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9 Best Earbuds under $30

Last updated: 3 months ago
8 min read

We test and evaluate headphones using a standardized 9-point methodology. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

What earbuds can you get for $30 today? Discover the best wired and wireless options.

We test and evaluate headphones using a standardized 9-point methodology. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Read more Type Price Mic & Controls Fit
SoundPEATS Clear Best overall
SoundPEATS Clear small image
True wireless
Under $30
checkmarkcheckmark
In-ear
True wireless
Under $30
checkmarkcheckmark
In-ear
Symphonized NRG 3.0 Best wired
Symphonized NRG 3.0
Wired
Under $30
checkmarkcheckmark
In-ear
KZ ZST Best for bass
KZ ZST
Wired
Under $20
checkmarkcheckmark
In-ear
True wireless
Under $30
checkmarkcheckmark
In-ear
True wireless
Under $25
checkmarkcheckmark
In-ear
Wired
Under $30
Mic optional
In-ear
Moondrop Chu Best dirt cheap
Moondrop Chu
Wired
Under $20
Mic optional
In-ear
CONTENTS (show more)

    We tested 184 headphones including over 100 earbuds.

    Based on testing, measurements, and our hands-on experience, here are the top wireless and wired earbuds under $30.

    For exclusively wireless earbuds under $30, check this guide.

    You can choose from great-sounding, durable, and workout earbuds, all in the same price range.

    The budget earbuds market is huge. There are a lot of different brands offering their headphones for low prices, and it took quite a lot of time to research and review the top ones. Hopefully, this guide will help you.

    Earbuds on our list are evaluated based on 9 key factors (Sonic9Score).  We looked at their overall performance as the main criteria. Explore our testing and ranking methodology.

    The Best Earbuds Under 30 Dollars

    1. SoundPEATS Clear

    1st-place Best Earbuds Under $30
    SoundPEATS Clear in the case

    SoundPEATS Clear are the best earbuds under $30 we’ve tested. These are great AirPods alternatives – SoundPEATS Clear review.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.3
    Driver size icon Driver size: 12mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 5h 45min + 33h in case | Wireless range: 40 feet (12.2 meters) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IPX4 | Features: Custom EQ, Adaptive EQ, Game mode
    • Good, balanced sound (for the price) even without EQ tweaks
    • App with customizable EQ & Game mode for under $30
    • Extremely comfortable & stable fit that's suitable for sports
    • Great call quality, but only in quieter places
    • Earbuds' shape produces audible wind noise during outdoor use
    • Charging case's transparent lid looks fragile & easily scratchable

    Hear the SoundPEATS Clear A/B Sound Test:

    SoundPEATS Clear Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    Truly wireless earbuds have come a long way in sound quality, and SoundPEATS Clear can easily match other earbuds. They sound balanced with a hint of sub-bass boost.

    Earbuds even surprise with excellent comfort and a stable fit. You can wear them for hours, and they remain fixed inside your ear canal even during lighter workouts.

    The latter is also possible due to an IPX4 rating, which means full sweat resistance. However, avoid taking them under the shower or pool, as that might damage them.

    Lastly, the Clear support a companion app with a Game mode and fully customizable EQ, which is a rarity under $30.

    For great earbuds under $30 check the SoundPEATS Clear.

    2. TOZO T10

    TOZO T10 represent excellent value for earbuds under $30, with great build quality and punchy sound qualityTOZO T10 review.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 8mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 18-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 6h + 24h in case | Wireless range: 40ft (12,2m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 1.5h – quick charge – USB-C & Qi charging | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IP68 | Features: Qi wireless charging, Quick charging, Mono mode, Mic, Touch controls
    • Fun sound quality with natural midrange
    • IP68 rating for both earbuds & charging case
    • Comfortable fit
    • Reliable touch controls
    • USB-C & Qi wireless charging
    • Extreme audio delay during videos
    • Mediocre microphone quality

    Hear the TOZO T10 A/B Sound Test:

    TOZO T10 Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    Earbuds push a generous amount of bass and rumble you can feel. Despite the V-shaped sound signature, the midrange stays relatively balanced, making for a rather pleasant listening experience.

    As a whole, TOZO T10 outperform many of their competitors. Earbuds and the charging case have a fully waterproof design (IP68).

    Furthermore, the case supports fast charging and Qi wireless charging, which is a rarity in TWS earbuds under $30.

    On top of that, the buds themselves are pretty small and should fit all ear sizes. They’re comfortable, as well, with a smooth surface that gently touches your skin.

    On the other hand, 6 hours of battery life is average, and the audio delay is pretty noticeable when watching videos.

    3. Symphonized NRG 3.0

    wired Best Wired Earbuds under $30
    Symphonized NRG 3.0 wired wooden earbuds

    Amazing cheap earbuds with wooden casing and high-fidelity sound.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 8mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 18-22.000Hz
    Type: In-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Yes | Impedance: 16 Ohm | Weight: n/a | Cable lenght: 4 feet (1.2m) | Features: Wooden housing
    • Premium materials
    • Enjoyable, warm sound
    • Noticeable cable noise

    Symphonized NRG 3.0 are our top earbuds with a headphone jack, because they are stylish, work exceptionally well, and are the top pick for wired headphones.

    You get good sound quality for the price. Rich in detail, and the wood is providing warmer tones to an entire audio spectrum. It also adds more bass quality. A no-brainer for the price.

    If you don’t want to spend a lot of money but you’re still looking for a quality pair of earbuds with a stylish design that sounds good, these are perfect for you.

    These wired earbuds look amazing because they’re made out of real wood (the wood also makes them lightweight).

    The cable is nice, too, but it can produce some microphonics. The included soft carry pouch adds protection.

    You get 6 different ear tips to find your perfect size, which ensures exceptional comfort and good sound isolation.

    The in-line microphone works fine. You can make phone calls and use voice control. Just don’t expect to use it in a noisy office.

    Check out more cheap earbuds:

    4. KZ ZST

    trophy Best Earbuds under $30 for Bass
    KZ ZST in-ear monitor

    The best bass earbuds for $30 with high-quality sound with bassy sound – 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

    With the introduction of chi-fi headphones, great audio became much more affordable. ZST’s are the prime example of that. A great pair of in-ears with the sound of a $100 headphone.

    There are two drivers inside the earbud: one balanced armature and one dynamic. Overall sound signature tilts towards a V-shape, which is a frequency response many users prefer.

    You can expect deep bass with solid punch and rumble. The midrange is slightly subdued but not to the point of missing detail. High-end offers great clarity, and it has a good extension for airier presentation.

    Ergonomically designed housing appears premium, and silicone ear tips of different sizes fit nicely in your ear canal. Of course, these are also comfortable to wear, which is necessary for long listening sessions.

    It’s quite remarkable to have a detachable cable in this lower price range. That makes them more durable since the wire can get replaced if damaged.

    5. Skullcandy Dime True Wireless

    trophy Best-Sounding TWS Earbuds under $30
    Skullcandy Dime wireless earbuds on a rock

    If you’re looking for great audio quality in TWS earbuds, the Skullcandy Dime are the best we’ve tested – Skullcandy Dime True Wireless 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

    If you’re looking for the best audio performance in earbuds and have a tight budget, Skullcandy Dime offer a great deal. They’re our best budget pick.

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

    Skullcandy Dime Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    The Dime have more than decent sound quality, especially in the price range. While not the most detailed, it suits most music genres with a dynamic V-shaped sound.

    Primarily plastic build quality feels okay and comes in several colors. Rubber cover on the outside hides control buttons, with a small Skullcandy logo.

    The button offers many useful commands, from switching tracks, enabling voice assistant, to volume control. However, controls are a bit stiff to use.

    An IPX4 rating should be enough for gym-goers who need their earbuds to withstand sweat during intense workouts. Three sizes of stock ear tips feel comfortable and have a secure fit, preventing pain during extended listening sessions.

    Two earbuds hold 3.5 hours of continuous playtime (you can see the battery percentage in the Bluetooth menu), with an additional 8.5 hours in the charging case. With one-step connection method, you can pair them with your mobile phone in no time.

    For more wireless options, see the best Bluetooth headphones under $100 and the best wireless earbuds under $100.

    6. JLab Go Air Pop

    JLab Go Air Pop buds and case

    JLab Go Air Pop are solid, cheap TWS earbuds from JLab with good sound and exceptional comfort, ready for a full day of listening – JLab Go Air Pop review.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.1
    Driver size icon Driver size: Single dynamic driver
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 8h + 24h in case | Wireless range: 45 feet (13.7 meters) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: Built-in USB-A cable | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IPX4 | Features: 3 EQ presets, built-in charging cable
    • Enjoyable V-shaped sound w/ 3 EQ modes
    • Comfortable & stable fit
    • Excellent battery life (9+ hours per charge)
    • 2-year warranty
    • Above-average passive noise isolation
    • An IPX4 (sweatproof) rating
    • Plastic construction feels cheap & fragile
    • Charging cable is built into the case

    Hear the JLab Go Air Pop A/B Sound Test:

    JLab Go Air Pop Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    Using “JLab Signature” tuning, earbuds sound relatively natural, warm, and bassy, which many will enjoy. You can also select between the “Balanced” and “Bass Boost” presets, each changing the bass quantity.

    Earbuds are very comfortable to wear thanks to their low profile and ergonomic, smooth casing.

    They use touch controls for more pleasant navigation compared to more annoying physical ones on Jlab JBuds Air.

    To endure light workouts, earbuds are rated for IPX4, meaning they will survive dripping sweat and light rain.

    Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about the battery thanks to more than 9 hours of playtime on a single charge.

    7. KZ ZSN PRO X

    KZ ZSN PRO X

    KZ ZSN PRO X are multi-driver earbuds with detailed, high-quality sound, durable construction, and great isolation from ambient noise.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 10mm dynamic & high-freq BA
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 7-40.000Hz
    Type: In-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Mic optional | Impedance: 25 Ohm | Weight: 0.92 oz (27g) | Cable lenght: 4.1 ft (1.25m) | Features: Detachable cable, ear hook design
    • Energetic, detailed sound
    • Replaceable cable
    • Durable build
    • Sound can be a bit sibilant

    Like most KZ earbuds, these are also V-shaped but much less bloated with less extended bass response.

    While you can still hear a thumping bass boost, the sub-bass is now more restricted, allowing for a clearer listening experience. While the detail retrieval is good, those clear highs can be a bit sibilant.

    Earbuds have a detachable cable and use a double-pin connection, so a replacement is easily purchasable. The one included already has a hook to go over your ears.

    Thanks to multiple sizes of ear tips, you can greatly reduce external noise. That way, you can easily use the ZSN Pro X for commuting, as it also prevents sound leakage, so that the other person next to you doesn’t hear your playlist.

    8. Moondrop Chu

    dollar Best Dirt-Cheap $20 Earbuds
    Moondrop Chu wired earbuds

    If you prefer something cheaper, the Moondrop Chu are the best $20 earbuds we’ve tested. With fantastic sound and durability – 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 main star of the Moondrop Chu is their tuning. While not perfectly balanced, it’s still the best you can get for under $20.

    Most cheap earbuds tend to cheap out on build and accessories. But not the Chu.

    The packaging is filled with goodies, like spring ear tips that cost $12 more than the earbuds themselves. The tips are comfortable and don’t cause any pressure while doing a good job of keeping earbuds in place.

    The next accessory is ear hooks which are a must during a workout. Especially since the cable likes to bounce around, and you don’t get any shirt clip.

    Instead of plastic, the housing is made of tougher zinc alloy, adding weight and a premium feel.

    Honorable Mentions to Consider

    9. Panasonic ErgoFit HJE120K

    For $10, the audio quality of these lets you hear a fuller sound than the competition. They’re super comfortable, thanks to the ergonomic design. If you need wired earbuds that work well, get these.

    Panasonic ErgoFit HJE120K review

    How We Tested

    We tested earbuds in 9 key categories. You can read about them in our testing and scoring methodology.

    For example, we test sound by measuring frequency response in a chart, see a representation below.

    Frequency response chart

    We also listen to them personally and describe what we hear, like, and dislike in full review. This helps us compare and pick the best-performing earbuds that we can confidently recommend.

    How did we choose the models?

    For earbuds under $30, we focused on their overall performance for daily use, listening at home, and commuting. This is where most people use their earbuds.

    We chose from tested earbuds and those we tried and had hands-on experience with. Then we ranked them for different use cases and types.

    What Earbuds Can You Expect for $30?

    You can expect solid earbuds without significant weaknesses.

    • Expect an enjoyable sound quality
    • Cheaper materials and lower build quality that’s still solid
    • High comfort for long-term listening sessions
    • Basic features like a microphone, controls
    • Some TWS earbuds have equalization (EQ) and sound presets
    • Solid earbuds suitable for casual, non-demanding users.

    What you can’t expect from earbuds under $30?

    Don’t expect:

    • Active noise cancellation (ANC), it becomes a feature in the $50-$100 price range.
    • Ambient sound modes that let you hear your surroundings are rare.
    • High-end materials, like metal housing

    Should You Get Wireless or Wired Earbuds for $30?

    If you’re choosing earbuds for $30, here’s a general comparison:

    WirelessWired
    Sound qualityWorseBetter
    ComfortSimilarSimilar
    DurabilitySolidSolid
    FeaturesLots moreBasic mic & controls
    ConvenienceDepends on your needsDepends on your needs

    The main difference is in audio quality, wired earbuds sound better, and features where TWS earbuds offer more.

    For more features like EQ apps, you need to look at the best headphones under $100. For noise-cancellation check the best noise cancelling earbuds.

    Why Trust HeadphonesAddict?

    At HeadphonesAddict, we provide honest headphone tests through a rigorous methodology and a transparent process. See how we test here. We put a lot of effort into personally testing and measuring each pair so we can make educated recommendations.

    More reasons to trust us:

    • We test headphones ourselves on 9 key points (less for wired models).
    • We measure frequency responses, ANC, passive isolation, battery life, and compare EQ presets.
    • We don’t take money for tests and reviews.
    • We don’t delete or edit “bad reviews.” Even when brands ask us to. If the headphones sound bad or have other faults, we tell you without embellishment.

    FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

    How to find good cheap earbuds?

    To find good cheap earbuds take some time to do proper research before buying. Decide on what features are important to you, then check the reviews and guides to find the best options.

    How do I ensure my earbuds last long?

    To ensure your earbuds last longer, keep them stored in a sturdy carrying case and away from water and humidity. If they’re Bluetooth, keep them charged between 40%-80% for battery longevity. Understand that your earbuds will probably not last forever. The best you can do is take good care of them, and they’ll serve you well.

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