant
- Noise isolation is sub-par
5. 1More Piston Fit In-Ear Earphones
Why we picked it – A modern-retro fusion that is high on quality and ergonomics
1MORE collaborated with Grammy-winning sound engineer – Luca Bignardi, to perfect the final tuning and deliver a precise representation of your favorite artist’s intended sound. 1More name is associated with high-quality products and it’s a reason to rejoice as now anybody can get a whiff of 1More quality with this affordable pick.
1More Piston Fit in-ear headphones apply a heavy coat of fashion to these buds with vivid and stylish metallic colors that are sure to turn heads.
- Aluminum body with dual-layer composite drivers consisting of flexible PET polymer and light aerospace grade titanium
- 3 sets of ear tips for comfy precision fit
- 45° angled design fully matches individual ear canals
- Inline control box and microphone
- Rates high on the “value for money” scale
- Sleek and lightweight
- Oblique angled ear fittings naturally match your ear canals enabling a comfortable fit
- Superior sound quality with sizzling highs, present mids, and powerful bass
- Snug fit increases the noise isolation and fullness of sound
- The in-line microphone conveniently located allows you to take calls without cross-talk
- The straight plug might be subjected to wear and tear
- Paint has a tendency to chip if not used with care
6. Skullcandy Ink’d+ Plus Wireless Earbuds
Why we picked it – Wireless simplicity at its best
Skullcandy is no stranger in the audio world with its wide range of devices that have known to become mass favorites. This wireless edition takes care of almost all features that you would expect in an earbud.
The buds claim to offer comfort fit and sit comfortably around the neck. They are one of the best brands for your buck if you are a Skullcandy fan and trust their line of products.
- Bluetooth wireless technology
- Up to 8 hours of battery life with rapid charge (10 minutes = 2 hours)
- Splash resistant
- Microphone with dedicated buttons for Call, Volume and track control
- Activate Assistants like Google Assistant and Siri
- 7 color variants – Deep Red, Black, Faded Purple, Cobalt Blue, Elevated Olive, Fresh Mint and Faded Pink
- Affordable and feather light
- Removable stability ear gels
- Decent build quality and battery life
- Comfortable and user-friendly controls
- Splash proof
- A little high on the treble and low on bass
- A microphone is not that powerful, especially when outdoors
- Rubber flap on the charging port comes in way while charging the earbuds
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6. Sennheiser MX 365
The price might vary. They are often on discount and when they aren’t their price might go above $30
Why we picked it – Extremely durable with pro-level sound quality that is a trademark of Sennheiser brand
A sure delight among the budget earphones. These Sennheiser pair meets the quality standards of many expensive earbuds but at half or even a quarter of their price. They are open and airy with well-defined bass and neat vocals.
These earphones are great for users who want to stay aware of their surroundings without getting lost in the music. Not to forget, the nice thickness of cables and chrome accent that gives them a touch of sophistication among their budget-friendly competitors.
- Wired connectivity
- Symmetrical cable with 1/8″ (3.5mm) headphone jack that works any audio source including iPhone, iPad series and Android devices
- Red, White, and Blue color variants. Comes with a 2-year warranty
- Comfortable and non-intrusive earbud fit
- Exceptional bass response and detail without added batteries or bulk
- Durable build
- Nice and forward mids
- Great for music that is heavy on vocals
- Foam covers are flimsy and not worth keeping on
- Some sound can leak out as they don’t seal the ears completely
- The cable can sometimes get tangled or pop-off the earphones
7. SoundPEATS TrueFree2
Why we picked it – Best budget pick for sport lovers with its grip and outstanding sound clarity
These wireless earbuds from SoundPEATS let you have it all. From great sound to an ergonomic in-ear design, the TrueFree 2 buds stand true to their name and don’t fall off during a workout and other sports activities.
If you are looking for a perfect mate for music or workout, these buddy-buds have supreme and balanced audio quality. They render engaging, high on the bass sound that makes them one of the most sought after sports-focussed wireless earbuds.
- Wireless Earbuds Bluetooth 5.0
- Built-in 6mm bio-compound diaphragm driver
- Seamless connection between single-mode with either earbud or single/twin mode
- On-ear sensitive button control
- Exclusive and soft silicone ear fins
- IPX7 waterproof
- USB-C charge
- 20 hours of playtime with case. Built-in battery bar inside for a better view
- On-ear hassle-free control for switching tracks, adjusting volume, handling calls, or activating voice assistants
- Type-C charge brings convenience and ensures fast and safe charging
- Water and Sweat proof
- User friendly as both earbuds can be used as first/master unit
- Low latency on mobile devices
- The standalone battery life of 4 hours might be less for many users
- No sound EQ customization options
8. JLab Go Air True Wireless Earbuds
Why we picked it – Great aesthetics for a strict budget purchase
Affordability with classy looks is something that JLab Go Air Buds have tried to achieve at a $30 price tag. They are a great entry-level option for anyone willing to switch from wired to wireless buds experience.
JLab even includes pre-set three-mode EQ settings – Jlab Signature, Balanced, and Bass Boost modes, which can be toggled without using your phone. The comfort fit is taken care of with their customized 3 sized ear tips to suit different ear shapes and sizes.
- Wireless Bluetooth connectivity
- 4 Colour Variants – Green, Black, Blue, and White
- 20+ hours Bluetooth playtime with charging case
- Dual connect with touch sensors
- Auto on and connect once out of the case
- IPX4 waterproof rating
- Built-in USB cable with the charging case
- One of the smallest and most comfortable fit earbuds
- Slim, convenient and easy to carry charging case
- Decent sound quality
- Splashproof and sweatproof
- Average battery life, with 5 hours of playtime on a single charge
- No lid cover for the charging case, which may expose it to scratches
9. Senso Activbuds S-270 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones
Why we picked it – True HD premium sound with great battery and noise cancellation
You know when you see and experience the top quality product. This is one such device! The senso Activbuds boast state-of-the-art acoustic components that produce incredible sound quality with deep bass and crystal clear treble.
They feature flexible ear hooks with silicone gel earbuds, that ensure you enjoy a fatigue-free listening experience. These are a practical choices for users with an active lifestyle or exposure to water/sweat. The cool case and accessories that come with these earphones are a win-win too.
- Bluetooth 4.1 CSR technology – Connect seamlessly with all Bluetooth enabled devices up to 30 feet away
- IPX7 rated – waterproof and sweatproof
- 8 hours of non-stop playtime on a single charge and 240 hours stand-by with a quick charge of only 1.5 hours
- CVC 6.0 noise suppression technology
- 3 sets of ear tips – S, M, and L
- 1 year of warranty and bonus items (Dual port USB charger, Hard case, ties & 3 feet lightening cable for Apple and Android devices)
- Comfort, secure fit that doesn’t fall off from ears
- Resistant to sweat, light rain, and accidental splash
- 24*7 live phone support
- Impressive battery life
- High noise isolation lets you focus without any skips or missed words
- Great for the gym, running, and sports as they have an extremely secure fit
- It May hurt a bit after wearing it for a long time
- Volume might be a bit too loud even at lower volume settings
Quick Roundup – What to consider when buying cheap/budget-friendly earbuds?
Buying cheap doesn’t mean you sacrifice on the regular checklist of a smart shopper. While you can’t expect the sun and the moon at or below $30, make sure you tick these checkboxes to truly win the “value for money” game.
There is a reason it tops the list. If the sound quality and overall performance isn’t great, it doesn’t matter if you get awesome looking earbuds at a dirt-cheap price. Style is irrelevant if they don’t produce decent enough sound. A good budget earbud should have a decent sound range with balanced bass without distortion or blurring of words.
It’s no fun when the earbuds keep poking and hurting your ears, reminding you of the price you got them for. Make sure you get headphones that come with tips in different sizes to ensure comfortable wear.
Going for absolute new unknown brands, that have no reviews/ratings or customer support, can be a risky affair in this price range. You don’t want to keep buying cheap earbuds several times a year. Budget headphones from reputed brands last at least a year or two and come with warranty/helpline support.
Both have their pros and cons. Wired earbuds usually offer better sound quality, durability and skip the hassle of charging. While wireless earbuds allow for mobility and a wire-free experience. Choosing between wired or wireless options is an individual preference basis what is more important to you among the advantages mentioned.
The market for budget-friendly earbuds is growing with a lot of people wanting variety by changing buds often or not wanting to spend beyond a certain limit.
We hope our “Best earbuds under $30” list was helpful and will save you some time in doing a guilt-free purchase.
Please let us know which cost-friendly earbuds you plan to buy or are currently using in the comments below.