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9 Best Headphones under $50 (That are Surprisingly Good)

Last updated: 3 months ago
6 min read

We’ve made a list of the best headphones under $50 that are worth buying in 2022.

You’ll learn about the top noise cancelling, true wireless, bassy, on-ear, and wired headphones for less than 50 dollars.

Let’s dig in:

Rating Price Connection Battery life Mic & Controls More info
4.5
Under $50
Bluetooth 5.0
60 hours
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4.6
Under $50
Wired – 3.5mm
/
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TaoTronics TT-BH090 Best noise cancelling
TaoTronics BT090 Bluetooth headphones
4.6
Under $50
Bluetooth 5.0
35 hours (30h with ANC)
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SoundPEATS Sonic Best true wireless
SoundPEATS Sonic
4.2
Under $50
Bluetooth 5.2
14 hours + 20 hours in case
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Anker Soundcore Life A1 True wireless alternative
Anker Soundcore Life A1
4.4
Under $50
Bluetooth 5.0
8 hours + 26 hours in case
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SoundMAGIC E10 Best in-ear
Soundmagic E10
4.2
Under $30
Wired – 3.5mm
/
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Skullcandy Hesh 2 Best for bassheads
Skullcandy Hesh 2 wireless headphones
4.6
Under $50
Bluetooth 5.0
20 hours
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Samson SR850 Best open-back
Samson SR850 wired headphones
4.5
Under $50
Wired – 3.5mm
/
crosscross
Sony WH-CH510 Best on-ear
Sony WH-CH510
4.5
Under $50
Bluetooth 5.0
35 hours
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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 best headphones under $50 that are better than what you’d expect at such a low price point. 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 before deciding on new headphones.

Table of Contents

    The Best Headphones under 50 Dollars

    1. Anker Soundcore Life Q20

    1st-place Best overall
    Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Bluetooth headphones

    With the best wireless headphones under $50, you get excellent comfort and deep, skull-rattling bass.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 40mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 16-40.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 60h (40h with ANC) | Wireless range: 50ft (15m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: Quick charge – Micro-USB | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: n/a | Water resistance: No | Features: ANC, BassUp, 3.5mm port, foldable
    • Good ANC
    • Lightweight and comfortable
    • Fairly balanced sound
    • Not the best build quality
    • Lacking detail due to dark-ish treble

    These have a more L-shaped sound signature, delivering a good amount of bass while keeping it smooth in the midrange and treble.

    While these won’t work as budget studio headphones, they sure can eliminate a fair amount of background noises.

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

    Four built-in microphones can easily isolate your voice for good call quality, even in crowded areas. Headphones’ ear cups rotate 90° and can fold up to save space if you ever need to put them in a backpack.

    Want to pay a bit more? Look at the best Bluetooth headphones under $100.

    2. Audio-Technica ATH-M20x

    2nd-place Runner-up
    Audio-Technica ATH-M20x

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

    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
    • Affordable studio monitors
    • Decent build and comfort
    • Great, balanced sound for the price
    • Not very portable

    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. They’re really clear, making for a great listening experience.

    First of all, their excellent build 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 over-the-ear headphones are suitable for mixing tracks in the studio. The audio signature is above average (in the category).

    3. TaoTronics TT-BH090

    anc Best noise cancelling
    TaoTronics BT090 Bluetooth headphones

    As one of the best noise canceling headphones under $50, they have a lot of high-end features. Not just the ANC but also the long-lasting battery.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 40mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 35h (30h with ANC) | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 45min + quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: No | Features: ANC, foldable, 3.5mm port
    • Great price-to-performance ratio
    • Good noise cancellation
    • Comfortable earpads
    • Smooth, enjoyable sound
    • Might not fit the biggest heads

    These have quite a warm and smooth sound profile. The bass goes pretty deep, adding a bit of rumble when the track asks for it.

    For cheap Bluetooth headphones, these have really good active noise cancellation. They don’t block as much background noises as the best noise cancelling headphones, but they sure are impressive in their price range.

    They have a long battery with up to 35 hours of playtime on a single charge. You can add extra 2 hours in just 5 minutes of quick charge and use a 3.5mm headphone jack for wired listening.

    With the use of memory foam inside cushy earpads, expect long-lasting comfort.

    What’s the difference between noise isolation vs. noise cancelling?

    For related models see the best budget noise cancelling headphones.

    Get Free Headphones by Joining Our Giveaway

    Click on the button below to find out this month’s giveaway prize.

    4. SoundPEATS Sonic

    true-wireless Best true wireless
    SoundPEATS Sonic wireless earbuds

    For great-sounding earbuds with great audio quality and battery, check out the SoundPEATS Sonic.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.2
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 15h, 20h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 1.5h + quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, aptX, aptX Adaptive | Water resistance: IPX5 | Features: Mono mode, Game mode
    • Great sound quality
    • Amazing battery life (14h/charge)
    • Comfortable fit
    • Reliable Bluetooth 5.2 connection
    • Support for aptX Adaptive
    • Overly boosted sub-bass
    • Cheap-feeling construction

    A U-shaped sound signature of the Sonic means boosted sub-bass and treble. While the bass can be strong, it only shows its strength when asked upon. The rest sounds quite natural.

    Earbuds have an ergonomic shape and fit comfortably in your ears. They’re quite stable, too, so you can use them for workouts and outdoor activities.

    They have an IPX5 water-resistant rating, providing good protection against heavy sweating and light splashes of water.

    If you worry about earbuds’ battery dying unexpectedly, the Sonic have over 14 hours of juice packed in them. There are extra 20 hours inside the charging case, so you can indulge in long listening sessions.

    SoundPEATS Sonic review

    5. Anker Soundcore Life A1

    true-wireless True wireless runner-up
    Anker Soundcore Life A1 on rock

    Great true wireless earbuds for sports with durable housing and good battery life.

    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 sound signature, with natural mids yet boosted bass and highs. You can hear the sound test in our full review.

    Housing is free of sharp corners and sits comfortably inside your ears. Thanks to ear wings, you can even wear earbuds during sports activities like fitness or running.

    Moreover, with Life A1, you get reliable Bluetooth connectivity with wide coverage. Wearing them throughout your house shouldn’t cause earbuds to stutter.

    Lastly, provide an IPX7 rating, which makes them fully waterproof. While you can’t wear them underwater, you don’t have to be afraid of washing them under a tap.

    Anker Soundcore Life A1 review

    Find more of the best true wireless earbuds under $50.

    6. Soundmagic E10

    earbud Best in-ear
    SoundMAGIC E10 wired earbuds

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

    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

    Perfectly balanced sound and lots of clarity. Don’t expect strong, punchy bass. Instead, you get overflowing tones, making every music exceptional. These are one of the best earbuds under $50 (if you consider their cost, of course).

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

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

    Soundmagic are one of those headphone manufacturers that can make even the pickiest listener happy. E10 provide an admirable comfort and attractive frequency response, making them one of the finest in-ear headphones under $50.

    Find more related headphones:

    The best cheap headphones (including under $30 & under $20)

    Best Bluetooth earbuds under $50

    Best noise cancelling earbuds

    7. Skullcandy Hesh 2

    trophy Best for bassheads
    Skullcandy Hesh 2 wireless headphones

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

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 50mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 20h | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: Micro-USB | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: n/a | Water resistance: No | Features: 3.5mm port
    • Lightweight and decently comfortable
    • Good battery life
    • Overly dominant bass

    In terms of bass quantity, there is plenty of it. So much so that it sometimes loses a little bit of control.

    On the other hand, the mids remain fairly clean, with the highs being nice and sparkly. For similar, check the best bass headphones.

    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 decent comfort.

    These have a pretty decent passive noise isolation. You can still enjoy your music without outside interruptions.

    The battery life of 15 hours should last throughout the whole day.

    8. Samson SR850

    trophy Best open-back
    Samson SR850 wired headphones

    While not winning any beauty contest, you rarely find cheap audio products like these that excel at sound quality.

    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

    Headphones are punchy and controlled, with a clean midrange and slightly boosted highs.

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

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

    Earpads are fine for a quick listening session. Thankfully, the ear cup size is compatible with brands like AKG so that you can buy their replacement pads. That should improve comfort significantly.

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

    Samson SR850 review

    9. Sony WH-CH510

    trophy Best on-ear
    Sony WH-CH510 on a desk

    Simple-looking Sony on-ears with excellent battery life for everyday use.

    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 boosted midrange, while the bass and treble stay relatively balanced. This sound makes them suitable for most music genres.

    On-ear headphones sport a very lightweight design with minimal padding in the headband. Still, earpads are nicely padded and provide good comfort, despite pressing against your earlobes.

    Onboard control buttons let you adjust volume and picking up phone calls. Moreover, the battery life is impressive, lasting for more than 31.5 hours on a single charge.

    Sony WH-CH510 can only rotate their earcups but not fold. Still, they’re a good pick for a daily commuter or a student.

    Sony WH-CH510 review

    Honorable Mentions

    JBL Tune 500BT – Simple set of headphones for under $50, with big buttons for playback and volume control. JBL Tune 500BT have a decent sound quality and comfortable fit, but they’re already discontinued. (JBL Tune 500BT review)

    Aukey EP-T32 – Ear-hook earbuds that are worth checking out if you seek sports headphones below $40. They’re comfortable to wear, have good battery life, support aptX for Android mobile devices, and Qi wireless charging, and are super durable thanks to an IPX8 rating. Aukey EP-T32 review

    Koss Porta Pro – Cheaper headphones for under $50 that have a banging sound quality 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. (Check Porta Pro price)

    Skullcandy Grind Wireless – Minimalistic closed-back headphones with a decent sound and build, despite looking a bit cheap. Not everyone is going to like them, but at their affordable price, they’re worth checking out. (Check Grind Wireless price)

    AKG Pro Audio K72 – Reasonably balanced budget headphones with some bass elevation to make them suitable for casual listening, too. Of course, they’re great for studio monitoring as well, are a good alternative to legendary AKG K240. (Check Pro Audio K72 price)

    Razer Kraken X – The cheapest Razer headset can still provide good comfort and a good gaming experience on a budget. A slight emphasis on bass results in better gameplay immersion. By activating 7.1 surround sound, the immersion gets even better. (Check Kraken X price)

    Check other budget gaming headsets.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    Are 50 Dollar Headphones Worth It?

    Yes, they are. You can expect good quality build and enjoyable sound quality that should give you a taste of what more premium, expensive models can achieve.

    With cheap headphones under $50, you can also expect decent noise cancellation and some handy features like fast charging, Qi wireless charging, aptX Bluetooth codec, and foldable headphone frame for easy storage.

    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