If you are on the lookout to buy good quality earbuds, it doesn’t mean that you need to break the bank for that. Music lovers who are not fussy about high-end setups like a Bose or a Sony, that run over $200, can check out some really cool choices in a lower range budget without compromising on sound quality or necessary features.
Who should consider buying earbuds under $50?
Before you dig into the article further, it would be wise to see if you are cut out to be a consumer for these low to mid-range earbuds. Check if you belong in any of the following categories:
- Budget Listeners – You are okay to let go of some crisp notes here and there in lieu of durable build and acceptable sound quality
- On the lookout for Backups – You want an extra and relatively inexpensive pair of buds to accompany you for office/commute/general home use
- If you tend to lose or break stuff – You don’t want to risk misplacing or damaging the expensive buds and would like to invest in cheap pair of buds that won’t hurt even if lost/broken
What should you know about budget earbuds?
When the budget is limited, very few earbuds pass the test of quality and durability, irrespective of the fact that the market is flooded with low-cost earphone options. To ensure you do not get swayed with the price and know the trade secrets of making the right purchase of earbuds costing less than $50, keep these facts in check:
- The game of codecs – For a better source to output transmission, consider Bluetooth earbuds with more codecs. Apart from the basic SBC codec, if the device in question supports aptX (for Android), LDAC, or AAC (for iPhone), it’s a game-changer. The right set up of codecs makes a huge difference. Hence, look out for these details in the description.
- IP rating – If you tend to listen to music during your gym workouts, jogs, or get exposed to water in the pool or beach, then never ignore Ingress Protection (IP) rating. Map the rating to your need and choose a product.
- IP1X to IP5X rating – Dust resistant
- IP6X – Dustproof
- IPX1 to IPX6 – Water-resistant
- IPX7 and IPX8 – Waterproof
- Comfort-Fit and passive noise isolation – If your budget is tight, you have to make peace with the fact that earbuds that offer you snug fit will help to curb sound leakage rather than any other high-end noise cancellation tech. The buds you select should come with multiple ear tips in different sizes to achieve correct fit and tone down ambient noise.
- Battery life and frequency response – Earphones below $50 usually have average battery life with high stress on bass. Average playtime on a single charge is between 4-5 hours, and this is easily extendable with a charging case.
Anything below 4 hours of single charge playtime and more than 3 hours of charging time is a total waste of money. Also, consider options that try to deliver balanced sound of mids and highs rather than just a thumping bass response.
Top 10 PICKS of earbuds under $50
Since many devices including phones are ditching the audio jacks and going wireless, our article focuses more on the Truly Wireless (TWS) options. These are convenient, bypass the hassles of wires and in-trend with the latest tech.
Feeling guaranteed with this article – Satisfaction of not being strapped off your hard-earned cash.
1. Mpow M30 in-ear Wireless Earbuds
Why we picked it – The bass-forward sound at a commendable price point
Mpow insists on providing quality products and is acknowledged by tens of millions of customers around the world. The Mpow M30 wireless earphones deliver fantastic immersive sound with punchy bass packed inside their small size build.
These are ideal for a daily commute, sports, yoga, or gymming activities without falling off their snuggly fit. Unlike others, M30 is a thoughtful product. If you lose one earbud, just simply purchase the exact one instead of a new pair. Pick your favorite from black, red, pink, blue, or pink.
- Reliable and fast wireless connection with Bluetooth 5.0 technology
- Switch freely between twin mode or mono mode
- Besides play & pause, M30 also supports volume & tracks control for more convenience
- advanced polyurethane drivers to avoid bulky size
- Options of varied ear tips sizes (S/M/L) to get a better sealing
- IPX8 waterproof rating
- 5 hours of playtime on a single charge and 20 hours with a charging case
- Supports and activates voice assistants such as Siri and Google Assistant
- Powerful bass, mid and treble
- Good ambient noise cancellation without distortion
- Ergonomic ear-fin to disperse pressure and ensure wearing comfort
- Suitable for all weather conditions and steers clear of sweat, light rains, and accidental splashes
- Automatic pairing on opening the case
- The touch controls are not customizable
- If the battery is a top priority then you would feel that M30 has lower than average battery life
2. Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo True Wireless Earbuds
Why we picked it – Feature-rich with ultimate comfort to music lovers
Soundcore, Ankers’ audio brand, has swooned over 10 million+ users across the world with their superior build and balanced sound. These things find Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo, a solid place among this best of the best list.
Pioneers of Graphene driver technology, Liberty Neo wireless earbuds take advantage of this material (which is 100 times harder than steel and 35% lighter than traditional driver diaphragms), to produce a sound that finally gets critics acknowledgment among cheap TWS earphones.
- Stable Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connection
- Expertly tuned graphene drivers deliver 43% more bass, thanks to the BassUp technology
- 3.5 hours of playtime on a single charge and extra 9 hours from the compact charging case – Powers a week time of listening
- Can use both or single earbuds, convenient to switch between calls and music
- Grip fit technology keeps the wireless earbuds sitting securely in your ears
- 5 color variants – Black, Gray, Blue, Red, and White
- 4 sets of ear tips and ear wings
- The charging case comes with 4X the battery capacity of other charging cases. A quick 10-minute charge provides 90 minutes of listening
- Soft silicone airwings that partially deflate to conform to the shape and size of your ears for a secure fit with unmatched comfort
- Exceptional accuracy and crystal clear clarity with a wider soundstage
- Sweat guard technology protects Liberty Neo during workouts, rain, and rinsing
- Lightweight design allows for a fatigue-free listening experience
- Earbuds stick out from the ear, which might be little uncomfortable
- Ambient awareness is weak
3. Enacfire E60 Wireless Earbuds
Why we picked it – Wireless charging tech with impressive battery life
Enacfire E60 with tons of favorable online reviews shines bright by delivering an unparalleled, fullest, and effective wireless music experience. It produces CD-quality lossless audio and is made to last your toughest workout sessions.
The compact, ergonomic design provides cozy secure fit with the battery life that screams longevity. What’s more! This magical edition is recommended by NBA championship legend – Rashard Lewis, adding one more feather to its cap of positives.
- Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connectivity
- Installed with Qualcomm latest coding tech – aptX technology, these earbuds provide powerful, low-bit rate transmission and scalability for audio without any leaks
- 6 mm drivers with nano-coating for dust prevention
- CVC 8.0 noise cancellation and IPX8 waterproof rating
- Comes in black, blue, white, and grey color variants
- Wireless charging technology with easy placement on charging pad
- Extra 6 ear tips for personal fit and preferences
- Filters ambient noise to give stereo call quality that is crisp and clear
- Super long battery life with 48 hours of playtime with a case charging
- Easy wireless charging pad to juice your device up
- Sweat and dustproof. Even suitable for open water
- No EQ customizations possible
- Touch sensors react to water and accidental taps
4. Tozo T12 Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds
Why we picked it – Hi-Fi stereo sound quality with a small price tag
If you like the bass pumping up real high, Tozo T12 might be the pick for you. It offers balanced sound quality at a great price and high portability. It is ideal for sweating it out at the gym and can even withstand a wash. Worth mentioning is the convenient charging with no strings attached.
The matte finish keeps the fingerprints at bay and the design with fins allows the buds to sit deep into your ears. It’s a solid and sturdy choice if you want an all-rounder at a price tag below $50.
- Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless connectivity and easy pairing. Support HSP, HFP, A2DP, AVRCP.
- Features touch controls and smart LED digital display
- Silicon ear hooks for a comfortable listening experience
- IPX8 waterproof rating
- Nano coating on earbuds and charging case
- 10 mm large size speaker driver- the drive area is 2.77 times than the normal drive area
- These can last for over 5 hours’ playtime from a single charge and 18 extra hours in the compact charging case
- Stable and fast transmission without tangling
- Offers natural and authentic sound with powerful bass
- Waterproof for 1 meters deep for 30 minutes, suitable for water sports
- Earbuds hold in place even during active movements
- Bass boost with noise elimination
- Durable build
- Average battery life on a single charge
- Microphone has sub-par performance compared to overall sound quality
- High frequencies can be a bit weak
5. Skullcandy Sesh Evo True Wireless In-Ear Earbud
Why we picked it – Good rating on the TWS (True Wireless) radar
This wireless edition from Skullcandy is a strong contender in the under $50 price bracket. An evolution from its earlier 2019 Skullcandy Sesh, the new version Evo adds some pop youth color options and better battery life to a total of 24 hours.
The earbuds amplify the lower-end frequencies and render strong bass. The look and feel are also very uber chic with fresh colors and in-ear design. The Bluetooth range is worthy of a separate mention and it doesn’t snap if you tend to be away from your phone.
- Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connectivity with 6 mm drivers
- 5 color variants – Black, Pure Mint, Bleached Blue, Chill Grey, and Deep Red
- 19 hours of battery with case + 5 hours on single charge + rapid charge
- IP55 – sweat, water, and dust resistant
- Microphone, call, track, volume control, and activate the assistant
- Mono or dual bud mode available
- Built-in Tile Technology
- 3 EQ modes – Music, Movie, and Podcast
- An affordable and portable offering
- Separate EQ modes for different audio experience (film/music/podcasts)
- Crisp highs and punchy bass
- Secure and comfortable fit with three pairs of silicone ear tips (in S, M, L)
- Easy to locate the earbuds using the tile app
- Audiophiles might not accept the sound accuracy levels delivered by these buds
- Voice reception during calls can be patchy
- Highs can be bit muddy
6. EarFun Free
Why we picked it – Value for money and surprisingly good audio performance
EarFun Free gets the basics right without any struggle. Good connectivity, impressive battery, and quality sound make these earbuds a perfect entry-level TWS audio device. The buds offer dual charging modes – wireless and USB, which is uncommon for this price range.
The sound has a warm presentation with a slight bass boost. They offer better value for money as compared to their competitors who face connection glitches, poor battery, and subpar sound quality. For the money, EarFun Free couldn’t have done better than this.
- Wireless Earbuds Bluetooth 5.0
- Superior Sound with Dual Graphene Drivers
- IPX7 Waterproof with Sweatshield™ Technology
- Single Earbud Mode-Right or Left
- All-in-one Volume Control
- 30-Hour Battery Life: 6- hour playtime + 24 hours with Charging Case
- Fast charging, 10 Min Charging = 2 hours Play Time
- Activate voice assistant
- Quality audio performance at an affordable rate
- Reliable and stable connection
- Offer both USB-C and wireless charging
- The long-lasting battery life of up to 30 hours
- Water and sweat-resistant
- Deep bass and crisp highs
- Bulky design theme that might not fit all ear shapes and sizes
- No volume control on the buds
- Weaker mid notes
7. SoundPEATS Sonic Wireless In-ear Bluetooth Headphones
Why we picked it – Multi-tasking TWS bud at its best with advanced Bluetooth 5.2
If you want the maximum return on your earbud investment, go for SoundPEATS Sonic Wireless in-ear Bluetooth headphones that offer great sound depth and texture. These buds offer superior sound performance with the most advanced Bluetooth 5.2 wireless protocol. And the battery life of 15 hours on a single charge is a steal at this sort of price.
The unusual yet appealing color combination of grey and gold lends a very stylish look to the buds. The build quality and game mode with minimum delays serve as one of the best TWS to audiophiles.
- Advanced Bluetooth 5.2 wireless technology with built-in high tech QCC 30340 chipset
- Earbuds can work in twin mode or single-mode for taking calls or listening to music
- Qualcomm CVC 8.0 noise reduction functionality for crystal clear phone calls
- Up to 15 hours of playtime on a single charge and the charging case extends the playing time up to 35 hours
- True wireless mirroring technology reduces the audio interruption during circumstances with poor radio frequency
- The game mode for better audio sync between game audio and picture
- Sensitive button control for precise function control
- Amazing sound quality
- Above-average battery life
- Great overall design and ergonomics
- Advanced Bluetooth technology (5.2 connection)
- Low latency
- Non-convincing IP rating that gives limited water-resistance
- Twitchy touch controls
8. Sony WI-C400 Wireless In-ear Headphones
Why we picked it – Easy controls, quick connectivity with a comfortable fit for sports
Sony has undoubtedly come up with some of the best-in-class headphones of different types – ranging from over-the-ear, on-ear, in-ear, and even neckbands. Sony’s WI-C400 is wireless neckband for commuters and sports enthusiasts. The minimalistic neck design and good sound performance put these headphones in the league of most sought after headphones.
These have 8 hours of battery life on a single charge, which outlasts many truly wireless earbuds. Also, they have better sound compared to the wired competitors. These are great for the music of any kind!
- Wireless connectivity with easy-to-wear neckband fit
- Supports NFC and Bluetooth for an effortless one-touch listening experience
- 9 mm neodymium-magnet drivers
- Up to 20 hours of battery life
- 4 color variants – Black, Red, Blue, and White
- Vibration notification for message alerts and incoming calls
- Easy operation with buttons
- Behind-the-neck design is shaped for comfortable, all-day listening
- Tangle-free cable management
- Lightweight and stable design
- Low sound leakage
- Decent battery life and Bluetooth range
- High latency
- Treble heavy
- Mediocre noise isolation
9. JBL Endurance Sprint Wireless
Why we picked it – Flexible ear-hook design for high bass lovers
JBL, like other major audio brands, has realized that under $50 Bluetooth headphones are attractive to many customers. In comes the JBL endurance sprint wireless buds that feature wings and that lock the earphones in place.
The nifty design features are not the only good things about these pair of buds. They also pack decent sound quality at a very affordable price tag. The sound sealing is excellent and they don’t fall out during strenuous workouts. A bass winner all the way!
- Wireless Bluetooth connectivity
- 2 Colour Variants – Black and Blue
- Secure fit ear-hook design
- IPX7 water resistance rating
- Touch controls allow to easily manage calls and music
- Secure and comfortable fit
- Magnetic hook for convenient storage
- TwistLock and Flexsoft tech makes these earbuds extremely lightweight
- No messy wires interfering with your workout
- Durable and made to last
- Touch controls can be a little tricky to operate with
- Big and bulky wing design might not click with some users
- Average mic quality is also a small niggle
10. Linsoul Tin Audio Hi-Fi T2
Why we picked it – Wired option on the list that is premium and budget-friendly at the same time
The Tin HiFi T2 are wired earbuds that can solve all your musical fantasies and everything else in between without draining your wallet. High on aesthetics with gold-plated MMCX connection in a clear transparent housing, these buds exude a smooth luxury vibe.
The T2 allows for easy cable replacement if needed, as it comes as a detachable accessory. The earphones have super-deep and stable sub-bass, vivid and natural-sounding mids, and sharp and crisp yet not fatiguing treble. These great looking headphones won’t let you down for sure.
- In-ear wired connectivity
- Detachable MMCX cable design
- Dual Dynamic drivers with 10MM woofer + 6MM Tweeter
- 5N 8-core silver plated 3.9-foot braided wire
- 3 different sized earplugs
- 1-year warranty with 24 hours customer support
- High and pure sound quality
- Soft and supple wire material is lightweight, durable and curl-free
- Red and blue plastic rings differentiate right and left earplug
- Durable to withstand long term use
- The metal housing is hypoallergenic and won’t induce any allergic reactions
- No mic support
- Not the very best for vocals
Is it okay to buy earbuds that cost under $50?
The stress word here is “affordable” and NOT cheap. Cheap is categorically anything below $20. These have higher chances of damaging your inner ear as they are made of cheap components with sloppy sound performance. In contrast to these the affordable range of headphones between $30 to $50 try to achieve build quality that is near to high-end earphones but without additional frills and features.
So yes, it is okay to buy earbuds under $50, provided you choose a good brand, read the product description carefully, consider customer reviews and are okay to compromise on bells and whistles.
How to avoid potential ear damage due to the use of cheap earbuds?
You can’t undo the damage caused by using cheap earphones. Hence some basic checks in place help you to skip potential ear damage. Place high importance on acceptable sound quality that doesn’t require you to blast the volume up in order to hear it completely. Other critical factors include comfort to wear for long hours and good build material to keep your ears happy and healthy.
PS – Earphones that are dirt cheap will in all probability have a cheap plastic body as well. AVOID them!
How do I care for my earbuds?
Inexpensive earbuds don’t mean that they don’t require care in handling or use. In fact, in absence of necessary maintenance, you need to replace them often and it ultimately mounts the expenses. Follow these steps to make your affordable buds last longer:
- Wipe them with anti-bacterial hand wash or mild soap, especially on inner circumference
- Use a soft cloth to use with a cleaning solution
- Replace dirty or broken ear tips
- Avoid sharing earphones with others to prevent infections
- Store them carefully without cables getting tangled or tips getting damaged
Are Bluetooth earphones safe?
As per the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Bluetooth devices emit non-ionizing EMR (Electro-Magnetic Radiation). This is harmful only if a user is exposed to it in large intense amounts.
Though there is not a lot of research that can confirm the ill-effects of using Bluetooth devices, the risk can be averted by keeping a watch on total hours of listening, taking adequate breaks, and using speakerphone OR wired devices for long conversations.
How to choose the best cheap earbuds under $50?
Anything near $50 warrants decent quality earbuds. While the choices can be individualistic, the guiding compass can include
- Best possible sound performance for the genre you interested in (Hip Hop, Jazz, EDM, Country music, etc.)
- Purpose of using earbuds – Music / Podcasts / Vocals / Games / Videos
- Reputed brand names like JBL, Sony, SoundPEATS, Anker, etc. who do rigorous testing in design phase
- Credibility score and reviews from other customers
- Non-compromising features (touch controls/ noise cancellation / mic etc.)
- Accessories and any other unique feature that bundles up with the main device
The earbuds market has grown twofold especially in the last couple of years with a large spread of wireless and wired options. The brands have acknowledged that not everyone is after studio-quality sound and there are many takers for affordable earbuds with decent performance and necessary functionalities.
We hope you liked our top recommendations of budget-friendly picks that will help you to steer clear of buds that cost a fortune.
We would love to know which budget-friendly earbuds caught your attention or any inexpensive option that should have featured on this list. Please share your comments below.