Headphones are still one of the most profitable and competitive sectors in the tech industry. There’s a vast variety of types, from in-ear headphones to noise-canceling headphones to workout earphones…the list is endless. And each of these sections has its own pros and cons — not to mention differing costs — so you must make an informed purchase. This blog will explore the best headphones to date (at $50 or below) and some comparisons between the different types of headphones.
When it comes to headphones, you might think that you have to spend $100 or more if you want a decent pair. That’s not true. If you’re looking for headphones under $50, there are plenty of options — and you don’t have to sacrifice quality.
A quick disclaimer: while these products are affordable, they might not be the best choice for serious audiophiles. But if you’re looking for a fun accessory to spice up your daily commute or a good pair of workout headphones, here are a few of our favorite options.
Types of Headphones
In-ear headphones are the smallest type, making them the most portable and least conspicuous. They typically have anywhere from one to three drivers per earbud, which means that each earbud can produce different sound frequencies.
On-ear headphones typically have bigger drivers than in-ears, but they don’t cover as much of your ear. The padding is usually soft, and there’s usually a headband so you can adjust the fit.
Over-ear headphones have the most significant drivers, which means that you get more power for your money. They usually have soft padding on both the headband and the ear cups, and they’re a good choice if you’re planning to use your headphones for long periods.
These are some of the headphones under $50
The best headphones under $50 that we’ve tested are the JBL Tune 500BT. They’re wireless headphones with a comfortable and straightforward design that can easily be worn for long periods.
They don’t have the most exciting sound profile, but they offer decent bass and well-balanced mid-range, and their battery life is rated at an impressive 16 hours. They also have integrated controls for your media that make them more convenient to use and an audio cable to use them passively when the battery runs out.
Monoprice 8323 Premium Hi-Fi DJ Style Over-the-Ear Pro Headphones.
Monoprice’s premium headphones offer excellent sound quality, but they’re also one of the most comfortable models in the sub-$50 price range. Their ear cups are made from breathable protein leather and are generously padded, so you can use them for hours on end without getting sweaty or uncomfortable.
And that’s a good thing because once you hear what these headphones can do, you won’t want to stop listening! The bass is powerful and tight, the midrange is smooth and detailed, and the highs are crisp and clear. Vocals shine through with a rich presence that’s perfect for podcasts. The only potential downside is that the highs can be overwhelming for those with sensitive ears. But other than that, these headphones offer impressive output for the price.
JLab Audio’s Metal earbuds offer great sound and build quality at a reasonable price. The earbuds come with three pairs of ear tips in multiple sizes (small, medium, and large) so that listeners can find the best fit for their ears. The earbuds’ ergonomic design helps them fit comfortably and securely in your ears. The company also offers a lifetime guarantee for the product so that you can be sure of its durability. JLab Audio promises that these earbuds will never hurt or fall out of your ears.
The earbuds offer an enjoyable listening experience with their rich bass feature. The sound quality is comparable to more expensive headphones from big brands, such as Beats and Sony. However, the JLab Audio Metal Earbuds do not have a microphone or volume controls, which may be a drawback for those used to other types of headphones with those features.
The Pro-10 is a unique entry into the headphone space. It is capable of delivering powerful bass and clear highs, but it also comes with a 3.5 mm to dual-6.35 mm adapter. This allows you to use the headphones as a listening device for your guitar amplifier or DJ mixer. The plug-and-play design means you won’t have to worry about connecting any drivers when using the Pro-10 headphones.
In addition, they come with an adjustable headband and cushioned ear cups, which makes them suitable for long sessions of usage. They’re also foldable and easy to carry around, so you can take them wherever you need to go.
The Shure SE112 Sound Isolating Earphones are the best option for musicians and others who want to reduce outside noise. While not designed for use with phones, the Shure SE112s come with an inline remote and microphone and are compatible with most smartphones.
If you’re a musician or music lover looking for some affordable earbuds, look no further than the Shure SE112 Sound Isolating Earphones. These buds pack in many features at a very reasonable price — they cost half as much as some of our other tops picks.
Sound quality: The Shure SE112s are primarily known for their noise isolation (hence the name), but they also sound good enough to recommend them over pricier options in the past. These earphones sounded better than more expensive models in our tests, with smooth mids and highs and bass that don’t overpower everything else.
Noise cancellation: These headphones have excellent noise isolation thanks to the customizable “ear gels” that fit inside your ears (making them slightly less comfortable than other pairs on this list).
AKG is well-known for producing high-quality headphones, and the K72s are no exception. They’re affordable and made from durable materials to withstand the rigours of frequent use. The earpads are made from soft, breathable material that provides a comfortable fit, even during long sessions. The headphones feature 40mm, drivers, delivering impressive sound quality with a frequency response of 18Hz – 20kHz. The closed-back design blocks background noise, making them a good option for recording in noisy environments or practising without disturbing others. Additionally, the closed-back design offers improved bass frequencies compared to open-back headphones.
Here are some of the best wireless earbuds for every budget
The Panasonic ErgoFit RP-HJE120-K checks all the boxes for a great pair of headphones. The earbuds are comfortable and have a sleek, ergonomic design that fits snugly in your ears. They have a nine-millimetre driver that produces clear sound and powerful bass. A variety of ear tips are included to find the one most comfortable for you. Plus, with the headphones weighing just 0.5 ounces, you’ll barely notice them in your ears when you wear them.
The Skullcandy Ink’d 2 is a particular pair of earbuds in that they’re inexpensive but deliver sound quality that’s much better than what you’d expect. The bass response is impressive, and the mids and highs are well-balanced, resulting in a tremendous all-around sound. The headphones also feel comfortable and are built very well, making them an excellent option for those who need a decent pair of earbuds on the cheap.
These headphones are fabulous for running, weightlifting, and other activities. They’re sweatproof and waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about them getting in the way of your workout. The earbuds come with a charging case that can hold 24 hours of battery life. They also connect through Bluetooth, and they have an auto-on feature, so you can use them without pressing any buttons.
Anker’s SoundBuds Curve is our favourite pair of budget wireless headphones and has been for a while, thanks to their impressive sound quality and 10-hour battery life. Anker includes three sizes of soft silicone tips that should fit most ears and hooks that loop around the ears to keep them in place. While there are plenty of other wireless headphones in this price range, the SoundBuds Curve is the best at balancing all critical factors.
If you’re looking for something a bit cheaper, check out Anker’s SoundBuds Slim, which doesn’t quite have the same bass response but still delivers a great overall sound for a low price.
The Mpow Flame Lite wireless earbuds are a great budget buy, especially considering their deep bass and high-quality sound. The buds provide seven hours of battery life on a single charge and 25 hours with the charging case. Also, there are touch controls on each earbud, so you can control your music and answer calls without reaching for your phone.
Finding the best headphones under $50 is about knowing your needs and what you’re comfortable with. Would you instead get a comfortable pair at a low price that may lack sound quality, or would you rather spend a little more to get a pair with a higher fidelity and comfort levels? Perhaps it’s also worth considering a combination of both; many high-end headphones offer excellent sound quality but at the cost of being somewhat uncomfortable. For whatever options you choose, consider these things before making your final decision. Good luck!