You don’t have to spend a king’s ransom to buy a good pair of headphones. You can get high-quality sound even from headphones under $50. This might have seemed impossible a few years ago. However, today audio technicians are able to create headphones that offer a solid sound at reasonable rates. They are surely a notch better than the standard earbuds that you get with your mobile phone.
Budget headphones are now available in stylish designs and improved material. They also fit better than before and are lightweight as compared to the previous generation budget headphones. There are also several exercise-friendly options among the budget headphones.
Bluetooth options may not be available in this range. Noise cancellation features might be available, but they might not work well, but the audio performance is reasonably good. Check out these budget headphones.
See also: Best Headphones
Best Headphones Under $50
Lightweight but Sturdy
Skullcandy Grind On Ear Headphones
Available at a modest price, it is lightweight but solid with a metal headband. The cable can be detached and it includes an L shaped plug along with polycarbonate earcups. TapTech feature enables users to play/pause/skip tracks using the button present on the outer part of the ear cup. You can use it with iPhones as well as Android phones.
An interesting feature is that the remote along with the microphone are present in the left earcup, instead of in the cord.
- Suitable for those looking for a comfortable, lightweight and good quality earphone at a modest price.
- It’s a well balanced headphone and offers decent clarity. Not suitable if you’re looking for sealing out all ambient sound, as it is not an over ear model.
One of the best headphones under $50
Shure SRH145m+ On Ear Headphone
It is comfortable at 150 grams, lightweight and fit snugly on the ears with an open back design. There are no frills in the packaging, with the hinges on the earphones collapsing into a compact package helping in portability. Beneath the pads, it boasts of 36 mm dynamic drivers that have a frequency response ranging from 25 Hz to 18kHz, with a top SPL 100 dB.
It comes with a 5-foot cable that is non-detachable, with an impedance of 34 ohms. The false metallic finish on the headband is attractive and so is the soft leather on its pads, with a hint of orange under perforated openings on the pads. There are three buttons: center button for play, pause, answering calls, navigation of tracks and End. In addition, you have volume buttons.
The build quality is good and it comes with a 2-year warranty, which is not usually the case in this price category. To adjust the length, you must slide the ear pads instead of using the headband. It can be folded and stowed away easily, though there is no case available. It also has passive noise cancellation features.
- iPhone users, as it has inline remote and microphone integrated with Apple phones, so it’s easy to make calls.
- The bass is rich and natural and the highs are crisp. Not suitable if you want a booming or sub woofer type of bass. The bass is accurate, but not intense.
Workhorse at a Wallet Friendly Price
It is an upgraded design to the ATH-M20 with a practical or classic design. The weight is 190 grams, but it is still comfortable. It is black in color and made of plastic with oval ear cups and a round shape. The ear cup cushions are in rexine and have an over the ear design. The cable is sturdy with a thick covering. The audio jack is 3.5 mm and it also has a 6.3 mm adapter.
Its drivers are 40mm operating on a frequency range of 15 to 20 thousand Hz and an impedance rate of 47 ohms. It can work with powerful audio outputs of desktops to produce crystal clear audio. Bass is not boomy, but treble is crisp and midrange is detailed and smooth. The sound is flat, without any drama or distortion. Passive noise isolating feature is capable of controlling ambient sounds from entering.
- Being professional grade monitor earphones, they are perfectly suitable for professionals with a small home studio or for use at the office.
- If you’re a music lover who wants a comfortable pair of over ear headphones without breaking the bank, these are for you.
Best Workout Companion for the Price
Advanced S2000 (Wired in-ear) Monitor Earphones
The S2000 comes in a plastic shell, having a twisted cable with a black and white scheme. The braided design prevents tangling and increases durability. It terminates in a 3.5 mm jack. It is lightweight and comfortable, featuring a 10mm dynamic for each ear piece.
It comes with 3 additional pairs of silicone eartips and one pouch. There are two options available: one is the Live version having a 1/4 inch adapter and the other is the mobile version coming with mic as well as a remote having a single button.
- Best workout earphones. They are reliable and sweatproof earbuds and come with a secure fit. The design is an over ear wired and offers more security.
- Suitable for musicians, as a quarter inch adapter has been included for use on home stereos and for audio interfaces. The sound is great for on stage and off stage music, or to use as a rehearsal set.
Feather Light Headphones for Maximum Comfort
Panasonic RP-HF400B-W On Ear Headphones
This Panasonic headphone comes with built in mic as well as buttons. It is easy to on/off/increase or decrease volume/change music tracks/pause/resume etc. all with just a touch. The built in mic makes it easy to make calls or manage music. You can enjoy every tone and note of music with its large drivers, which are 30 mm neodymium and it comes with good acoustics offering sharp bass and clear trebles. The headphones are light and just weigh 4.5 ounces. The ear cups are soft and padded and can swivel, so it can be folded into a compact package.
It makes use of Bluetooth 4.1 version. There is a micro USB cable for charging included in the package. The built in battery charges fully in about 2.5 hours. It syncs with all bluetooth devices, up to a distance of 33 feet and offers a maximum of 20 hours playback wirelessly if charged fully. The perfect on ear headphones for walking and commuting or while travelling and at home.
- Those who need high quality, bluetooth wireless headphones that once can use at home or on the go.
- For those who want fast charging, the Quick charge feature allows 2 hours playback with a 15-minute charge
Good Sound at a Measly Price
Panasonic ErgoFit In Ear Headphones RP-TCM125-K
These are ultra light and ergonomic, coming with an in line microphone for making calls, as well as a remote, both using a single button. The cable is long enough and the eartips are made of silicone and are quite comfortable for normal sized ears. They are hybrid, partly soft buds and partly hard earbuds. The soft tips help isolate outside sounds and increase the bass. It comes with 3 sizes of additional silicone eartips.
Each of the earphones comes with 9 mm drivers. Call quality is pretty decent. The music may not blow you away, but it doesn’t sound bad either, as there’s no distortion and audio is well balanced. It is comfortable, reliable and usable. The bass and detail are reasonably good.
- Those looking for comfortable and decent earphones at throwaway prices.
- Those looking to make calls can make use of the remote/microphone in this earphone.
Decent Budget Wireless, Over Ear Option
Mpow 059 Bluetooth Headphones, Over Ear
It comes with a two tone red and black color combo with a glossy finish and is wireless. There are also other color schemes available. The controls are on the right ear cup and it is easy to use. All the basic functions, such as skipping tracks/making calls/volume, etc are present and easy to use.
The wireless headphones are built of plastic and reinforced with metallic frame, so it is quite sturdy. There are two cables, a USB charger and a 1/8th-inch TRS-TRS cable for audio. These are closed back earphones and offer a deep, powerful bass and decent treble. The frequency response of the Mpow 059 is consistent due to the small, shallow ear cups, making it similar to an on ear type of headphones.
The battery life is 24 hours, which is more than enough for normal users. There is also an auto off timer that you can use to save power when it is inactive. There are no customization options, as it does not have a supporting app. The Bluetooth version 4.0 offers a wireless range of 37 ft, which is decent enough, and it supports pairing with multiple devices, with a maximum of 2 Bluetooth devices.
Mpow 059 Bluetooth Headphones are portable but could take up some space in a bag. These are average wireless headphones for mixed usage. They are comfortable and come with a good battery life. Also, there is no carrying case, but only a pouch. They’re really not suitable for workouts or for blocking out all sound during commutes. They’re not very tight on the head so not suitable for workouts or while running. The over-ear fit is comfortable, with good paddings and the headband does not put excess pressure.
- Suitable for those preferring heavy bass sound or a boomy bass. Not suitable for loud environments, as the cups don’t fit perfectly over all sizes of ears, so ambient noise could creep in.
- Fine for streaming music, but it could be a problem for watching games or watching a video, as the default latency is just 165 cms.
Well Balanced Sound at an Unbelievable Price
Betron YSM1000 Headphones, In-Ear
It is lightweight at 4.5 grams. The in-ear headphone comes with a 3.5 mm jack. It is made of sturdy metal and looks fantastic with a shiny gold connector. The headphone comes with a 1.2 m cable and 8 earbuds in red/black colors. The cable feels good, neither too plasticky nor too rubbery. It also does not have any tangling issues. The memory foam on the earbuds is great, as it reduces fallout issues.
There is a storage pouch with a leather feel. The headphone has a 3.5 mm jack in metal. The speaker driver is 9.2 mm and it has a nominal impedance of 16 Ohm. The frequency response is 18 Hz up to 20 kHz. The style is elegant and the sound performance is good with a noise cancelling isolating feature. It is also compatible with all smartphones. The lows are satisfying and suitable for electronic music, the bass sound is strong.
- Ideal for those who just want clean and clear audio without spending much money.
- Ideal for using with iPhones and with DVD, CD players or MP3.
These budget headphones under $50 may not be swanky to look at, but they offer solid performance at a reasonable budget price. They are quite satisfactory as it ’s not just about music. You can use these headphones for making calls more easily, as they offer you a hands-free functionality.
If you’re planning to replace those basic earphones that came with your mobile phone, you can check out these budget-friendly options. They are all comfortable to use for a long period. You can opt for on ear or over ear pairs, as they both could help you make a nice fashion statement. The drivers are large enough to suit a wide range of sound. If you’re shopping within a price limit, these are affordable options that you can use at home and outside.