Budget

The Best Headphones under $20

Last updated: 8 hours ago, Nov. 19. 2018
Article Contents
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    What headphones can 20 dollars get you today? If low-priced cans attract you, check these.

    Comparison: The Best Headphones under $20

      BadgeRatingPrice
    i
    Price on Amazon.com, last updated date at the bottom.
    TypeMic &
    Remote
     

    Koss UR-20
    best overall4.0$17.03
    over-ear
    closed-back
    wired
    More info
    Behringer
    HPS3000
    runner-up3.9$28.95
    over-ear
    closed-back
    wired
    More info
    KZ ZSTbest in-ear4.1$19.99
    in-ear
    closed-back
    wired
    More info
    Koss KSC75best on-ear3.9$16.51
    on-ear
    open-back
    wired
    More info
    Mpow
    Bluetooth
    Headphones
    best wireless4.1$14.99
    on-ear
    closed-back
    wireless
    More info
    Panasonic
    RP-HT161-K
    4.1$15.09
    over-ear
    closed-back
    wired
    More info
    Vogek
    On-Ear Headphones
    4.2from $13.99
    on-ear
    closed-back
    wired
    More info

    Note: Sometimes the prices might jump above $20 due to market fluctuations. Wait a little time to see if the price drops again. If headphones increase in price permanently, we’ll replace them.

    If it makes you happy when you get a decent, functional product for a dirt-cheap price, then read on.

    Here are the best headphones for less than $20 among the over-ear, in-ear, and on-ear designs plus a wireless Bluetooth option.

    While these models aren’t really “the best” at anything in any category except price, they are solid choices for a user on a budget. And if the budget is $20, solid is impressive.

    In case you’re looking for headphones for slightly more money you can check more budget guides below.

    Table of Contents
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      More budget headphone guides:

      Best earbuds under $20

      The best cheap headphones

      Best headphones under $30

      Best headphones under $50

      The Best Headphones under 20 Dollars

      best overall: Koss UR-20

      Koss UR-20

      Koss UR-20 are the best headphones under $20, because of their high comfort and pretty good durability.

      Price: $17.03 (as of 2018-11-19– details)

      Type: over-ear
      Back design: closed-back
      Noise-cancelling: no
      Connection: wired, 3.5mm

      Should You Buy These?

      If you’re looking for budget over-ear headphones, you should check these big, but still lightweight headphones with massive value for money.

      The Good

      Their main advantage is comfort. They have large and soft ear cups that fit around most ears. Also, the headband design is quite flexible which makes them super comfy for many hours.

      Their durability isn’t shabby at all, considering the price range. Although they’re made entirely out of plastic, they hold up well to everyday use.

      The Bad

      These are not suitable for heavy sports activities. They tend to fall off during workouts. Also, their noise isolation is not the best. Especially in loud surroundings.

      The Sound

      Nonetheless, the sound they produce is pretty good. It’s somewhat balanced, with bass being slightly enhanced. Although, listening at high volume can make the bass a little muddy. They are most suitable for listening to calmer music. But you can also enjoy your favorite rock and pop.

      The Verdict

      Providing above average sound, Koss UR-20 will satisfy most listeners. Plus their high comfort and solid durability make them one of the best choices under 20 dollars.

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      runner-up: Behringer HPS3000

      Behringer HPS3000

      The Behringer closed-back headphones are another high-quality budget over-ears with high durability and pleasing sound.

      Price: $28.95 (as of 2018-11-19– details)

      Type: over-ear
      Back design: closed-back
      Noise-cancelling: no
      Connection: wired, 3.5mm

      Should You Buy These?

      Do you want to listen to your music in quality and with comfort under $20? Then you should check these.

      The Good

      Despite their bulky design, they are lightweight and comfortable. The oval-shaped ear cups are big enough to fit all ears. Wearing them for a long time is no problem at all.

      The cable is tangle-free. Also, because of their tight fit and materials, noise isolation is better than with most sub-$20 headphones. These can serve you for a long time for home or on the go listening.

      The Bad

      Their size makes them hard to carry around. Also, they can produce strong vibrations while listening to heavy bass music.

      The Sound

      Their sound is slightly V-shaped, with highly defined bass and transparent highs. Perfect for anyone that likes to get extra motivated with energetic music. The sound is also suitable for working in a studio because of ample amount of details (considering the price).

      The Verdict

      Behringer HPS3000 are a perfect choice for anyone that would like to save money because they offer a fantastic V-shaped sound (for the price) that comes in a comfortable and durable design.

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      best in-ear: KZ ZST

      KZ ZST -best earbuds under $20

      KZ ZST are the best in-ear headphones that are far better than what you’d expect for $20.

      Price: $19.99 (as of 2018-11-19– details)

      The KZ ZST full review.

      Type: in-ear
      Back design: closed-back
      Noise-cancelling: no
      Connection: wired, 3.5mm

      Should You Buy These?

      If you want to be surprised by the immense audio quality that can be compared to $100 earphones, check these out.

      You can also check more cheap earbuds here.

      The Good

      Although they are entirely plastic, they are built well for everyday use. Also, they have a detachable cable which always comes handy. That is why they are quite durable. With the right ear tips, you get long comfort and great noise isolation.

      Even though the earbuds aren’t sweatproof, you can use them for sports, because of the memory wire you can put around your ears. They have a convenient in-line microphone and remote control, which is a bonus at this price.

      The Bad

      No left and right side indicators, so you have to figure it out on your own.

      The Sound

      Their V-shaped sound signature makes any music genre pleasing to listen too. Bass is punchy and detailed and can give you enough power to make any music sound better. Overall, their sound can be compared to more expensive earbuds.

      The Verdict

      What makes KZ ZST (full review) stand out is their ergonomic design and tremendous audio quality. Unless you’re a hardcore audiophile, you cannot be disappointed. The best in-ear monitors under $20 right now.

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      best on-ear: Koss KSC75

      Koss KSC75

      Koss KSC75 are the best on-ear headphones under $20. Although they don’t look like much, they will surprise you.

      Price: $16.51 (as of 2018-11-19– details)

      The Koss KSC75 full review.

      Type: on-ear
      Back design: open-back
      Noise-cancelling: no
      Connection: wired, 3.5mm

      Should You Buy These?

      If you’re looking for proven on-ear headphones, you get for less than 20 dollars and don’t mind the retro design, get these.

      The Good

      KSC75 are lightweight and don’t bother the earlobes, even if you’re wearing them for a long time. Because of their ear hook design, you can also use them for cardio workouts. Due to the ear hooks they stay put. In spite of them not being waterproof, they can survive most of your sweaty workouts (according to reports).

      The Bad

      Their open-back structure makes them leak a lot of sound as they practically have zero noise isolation.

      The Sound

      The sound they provide is somewhat balanced with strong bass and front mids. Their audio can easily be compared to more expensive headphones. They’re popular among audiophiles for years. These are appropriate for almost every music genre. Although their bass is loud and clear, don’t expect too much of a bounce if you’re a basshead.

      The Verdict

      What makes Koss KSC75 stand out in this category is their lightweight design and amazing audio quality that can surprise even the strictest audiophiles.

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      best wireless: Mpow Bluetooth HeadphonesMpow headphones wireless under 20

      These are wireless Bluetooth headphones under $20, which is really rare (not a lot of money for wireless cans), but they are decent.

      Price: $14.99 (as of 2018-11-19– details)

      Type: on-ear
      Back design: closed-back
      Noise-cancelling: no
      Connection: wireless, Bluetooth

      Should You Buy These?

      If you’re tired of wires and want budget Bluetooth headphones of solid quality, then read on.

      The Good

      This is a generic pair of headphones but for the price does a good job.

      Although they are bigger in size, they are still lightweight. Their battery can last up to 14 hours of usage, with only 2,5 hours charging needed. You can use them as wireless or wired. So you never have to worry about the low battery.

      There’s a built-in control for adjusting the volume, hanging calls, and pausing tracks. And they also have a built-in microphone, so you can easily make phone calls too.

      The Bad

      They are not the most comfortable headphones, especially if you’re wearing glasses. In addition, they don’t have the most reliable Bluetooth connectivity, so you have to keep your device (smartphone) close.

      The Sound

      Audio quality is mediocre, but not disappointing. They produce more of a balanced sound, with some bass and decent mid and high range. These are best for listening to podcasts, audiobooks, and some music.

      The Verdict

      Finding good wireless headphones for such a low price is hard. But the Mpow Bluetooth on-ear headphones deliver. With reliability and long battery life, all under $20.

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      Panasonic RP-HT161-K

      Panasonic RP-HT161

      Panasonic RP-HT161-K are classic-style over-ear headphones. With their lightweight design and decent sound quality, they won’t let you down.

      Price: $15.09 (as of 2018-11-19– details)

      Type: over-ear
      Back design: closed-back
      Noise-cancelling: no
      Connection: wired, 3.5mm

      Should You Buy These?

      If you like to feel comfortable and move around while listening to your music or playing games, then you should definitely check these out.

      The Good

      The best thing about them is their extra-long cord. It comes especially handy while playing games or dancing to your favorite songs. Because of their lightweight design, they are comfy to wear. Soft earpads surround the entire ear and isolate most of the ambient noise.

      Also, their lifespan can be quite long with some care.

      The Bad

      If you have a slightly bigger head or ears, these can be a little uncomfortable. Also, they can be too quiet for people who like to enjoy music at a higher volume.

      The Sound

      Their sound is balanced. Bass is deep, but it fits nicely with all other ranges. These are generally OK to listen to all music genres. They cost less than 20 bucks after all.

      The Verdict

      Their main advantage is their long cable. Otherwise, the Panasonic RP-HT161-K are made for casual home use with a loud sound, comfy design, and an unbeatable price.

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      Vogek On-Ear Headphones

      Vogek on-ear headphones

      The Vogek foldable headphones come in many colors and are an excellent companion for enjoying music or taking calls on the go.

      Price: from $13.99 (as of 2018-11-19– details)

      Type: on-ear
      Back design: closed-back
      Noise-cancelling: no
      Connection: wired, 3.5mm

      Should You Buy These?

      Do you want portable on-ear headphones you can take with you for under 20 bucks, get these.

      The Good

      What makes them stand out is the portable design. You can fold them and store them safely in your room or take them with you. They are quite comfortable with a great sound seal. This minimizes outside noise so you can hear music better.

      They also have an in-line remote control for managing tracks and a microphone for phone calls.

      The Bad

      These are not the best choice if you have a bigger head. Also, their durability is weak, because of their plastic design. You have to be careful and treat them nice.

      The Sound

      They produce clear sound. It’s somewhat balanced, perfect for softer genres, like classical music or country ballads but can also provide substantial oomph when needed.

      The Verdict

      Vogek headphones are suitable for anyone, who is looking for cheap, comfy on-ear headphones with remote and microphone. They’re also ideal for children and teenagers, because of fun colorful design.

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      What Can You Expect from $20 Headphones?

      20 dollars is very little money, and it’s surprising you can actually get headphones for such a low price.

      Now, because the price is on the low-end, you have to expect cheaper build quality.

      Better materials cost more money. So due to low price the headphones are mostly made of plastics which can crack or deform. Take good care of them if you want them to last at least a couple of years.

      Also, cheap headphones often come with basic functionality. A microphone and remote control are more of a bonus than a standard feature.

      Wireless headphones don’t have the best battery capacity or the latest Bluetooth version. It means you’ll get less music per single charge and you might experience more signal disruptions. You get the very basic wireless functionality.

      The last but not least, most cheap headphones have mediocre audio quality. It doesn’t mean it’s terrible, but you can’t expect a Hi-Fi sound experience. Headphones with great sound usually cost more than $20, but it doesn’t necessarily mean expensive headphones sound better.

      Some of you have been asking if there are noise-cancelling headphones under $20. The answer is no. Noise cancellation costs more to manufacture and doesn’t fit in this price range. You have to pay more money for decent ANC (active noise cancelling) headphones.

      But maybe you’re just confusing cancellation with noise isolation?

       

      Thank you for using our guide. Hopefully it was helpful If not, please let us know in the comments how we can do a better job.

      Last update of Amazon prices and ratings on 2018-11-20.

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