Do you like listening to music on the go? Are you not satisfied with the quality you get with your basic pair of headphones?
Well, let us tell you that you are not alone.
The standard earbuds that you get with your phone don’t have the ability to do justice with the music. Almost every user we have come across to complaints about the flat sound of their standard ‘phones. So, what’s the solution?
You can easily buy a separate earbud for your device – one that provides a great music experience. Having said that, most of these pair of earbuds are pretty high in price, so, unless you have heavy pockets, the problem still persists.
Is there really a solution that can provide quality sound without being too heavy on the budget? Yes, and not one but 21 – Please read on…
Before You Proceed…..
Before choosing your earphones, you should definitely look for the following features. They are very important for choosing the right product.
Inline Controller and Microphone
Inline controller and microphone is one of the very importance feature. Well being under $50 earphones you may need to sacrifice a little over the performance but it make’s thing quite easier. You will be able to pause and play the tracks, change the tracks. Also you wont need to take them off during calls, It will allow you to accept and reject call from the controller.
Well you won’t need it in wired earbuds but if you are planning for buying wireless earbuds. You must consider the battery life. Some of the earbuds have an extensive battery life and you can easily spend your whole day listening to them. The battery life may change with the intensity of sound. It gets shorter at higher volumes while extend if you listen at moderate volumes.
Another important feature is water resistance. If you are a gym buddy or do heavy workouts, water resistance is a must feature for you. Many of the sport buds comes with this feature of sweat proof. These earbuds can also be used in rains.
The 21 Best Earbuds under 50 of 2019
|Panasonic ErgoFit||Wired||Check Price|
|VAVA MOOV 11||Wired||Check Price|
|MEE Audio M6 Pro||Wired||Check Price|
|Sony MDRXB50AP||Wired||Check Price|
|Philips SHE3590||Wired||Check Price|
|Moshi Mythro Earbuds||Wired||Check Price|
|SoundMAGIC E10||Wired||Check Price|
|Betron DC950HI||Wired||Check Price|
|Tin Audio T2||Wired||Check Price|
|Bose SoundSport||Wired||Check Price|
|Apple Earpods||Wired||Check Price|
|SoundPEATS Magnetic||Bluetooth||Check Price|
|TaoTronics Bluetooth Earbuds||Bluetooth||Check Price|
|Anker SoundBuds Sport NB10||Bluetooth||Check Price|
|SENSO Bluetooth Headphones||Bluetooth||Check Price|
|Anker SoundBuds Curve||Bluetooth||Check Price|
|Samsung U Flex Bluetooth Wireless||Bluetooth||Check Price|
|TOZO T10 Bluetooth 5.0||Bluetooth||Check Price|
|Creative Outlier ONE||Bluetooth||Check Price|
|Mpow H5||Bluetooth/over-ears||Check Price|
|Skullcandy Grind||Bluetooth/over-ears||Check Price|
Primary on our listing of best earbuds under $50 cost in 2019 is ErgoFit from Panasonic.
Panasonic is known in the music world for creating the best quality musical instruments and products.
With its Ergofit earbuds, the company has explored a new grounds – making its quality and affordable product. As one of my friends said, this is the “IBM of earbuds” – no one will ever truly regret buying them.
Panasonic Ergofit comes with three different sizes of earpads, small, medium, and large, which will meet different people use.
The best thing about this amazing product is that it is fully compatible with all the latest gadgets like smartphones, tablets, mp3 players, etc.
It also has an integrated microphone, making it the best accompany with your phones on the go. Ergofit is fully compatible with Android, iPhone, Blackberry, Windows/Microsoft or other brands.
√ Offer earpads, small, medium, and large
√ Quality sound with extra bass.
√ Lots of colors to choose available
⊙Tangle-free cord is missed.
There is a lot of premium features packed into this model, and the standout has to be the dual driver construction. This means that two drivers in each earbud handle a certain audio output.
That feature allows for a great frequency range and also a double audio presentation with one driver being able to independently handle bass, producing quality sound in each earbud.
These headphones are also quite small and designed for a snug fit in the ear. The premium rubber buds are also designed to provide a secure fit while also being extremely comfortable. Whether you are walking in the street, working in the yard, or working out in the gym, these headphones should stay exactly where they are supposed to.
As we mentioned before, control is also an important design consideration, and this product didn’t fail to deliver with the help of the inline control. It allows you to easily adjust the volume as well as play or stop and skip tracks without having to pull your phone or music player out of your pocket.
You can also use your phone without hassles with the help of the inline control since it features a built-in microphone that turns the headphones automatically into a hands-free kit, allowing you to take phone calls easily and quickly. The headphones also offer complete compatibility with Android and iOS voice commands.
√ Ultra modern design
√ Easy to wear for an extended duration.
√ Soft earbuds
√ Noise cancellation mic
⊙Poorly designed rubber tips and microphone
The MEE Audio M6 Pro earbuds look remarkably like $200 earbuds.
Both the clear and black versions have translucent earbuds which subtly display their delicate circuitry. The bottom of both earbuds carries a port to which the cable is connected.
The ear pieces are designed such that the cable has to be routed over the ears and worn. This is just like when professional musicians wear their earbuds. They sit comfortably in the small of the ears. The construction looks durable for long-term use.
The detachable cables have a metal mesh weave covered in transparent plastic. These budget earbuds come with two detachable cables. One is with a 3-button inline control and another is a pure audio cable.
With most earbuds with detachable cable, the main problem is getting a spare cable when the original cable fails. MEE anticipates this and supplies two cables.
Not just that, each part, be it the left earbud or the right earbud or the cable, it can be easily replaced by contacting MEE.
The earbuds come with a carrying case, 3 sets of normal silicone eartips and 3 sets of flanged eartips. A set of Comply foam eartips and a ¼ inch studio adapter are also included in the zipped carry case.
√ Detachable Cable
√ Both stereo cable and headset cable provided
√ Custom faceplate
√ V-shaped sound signature
√ Strong punchy bass
⊙ Not so pleasant-looking circuitry
The Sony MDRXB50AP budget earbuds are designed expressly for people who appreciate bass.
With Sony’s expertise with audio, they manage the bass bump gracefully. Only the frequencies available in the song are bumped and combined with a deep sub-bass performance.
Most inexpensive earbuds just boost bass blindly and end up creating ghost frequencies that aren’t part of the song.
This results in a muddied reproduction of the actual song and boomy bass. The bass of MDRXB50AP enhances only the available frequencies and adds weight to the bass. This creates a fun sound signature that is still clear throughout the frequency response.
Mids get their attention.
Vocals don’t have to fight with bass for the centerstage. The treble is agile but devoid of any bite that makes highs harsh. These affordable earbuds also provide excellent noise isolation when used with the earbuds of the right size.
√ Weighty helping of extra bass
√ Clarity throughout the audio response
√ Secure fitment provides good noise isolation
⊙Mediocre-at-best control scheme.
⊙Bass-heavy sound, not for everyone
The Philips SHE3590 earbuds are pretty to look at.
The driver housing is bulbous. Eartips project straight from the ear pieces. Both sides connect to normal cylindrical cables. The cable is 3.6 feet long and terminates in a 3.5mm plug. There’s no inline mic or remote control. This is simply for enjoying music. The cord terminates in a straight 3.5mm plug. Three pairs of eartips are supplied with these affordable earbuds. They come in 7 pleasant colors.
At this price, we don’t want to critique the Philips SHE3590 earbuds very harshly.
As casual listeners, we found the audio enjoyable. We didn’t think they sounded tinny or boomy. The audio is well-defined and clear for the price. The bass does not distort, it sounds natural. The midrange and highs balance well with the bass.
√ Low price
√ Good audio
√ Multiple colors
√ Comfortable and durable
Admittedly, these earphones lack a lot of the bells and whistles you’ll find on the other earbuds on this list. They don’t even have a particularly unique design (though the pink one did elicit a “that’s cute” from my girlfriend).
What these do better than a lot of competitors, however, is sound quality.
Don’t let the plain looks and ordinary white/pink colors fool you. These earbuds have seriously good bass response. The kick drums on SBTRKT’s “Wildfire” have a satisfying thump and the bass on Calvin Harris’ “Slide” sounds particularly juicy.
Unlike a lot of competitors, this pair from Moshi doesn’t sacrifice clarity for the bass. You can hear the mids and highs clearly, even on challenging tracks like CAN’s “Spoon”.
Given the cost, this is a price-to-performance ratio that you can’t really beat.
Of course, it lacks a number of features. You don’t get sweat resistance, ear clips, or carrying cases. The design is simple and inoffensive. Don’t get these if you want people to turn around.
Overall, one of the best sounding earphones in this price range. Get them if you care about audio quality over features.
√ Loud bass without the buzziness
√ Clear mids and highs
√ Simple, inconspicuous design
⊙ Noise isolation is average at best
The build quality is great and will easily last you several years of regular use. A stronger or detachable cord would have made it even better.
There is no built-in microphone or remote control, however. These are pure earphones, not a headset. If you want a microphone, look elsewhere.
On the whole, good earphones with a nice design. You won’t be disappointed by them. But at the same time, there are earphones in this price range that have slightly better performance.
√ All-metal enclosure looks nice
√ Strong bass and clear highs
√ Good build quality
⊙ No microphone or in-line remote
The bass is solid with a satisfying thump. The mids can sound a bit muddy but you won’t even notice it if you listen to mainstream music.
They’re also comfortable, moreso than they should be at this price range. The plug-like design does a good job of blocking outside noise.
Additional features, such as an in-line remote and microphone are highly welcome. I particularly like the tangle-free flat cable.
If you keep losing earphones and don’t want to invest $100 in an expensive pair, these should be your first pick. The sound quality is outrageously good and the little features – tangle-free cable, in-line remote, etc. – make it a rock solid buy.
√ Great price-to-performance ratio
√ Strong bass
√ Useful features such as in-line mic with remote
⊙ Brushed silver accents look cheap
The Tin Audio T2 are decent critical listening in-ear headphones.
They have a good audio reproduction for in-ears and have a solid build. They are fairly comfortable thanks to the multiple tip options, including memory foam tips, to help you find the best fit.
They also have a nice braided and detachable cable which make them more durable than most in-ears.
Unfortunately, they do not have an in-line remote and microphone, but their wired connection offers no latency, and they are portable and easy to keep on you to enjoy their sound quality anywhere.
√ Comfortable and intelligent design
√ Removable cable
√ Affordable pricing
√ Neutral, almost reference tuning
Bose has come to be such a respected brand name in sound that it’s extraordinary you can acquire a set of its headphones for under $50.
SoundSport in-ear earphones included three sizes of Bose’s proprietary StayHear ear pointers that comply with your ear for a safe and secure as well as comfy fit.
The cable also has an inline microphone and also remote to make it simple to shuffle between tracks, adjust quantity and also take telephone calls.
For the athletes among us, these earphones are sweat-proof and weather-resistant so that they will keep up with even your toughest workouts.
Note that these Bose SoundSports don’t have active noise-canceling technology, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find that in a budget pair. Not to mention, if you’re running or biking on busy streets, it’s safer to let in ambient noise so that you stay aware of your surroundings.
√ Comfortable and secure
√ Pleasantly full bass
√ Integrated remote and microphone and a nice carrying case
⊙ Not good for noisier environments.
Love it or not.
Apple’s EarPods have become iconic.
The cost of the Apple’s wireless Airpods is just a pretty penny; the wired alternative is more affordable and perfectly adequate.
There are two versions available: 3.5mm headphone connector and a Lightning connector for the models with no headphone jack. Other than that, they earphones are virtually identical.
The shape of the earphones are unique and they don’t come with silicone ear tips that can be swapped out for different sizes. So what you see is what you get and they may not fit everyone’s ear comfortably.
However, Apple has poured all its design expertise into these headphones and they are built to fit the geometric shape of the ear, so you may find them surprisingly comfortable.
The remote control sits on the cord just below your chin and you can skip songs, adjust the volume and answer calls with just a pinch.
Today, you can find astonishingly good wireless earbuds for the price of a couple of lattes and sandwiches at Starbucks.
These wireless earphones from SoundPEATS are the perfect example. They perform astonishingly well for the price and boast a laundry list of features. They’re also lightweight, easy to use, and feature a gym-friendly design.
In terms of sound quality, they perform well enough. You’ll never get as good sound from wireless speakers as you would from wired ones. But thanks to the solid noise isolation, you might actually feel that these SoundPEATS earphones perform better than they do.
Bluetooth earphones live and die by the battery life. Unfortunately, I’m yet to find anything that offers more than 12 hours on a charge. At 8 hours, these perform below par. Be prepared to charge them regularly. And carry spare wired earphones if you’re going to be away for long hours.
Sweat resistance is a much-needed feature. I didn’t think much of it until I had another pair of earphones die on me in the gym. If you sweat a lot or plan to use them while working out, this feature is a Godsend.
Which brings me to the design. With the ear clips and the plug-like design, these are perfect for working out. In fact, you might even find them uncomfortable for daily wear. In the gym, however, they stay put and isolate outside noise pretty well so you stay in your ‘zone’.
On the whole, if you’re looking for a pair of affordable wireless Bluetooth earbuds, and want something you can carry to the gym, you can’t go wrong with these SoundPEATS earphones.
√ Up to 100 hours of battery life on standby mode
√ Strong noise isolation
√ Neutral colors and design
√ Gym-friendly, sweat resistant design
⊙Microphone volume is too low.
⊙Ear clips can be uncomfortable for casual use.
The TaoTronics Bluetooth earbuds look stylish from the outside.
The driver casings are slim barrels that hold the circuitry. The eartips angle away from the driver housings. Each ear piece is fit with an ear fin. This grips the inner curve of the ear to provide a secure fitment during running and other strenuous activities. Both ear pieces are connected by a flat cable that goes behind your head.
These affordable earbuds connect wirelessly via Bluetooth v4.1.
The battery lasts through 5 hours. The standby time is 175 hours.
There’s an inline 3-button remote hanging inline with a mic. This has a multifunctional button for play/pause/call answer/reject. The volume buttons also work as track navigation buttons. CVC noise isolation technology clears out the noise from the mic pickup. This results in cleaner audio on the other side of the phone call.
√ Enhanced bass
√ Stable fitment through ear fins
√ Inline remote and mic
⊙ Need to be handled carefully for a longer life
The Soundbuds have an over-ear hook design and come with 3 pairs of ear tips so you can hopefully get a good fit.
Pro tip: you’re definitely going to have to use the included rubber cable tie for the extra slack in the headphones.
Otherwise these just won’t stay in your ears. That said, even with the right ear tips and cable tie I was surprised that these actually stayed in. Even though they feel like they might fall out, they don’t. Once you get used to that precarious feeling and trust that they’ll stay put they actually are pretty comfortable and easy to use while exercising.
Along the top of the right earbud you’ll find three buttons for playback controls, while the bottom has the small mic and a micro USB port that’s hidden under a plastic flap.
√ IPX5 Sweatproof
√ Affordable price
⊙Average sound quality
Unlike the SoundPEATS earphones, these are bigger and bulkier. This design is at least half a generation older, if not more. The battery is included within the earbuds, rather than the control unit. This older design is the only reason why I haven’t ranked it higher.
The sound quality is good, or at least as good as wireless earphones in this range can be. The ear plugs isolate noise nicely so the sound will actually feel better than it actually is.
The battery life is similar to the SoundPEATS at 8 hours (you actually get about 6-7 hours). The battery standby is much longer at nearly 240 hours, however.
The controls are placed on the earbuds. This is an awkward spot and can be hard to reach. A control stalk located on the cable would have been much better.
These earphones are IPX-7 waterproof. This means that they’ll work even if you drop your device into up to 3 feet of water. In contrast, the SoundPEATS are IPX-6, i.e. they can withstand a blast of water, but can’t be submerged in water.
Finally, you get a bunch of goodies with these earphones. There is a bonus carrying case which looks quite nice. You also get a magnetic car vent mount. I can’t attest to the quality of this mount since I didn’t get to test it. But it’s free so I can’t really complain.
On the whole, if you’re looking for a pair of Bluetooth earphones and are okay with a slightly bulkier design, these are a fantastic buy.
√ Solid battery life, especially on standby mode.
√ Good waterproofing; can withstand being submerged in water.
√ Extra goodies are a welcome bonus.
⊙Slightly bulky design.
⊙Loud and visible branding.
At first glance, you might actually mistake these for some high-end headphones. They look very elegant, and the matte finish really helps with that.
As you can see, these are pretty small. Which is expected from wireless in-ear headphones, so no surprises there. And even their case is so tiny that it will fit into your pockets! That’s super convenient, especially for people who will use these quite frequently.
The battery life of the Anker SoundBuds Curve is pretty decent. Nearly 13 hours on a single charge is pretty amazing. And when you compare that battery life to some high-end headphones like Beats or Bose, you see that these Ankers actually outperform them.
However, the carrying case that comes with these headphones is just that – a carrying case. It can’t charge them on the go, which is a downside when you compare these to some more expensive headphones.
But to be real, you can’t really expect to get both a decent pair of wireless headphones and a charging case for some $20. Especially considering that you only need to charge them for an hour and a half to get half a day of use. Plus, in just ten minutes of charging you can get an entire hour of use, which is pretty cool.
√ Stable and portable design.
√ Comfortable fit.
√ Very low leakage.
⊙Mediocre-at-best noise isolation.
⊙Slightly thin audio cable.
The Samsung U Flex are decently well made wireless headphones.
They look more premium than the Level U Pro, and although they’re a bit bulkier, they’re more flexible so you can fold and squeeze them into a pocket.
They also have a decently comfortable in-ear fit with angled earbuds that fit well within the contours of your ears. They’re easy-to-use with a simple control scheme that’s efficient and provides all the essential functions.
Unfortunately, the slightly larger design makes them a bit unstable at times. The neckband would pull on the earbuds causing them to slip out of your ears, once in while, when doing more demanding physical activities like jumping jacks.
√ Low leakage.
√ Great wireless range.
√ Easy to use and portable design
⊙Poor noise isolation
Wireless earphones are great, but true wireless takes freedom to the next level with no wires whatsoever.
The TOZO T10 are ergonomically designed to fit your ears easily, most notably, securely, so you will not be regularly fidgeting with them.
While some advanced wireless headphones have automatic pairing, this pair does require a little setup, but with just a few taps on your smartphone, you’ll be connected.
T10 come with 8mm speaker drivers to deliver loud and clear audio with powerful bass.
The TOZO T10 is IPX8 waterproof, which means that you can swim to one-meter depths for up to 30 minutes.
It also means they will withstand intense gym sessions with no sweat and you can even clean the earphones and base without worry.
The earbuds will last you about 3.5 hours of playtime per charge, but charge up quickly again in the compact wireless charging case.
Founded in 1981, Creative has more than 30 years of experience in making very good and very affordable digital entertainment equipment (PC and gaming equipment, speakers, headphones, etc.).
Creative Outlier ONE in-ear headphones are one of the latest Creative’s products and one of the cheapest Bluetooth headphones ever made by Creative.
Don’t let the price fool you – they are cheap but that doesn’t mean they are bad. Bluetooth earbuds were much more expensive a decade ago but you can now find a pretty decent and quite durable pair of in-ear headphones for less than $30.
Creative Outlier ONE earbuds feature very common behind-the-neck design.
They are light and comfortable for long listening sessions. They feature IPX4 splash-proof/sweatproof rating which is good enough for any kind of sports activity (gym workout, running, cycling, climbing).
Creative Outlier ONE headphones deliver an impressive playtime (more than 9 hours at 50% volume) and provide pretty reliable Bluetooth connection. We were not amazed by the sound, but you could never get a perfect clarity and an impressive amount of detail from a pair of cheap in-ear headphones. You will get good clarity at low volumes. There’s a clear emphasis on the bass frequencies (around 100Hz). The sound becomes a bit bassier at higher volumes, but it’s not too heavy and it doesn’t put too much shadow on the low midrange.
√ Superb sound quality at this price
√ Comfortable and sturdy design
√ Built-in 4GB MP3 player
⊙Slightly boring design
⊙A little uncomfortable
If you’re looking for versatile wireless over-ears that have active noise cancelling under $50, get the Mpow H5.
They’re fairly well-built for the price, are reasonably comfortable, and have a physical control scheme that’s easy-to-use. They can fold up into a more compact format, come with a great hard carrying case, and provide great value for their price overall.
The Mpow H5 sound decent for entry-level headphones. They have a 12-hour battery life and can provide audio while charging or be used completely passively when the battery is dead.
They can also connect to 2 devices simultaneously, which is great if you want to remain connected to your work PC and smartphone at the office.
Although the Mpow H5 isolate more noise than most over-ear headphones without active noise cancelling, their ANC isn’t as strong as that of some more expensive models we’ve tested. That said, they’re the best in their price range and provide an all-round satisfactory listening experience.
If you’re looking for wireless on-ears that provide great value, get the Skullcandy Grind.
They have a comfortable fit that doesn’t don’t clamp onto your head as firmly as other on-ears we’ve tested.
They’re well-built with a sturdy metal frame and have a minimalist aesthetic that should be pleasing to most.
The Skullcandy Grind sound decent and should be alright for most music genres. They have a good 15-hour battery life and can be used passively when the battery runs out. They have both an integrated and an in-line microphone, so you can even use them wired with your console controllers to chat with your friends while gaming with less latency.
Unfortunately, like most on-ear headphones that don’t have active noise cancelling, they don’t isolate well in noisy environments, so they won’t be the best headphones for frequent commuters.
They also leak a bit higher at volumes, which may be slightly distracting to those around you, and they don’t fold so they’re not as compact as some other on-ears we’ve tested.
However, for the price, they deliver a well-rounded listening experience that provides good bang for your buck.
Budget Earbuds – Are they really worth it ?
The price of a pair of earbuds pivots around build quality and audio quality. The construction material required to build earbuds cost relatively less.
Most of the capital goes into research and marketing. $50 is a reasonable budget to innovate and cater good sound to a large audience.
Within this price, you can get a pretty good audio quality that casual listeners can easily discern. Beyond $50, you move into the light audiophile territory.
At an increased price you get more neutral response and more resolution. Unless you are a music critic, you won’t notice the difference.
The 21 best earbuds under $50 selected here provide excellent audio resolution for the price. The market of casual listeners favors either bass-heavy, bass-bumped or warm audio response.
This can be easily achieved by small drivers of moderately-priced earbuds. We have also included some relatively neutral sounding earbuds. We broadly divide these 21 earbuds into two categories:
Audiophile: These have either a neutral or slightly bass-bumped response. They focus on quality audio and many don’t even have an inline remote.
Sports earbuds: These earbuds are meant for active lifestyle. They might be water-resistant, shock-resistant, bass-heavy and also have features like earhooks and Bluetooth connectivity.
How to make my earbuds sound better ?
A few hacks or some additional investment can make any earbud sound better:
Right earbuds: Choose the right earbuds. Research what bass, midrange and treble mean. And select earbuds that suit your musical tastes best. Bass-heavy earphones sound good with EDM, Techno, hip-hop, rap, dubstep etc.. A small mid-bass bump is good for all genres. Neutral sounds good with classical music, orchestral music, rock, jazz etc..
Eartips: Most of us just jam the earbuds in our ears with the stock medium-sized eartips. As soon as you get the earphones try them on with all available sizes of eartips: small, medium and large. The one that allows the least external noise is the best fit. You might need eartips of different sizes in the left and right ears.
File Quality: MP3 files are lossy. This means they do not carry all the intricacies of the original. A lot of details are compressed while converting to this low memory-consuming format. Download songs in high-resolution formats like FLAC or WMA. These consume more memory space. So maybe you could keep only your favorite songs in these quality formats and rest in MP3.
Cleaning: Clean your earbuds frequently. See that earwax does not clog up the area right in front of the driver. This will smother the sound. Take off the eartips and rub the earbuds with cotton dabbed in rubbing alcohol or a dishwasher solution.
Sides: Always wear the right earbud in the right ear. This makes sure the audio is reproduced as it was originally meant to be.
Equalizer: Use the equalizer tool on your phone or media player to find the preferred audio response from the earbuds. Want less bass? Reduce from the equalizer settings.
Carry Case: If the earbuds come with a carry case, use it to store them while in transit. The circuit of the earbuds may get shorted because of excessive physical strain on the cable, the ear pieces or the plug.
Comply Foam tips: These foam tips bring noticeable change in the audio of any earbud. The compressed foam expands in your ear canal once worn, thus providing perfect seal. Noise isolation will help you hear the bass better and make the earbuds sound more substantial.
Earbud tray: An earbud storage tray will allow you to wrap the cable around it. This keeps the cable from tangling and losing its integrity.
Amplifiers and DAC: You can get portable amps and DAC at reasonable prices now. Check out the Fiio amps. These increase the overall volume of the earbuds and also enhance the frequency response. These power the audio and make it ‘open up’.
What are the key features of quality earbuds under $50?
Audio: Although the audio signatures of the best earbuds under $5 vary, we selected only those that do, whatever they do, best. There’s no boomy bass or tinny-sounding audio here. You get as much detailing as the price can muster, in some cases more. Earbuds with decent extension on both sides of the frequency spectrum have been selected.
Build: Durable earbuds that live out their price were selected for this list. The joints were checked for possible weaknesses. The integrity of the driver casing and the plug casing was questioned. It also depends on how you handle them. We also checked how comfortable the earbuds were for prolonged use. The type that hurt the inner ear was avoided.
Features: At the higher side of the 0-$50 price range, the best earbuds have numerous useful features like detachable cables, Bluetooth connectivity, zipped carry case, inline remote, active noise cancellation etc. Both sports and audiophile earbuds have been covered.
Which Are Better, Wired or Wireless Earbuds?
Wired earbuds are more commonly used than wireless earbuds but the latter is quickly becoming popular. You can easily find both wired and wireless headphones on a budget. Both have their own benefits which may appeal more to you depending on your taste and need.
Let us discuss the wired earbuds first as you will have abundant choices in these. One thing is true that the sound on wired earbuds is much more consistent as compared to wireless earbuds. That said the newer more expensive earbuds have attained somewhat same consistency.
Wired earbuds are not reliant on Bluetooth signals so you can be sure about the consistent audio feed. As for the quality, that entirely depends on the construction of the earbuds themselves. A good quality pair of quality components would definitely sound great and feel very comfortable in your ears.
Coming to the wireless earbuds, their main advantage is convenience and portability. We all have had to pull our hair when we could not fix the heavily tangled wire of the earbuds after keeping them in our pocket or a drawer. With a wireless earbud, you will obviously not have this problem as some are complete wireless while others just connected by a small piece. Earbuds are already very portable, to begin with; wireless earbuds are even easier to carry anywhere.
Which one is best is a bit hard to answer as both have their own qualities. The answer depends on you and your needs. Do you need earbuds for your morning run? Then perhaps wireless earbuds will suit you more. Do you use earbuds very frequently? If yes wired earbuds would be a better option as you can just plug them in and listen.
Which Earbuds are Best For Running?
One of the obvious usages of earbuds was listening to music while working out or running. As opposed to on-ear ‘phones, earbuds are small and lightweight which makes them perfect for wearing while running. Another reason why earbuds are the best workout partners is that they are more robust at dealing with the moisture. You will obviously be sweating a lot while running and ear cups can get damp and develop bacteria. Earbuds can soak in the moisture and continue playing music in your ears.
Earbuds also stay in position even when you are running. Unlike typical headphones they are not resting over your ears, in fact, they are well inserted into your ear canal. So the friction allows them to stay intact even when you are moving up and down.
The best earbuds for running would be the ones that fit snuggly into your ears. There are some models with stabilizing fins built into them which keep them in position. Wireless earbuds can be good for a workout as well as you will have minimal wires to deal with. But make sure to invest in a good pair that is consistent even on being mobile. If you believe you sweat more than usual, only go for the ones that are sweat or water resistant. Again these will be a bit more costly but if you enjoy music with your running it is definitely worth a try.
Is long term use of earbuds safe and hygienic?
Earbuds come in contact with your ear canal directly and depending on your users can stay there for long periods. There are several factors that can make your earbuds unhygienic over time. The moisture from your sweat can get accumulated in and over the ear buds over time. Then you also have ear wax that can go inside the ear tips. These can get dirty faster than you would expect and it would not be safe to keep using these unclean earbuds.
This does not mean that you will need to buy a new pair of earbuds all together. You can clean them quite easily and make them as good as new. Here is what you can try:
- Use a gentle soap or detergent to clean the ear tips. You can also use an anti-bacterial hand wash if you want. Do not dunk them in just wipe them off especially from the inner circumference.
- You should use a soft cloth with this cleaning solution to wipe of the dirt. Do not use too much soap or detergent as the cloth will not be able to remove it and that will damage the ear tips in the long run.
- If the dirt is very nasty or you are dealing with solid metallic tips, you can use small brush to do the job.
Clean your earbuds frequently especially if you use them while work or live in a very humid climate. Cleaning them regularly would ensure that they last long and that your ears stay protected from any infections. Even if you own cheap earbuds, it does not hurt to clean them every once in a while to make sure they keep working fine.
Another solution for making your earbuds clean is to replace the ear tips. There are many models that come with extra tips just for this purpose. You can simply take the old ones off and put the new ones in place. Make sure to use the same size so that you keep feeling comfortable with them.
Is it safe to share earbuds?
Sharing your earbuds might not seem like a big deal but it should because there are some risks involved. Similar to listening to music too loud for too long, sharing earbuds can have an adverse effect on your ears. Unlike headphones, ear buds go into your ears as opposed to just sitting on them. And inside your ears, you have sweat and ear wax that can be transmitted to the earbuds.
These are some of the risks of sharing earbuds:
Now, this is probably the worst case scenario but it is always best to be safe than sorry. Ear mites are little creatures that are found on the surface of the ears on some animals like dogs. If someone you are sharing your earbuds with owns a dog, there is a chance they have these things in their ears. If that is the case, it can easily transmit into your ear through these earbuds.
Ear aches are acute and no one wants that. People have fungus in their ears and they can have what is called Swimmer’s ear. If they do, their fungus can transmit to your ears via the earbuds you share. It would not be a good idea to share your earbuds with anyone because you cannot really tell if they have fungus.
The bacteria from somebody else’s body may cause irritation and itchiness in your ears and that is excruciating. You do not want a tingly feeling inside your ear canal. Bacteria is present almost everywhere so there is a big chance it is there in your friend’s ears too.
Generally, too, it is not a good idea to share the earbuds with someone. If they are sick, their germs could get transported to your body through earbuds. They do not have to be ear related. You even get the flu this way as germs can enter through your ears.
Obviously, this does not mean that if someone wore your earbuds there is no way left but to discard them. You can always clean them up and wear them again in case you do not want to be impolite and turn down the person.
Is $50 a good budget for quality earbuds?
Yes, earbuds are not that pricey as some headphones so you can easily find a good quality earbud under $50. The ones near the $50 mark are likely to be of higher quality than those at the bottom of this price spectrum. However, that is not true for all earbuds as we have seen some high-quality earbuds that cost less than $15.
You can find most types of earbuds in this budget including Bluetooth wireless earbuds. While most of them are expensive some are rather affordable with a price tag of $50 or slightly less.
You can even find earbuds from well-known brand names like Panasonic, Sony MDRXB50AP, Sennheiser, and JBL. Buying from such brands should further relieve you of any doubts about the quality of earbuds. These companies only make the best products that are dedicated to producing well-balanced sound and are designed to be comfortable and long lasting.
What is the flat sound?
When buying headphones you will often read the term flat sound which basically means that the headphone or earbud will reproduce the audio signal they are receiving with little or no deviation. This is not present on all headphones and there is a reason for that. Flat sound is not that exciting especially for some genres so headphones add some boost to some frequencies to make it more exciting.
For example, many songs do not have deep bass but many people like their bass boosted. So earbuds makers tweak the lower frequencies to be more prominent and as a result, the bass gets boosted.
For recording and mixing purposes, you should go for neutral or flat sound equipment as you need to record music as it is. Many people actually prefer flat sound better over other tweaked sounds. Many earbuds under $50 will have a flat sound so you can easily find one within this budget. Make sure to check out reviews about sound quality to see how flat the sound really is.
How do I ensure my earbuds last long?
If you are one of those people who have to get a pair of earbuds every few weeks, you are not alone. While quality has a major effect on the life of the earbud, sometimes it is just how we handle them that break them regardless of the quality. So in order to make sure your earbuds last long you will need to take care of them. First of all, you need to keep them clean as unhygienic earbuds will lose quality rather sooner and also be a hazard to your own ear’s cleanliness. Make sure to often clean the ear tips to remove all the dirt accumulated.
You should store your earbuds carefully. Many times the earbud’s wires break when you keep them in a bag or pocket. Why? These are delicate and even a little pressure can rupture the wire or break the earbud. Make sure to not keep them under your stuff.
Whenever you are storing your earbuds make sure to coil the cable so it does not get tangled. Tangled wires are a pain to resolve and can damage the internal wires too. If you have a small pouch or ziplock bag perhaps you can keep the earbuds in them. Regardless of the price of the earbud, if you take good care of them they will last quite a long period.
With expensive earbuds, you should be even more careful because you spent so much money on them. And for earbuds, a price of anything above $20 should count as expensive because you can find scads of products under $20. They often come with pouches and extra ear tips so you will not even have to buy these separately.
As for ensuring the sound quality lasts long, buy from a trusted brand that is known for their high quality sound. This is the simplest way to avoid any risks of deteriorating sound quality. With low quality earbuds, the problem often is that the sound quality changes drastically after some time especially when used at high volumes. Buying a decent quality model would ensure no such thing happens.