The cheapest headphones? This is a question we are often asked. Given the current climate, inexpensive hearing aids are ideal, right? So if you want cheap headphones or earbuds that sound great and are well made, read on! Gone are the days when you had to shell out a lot of money to get a pair of cans that sounded good. These days, there are plenty of affordable options worth checking out.
Compromises are of course the norm in order to make headphones so cheap. Many high-end alternatives tend to be excellent all-rounders, with beautifully balanced sound and stunning design. But cheap headphones have their advantages too. Many come with added features like Bluetooth and active noise cancellation, delivering great sound in a durable, comfortable design.
1. Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus
Cambridge Audio is known for its high-end audio gear, but the British audio specialist has branched out into true wireless earbuds in recent years. Its first product, the Melomania 1, is one of the best wireless earbuds you can buy thanks to its stellar sound quality.
But for now, the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus is a worthy upgrade, and we think they put many other earbuds to shame given the key factors of audio performance, battery life, and ease of use come together in one affordable package . We think they look great, too, and in our review of their compact design, we wrote: “These earbuds are really sleek, and their small bezels and lightweight build set them apart from models like the Apple AirPods.”
2. Sony WH-CH510
When you look at the Sony WH-CH510, you realize how cheap wireless headphones can be. Even more so when you consider that it has decent sound, a USB-C port, and 35 hours of battery life.
If you’re looking for headphones in this price range, you’re probably already willing to make some compromises. Fortunately, most of the compromises Sony made with the WH-CH510 headphones aren’t particularly significant—the lack of analog inputs mirrors the absence of 3.5mm connectors on most modern smartphones, while the lightweight plastic construction makes them portable and Comfort is improved.
While they don’t have the fantastic clarity, balance, and sense of space that their high-end counterparts like the Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones offer, these on-ear headphones definitely sound out of proportion to their size and price. We found most genres to perform well here, though tracks that already have low-mids and bumpy highs can be disturbingly overdone. Unfortunately, these cans don’t offer noise cancellation, but take a look at the AKG N60NC competitors below, which are our top picks for budget ANC.
3. JLab Go Air Pop
Let’s get down to business. What’s exciting about the JLab Go Air Pop is that starting February 2022, people can buy this new set of true wireless earphones from well-known brands for $20/$20, which was unimaginable three years ago. They’re actually pretty good.
Regular readers will know that TechRadar had its first thoughts on the very affordable new JLab Go Air Pop shortly after launch, but even so, we’re still not sure if the price-conscious earbuds will actually work. Well, we’re sure now.
All you need to know is that the JLab Go Air Pop is pretty good overall – and definitely not for the money. Although it’s worth noting that there’s very little to challenge them at this level. If you’re on a budget for non-essentials like true wireless earbuds, here’s a solid one.
4. Earfun Air Pro
The Earfun Air Pro earphones are on their own, but compared to the competition at this price point, they really stand out. Of the various similarly priced efforts on Amazon, we really feel like they stand out with their great design and great audio chops. In almost every other area, we felt a high level of competence in our tests.
On top of that, we found the noise cancellation to be impressive, especially for an inexpensive pair of earbuds. They managed to block out the noise from the busy street and even the washing machine at home.
5. 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones
The 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones are our favorite pair of budget wired headphones. During testing, we found them to offer great sound quality, great build quality, and an attractive design. Considering they terminate in a 3.5mm jack and are pretty cheap, it’s hard to find better sound quality and built-in headphones than the 1MORE Triple Drivers.
We can’t blame the triple drivers too much. While their rubber cords are annoying, and the remote feels cheap here, they’re only an issue if we’re feeling picky. But if you’re looking for more refined and luxurious materials, the quad drivers, also from 1More, are still good value for twice the price.
For the price, there’s nothing like 1MORE’s Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones. However, if you prefer a pair of true wireless earbuds, we recommend going back to the top of the list and picking up the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus headphones.
Little known brand? We don’t recommend taking the plunge with a completely unknown headphone brand on Amazon, but there are a few that are worth checking out. These include EarFun, Lypertek, 1More, Jabra, and more.