Looking for earbuds under $50? You’d be surprised at the amazing range of affordable headphones you can find online. While most audiophiles are willing to plunk in hundreds of dollars for a pair of designer headphones, some don’t need all that extra features.
Budget earbuds are perfect for those who are looking for basic headphones that won’t make a dent on their savings. Affordable does not automatically equate to cheapness. There are budget headphones that could put high-end earbuds to shame. You just need to know where to look! If you’re looking for an inexpensive pair of earbud-style headphones, here are our top picks:
Image used under Creative Commons from Dano
Best Earbuds under $50
Symphonized NRG 3.0
- Excellent design and construction
- Rich, deep bass
- Built-in mic
- Durable cable
- Uncomfortable fit
- Prone to audio leaks
A beautiful set of earbud-style headphones is hard to come by at under 20 bucks but the NRG 3.0 is an exception. Handcrafted from natural wood, this pair of earbud headphones offers a bold design that belies its affordable price tag. The Symphonized brand has several ranges of wood earbuds, the NRG range is the most popular.
Now on its third generation, the NRG 3.0 retains the sexy form factor of its predecessor while adding subtle improvements in design and sound. Gone are the nylon braided cord, replaced by a multi-tone covering. The NRG 3.0 earbuds eliminate the rubbing noises that plagued the 2.0. The all new NRG comes with a volume control and in-line mic for convenient music listening.
The earbuds are covered with soft silicone and it comes in three sizes. The sizes are standard small, medium, and large. The design and construction of the earbuds themselves feel more expensive than they really are. As for the sound quality, NRG delivers deep, rich bass that doesn’t muddy the mids. Cheaper headphones tend to be too bass heavy but the NRG’s bass delivery isn’t overblown. If you’re looking for earbuds that deliver brain rattling bass though, this isn’t the earbud set for you.
The audio quality sounds robust, crisp, and lifelike. It’s never flat or distorted. The highs sound clear and sharp while the lows are punchy but never boomy. Suffice it to say, the NRG 3.0 doesn’t look nor feel like the average budget headphones.
That said, the fit is something to consider. Although the earbuds are covered in silicone, they do stress the ears after prolonged use. Noise isolation isn’t the best but the earbuds do enough to block ambient noise. The NRG does suffer from audio leak but only if you set the volume too high!
Overall, if you’re looking for a good looking set of earbuds that offer great audio quality, this is a fantastic choice for you!
Here’s what one of the reviewers wrote about these:
As clearly stated; 5 Stars! These earbuds are awesome. Loud with great bass. They have a microphone that you can hear better than using a phone. For the one looking for some inexpensive quality sounding buds LOOK NO FURTHER; trust me I know what I’m talking about!
The NRG 3.0 is quite a handsome earbud set that comes with a sleek design and a budget-friendly price tag. The audio quality is surprisingly great, especially at this price point.
- Excellent Bass
- Comfortable design/li>
- Inline controls
- Significant microphonics
- Best used for low power devices
Sony proved to be one of the best brands for both high end and budget earbuds. One of its most popular earbud-style headphones from Sony is the MDRXB50AP; it’s really one of the best earbuds under $50. Here’s why: the MDRXB50AP delivers impressive bass despite the teeny tiny speakers! The MDRXB50AP features 12mm driver, which is a step up from average drivers in these types of earbuds.
The MDRXB50AP comes with an in-line control so adjusting the settings is convenient. As for comfort, these are pretty comfortable to use. You’d think the earpiece are huge but they fit the ears perfectly. They don’t feel heavy at all.
The sound quality of any headphone set depends on many factors. But the MDRXB50AP makes quite the impression thanks to its powerful performance. The mids are amazingly detailed while the bass is punchy, never echo-ey. The audio clarity is great too! The MDRXB50AP is able to suppress outside noise with ease thanks to its ergonomic design. This is a great set to use if you’re stuck in a noisy place! Sound leak is extremely minimal, almost nonexistent.
MDRXB50AP has slightly lower impedance so it’s a great set of earbuds for MP3 players as well as smartphones. The frequency response is also impressive, we see the MDRXB50AP doing well for bass-heavy music. This is the kind of earbuds set to use if you love EDM or dubstep!
As for the negatives, there’s not much to go on except that these earbuds shouldn’t be used on high powered devices. The MDRXB50AP is best used with MP3 players. Also, when the wires rub together by accident, the speakers produces microphonics or weird sounds. This could be off-putting for some.
If you’re looking for affordable quality, these guys are it. The bass is dynamic, able to deliver big sound without drowning everything else out on more electronic driven songs while delivering punchy bass on rock and metal. The mid and high range comes through clearly without distortion and doesn’t hurt your ears at higher volume.
The Sony MDRXB50AP delivers all the brain rattling bass you could handle. This is the perfect earbuds for pop or house music thanks to its enhanced bass. The design is comfortable while the construction feels solidly built!
- Excellent audio quality
- Durable and stylish design
- Durable braided cord
- Not suitable for bass-heavy tunes
Another position on our list of the best earbuds you can get for $50 is the SoundMAGIC E10. This is a great earbuds set that offer comfort, noise cancellation, and solid performance. All these, at a pocket-friendly price tag! What’s not to love?
SoundMAGIC E10’s earbud design is pretty basic. Each earpiece is covered with a soft silicone cap that conforms to the ears. Although the SoundMAGIC E10 will fit most people, we don’t think it will make a great fit for those with smaller ears. If such is the case, try replacing the silicone tip with softer, smaller ones. The SoundMAGIC E10 is extremely lightweight. Wearing it, you practically forget that you have your ear buds on!
The earbuds also feature a metal casing, which elevates the look and durability of the product. The metal casing makes the SoundMAGIC E10 look nothing like budget earbuds! As an added bonus, the SoundMAGIC E10 comes with excellent noise isolation capability. It’s perfect for users who want to enjoy their favorite tunes without blocking all types of noise.
As for the performance, the sound quality is impressive. The highs are perfectly balanced while the low bass is rich. Don’t expect deep bass though. The SoundMAGIC E10 excels at delivering balanced audio.
As for the things that some might not like about the SoundMAGIC E10, it’s not made for deep bass so the performance isn’t as great for bass heavy songs. We’d recommend the SoundMAGIC E10 for listening to all types of music. We will say, however, that the bass tones are clear and prominent.
If you want headphones under 40$ with a solid amount of bass and enough mid and treble to suffice, these are your choice. If you want great sounding cheaper headphones with a bass emphasis that still has a great level of clarity in the mids/highs then check these out!
You’d think the SoundMAGIC E10 is worth more than its budget-friendly price tag with its luxe design and impeccable audio! SoundMAGIC E10 delivers perfectly balanced audio. It offers fantastic value for your money.
Features to Expect from Budget Earbuds under $50
Budget-friendly earbuds come with all sorts of features. But what factors should you consider when hunting for the best earbuds for your needs?
Single Driver or Multiple Drivers?
The drivers help transform electrical signals to sound pressure to create the audio. The general rule of thumb is, the larger the driver, the better the audio. Some earbuds under $50 come with single drivers, other come with multiple drivers.
Single driver earbuds are perfect for basic music listening but they do have limitations. That said, multiple driver earbuds aren’t always better than single driver ones. Multiple drivers earbuds offer better audio quality but not all earbuds are created equal. Poorly designed ones deliver jarring performance due to imbalanced frequency response.
Some earbuds, particularly basic ones, come in no-fuss designs. But there are some that offer in-line controls. The controls are located on the cord of the headphones. This setting allows you to adjust the controls without taking your MP3 player or mobile device from your pocket. You can also take or reject a call, skip a tune, or use voice commands without taking off your earbuds. This is a great feature to consider when you hate tinkering with your MP3 player.
Basic earbuds have soft silicone covered earpieces that physically block ambient noise. The silicone covers create a tight seal that keeps ambient noise from seeping into the ears. At the same time, the seal prevents audio leaks so people nearby won’t hear the music you’re listening to.
The noise isolation features of budget earbuds are not as effective as higher end ones. That means, with a basic earbud set, you can still hear the surrounding noise but the unwanted sound isn’t ruining the listening experience. On the other hand, high-end earbuds with noise cancellation feature are able to block unwanted sounds electronically.
Wired or Wireless
Some budget earphones come with cords, others are wireless. If say, you prefer sitting down when listening to your tracks, corded earbuds are perfect for you. These earphones deliver stable audio and solid performance.
On the other hand, if you hate dealing with tangled cords and loose connections, go for wireless earbuds. These earbuds offer utmost freedom of movement thanks to the wireless design.
Factors to Consider When Shopping Around
Fit and Comfort
Two of the most important things you need to keep in mind when searching for the best earbuds under $50 are the fit and comfort. Most earbud-style earphones come with soft silicone-covered earpieces. The material comforts to the ears’ unique shape, offering a comfortable fit. This way, you can enjoy your favorite tracks for hours on end.
Some earphones do come with plastic earpieces instead of being covered with soft silicone. Because the material is rigid, these earphones are uncomfortable to use. Our advice is to choose earbuds with covered earpieces or moldable tips.
Realistically, you can’t expect budget earphones to outlast their pricier counterparts. However, they should last for months or even years when used with care. Mid-range earbuds are prone to cable noise, wire tearing and connection problems. To avoid these issues, use the earbuds gently. It helps if the device comes with its own storage pouch so you can tuck them away safely when not in use.
Inexpensive earbud-style headphones are great for music listening because of the balanced audio. The sound is also crisp and clear. These headphones usually offer the right level of bass though some models are better than others.
Of course, the higher the price, the better the sound quality. That said, it’s not impossible to find a nice pair of affordable earbuds as long as you picked the right model for you! All of the earbuds headphones we featured in this list are known for their excellent sound quality.