5 Best Cheap In Ear Headphones (Earbuds) – (Jan. 2018) by Sound Signature

Each time you buy a new smartphone you will get a pair of earbuds packed in the box for free. But whether your new smartphones are high-end models like iPhones X or the latest Samsung Galaxy, the included earbuds fall behind the completion for the best sound quality. You pay $500 for your handset, but you only get the sound quality of the $10 headset. It sucks. Plus, included earbuds have poor noise isolation, which is not critical because some people still like un-sealed in ear style. Due to build quality, possibly these pairs will be able last for just a year or several months, and if it’s time for you to quest for best inexpensive earbuds in ear headphones to upgrade the sound or just replace broken ones. There are always very good pairs out there for you to choose from. They stay securely in with extra features for sports, work as a headset (they feature in line control and mic) and offer decent sound quality. Depending on your preference about sound signature, you can pick the sound you like with explosive bass, balanced sounding, or natural sound. Those in ear headphones come with an affordable price, normally they cost less than $40 but sound as good as models with double price.

In ear headphones are portable, compact and lightweight, and they are ideal items people on the go or sport enthusiasts. They are stylish with a bunch of color options and variety of design. Eartips are also varied in shape and sizes, from ovals to bi-flange to conform well to your ears. Since cables are plastic, they are prone to tangle, meaning that you have to solve knots and tangles once you pull your in ear headphones from pocket. However, there are 2 ways to avoid: you should learn how to manage cable; buy the one with zipper cable or Bluetooth models.

Here is Wearableinear’s list of the 11 best cheap in ear headphones you could buy right now in 2018. They come from different brands, and some of them are engineered with sound signatures. For example, the JVC HA-FX101 is for bass heads, and Pistion 2 is a bass-focused and warm sounding headphone.

1. Panasonic RP-TCM125 Ergo Fit For Casual Listening and All Purposes.

These ErgoFit is the best earbuds in ear set under 20


Along with lightweight and snug fit from Panasonic RP-TCM125, you get the best sounding in ear headphones for the money. All ranges equally presents, so it deems to balanced sounding profile. However, it doesn’t put much emphasis on bass.

Included 3 pairs of universal eartips together with ergonomic design of nozzle pointing in the right position will make earpieces stay evenly in the ear. Featuring in-line remote control and mic for calls, Ergo Fit offers every you need for music and voice call quality. Indeed, it is a better set than apple earpods. Except that the standard plastic cord is easy to get tangled, the Ergo Fit is generally a great item for music lovers.

2. BGVP SGZ-DN1 (Budget In Ear Monitors)

Best cheap IEM earbuds

  • Removable earpieces
  • Clear, natural, balanced souding profile
  • Good build quality with durable cable
  • Earbuds are rather large
  • The size may cause discomfort for some people

BGVP SGZ-DN1 are great for those who look for the sound quality that is natural and bright. Certainly the bass though is not the deepest but present and a little bit boosted.

3. JVC HA-FX101, Another Great Budget Bass-Focused Earphones
explosive bass headphonesWell-built headphones with an angled-nozzle design that keeps earpieces stick well into the ear. Unlike Panasonic with sound well distributed over all ranged, the JVC HA-FX101 put more emphasis on bass–it packed a lot definitely. Cheaper than Piston 2 but the bass is heavier and over-shallow the treble, but it is fine for Dance or R&B. The treble is not really distorted but quite harsh.

Best inexpensive earbuds (in ear headphones that just sit outer the ear canal) This kind of in ear headphones are suitable for those who don’t like the eartip insertion–don’t like sticking eartips deep into their ear canals. Because of open design earbuds don’t seal the sound it. They let music out and let the ambient sound in. See how earbuds are different from the rest in ear headphones in this list.  The only downside of earbuds is that they don’t isolate ambient noise well. So you have to crank up volume in order to hear the sound clearly in noisy environment. This potentially pose your ear to damaging due high volume levels. Here are top 2 that are better than all earbuds packed with your smartphones. Unfortunately, these earbuds don’t have an in-line control–microphones and track navigation.

4. MoonDrop Nameless (Unsealed, flat earbuds)

The MoonDrop Nameless is designed for those whole like fat, natural sound sound. Its sound doesn’t make sense for bass impact, rather it focuses on smooth and airy.

I also has great build quality, nice looking and metalic body housings.

  • Great clarity and pleasant to listen to
  • Appealing look and feel
  • Durable, tangle-free cable
  • Weak bass performance
  • Not the best for the value

5. Samsung Active Earbuds In Ear Headphones

If you have ever struggled with earbuds falling out while you run? You may need ear gels – additional tips to keep earbuds stick stably into your ears. The Samsung Active sports earbuds offer almost everything perfect for active personalities need. They are the combination secure fit, comfort and decent sound in stylish gears for your tough exercise.

6. Lyrebeats Metal Buds

LyreBeats Metal Buds rather look and feel classical

These earphones testify how cheap earbuds would sound good. They sound clear and bright too, and the bass is punchy and there may be a plenty of them.

Metal construction, light weight and very comfortable to wear. Not only do they sound sweat, they also have a great build quality for the price.

Featured reinforced cable the LyreBeats Metal Buds ensures nothing would fray or break if you accidentally tug the cable.


7. Zipbuds JUICED 2.0 Never Tangle Earbuds In Ear Headphones

Amazon: Tangle free earbuds

There is an scientific evident behind why the earbud cord gets tangled. Zipbuds JUICED 2.0 comes in to solve this. However, by getting these pairs, you have to sacrifice the sound quality over the convenience. Zipbud’s sound quality is not as good as other in ear sets in this list, but they offer a great way to manage the cable. Just zip the cord up each time you put the headphones in your pocket, knot and tangles? No more when you pull them out. The zipper cable is quite heavy hand may cause microphonics when it bounces. Aside from cheap price, the stylish and lightweight earpieces fit snugly in your ears.

8. Symphonized NRG Premium Genuine Wood In-ear, A Budget In Ear Headphones for audiophiles
Wooden in ear headphones for classical music

Earpiece housings are made entirely by wood. Obviously, wood absorbs and reflect sound differently, which makes the sound you listen quite unique rather than plastic or metal–it pours the sound from an instrument. The Symphonized NRG sounds good with tight bass and clarity. However, you will notice microphonics from the nylon cable when it bounces or rubs anything. And the long earbuds housing may make them stay properly in your ears as you walk. The metal rings to join parts of earbuds housings are quite likely to break apart.

9. Yurbuds Inspire Sport Earphones For Women
Sport in ear headphones for women with relatively small ears. As the sport in ear headphones, Yurbuds resists to water or sweat, the conditions most gadgets will meet when you use them for your workout. Eartips are well designed to fit, but they let you hear the ambient noise and suit for those how have small ears. Yurbuds are specifically designed for working or running, and no matter how active you are the eartips fit securely in the ear.

A pair of Bluetooth headphones connects wirelessly with your device. That’s said the sound quality of Bluetooth sets is not as good as wired headphones and they need to be recharged, but they are more portable and convenient.

10. Soundpeats Qy7 Mini Bluetooth Earphones

Lightweight and comfortable Bluetooth earphones , a bargain for the price

Soundpeats offers the Bluetooth working range up to 10m, and rare hiccups (connection lost or lagged) are present

Power your workout without long cable bouncing around your body, the Sounpeats Qy7 Bluetooth sets with short flat cable to connect 2 distinct earpieces let your move free. These cheap Bluetooth in ear headphones surprisingly offer almost everything needed for sports like water-proof, secure fit and dynamic sound. Mids and highs are pleasant, and bass is achievable with a level of deepness and punch. Its battery life is roughly 5 hours, depending on the volume level you play. Despite it looks quite sturdy, the lightweight and good sound quality with bass response earned it a lot of positive rates from users.

11. Klipsch Image S3
Image S3 with patent oval eartipsThe Klipsch Image S3 features patent oval eartips, which has been proved to provide more comfortable and better noise isolation than average eartips. The eartips also stick better to the ear than regular ones. It sounds nearly identical to the Sony MDREX58V/BLK EX. While mids and highs are rewarded for details and fullness, the bass is just pushed a little bit.

12. JLAB JBuds J6M The Best For Noise Isolation
The best noise isolating in ear headphones with cheapest priceIf you work in noisy offices or want to avoid transport noise, these in ear headphones really help to block the ambient noise. Constructed entirely by metal, the earpieces are very durable. The bi-flange eartips provide outstanding noise isolation, and they are really effective in a noisy environment that you don’t have to crank up volume to listen music clearly. However, they jam deep into the ear canal, so it takes time to get used it and it may cause discomfort for first time users.

Earbuds Retired from this Page

YUIN PK3 Best Cheap Earbuds

best in expensive earbuds by Yuin

The earbuds that can sound like full size cans

The earbuds doesn’t look good, as always for most headphones from YUIN, but you can’t judge how it sounds based on its look. The PK3 delivers astonishingly tight bass response, an unsual level for unsealed earbuds. It sounds clearly and is best suited for Pop and Rock music. The included paddings are soft and comfortable, but some dust particles do stick to it. You can decide whether or not to cover earbuds with those paddings.

Xiaomi Piston 3

The Piston 3 delivers outstanding sound quality for the price. It has a solid build with inline control. It is more stylish and comfortable to wear than its predecessor, the bass head earbuds–Xiaomi Piston 2. Since it are designed for comfort first so the earbuds enter you ear canals shallowly, giving average noise isolation. For sound quality, it should be rewarded to balance sound with tight bass.

Xiaomi Piston 2 Extra Bass Earphones 

Solidly built bass in ear headphones with open vent on the back


Look like as its name– metal housings and rounded body, Piston 2 sounds smooth with a lot of bass and it leans toward to warm sounding. But the treble is still able to sparkle and pleasant without edge or harshness of sound. There is a little open back on the earbud housings, which makes sound airy and spacious. However, the durable aluminium build of housings interferes with the fitting, the nozzle straight direction and eartips, as well as the back of earpieces making it less comfortable than the Ergo Fit. You can increase the comfort by sport 400, isolation 400 , or comfort 400 eartips from Comply.

Sennheiser MX 365 Earbuds
Sennheiser Earbuds with soft padding

Another set of earbuds we would recommend is MX 365. Why it is great? It is stylish with classical look and available in 6 colors. The model we do like the most is in Blue. Additional to cool design, the MX 365 presents warm sounding with clear and bright treble. And true, bass is there but we found it was not as powerful as PK3.

Note that the MX 365 is not for those who have relatively small ears.

After doing research and we tested dozens of pairs which have been highly rated buy customers and reviewers from commercial sites and tech review sites. In addition, we spent a ton of time to read reviews from members on Hi-Fi communities. We’ve rounded this list, and hopefully it would help when you buy your headphones for your needs.

I recently tested the Auglamour RX-1 (for $20 on Amazon). It turned out to be a good set for sweat-mid range, good clarity and nice treble. It can be the Yuin alternative, if you like better looking, more durable unsealed earbuds.

Due to cutting costs for manufacturing, those earbuds are not at best build quality, you may have to replaced them after several months of use. Their sound quality is another issue that they may sound tinny or lack of warmth, so if you want a little more check out best $100 earbuds–some of them may be overloaded with bass.

New pairs to test: LyreBeats Metal Buds, Remax RM-610D we will compare these new sets to our top picks and decide whether to include them in the top list.

Updated on 11/18/2017

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