Imagine you buy a pair of earbuds, only to lose them the next day. An earbud falls out at the gym, and you don't notice until it's too late. You can't afford to spend a ton on your next pair.
We've all lost a pair of earbuds. If not, you've probably had to spend what felt like hours untangling the unruly cord. But you're fed up with replacing earbuds or maintaining the cord.
Don't worry. We found some of the best earbuds under $50, so you don't have to waste any more time on the subject.
Common Things People Ask About Earbuds
To better understand how to choose the best earbuds, you have to know a little bit about them. Of course, there are many different types of headphones, and earbuds are just one type you can use.
Earbuds are an excellent choice to listen to music or make phone calls. However, there's more to earbuds than just that. Some earbuds are expensive, so it's fair to think the expensive ones are the best.
But you don't have to break the bank to get a good pair of earbuds.
We compiled some questions you might have about the best earbuds under $50, and we have the answers you're probably looking for.
What are earbuds?
Earbuds are a type of headphone that you put in your ear. Some headphones cover your ears completely, and those are usually called over-the-ear headphones. But if you want something a little smaller or more discrete, earbuds are perfect.
Like with headphones, some earbuds are wireless and connect to your device through Bluetooth. However, wired earbuds are still as popular.
What do they do?
Earbuds let you listen to music or other audio without disturbing anyone around you. You can also use earbuds to talk on the phone without having to hold your phone to your ear.
Each bud is essentially a tiny speaker that you put in your ear. Some earbuds connect directly to your device through a wire. There are some earbuds that are just the buds, and they use Bluetooth to connect to your device.
Finally, some earbuds use Bluetooth, but they have a wire connecting the two earbuds together. That's a nice choice for athletes who need to move around a lot but don't want to risk losing an earbud.
What's the difference between earbuds and headphones?
Physically, the most obvious difference is size. Earbuds fit directly in your ear, so they're smaller than headphones. Most headphones go over your ears, and they have a sort of headband that connects the two headphone speakers.
However, there are also some acoustic differences.
Larger headphones typically block out outside noise, since they cover your ears. Noise-canceling headphones are excellent for when you want to focus on what you're listening to.
There are actually two types of earbuds. The first type is probably what you think of when you hear the word "earbuds." They go in your ear so you can listen to music or audio wherever.
You'll also find isolating earbuds. These earbuds are almost like a combination of earbuds and earplugs. They have rubber tips that keep outside sound from entering your ear canal.
Isolating earbuds are great if you want to block out sound, but you don't want to deal with hefty headphones.
However, regular earbuds still allow you to hear ambient noise. That's especially important if you're walking or otherwise out in public.
Do you get what you pay for?
Fortunately or unfortunately, there are many things in life where you get what you pay for. While the price of some other tech products does represent its quality, that's not always the case with earbuds.
When you shop for earbuds on a budget, you want to make sure you consider the brand name and recognition and customer reviews. The price is just one factor.
How We Reviewed
So while there are some amazing earbuds out there, we had to exclude them from our review.
The second thing we looked at was reviews from other people. That includes both expert reviews and customer reviews. Sometimes, experts can tell you more than a customer. But real customer feedback and experiences are also important.
Next, we looked at brand names. Sony and Skullcandy make some amazing tech products, and we included a pair from each company. We also found some earbuds from less famous brands. For those, we relied more on reviews.
Finally, we looked at specs such as wired or wireless, size, color choices, and more -- because you shouldn't have to spend a pretty penny to get a pair of earbuds that look good.
Creative Outlier ONE Wireless Headphones
- WIRELESS BLUETOOTH, HIGH DEFINITION AUDIO | High definition Bluetooth 4.1 consumes low power with minimal latency. Reach...
- UP TO 9.5 HOURS BATTERY LIFE | Long-lasting battery life with a short charge time of 2 to 3 hours. Charge up via the...
- SWEAT-PROOF IPX4-CERTIFIED IN-EAR | Brave the elements, including rain and accidental splashes, and perform to your...
The Creative Outlier ONE Wireless Headphones are perfect for anyone on the move. You can use Bluetooth to connect them to your phone, so you don't have to worry about a cord dangling between your ears and pocket.
The best part is that you can choose between a pair with Bluetooth 4.1 or 4.2 connectivity.
And if you're scared of losing your earbuds, these have a short wire that connects each earbud to the other. You won't lose them at home, and if one falls out, you can quickly put it back in your ear.
The earbuds last up to nine hours without charging, and they only take two to three hours to charge. These earbuds are also sweat-proof and resistant to water. The cord connecting the earbuds won't tangle, and the silicone ear tips block out unwanted noise.
Sony MDRXB50AP Earbud Headset
- 12mm dome type driver units deliver powerful deep bass. Connectivity Technology: Wired
- Integrated microphone and smartphone playback control
- Hybrid silicone earbuds for secure, comfortable fit
If you know about tech and sound, you've probably heard of Sony, so it makes sense for them to make affordable earbuds. The Sony MDRXB50AP Earbud Headset connects directly to your phone or device through a wire.
These earbuds have a dome driver that amplifies the bass, and neodymium magnets give you a powerful sound at all frequencies. Sony claims their cord won't tangle, and the cord has a slider, so you decide where it splits apart.
The lightweight earbuds have hybrid silicone tips that stay in your ears and are comfortable to wear.
SoundPEATS Engine Earbuds
- [Dual Dynamic Driver earbuds]: Unique dual driver earbuds design,This SoundPEATS Bluetooth earbuds special for it’s...
- [Bluetooth 5. 0 Technology] - Advanced Bluetooth 5.0 technology to ensure a higher stable connection and low power...
- [In-line Button Control & Mic]: Powerful built-in microphone offers you a crystal clear sound during a hands-free call....
Like the earbuds from Creative, these are great for exercise or listening to music on the go. You can use Bluetooth 5.0 to connect the earbuds to your phone or computer.
The earbuds have a cord or neckband, so you can easily keep the earbuds together. Their battery life is 13 hours of playback and 200 hours on standby. These earbuds have dual dynamic drivers and two-way crossover which gives you an amazing listening experience.
If you want to use earbuds to make phone calls, the mic on the SoundPEATS earbuds cancels out excess noise.
The sweat-resistant earbuds are comfortable to wear, and you can even change out the earbud tips to make sure you get a good fit.
Panasonic ErgoFit Earbud Headphones
- Wired in ear headphones perfect for exercising; with 3 sets of ear pads (S/M/L), Headphones stay in your ears while...
- Ergo fit Design for Perfect fit Ultra Soft Ergofit in ear earbud Headphones conform Instantly to Your ears (S/M/L ear...
- Smartphone compatible Panasonic in ear Headphones with integrated microphone and remote are compatible with Apple...
The Panasonic ErgoFit earbuds could easily be the best earbuds. They connect to your device with a wire, but the cord is over three feet long. The tips form to the inside of your ears so that you can get a comfortable fit.
These earbuds also have a fantastic frequency range of 5 to 24,000 Hz, which covers most of the range of human hearing. You can choose to get the earbuds with a mic or not. If you plan to use them for calls, get the mic. However, you don't have to get a mic if you won't use it.
Letscom Lightweight Wireless Earbuds
- Superior quality sound: custom speakers and tuning deliver rich bass response, natural mid-tones and crisp highs, while...
- Proven connectivity: with Bluetooth 5.0 you can seamlessly connect the earphones to your smartphone; experience the...
- Magnetic design: easily clasp the Bluetooth headphones together and wear them around your neck when not in use, A...
If you need your earbuds to withstand sweat, rain, and other elements, the Letscom Lightweight Wireless Earbuds are for you. The earbuds are waterproof, so you can use them rain or shine.
These wireless earbuds also have Bluetooth 5.0, so you can go wireless. The earbud tips come in different sizes, so you can use the set that fits your ears the best. Also, the battery life is eight hours, so you can listen all day.
The earbuds have a cord connecting them to each other, and they even have small magnets for you to keep them together when you aren't using them. You can choose from black, grey, blue, and red earbuds.
Aictoe Earbuds for iPhone
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Who doesn't love a basic pair of earbuds? The Aictoe Earbuds for iPhone are an excellent alternative to Apple's equivalent.
The Aictoe earbuds have an excellent sound thanks to the shockproof membrane and sound units. These earbuds also reduce outside noise so you can focus on your music or phone call.
The earbuds look almost identical to Apple's earbuds, and (despite the name) you can use them with any device that has a headphone jack. Like Apple earbuds, these are white, and they come with a storage case.
GTurtle Earbud Headphones
The GTurtle Earbud Headphones are lightweight and connect to any device with a headphone jack. These wired earbuds have super clear bass, and the remote and mic let you switch between songs without pulling out your device.
The tips of the earbuds adjust to your ear, so you get a comfortable fit that blocks out any excess sound. You can further customize your fit with the three tips that are included.
Skullcandy Method Sport Earbud
- SWEAT-RESISTANT: Welded construction protects sensitive components from moisture that can damage or destroy your...
- ONCE IT'S IN, IT WON'T BUDGE: Our StickyGels technology is 30% more secure when sweating than standard earbuds, which...
- STAY IN CONTROL: A specially constructed low profile, sweat-proof remote with mic will help you stay in control of your...
The Skullcandy Method Sport Earbuds use special materials to keep the earbuds in your ears. That same material keeps sweat away from the inside of the earbuds.
The cord won't get tangled, and you can use the remote to control your music easily. You can choose from grey, black, blue, navy, and pink.
Save Money and Rock On
No matter what you use earbuds for, you probably don't want to spend a ton of money on a decent pair.
If you're really on a budget, the Aictoe earbuds are for you. They're super cheap, and they look like the classic Apple earbuds we all know.
They have amazing customer reviews, and you can't beat the price.
If not, share them in the comments!