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From sticky summer commutes that make it impossible to wear your over-ear headphones, to wanting a new set of buds for your first post-Covid flight — it’s easy to find a good excuse to stock up on a new pair of budget-friendly earbuds these days. That’s why we did the shopping for you and found some of the best earbuds under $50 that you can buy right now. Whether you’re listening to music, talking on the phone or gaming, these budget earbuds won’t break the bank. Their price tags may be low, but there’s a lot to love about the buds below.
What Are the Best Earbuds Under $50?
There are a few things to consider when shopping for the best cheap earbuds under $50. Here’s what to know.
Wired vs. Wireless: Before anything, you may want to decide whether you want a completely wireless pair of earbuds or ones that connect to your device with a cord. We’ve included both styles of buds in our guide as some of the wired options often come with better sound quality.
However, wired earbuds aren’t as convenient as wireless buds, which let you connect your earbuds to your phone, tablet or laptop via Bluetooth.
Battery Life: While these earbuds boast low price tags, many of them are equipped to play music for hours with long-lasting battery lives. In our research for this buying guide, we found wireless earbuds with a range of battery time, from 12 hours of runtime all the way up to 40 hours of charge when using their charging case.
Sound: Of course, the most important consideration when picking up a pair of earbuds is how they will sound. These budget earbuds all deliver on audio quality, with decent bass, and balanced highs and mids. They won’t be as detailed as audiophile headphones, but work fine if you’re just listening to a playlist on your phone or laptop, or if you’re taking calls. If you want a pair of earbuds for the studio or more professional settings, you’ll want to upgrade.
Here are the best earbuds under $50 for listening to music, gaming, travel and daily commutes to work or to the gym.
Note: All of the earbuds on this list retailed for $50 and under at the time of publication, but prices may change.
1. Anker Soundcore Life P2 True Wireless Earbuds
With a 40-hour battery, these Anker earbuds rank among the longest-lasting earbuds on this list that fall under the $40 tag.
Because they have an IPX7 waterproof rating, you can stick them in your ears to power your workout playlists without worrying about damaging them in the process.
The buds are designed to boost bass in your tunes, and they also feature several mics so you can just as easily use them for working remotely. They’re available in three different colors, including black, green and white.
2. JBL Reflect Mini 2 Wireless In-Ear Sport Headphones
We love workout earbuds for their secure, sweat-friendly designs, but we love wearing them for commuting and work, too. Case in point: these top-rated JBL sport headphones.
These buds come with a wireless design, but they’re connected with a band that goes around your neck, so you can simply pop one out of your ear without losing it on a treadmill or when you bump into a friend on the sidewalk. There’s a built-in remote control to change up the volume of your music or calls, along with a mic so you can wear them for meetings, too.
Fully charged, you’ll get to listen to up to 10 hours of music at a time.
3. Skullcandy Sesh Evo True Wireless In-Ear Earbuds
Never mind that these Skullcandy buds are super affordable and under 50 bucks — they pack a handful of features that make them equally worthy of a spot on this list.
You’ll have up to 24 hours of playing time when you charge them in their charging case, and you can still play music with just one of the buds in your ear in case you’re working or commuting and need to be able to hear your surroundings.
We like that you can adjust the sound, whether you’re listening to music or a podcast or streaming a movie. Best of all, they’re rugged enough that you can safely use them while working out or running in high summer temperatures, or even in the rain.
4. Beats Flex Wireless Earbuds
If you’re a devoted Beats over-ears fan, we think you’ll love the portability of the brand’s buds.
These pack a dozen hours of battery runtime, though we should note that these don’t come with a charging case, so you’ll want to either pack a separate portable charger or be sure to charge them up whenever they’re running low, especially if you’re using them on a flight.
We like that the buds are magnetic so it’s easier to make sure they don’t get tangled when you’re storing them in your backpack or pocket.
5. JBL Quantum 50 Wired Earbuds
It might feel weird going back to a pair of wired earbuds, but these JBL Quantum 50s are an affordable pick for mobile gaming, music and especially using for travel as they connect via headphone jack — perfect for watching movies on flights.
Increasing and decreasing volume couldn’t be easier with the remote on the wire, along with a mute slider when you need to hear an announcement or chat with a coworker.
6. JLab Go Air True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds
For the price point, you’re getting your money’s worth with these earbuds from JLab, which can last for about 20 hours fully powered up. As far as fit goes, the company says these run slightly smaller, so you’ll want to keep that in mind when choosing one of the included ear tips, whether you’re running or hopping on the subway.
They also include three different sound settings, from a Balanced mode to a Bass Boost mode you’ll want for workouts. Have a Zoom meeting to run to? These wireless buds also come with a mic, making switching from music to your meeting super seamless.
7. Apple EarPods
With a built-in wire, you never have to sweat running out of juice when you’re on the phone or listening to music on a commute or on a run with these classic Apple EarPods.
We think it’s worth springing for the wireless, albeit more expensive, Apple AirPods Pro for sound quality and comfort, but if you’re set on buying earbuds that won’t break the bank that you won’t worry about losing, the original EarPods are a good, wallet-friendly choice for when you need buds in a pinch.
Keep in mind that these in-ears only connect to your phone via the Lightning port.