We’ve tested 192 headphones on 9 key points. Here are the best under $50 you can get in 2023. We’ll cover: The best headphones under 50 dollars that could easily cost twice the price 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 review headphones based on an independent 9-point methodology. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more. Previous Next More info Price Connection Battery life Mic & Controls Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Best overall Read more Under $50 Bluetooth 5.0 60h checkmark Audio-Technica ATH-M20x Best wired Read more Under $50 Wired – 3.5mm / cross TOZO NC7 Best TWS Read more Under $50 Bluetooth 5.3 9h + 36h in case checkmark Anker Soundcore Life A1 Best sports Read more Under $50 Bluetooth 5.0 8h + 26h in case checkmark TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero:Red Best in-ear monitors Read more Under $55 Wired – 3.5mm / cross Samson SR850 Best open-back Read more Under $50 Wired – 3.5mm / cross Sony WH-CH510 Best on-ear Read more Under $50 Bluetooth 5.0 35h checkmark Headphones on our list are evaluated based on 9 key factors. The main criteria we looked at to pick the top recommendations are sound quality and user experience (read more here). $50 isn’t much. You know most budget headphones under $50 aren’t great. You can only dream about the latest technology and high-fidelity frequency response. But after testing 192 headphones and spending thousands of hours, we found surprisingly good cheap headphones. Here’s the list of the best headphones under $50 that are better than what you’d expect at such a low price. You can get good audio quality with some of the latest tech as well. Explore our testing and ranking methodology. CONTENTS (show more) Best Headphones under $50 1. Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Best Overall Sound quality: Powerful bass-emphasized sound, great for modern music User experience: Comfortable with many features: ANC, microphones, etc. Anker Soundcore Life Q20 are the best headphones under $50, in our opinion. You get excellent comfort and deep, skull-rattling bass. soundcore By Anker- Life Q20+ SE Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones, Hi-Res, Hyper ANC, 40 Hours soundcore By Anker- Life Q20+ SE Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones, Hi-Res, Hyper ANC, 40 Hours $59.00 in stock Buy now Walmart.com Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones, Wireless Over Ear Bluetooth… Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones, Wireless Over Ear Bluetooth… $59.99 in stock 3 new from $59.99 1 used from $70.00 as of November 30, 2023 4:34 pm Buy now Amazon.com Soundcore by Anker Life Q20 Wireless Over Ear Headphones Active Noise Cancelling Soundcore by Anker Life Q20 Wireless Over Ear Headphones Active Noise Cancelling $65.99 in stock Buy now eBay Connection: Bluetooth 5.0 Driver size: 40mm 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 The over-ear headphones have an L-shaped sound signature, delivering a good amount of bass while keeping it smooth in the midrange and treble. 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. Also, four built-in microphones 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. So, they’re portable and suitable for phone calls on the go. Anker Soundcore Life Q20 offer everything a modern pair of headphones should. And that makes them a fantastic buy. Check price 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 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 are the best wired headphones under $50. If you’re looking for great audio quality in a wired pair, get these. Audio-Technica ATH-M20X Professional Audio-Technica ATH-M20X Professional $49.00 in stock 18 new from $49.00 6 used from $46.55 as of November 30, 2023 4:06 pm Buy now Amazon.com Audio-Technica M-Series ATH-M20x Professional Monitor Headphones (Black) Audio-Technica M-Series ATH-M20x Professional Monitor Headphones (Black) $49.00 in stock Buy now eBay product title: Audio-Technica M-Series ATH-M20x Professional Monitor Headphones (Black) product title: Audio-Technica M-Series ATH-M20x Professional Monitor Headphones (Black) $49.00 $71.00 in stock Buy now Walmart.com Connection: Wired- 3.5mm / 6.3mm Driver size: 40mm 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. Check price Best True Wireless Headphones under $50 3. TOZO NC7 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 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. TOZO NC7 Wireless In Ear Earbuds Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth 5.3 Deep Bass TOZO NC7 Wireless In Ear Earbuds Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth 5.3 Deep Bass $38.49 $49.99 in stock Buy now eBay TOZO NC7 All-Function Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Wireless Earbuds, Bluetooth 5.3 Headphones… TOZO NC7 All-Function Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Wireless Earbuds, Bluetooth 5.3 Headphones… $49.99 $79.99 in stock 3 new from $49.99 17 used from $44.99 as of November 30, 2023 4:33 pm Buy now Amazon.com TOZO NC7 Wireless Earbuds,Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling,,Bluetooth 5.3,APP Custom EQ – Black TOZO NC7 Wireless Earbuds,Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling,,Bluetooth 5.3,APP Custom EQ – Black $49.99 $79.99 in stock Buy now Walmart.com Connection: Bluetooth 5.3 Driver size: 7mm dynamic 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. TOZO NC7 review Check price Best Headphones under $50 for Sports 4. Anker Soundcore Life A1 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 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. CHARGING CASE for Anker Soundcore Life A1 Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds A3927 USED CHARGING CASE for Anker Soundcore Life A1 Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds A3927 USED $23.04 in stock Buy now eBay Soundcore by Anker Life A1 Soundcore by Anker Life A1 $49.99 in stock 2 new from $49.99 2 used from $30.83 as of November 30, 2023 4:24 pm Buy now Amazon.com Soundcore by Anker Life A1 True Wireless Earbuds, Powerful Customized Sound, 35H Playtime,… Soundcore by Anker Life A1 True Wireless Earbuds, Powerful Customized Sound, 35H Playtime,… out of stock Buy now Walmart.com Connection: Bluetooth 5.0 Driver size: 8mm dynamic 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. Anker Soundcore Life A1 review Check price Find more options: best true wireless earbuds under $50. Best In-Ear Monitor Headphones under $50 5. TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero:Red 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 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. Fanmusic TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero Earphone Dual Dynamic Drivers in-Ear Earphone with 0.78 2Pin… Fanmusic TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero Earphone Dual Dynamic Drivers in-Ear Earphone with 0.78 2Pin… $49.99 in stock 2 new from $49.99 2 used from $42.07 as of November 30, 2023 4:24 pm Buy now Amazon.com TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero:Red review Connection: Wired 3.5mm Driver size: 10mm & 7.8mm dynamic 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. TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero:Red review Check price Check similar headphones: The best cheap headphones (from under $20 to under $60) Best Bluetooth earbuds under $50 Best noise cancelling earbuds Best Open-Back Headphones under $50 6. Samson SR850 Best Open-Back Sound quality: Balanced sound with punchy bass and open soundstage User experience: Comfortable due to low weight, replaceable earpads ensure longevity 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. Samson Technologies SR850 Semi Open-Back Studio Reference Headphones, Black Samson Technologies SR850 Semi Open-Back Studio Reference Headphones, Black $39.90 in stock 14 new from $39.90 3 used from $34.99 as of November 30, 2023 4:33 pm Buy now Amazon.com Samson Technologies SR850 Semi Open-Back Studio Reference Headphones, Black Samson Technologies SR850 Semi Open-Back Studio Reference Headphones, Black $39.90 in stock Buy now Walmart.com Samson SR850 Semi-open Studio Headphones Samson SR850 Semi-open Studio Headphones $39.99 $85.70 in stock Buy now eBay Connection: Wired – 3.5mm / 6.3mm Driver size: 50mm 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. Samson SR850 review Check price Best On-Ear Headphones under $50 7. Sony WH-CH510 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 are the best on-ear headphones under $50 we’ve tested. These classy on-ears have excellent battery and overall user experience – Sony WH-CH510 review. Sony WH-CH510 Wireless Bluetooth Hands-Free Calling Voice Assistant Headphones Sony WH-CH510 Wireless Bluetooth Hands-Free Calling Voice Assistant Headphones $19.99 in stock Buy now eBay Sony WH-CH510 Wireless On-Ear Headphones with Mic- Black Sony WH-CH510 Wireless On-Ear Headphones with Mic- Black $59.99 in stock Buy now Walmart.com Sony Wireless Headphones WH-CH510: Wireless Bluetooth On-Ear Headset with Mic for Phone-Call, Black Sony Wireless Headphones WH-CH510: Wireless Bluetooth On-Ear Headset with Mic for Phone-Call, Black $72.97 in stock 12 used from $42.99 as of November 30, 2023 4:06 pm Buy now Amazon.com Connection: Bluetooth 5.0 Driver size: 30mm 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. Sony WH-CH510 review Check price Honorable Mentions 8. Skullcandy Hesh 2 The top headphones under $50 for bass. 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. Skullcandy HESH 2 Wireless Headphones and Travel Case *BUNDLE* — $49.99 $79.99 Skullcandy Hesh 2 (Amazon) — $54.99 Skullcandy Hesh 2 (Wallmart) — $55.99 $124.99 Last Amazon price update was: November 30, 2023 4:06 pm 9. JBL Tune 500BT 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 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 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. Koss Porta Pro (Amazon) — $40.06 $49.99 Koss Porta Pro On-Ear Headphones — $49.00 Koss Porta Pro On-Ear Headphones — $55.99 Last Amazon price update was: November 30, 2023 4:33 pm 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, the best over-ear headphones under $50, and the best true wireless headphones 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 192 headphones, these are the top pick in our opinion. #1 Best Headphones under 50 Bucks Soundcore Anker Life Q20Wireless over-ear headphones that sound good, have ANC, and many other features performing above their $50 price tag.Check Price If you’re willing to spend a bit more, check: Best headphones under $100 Best earbuds under $100 Matija FerjanMatija Ferjan is a seasoned audio enthusiast reviewing headphones since 2015. He has personally tested hundreds of headphones and earbuds. He’s an active member of the Headphone Audio community and a true nitpicker, always looking for the “best-value-for-money” headphones.