A pair of $50 or less earbuds bring us some decent sound quality paired up with affordability. If you’re one to seek for headphones that won’t break the bank, or perhaps you’re trying to find some budget-friendly earbuds to keep at hand in your headphone repertoire (we have more pairs than we can count right now), we’re continuing our search for the best earbuds in specific price-points, and in our case today, under $50. But first, let’s get into a few basic details we want you to keep in mind before we give you our top picks.
Picking the best earbuds under $50
Headphones, and more specifically today earbuds, come in many different shapes, sizes, colors and personalities. Slashing our choices to earbuds as opposed to some over-ear or on-ear headphones will us a bit today, but there are some specific “features” you want to look out for that may justify an earbud’s usage or attractiveness to you. Let’s answer a few questions.
- What are you using these earbuds for? Exercise? Find some with fins, or perhaps waterproof or slight sweat-proof protection.
- Do you want a control center? For us, it’s hard to live without, especially after using pairs of earbuds and other headphones for so long with at least some type of controls on either the earphone itself or cable.
- What is your exact budget? Is it exactly $50? Or perhaps you need earbuds under $20, or want to go higher with earbuds under $100? Your flexibility with price-point may help if you can get away with some cheaper earbuds, otherwise we tried to find various prices in the $50 range for our case today.
- Do you want special “technology” in your earbuds? $50 or less won’t give us anything too groundbreaking, but we have a few with certain “niche” audio tech, such as active noise-cancellation, noise isolation, waterproof, or maybe in-ear monitors
- Do you want extra accessories in your earbud package? We’re talking replacement ear tips or perhaps a carrying case — not all pairs come with these.
The best earbuds under $50
Sennheiser CX 300 II
Let’s get into our first pick here. When trying to listen to your audio, one of the most annoying things you can encounter is to be picking up the noises that are happening around you that are easily distracting. The durable, noise canceling CX 300 II earbuds understand that, and make it a point of guaranteeing this to be a non-issue to their buyers. Boasting a speaker system that is driven by a bass driver, these in-ear headphones are able to provide a clear sound without having to be heavy, over the ear sound systems.
These are also rather comfortable and include three different sizes of earbuds to make sure that fit is never a problem. Also, the cable has one side that is longer to wrap around the back of the head, making it easy to ensure that your cord is out of your way if you are performing a physical activity or need to be multitasking while listening to your music. With a small design (and an included carrying case), the Sennheiser CX 300 II provide one of the best choices of earbuds that you can purchase under $50, not to mention that brand name we all love.
MEE Audio M6 PRO
These in-the-ear headphones fit inside of the ear canal to deliver a powerful and clear sound that not only drowns out external noises but provides a sharpness in the definition of the sound that is difficult to match. The makers also kept the conditions of a stage performer in mind (their in-ear monitors are famous) by making these earbuds not only sweat resistant but sturdy in every aspect. This includes the two types of replaceable cords for both the stereo and a headset that are easily interchangeable to suit your particular needs.
The headset is particularly “handy” with its ability to answer calls, control volume, and move from song to song. The features provided with these earbuds are difficult to match, aside from perhaps the clear color availability (it’s a thing they do), making the Audio M6 a high-quality earbud at a reasonable price. Designed with professional musicians in mind, the MEE Audio M6 PRO is meant for the user who not only wants, but needs, precision and clarity in their sound.
Highly rated and award-winning, the ATH-ANC23 earbuds are one of the best earbuds under $50 for quite a few reasons. Utilizing a special microphone within the earbud to block out any ambient noise that may be trying to break its way through, these earbuds are designed to block out over 90% of external sound. These are the cheapest actual noise cancelling headphones we’ve seen in this price-point. All other earbuds and headphones that advertise “noise cancelling” throw it around as a random term to try to sell their stuff. This pair has the actual technology to cancel noise from the outside. This is made possible by a small box that allows you to turn the earbuds on and off and controls the volume of your audio.
As an interesting addition to make this user-friendly for the traveling type, the earbuds include a two-pin adapter that is meant to connect directly to the audio of a plane, meaning that you get to use their in-flight entertainment without having to purchase their specialty (and usually poorly designed) headphones (why not?). Various sizes of ear pieces and a convenient carrying case to store the accessories, the Audio-Technica ATH-ANC23 are a quality option for those seeking to spend fifty dollars or less if you wanted something true to it’s name.
Sleek, compact, and designed to isolate only the sound you want to hear, the SE112-GR earbuds are another one of the best for fifty dollars or less. Engineered and tested with professional musicians to make sure their driver is top-of-the-line, the stereo system in these earbuds uses a special technology to isolate your audio from any ambient noise you may normally hear. The only way to really achieve this level of isolation, however, is to make sure that the ear tips are secure in the ear canal and fit properly.
Using what they call a “sound isolate sleeve”, the earbuds come with three different sizes of tips to try on and figure out which provides the most comfort and the best grip. This ensures that your audio is sealed in and reinforces the driver in removing external noise. With a handy pouch to keep them in and an over-the-ear design for maximum fit, the Shure SE112-GR headphones are of solid quality for a budget-friendly price.
In the fast paced world of society today, Lightweight to move for an active lifestyle and coming in a variety of colors, these rather bass(y) earbuds (considering the title of them includes “EXTRA BASS” allow you to drown out external noise and (based on your preference of volume) feel as if you are next to the bass in a nightclub. This is in part due to the 0.47 neodymium drivers within the stereo, which provide that “surround sound” experience with your audio.
You also have a decent 4–24,000Hz frequency response and a smart phone compatible in-line microphone for some phone calls. Easy to place within the inner ear and equipped with an almost four-foot long cord to allow for space, these Sony MDRXB50AP are a great option you can find under fifty dollars that allow you to drown out the world and focus on your chosen sound if you’re one to need some extra thump to your tunes.
Looking at another option from the Sennheiser brand is the MM30i, a simple in-ear design that carries a lot of effective features for the multi-tasking user. Available in either black or white for color, these earbuds are equipped with a microphone for hands-free phone calls, a volume button to increase or decrease your audio to your liking, and the ability to activate the voice control system on your smartphone if applicable. Again featuring the highly touted Sennheiser bass, these earbuds are able to block any ambient noise that could interfere with your listening experience.
This is reinforced by, of course, making sure the tips fit securely, and with three different options included it’s easy to test out the sleeves to see which one works best for you. With positive reviews from users and a competitive price point, these Senny MM30i earbuds are yet another great pair of the best earbuds for under $50.
It seems like you can hardly turn on the television without seeing some sort of advertisement for Beats headphones. Yes, they are usually promoted by athletes that are getting paid to say how great they are, but it is the high ratings from users that really promotes their reputation. If you know us, we usually don’t include them in guides, however with this budget-range, we feel these are at least worth considering. The Urbeats edition is designed to be both lightweight but durable, even handling being thrown in a gym bag under heavier items (which for someone like me, is often).
The microphone built into the earbuds also allows you to change easily between listening to music and transferring to a phone call without having to lift a finger. In addition, outside noise and vibrations are a non-issue with the bullet-like design of the Beats Urbeats that ensures that your audio is the only thing you are hearing when these earbuds are on. Add in the carrying case and the strong reviews and you have another option for one of the best earbuds under fifty dollars.
As a runner, one of the biggest issues I run into is that moment where I just start to find my stride and suddenly my earbuds go flying out because my arm or clothing has knocked them in the perfect spot. It’s frustrations like that and others that make the XR500 wireless earbuds so appealing. These are the only wireless pair of earbuds we’ll recommend in this price-point. With three different sizes of silicone ear tips and foam ear tips that expand (major bonus), these around the ear headphones are designed to stay in place for rougher uses.
They do require a battery, but their life is up to nine hours, which can easily last through a run, a plane ride, or even a reasonable distance road trip. The Bluetooth function can pick up your device within a range of around 38 feet, and even comes equipped with a built-in mic for hands free phone calls. Wireless headphones are particularly difficult to find at a reasonable price, and a high quality option such as this makes the TREBLAB XR500 earbuds one of the best earbuds under $50 if you don’t want to hassle with wires and find yourself needing those ear fins attached.
A high-end earbud that is both well reviewed and budget friendly, this is the metal model that provides not only durability but enough comfort to last for long periods of listening. An in-ear headphone that comes with three different types of silicone ear pads (flat, dome, and double flange) in three different sizes, the driver in this system provides a caliber of audio sound that enhances clarity and cancels out external noise. The right ear tip, in particular, is engineered to lock in sound and prevent dilution of the audio.
In addition, the newer design of these headphones come with a cable that is guaranteed not to tangle due to a twisted wiring within the cord. With a clip to secure your cable and a pouch to house the earbuds, the SoundMAGIC E10 are nearing the end of our guide as another one of the best earbuds for $50 or less.
Symphonized NRG 3.0
Last but not least, when I think of earbuds, I typically think of something sleek, stylish, and smooth. Rarely does the word “wood” come to mind as a viable option for an exterior, albeit in the under $50 price-range. However, the Symphonized NRG 3.0 uses this exact type of detailing to enhance the acoustics within the sound for an optimal listening experience. Coming in a variety of colors, this tangle-free set of earbuds provides simplistic control over the volume, allows you to take calls, and offers voice control for a hands-off experience.
In addition, the audio jack utilizes a gold plate to ensure that the music is going directly from your device to your ears, with no escaping or diluting of sound in between. With an included pouch to hold the equipment (which, as a bonus, is eco-friendly) and three different sizes of tips to give the perfect fit to the user, the NRG 3.0 is a purchase under fifty dollars that provides quality ear buds to cap off our guide today.