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The 7 Best Earbuds under $30

Last updated: 3 months ago
9 min read

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

Rating Type Price Mic & Controls More info
Symphonized NRG 3.0 Best overall
Symphonized NRG 3.0
4.3
Wired in-ear
Under $30
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KZ ZST Runner-up
KZ ZST
4.4
Wired in-ear
Under $20
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Aukey EP-T21 Best wireless
Aukey-EP-T21
4.3
True wireless
Under $30
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4.5
Wired in-ear
Under $30
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iTeknic IK-BH001 Best battery
iTeknic BH001Bluetooth earbuds
4.3
Wireless in-ear
Under $30
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4.1
Wired in-ear
Under $30
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Panasonic ErgoFit HJE120K Best dirt cheap
Panasonic RP-HJE120
4.3
Wired in-ear
Under $10
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Don’t want to spend more than $30 on a new pair of in-ear headphones? We got you covered.

Here you’ll find the top wired and wireless earbuds at this price. You can choose from great-sounding, durable, and workout earbuds, all in the same price range.

See wireless earbuds under $30.

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

Table of Contents

    Check more cheap earbuds:

    The Best Earbuds under 30 Dollars

    1. Symphonized NRG 3.0

    1st-place Best overall
    Symphonized NRG 3.0 wired wooden earbuds

    Amazing cheap earbuds with wooden casing and melodic sound.

    We put the Symphonized NRG 3.0 on top of our list, because they are stylish, work exceptionally well and are the best overall you can get for less than $30.

    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

    Should You Buy These?

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

    The Good

    First of all, the sound is detailed, balanced and enjoyable overall. Plus, they look amazing because they’re made out of real wood (The wood also makes them lightweight). You get 6 different ear tips to find your perfect size, that makes them comfortable and noise isolating.

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

    The Bad

    Microphonics is present. Rubbing against the cable makes sounds that you’ll hear in your earbuds, which is disturbing your calls or quiet music. Use a shirt clip to solve it. Moreover, these aren’t waterproof so stay away from the water.

    The Sound

    Great sound quality for the price. Rich in details and the wood is providing warmer tones. It also adds more quality to the bass. A no-brainer for the price.

    The Verdict

    These Symphonized earbuds are the top in-ears under $30 right now. Low price tag, great design and lovely audio performance will make you fall in love with them.

    2. KZ ZST

    2nd-place Runner-up
    KZ ZST in-ear monitor

    Great sounding earbuds under $30.

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

    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

    KZ ZST review

    Should You Buy These?

    Ergonomically designed housing appears premium, and it fits nicely in your ears. Of course, these also provide excellent comfort that is necessary for long listening sessions.

    It’s quite remarkable to have a detachable cable in this price range. That makes them more durable since the wire can get replaced if damaged. Not only that, but it also comes with an in-line microphone and remote control.

    The Bad

    All plastic construction.

    Barebones accessories.

    The Sound

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

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

    If you’re a music lover on the tight budget, KZ ZST are a fantastic pick with high-quality sound. You can also upgrade them in the long run, replacing the cable and trying out different ear tips.

    KZ ZST review

    3. Aukey EP-T21

    wireless Best wireless
    Aukey EP-T21 sweatproof earbuds in rain

    The best true wireless earbuds under $30.

    Aukey EP-T21 are the top Airpods knockoffs that make for a fantastic value for money offer.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 6mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 4.5h + 20h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 2 hours – Micro-USB | Mic & Controls: Yes, built-in | Bluetooth codecs: SBC | Water resistance: IPX4 | Features: Touch controls
    • 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

    Aukey EP-T21 review

    Should You Buy These?

    There aren’t many true wireless earbuds under $30 that are dependable and work as intended. The Aukeys work well in all categories and even compare to more expensive models.

    The Good

    They are waterproof (IPX4 rated), true wireless, and have a 4.5-hour battery life with 20 hours more in the charging case.

    Together with reliable Bluetooth, you also get a stable and comfortable fit suitable for working out. See best workout headphones for more.

    These make for great secondary wireless earbuds that you can enjoy with music and videos.

    The Bad

    If you move your ears a lot, they require some readjustment from time to time.

    The Sound

    With balanced sound quality, they work for most music genres but don’t really excel at any. These are budget in-ear headphones after all.

    Nonetheless, for the price you pay, they are really loud and quite enjoyable for a casual user.

    The Verdict

    The Aukey EP-T21 true wireless earbuds offer a lot of the latest technology and functionality under $30, which makes them fantastic value for money.

    Aukey EP-T21 review

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

    4. Sony MDR-XB50AP

    trophy Best bass
    Sony MDR-XB50AP

    The best bass earbuds for $30.

    Definitely the best bass you can expect for under $30 from in-ear earphones.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 12mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 4-24.000Hz
    Type: In-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Yes, inline | Impedance: 40 Ohm | Weight: 0.7 oz (19.8g) | Cable lenght: 4 feet (1.2m) | Features: Inline remote
    • Superb bass – perfect for bassheads
    • Tangle-free cord
    • Quality build that lasts
    • Big but comfortable
    • Loud – even with your smartphone
    • Cheap (under $30)
    • Heavily bass oriented sound, not for purists
    • The earbuds sticking out of the ears

    Sony MDR-XB50AP review

    Should You Buy These?

    If you’re a fan of powerful bass and enjoy listening to bass-heavy music like EDM, pop and hip hop, make sure to check these out. For bigger over-ear & on-ear options, see the best bass headphones.

    The Good

    Outstanding deep bass sound, for those who like it that way. Deep, overpowering lows is the sound signature which makes them perfect for bassheads.

    Also, the XB50AP come with a tangle-free cord, quality materials that make them last longer, loud volume even if you use them with your smartphone and lightweight, comfy design. Although they are big, they stick in ears well and can easily make you company on your daily activities.

    Another great thing is that noise isolation is better than with most low-priced earbuds. These used to cost more but have been discounted to fit right into the under $30 category.

    The Bad

    However, if you’re not a fan of powerful bass, these will be too strong for you. On the top of that, they are very big for IEM headphones, and the earbuds are sticking out of your ears.

    The Sound

    Notably, the best sound for hard bass lovers. The low-end is dominant, and it’s overpowering other ranges. The middle and high ranges are recessed. This makes them an excellent choice for bass-intense music.

    The Verdict

    A sure winner of the best bass earbuds under $30.

    Sony MDR-XB50AP review

    5. iTeknic BH001

    wireless Best battery
    iTeknic BH001 buds with magnets

    If the long battery life is essential to you, there is nothing better than BH001’s. They can last you for a full day with their 24-hour playtime.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: In-ear | Battery life: 24h | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 2h – Micro-USB | Mic & Controls: Yes, inline | Bluetooth codecs: n/a | Water-resistance: IPX7
    • Best-in-class battery life (up to 24 hours)
    • Comfortable and stable fit
    • Cheap price
    • Pleasant, balanced sound
    • Big casing protruding out of the ears
    • Not a lot of bass (more balanced)

    iTeknic BH001 review

    Should You Buy These?

    As mentioned, these Bluetooth earbuds offer 24 hours of battery life. In the world of similarly designed in-ear headphones, you can usually expect around 10 hours of juice, which makes the iTeknic specs very impressive.

    With the addition of ear fins, these also provide a very stable fit. Since they are IPX7-rated, you can use them for running or at the gym being waterproof. For more options, check the best waterproof Bluetooth headphones.

    It’s also worth mentioning they’re quite comfortable. The buds are connected with a wire, so you can hang them on your neck when not in use.

    The Bad

    Housing protrudes a little too much, creating wind noise.

    The Sound

    These are very balanced pair of wireless earbuds, giving you just enough low-end presence to make them sound a bit fuller. Therefore, these are not the best choice bassheads or sportspeople looking for something punchy.

    The mids are decently clean, while the treble suffers from a slight sibilance (at higher volumes).

    The Verdict

    iTeknic BH001’s are well priced wireless in-ears with an IPX4 water resistance rating, decent sound quality, and fantastic battery life.

    iTeknic BH001 review

    Looking for wireless headphones that are still affordable? Look at the best Bluetooth headphones under $100 for top choices.

    6. Sennheiser CX 100

    Sennheiser CX 100 wired earbuds

    CX 100 represent excellent value for under $30, with good noise isolation properties, as well as excellent sound quality.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 17-20.000Hz
    Type: In-ear | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Weight: 10g | Impedance: 28 Ohm
    • Sound quality
    • Great passive isolation
    • No controls

    Should You Buy These?

    If you need a replacement for stock smartphone earbuds, the Sennheiser CX 100 are a compelling buy.

    The Good

    While you can’t expect premium construction for under $30, these earbud’s build quality feel quite solid. Also, they come with a 2-year warranty. Their housing is mostly made of plastic, with a shiny chrome finish. It’s lightweight and sits flush with your ears.

    The CX 100 are very comfortable. You can wear them for a whole day without experiencing too much fatigue. Inside the box, you get 4 pairs of silicone tips, which should be enough to find an appropriate fit.

    The latter is needed to achieve excellent passive isolation, which these earbuds are capable of. That’s essential if you want to experience all the details in the music.

    The Bad

    No built-in remote and volume control.

    The Sound

    For casual listening, they’re perfect. Earbuds have just enough bass to make every song sound fun while producing enough clarity in the treble to bring out the details. The midrange is slightly forward but smooth in the presentation.

    The Verdict

    Sennheiser CX 100 are one of the best earbuds under $30.

    7. Panasonic ErgoFit HJE120K

    dollar Best dirt-cheap
    Panasonic ErgoFit RP-HJE120 with used eartips

    World’s best-selling earbuds with fantastic durability and low price.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 9mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 10-24.000Hz
    Type: In-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No (mic optional) | Impedance: 16 Ohm | Weight: 12g | Cable length: 3.6 feet (1.1 m) | Water resistance: No
    • Enjoyable sound with slight bass emphasis
    • Very comfortable due to ergonomic design
    • Low price
    • Surprisingly durable
    • Cable noise

    Read the full review

    Should You Buy These?

    Of course, you can get an incredible deal for around $10. One of those deals are the Panasonic Ergo Fit in-ears, which are beloved by many. For their price, you’re getting very one of the most durable earbuds that will last you a long time.

    For our review, we used a 4-year old pair. It got a bit greasy, and the silicone ear tips started to chip, but 4 years is impressive longevity. They’re truly one of the best cheap headphones.

    They’re tiny and lightweight, and you can wear them for hours. Housing is ergonomically designed to provide the best comfort.

    The Bad

    Thin wire generates a lot of cable noise.

    The Sound

    They have a satisfying amount of low end, with clear highs. However, the midrange is slightly forward, pushing the vocals upfront. Overall, the audio quality of these is quite good, and a decent option to replace your phone’s included in-ear headphones.

    The Verdict

    If you don’t want to spend more than $15 for earphones, the Panasonic ErgoFit cheap earbuds should be on the top of your list. They’re durable and provide good listening experience.

    Panasonic ErgoFit HJE120K review

    Honorable Mentions

    Anker Soundbuds Slim Plus – Lightweight wireless earbuds for sports with built-in microphone and control buttons, and water-resistant housing. You get around 7 hours of battery life. (Review)

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    What In-ear Headphones Can You Expect for 30 Dollars?

    While $30 is not a lot of many for headphones you can still expect solid products without significant weaknesses. Most in-ear monitors on the market cost more money, but there’s plenty of choice in the under $30 market.

    The reason why in-ears can be so cheap is because the manufacturing costs have been going down for a while now. There’s new competition from emerging markets where new companies are trying to attack market share by selling their products under market value.

    This is how you can get superb earbuds from unknown brands for a low price. While the same quality earphones would cost double the price from a major company.

    As you can see, most of the brands we recommend here aren’t the biggest and best-known ones.

    How To Find Good Cheap Earbuds?

    Do you want to know how to pick the best in-ear headphones out of hundreds currently available?

    Read our guides. Well, you could research the hundreds of different earbuds and test them yourself, but that’s hard work.

    Now, we don’t claim we’re the absolute authority in this regards, but our guides are a pretty good start.

    In case you want to find a new gem just for yourself, you can compare our headphones with the ones you find yourself. This way you’ll know what to expect and what to compare. And when you find better earbuds under $30, please let us, and everyone else, know in the comments below.

    Should You Get Wired or Wireless Earbuds? (considering $30)

    The ever more important question, should I get wired or wireless headphones?

    For the price range under $30 you can only choose from the low-end of budget wireless earbuds. This means you’ll have to give up on specific features from more expensive models.

    You can get basic Bluetooth functionality and decent audio quality. You can forget about the EQ apps, or ANC like in the best noise cancelling earbuds.

    Also, some of the new smartphones are ditching the 3.5mm plug, so the only option is wireless headphones. Thankfully, not all major phone manufacturers will make the same decision because people like wired headphones for many justified reasons.

    In case you’re the owner (or plan to be) of a phone without a headphone jack than wireless is your only option.

    On the other hand, wired earbuds generally have better sound quality and are less prone to failure.

    The battery in wireless headphones is slowly deteriorating, especially among the cheap models. Wired earbuds don’t have this problem.

    For options at higher price, see the best headphones under $100.

    Why you should get wired?

    • Better sound quality
    • No need to charge
    • Arguably longer durability

    Why you should get wireless?

    • Wire-free experience
    • Keeping up with technology

    How Do I Ensure My Earbuds Last Long?

    There are a couple of things you can do to ensure a longer life for your new in-ear headphones.

    Basically, you should be kind towards them like you are to your friends.

    First of all, you keep them clothed. In this case, you should get a carrying case—preferably hard one—to store the in-ear monitors. The case protects them from physical harm as well as liquids.

    I know you all want to own indestructible earbuds because it’s a hassle taking good care of them but they don’t exist. The best way is to learn some discipline and make it a rule to store them in a sturdy carrying case.

    If this is too hard for you to do, you can at least put them in safe pockets and make sure they don’t entangle. Many times untangling the wires becomes so frustrating people use a bit too much force. The wires break or crack and the damage is done.

    Another good idea is to keep the earphones away from water and humidity. Sure, you can get sweatproof or even waterproof earbuds but they aren’t 100% resistant to humidity over the long run. It’s best not to push the envelope.

    It’s best to store them in a dry place.

    That’s pretty much it. 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.