Buying earbuds is no easy matter, especially when you are not looking to spend a fortune on them. There are so many brands that it becomes a bit of a lottery sometimes.
You want a decent sound, of course, and you want them to be comfortable and not fall off your ears every time you move. You also want them to be durable, so they will last a decent amount of time. Maybe you might also need some extra facilities built-in.
So, let’s take a look at the best earbuds under $50 and find the perfect pair for you…
Top 10 Best Earbuds under $50 Reviews
1 Creative Outlier in-Ear Headphones
These have been designed to be used for those leading an active lifestyle, and if you are looking for some earbuds that will brave the elements, these might suit.
Each earbud has a wingtip, designed to hold them in your ear while you are pursuing whatever it is you are doing. They also have a clip, placed on the wire, to secure the remote control. It is positioned on the wire from the earbud from your right ear and is effectively your control.
The remote is a three-button control for what’s going on, including play and pause the music, and an off/on control. Giving this button a tap will also answer an incoming call. There are also controls to increase or decrease the volume, repeat the last track, or skip a track. It is very well set up function-wise. It also has a microphone included in it for use with calls. They are fitted with Bluetooth 4.1 capability.
That is quite a lot of function, all placed inside what is usually a quite small unit. This remote though is larger than the norm to accommodate all of this and is therefore somewhat larger and heavier than you would normally expect.
A shirt clip has been provided, which when clipped on takes the weight of the remote so that it doesn’t pull on your right ear.
A crisp and clear top end…
They have a decent sound with a strong bass content with a crisp and clear top end. They are comfortable to wear and have soft silicone tips. Battery life is about nine hours.
They are a good buy for the money and well made with a decent sound.
2 SoundPEATS In-Ear Earbuds
These are built in a very simple way and are really very similar to many other earbuds. They have wingtips for ear comfort and stability. It is an efficient design, and for people using them for activities, they help enormously to keep them in place.
The cables have a cover to relieve wear and tear. The cabling that fits behind your neck is flattened a little to make them more comfortable to wear.
Come rain, come shine…
They are lightweight weighing only three ounces, so they are unobtrusive but also needed to be treated with a little care when not in use. They have a waterproofing against sweat and rain, so they are eminently suitable for use outside. Maybe though, not for a more aggressive exposure to water like kayaking would bring.
Controlling your music is easy as they have an in-line controller. Some prefer these types of control mechanisms to the alternative, which is to have the controls actually on the earbuds themselves. This tends to make them more bulky and difficult to operate. The controller is quite ordinary, having controls for volume, play and pause and skipping tracks.
They are Bluetooth compatible, which makes them usable with phones, tablets, etc.. The connectivity distance is a little disappointing at about thirty feet.
Sound as expected…
They have a built-in condenser microphone which delivers a decent sound for calls, and the audio is similar to most other earbud sets. The bass is lifted a little and the tops quite shrill, but that is how most deliver their sound.
They do though have an impressive battery lifespan of about thirteen hours, depending on how you use them. They are supplied with six sets of ear tips for replacements and wingtips for getting the comfort exactly right.
For earbuds with dual dynamic drivers, they represent good value for money.
3 Shure SE112-GR Sound Isolating Earphones
The Shure SE112 is manufactured and sold in two versions, the earphones only version and the earphones with remote and mic. The ones we are reviewing are the earphones only version.
When Shure is designing and building anything to do with sound reproduction, they can draw on a massive reserve of knowledge gained in research and performance. They, therefore, produce quality products, and these have been designed utilizing this ability.
Isolating the noise…
These are a lightweight earphone and have an angled nozzle that fits neatly and comfortably in the ear. But, they may be described more as sound-isolating rather than noise canceling. The difference being that sound or noise isolating earbuds will provide a seal in the fit to the ear to stop unwanted noise whereas noise-canceling block the sound electronically.
The sleeves used in the sound isolation with block 37dB of surrounding sound. This measure is presuming that a good fit is made and the seal within your ear fits correctly.
The sound is quite powerful, with a single dynamic micro driver pushing the bass to the forefront, to be honest sometimes at the expense of the mids. That is not uncommon though, with earbuds which are designed sound-wise for maximum effect, rather than the quality of sound.
They are made with a comfortable fit and included are three pairs of sleeves for sound isolation and a drawstring bag.
Shure, being recognized as one of the world leaders in sound reproduction, are often thought to be expensive, but these earbuds are very realistically priced. And a little piece of Shure technology, at a reasonable price, is something not to ignore.
4 Panasonic ErgoFit In-Ear Earbud Headphones
Panasonic may be one of the oldest electronics companies in the world. Founded originally in 1918, they are still based in Osaka, Japan but have affiliates all over the world and especially in Asia.
This massive organization has, in recent times, focused on its middle brand image. It does manufacture high-end equipment and also some budget lines, but tends towards the middle of the market where it performs the best.
And these earbuds are a great example of how Panasonic can produce a quality item with a budget price tag.
Don’t judge a book by its cover…
At first impression, you might not take too much notice, because of the price tag, but that would be a mistake. No, they don’t have the refinements of some of their more expensive competitors, and no, they don’t come with a mic (though there is a model that has a mic) but if it’s the sound you are after, then take notice. More on this later.
The build is basic and not very inspiring. They do look a little on the cheap side and appear at first glance as a cross between one of the older hard bud designs and a new softer bud. The soft element though is in just the right place to get a nice tight fit, to exclude unwanted outside noise interference. They are comfortable in your ear.
We mentioned sound…
With a frequency range of 5-24,000 Hz, the sound is very good. Panasonic does know a little about sound reproduction so we shouldn’t be too surprised.
But, there are negatives?
Well, on a budget model, there will always be something, and with these, it is the cabling that is not a strong point and is rather flimsy. But, if you take care of it and it should be fine.
A great buy if what you want is a budget set of decent sounding earphones. And a strong contender for best earbuds under $50.
5 SoundMAGIC E10
There is a tendency when looking for a product to automatically discount it because it is too cheap. It can’t be any good at that price. The SoundMagic E10 proves that can be a mistake.
If we start by looking at the build, they are made from aluminum and are designed to be able to withstand the rigors of daily use. The jack connector is also made from metal as is the splitter and the feeling of them in your hands is that of a well made and durable product. Even at, what some might refer to as the weakest point with earbuds, they are substantial.
One of the dangers of using earbuds is that they can be placed too deep in the ear canal and if they are too loud that can cause hearing damage. The E10’s sit in the ear canal, and do not penetrate too deeply, which is good design.
They stay in place in your ear though, during use and there will be no need for constant adjustments. To ensure that a good fit to your ear is achieved you are provided with extra tips in a variety of sizes. Achieving a good fit is also important to exclude external sounds.
Yes, we are very impressed with the quality of the build and the materials used. But that’s not the best part.
How will they rate in sound performance?
The answer to that is very simple – Very good. The low frequencies are strong, but without drowning out the mids, producing a warm sound. The highs are clear and sharp. They have a good sound and demonstrate they are performing as well as similar products in a much higher price range.
They are well made, comfortable, and with great sound.
And the price tag?
Very inexpensive for what you’re getting. Could all this add up to these being the best earbuds under $50? Read on to find out…
6 HiFiMan RE-400 In-Ear Headphones
The HiFiman RE-400 are a small and compact set of in-ear phones that are well designed and not going to set you back a fortune. And are designed to fit your ears with efficiency and comfort. They are not a particularly sophisticated set of IEM’s, but they do the job they are made for and do it quite well.
They feature an 8.5mm diaphragm made from titanium, and include a neodymium magnet and with the copper cabling used the sound quality is very good.
What about the sound?
The bass, as usual, is prominent and does cloud the mids somewhat as is often the case, but the highs are crisp and clear. They are not so undefined though, to not allow any genre of music to be comfortably heard in quality.
We have already briefly mentioned comfort. And they are supplied with earbud tips made from silicone in various sizes to ensure you get a great fit that will seal your ears and keep the music in and any unwanted sound out.
But they are not noise-canceling; however, a good seal in the ear will improve your balance of sound. Filters to protect the inner workings of the earphones are included.
Not for the gym…
Whilst they do have a good fit and are comfortable, we are not certain they are suitable for those that use earbuds in the gym or running. We don’t think they are waterproof and being a budget model; you are likely to suffer problems keeping them in place when running or similar. However, they do come with a clip to fix the cabling to a jacket or shirt.
7 MEE audio M6 PRO Musicians’ In-Ear Monitors
Designed in the main, we are told, for working musicians, we have seen the Pro’s use earbuds for sound checks and the actual performance, but we don’t remember ever seeing a pair at this price level used. Nevertheless, let’s have a look to see if they might be the best cheap earbuds.
The design looks quite good. Over the ear, cabling decreasing microphonics and helping them to remain in place. An impressive feature only usually found on more expensive brands is the removable cable.
The drivers are standard dynamic, which is not what you might call high performance, and there is no in-line remote control unit. They are fitted with foam tips for comfort.
Can handle a bit of sweat…
The actual ear fittings are also rather basic, but once you have them fitted in your ear, then they will take some movement so might be suitable for running and gym work. They are also IPX5 rated, which means they can handle a bit of sweat.
Because the drivers are basic and not the best quality, they don’t exactly excite you about the sound. We must remember though that these are earbuds for under $50, and therefore should not set our sights too high on the performance.
And the sound…
They are though very high-frequency based and quite sharp. The bass though is quite nice and deep sounding. What is encouraging about the sound is that the separation is quite acceptable and so bass, mids, and treble do not overlap to create a messy sound.
They come with stereo and headset cables, remote control unit, six sets of silicone ear tips and also foam ear tips and a carrying case.
We are not quite sure of how often they are used by Pro musicians, but they are a decent set of earbuds at a reasonable price and will suit those that like to wear them while running or at the gym.
8 ZERO AUDIO-Ear Stereo Headphone
At first sight, this Japanese audio company has produced an attractive looking pair of earbuds. What looks like an aluminum barrel-type design with a soft grey pattern is quite appealing. And they are very lightweight.
The way they are put together though is not quite so good. Often with earbuds, there is some strengthening at the point where the cable meets the actual earpiece housing, but in this case, there isn’t. This has a tendency to make them feel a little vulnerable. The cables themselves are made from a rubber material which is also not the best.
They have a right-angled jack plug which can be a problem in use as they sometimes put extra strain on the fitting.
We must remember though that these earbuds are under $50 and so must expect that a few manufacturing corners will be cut to deliver a product at a low price.
There are some good points…
Noise isolation is good if you have them fitted neatly in your ear, and there is very little sound leakage unless you really do stack up the volume.
The sound, though is quite good for a product at this price point. The bass is prominent though not overbearing and the mids quite clear. There may be a little too much at the top end in some music styles, but the sound is still nicely balanced and good value.
There is no mic or extras with this product, so it is relying on its stand-alone earbud performance. The build is not so good, but for the money, the sound is very good. Take care of them, and they will be fine.
9 Anker SoundBuds Sport NB10
If a company wants to design a new product but wants to keep the price down, usually the first area they look at for cost-cutting is the quality of the build. Metal is replaced by plastic and rubber cabling replaces braided cloth or similar toughened wire. In some cases, this can be a good thing, and in the case of these phones, it appears to be.
They are light, very light and have been sweat proofed with the rubber fittings and then given a Nano-coating inside so it would seem it works in their favor.
They have an over the ear design, and you are provided with three size options to get a good fit. To enable stability, they include an extra cable tie to make sure they stay in your ears. They feel a little bit vulnerable, but that is because they are so lightweight, not because they are built weakly.
The earbud in your right ear carries the controls. Three buttons that are for playback and one or two other controls, and at the bottom of the same earbud, there is a micro USB port that is conveniently hidden away under a flap and the microphone.
Of the three control buttons, two are volume control, up and down, but the center button has several functions. It acts as an off/on switch and by holding it down it pairs up for your Bluetooth connection. Once the music is playing it then converts to other functions including pause, play or skip the song. Bluetooth connection was comfortable up to about twenty feet.
Not the best sound quality…
The sound quality isn’t the best if we are honest, but it was acceptable with a reasonable balance of the low and high frequencies. Battery life is about 6 six hours.
For the money, they are a decent buy. The build quality is ok but the sound quality not so much, but as we said at the beginning a few corners must be cut somewhere. This time it wasn’t the build.
They are suitable for the gym enthusiasts and come with three pairs of ear tips, travel pouch a micro USB cable and some fit clips.
10 Betron DC950HI Headphones Earphones
Well if you have waded through so many options while choosing a set of earbuds, looking for a cost-effective pair, then you might have arrived at the right place. Best cheap earplugs? Could be.
They are made with a metal housing with a reinforced join between cable and housing, which ensures their stability and durability. The 3.5mm jack plug is gold plated on the connector to give quality reproduction through a good transfer of the signal. A gold covering will ensure a good connection and prevents corrosion.
It is a right-angled connector which some will find a negative because they are sometimes difficult to fit into the receiving socket on some devices. The tangle-free cable is about four feet in length. There is a volume controller which will let you control the music and any calls you may receive. It is compatible with IOS and Samsung devices and MP3 play.
Great low end…
The sound quality is more than reasonable, given the price point of these earbuds. The frequency response is the usual 20Hz to 20kHz, which is about normal for earbuds at the less expensive end of the market, but these do have an exceptionally clear bass sound.
This is delivered by an 11.5mm driver unit. The mids suffer a bit as they would with such a prominent bass. The highs a bit sharp sounding, but we must emphasize the cost of these earbuds and that for the money paid they represent great value.
They come with three pairs of extra earbuds to allow you to get a good fit and a carrying case.
We were surprised…
When we first looked at these, we did what most will do and just think probably not. We were very wrong. They are well made, durable, have a mic and connections to devices, and with a price you have to look at twice. The sound is not brilliant but to some that won’t matter that much.
A great buy if you want value for money and certainly a contender for Best Earbuds under $50.