Are Cheap Headphones Good?
These days, headphones or earbuds have become a part and parcel of an individual’s life. Starting from casual use like music, watching podcasts, shows, social media videos, etc. to office phone calls, virtual meetings, or even for some energy-boosting tunes to crush the gym goals, people find extensive use of these audio gears.
Some people spend hundreds of dollars on a good pair of headphones, and it is understandable as they have their priorities set aside. People who are critical listeners usually go for high-end headphones with high-fidelity sound signatures. Some individuals look for premium features and the chic design that comes with the premium price tag. However, it is not always necessary to spend loads of money to get a good pair of headsets.
You can get some excellent headphones with great sound, super comfortable build, good call quality, and a few other features, all for a budget-friendly price. Many people think that the more expensive the headphone is, the better quality it is, but this is not always the case. Yes, with a higher price tag you qualify for those extra brownie points like the advanced features, expensive technology, or other top-notch add-ons that come with the headphones. However, there are numerous best budget wireless earbuds and headphones that have a lot to offer as well.
Why Do Some People Want to Use Affordable Headphones?
The best budget headphones are all about getting the maximum benefit and best quality for the littlest investment possible. The cheaper headphones and earbuds are probably not the same as the premium ones- as with cut down in the cost, some products do cut around the corners in terms of the build quality, reduce some features, etc. These audio pieces are not bad either. While some of them perform so exceptionally well with great audio quality and amazing functionalities despite the cost that it is often hard to point out the difference in the quality in such cases.
If you are looking out for the best budget wireless earbuds, and want to get the most out of them without having to spend a fortune, then we understand that. We have listed here some of the most reliable and good quality headphones in the next section that are equipped with great features like Bluetooth connectivity, noise reduction ability, sound settings, user-friendly controls, etc. All the headphones and earbuds are extremely capable of delivering great performance.
Best Affordable Headphones: List of Some of the Best Budget Earbuds and Headphones, Their Features, Prices, Pros, and Cons:
When you look around for headphones in general, you will see hundreds of different options, but when it comes to the best budget wireless earbuds and headphones, the reliability and worthiness become questionable to some. People may often feel less confident about the headphones’ capabilities as the price goes down. This makes the selection of good headphones more challenging.
Therefore, to narrow your search down to a few best options and make it easier for you, we have put together some of the best budget wireless earbuds and headphones here. In addition, the list includes a mix of on-ear, over-the-ear, and best in-ear headphones, so that you can choose as per your comfort and preference.
Anker Soundcore Life Q20: (Overall best affordable headphones)
Small packages come with big surprises and this one from Soundcore proves every word of it right. Packed with solid features including some of the premium ones, these wireless headphones give tough competition to some of the top-notch headphones in the market.
Featuring the hybrid active noise-canceling technology, along with high-res audio certification, the headphone stands out in the best affordable headset arena. The 40 mm large drivers deliver an impressively high-quality sound signature with an extended frequency response that goes up to 40 kHz giving a well-defined clear treble along with a punchy bass at the lower level. The company’s BassUp technology allows you to add that extra oomph to the bass-forward songs for the most enjoyable and satisfying listening experience.
The ANC feature ensures that microphones pick up the mid to high range sounds effectively and filter out giving a high-quality audio output along with a crystal clear, uninterrupted voice call. In addition, with all these features, the headphone doesn’t compromise on the battery performance. The headphone boasts about 35 to 40 hours of battery life with the ANC mode on and when played at 60% battery. In other words, turn off the ANC and you will get a whopping 60 hours of battery life, making it a perfect option for long flights, camping, etc.
Remember, we are talking all these at $49.99… isn’t that amazing!
- Outstanding battery performance.
- Active noise-canceling feature.
- Great value for money.
- 5 mins of quick charge give 4 hours of playback.
- Build quality is slightly cheap.
Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2: (best budget wireless earbuds)
If you are already a fan of Anker after the first one we have listed, here’s another from them- the best in-ear headphones that you get under $50. With a powerful, refined, and well-balanced sound profile, the earbuds have gained several fans across the world. The three-layered 8 mm large dynamic drivers produce one of the finest sounds with extra bass and rich treble.
The earbuds are super comfortable to wear thanks to their ergonomic design. In other words, They fit into the ears securely making them very comfortable during commuting, running, or workouts. The 8 hours of battery life on a single charge along with a 4 times more powerful charging case totaling up to 100 hours of additional playback time is no joke. This means that you can charge around 12 times more.
Even though the earbuds do not have ANC, their overall build offers superior noise isolation allowing you to have a crystal clear voice call. However, these earbuds do struggle in filtering out the deep low frequency sounds like the rumbling of the airplane engine, etc.
With all the features packed together with the IPX5 water resistance along with the price tag of $41.88, this is one of the best in-ear headphones at the best bargain price.
- Great battery performance.
- Sweat and splash resistant.
- Good quality microphone.
- Easy Bluetooth pairing.
- No ANC.
- No sound customization options.
Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus: (Best budget earbuds under $100)
With Melomania 1 Plus, the company exhibits its relentless efforts towards constantly improving the audio performance of its products. Where the Melomania 1 was already engineered to produce impressively high-quality sound, the 1 Plus version has received more audio makeover offering, even more, better sound. The EQ customization settings through the Melomania App add to the convenience by allowing you to adjust the sound the way your ears like.
While the earbuds do not have an ANC feature, that should not be the reason to rule this one out. You get robust 45 hours of battery life with 7 to 9 hours of runtime on a single charge depending on the volume level.
With solid sonic performance, great battery, and snug-fitting, these earbuds stand as a strong contender to the best budget wireless earbuds list. You will get them for $99.95.
- Bluetooth 5.0 provides a strong unbreakable connection with uninterrupted streaming.
- Outstanding battery performance.
- Vivid sound performance.
- Comfortable and compact fit.
- Doesn’t have the Active Noise Cancelling feature.
- Some people struggle a bit to put them on or take them off because of the mini size.
Sennheiser HD 350BT: (Best affordable headphones from Sennheiser)
Sennheiser has a reputation of offering great headphones loaded with features and excellent sound but usually have mid to high-priced product lines. However, this one from the brand is a great value for money without trading off on the features.
The latest Bluetooth 5.0 technology along with AAC and the aptX low latency codecs offers solid signal strength, smooth connectivity, and steady streaming of the videos without an audio drop. The smart voice control feature (Siri and Google Assistant) allows hands-free\ use just by pressing a single button. While the headphone already has a great sound signature, you can still adjust it with the help of the Sennheiser App.
Considering the build quality and the materials used, this can be one of the best wireless headphones for kids. All of these features come packed along with an incredible battery life of 30 hours if you charge it once fully. What more can you expect from a budget line headphone offered by a competitive brand! The product has a price tag of $79.00.
- Powerful sound quality.
- Incredible battery life.
- Uses C-Type USB with fast charging capabilities.
- Retractable design for easy storage and portability.
- No noise-canceling feature.
- The headphone doesn’t have a 3.5 mm wire jack which means that you cannot use it in places like flight or when the headphone doesn’t have charge.
Earfun Air Pro true wireless earbuds: (Best affordable in-ear headphones with stellar sound and ANC)
Although not a very well-known name when it comes to audio gear, this pair of earbuds bring to the table more than what you would expect at a reasonable price of $82.99. Packed with some amazing features like active noise-canceling technology, great battery life, and excellent spacious sound with heavy bass, this is one of the best budget wireless earbuds available currently.
With an IPX5 rating for sweat resistance and a bass-forward yet well-balanced sound profile, these earbuds are a great option to keep you boosted during your workout sessions. The 10 mm large drivers deliver punchy bass along with a superior and detailed sound across all the frequency levels.
The hybrid digital noise cancellation along with the 6 voice pickup microphones are carefully engineered for the best voice clarity when you make calls. You also get a continuous playback of 7 to 7.5 hours with ANC turned on. The battery life automatically increases to 9 hours when played without the ANC mode. Speaking of ANC, the earbuds do a great job filtering out most of the surrounding noises including the low-frequency vehicle sounds, and even the high-pitched noises from machinery, etc.
So whether you want something to give you company in the gym, or when you are on the road, Earfun Air Pro is sure to be a great bid.
- Great battery performance (a total of 35 hours including the charging case).
- Punchy bass and dynamic sound.
- Has touch-sensitive controls and in-ear audio detection that pauses automatically when the earbuds are taken out of the ears.
- Uses Bluetooth 5.0.
- Good build quality.
- Gets slightly distorted at the uppermost frequency when the volume is turned high.
JBL Tune 600 BTNC: (Best affordable headphones with great ANC)
JBL is a leading name in the audio equipment industry and whether it is a premium line or a budget buy, the brand never fails to surprise you. Even though this wallet-friendly headphone may not give you a stylish look, it does perform well in terms of sound and battery.
The headphone’s punchy, often overpowering bass may make a lot of bass lovers fall in love with its sound signature. The noise-canceling function does a great job in enhancing the audio and the voice call quality. The 16 hours battery life and a quick 5 mins of power charge to get 1 hour talk time are quite decent for a wallet-friendly headphone.
The headphones are super comfortable to wear for long hours without hurting your ears. The headphone has a price tag of $49.95 which is a good deal especially when you are getting the best budget earbuds from a reputable company.
- Mighty sound with deep, rumbling bass.
- Good noise-canceling performance.
- Battery life could have been better.
- The plastic build looks a bit cheap and can scratch quickly.
Panasonic RZ-S500W: (A well-rounded best budget earbuds under $100)
One of the best in-ear headphones, this pair from Panasonic offers exceptional capabilities if you are looking for highly versatile audio gear without spending huge. You can enjoy some of the premium features like the active noise-canceling along with the Ambient mode, smart touch sensor with voice control function, and more, all for $77.25.
The earbuds are engineered with 6 powerful mics for crystal clear voice detection. The microphones do a great job concealing the surrounding sound including the wind noise. The battery life totals up to 20 hours including the charging case back up. Additionally, the power charging feature gives you 70 minutes of extra runtime with just 15 minutes of charge.
As for the sound, the earbuds deliver a warm and refined sound giving you a pleasant music time. The earbuds come with 5 different ear tips of different sizes so you can try and use the one that fits you accurately. The touch controls are super easy to use and are located on the earbuds so you can easily navigate to whichever functionality you want.
- Effective noise cancellation.
- User-friendly earbuds with superior comfort.
- Dynamic and detailed sound with excellent accuracy at all frequency levels.
- trustworthy Bluetooth connection for smooth listening.
- IPX4 rating for splash and sweat resistance.
- Some people find it a bit difficult to take the earbuds off because of the size. But once you get used to it, it is a comfortable option.
- The battery life per charge could have been better.
Skullcandy Smokin’ Buds 2: (Best in-ear headphones in neckband style)
Looking for the best affordable headsets and need something bold to suit your style? Then here’s a pair of neckband-style headphones that can give an aesthetic elevation to your look. One of the best in-ear headphones at a bargain price, these audio gears have a collar band that has a decent weight to offer a stable placement of the earbuds.
The best part is if you do not want the neckband, you can easily detach it and go without it. This will reduce the overall weight of the headphones by leaving behind a thin cable with the earbuds and the inline control panel with mic and controls.
The earbuds offer a full sound with satisfactorily booming bass as is Skullcandy famed for. The battery life you will get is about 7 hours which isn’t the best in the market but not bad when you are only paying $22.00 for the earphones. If you aren’t expecting too many features, and need something that can give you company when you are running or for your daily commute, then this can be your go-to.
- Full and energetic sound.
- Detachable neckband for convenient use.
- Extremely affordable.
- Bluetooth connection may drop out once in a while.
- Battery life is average.
JBL Reflect Flow : (Best budget wireless earbuds for sports)
If you are after the best budget wireless earbuds for sports that can last for your entire fitness session and beyond, then nothing can beat Reflect Flow from JBL. JBL has several reasons to fall for its products and this one from the company is a perfect product that oozes out all the positives the brand is known for.
With an IPX7 rating, the earbuds are fully waterproof, which means that they will hold up well under any weather conditions or your extra sweaty workout days. Earbuds are equipped with a powerful battery that offers a run time of 10 hours on a single charge plus 20 hours extra as a backup in the charging case.
If you love that extra punchiness in the bass along with a powerful and well-sculpted sound, you will get it here without having to go for over-the-ear headphones. The earbuds speak for themselves when it comes to the audio quality no matter what the genre is. The instruments are sharp, vocals are clean and low, and upper frequencies are impressively refined even at high volumes. If you are looking for extra comfort, you might want to check out our comfortable over ear headphones article from here.
The earbuds are retailed between $69.95 to $96.95 depending on the color you choose.
- Weighting bass.
- Amazing sound with plenty of details.
- Impressive battery life.
- Some users mentioned that the finishing starts fading or rubbing off after days of continuous use.
- You may feel the charging case to be a bit hefty.
Sony Wireless Headphones WH-CH510: (Best affordable headphones in on-ear style)
A list cannot be complete without a mention of a Sony headphone. The company has a series of headphone offerings right from the economic lines to premium, top-notch ones. WH-CH510 is a wonderful pair of on-ear headsets that are pumped with features at a price less than $60.00 making it one of the best affordable headphones today.
With an outstanding bassy sound signature and the smart noise-canceling feature, you can enjoy hours of good music without any external disturbance. While the bass might be slightly over-powering and the trebles may not be as crisp as their higher-end counterparts, you get pretty decent sound performance at a low price like this. The 35 hours of battery lets you use the headphones without having to worry about the battery dying out soon. You can use the headphones smart voice assistant feature to access different functions hands-free.
The earcups are swiveling that paves way for convenient storage and portability. The price of the product varies between $38.99 to $59.99 depending on the color variant.
- Lightweight design.
- Powerful sound with great battery performance.
- Long-range Bluetooth connectivity (close to 30 feet).
- Great value for money product from Sony.
- The headset doesn’t have a 3.5 mm aux or a USB port for wired connectivity.
- The headband is not cushioned, some people may not find it uncomfortable to wear it for long hours.
JLab Go Air True wireless earbuds: (Best budget earbuds with minimalistic approach)
Here’s yet again a good pair of earbuds at an astonishingly low price. While it is unreasonable to expect a huge deal out of these headphones that are available at just $15.00 to $20.00, the earbuds are a great contender for the best affordable headphones (in-ear) list and show great capabilities.
The audio performance of the headphones is great with prominent bass and a dynamic soundstage. You can choose your preferred listening mode from the three preset EQ options- JLab signature, balanced, and bass boost mode without the need for an app. The earbuds are relatively smaller in size than the usual standard earbuds making them convenient in many ways. They are great for people with smaller ears and small faces who usually complain of the earbuds protruding out the ears giving an awkward feeling.
Now, although the earbuds are small, there is no bending on the battery capacity. You will get a good 8 hours of battery life along with 4 additional full charges totaling up to 32 hours of playback time.
- Dynamic sound with customizable EQ modes.
- Great battery life.
- Strong Bluetooth connectivity.
- Sweat and splash resistant.
- The microphone quality is average, so the voice call quality isn’t that great.
Beats Flex Wireless Earbuds: (Best budget earbuds with great battery and super easy pairing)
This lightweight, around-the-neck in-ear headphone is a great offering by extremely portable Beats, has great sound, and has a long battery life of up to 12 hours. The earbuds are engineered with an Apple W1 headphone chip, and class 1 Bluetooth technology that allows seamless pairing with different devices, along with connectivity range, and uninterrupted streaming of audio.
While the sound signature of the Beats earbuds is powerful with enhanced bass, the microphone is made with wind reduction technology that allows crystal clear voice calls irrespective of where you are. Some of the other significant features that the earbuds boast about are the automatic play/pause feature when the headphone is taken out of the ears and the fast charging mode. With just 5 minutes of charge, you get 2 whole hours of talking which is pretty useful when you are traveling or camping.
The inline controls for navigating tracks, controlling the volumes, and summoning Siri make the use of these headphones easy. With a price tag of $32.00 and the conveniences that you get makes these some of the best in-ear headphones are under $50.00.
- Spontaneously pair with the device.
- Comes with a fast-charging mode.
- Extremely portable and can be easily thrown in a bag for carrying around.
- Comes with four different ear tips for the most comfortable fit.
- Doesn’t come with a noise-canceling feature.
Here are a few more that are worth mentioning:
What Are the Various Parameters You Need to Take Into Consideration When Looking for the Best Affordable Headphones?
There are countless options to look at when it comes to budget-friendly headphones, but, are all of them worth buying? Well, it is true that if the price tag is cheap, there are certainly some trade-offs that you need to make a note of and be okay with. While some manufacturers cut down on a few features, some adjust the price in the build quality. Here is a few important things that you should keep in mind when looking for budget-friendly headphones:
This is one of the most common things that a company compromises on their budget-line headphones. While you may not get the best build at a lower cost, when looking for a headphone, check out the user reviews and go to one that has good reviews on the longevity of the headphones.
Well, you cannot expect a lot of features in cheaper headphones. However, some modern-day headphones and earbuds do come with a couple of high-end features like noise cancellation and voice assistant despite a lower price tag. You should remember that the quality of these features may not be best-in-class. If you are looking for a low-budget product, then it is recommended to stay away from the fancy or premium features and focus on the quality of the essential features first.
As the main purpose of the headphone is surely music and calling, and the budget is low, you need to ensure that you get a headphone with reasonable battery life. Most of the best budget earbuds and headphones that we have listed above have a decent to great battery life. Do check them out!
Many people think that the sound quality goes hand-in-hand with the cost of the headphones and therefore, cheaper headphones do not have a great sound. Well, there are many headphones with great sound at a bargain price. All the headphones that we have listed here have excellent sound performance irrespective of the low price.
How to Fix Issues With the Headphones?
Electronic devices can get damaged or stop working at any time, after all, they are electronics! The headphones are no exception either especially if you picked up a budget line product. To accommodate the earbuds or the headphones under a low markup, most of the manufacturers have to compromise the build quality or the quality of the internal components. That said, if you are facing issues with yours, then don’t rule it out yet. Here are a few basic things that you can do to see if you can fix the issue with the headphones:
Poor Sound Quality:
This is a very common problem with old earphones or even the cheaper ones. You might experience the audio getting distorted at a certain level of volume. Now, this could be because of the dust accumulation or if it is wired, this can happen due to twisting or excessive bending of the wires. Check for dust accumulation by blowing slowly on the earbud screen. If you see damage to the wire, reach out to the manufacturer to see if they can replace or repair it.
To resolve this you can turn off and turn on the Bluetooth and then pair it with the device again. Sometimes restarting the mobile also resolves the issue.
This can happen with any headphones irrespective of the price and quality. If you experience static, make sure to disconnect the earbuds and the mobile and reconnect after some time. Ensure that no obstruction is present between the earbud and the mobile for uninterrupted streaming. Sometimes you may also experience audio static due to insufficient charge in the phone or the earphones as well. Check for that and charge the device fully.
Last but not the least, make sure to clean the headphones and the earbuds regularly to keep them away from dust and dirt accumulation. This will automatically increase the life of the headphones, and they will give better performance.
Price Range of Budget Friendly Headphones
Cheap earphones can mean different to different individuals. While to some, budget-friendly means under $50, to some it is below $100 or even $150. Keeping that in mind we have listed some of the best affordable headphones under different pricing with most of them being below the $100 mark. Best budget headphones can perform great if you pick the right product. Some of them have exceptionally great performance with amazing sound and incredible battery life and are quite capable of competing with some of the higher range products. As we always mention, when you buy a headphone do make sure to check the warranty and the return policy just in case you need to.
Here in this article, you will understand how to buy affordable headsets. And what are the parameters you must set up while purchasing cheap headsets? In addition, find out why the headsets and earbuds shown above made it to our top 12 list. Learn why the cheap headphones are good, and what are the features offered by these headsets here in this article. Find out the pros and cons of buying cheaper headsets or earbuds. You might also want to check out our best DJ headphones from here.
Why not! But you need to pick the right headset that can give you a good immersive listening experience as needed in gaming. A gaming headset needs to have well-detailed audio and often has deep Bass sound. Look for a headphone or an earbud that has good audio and a good mic to communicate with the team.
Yes, many cheaper headphones have water-resistant construction. While all the headphones may not be fully waterproof, most of them are sweat and splash-resistant. Check the IPX rating of the headphone you are buying, so you do not overexpose them to moisture.
Headphones are an individual choice and what is best for you may not be the best for another person. There are many good headphones with lower price tags available in the market out of which we have listed here some of the top-rated ones that have great reviews and ratings from the users. You can choose which suits you the most. So, yes, if you choose the headphone appropriately, then they are definitely worth an investment.
You get both good earbuds and good headphones within an affordable range. While some people like earbuds because they are lighter and easy to carry, some people like headphones as they do not want in-ear headphones. You can choose one depending on what you prefer.