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Best headphones under $50

Best cheap headphones

You can use headphones on trips around town, working during the day or just listening to music, all while creating a more enjoyable experience. However, with so many high-quality headphones costing hundreds of dollars, finding a good pair within a smaller budget can be difficult. With several cheaper headphones lacking solid audio quality or long-term durability, purchasing a more affordable pair often leads to needing a new pair in a matter of weeks. However, there are still several earbuds, on-ear headphones and over-ear headphones for $50 or less. 

What features to consider before buying headphones

When buying a pair of headphones on a budget, there are a few different qualities and types of devices to consider.

Wired vs. wireless headphones

One of the biggest decisions to make when buying a new pair of headphones is between a wired pair or a Bluetooth-connected pair. While a wired pair may be cheaper and last longer, Bluetooth-capable headphones provide more versatility and convenience. Another factor to take into consideration for Bluetooth-capable headphones is connectivity and battery life. Wired headphone users only need to worry about damage directly to the wire. 

Earbuds vs. on/over-ear headphones

Another major choice is between earbuds, on-ear headphones or over-ear headphones. Earbuds are the easiest to store and use on the go, but over-ear and on-ear headphones provide better sound quality and possibly more durability. Earbuds will also likely be more affordable while offering better performance for a fair price. 

Headphone audio quality

Audio quality is an essential factor to any pair of headphones, with the primary purpose of any pair being listening to music or podcasts. However, for users who care less about overall sound performance, there will be more options under $50 available. 

Headphone durability

While many headphones may cost less than $50, a large portion of them won't hold up under heavy duress or wear and tear. A pair of headphones within this budget that can withstand water or weather damage can help save even more money over a longer time frame. 

Best earbuds under $50

Best of the best under $50 earbuds

Skullcandy Sesh Evo True Wireless In-Ear Earbud

What you need to know: These are wireless earbuds from a well-known brand that offers resistance to sweat, water and dust. 

What you'll love: Despite being just earbuds, the buds still have up to 24 hours of battery life alongside a portable charging case. 

What you should consider: Users report the battery capacity declining by several hours after extended months of use. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best bang for your buck under $50 earbuds

Philips Pro Wired Earbuds

What you need to know: An affordable pair of wired earbuds with surprisingly high-quality sound and a comfortable fit for any sized ear.

What you'll love: The headphones come equipped with a microphone and control line built into the wire. 

What you should consider: Some users report reverberation in the audio when making calls on the headphones. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Honorable mentions

Skullcandy Ink'D+ Wired In-Ear Headphones

What you need to know: Incredibly affordable headphones with solid durability and comfort for users. 

What you'll love: These headphones come with a two-year warranty, ensuring longevity for whoever buys them. 

What you should consider: The cord can sometimes easily break, ruining the connectivity of the headphones. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Apple EarPods

What you need to know: Wired earbuds with solid sound quality and durability for most daily wear and tear. 

What you'll love: Available for purchase with both a lightning connection and a 3.5mm jack connection making these perfect for Apple or regular devices alike.

What you should consider: Some users report connectivity problems if the cord is bent too much over months of use. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best on/over-ear headphones under $50

Best of the best under $50 on/over-ear headphones

Audio-Technica ATH-M20X Professional Studio Monitor Headphones

What you need to know: Some of the highest quality sound for a pair of headphones for under $50 available today. 

What you'll love: The 10-foot cord allows for users to stay plugged in even walking around the room. 

What you should consider: The headphone cord has no microphone or touch controls leaving them less versatile than other pairs. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best bang for your buck under $50 on/over-ear headphones

JVC HARX500 Full-Size Headphones

What you need to know: These comfortable and affordable headphones have solid sound quality for the price.

What you'll love: They are incredibly durable headphones that can withstand a solid amount of impact without faltering in performance. 

What you should consider: These are only available as wired headphones, which can be less versatile than other pairs.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Honorable mentions

Sony MDRZX110NC Noise Cancelling Headphones

What you need to know: Solid all-around headphones with comfortable ear cups for all-day use without discomfort.

What you'll love: These are one of the few headphones in this price range that offers strong noise-canceling technology. 

What you should consider: The noise-canceling technology will not be up to the standard of Bose or higher quality Sony products. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid

What you need to know: Highly durable wireless headphones offer solid noise-canceling capabilities for the price range.

What you'll love: Up to 40 hours of continuous playing time without the need for a single recharge makes them perfect for long activities outside of the house. 

What you should consider: Some users report popping noises when the headphones if jolted while playing music. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Panasonic Full-Sized Lightweight Long-Cord Headphones

What you need to know: These are affordable and lightweight headphones that offer several different varieties for every use. 

What you'll love: They're equipped with an in-line microphone, perfect for wearing during video conferencing meetings at work. 

What you should consider: Some users report the ear cups falling apart after extended use. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Tom Price writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.