Budget

Best Headphones under $50

Last updated: 2 months ago, Aug. 10. 2020
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    Here are the best headphones under $50 in 2020 that are actually worth your hard-earned cash.

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    Audio-Technica
    ATH-M20x
    best overall &
    best over-ear
    4.4under $50wired
    3.5mm
    noMore info

    TaoTronics TT-BT085

    best noise canceling4.4under $50Bluetooth
    (up to 40h)
    built-inMore info
    SoundMAGIC
    E10
    best in-ear3.9under $30wired
    3.5mm
    noMore info
    TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79best in-ear
    wireless
    4.4under $40Bluetooth
    (up to 8h)
    (with case 30h)
    built-inMore info
    Skullcandy Hesh 2best for bassheads4.4under $50Bluetooth
    (up to 15h)
    built-inMore info
    JBL Tune 500BTbest on-ear4.6under $50Bluetooth
    (up to 18h)
    built-inMore info
    Skullcandy
    Grind
    most colorful4.2under $30wired
    3.5mm
    built-inMore info
    Superlux
    HD668B
    best
    open-back
    4.2under $40wired
    3.5mm
    6.3mm
    noMore info

    You probably know most headphones under $50 aren’t much to rave about. You can only dream about the latest technology and Hi-Fi frequency response.

    But after a couple of hours (more like tens) of research, we found surprisingly good headphones.

    Here’s the list of the top headphones under $50 that are better than what you’d expect for the price. You can get good audio and build quality with some of the latest tech as well.

    These offer a lot of value for your money. Check the research below to find more about it.

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      The Best Headphones under 50 Dollars

      Audio-Technica ATH-M20x – best overall

      Audio-Technica ATH-M20x

      Audio-Technica ATH-M20x are the leading headphones under $50. Coming from a reputable company, they offer tremendous value.

      Type: Over-ear
      Back design: Closed-back
      Connection: Wired, 3.5mm

      Should You Buy These?

      If you’re looking for well-made over-ear headphones that give you high sound quality and comfort, you should get these.

      The Good

      First of all, their excellent built quality and lightweight casing make them comfortable to wear (even if you’re wearing glasses). You can easily find your size with the adjustable headband, and they even fit large heads. Also, they last a long time, so that’s money well spent.

      The ATH-M20x are suitable for mixing tracks in the studio. The audio signature is above average (in the category).

      The Bad

      Their noise isolation is not the most satisfactory. If you are a DJ or listening to your music in loud environments, these are not the optimal choice. In addition, they don’t have any audio controls or microphone, which is somewhat disappointing.

      The Sound

      As said before, their audio quality is above average (for the cost). Tones are rich and warm. The ranges are rather balanced, with bass and mids being slightly enhanced. It’s really clear and makes every music genre worth listening to.

      The Verdict

      What makes Audio-Technica ATH-M20x stand out at the price range is their pleasant sound, reliable comfort, and long-lasting durability.


      TaoTronics TT-BH085 – best noise cancelling

      TaoTronics TT-BH085 wireless ANC headphones

      The best noise cancelling headphones under $50, these have a lot of high-end features. Not just the ANC but also long-lasting battery.

      Type: Over-ear
      Back design: Closed-back
      Noise-cancelling: Yes
      Connection: Wireless, 3.5mm

      Should You Buy These?

      The housing is mostly plastic but made quite well. The cushy pleather pads are filled with memory foam and breathable. This prevents the ears from overheating.

      The battery is fantastic, playing your music for around 40 hours before needing to recharge. In case the battery dies, a quick 5-minute charge means another 2 hours of playtime.

      For budget Bluetooth headphones, these have really good active noise cancellation (how is it different from noise isolation explained here). They don’t block as much noise as high-end Sony or Bose models, but they sure are impressive in their price range.

      The Bad

      The noise canceling drains the battery quite a lot. You should expect around half the battery life when the feature is turned on.

      The Sound

      You get a good amount of punch from the 40mm driver. But despite that, the mids and highs remain clean and not muddy at all.

      The Verdict

      With the TaoTronics TT-BT085’s, you get your money’s worth. They check all the boxes of a good wireless headphone.


      Soundmagic E10 – best in-ear

      SoundMAGIC E10

      Soundmagic E10 are a mixture of high comfort, modern in-ear fit, and exceptional audio.

      Type: In-ear
      Back design: Closed-back
      Connection: Wired

      Should You Buy These?

      If you’re looking for ear buds that have durability and audio quality under 50 dollars, then you should get these.

      The Good

      What gives them the premium feel is the metal structure. Lightweight and quality eartips create an airtight fit, which results in above-average noise isolation and ample amounts of volume.

      The Bad

      The lack of in-line control makes them a little less exciting (model with mic is more expensive). Subdued bass is not suitable for bassheads.

      The Sound

      The sound quality is perfectly balanced and clear. Don’t expect strong, punchy bass. Instead, you get overflowing tones, making every music exceptional. These are one of the top earbuds ever made (if you consider their cost, of course).

      The Verdict

      Soundmagic E10’s can make even the pickiest listener happy. Admirable comfort and attractive frequency response make them one of the finest in-ear headphones under $50.


      Find more related headphones:

      The leading  cheap headphones including under $30 or even under $20

      Best wireless Bluetooth earbuds under $50

      Top (mostly wired) earbuds under $50


      TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79 – best in-ear wireless

      TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79 true wireless earbuds

      The best true wireless headphones under $50. These look much more expensive than they really are. They also surprise with the good audio and comfortable fit.

      Type: In-ear
      Back design: Closed-back
      Connection: True wireless

      Should You Buy These?

      SoundLiberty 79’s are built quite well, with a chrome finish to make them shiny and premium.

      With the included ear fins and IPX8 water protection, these are ready to hit the gym. They are also very comfortable and secure, giving the needed stability during workouts.

      The battery should last around 8 hours per charge, with the charging case giving you an extra 22 hours.

      The Bad

      Ear fins can sometimes prevent the perfect contact with the pins inside the case, resulting in earbuds not charging at all.

      The Sound

      Thankfully you don’t need an EQ or app with these because they perform really good out of the box. The audio is very balanced with a slight boost in the bass, which makes them more suitable to a wider audience.

      The Verdict

      You can use them in the gym, to commute or just for casual listening. With good audio, stylish look, and affordable price point, TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79’s are excellent true wireless earbuds you should definitely check.


      Skullcandy Hesh 2 – best for bassheads

      Skullcandy Hesh 2 wireless headphones

      Source: Skullcandy

      Perfect wireless headphones under $50 to soothe your basshead needs.

      Type: Over-ear
      Back design: Closed-back
      Connection: Bluetooth

      Should You Buy These?

      Despite their mostly plastic construction, these feel quite durable. They can even survive a little bit of tossing around. The pleather pads are filled with dense foam, which provides a decent comfort.

      These don’t have ANC, but pretty decent passive noise isolation. Therefore you can still enjoy your music without the outside interruptions.

      The battery life of 15 hours should last throughout the whole day. Fortunately, there is an AUX cable inside the box if a battery suddenly dies.

      The Bad

      Pleather pads are dense and are preventing the air from circulating. This means your ears can become hot after a few hours of use.

      The Sound

      You should be only looking at these if you really like your bass. In terms of quantity, there is plenty of low end. So much so that it sometimes loses a little bit of control. Interestingly, the mids remain fairly clean, with the highs being nice and sparkly.

      The Verdict

      Some just want to enjoy music and rock their heads to the rhythm of the music. Hesh 2’s gives you exactly that. This is why so many users love their Skullcandy’s.


      JBL Tune 500BT – best wireless on-ear

      JBL Tune 500BT headphones folded

      For portable headphones that are great on-the-go, check out the JBL Tune 500BT.

      Type: On-ear
      Back design: Closed-back
      Connection: Bluetooth 4.1

      Should You Buy These?

      Foldable on-ear headphones are easily portable. Due to smaller size, it’s easier to pack them while you still get the benefit of more powerful drivers compared to earbuds.

      These JBL on-ears are the top choice in the category.

      The Good

      The lightweight construction is comfortable as well as flexible and durable. They fit larger heads with an extendable headband and swiveling ear cups. You can even use them for sports, though they aren’t sweatproof.

      One full charge gets you over 18 hours of battery life on average. And if you forget to charge them, you get 1 hour of music for a 5-minute charge. That’s pretty impressive.

      They’re perfect for phone calls on the go and commanding your voice assistants. The built-in physical buttons are easy to use, so you aren’t confused about what to press.

      All in all, they offer everything a pair of headphones under $50 needs.

      The Bad

      No way to use them wired if the battery dies. They use the older Micro-USB standard and have cheap fabric on the earpads.

      The Sound

      It’s clearly bass boosted to the point of masking other ranges. These aren’t meant for purists but those that like more bass in their music.

      They work great for videos and daily casual use.

      The Verdict

      The JBL Tune 500BT are built for a price-conscious user who wants to enjoy dependable wireless connectivity with fun, bassy signature. And they do a good job at it.

      Read the JBL Tune 500BT review.


      Skullcandy Grind – most colorful

      Skullcandy Grind orange wired

      Skullcandy Grind are no doubt one of the coolest budget on-ear headphones for casual use.

      Type: On-ear
      Back design: Closed-back
      Connection: Wired

      Should You Buy These?

      If you like your music extra loud, then you should get these.

      The Good

      First things first, they look chic. They are lightweight and comfortable. They can last for a long time if treated right.

      There is one button to control the tracks and a built-in microphone. On-ear ear cups provide an average seal, so they provide some noise isolation.

      The Bad

      The Skullcandys are known for the loud, bassy sound, which is disliked by audio purists. Your ears might get irritated or painful because of an on-ear fit.

      The Sound

      As a result, the pair of headphones is loud and produces powerful deep bass. That is perfect for bass enthusiasts, or to listen to your favorite music, such as EDM or hip-hop.

      The Verdict

      Skullcandy Grind offer comfort, build quality and fancy looks for less than fifty dollars. Add extended bass response, and you get to see why they’re so popular.


      Superlux HD668B – best open-back

      Superlux HD668B

      Superlux HD668B are comfortable over-ear headphones under $50 giving open soundstage, perfect for daily use, even in a studio.

      Type: Over-ear
      Back design: Semi-open-back
      Connection: Wired (3.5mm, 6.3mm)

      Should You Buy These?

      Do you want to get yourself open-back headphones that are unbelievably comfy and have great soundstage under $50? Then check these out.

      The Good

      Apart from sound quality, these studio headphones have a lightweight form factor and large ear pads for maximum comfort. Many users find them comfy for long hours. They have a unique wire headband that provides just enough clamping without being too tight on the head.

      You get 2 different length cables so you can choose them depending on the situation you are in. A great affordable option for home listening.

      The Bad

      Not the most effective noise isolation, which is expected of semi-open-back headphones. The noise from the pair of headphones leaks out and in.

      The Sound

      These have a balanced response, with the bass not being too punchy and vocals coming out in just the right amount. Overall, these are headphones for audiophiles on a budget. They satisfy many listeners and get great reviews. The audio can be compared to some more expensive semi-open cans.

      The Verdict

      What makes the Superlux HD668B stand out is their ability to give a fantastic open soundstage that can make you feel like you’re in the middle of an amphitheater. Plus, the fact that they cost less than 50 bucks and are comfortable makes them one of the top options.


      Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

      What Can You Expect from Headphones under $50?

      $50 isn’t a lot of money for a pair of headphones. It’s in the lower pricing range, and most headphones from big brands cost more money.

      Nonetheless, you can still get decent quality.

      What you can’t expect are big brand names. The most known and popular models from brands like Bose, Sony, Sennheiser, and others cost more money.

      Also, 50 bucks will get you basic headphones. You can’t expect a state of the art noise-cancellation or the latest wireless technology. For this money, you can mostly get budget-oriented headphones.

      If you want the latest technology, you’ll just have to spend more money. You can check:

      Best headphones under $100
      Best in-ear earbuds under $100

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