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11 Best Headphones under $50 in 2024

Last updated: 3 months ago
9 min read

We’ve tested 193 headphones on 9 key points.

Here are the best under $50 to get in 2024. We’ll cover:

  • The best headphones under 50 dollars
  • Our testing results and personal experience with each pair
  • A/B sound comparison tests, so you know exactly what audio quality to expect

Let’s dig in:

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.

More info Price Connection Battery life Mic & Controls
TOZO HT2 Best overall
TOZO HT2 small image
Under $50
Bluetooth 5.3
29.5h
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Under $50
Wired – 3.5mm
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TOZO NC7 Best TWS
TOZO NC7 small image
Under $50
Bluetooth 5.3
9h + 36h in case
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Under $50
Bluetooth 5.0
8h + 26h in case
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TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero:Red Best in-ear monitors
TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero Red small image
Under $55
Wired – 3.5mm
/
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Samson SR850 Best open-back
Samson SR850 headphones
Under $50
Wired – 3.5mm
/
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Sony WH-CH510 Best on-ear
Sony WH-CH510
Under $50
Bluetooth 5.0
35h
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Headphones on our list are evaluated based on 9 key factors. Explore our testing and ranking methodology. The main criteria we looked at to pick the top recommendations are sound quality and user experience (read more here).

$50 isn’t much. In fact, most budget headphones under $50 aren’t great.

They lack the latest technology and high-fidelity frequency response.

But after testing 193 headphones, we found a couple that are surprisingly good cheap headphones.

Here’s the list of the best headphones under $50 that are better than what you’d expect for the low price. These offer good audio quality with some of the latest tech as well.

CONTENTS (show more)

    Best Headphones under $50

    1. TOZO HT2

    1st-place Best Overall
    • Sound quality: Deep bassy sound by default, more natural after EQ, great for modern music
    • User experience: Comfortable with many features: Good ANC, build quality for the price, etc.
    TOZO HT2 pressing buttons

    TOZO HT2 are the best headphones under $50, in our opinion. You get excellent comfort, good ANC, and quality sound for a bargain price – TOZO HT2 review.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.3
    Driver size icon Driver size: 40mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 16-41.100Hz (in wired mode)
    Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 29.5 hours | Wireless range: 65+ feet (19.8 meters) | Noise cancelling: Yes, hybrid | Charging: 2h – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: None | Features: Custom EQ, soothing sounds
    • Excellent sound quality for a budget price
    • Decent build quality with soft pleather earpads
    • Comfy & stable thanks to high clamping force
    • Good active & passive noise isolation performance
    • Good battery life of 29.5 hours per charge
    • No carrying pouch included in the box
    • Might not fix smaller heads & feel uncomfortable on bigger ones
    • Underwhelming call quality with muffled speech

    Hear the TOZO HT2 A/B sound test:

    TOZO HT2 Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    Headphones have a V-shaped sound signature out of the box, but they become more natural when you apply our custom EQ settings. The latter improves midrange clarity and also reveals some of the details masked by the bass boost.

    While these aren’t studio headphones, they eliminate a fair amount of background noise with passive noise isolation and ANC. Here, we explain the difference between noise isolation vs. noise cancelling.

    They have one of the most effective active noise cancelling in headphones under $50. It still struggles to eliminate higher frequencies, but it does an overall respectable job.

    Even ambient sound mode works pretty naturally, so you don’t need to remove the headphones while speaking to the person next to you.

    Lastly, the battery life is decent, at 29.5 hours on a single charge with noise cancellation enabled. If there’s one thing that’s missing, it’s the travel case, which would protect the device during storage.

    Maybe pay a bit more? Look at the best Bluetooth headphones under $100 and the best budget noise cancelling headphones.

    Best Wired Headphones under $50

    2. Audio-Technica ATH-M20x

    1st-place Best Wired
    • Sound quality: Balanced studio-grade audio quality with rich details
    • User experience: Comfortable, can fit on big heads, good build quality
    Audio-Technica ATH-M20x

    Audio-Technica ATH-M20x are the best wired headphones under $50. If you’re looking for great audio quality in a wired pair, get these.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired- 3.5mm / 6.3mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 40mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 15-20.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 47 Ohm | Weight: 6.7 oz (190g) | Cable length: 118 inch (3m) | Features: Included 6.3mm adapter
    • Great, balanced sound for
    • Affordable studio monitors
    • Good build quality and comfort
    • Not very portable

    As said before, their audio quality is above average (for the cost). Tones are rich and warm. The ranges are balanced, with bass and mids being slightly enhanced. They’re really clear, making for a great listening experience.

    Furthermore, their excellent build quality and lightweight design make them comfortable to wear (even if you’re wearing glasses).

    You can easily find your size with the adjustable headband, they fit large heads, too. And they last, so that’s money well spent. But because they’re wired, they have few features. No ANC, no EQ. These are as basic as they come.

    The ATH-M20x over-ear headphones are suitable for mixing tracks in the studio or critical listening at home. The audio signature is above average (in the category), which makes them a top pick.

    Best True Wireless Headphones under $50

    3. TOZO NC7

    true-wireless Best True Wireless
    • Sound quality: Balanced, neutral sound suitable for all music genres
    • User experience: Many modern features that work well: EQ, app support, ANC, built-in mic, etc.
    TOZO NC7 buds and case

    TOZO NC7 are the best true wireless headphones under $50 we’ve tested. With quality sound, capable ANC, and general performance, these headphones offer everything a commuter, student, and office worker needs – 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

    NC7 can produce a bassy sound if left on default settings. Thankfully, the app’s custom EQ can turn them into one of the most natural-sounding TWS earbuds in this price range.

    Hear the TOZO NC7 A/B sound test:

    TOZO NC7 Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    Thanks to ergonomic design, they remain comfortable for a long time, even for users with smaller ears. On the flip side, they are best used for casual listening as they start sliding out of your ear canals during workouts.

    Active noise cancellation and battery capacity are also worth mentioning. The ANC works really well against lower frequencies and is an excellent choice for commuters on a budget.

    Furthermore, the battery lasts more than 9 hours on a single charge with ANC enabled, the longest duration among all ANC earbuds. And that’s not all. Learn about all the features and how they work in our review.

    If you’re looking for convenient true wireless headphones under $50, TOZO NC7 are the top choice in our opinion.

    Best Headphones under $50 for Sports

    4. Anker Soundcore Life A1

    weights Best for Sports
    • Sound quality: Fun, V-shaped sound with emphasis on bass and treble
    • User experience: They stick in ears during heavy sweating, you can wash them in water
    Anker Soundcore Life A1 on rock

    Anker Soundcore Life A1 are the best TWS headphones under $50 for sports we’ve tested. These are great in-ear headphones for running and working out with durable housing, IPX7 water protection, and over 8-h battery – 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

    For under $50, the Life A1 have a pretty musical V-shaped sound profile, with natural mids and boosted bass and highs. You can hear the sound test below.

    Hear the Anker Soundcore Life A1 A/B sound test:

    Anker Soundcore Life A1 Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    Housing is free of sharp corners and sits comfortably inside your ears. Thanks to the ear wings, you can wear them for sports activities like working out and running. They stick in the ears well even if you sweat.

    Moreover, you get reliable Bluetooth connectivity with wide coverage. You can wear them in your house and walk around freely without making the earbuds stutter.

    Lastly, they come with an IPX7 rating, which makes them fully waterproof. You can soak them underwater and wash them under a tap without being afraid.

    We discuss all the details in our review.

    But all in all, the Anker Soundcore Life A1 are the top choice of sub-$50 headphones for sports right now.

    Best In-Ear Monitor Headphones under $50

    5. TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero:Red

    earbud Best In-Ear Monitors under $50
    • Sound quality: Fantastic neutral audio quality for 50 bucks
    • User experience: Detachable cable, stable fit due to memory cables
    TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero Red IEMs

    Yes, Zero:Red cost $55, but those extra $5 brings you exceptional audio fidelity and tuning that you simply can’t find in this price range.

    TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero:Red review

    Connection icon Connection: Wired 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 10mm & 7.8mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: In-ear monitors | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 17.5 ohms | Weight: 0.9 ounces (26 grams) with cable | Cable lenght: 4.1 feet (1.25 meters) | Features: Bass+ adapter
    • Smooth & neutral tuning that goes with all music genres
    • Comfortable & stable fit for long listening sessions
    • Detachable cable & replaceable nozzle mesh extends durability
    • Good overall passive noise isolation
    • No option for cable with mic/controls support

    Zero:Red are tuned by the master of IEMs, the Crinacle himself. The result is a very natural sound signature with just a hint of extra bass. While not insanely detailed, the audio quality is high enough to make you admire new nuances in music.

    Hear the TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero:Red A/B sound test:

    TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero:Red Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    The Reds have a typical IEM design with a memory cable that goes around your ears. It is detachable in case it gets damaged.

    You can wear them for hours without noticing any discomfort due to smooth edges and ear tips that don’t create annoying pressure.

    While they cost $55, we highly recommend spending $5 more if you are looking for the best cheap earbuds with the ultimate sound quality. They will make you start appreciating music in a different light.

    But these are wired in-ear headphones that don’t have many features. There is no microphone for phone calls, or any other feature you commonly find in in-ear headphones. These are made to be listened to with a high-quality MP3 player.

    So, if you’re in the market for superb sound from in-ears under $50, give TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero:Red a try.

    Check similar headphones:

    Best Open-Back Headphones under $50

    6. Samson SR850

    trophy Best Open-Back
    • Sound quality: Balanced sound with punchy bass and open soundstage
    • User experience: Comfortable due to low weight, replaceable earpads ensure longevity
    Samson SR850 wired headphones

    These will not win a beauty contest. But Samson SR850 are the best audiophile sub-$50 headphones we’ve tested. They excel at detailed audio quality and a big soundstage – Samson SR850 review.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm / 6.3mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 50mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 10-30.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Back design: Semi-open | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 32 Ohm | Weight: 9.7 oz (276g) | Cable length: 98.4 inch (2.5m) | Features: /
    • Fantastic sound for the price
    • Lightweight construction
    • Decent durability
    • 6.3mm adapter included in the box
    • Price
    • All-plastic construction feels cheap
    • Below average comfort and fit
    • Bad noise isolation

    The over-ear headphones are punchy and controlled, with a clean midrange and slightly boosted highs.

    Although they’re bright, the vocals never become sibilant. The soundstage is also decent, with good imaging to go with it. Truly impressive sound for the price point.

    If you’re on a tight budget but still want great studio headphones, these do the trick. They’re semi-open, which lets in less ambient noise than fully open headphones.

    The low price does show. Earpads are fine for a quick listening session. But over time, they deteriorate. Thankfully, the ear cup size is compatible with AKG replacement pads. That improves comfort significantly. And prolongs their lifetime.

    The audio cable is non-detachable, but it’s robust and won’t break easily.

    All in all, for the best open-back headphones under $50, Samson SR850 have no competition.

    Best On-Ear Headphones under $50

    7. Sony WH-CH510

    trophy Best On-Ears under $50
    • Sound quality: Suitable for all music genres with a slight bass boost
    • User experience: Lightweight, good stability with long 30-hour+ battery
    Sony WH-CH510 on a desk

    Sony WH-CH510 are the best on-ear headphones under $50 we’ve tested. These classy on-ears have an excellent battery and overall user experience – Sony WH-CH510 review.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 30mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: On-ear | Battery life: 30h | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 4.5h + quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: No | Features: /
    • Lightweight and portable
    • Clear sound
    • Impressive battery life
    • Excellent stability for working out
    • On-ear fit isn't for everyone
    • Cheap plastic construction
    • No padding on the headband

    You can expect a clear sound with a boosted midrange while the bass and treble stay relatively balanced. This sound makes them suitable for most music genres.

    Hear the Sony WH-CH510 A/B sound test:

    Sony WH-CH510 Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    The Sony headphones sport a very lightweight design with minimal padding in the headband. Still, the earpads are nicely thick and provide good comfort despite pressing against your earlobes.

    Onboard buttons let you adjust the volume and pick up phone calls. Moreover, the battery life is impressive, lasting for more than 31.5 hours on a single charge. See the battery tests in our review.

    Sony WH-CH510 rotate their earcups but can’t fold. But they’re still a good pick for a daily commuter or a student, thanks to their smaller size. And you can rest them around the neck.

    If you want good on-the-ear headphones for less than 50 bucks, the Sony WH-CH510 are the top choice.

    Honorable Mentions

    8. Skullcandy Hesh 2

    Skullcandy Hesh 2 wireless headphones

    These are the top bass headphones under $50. They feel quite durable and can survive a little bit of tossing around. Big and thick over-ear cups provide long-lasting comfort, and the 15-hour battery lasts the whole day. See the top bass headphones for similar ones.

    9. JBL Tune 500BT

    JBL Tune 500BT on-ear headphones

    It’s a simple set of headphones for under $50, with big buttons for playback and volume control. JBL Tune 500BT have a decent audio quality and comfortable fit.

    JBL Tune 500BT review

    10. SoundPEATS Sonic

    SoundPEATS Sonic earbuds

    Previous best in-ears under $50 have a U-shaped sound with an overall natural midrange. You don’t get any special features, but instead, the buds hold more than 14 hours of battery per charge.

    SoundPEATS Sonic review

    11. Koss Porta Pro

    Koss Porta pro open-back headphones

    Cheap headphones for under $50 that have great sound and comfort that lasts for long periods. Porta Pro are a great choice for those seeking smooth, open sound and don’t mind the retro design.

    How We Tested?

    Headphones in our list are objectively tested (measuring frequency responses, battery life, ANC, noise isolation, etc) and used by the reviewer for a hands-on experience.

    Altogether, we test them on 9 key points: Audio quality, ambient noise isolation, ANC, battery, comfort, features, etc. This helps us compare and pick the best headphones we can confidently recommend.

    See our testing and scoring methodology.

    How did we pick the models?

    We primarily focused on 2 decision points: sound quality and overall user experience.

    Sound quality is the main thing to look for when buying headphones. You want headphones that you enjoy listening to. You should pick headphones with a sound signature that fits your needs. Get a bass-emphasized signature to amplify the beats in modern music. Or natural, balanced signature as a general fit for listening to all music styles. Read more about sound sigantures here.

    User experience is the culmination of everything from the point of putting on headphones. How’s the comfort, are they easy to charge, what features do they have and how they work, how’s the build quality, etc.

    Then, we ranked them based on different types and use cases. Some are better for sports or have an open-back design. See the list above for details.

    Headphones We Considered that Didn’t Make The List

    • Edifier W240TN: Great TWS headphones with an MSRP slightly above $50. Sometimes, they’re discounted.
    • Skullcandy Indy ANC: Slightly over $50, have ANC, but it doesn’t work as well as the #1 recommendation.
    • Edifier TWS1 Pro 2: Solid performance under $50, but short battery capacity. The current #1 recommendations are better.
    • Aukey EP-T32: These were solid when new but are harder to get today.

    Find more cheap headphones for 50 dollars: The best earbuds under $50 and the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds under $50.

    FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

    Are $50 headphones worth it?

    $50 headphones are worth it for undemanding users. You can expect decent build quality and enjoyable audio that should give you a taste of what premium, expensive models can offer. You can also expect decent background noise cancellation and some handy features like fast charging, Qi wireless charging, premium Bluetooth codecs, and foldable frames for easy storage.

    How long do headphones under $50 last?

    Generally, headphones under $50 might have a shorter lifespan due to cheaper materials and lower build quality. But this largely depends on the model. The better-quality models can outlast more expensive ones regardless of their price. How you maintain them is one major reason.

    Conclusion

    After testing 193 headphones, these are the top pick in our opinion.

    • #1 Best Headphones under 50 Bucks

    If you’re willing to spend a bit more, check:

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