Find the best cheap headphones (of all types) you can get right now.
|Rating||Price||Design||Connection||Mic & Controls||More info|
Audio-Technica ATH-M20x Best overall
Wired – 3.5mm
Jlab Audio Jbuds Air Best wireless
True wireless, closed-back
Bluetooth (5.5h + 18h in case)
Linsoul Tin Audio T2 Best wired in-ear
Wired – 3.5mm
Anker Soundcore Life Q10 Best wireless
TaoTronics TT-BH090 Best noise-cancelling
Samson SR850 Best open-back
Wired 3.5mm & 6.3mm
Skullcandy Hesh 2 Best for bassheads
Monoprice 8323 Best under $30
Wired 3.5mm & 6.3mm
Aukey EP-T21 Best AirPods alternative
True wireless, closed-back
Bluetooth (4.5h + 20h in case)
Koss UR-20 Best under $20
Wired – 3.5mm
KZ ZST Best earbuds under $20
Wired – 3.5mm
Panasonic ErgoFit HJE120K Best under $10
Wired – 3.5mm
Find the best cheap headphones under $50 for your needs and avoid bad ones.
We don’t want you spending too much money on low-quality headphones. That’s why we created this list.
And if $50 is still too much, you can find them for even less (under $30, under $20 and even under $10).
While the budget headphones can’t really compare to higher-end models, some offer fantastic value for your money with good quality.
If you like bargains, these are the best cheap headphones for you (you can buy happiness if it fits your personality).
The best cheap earbuds (in-ear monitors)
The Best Headphones under $50
1. Audio-Technica ATH-M20x
Audio-Technica ATH-M20x are one of the best cheap headphones under 50$.
- Affordable studio monitors
- Decent build and comfort
- Great, balanced sound for the price
- Not very portable
The ATH-M20x have a well-balanced sound signature. The overall sound quality is much better than you’d expect for 50 dollars. You also get a robust bass response while keeping the details. They’re good enough for every music genre.
The closed-back headphones are well built considering the price range. They can survive most of the unfortunate drops.
Another great thing about them is a simple, yet appealing design that never comes out of style (they look similar to other higher-end models from Audio-Technica).
Also, they are quite comfortable. Large and well-padded over-ear ear cups provide comfort for hours so you can enjoy your favorite music without itching.
2. Jlab Audio Jbuds Air
Jlab Audio Jbuds Air are the best true wireless earbuds under $50.
- Good water protection IP55
- Stable fit suitable for sports
- User-friendly magnetic design
- Good sound quality for the price
- Annoying physical controls (Air Icon have touch controls)
- Can become uncomfortable after prolonged time for small ears
- Phone calls require the right earbud
You get good sound quality for the price. With high volume and 3 presets, you get some customization. While it can’t compare to higher-end models, it’s still fun to listen to boosted bass. For more low-end, see best bass earbuds.
If you’re looking for decent cheap wireless earbuds under $50, then the Jlab Audio Jbuds Air should be your top choice.
With a stable fit, IP55 water and dust protection, and decent 5.5 hours of battery life (18 hours in the charging case), you can use them for sports too. For more see the best workout headphones.
You can use them for video games, or a daily commute as well. The fit is stable and generally comfortable. Also, passive isolation is above average, so you can block most of the background noise.
3. Linsoul Tin Audio T2
Tin Audio T2 are a great pair of wired earbuds under $50 that make an excellent purchase.
- Excellent sound for the price
- Robust, metal build with detachable cables
- Good passive isolation
- A bit bulky for users with smaller ears
Metal housing encapsulates 2 dynamic drivers: one woofer and one tweeter. Combined, they produce a sound quality that exceeds the earbud’s price range.
They have a well-balanced frequency response across the midrange and treble, with lots of details and sparkle. Even if the bass is slightly boosted, it should still please most audiophiles.
Earbuds are made of solid metal and boast an industrial look. Despite their weird shape, they’re comfortable for most users.
Inside the box, you get many accessories, including foam ear tips. The latter ensures optimal stability and passive isolation, preventing the ambient sound from mixing with your music.
Another cool thing about Tin Audio T2 is the removable MMCX cable. Since that’s one of the first things to break in headphones, you can now easily replace it with a new one.
Related: More best earbuds under $50
4. Anker Soundcore Life Q10
If you need cheap headphones with loud bass, Anker Soundcore Life Q10 might be one of the top picks.
- Excellent battery life
- Foldable, travel friendly design
- Big, punchy bass
- Volume maxes out at 95dB to protect hearing
- Not for audio purists
- Microphones could be better at blocking ambient noise
It’s all about the bass with these wireless headphones. You do get the punch bass-lovers are looking for. Anker also made Life Q10 Hi-Res certified, which ensures good treble extension.
If you like popular genres, like rap, hip hop, EDM, and pop, these cheap headphones should make you dance.
Related: The best Bluetooth headphones under $50
Their mostly plastic construction makes them exceptionally lightweight. When you add the plush earpads and padded headband into the mix, you get a very comfortable headphone that you can wear for hours.
You get a few clicky buttons on the side of the earcup for changing volume levels, summoning smart assistants (like Amazon Alexa), and answer phone calls.
Thankfully, Anker hasn’t cheap out when it comes to battery life. These can play music for an incredible 60 hours straight. If you suddenly end up with a dead battery, a 5-minute charge via USB-C adds another 5 hours of listening.
For a bit more money check the best Bluetooth headphones under $100.
5. TaoTronics TT-BH090
Dropping in price, these are becoming a superb value for those seeking a good pair of active noise-canceling headphones on the budget.
- Great price-to-performance ratio
- Good noise cancellation
- Comfortable earpads
- Smooth, enjoyable sound
- Might not fit the biggest heads
They have an overall smooth-sounding frequency response with punchy, deep bass. Audio performance across the board is spotless, with ANC only improving the sound quality. The latter is mostly due to eliminating the outside noise.
The matte black housing gives them a straightforward look, which can be a good thing if you don’t like flashy things.
Headphone cups can rotate and fold inwards to make them more portable. Underneath ear cup you can also find volume controls.
As mentioned, these wireless headphones provide you with active noise-cancellation, which works really well.
They’re capable of canceling out a majority of low-end humming, while also doing a great job in the office, where are a lot of people are chatting. During ANC, the headphone’s battery provides around 30 hours of battery life.
6. Samson SR850
SR8500 are the best cheap headphones with a sound quality that you can also use for serious work.
- Fantastic sound for the price
- Lightweight construction
- Decent durability
- 6.3mm adapter included in the box
- All-plastic construction feels cheap
- Below average comfort and fit
- Bad noise isolation
At the price tag, the sound quality of these cheap headphones is simply brilliant. While the bass doesn’t dig very low (as in most semi-open back headphones), the midrange is engagingly natural.
Detail retrieval and imaging are great, with good instrumental separation and airiness in the treble.
To save on materials, headphones are entirely made of plastic. That makes them lightweight but also fragile. However, with good care, you can have them for many years as we did. Also, the cable is thick so that it won’t break anytime soon.
You can choose between pleather or velour earpads. The latter ones are more breathable and gentler to the skin, giving you better comfort over the extended listening period.
Due to sound leakage they’re only usable for home listening. There’s a 6.3mm adapter in the box if you have a dedicated headphone amp or you want to plug them into a speaker amplifier.
7. Skullcandy Hesh 2
Hesh 2 are one of the best cheap headphones that can add a significant bass boost to all of your songs.
- Lightweight and decently comfortable
- Good battery life
- Overly dominant bass
If you seek tons of bass, Skullcandy is the right brand for you. Hesh 2 over-ear headphones are slightly older by now, but they can still rattle your skull with a sheer amount of low end.
Despite all that, the midrange is clean, albeit slightly recessed, and the treble remains sparkly to balance the bass.
Build quality feels solid and can withstand some tossing around with no problems. Headphones are relatively lightweight and shouldn’t become fatiguing after prolonged listening.
Thanks to big earpads with thick foam, the passive isolation is above average. Therefore, you can take them on public transport without hearing everyone around you. You can also get them in other color options.
With around 15 hours of battery life, Hesh 2 easily last throughout a day. And if they suddenly die on you, there’s a 3.5mm port to plug into your smartphone.
Check the best bass headphones.
The Best Cheap Headphones under $30
8. Monoprice 8323
Closed ear cups give these over-ear headphones excellent passive isolation, and the large drivers efficiently produce a loud, robust sound.
- Good comfort
- Detachable cable
- Great clarity for the price
- Cheap construction
The soundstage is clear and decently spacious, and the overall driver efficiency is good. Low-end frequency response is produced with plenty of punch and depth. The mids are full and generally rich.
The only downside is that the high frequencies can get lost in the mix depending on the style of music. Brilliance and sibilance are attenuated good enough to notice.
DJ’s will love the earcup swivel design and tight bass response that these cheap headphones deliver, and the additional detachable cables are handy for a variety of uses.
Few over-ear headphones at this price point provide as much isolation while delivering quality audio.
Furthermore, the style and build make them great for use by audio engineers and DJs. Studio engineers or musicians may find them to be larger and heavier than standard studio headphones. Since they also get dangerously loud, you have to practise safe headphone use.
9. Aukey EP-T21
Aukey EP-T21 are similar to Apple Airpods but much cheaper.
- Very loud
- Ergonomic design that’s stable and comfortable
- Good battery capacity
- Low price
- The lid on the case feels a bit flimsy
- Okay sound
They are really loud with overpowering volume. Now, the audio quality is about average, which is fine for casual users. It’s an enjoyable sound that works for all music genres and videos with decent bass. See the review for more info.
Thanks to almost the same design as Airpod’s, the fit is excellent and doesn’t bother one bit. You can even use them for working out. They’re sweatproof (IPX4).
Now, these are cheap wireless earphones, so the battery life isn’t the longest, but you still get around 4.5 hours of battery life and more in the charging case.
The build quality is high, and nobody will know you paid so little for them. Unfortunately, you can only get them in black, no white color is available.
Related: Best wireless earbuds under $50
The Best Cheap Headphones under $20
10. Koss UR-20
Koss UR-20 are the best cheap headphones under 20$. Below are the reasons why.
- Balanced sound with slightly a boosted bass
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Bulky, plastic construction
Koss UR-20 have a somewhat balanced audio performance that’s suitable for all music genres. Overall it’s nothing special, but considering the price, the averagely pleasant response is an achievement.
Softly padded earcups make them quite comfortable. Their large cups also fit adult ears. Their design is extremely lightweight, and the suspension headband doesn’t put too much pressure on top of your head.
While these aren’t built like a tank, they hold up fine to everyday use. The entirely plastic design doesn’t have state of the art looks, but it performs well.
Keep in mind they don’t have the most effective noise isolation, so listening to high volumes can bother people around you.
11. KZ ZST
KZ ZST are the best in-ear headphones under $20 at the moment (KZ ZST review).
- Amazing value
- Great sound
- Removable cable
- Comfortable fit
- All-plastic construction
Related: Best earbuds under $20
They have a V-shaped sound signature that’s fantastic at this affordable price. It can easily compare to earbuds around $100.
The bass is punchy and controlled, and highs have no problems with sibilance or harshness. Truly a budget audiophile in-ear monitors.
These are one of those headphone types where the wire goes behind-the-ear. The fit is comfortable and stable, even for sports and memory wire provides a firm fit. But they aren’t sweatproof, so you shouldn’t use them for working out.
You only get silicone ear tips but to get even better ear canal seal, comfort and ambient noise isolation, get memory foam tips.
They are plastic and thus lightweight. That makes these cheap headphones great for long listening sessions. Plus, 1-button remote control and microphone enable you to make phone calls on the go.
What are best cheap headphones under 10 dollars? You won’t find a decent over-ear or on-ear pair, but you can get decent in-ear headphones.
12. Panasonic RP-HJE120
Panasonic RP-HJE120 are incredibly cheap and basic earbuds that just work.
- Enjoyable sound with slight bass emphasis
- Very comfortable due to ergonomic design
- Low price
- Surprisingly durable
- Cable noise
Their sound signature is somewhat balanced. The lows are well-heard, slightly enhanced but can be muddy for some songs. Overall sound quality is about average, but still satisfying for most everyday listeners.
Furthermore, while they are cheap, they last a decent amount of time. Its plastic built isn’t top-notch but much better than most similar alternatives.
Passive noise isolation is excellent too. Even if you’re listening to high volumes, they don’t leak much sound. So no one around is bothered by your music.
If you want the most popular and best-rated cheap earbuds on the planet, get these cheap headphones. You can find other earbuds under $10 here.
Jlab Audio Go Air – Great sounding true wireless earbuds with 5-hour battery life and built-in EQ modes. (Check Go Air price)
More budget guides:
Best earbuds under $100 (in-ear)
What are Cheap Headphones?
Cheap can mean a lot of different things for different people. But generally, budget-oriented set of headphones, even from big headphone brands start under $50.
For most people, inexpensive cans cost less than 50 bucks. If you think that is still too high, you can choose from under $30 and under $20 models.
You can still get solid quality for those prices. Just don’t expect the most popular brands because you won’t find them in this category.
What to Expect from Best Cheap Headphones?
Low-priced doesn’t have to mean bad quality.
All of the pairs recommended here provide more value than what the price point suggests. Though there are a couple of things, you have to consider.
When you are spending less money on a pair of headphones the first and most common thing manufacturers save on is durability.
- Budget models usually have entirely plastic structures and don’t use any fancy or expensive materials. They don’t have the best build quality, so you have to make sure to treat them right.
- Also, cheap headphones don’t have as many features and accessories as pricier models. Most come in an essential package with bare necessities.
- Older Bluetooth versions (like Bluetooth 4.0) and smaller battery capacity. While this isn’t necessarily true every time, you shouldn’t expect the latest updates and big batteries when you’re spending less money.
- Many times, older models get a nice discount which makes them affordable. There’s nothing wrong with a previous model if it’s still competitive. But that means you can’t expect the coolest design or bragging rights with it.
- Nonetheless, you don’t have to spend more money for pair of headphones to sound great. Since it’s the most crucial feature, all the models in this headphones list offer excellent sound quality in their price bracket.
What are the Best Cheap Headphone Brands?
Many cheap brands use generic products and plaster their logo on them, but some actually have their own development which adds more value.
While most companies are probably a combination of both here are some of the best budget headphone brands. These tend to be pretty good and affordable.
In random order:
- Monoprice is probably the most known audiophile budget brand, offering over-ears and in-ears bargains.
- Koss is an old company with fantastic recognition among audiophiles; their retro on-ear headphones have cult status.
- TaoTronics specialize in all types of affordable products that offer a lot of value.
- KZ are a newer Chinese brand that made a following with their cheap in-ear headphones that sound great.
- MEE Audio offer competitive products for less money across categories.
- Mpow is one of the more successfully generic audio brands offering all types of cans.
- Anker makes great-value and affordable audio products and other electronics.
- Aukey makes some mid-tier headphones, but their cheapest models offer the latest tech and plenty of features.
Shortcomings of Cheap Wireless Headphones
When it comes to wireless Bluetooth headphones, it pays to know a couple of things.
The battery won’t last forever.
Since you’re paying little money, you’re not getting the latest tech. And with batteries, this is painfully obvious.
A conservative expectation would be that the battery will last (have satisfactory capacity) for about 2 to 3 years. If you get more that’s great, but not a rule.
Audio quality might be lacking.
Bluetooth diminishes sound quality by converting it to digital format, and lots of development is put in fixing this problem (it’s close but audiophile can still hear the difference).
Generally, from best cheap headphones you can expect quality audio but don’t compare them to high-end audiophile headphones.