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The Best Headphones under $50

Last updated: 4 months ago
6 min read

Here are the best headphones under $50 in 2021 that are actually worth your hard-earned cash.

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
/
crosscross
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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Jlab Audio Jbuds Air Best true wireless
JLab Audio JBuds Air True Wireless
4.2
Under $50
Bluetooth 5.0
5.5 hours + 20.5 hours in case
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Aukey EP-T32 True wireless runner-up
Aukey EP-T32 true wireless earbuds
4.0
Under $50
Bluetooth 5.0
7 hours + 28 hours in case
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SoundMAGIC E10 Best in-ear
Soundmagic E10
4.2
Under $30
Wired – 3.5mm
/
crosscross
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
4.5
Under $50
Bluetooth 4.1
12 hours
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Razer Kraken X Best gaming
Razer Kraken X wired gaming headset
4.4
Under $40
Wired – 3.5mm
/
Mic only

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 at this 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 to find more about it.

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 can fold ear cups 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 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

    The best noise canceling headphones under $50, these 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 life with up to 35 hours of playtime. 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.

    4. Jlab Audio Jbuds Air

    true-wireless Best true wireless
    Jlab Audio Jbuds Air wet earbuds

    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
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 6h + 18h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: Under 2h – USB-A (attached) | Mic & Controls: Yes, built-in | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IP55 | Features: Rubber sleeves
    • Good water protection IP55
    • Stable fit suitable for sports
    • User-friendly magnetic design
    • Good sound quality for the price
    • Annoying physical controls (Air Icon have touch controls)
    • Can become uncomfortable after prolonged time for small ears
    • Phone calls require the right earbud

    These earbuds have a quite decent sound, and you can also choose between 3 EQ presets. The first sound profile is the best, creating a V-shaped sound signature that will suit most users.

    They provide a secure fit, suitable for workouts. Earbuds come with an IP55 rating, which makes them dust and water-resistant. Fit and comfort are great, primarily due to the small rubber sleeves.

    Thanks to deep insertion and non-protruding design, isolation is above average. Therefore, you shouldn’t be interrupted by the loud music in the gym or a wind noise during running.

    The battery life is quite good, with around 5.5 hours of playback in the bud themselves and another 15 hours in the charging case.

    Jlab Audio Jbuds Air review

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

    5. Aukey EP-T32

    true-wireless True wireless runner-up
    Aukey EP-T32 earbud

    For durable ear hook earbuds with a smooth sound profile, check out the Aukey EP-T32.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 12mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 7h + 28h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 2h + quick charge – USB-C & Qi wireless charging | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX | Water resistance: IPX8 | Features: Ear hooks, auto play/pause, mono mode
    • Excellent comfort and stability thanks to ear hooks
    • Reliable touch controls
    • Extreme water protection (IPX8)
    • Enjoyable, punchy sound
    • Great Bluetooth stability and coverage
    • Support for Qi wireless charging
    • No multipoint support
    • Subpar microphone quality
    • Mediocre passive isolation due to shallower fit

    12mm drivers are responsible for producing an engaging sound quality that fits all music genres. Boost in the sub-bass region brings out the rumble, while the mids stay clean with a smooth treble response.

    These wireless earbuds have a more elegant form factor compared to other ear hook headphones. They fit gently around your ears, providing excellent comfort for long listening sessions.

    With an IPX8 rating, it’s almost impossible to damage them with water. And since the construction is primarily rigid plastic and silicone, they can survive a couple of drops, too.

    Surprisingly, despite coming with an affordable price tag, they offer a few high-end features like strong Bluetooth connectivity, proximity sensor, Qi wireless charging, and aptX codec.

    Aukey EP-T32 review

    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 background 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.

    Interestingly, 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 the 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 the 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.

    9. Skullcandy Riff Wireless

    trophy Best on-ear
    Skullcandy Riff Wireless headphones

    Unique-looking on-ears from Skullcandy with rumbling bass.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 4.1
    Driver size icon Driver size: 40mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: On-ear | Battery life: 12h | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: Quick charge – Micro-USB | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: n/a | Water resistance: No | Features: Foldable design
    • Fun, V-shaped sound
    • Lightweight and comfortable
    • Foldable and travel friendly
    • No option for wired listening

    You can expect a signature Skullcandy sound with boosted bass and treble. If you’re a fan of energetic music like hip hop or pop, these should suit your taste beautifully.

    On-ear headphones sport an attractive, youthful design that comes in many color options. 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. The battery isn’t impressive, but it should give you a full day of use.

    Riff Wireless can fold up for extra portability if you want to use them for commuting.

    10. Razer Kraken X

    trophy Best gaming
    Razer Kraken X wired gaming headset

    Cheapest Razer gaming headsets with 7.1 surround support and clear microphone.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 40mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 12-28.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Noise cancelling: No | Microphone: Boom mic, cardioid, bendable | Controls: Yes | Cable length: 4.27 ft (1.3m) | Weight: 250g | Surround sound: Razer 7.1 Virtual Surround | Features: Volume control
    • Wide compatibility
    • Great value
    • Good sound
    • Comfortable
    • All-plastic construction

    For a good gaming experience on a budget, these should do the trick.

    There’s an emphasis on bass and midrange, which results in better gameplay immersion. Explosions sound bigger and the opponent’s footsteps clearer.

    However, treble rolls off pretty quickly, so don’t expect too many details.

    Check other budget gaming headsets.

    The cheapest Razer headset can still provide good comfort with well-padded ear cups. Even the microphone is of great quality, picking your voice without annoying audio compression.

    Gaming headphones come with a code that unlocks 7.1 surround capabilities. Razer’s proprietary solution for expanding soundstage works excellent, both in games and movies.

    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

    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 ANC or the latest wireless technology. For this money, you can mostly get budget 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