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Best wireless earbuds under $50

Wireless earbuds that are good and cheap may be rare, but these are some of the best.

Published onJanuary 2, 2024

The Best
MSRP: $36.99
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Great isolation
Good sound quality
Wireless charging
Battery indicator on charging case
No companion app
Best sound
Skullcandy Dime 3
MSRP: $29.99
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Ultra affordable
Impressive sound quality
Sweat and water resistant
No companion app
No ANC and weak passive isolation
Best portability
JLab JBuds Mini
MSRP: $39.99
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Extremely portable
IP55 rated
Good isolation
Good companion app
Easily lost
May fall out of some ears
Best active noise cancelling
Edifier TWS1 Pro 2
MSRP: $49.99
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Good noise canceling
Customizable companion app
Low latency gaming mode
Battery life
Default sound under-emphasizes mids
Best style
Skullcandy Mod XT
MSRP: $59.99
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Buttons are hard to press
Case is not very secure

Wireless earbuds are great. They’re portable and convenient, and you never have to worry about wires getting caught on something and ripping them out. But these things can get a little pricey, and sometimes you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars, or even $100. We’ve gathered this list of the best wireless earbuds under $50 to accommodate most readers’ budgets.

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Are Tozo T12 the best pair of wireless earbuds under $50?

TOZO T12 earbuds on a table with a plant in the background
Chase Bernath / SoundGuys
The TOZO T12 is one of the best bang-for-your-buck earbuds on the market.

For a budget pair of wireless earbuds, the TOZO T12 destroys the competition regarding sound quality and passive isolation. There’s no companion app or active noise canceling (ANC), but that kind of simplicity is expected at under $40 (and maybe even desirable).

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These wireless earbuds feature wireless charging, touch controls, and not a lot else. Truly, this is a no-frills experience, but that’s not a bad thing. The black design is fairly indistinct, with flat, touch-sensitive side panels. The T12 connects using Bluetooth 5.3, supporting the basic SBC and AAC audio codecs. The lack of aptX means Android users may encounter audio-visual lag, but that’s acceptable at this price. Basically, this is a great-sounding pair of earbuds, and that’s all.

SG recommended
MSRP: $36.99

The TOZO T12 microphone sounds fine, but don’t expect too much.

TOZO T12 microphone sample (Ideal conditions):

TOZO T12 microphone sample (Office conditions):

TOZO T12 microphone sample (Windy conditions):

How does the microphone sound to you?

532 votes

What makes the Skullcandy Dime 3 a great pick for sound quality?

Skullcandy Dime 3 earbuds held in a hand.
Austin Kwok / SoundGuys
These earbuds are durable and come in a tiny package.

Wondering if it’s possible to get high-quality sound in budget earbuds? Look no further than the Skullcandy Dime 3. Out of the box, these earbuds have a frequency response that closely follows our house preference curve. This means that we think that most people will enjoy the way these sound. If you don’t like the sound, you can also easily adjust the sound of the earbuds to increase or decrease bass.

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With IPX4 sweat and water-resistance, the Skullcandy Dime 3 are pretty durable earbuds. We have no problems recommending these to toss in your gym bag or give to your kids. When the earbuds are on sale, you can find them for less than $20, an absolute steal.

While these earbuds are light on features such as ANC or a companion app, you still get tap controls and Bluetooth 5.3 with multipoint. The microphone is also impressive compared to other budget earbuds, especially when it comes to reducing background noise.

Skullcandy Dime 3Skullcandy Dime 3
Skullcandy Dime 3
Affordable • IPX4 • Multipoint
MSRP: $29.99
Ultra affordable wireless earbuds with a couple of premium features.
Ultra affordable wireless earbuds with some nice perks such as water resistance and Bluetooth multipoint.

The microphone quality is perfectly fine for casual calls. The background noise reduction performed well in our simulated street and office environments.

Skullcandy Dime 3 microphone demo (Ideal conditions):

Skullcandy Dime 3 microphone demo (Office conditions):

Skullcandy Dime 3 microphone demo (Street conditions):

How does the microphone sound to you?

456 votes

The JLab JBuds Mini are small but mighty

The JLab JBuds Mini live up to their name: they're extremely tiny.
Christian Thomas / SoundGuys
The JLab JBuds Mini live up to their name: they’re extremely tiny.

The JLab JBuds Mini is a standout choice for those seeking affordability without sacrificing quality. With a compact design the size of a coin, these earbuds redefine portability, allowing users to attach them to a keychain easily. Their diminutive size, however, doesn’t detract from their robust feature set. Boasting an IP55 rating, the JBuds Mini are well-equipped to withstand sweat and casual abuse, making them a reliable option for fitness enthusiasts. Additionally, the inclusion of a good companion app with a helpful ‘Find My’ feature addresses the potential issue of their small size, as they can be easy to misplace.

The earbuds’ performance is equally impressive. With customizable touch controls via the JLab app and a selection of ear tips to ensure a snug fit, users can enjoy a tailored listening experience. They don’t skimp on sound quality, either. They offer a pleasant default tuning that is consumer-friendly and adaptable with EQ presets for those desiring a more personalized sound. The earbuds also provide respectable battery life for their size, ensuring users can enjoy prolonged listening sessions without constant recharging.

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While they might not boast advanced features like ANC or spatial audio found in higher-end models, the JLab JBuds Mini excels in delivering a solid, basic listening experience that far exceeds their modest price tag. Their combination of portability, durability, and satisfactory sound quality makes them an easy recommendation for anyone looking for reliable earbuds on a budget. As such, they earn their spot as a top pick for the best wireless earbuds under $50, offering a balance of convenience, functionality, and affordability that’s hard to beat.

JLab JBuds MiniJLab JBuds Mini
SG recommended
JLab JBuds Mini
Extremely portable • Price • IP55 rated
MSRP: $39.99
The JLab JBuds Mini are a diminutive set of earbuds that you can attach to your keychain. However, they offer more features than you might expect for such an inexpensive pair of earbuds. If you're looking for cheap earbuds that can handle a workout, put these on your shortlist.

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While the microphone array is nothing special, you don’t need a professional-grade mic for basic phone calls; just don’t expect to use the JBids Mini for podcasting.

JLab JBuds Mini microphone demo (Ideal conditions):

How does the microphone sound to you?

252 votes

The Edifier TWS1 Pro 2 blocks out noise for cheap

Edifier TWS1 Pro 2 earbuds held in a hand.
Austin Kwok / SoundGuys
These earbuds are packed full of features.

The Edifier TWS1 Pro 2 are packed full of features yet still comes in under $50. The most notable feature here is the inclusion of active noise canceling (ANC), which helps to block out any noise around you. If you plan on using your earbuds in transit or in a noisy office or gym environment, the Edifier TWS1 Pro are definitely worth considering.

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The earbuds also sound pretty good out of the box, with only a slight boost to bass. You can also select from 3 other equalizer presets in the companion app: pop, classical, and rock.

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The Edifier companion app allows you to switch between listening modes, including wind reduction and ambient pass through modes. You can also track lost earbuds using the app and customize the onboard touch controls.

The main drawback with these earbuds is relatively poor battery life. But if you don’t plan on using these earbuds all the time, they are a great option.

Edifier TWS1 Pro 2Edifier TWS1 Pro 2
SG recommended
Edifier TWS1 Pro 2
ANC • IP54 • Edifier Connect app
MSRP: $49.99
Feature packed, noise canceling earbuds for only $50.
These budget wireless earbuds deliver great features including IP54 water and dust resistance and active noise canceling. There's also a companion app to customize the earbuds' sound and adjust the tap controls.

The microphone quality is okay, and you can hear it in our demo below.

Edifier TWS1 Pro 2 microphone demo (Ideal conditions):

Edifier TWS1 Pro 2 microphone demo (Office conditions):

Edifier TWS1 Pro 2 microphone demo (Street conditions):

How does the microphone sound to you?

369 votes

The Skullcandy Mod XT fits well and sounds good

The Skullcandy Mod XT earbuds in a hand.
The earbuds are pretty comfortable to wear, though touch controls can make them dislodge.

The Skullcandy Mod XT offers impressive value for budget-conscious users. They’re well-regarded for their durability, as evidenced by their IP55 rating, which makes them resistant to water and dust. This, coupled with their comfortable fit, offers users convenience in varying weather conditions. The earbuds offer excellent sound isolation, enhancing your listening experience by effectively blocking out ambient noise.

Another notable feature is the Bluetooth multipoint, which enables seamless switching between devices such as your computer and phone. This added convenience is complemented by a long battery life of seven hours per charge and a quick charging feature that gives you two hours of playtime with just a ten-minute charge.

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Sound-wise, the Skullcandy Mod XT offers a satisfactory experience with a considerable boost in bass and sub-bass frequencies. However, it still aligns pretty closely with the standard Headphone Preference Curve, making it suitable for most music genres. The sound profile can be further adjusted through the EQ options in the Skullcandy app for increased versatility.

While it has some minor annoyances, like hard-to-press buttons and a not-very-secure case, the Skullcandy Mod XT stands out for its strong performance at an affordable price point. You get SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs support, and the sound profile can be further adjusted through the EQ options in the Skullcandy app for increased versatility.

The Mod XT fares well when you take calls from quiet spaces, but background noise can make voices cut out

Skullcandy Mod XT microphone demo (Ideal):

Skullcandy Mod XT microphone demo (Street):

Skullcandy Mod XT microphone demo (Wind):

How does the microphone sound to you?

679 votes

There is no technical difference except in the name. The Mod XT just features Walmart-exclusive colorways.

Skullcandy Mod XTSkullcandy Mod XT
Skullcandy Mod XT
Affordable • IP55 • Isolation
MSRP: $59.99
Great earbuds that don't break the bank
The Skullcandy Mod XT does what it can do quite well. With IP55 rating, Bluetooth multipoint, and good isolation, this pair of earbuds are a great choice for anyone not trying to break the bank.

The best wireless earbuds under $50: Notable mentions

Image of OnePlus Nord Buds in an open case
  • Jabra Elite Active 75t ($149.99 at Verizon): These buds predate the popular Jabra Elite 7 Pro, but despite its age, it remains a great deal. These buds also have an IP57 rating that protects them from dust and temporary submersion.
  • JLab GO Air POP ($24 at Amazon): This pair of true wireless earbuds checks all the boxes for earbud essentials and performs pretty well in most areas.
  • OnePlus Nord Buds ($146 at Amazon): The Nord Buds add a bit more bass to your music, making sub-bass frequencies sound twice as loud as mids. You can create a six-band custom EQ in the HeyMelody App (iOS/Android) to tame the bass or experiment with some presets. Battery life is also quite good; you get six and a half hours of playtime from a single charge with an additional 23 hours of battery from the case.
  • Skullcandy Indy ($29 at Amazon): These earbuds sound very good for Skullcandy’s brand, though bassheads may find the frequency response to be a bit underwhelming. They are IP55 certified with a stable fit and have a strong connection. They also have solid isolation and are portable and easy to use.
  • Skullcandy Sesh Evo ( $29 at Amazon): If you want rugged earphones with an IP55 rating, these are another Skullcandy pick that prove popular. The Sesh Evo gives you a more traditional earbud shape without stems. The company partnered with Tile to make it easy to track the buds, and you can use either earbud in mono mode.
  • TOZO NC2 ($39 at Amazon): Using these earbuds can be a little odd, but the ANC offered by the NC2 is impressive for under $50.
  • TOZO NC9 ($33.99 at Amazon): The TOZO NC9 brings terrific active noise canceling. Wonky touch controls and large earbuds may dissuade some users, but ANC doesn’t get much better than this for the price.
  • TOZO T10 ($23 at Amazon): The most recent model of the TOZO T10 provides a reliable, decent pair of true wireless earbuds for the budget conscious.
  • Urbanista Libson ($39 at Amazon): The Urbanista Libson are solid open-ear headphones for any price. You get Bluetooth 5.2, a wireless charging case, and ear wings to secure the buds in place.

Some people may be more inclined to get over-ear or on-ear headphones than earbuds, so we recommend you check out our list of the best headphones under $50.

The Skullcandy Dime 2, unfortunately, have a very short battery life, topping out at just about 3 hours. They also have inconsistent microphone performance. If you try to take a call with the earbuds connected to your iPhone, the audio doesn’t come through the headset. Lastly, the Skullcandy Dime 2 has poor isolation, which means its sound quality is also unreliable. All in all, the JLab Go Air and Go Air POP are much better options for earbuds under $50.

What you should know about the best true wireless earbuds under $50

What makes a pair of true wireless earbuds good? This can be especially difficult when you’re shopping with a budget. Keep an eye out for a few key features that will help you make the right decision for you.

IP ratings, or Ingress Protection ratings, are standard for how resistant a piece of technology is to water and dust. These ratings are formatted IPXX, with the first X being a placeholder for dust resistance and the second X a placeholder for water resistance. If you’re planning to use your budget true wireless earbuds for workouts, it would definitely be a good idea to look for water resistance, at the least.

What is a Bluetooth codec, and why does it matter for wireless earbuds?

A chart showing the frequency response performance of the AAC Bluetooth wireless codec.
Android phones don’t give you CD-quality playback with AAC.

True wireless earbuds don’t have wires, so they operate via Bluetooth wireless technology. A Bluetooth codec determines how data is transmitted from your source device to your headphones. Every Bluetooth product supports the SBC codec, but there are some higher-quality options out there if your earphones support them.

Android users will want to keep a special eye out for earphones supporting the aptX codec, and if you have an iPhone, you’ll want to look for the AAC codec. These codecs are great for reducing audio-visual lag and streaming high-quality audio. Still, it’s also possible that you won’t be able to tell the audio quality apart unless you have very good ears.

It’s rare to find a pair of wireless earbuds that can last you an entire day of online school. The average battery life of a pair of true wireless earbuds is around five hours, and this is simply because the batteries are too small to hold more charge. That being said, many true wireless earphones store additional charges in their carrying cases, and many also support quick charging—so you can use them for an hour after 5-15 minutes in the case.

How should your earbuds fit?

The Jabra Elite 85t noise canceling true wireless earbuds' oblong ear tips and nozzles.
The Jabra Elite 85t oblong ear tips look strange but are very comfortable once you find the right fit.

If you’re shopping for earbuds, chances are you want them to sound good (who wants earphones that sound bad?). Both the passive isolation of your earbuds and the frequency response are important factors to sound quality, and they play off of one another.

Passive isolation refers to how well your earbuds can block out external noise. Unless your buds have active noise canceling (ANC) technology, their passive isolation will depend almost entirely on the way the buds fit in your ears. If your earbuds create a seal at your ear canal, they will be more effective at blocking external noise than earbuds that don’t. Many of the best true wireless earbuds under $50 come with several options for ear tip sizes to help you find the best possible fit, but some people may want to look into third-party ear tips.

What is a good frequency response for cheap wireless earbuds?

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The frequency response of your earbuds determines how different frequencies are reproduced. Many of the best true wireless earbuds under $50 have at least slightly bass-heavy responses, so low frequencies will sound boosted compared to higher ones. This isn’t necessarily a problem because many average consumers prefer this kind of sound. Just don’t expect studio sound out of cheap earbuds.

Why you should trust SoundGuys

Each writer at SoundGuys has accumulated years of experience reporting on the consumer audio market, and our staff has no motive—financial or otherwise—to recommend one brand over another. When we do misspeak, we correct and own up to it.

Frequently asked questions about the best wireless earbuds for under $50

This depends on your earbuds, but there are a few things that could be impeding your earbuds’ ability to connect to your phone.

First, the earbuds may have automatically connected to the last-used device, so check to see if they connected to your laptop or tablet instead. Also, true wireless connection stability, while wholly improved over the past few years, is imperfect. It may just be a matter of going into your device’s Bluetooth settings and “forgetting” the pair of earbuds. Finally, you may need to factory reset your earbuds. This is different for every headset, so consult the manual that it came with.

The Jabra Elite 3 costs $79 and is a bit over budget for this list. If you want to learn more about the headset, read our full Jabra Elite 3 review.

We recommend the JLab GO Air POP as the best bang for your buck set of wireless earbuds. For only $25, you get a comfortable fit, touch controls, good sound quality, an IPX4 rating, and three EQ options.