I hope you’ll agree with me when I say:
“Life is not possible without a good pair of earbuds”
Or is it?
Well, there is only ONE problem. Finding a “Good” Pair of earbuds isn’t an easy job.
That is why, after spending hours in research and testing, I have created a list of best cheap earbuds under every budget.
Navigate to the top picks:
The Overall Best Cheap Earbuds
|Sony MDR-XB50AP/L Extra Bass Earbud Headset|
|Blue, black, and red||A+|
|Sennheiser CX 300-II Precision Earbuds|
|AKG Lightweight In-Ear Headphone||Black||A|
|Aelec S350 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones|
|Blue, Red, Black & Green||A|
|Sennheiser CX200 Twist-to-Fit Earbuds||Black||B|
|Actionpie In-ear Headphones Earbuds||Gray||A+|
|VAVA Flex Wired Earphones||Silver||A|
More interesting Articles:
- Best Earbuds Under 100 dollars
- Best Noise Cancelling Headphones
- Best Workout headphones
- Best Noise Cancelling Headphones
Best Earbuds Under $50
Here are the top 10 picks under 50 dollars…
1. Sony MDR-XB50AP/L Extra Bass Earbud Headset
If you’re looking for a strong bass performance, these Sony earbuds really deliver a lot of oomph. In fact, these earbuds have a 12mm dome driver that really makes these perfect for anyone looking to play bassy musical genres. While it doesn’t have the largest frequency spectrum available in a pair of bass headphones, most people will really enjoy the deeper tones that these buds can product.
Sony has a tendency to create headphones that are made of metal or have metal accents, and these earbuds definitely have that in their design. These also come in three relatively attractive colors that will look good during a commute. Additionally, these have a tangle-free cord that has a flat design and features a small remote that lets you answer calls or pause/play the music.
These are also a set of earbuds that have a pretty tight seal, which is perfect for when you’re trying to listen to music or a call in a loud gym. These earbuds also include a microphone that has a good level of quality so that you don’t have to use your smartphone’s mic during a call.
- For those looking for a bassy sound, these earbuds definitely pack a lot of punch for your sessions.
- These also have a fairly deep insertion that provides a tight seal on outside noise. This is perfect for loud environments.
- For those that constantly struggle with earbud wires, these wires are tangle-free and flat so that you can avoid shorts.
- Despite having a very strong bass response, these struggle in the higher end of the sound spectrum.
- Unfortunately, these aren’t water or moisture-resistant. This means that, despite their noise isolation, these may not be the best gym buds.
2. Sennheiser CX 300-II Precision Noise Cancelling Earbuds
Another set of great bass-driven products, these Sennheiser CX 300-II Precision earbuds are perfect for anyone looking for a very even listening experience. Outside of the impressive bass, these earbuds have a very warm sound to them, which means that they are perfect for private listening. Additionally, these also have some noise canceling design that blocks the ear canal, which also helps in this regard.
These earbuds also employ an asymmetrical design in their cabling so that the two earbuds are linked by a shorter cable that wraps around the neck. This design ensures that these earbuds will attach securely to your head so that they are more difficult to dislodge and are also more comfortable.
These are also great earbuds for simple aesthetics; they have a very basic design that looks very elegant. They only come in black, but that’s not a design flaw – this means that these earbuds will look great anywhere.
- These earbuds produce a crisp, warm sound that is perfect for listening to genres like smooth jazz or folk.
- These really do reduce the ambient noise in your environment so that you can better enjoy your music.
- Sennheiser has included three sets of sleeves so that any user can fit these earbuds inside their ear canal comfortably.
- Unfortunately, the asymmetrical cable that comes with these Sennheiser earbuds has a tendency to tangle.
- Despite the fact that they are called “noise cancelling,” these earbuds accomplish noise reduction by using a tight fit, which means they are noise isolating earbuds.
- The asymmetrical cable is unfortunately very thin, which means that they can definitely wear out over time.
3. AKG Lightweight In-Ear Headphone
When you’re out and about and listening to music, it’s helpful to have a lightweight pair of earbuds for your excursion. These earbuds, which come from AKG, make it easier to exercise because of their very lightweight yet durable design. In fact, these Y20 earbuds fall into the “ultra-small” category, but that being said, they provide a good seal inside the ear canal.
In addition to their lightweight design, these are also very easy to store and upkeep earbuds due to the fact that they come with an on-the-go travel pouch. The cabling is also very durable so that you can use these for private listening or to your gym sessions.
For the sake of comfort, AKG the earbuds have a tilted positioning so that they fit more easily within the ear canal. Additionally, the silicone sleeves fit very easily within the ear canal, and AKG has also included three individual size options so that you can find the most comfortable fit.
- These earbuds have a great audio output and superb bass performance due to their 8mm drivers.
- It’s easy for a pair of earbuds to become damaged in a pocket, which is why it’s useful for these to include a carrying pouch.
- The earbuds themselves have a tilted positioning so that they can fit more easily within the ear canal.
- For some reason, the highs on these earbuds aren’t as clear as the more bassy tones.
- Despite the adequate noise isolation, you may still hear some background noise in some environments.
- Some users may find that these don’t fit that well in the ear canal, even when the sleeves are switched.
4. MEE audio M6 PRO Universal-Fit Noise-Isolating Musician’s In-Ear Monitors
If you’re looking for a high-level performance, then these earbuds from MEE Audio are a great option for true audiophiles. These are really designed for people that want to do a little private listening and are even good for studio work.
Those looking for bass performance will be very pleased; the M6 Pro has some deep and thrumming bass sound that falls low on the frequency spectrum. For the mids, the M6 Pro earbuds definitely deliver a quality performance; in fact, this is where the fullest sounds originate on these earbuds. Finally, the highs on the M6 Pro are very resonant – the sound ends up being very crisp.
These earbuds are designed to stay in the ear no matter what, which means they are really good for active users. Have you ever had a problem with shorts? One of the best features of these earbuds is their modular design; you can fully remove the wires and replace them when needed.
- These headphones have a clear design that makes for a very aesthetically interesting look.
- These have some very high levels of sound performance; bass is deep, mids are full, and the higher frequencies are resonant.
- The wiring on these is fully removable so that you can simply replace them if a short happens.
- As earbuds that are designed to be at a professional level of quality, these tend to be fairly expensive.
- The sleeves definitely can be somewhat uncomfortable in the ear canals for certain users.
5. Panasonic RP-HJE120-K In-Ear Headphone
Just because a pair of earbuds comes in at a budget-friendly price doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t have a high degree of quality. These products from Panasonic are very inexpensive yet they still pack in features like an ultra-comfortable feel, balanced audio performance, and a long cord.
The Panasonic RP-HJE120-K come in a wide array (nine in total) of colors and are very comfortable to the ear. In addition, for those that listen through their smartphone, these also include a mic so that you can speak seamlessly on your phone without having to actually hold your handset. Also, for the sake of comfort, these come with three in-ear sleeves (S, M, L) so that you can find the best fit within your ear canal.
One of the standout features of these Panasonic earbuds is their wires. These wires are 3.6 feet long, which means that you won’t have stretching problems using these during a workout. Also on these wires, you’ll find a small remote that will let you control the music that you’re listening to.
- These earbuds come in nine very unique colors that range from black to a bright green.
- These are some of the most inexpensive yet high-quality earbuds currently available on the market.
- Despite the inexpensive price tag, these earbuds can really deliver highly balanced audio performance.
- Unfortunately, these do not include a volume control rocker. Fortunately, these do have control options for the music you’re playing.
- The bass on these isn’t as good as it could be; if you’re listening to bassy musical genres, these may not be the best for you.
6. ZERO AUDIO-ear stereo headphone
Also called the Carbo Tenore, these earbuds, which come from popular Japanese electronics producer Zero Audio, are a great set of headsets for any audiophile. The frequency range on these is excellent; you can expect to hear bass tones down to the eight hertz range, and you can also expect highs in the 24 kilohertz range. The mid-range is also very clear and full, which means that these earbuds have a complete audio package.
Additionally, these have very respectable levels of noise isolation; as a result, these are great earbuds for anyone that wants to do a little private listening. Aesthetically, these have a fairly simplified design that is very attractive; the body of the earbuds has a carbon fiber design on them that looks good.
While these aren’t water resistant, their lightweight design does mean that they aren’t bad for use during a workout.
- These come with a cloth carrying case that looks very classy and will protect the earbuds from external damage.
- The frequency range of these is 8Hz to 24kHz, which means that you’ll get deep tones and higher highs.
- The overall sound quality of these is top-notch, which is a great achievement considering their relatively small size.
- The cords on these are made of a grippy rubber that has a tendency to get caught on things.
- These rubber wires also meet the body of the earbuds on a somewhat poorly reinforced joint. If a short is going to happen, it’ll happen here.
- The seal is okay; there may be some sound leakage as you listen to your music.
7. TaoTronics Active Noise Cancelling Headphones
Simply put, those earbuds that actually employ active noise cancellation as well as noise isolating features will simply be the best at providing a fully immersive experience. These earbuds, which come from TaoTronics, are exceptionally well-made and designed to provide a fully isolated musical experience. In fact, these buds reduce the volume of background sounds by up to 25 decibels.
The wire itself is very long; in fact, it’s more than four and a half feet long. This means that you won’t have any issues with these stretching and getting pulled out of the ear. Positioned in the center of the wire is an in-line remote control that grants the ability for users to select a track, play and pause the music, or control the volume.
When it comes to comfort and fit, these earbuds are one of the few earbuds in this guide that are actually designed with hooks. These hooks help keep the earbuds in your ears while you move about your day. Finally, these earbuds also feature several all-metal components that provide durability and also enhance the sound quality as well.
- The in-line remote on these earbuds have a full package of functions, which makes it very easy to use.
- These earbuds have some of the best noise cancellation and isolation available on the market at this price point.
- With the tight fit, the hooks, and the extra amount of wire, these earbuds are very hard to dislodge.
- Since these use active noise cancellation, you’ll have to charge them in order to use this feature.
- The bass isn’t the best, and the highs have a tendency to be a little too bright.
8. SoundMAGIC E10 Noise Isolating In-Ear Earphones
Metal has a significant effect on the sound performance of a good pair of earbuds, and these SoundMAGIC products have an all-metal construction that really enhances the sound. As a result, these have an excellent bass performance that really accentuates the high-quality mids and highs that these earbuds produce.
Additionally, these have a frequency range that spans from 15 Hz to 22 KHz, which means that its lows sound very deep and it also has a higher tonality in the high range. These also use a 10mm neodymium driver that really helps the entire range of sound appear to be fuller.
Additionally, these also include a three-button remote that allows you to control the playback, play/pause, and volume of your music. This remote is also compatible with just about any platform, which can be very useful when you upgrade or change your smartphone.
- These SoundMAGIC E10 earbuds have a 200±2db sensitivity that really allows for a full-range of audio performance.
- These earbuds have an all-metal construction that enhances the sound quality and ensures a high degree of durability.
- These have a fully performant level of bass that’s good for experiencing certain genres of music.
- While these are great for bass performance, the bass can be a bit too powerful for some styles of music.
- Unfortunately, despite the presence of a remote, these earbuds don’t have a built-in microphone.
9. Tesson Wireless V4.1 Magnetic Bluetooth Headphones
The Tesson Wireless V4.1 earbuds are the best wireless earbuds under 50 in this guide for working out. Not only are they sweat-proof, but they fit comfortably in the ear and have noise canceling features that really help you focus on your workout. Additionally, these are Bluetooth earbuds, which means that snags are virtually impossible.
The earbuds also have a rear wire that includes a small remote that wraps around the back of your head so that you can have a secure fit. Additionally, when you’re ready to stop your workout, you can simply magnetically attach the earbuds to each other, which forms a necklace of sorts.
As Bluetooth headphones, connectivity is important, which is why the fact that these use Bluetooth 4.1 technology is so advantageous for those looking for a secure and resonant performance. The seal on the earbuds themselves is also very tight, which means that you’ll experience a full musical experience.
- These headphones utilize Bluetooth 4.1 technology that will connect to any mobile device.
- The earbuds also produce a high-level sound quality that has full bass, great mids, and crisp highs.
- The magnetic bodies of the earbuds attach to each other when you’re done with your workout.
- Unfortunately, these don’t automatically turn off when you magnetize them together – this would have been a good feature.
10. Symphonized NRG 3.0 Earbuds
The next set of earbud, which is designed by Symphonized, has a unique design that is crafted from real wood. This dark, stylish design looks great in your ears, no matter what you are wearing, and it comes with three sets of silicone tips that will give you a more customized fit that will be comfortable in your ear. In fact, the in-ear aesthetics of this device is designed to reduce the ambient noise that you can hear as you are listening to your music.
Insofar as the sound quality, you will always hear crystal clear audio with these earbuds, even when you decide to turn up the base a bit. In addition, there is also a microphone on the wire that allows you to easily take a call when you are listening to a song. It is easy to control the volume of your music as well as any call that you take with the touch of a button; in fact, there is even a voice control feature that you can enable to add additional convenience.
- It has a very long cord that makes it easy to put your device in your bag.
- The earbuds are made from wood, which makes it a very durable product that will last.
- The treble and the bass that you can get through these earbuds sound great, even when it is turned up.
- The long cable can easily get tangled, especially if you put it in your pocket.
- The silicone ear tips are not as comfortable as they could be for individuals with smaller ears.
- These earbuds tend to stick out of your ear a bit, which makes it uncomfortable to listen to lying down.
Best Earbuds Under $30
There are the top 5 choices under 30 dollars..
1. Aelec S350 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
The Aelec S350 Bluetooth headphones are an ideal choice for someone who likes to listen to music on the go. The headphones are sweat-proof and are designed at an ergonomic angle to fit snugly in the wearer’s ear comfortably. They are also specially designed not to fall out during physical activity. These are a bit of a fashion statement, too, as they are available in one of four vibrant colors: green, blue, red, and black.
DSP noise-canceling is a feature, so you can listen to music or podcasts without distraction. Many users report that the battery life is excellent and Bluetooth pairing is a breeze. A protective carrying case is included which has enough room for the headphone and the included charging cable. Several earpieces are included in order to accommodate users with different ear shapes, and the manufacturer offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. We think these are the best earbuds under 30.
2. Sennheiser CX200 Twist-to-Fit Earbuds
The ultra-compact CX200 model from Sennheiser features a cutting-edge finger-contoured earbud housing design for the ultimate experience in easy-to-adjust comfort. Weighing in at only 0.18 ounces, the light weight of these headphones makes them perfect for throwing in your pocket or a travel bag. Users report a very balanced sound, with the impressive response from the bass frequencies.
The CX200s have sort of a cult following among headphone fans, with one Amazon reviewer noting that he was on his fifth pair. Although the CX200s don’t employ active noise-cancelling technology, users report that they are fairly effective at keeping outside noise anyway. Given their diminutive size and weight, many users have commented that the durability of these headphones is surprisingly impressive. Keep in mind that these are “listen-only”, meaning that there is no inline microphone for use with a smartphone. Three sets of ear adapters are included.
3. PLAY X STORE Bluetooth Wireless Headphones
In an appeal to the truly active, PLAY X STORE’s wireless model is completely waterproof. Users have even reported that these headphones will survive a trip through the washing machine. Dual batteries offer 7-10 hours of listening time and 240 hours of standby. An inline microphone/volume control is included, which is compatible with iPhone and Android. For the audiophile on the go, APT-X lossless playback is supported.
Storage is a snap – literally – as the headphones clip together easily thanks to magnets in each earpiece. Many users enjoy the versatility of how these headphones can be worn; there is a rubber loop that clips onto the user’s ear for added support during activity, but this can be removed if it is not desired. The rubber that the earpieces and clips are made from is smooth and soft on the surface, yet firm enough to take a beating.
4. GRDE aptX Wireless Magnetic Earbuds
GRDE has really nailed it with another magnetic set of Bluetooth headphones. These come with a zippered carrying case and USB charging cable. The aptX model includes an inline microphone and volume control, which is compatible with iPhone and Android, and the buttons are also able to receive and end phone calls. You can even access Apple’s Siri function with the controls on this set.
Reports on the sound of these earbuds indicate very solid performance with a natural sound. Some users report that the bass is a bit lacking, so keep that in mind if a heavy bass is important to you. Three sets of earpieces are included. Battery life is reported as more than adequate, with about 2 hours required for a full charge. Noise canceling capabilities of this pair are strong; one reviewer noted that he is able to hear his music even while riding a motorcycle.
5. Vomercy Magnet Bluetooth Headphones
We really like the striking red and black color scheme of the Vomercy Magnet Bluetooth Headphones, but the impressiveness doesn’t end there. The sound is quite life-like, with crisp highs and deep lows. Some users have stated that there is sort of a break-in period and that it takes a few listens before the true sound of the headphones comes out. Don’t be disappointed if the headphones don’t sound perfect out of the box, then; just give them a little time.
The quality of these headphones is solid, but the few users who have reported problems have also said that Vomercy stands behind their product and that their customer service is very accommodating. The headphones are very comfortable and have no problem staying in during even the most strenuous activities. The Bluetooth range is impressive, too; one user reported still having a signal even while 40+ feet away from their device.
Best Earbuds Under $20
There are the top 5 Picks under 20 dollars..
1. Actionpie In-ear Headphones with Microphone
For a no-frills audio listening experience, Actionpie offers a worthy option. There’s nothing fancy here – these are wired, there is only one button (for pause and play), and there is no claim that these are good for sports or other exercises – but these fit the bill as a simple pair of earbuds for casual listening.
The slightly angled rubber tips make for comfortable insertion in the ear canal, where users report they have no problem staying, at least for normal use. The in-ear design promotes exceptional bass response, especially for headphones in this price range. A tangled cord is something that must be reckoned with on any wired headphones, but the Actionpie cables are coated in thick rubber which reduces such tangling. A microphone is built in for phone call use, and a carrying case and three sets of earpieces are included. Put all that together and you have our pick for best earbuds under 20.
2. VAVA Flex Wired Headphones
The sleek, high-end look of VAVA’s Flex Wired Headphones will no doubt turn some heads. The price tag that accompanies those looks may be surprisingly low, though. Powerful dual 8mm drivers and an iPhone- and Android-compatible inline microphone with volume and call accept/end controls are some of the top-line features included in these headphones.
This is another wired set, but a gold-plated 3.5mm jack ensures a smooth connection to your device. A 3.9 foot-long cable gives you plenty of room to move freely. The sound of these headphones is colorful and vivid, but it is also customizable. Simply twist the earpieces slightly to choose between the more natural sounding standard mode and the enhanced bass mode. Three sets of earpieces are included, as is a zippered hard protective case. The high-end features included at such a competitive price point really make this pair of headphones stand out.
3. MEE audio Sport-Fi M6 Noise Isolating In-Ear Headphones with Memory Wire
Carrying an IPX5 sweat-and-water-resistance certification, the M6 is a great choice for active listeners on the go. Six sporty colors are available: black, orange, pink, purple, white, and teal. The patented ergonomic memory wire earpiece is truly innovative. Each headphone’s cable has a wire in it that can be bent to contour to the user’s ear, so pairing this feature with one of the six included rubber earpieces provides an unparalleled custom fit.
The sound of these headphones is clear and natural-sounding with a very good bass response, and the noise-canceling feature has been reported as very effective. Another thing those on the go will find useful is the included clip that can attach the cord to user’s clothing in order to keep it out of the way. A carrying case is included.
4. G-Cord In-Ear Earphones
The main focus of the G-Cord In-Ear earphones is comfort, with the earpieces being designed ergonomically to fit the ears of most listeners. Although there is no volume control, a microphone is built into the cord, along with a pause/play button. Many users like the right angle of the 3.5mm plug, which reduces stress on the cord.
The G-cords offer a well-rounded sound, and they perform surprisingly well at high volumes. No carrying case is included, but the cord is tangle-resistant, so throwing these ‘phones in a bag should be a breeze. Take a look at that color-scheme, too; the black with red accents is quite striking. These aren’t “sport” headphones, but many users have reported that these have no problem staying put during exercise. These headphones are also effective at keeping sound contained and not letting it “leak” out to people sitting nearby.
5. HC-RET In-Ear Earbuds
Most headphones in this prices range are constructed from plastic, which gets the job done but doesn’t stand up to heavy use. HC-RET eliminated this concern by crafting these earbuds out of metal for the ultimate in durability. This makes for a handsome design that rivals products costing two or three times as much as the HC-RETs. Take a look at those cables, too. The braided design ensured the cables will be as hard-wearing as the ‘phones themselves.
Although the casing is hard, the earpieces are made from an incredibly soft material that remains comfortable even through the longest listening sessions. Three sizes of these earpieces are included. Calls can be made through the inline microphone, but there is no volume control. A hard zippered protective case is included. If you tend to give your earbuds a beating, then these may be the choice for you.
Best Earbuds Under $10
There are the top 5 selections under 10 dollars..
1. Skullcandy S2IKDZ-010 Ink’d 2.0 Earphones
The popular Ink’d model has been given a complete facelift for version 2.0. The drivers have been updated to deliver a precise, crystal clear sound with phenomenal bass. The upgraded cord is flat for a unique look and easy storage, and it’s also very resistant to tangling. A major complaint on the original Ink’d model was the excessive cord noise, but this has been remedied on the new version.
Skullcandy paid special attention to the durable construction of these earphones, with one user reporting having used his for over 3 years. That’s a lot of life for less than ten dollars. If colors are your thing, these buds are for you, with fifteen vibrant colorways available. A microphone is built in, with phone control support for iPhone and Android. Three sets of silicone earpieces are included, ensuring the perfect fit. The S21KDZ-010’s are our pick for best earbuds under 10.
2. Kmeets Wired Smart Headphones
The sleek design of the Kmeets headphones is backed up by a lightweight but sturdy aluminum construction and a durable braided cable. That cable is longer than average, too, ensuring you have room to move comfortably while listening. The headphones are in-ear, but are not as intrusive as many others. Nevertheless, they stay put without any problem.
The sound has been described as a very accurate representation of the music being listened to, which is good for those who just want to listen without any enhanced bass or other features. Like many on this list, the Kmeets have a pause/play button, but there is no microphone built into this set. A zippered carrying case is included, though, which makes for a great value considering this pair can be had for less than ten dollars. They can be had in any color you want, as long as the color you want is red.
3. AmazonBasics In-Ear Headphones
You may not be aware that online retail giant Amazon recently launched their own line of electronics, but they did, and they are impressive. Available in black, silver, gold, and rose gold, these headphones sport a classic design and include all the features you’d expect. These features include an inline microphone with pause/play capability for iPhone and Android, as well as three sets of silicone earpieces. A cord clip is included, making it easy to secure the cord to your clothing. Speaking of that cord, it’s flat and very smooth to the touch, reducing the occurrence of tangling.
The sound is very smooth and clear, even at high volumes. It is surprisingly good for a pair of headphones in this price range. No brand on this list is as big as Amazon, and they do stand behind their products in the event that any issues arise. These are certainly some of the best budget earbuds.
4. Noot E290 Premium Wooden Earbuds
Wooden earbuds, you say? It’s true, and the wood is a major contributor to the impressive sound of the Noot E290s. Think about it: most high-end loudspeakers are encased in wood, so why not take the same approach on a pair of earbuds? That’s what Noot did, and it’s paying off. The sound is incredibly rich, with crisp highs and deep lows. The thing about the low-end frequencies in many budget headphones is that the bass can get muddy at times. Due to the unique sound-absorbing qualities of this pair’s wooden casing, the sound of each instrument remains crystal clear, even on the bassiest tracks.
An inline microphone is included, as is a pause/play button for iPhone and Android devices. This pair is super-lightweight, too, making the sonic qualities all the more impressive. Three sets of earpieces are included.
Cheap Earbuds Buyer’s Guide
So, what should you look for when you’re searching for a good pair of earbuds?
Well, features vary, but in a general sense, you should definitely look for the most responsive audio experience so that you can hear all of the parts of the music that the composer intended. This means that the best pairs will have excellent frequency response, which decides the best overall audio experience based on hertz. Effectively, you want a pair that has a larger frequency so that you can hear deeper lows that can be as low as 15Hz and higher treble, which is usually measured in kilohertz.
Quality lows, mids, and highs are also something that you should consider when purchasing a new pair of earbuds. A good pair of headphones can’t just deliver excellent bass; it needs to provide good treble and also sound good in the mid-range. All of these features will improve how dynamic the earbuds are, and if you’re a true audiophile, then you’ll want a set of earbuds that are as dynamic as possible.
What does bass response have to do with a good pair of earbuds?
If you want a lifelike experience on your earbuds, then you’ll want a bass response that provides the deeper tones that are popular in genres of music like hip hop, techno, and jazz. Effectively, this definitely has something to do with frequency response because the bass response is at its most deep when lower frequencies are attainable.
Should you consider noise cancellation or noise isolation?
When you’re listening to your music, the last thing you want to hear is the noisy subway sounds or the sound of the jet engine on the airplane that you’re traveling in. Fortunately, this is where noise reducing earbuds can really make a difference. Noise reducing earbuds can significantly reduce the external noise in your environment and make it feel as if you’re in an isolated area with only your music playing.
Typically, noise reduction comes in two forms: isolation and cancellation, and here’s how they work:
- Noise Cancellation – A good pair of noise cancellation earbuds actually employ a small microphone in order to produce a truly isolated effect. This type of system, which is called active noise cancellation, produces the antiphase of any sound in your environment. The antiphase is the exact opposite of the sound waves being produced in your environment in order to fully cancel out the noise.Typically, noise cancellation requires both hardware and software to work, so this may drive up the price of the earbuds somewhat. That being said, there are relatively inexpensive models out there. In fact, you’ll find more than one in our earbuds under 50 reviews. Also, there can be a delay in the noise cancellation effect; this is caused by the microphone needing a delay in order to produce the antiphase needed to cancel the noise.
- Noise Isolation – Noise can be isolated without the need for advanced technology as well. Noise isolating headphones simply help you seal up your ear canal so that you’ll only really be able to hear the music. Typically, these usually have foam sleeves that conform to the shape of your ear canal so that the headphones work simultaneously like earplugs and earbuds.As you might expect, noise isolation is a much cheaper technology to employ in a pair of earbuds. This means that the earbuds may have other audio-enhancing features, but it’ll depend on the model.
Why should you consider earbuds that have moisture resistance?
While you may not necessarily be taking your earbuds for a dip in the ocean (though some do), moisture resistance is a crucial feature that you should consider, especially if you’ll be working out. When you’re sweating during an exercise session, you can inadvertently damage the circuitry inside the sleeve and in the body of the speaker itself.
Additionally, an actual pair of fully waterproof, rather than moisture-resistant earbuds may actually sound better than a standard type because of the fact that everything is sealed. This sealing means that you’ll get a tighter, crisper sound. Also, these types of earbuds can be used in the shower, when you go swimming, and during inclement weather.
How much cabling is adequate cabling on a pair of earbuds?
The last thing you need is to feel constricted when you are using your new pair of earbuds. With this in mind, you’ll want a pair of earbuds that have cabling that isn’t too loose so that it can easily snag on items around you, and isn’t too snug so that the slightest movement yanks them out of your ear canals. Ideally, the wire that comes with your new pair of earbuds is the proper length, but if it’s too long, there are cable management options out there.
How can you ensure that your earbuds stay in tip-top shape?
You’ve probably had a pair of earbuds in the past that broke in the speaker area or ended up having a short so that only one ear played music. Unfortunately, most budget earbuds aren’t designed to last for decades, but there are ways to ensure that they last as long as possible. Here are two things that you can do:
- Keep your earbuds stored in a bag or case – Many modern earbuds come with some way of carrying them so that they can be protected. Typically this can be a hard case or a pouch. In any situation, keeping your earbuds in your pocket or in a bag is a sure way to damage them over time.
- Try to keep your wires tangle-free – While it may seem inevitable for your wires to get tangled, keeping your wires as straight and untangled as possible is a good way to ensure that you won’t get a short.
Are there any control systems when you buy an earbud?
While earbuds, by their very nature, are convenient, when you have to pull up your media device, smartphone, or tablet, and change up the track manually, it can feel very inconvenient. This is why the dongle was created.
The earbud dongle is a small console that rests in the midsection of your earbud wire that will give you access to functions like last track, next track, play, pause, and stop. This dongle is effectively a remote that can even be used to adjust the volume of your music. If you find yourself needing to change the track a lot during your daily earbud listening sessions, this is the perfect feature for you.
Can you make calls with a set of earbuds?
Since many people use their earbuds with their smartphones, it’s very convenient to be able to answer calls directly through the earbuds. In order to do this, many manufacturers have included a mic inside the dongle of their earbuds. If you find yourself on the phone often and want a seamless calling option, this is the way to go.
How will it fit in your ear?
The last thing you want is to feel at all uncomfortable when you’re listening to your favorite tunes on Spotify or Pandora. With this in mind, manufacturers have thought up a wide array of systems that ensure your earbuds fit perfectly in your ear.
For the most part, you can either love or hate these systems, but most likely, there’ll be one that fits your personal tastes. Here are a few of the most popular:
- Over Ear Options – When you’re working out, the last thing you want is for your earbuds to fall out and get tangled inside the treadmill that you’re working out on. Fortunately, there are actually a few variations of earbuds that fit snugly in your ear via an over-the-ear connection.The primary type simply has a wire that wraps around the back of the head. This allows for there to be a connector between the two earbuds so that you’ll only need a single wire. Also, this is a fairly robust system that will keep the earbuds firmly and comfortably on your head.The final feature that makes these very useful is the fact that they can be designed to keep the actual sleeve from pressing into your ear canal. Some people don’t like this feeling, so if this sounds like you, then this may be the go-to product type for you.
- Multiple Sleeves – Ear canals are like fingerprints; each is unique in shape, size, and depth. For this reason, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to earbuds, which means that you may have to do a little shopping around before you find the one that fits comfortably in your ear.
If you want to avoid this, you can purchase a set with multiple sleeves included. The sleeve, which is the material that covers the actual speaker of the earbud is designed to rest neatly in your canal. Some manufacturers understand that everyone’s ear canals is shaped differently, and for that reason, you’ll find two or three different sized sleeves so that you can test which one works best for you.
The Headphone List has a great guide on how to fit your earbuds so that you can have a comfortable experience.
- Sleeve Textures – The sleeve is also a component of the earbud that can vary in a lot of ways when it comes to textures. Once again, this is because everyone’s ear canal is different, and some people prefer harder or softer fits when they use a set of earbuds. As a result, you’ll often have to experiment a bit in order to find the texture that fits your preference.That being said, once again, some manufacturers also include interchangeable sleeves that allow you to feel out which texture feels best for your headphones. This can save you a lot of time and effort and can help you find the most comfortable fit for your ears.
- Hooks – Hooks are another fitting system that can help make your earbuds harder to fall out of your ears while you’re working out. The way this work is simple: at the speaker section of the earbud, there’s a little hook-shaped protrusion that’s designed to grasp onto your outer ear canal. This hook will fit in neatly with the folds of your ear so that it isn’t easy at all for the earbud to get dislodged, especially considering that the sleeve is also firmly in your ear canal.
When it comes to sound performance, are there different types of earbuds?
It’s important to understand the difference in the types of earbuds that are available. Typically, there are two: sealed and open, which perform very differently from one another. When you’re looking for the best earbuds under 50 dollars, it’s always a good idea to know which type works best for your listening experience:
- Sealed (isolation) – Sealed earbuds utilize the sleeve design found in models with noise isolation, but also have a sealed earpiece design that completely prevents sound from entering the canal or escaping. This means that with a properly sealed pair, it’ll almost feel like the music is in your head. For some, this can be disconcerting, but for those that want a musical experience that is a true audiophile’s dream, sealed is the way to go.The primary downside of this is that, with so much isolation, you’ll have problems hearing your external environment. Also, when you’re listening for extended periods, this style of earbud can cause ear fatigue. Ideally, this is the type that you should use for private listening, and shouldn’t be used in environments where you need to be aware.
- Open – Open earbuds usually have a foam earpad or sleeve that allows sound to pass in and out of your ear canal. As a result, open models can usually be heard to a degree by people in your immediate environment. While this may sound annoying, this feature also means that you’ll be able to hear your environment as well; meaning that these are good when you need to be aware.
Check out this video from Techquickie, which really helps break down the difference between sealed and open earphones.
Wrapping It Up
Finding the right set of earbuds can really deliver some excellent sound performance for any audiophile, person looking to workout, or casual listener. Take a look at our guide, check out our earbuds under 50 reviews, and you’ll be able to find the best earbuds under 50 dollars for your needs