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8 Best Earbuds under $50 in 2023 (in-ear headphones)

Last updated: 4 weeks ago
8 min read

We test and review headphones based on an independent 9-point methodology. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

If you want quality buds for less money, check out the best earbuds under $50 you can get today.

Browse between the best wired and wireless options that not only surprise you with sound but also build quality and versatility.

Here is a quick rundown of our picks:

We test and review headphones based on an independent 9-point methodology. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Rating Price Mic & Remote Water protection More info
TOZO NC7 Best wireless
TOZO NC7 small image
Under $50
IPX6 (Water-resistant)
Under $55
Anker Soundcore Life A1 Wireless alternative
Anker Soundcore Life A1
Under $43
IPX7 (Water-resistant)
Linsoul Tin Audio T2 Best neutral
Tin Audio T2
Under $50
RHA S500 Best bass
RHA S500 wired earphones
Under $40
MEE Audio M6 PRO 2. Gen Most durable & best stage
MEE Audio M6 PRO 2nd gen
Under $50
IPX5 (Water-resistant)
Under $50
Treblab WX8 Great value
Treblab WX8
Under $40
IPX8 (Waterproof)

Can cheap earbuds under $50 have the latest technology and sound good?

Unfortunately, most of them don’t, as 50 bucks isn’t enough money.

But if you look hard enough, you can find a couple of gems that sound good, offer a comfortable and stable fit, and come with modern tech and features.

Check the list to find neutral or bass-heavy earbuds, wireless and wired options, and everything in between.

CONTENTS (show more)

    Not what you’re looking for?

    The Best Earbuds under $50

    Here you can find the best earbuds in the $30 – $50 range that offer the best value regarding sound, build quality, and comfort. Not the cheapest earbuds, but still on the lower end.

    1. TOZO NC7

    true-wireless BEST WIRELESS EARBUDS UNDER $50
    TOZO NC7 buds and case

    These are the best earbuds under $50 if you’re looking for a true wireless budget option with every possible modern feature (EQ, app, ANC, Transparency).

    These pair of cheap wireless earbuds sound great, have impressive battery life, and are comfortable to wear for everyday use.

    TOZO NC7 review

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.3
    Driver size icon Driver size: 7mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 17-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 9h + 36h in case | Wireless range: 40 feet (or 12.2 meters) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 2h – quick charge – USB-C & Qi wireless | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IPX6 | Features: App, EQ, ANC, auto play/pause, relaxing sounds
    • Great & fairly natural sound quality (after EQ)
    • Feature-packed app with lots of customizations
    • Quite effective active noise cancellation for the price
    • Battery life of 9 hours per charge (with ANC)
    • No Game mode means visible audio lag in mobile games
    • Transparency mode produces audible background hiss

    Hear the TOZO NC7 A/B Sound Test:

    TOZO NC7 Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    After applying custom EQ settings (found in our full review), TOZO NC7 start to sound impressively good (for the price). They’re still a bit thin in vocals but very natural, nonetheless.

    Good things don’t end there. Earbuds are also masterful at active noise cancelling, reducing a good chunk of low frequencies, making them an excellent pick for commuters on a budget.

    Furthermore, their battery life can play music for more than 9 hours on a single charge (18 hours if you turn the ANC off), the longest among all ANC earbuds.

    Earbuds also offer an app for EQ, different ANC modes, control customization, and relaxing audio clips to help you fall asleep.

    Searching for the best of the best? Check our recommendations and reviews of true wireless earbuds.

    2. TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero:Red

    TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero Red IEMs

    The Zero:Red are the overall best earbuds around $50 right now.

    TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero:Red review

    If you want maximum audio quality (balanced signature) and a reliable product for around $50, this is the best choice.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 10mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: In-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: n/a | Weight: n/a | Cable lenght: n/a | Features: RF insulated cable
    • Durable, aluminum build
    • Comfortable fit
    • Great sound for the price
    • No inline controls

    Hear the TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero:Red A/B Sound Test:

    TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero:Red Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    Tuned by Crinacle, Zero:Red have one of the most enjoyable sounds out there. With a pleasant balance of higher tones, mids, and bass, you will enjoy listening to all music genres.

    IEM’s housing is made of resin and sports a beautiful red and black color scheme. The feather pattern on the plate gives them a unique look that will attract many looks.

    Of course, it isn’t just about looks. Zero:Red have a universally comfortable shape and offer a very stable fit thanks to the ear hook cable going over the ear. The wire is detachable and uses 2-pin connectors.

    While, as of the time of writing, they cost $55, paying $5 more gives you a sound quality that’s a no-brainer at this price.

    3. Anker Soundcore Life A1

    Anker Soundcore Life A1 on rock

    Great pair of true wireless earbuds alternative for those seeking reliable performance.

    For true wireless capability that gives a good user experience at the price range of $50, the Life A1 are a good choice and a worthy runner-up.

    Anker Soundcore Life A1 review

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 8mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 9h + 26h in case | Wireless range: 60ft (18.2m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: Quick charging – USB-C & Qi charging | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IPX7 | Features: EQ presets, ear fins
    • Good sound quality
    • Fantastic comfort & stability
    • Reliable Bluetooth connection
    • Great battery life (more than 8h per charge)
    • Usable physical controls with 3 EQ profiles
    • Okay passive noise isolation
    • Some audio delay when watching videos

    Hear the Anker Soundcore Life A1 A/B Sound Test:

    Anker Soundcore Life A1 Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    For the price, the sound quality is definitely a highlight. The Life A1 have a V-shaped sound signature with decent detail retrieval.

    Earbuds have built-in EQ modes (Signature, Bass Boost, and Podcast mode. The latter reduces the bass and helps to bring out the vocals.

    In terms of build, they’re very ergonomic and fit comfortably into your ears. They’re also exceptionally stable, thanks to ear wings, even during intense workouts.

    Another highlight is the battery life. It lasted for 8 hours and 19 minutes in our test, with the charging case holding another 26 hours of juice. The latter supports fast and Qi wireless charging.

    For similar earbuds with high IPX, see the best waterproof Bluetooth headphones.

    4. Linsoul Tin Audio T2

    Tin Audio T2

    The Linsoul Tin Audio T2 are the best earbuds under $50 with neutral sound.

    These offer a sturdy build, replaceable cables, and a sound quality that even audiophiles can appreciate.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 10mm (woofer) + 6mm (tweeter)
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 12-40.000Hz
    Type: In-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 16 Ohm | Weight: n/a | Cable length: 4 feet (1.2m) | Features: Detachable cable, MMCX connection
    • Excellent sound for the price
    • Robust, metal build with detachable cables
    • Good passive isolation
    • A bit bulky for users with smaller ears

    These cheap earbuds show excellent performance. Bass is on the slightly punchier side of neutral, but the midrange remains nicely balanced, with high frequencies being presented with good sparkle.

    All-metal housing gives a very industrial look to these budget earphones. Despite having some sharp edges, comfort is actually quite good.

    Since they isolate well and don’t leak that much, you can use them to commute and even sports activities, especially if you wear them with a wire going behind the ear and with foam ear tips for extra fit.

    They’re our top pick in overall durability. If the wire ever gets damaged, you can easily replace it with a new one. You only need to make sure you get the MMCX-compatible cable.

    5. RHA S500

    RHA S500 wired earphones

    Small but with a big bass boost.

    Stylish, inexpensive wired earbuds that come with premium build quality and extra bass frequency response.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: Custom micro driver
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 16-22.000Hz
    Type: In-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Yes | Impedance: n/a | Weight: 0.5 oz (14g) | Cable lenght: n/a | Features: /
    • Tons of included ear tips
    • Durable aluminum housing
    • 3-year warranty
    • Fun, V-shaped sound
    • … which can get overwhelming sometimes
    • Sharp edges on the housing

    The bass notes dig very deep, and sometimes it does overpower the mix. With the recessed midrange and quite strong higher frequencies, these have a distinctive V-shaped sound.

    S500’s come packed with 7 pairs of silicone ear tips so that you can choose from different sizes and shapes. There are even double-flanged ones for deeper seal and better sound isolation.

    Earbuds themselves are made of aluminum and extremely light, almost feather-like. A 3.5mm connector is also made out of metal, while the cable is dressed in fabric.

    RHA provides a 3-year warranty on all their audio products. Built-in remote control and microphone should work on both Android and iOS devices.

    We have a separate guide for the best bass headphones here.

    6. MEE Audio M6 PRO 2. Gen

    MEE Audio M6 PRO 2. generation wired earbuds

    The MEE Audio M6 PRO 2nd gen are the best earbuds under $50 for musicians.

    You should get these if you want reliable, durable, and sweatproof earbuds built for musicians, all for an affordable price of less than $50.

    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 | Impedance: 16 Ohm | Weight: n/a | Cable lenght: 51 inch (1.3m) | Features: Detachable cable, MMCX connection, IPX5 protection
    • Improved sound (compared to first generation)
    • Good bass extension
    • Durable construction with IPX5 water resistance and detachable cables
    • Cable noise

    The sound profile is very clear and detailed, so you can hear all the nuances, which is something you don’t often see in this price category.

    The natural sound signature lacks a strong bass boost, even though you can change this with equalizing.

    The construction and design are superb. Worn over-the-ears, have sweatproof chassis and detachable cables (2 types: stereo and mic version) to survive the longest gigs.

    The sturdy casing is also friendly to the ears with ergonomics that offer a comfortable fit.

    Noise from the crowd won’t bother you either because the M6 PRO are very effective at blocking the background noise, especially when you combine them with Comply foam ear tips.

    If you’d rather pick something with ANC, check our guide for best noise cancelling earbuds.

    7. Zero Audio Carbo Tenore

    Zero Audio Carbo Tenore unboxed

    The Zero Audio Carbo Tenore offer startling sound quality at a fraction of the price (best earbuds under $50 with balanced, clear sound).

    If you want the best-wired earbuds with a balanced signature and a decent punch for less than $50, get the Carbo Tenore.

    Zero Audio Carbo Tenore review

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 8-24.000Hz
    Type: In-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 16 Ohm | Weight: 0.42 oz (12g) | Cable lenght: 47 inch (1.2m) | Features: /
    • Balanced, detailed sound
    • Can still play bass-heavy songs
    • Great for vocals
    • Good noise isolation
    • Build quality could be better
    • No warranty outside Japan

    These earbuds can offer really good audio performance. They have an almost perfect balance of audio ranges without sibilance, even at higher volume levels.

    There’s nearly no cable noise either, and all the ranges come out clear and detailed. The bass is punchy and controlled, which makes them enjoyable for all music genres.

    Zero Audio is a Japanese company that is well-known in the audiophile world for offering one of the best cheap headphones.

    These budget earbuds are lightweight and comfortable though they might stick out of the ears a bit, so you can’t sleep with them.

    Ambient noise is reasonably well blocked and provides enough isolation to enjoy the high-end sound.

    8. Treblab WX8

    Treblab WX8 wet

    These budget headphones represent a compelling value for those seeking simple yet durable earbuds.

    AirPods Pro lookalikes that offer warm yet pleasantly detailed sound and features like Qi wireless charging under $40.

    Treblab WX8 review

    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: 7h + 21h in case | Wireless range: 40 feet (12.1m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 1h + quick charge – USB-C & Qi wireless | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IPX8 | Features: Mono mode
    • Very natural midrange & shimmery treble
    • Durable build quality with an IPX8 waterproof rating
    • Comfortable, lightweight construction for long listening sessions
    • Good battery life of 7 hours per charge with wireless charging support
    • Unstable fit means they aren't suitable for sports
    • Mediocre passive noise isolation lets you hear a lot of outside noise

    Hear the Treblab WX8 A/B Sound Test:

    Treblab WX8 Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    Despite a considerable bass boost, the sound stays quite natural throughout, only revealing that low-end punch when needed. The WX8 are one of the most pleasant TWS earbuds to listen to for under $40.

    Moreover, earbuds are also very comfortable, thanks to their simple design without sharp edges. However, they aren’t suitable for sports activities due to their somewhat loose fit.

    Nevertheless, you can easily wear Treblab WX8 on your commute or in the library since they don’t emit any sound leakage. Also, buds last up to 7 hours on a single charge.

    Furthermore, earbuds are completely waterproof (IPX8), so you don’t have to worry if they fall underwater.

    Honorable Mentions

    RHA MA390

    RHA MA390 wired earbuds

    Cheap earbuds under $50 with the excellent build quality and deep bass response.

    RHA MA390 don’t have many extra features, but they do come with a 3-year warranty.

    Check MA390 price

    HiFiMan RE-400

    HiFiMan RE-400

    One of the best cheap earbuds with a wide array of accessories that let you achieve the best results.

    For the best audio clarity, you have first to make sure to use a proper source and tips.

    Check RE-400 price

    Beats Flex

    Beats Flex earbuds hanging

    Neckband earbuds from Beats with a simple yet elegant design and neutral sound quality.

    They have an Apple W1 chip for iOS connectivity but use USB-C for charging.

    Beats Flex review

    SoundPEATS Sonic

    SoundPEATS Sonic earbuds

    While not the most accurate, the Sonic have a fun, powerful sound with rumbly sub-bass and smoother upper frequencies.

    On top of that, they have a sweatproof IPX5 rating and up to 14 hours of music playtime on a single charge.

    SoundPEATS Sonic review

    Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2

    Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2 true wireless earbuds

    Great earbuds under $50 that output strong low-end for gym-goers and sport a total of 100 hours of playtime when fully charged for extremely long travels.

    When buying these, you get your money’s worth.

    Check Life Dot 2 price

    1MORE PistonBuds

    1MORE PistonBuds true wireless earbuds

    Ergonomically shaped earbuds with effective active noise cancellation mic for decent call quality (this is not the same as active noise canceling).

    1MORE PistonBuds have a noticeable hump in the bass, which will make bassheads quite happy.

    Check PistonBuds price

    TaoTronics Soundliberty 97

    TaoTronics Soundliberty 97 true wireless earbuds

    If you want true wireless earbuds with a pleasant sound profile and punchy bass for less than $40, then consider TaoTronics Soundliberty 97.

    Also, buds support aptX Bluetooth codec for a lag-free movie-watching experience.

    TaoTronics Soundliberty 97 review

    Aukey EP-T32

    Aukey EP-T32 true wireless earbuds

    These ear hook earbuds are surprisingly comfortable and fun to listen to, with punchy lows and decent imaging.

    Their charging case even supports Qi wireless charging, which is still a rarity at this price point.

    Aukey EP-T32 review

    For slightly more money, look at the best Bluetooth headphones under $100.

    Why Do My Earbuds Have No Bass?

    The biggest and most common reason you’re not getting any bass is a bad fit.

    You need to get an airtight fit. Otherwise, your earbuds won’t sound as good. To get the right fit, you have to pick the right ear tips for your ear size.

    • Most earbuds come with at least 3 sizes, many with plenty more, and there are many other types to choose from among the aftermarket tips.
    • The absolute best ones are the memory foam ones that offer superior comfort and passive isolation. However, you can usually only get them as an accessory, and they cost more money.

    Try all sizes of ear tips and see which ones fit you best. One type will surely provide you with a solid fit and thus strong bass.

    Of course, you have to be sure your earbuds actually have strong bass and aren’t bass-poor by design.

    FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About Earbuds

    Are cheap earbuds safe?

    Technically speaking, yes. However, there might be some problems worth addressing, like poor sound quality.

    Most people tend to raise the volume to hear more details, which is hard to achieve with budget earbuds. Consequently, they can damage their hearing in the long run.

    Should I buy cheap earbuds?

    Yes, but make sure you buy the best ones possible. Do some research and browse through various best guides before making a decision.

    Cheap isn’t always bad, as you can find some impressive earbuds for under $50 that make a great alternative.

    Is it bad to wear earbuds all day?

    Yes. Prologue listening, especially at higher volumes, will speed up hearing degradation. WHO advises listening to earbuds for 60 minutes per day at 60% volume.

    Also, if you wear earbuds (or plugs) every day, try maintaining your ear hygiene. Ear tips can push ear wax back into your ear canal, which leads to possible infections.

    What to do if a smartphone doesn’t have a headphone jack?

    You should get an audio adapter. There are different types of adapters. Apple uses Lightning to 3.5mm adapter, while other devices use USB-C to 3.5mm adapter.

    However, be careful with Android devices since some support analog adapters (Google phones), while others use digital adapters (Samsung phones).

    Where to buy cheap earbuds?

    Earbuds are being sold everywhere, whether from a local electronics show or from an online shop.

    While trying earbuds right on the spot to ensure they fit is the best thing to do, the fact is that you get a much better selection of products on the internet. And, in most cases, products cost less than in a physical store.

    Find related earbuds:

    Best bass earbuds
    Best noise isolating headphones
    Most durable earbuds

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