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7 Best Earbuds under $20 in 2023 (Crazy Value)

Last updated: 9 months ago
6 min read

Get the best earbuds under $20 you can buy in 2023 (including true wireless earbuds).

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Rating Price Connection Mic & Controls Water protection More info
Under $20
Bluetooth 5.1
CCA LYRA Best wired
Under $20
Moondrop Chu Wired alternative
Moondrop Chu
Under $20
Under $20
Bluetooth 5.0
JBL Endurance Run Best for sports
JBL Endurance RUN wired earbuds
Under $20
L-shaped (45° angle)
Under $20
Under $20
Bluetooth 5.2

Here you’ll find all the top in-ear headphones that you can buy for less than $20.

While this isn’t a lot of money, we found some really nice options that will more than satisfy your needs.

Most of these are basic wired earphones with a good old headphone jack (3.5mm). Decent wireless earbuds start at around $30.

Nonetheless, the recommendations here have better sound quality than what the price would suggest. Check them out below.

CONTENTS (show more)

    The Best Earbuds under 20 Dollars

    1. Jlab Go Air Pop True Wireless Earbuds

    true-wireless BEST TRUE WIRELESS UNDER $20
    Jlab Go Air Pop True Wireless Earbuds

    Jlab Go Air Pop are both the best cheap wireless earbuds and the best earbuds under $20.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.1
    Driver size icon Driver size: 6mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 8h + 24h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: USB-A (integrated cable) | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC | Water resistance: IPX4 | Features: 3 EQ profiles, touch controls
    • Good sound quality
    • 3 EQ presets
    • Stable fit
    • 2 year warranty
    • Call quality
    • Audio delay when watching videos

    The default sound profile is on the bass-heavy side but still outputs balanced midrange and sparkly treble. Only the soundstage is a bit small. Nevertheless, a perfect sound signature to play music on the go.

    These cheap wireless earbuds have 3 onboard EQ presets, Bass Boost, Balanced, and Jlab Signature. The latter is the most accurate of them all.

    The comfortable design is well-built and kept simple but functional. Earbuds stay securely in your ears thanks to three pairs of interchangeable ear tips. Playback controls are touch-sensitive, so you avoid pushing the buds into your ear canal.

    For all of your sportspeople, buds are rated for an IPX4, meaning complete sweat resistance. Unfortunately, earbuds only support SBC, which is good for Android devices but not as optimal for Apple devices.

    They play music for 8 hours on a single charge, with another 24 hours inside the charging case. The USB cable is built-in.

    2. CCA LYRA

    CCA LYRA earbuds

    CCA LYRA are the best earbuds under $20 for sound quality.

    CCY LYRA review

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 10mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-40.000Hz
    Type: In-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Optional | Impedance: 28 Ohm | Weight: 0.2 oz (5.5 g) per earbud | Cable lenght: 47.2 inch (120cm) | Surround sound: No | Features: Detachable cable
    • Superb sound quality (for the price)
    • Excellent stability due to over-the-ear cable
    • Detachable cable
    • Minimal microphonics
    • Good comfort …
    • … but not for all ears due to strange design
    • Slightly cheap-feeling cable

    Hear the CCA LYRA A/B Sound Test:

    CCA LYRA Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    You’ll have a hard time finding better-sounding earbuds under $20. CCA LYRA are well-balanced with a pleasant, slightly warm sound signature that portrays music in a very faithful manner.

    Design-wise, LYRA are a bit of a mixed bag since some might find it uncomfortable. Nevertheless, earbuds provide superb stability due to the over-the-ear cable.

    Furthermore, earbuds have a clear housing, revealing the single dynamic driver in all its glory. For added durability, you can replace the cables (they come with 2pin connectors).

    Another positive thing is that the cable design prevents cable noise. You will hear it some, but it doesn’t ruin the listening experience.

    3. Moondrop Chu

    Moondrop Chu wired earbuds

    So far, the best earbuds under $20, with great sound and build quality.

    Moondrop Chu review

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 10mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: In-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Optional | Impedance: 28 Ohm | Weight: 0.95 oz (27 g with cable) | Cable lenght: 3.9 ft (1.2m) | Features: Attachable ear hooks
    • Great, natural sound quality
    • High build quality for the price
    • Comfortable fit
    • Included spring ear tips & ear hooks
    • Good passive noise isolation
    • Excellent value
    • Slightly thin sounding vocals
    • Splashy treble
    • Fixed cable

    Hear the Moondrop Chu A/B Sound Test:

    Moondrop Chu Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    The sound signature is very balanced, with only a small boost in the upper midrange. While that makes the vocals sound a bit thin, it’s still impressive what you can get for only $20.

    Build quality is impressive, too. Housing is made of zinc alloy and adds a premium feel. The cable also feels nice, although it tends to tangle quickly.

    Earbuds come with 3 pairs of spring ear tips that are worth more than the earbuds when purchased separately.

    Another useful accessory is the attachable ear hooks that help with stabilization. Since the cable tends to quickly jump over your ear during exercise, those hooks are a must.


    4. Skullcandy Dime True Wireless

    Skullcandy Dime wireless earbuds

    Well-rounded earbuds for listening to music and taking phone calls.

    Skullcandy Dime review

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 6mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 3.5h + 8.5h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: Micro-USB | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC | Water resistance: IPX4 | Features: /
    • Excellent sound quality for the price
    • Comfortable fit
    • Good Bluetooth range and stability
    • Decent call quality
    • Annoying physical controls
    • Poor battery life
    • Plasticky build

    Hear the Skullcandy Dime True Wireless A/B Sound Test:

    Skullcandy Dime Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    Skullcandy Dime is a hidden gem that truly amazes with its sound quality, especially for the price. The overall balanced sound is ever-so-slightly V-shaped but tastefully so. Expect hearing clear lead instruments and natural audio performance.

    Another good feature is an IPX4 rating, which will deflect all the sweat dropping onto them. Earbuds are also pretty stable and comfy if you have normal-sized ears.

    On the other hand, they can be a bit sharp on the edges for users with smaller ears. The battery life is below average at 3.5 hours on a single charge, with additional 8.5 hours inside the case.

    Physical controls are clicky but uncomfortable to use, meaning you’ll only use them in case of emergency (like answering a call).

    Still, for sound quality at this price, Skullcandy Dimes are hard to beat and are among the best cheap headphones.

    You can check more guides on cheap earbuds:

    5. JBL Endurance Run

    JBL Endurance RUN wired earbuds

    You don’t have to spend more than $20 to get yourself good earbuds for working out.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 8.2mm dynamic driver
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: In-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Yes | Impedance: n/a | Weight: n/a | Cable lenght: n/a | Features: FlipHook, TwistLock
    • IPX5 water resistance
    • Good stability for sports activities
    • Fun, V-shaped sound
    • Slight cable noise

    If you like to rock some powerful bass-heavy genres like hip hop during your jogs, these in-ears sound profile is perfect for that.

    While the low-end can be a bit boomy, there’s still a reasonably clear sound in the mid-range, with good treble sparkle up on top.

    You can even wear them with the wire down or behind your ear. The latter helps with stability and cable noise. An angled design audio jack prevents damage if it ever gets pulled.

    While you can’t swim with them, they come with a water-resistant design (sweatproof) and are ready to become an essential item in your gym bag. Since they’re comfortable, they shouldn’t bother you too much during workouts.

    You get inline controls with an inline mic for taking phone calls (sadly, no volume control). Despite the low price, the in-line mic is of good quality.

    6. KZ ZST

    KZ ZST in-ear monitor

    KZ ZST in-ear headphones will give you the best sound performance you can get in earbuds under $20.

    KZ ZST review

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 10mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: In-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Yes (Optional) | Weight: 0.85 oz (24g) | Impedance: 16 Ohm | Cable length: 47.2 inch (1.2m) | Features: Detachable cable, 1 Dynamic + 1 BA
    • Amazing value
    • Great sound
    • Removable cable
    • Comfortable fit
    • All-plastic construction

    Considering a great price point, this pair of earbuds is terrific. Earbud houses a 10mm driver delivering a slightly V-shaped sound signature that makes music energetic while keeping true to the original. Stereo sound is also on point.

    On the other hand, while they sound good, they can be a bit sibilant at loud volumes.

    You get both comfort and stability, although you have to wear them behind the ears. Once you get used to the behind-the-ear fit, you’ll appreciate their lightweight.

    It’s worth getting extra memory foam ear tips to get the best comfort, sound quality, and external noise isolation, as this makes them perform more like expensive earphones. But still aren’t as effective as the best noise cancelling earbuds.

    Add a memory wire that helps them stay in the same place and the lack of cable noise, and you’re getting fantastic value for the money. There’s also a version with an inline microphone.

    Want even cheaper budget earbuds? Check the Panasonic ErgoFit and other best earbuds under $10.

    7. Haylou GT6

    Haylou GT6

    A surprisingly full-sounding Apple AirPods lookalikes.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.2
    Driver size icon Driver size: 12mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 5.5h + 15h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 1.5h + Quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IPX4 | Features: Touch controls
    • Decently full sound
    • Comfortable fit
    • Support for AAC codec
    • Poor stability

    AirPods style classic earphones have an open design, which means open sound but not that much deep bass. They’re still relatively punchy and clean throughout the spectrum, which is the most important.

    As with most earphones, the comfort is great, and you barely feel them in your ears. However, the fit and stability highly depend on your ear shape.

    An IPX4 rating ensures protection against sweat and light rain conditions. The construction is pretty simple and should survive a few drops here and there.

    You’re getting more than other earbuds at this price. Expect around 5.5 hours of continuous battery life per charge, a USB-C charging cable, and support for Bluetooth 5.2. They even have an AAC Bluetooth codec, perfect for Apple users.

    Honorable mentions

    ActionPie VJJB-V1S

    ActionPie VJJB-V1S

    What makes ActionPie VJJB-V1S worth buying is high-quality stereo sound, acceptable durability, and comfort at a cheap price point.

    Check VJJB-V1S price

    1MORE 1M301

    1MORE 1M301

    Excellent earbuds with a dual-driver design. Sure, they’re not perfect, but for double the number of drivers, you’re paying a reasonable price and getting a lot of value.

    Check 1M301 price

    Betron YSM1000

    Betron YSM1000 remote control

    Best in-ear headphones under $20 for loud bass response and sturdy build. Despite having a somewhat larger size casing, earbuds offer a fatigue-free fit.

    Betron YSM1000 review

    KZ ATE

    KZ ATE

    KZ ATE are great general-use affordable earbuds that can deliver quality sound and long-wear comfort for an enjoyable listening experience.

    KZ ATE review

    Samsung USB-C Headphones

    Samsung AKG USB-C Earphones

    These Samsung earbuds are of top-notch quality for a “free” item that comes with a smartphone. The neutral sound profile delivers faithful to the original audio and without any sibilance. Just be aware of the fakes.

    Check Samsung USB-C Headphones price

    MEE Audio M6 Sport

    MEE Audio M6 black workout eabruds

    If you’re a sports enthusiast (on a budget) and into an active lifestyle and like to get motivated with music in the gym, these are perfect for you. Check the best workout headphones.

    Check M6 Sport price

    For a bit more money, you can get modern, wireless buds. See best true wireless earbuds under $50.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    What Earbuds Can You Expect for $20?

    There are a couple of real gems in this list, and you’d do yourself a disservice if you ignored them.

    • As long as you understand that most will have only the basic features and average build quality, you’ll find that many of them have a solid sound that’s surprisingly pleasing.
    • All are wired earphones, and many with the in-line microphone and built-in sound controls though of rather average quality.
    • Also, most come only with essential silicone ear tips and aren’t sweatproof.

    Nonetheless, you can enjoy pleasant audio quality for very little money. And that’s the whole point of it. Of course, it also helps to have a good quality audio source.

    Why are there no excellent true wireless earbuds under $20?

    Of course, you could find true wireless Bluetooth earbuds under $20, but their performance is mediocre at best. If you only have that much to spend, we advise you to get wired headphones. You can get decent durability and impressive sound quality for that kind of money.

    If you’re not convinced, you can check the best earbuds under $30 guide and look for the top wireless recommendation.

    Are cheap wireless earbuds safe?

    Speaking of radiation from Bluetooth, there’s nothing to worry about. The radiation is too low to pose a threat to humans.

    Regarding loudness, earbuds tend to sound harsher than over-ear companions. However, following advice on safe headphone use should prevent you from potential hearing loss.

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