Dirt-cheap earbuds under $10 that are actually worth buying.
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Panasonic ErgoFit HJE120K Best overall
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Monoprice Hi-Fi Earphones (109927) Best balanced
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KZ ATE Best bass
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JVC HA-FX5 Gumy Plus Most colorful
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1MORE Piston Fit Best build
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JVC HA-EC10-B Best ear hooks
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Do you want to get decent earbuds for almost no money? You’ve found the right guide.
Here you’ll find the best earphones under 10 dollars you can get today.
Sure, cheap is very often connected to bad quality, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you get a quality product for very little money. This is one of those cases.
All of the recommendations made here are proven and tested over a long time. There’s only one problem…
Disclaimer: Because $10 is so little money, some earbuds can sometimes go over the 10 dollar mark (but not by much).
Technically, a more accurate title would be, “The best earbuds around $10”. Nonetheless, if earbuds in this guide go over the price range of $10 for more than just a couple dollars, we’ll remove them from the guide.
Want to spend a bit more money?
The Best Earbuds under 10 Dollars
1. Panasonic ErgoFit RP-HJE120
Panasonic RP-HJE120 K are one of the most popular budget earbuds of all time (on Amazon).
- Enjoyable sound with slight bass emphasis
- Very comfortable due to ergonomic design
- Low price
- Surprisingly durable
- Cable noise
Their performance is better than most under $10 earbuds. They produce a V-curved sound signature, with the bass response being slightly more emphasized.
These earbuds have an ideal frequency response for listening to modern pop, hip-hop, and house music.
These in-ear headphones are for everyone that wants comfort, good sound, and overall fantastic value for under $10.
Due to their lightweight design and ultra-soft ear tips you’ll forget you’re wearing them. You can listen to your music for a long time, without ear pain.
They’re quite durable, too, although we recommend your to put them in a carrying pouch (carry case not included in the box).
Also, they provide good noise isolation. You can even use the Panasonics for running or gym because they tend to stay in their place. Be aware that there’s some minor cable noise.
2. Monoprice Hi-Fi Earphones
Monoprice Hi-Fi are not the most durable earbuds but have amazing sound (price-wise).
- Smooth, warm sound
- Great clarity in the midrange
- Slight cable noise
Great balanced sound, bass tones are tidy, so are mids and highs. Bass can get punchy if you turn the volume up so you can listen to more hard-core music genres.
If you care for sound quality more than comfort and looks, you should check these out. They come with a reinforced braided cable, which might produce some microphonics.
If you change the earplugs, you will be more than happy with their noise isolation and their fit in general. You can easily pair Monoprice Hi-Fi earphones with many portable devices, even with iPods.
What makes these in-ear monitors worth buying is having a beautiful sound that’s the best among all cheap earbuds.
3. KZ ATE
The best bass earbuds under $10.
- Capable bass (perfect for bassheads)
- Some cable noise
- Unusual fit
The sound is typical bass-emphasized, but you can still clearly hear the mids and highs across the frequency response.
Bass is not muddy, rather detailed and pleasant to listen to. That will come in handy if you’re a bit of an audiophile and want clear, but strong punchy lows.
KZ makes excellent cheap audio products, and ATE in-ear headphones are one of the cheapest IEMs on the market. But the bass they produce is anything but cheap.
The buds are lightweight, and they stick into your ears well. Already attached foam ear tips create a good seal that will block most ambient noise around you and boost the bass.
The comfort is solid once you figure out the proper fit.
4. TCL SOCL300
TCL SOCL300 represent a great value with natural audio performance.
- Good sound quality
- Balanced tuning
- Great call quality
- Thin cable with no strain relief
These earbuds are a wonderful surprise in terms of sound quality. The listening experience is relatively faithful to the original recording, with a hint of added sub-bass response.
You can pick these buds in different color options and even as a wireless version, although the latter exceeds the budget of $10.
They’re small and should fit all ear shapes. Due to the price point, you can’t expect ultimate build quality. The cable is a bit thin, and there’s no strain relief on the buds. At least you get a pause/play button.
Thankfully, you get an excellent microphone inside the inline remote control, especially for the price. It should be more than suitable for video calls.
5. JVC HA-FX5 Gumy Plus
JVC HA-FX5 Gumy Plus offer many great features, like comfort and decent sound quality, all for a budget price.
- Dirt cheap, under $10
- Many colors to choose from
- Comfortable, lightweight design
- It’s a budget model with its shortcomings
Enhanced lows and highs will make you even more motivated. The V-shaped sound signature makes music lively and alive. It’s suitable for all modern music.
These in-ear headphones are made for people that like to be on the move while listening to their favorite music in pleasing sound quality.
JVC HAFX5 Gumy Plus are ergonomically shaped and will fit most people well. Because they’re light, they stay in your ears, even while doing the most intensive workouts or running.
They are extremely comfortable. The wire is protected in thicker plastic so they can last you a long time (but aren’t sweatproof).
6. 1MORE Piston Fit
Best earbuds under $10 for their robust build quality at a budget price point.
- Pleasant sound with good clarity
- Durable aluminium housing
- Inline microphone and controls
- Bass doesn't extend very deep
The low-end is punchy, but it won’t please bassheads due to the lack of sub-bass extension. The midrange is slightly warm, with good clarity. You can say the same thing about the treble.
Their housing is made entirely from aluminum, which is textured to give it a more pleasing look. The nozzle is slightly angled to project the sound more directly into an ear canal.
At this price, you’re also getting an inline microphone and a single-button remote for controlling music playback and answering phone calls.
You get 3 pairs of ear tips inside the box to ensure the optimal fit. The latter is essential if you want their sound reproduction to be the best.
7. JVC HA-EC10-B
If you need something to do sports activities with, but don’t want to spend more than $10, then this pair of earbuds might be the best overall.
- Great stability
- IPX1 sweat-resistance rating
- Average sound quality
- No inline controls
Their overall sound performance is average at best. However, they do have a punchy bass, which makes your workout session a bit more bearable.
While JVC HA-EC10 don’t offer the most impressive specs out there, they are still sweat resistant to a certain degree due to their IPX1 rating.
They come with rubber ear hooks that should create a more secure fit with all ear sizes. The hook is soft and offers decent comfort.
Since you also have to plug them in your ears, they’re not bouncing around too much.
Their isolation is also pretty good if that matters to you. They can successfully dampen people’s chat, but you can still hear passing cars.
8. Koss Plug
Best cheap earbuds with unique design and decent audio performance.
- Good isolation
- Decent sound quality
- Might get uncomfortable after long listening sessions
Of course, you can’t expect angelic sound out of cheap earbuds. However, you can still have a good experience with the iconic Koss The Plug.
They have a non-sibilant, smooth sound profile with decent punch and clarity.
A set of 4 ear tips that are a mixture of foam and rubber seal your ears quite nicely, providing good overall passive noise isolation.
Earbuds are lightweight and relatively comfortable, although they can start to poke your ears after a while.
The headphone cable is of standard length (47 inches) and long enough not to bother you in planning to take The Plugs on your workouts. They do suffer from a memory wire, though.
Monoprice 110153: What makes them stand out in this category is mostly, their ability to give you solid bass. They are worth checking out if you’re a bass lover. (Check 110153 price)
JVC HA-F160: The JVC HAF160 are durable and comfortable classic earphones with average but satisfying sound quality. And the dirt-cheap price tag makes it enough reason to try them. (Check HA-F160 price)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here are the often asked questions about earbuds and their functionality. You can always ask us in the comments below.
What to Expect from $10 Earbuds?
At this price, if you get solidly built earbuds that last a while, and pleasant sound quality is the best you can hope for.
If you pick carefully and do some research, you can find excellent budget earbuds in this price bracket.
Especially in audio quality, which can sometimes outperform earbuds that are triple the price or even more.
Granted, $10 is not a lot of money even for small in-ear headphones, so you can’t expect too much in terms of extra features.
A microphone and remote control module are bonuses and not requirements. They’re something you shouldn’t expect.
Thankfully, comfort is cheap to get because ergonomics is basically free. The top pick here is very comfortable, and you should feel no irritation at all.
Moreover, you can’t expect noise cancellation as that technology is way too expensive to produce. 10 bucks don’t cut it. The same goes for wireless Bluetooth connection which you don’t get.
Earbuds with ANC and Bluetooth cost more money. See the best budget noise cancelling headphones for affordable options.
Or check the best noise-cancelling earbuds for high-end earbuds.
Why No Wireless Earbuds under $10?
Wireless technology requires a battery and a chip which increases the cost of production. You won’t find decent wireless earbuds under 10 dollars because that’s just too little money.
Many times even more expensive wireless earbuds have problems with unreliable battery life and stable Bluetooth connection. It requires a higher price range to get a quality wireless product.
For decent Bluetooth headphones or earbuds, look at the best true wireless earbuds under $50.
How to Ensure Longer Durability of your sub-$10 earbuds?
Buds under 10 dollars are made from plastics to cut costs. It often results in lousy build quality. And even though we picked the best and highest quality models in this guide, they, are of mediocre durability overall.
To keep them safe you should:
- Store them in a dry place
- Never expose them to water
- Carry them around in a carrying case
- Never pull or tug on the wires
Generally, treat them like they’re cheap. The best cheap headphones can last a long time if you take good care of them.
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Thank you for checking out our independent guide. Hopefully, it’s been helpful, if not you’re invited to let us know what’s missing in the comments below.