On this list, we’ve rounded up the best wireless earbuds we could find for under $50.
While that was our top limit, actually many of the ones we found sold for half of that, including our top overall pick: this set of Anker SoundBuds Slim earbuds.
We’ve included some behind the neck, short cable and totally wireless earbuds to offer recommendations no matter what your personal preference. The key is that these are all wireless and affordable.
While these earbuds do not deliver the kind of sound quality you’d expect from premium sports headphones like the Jaybird X3, or the Bose SoundSport Wireless, the models below are worth checking out for their overall value based on the price range.
In general, we looked for lightweight, comfortable design and excellent sound (within reason considering the low price point).
Best Affordable Bluetooth Earbuds
Most inexpensive Bluetooth earbuds are designed for sports so they come with wing-tip or silicone ear hooks to keep them secure for active users. By design, we can divide Bluetooth earbuds into two categories: behind the neck headphones and the option is a pair of headphones with a short cable.
Anker SoundBuds Slim
Style: Earbuds with wing tips | Play Time: Up to 7.5 Hours | Bluetooth 4.1 | Driver type: Dynamic | Bluetooth range: 30 feet | Mic Noise cancellation: Yes | Sound signature: Natural sounding
The SoundBuds Slim have solidly built metal housings that look and feel like more than what you pay for. They fit securely and comfortably with wing tips and manage to keep a secure Bluetooth connection for up to 10 meters.
In terms of sound, they are decent overall. The treble comes across a bit edgy and the bass could be crisper, but overall they are quite pleasant to listen to. If you are looking for a quality pair of earbuds and are not very picky about the sound, the SoundBuds Slim is one of the best options.
These earbuds pair surprisingly well with a wide variety of devices for earbuds in this price range and the magnetic backs of the buds are very convenient for securely storing them around your neck. For a few dollars more, you can pick up the “plus” version- the Anker SoundBuds Slim+, they are virtually identical to the naked eye. The only real difference is the QualcommⓇ aptX™ audio on the Slim+ for improved sound quality (and a slightly nicer zippered carrying pouch included in the accessories).
- Great build quality for the price.
- Strong Bluetooth connection.
- Magnetic buds.
- IPX5 water-resistance
- Identical to other models from other brands.
If you want more info on the Anker Slim+, here is an unboxing as well as a head-to-head comparison with the Dudios Bluetooth Earbuds
Mpow Flame Bluetooth Headphones
If you like the secure feel of over-ear earhooks then these Mpow Flame headphones are definitely worth a closer look.
These powerful bass sound on these earbuds will be a hit with anyone who listens to bass-heavy music.
A great feature for music listeners is the quick charge function that gives 7-9 hrs playing time after charging for only 1.5 hours. Have a higher waterproof rating than the Anker model above.
- Quick charge only 90 mins.
- Waterproof IPX7 Rating.
- 45 days money back guarantee
- 18-month warranty
- Maybe too heavy on the bass for some people’s taste
- Sound isolation is weak, noise leakage.
The main feature that sets the Phaiser GHS-730 headphones apart from our first pick on the list is the patented winged earphone tips that help keep them in place, even if you are working out.
Another big plus for an affordable pair of earbuds is they come with quality bullet-shaped Comply T-400 M memory foam tips (these are one of our most recommended replacement earbud tips).
The sweat-proof Liquipel Nano Coating and the winged shape of the tips that help keep them in place are two top features that make these Phaiser earbuds a top budget pick for running or working out.
- Comfortable earbud tips.
- Winged design stays in place for active listening.
- Lifetime Sweatproof Warranty.
- Excessive cable noise especially when running
- Sound quality is not stellar.
The SoundPeats Qy7 sound great for such a low price. They are comfortable to wear and come with great accessories, including earhooks, ear tips, and a nice carrying case.
Their flat cable without an inline control makes them less prone to microphonic noises.
Though they look sturdy and robust, the SoundPeats QY7 stay well-balanced in your ear even in active conditions.
These earbuds have been rated positively by thousands of buyers and will impress you with both in terms of features and audio performance.
- 6 hours play time on 2 hrs charge.
- Weighs only 0.64 ounces.
- IPX4-Rated Sweat Resistant.
- Not as water-resistant as other models (vs. IPX7 on Mpow above)
- Difficult to get a perfect fit even with the included S/M/L ear tips
Skullcandy Ink’d Bluetooth Wireless Earbuds
Style: Behind the neck, earbuds | Play Time: 8 hours | Bluetooth 4.1 CSR8635 | Driver type: Dynamic | Bluetooth range: 33 feet | Mic Noise cancellation: Yes | Sound signature: Balanced sound
As mentioned in an earlier post about around the neck Bluetooth headphones, the collar style design is not for everyone.
But if you’re looking for this style, the Ink’d by Skullcandy is out top pick in this price range.
The advantage of this design is that the earbuds stay secure around your neck when not in use, making them perfect for workouts, taking calls or listening to music.
Skullcandy Ink’d is the best set for the price, and can playback 7 hours of music between charges.
- Flexible neckband
- Decent sound
- Looks cheap
- Lifespan questionable
For the price, the truly wireless Focus Power F10 earbuds deliver a lot in a very small package.
The 4.1 Bluetooth and EDR technology will allow you to pair to a wide variety of devices including smartphones and tablets up to 30+ feet away.
It also features multipoint connection allowing you to simultaneously connect to two devices. The magnetized USB charger is convenient, it snaps into charge without messing with cables.
The battery life is a little disappointing at only 4 hours although that can be stretched out to about 7 hrs at 30-40% max volume. Completely wireless, click here to see our other top truly wireless earbud picks.
- Truly wireless
- Dual connection to 2 devices
- Weak battery life
- USB charger
Avoid: Airpod Knock-Offs
We saw lots of reviews of these cheap Chinese knock-offs in early 2018, many of them being sold through Alibaba or Ali-Express. We even saw very reputable review sites and audiophile Youtubers with huge followings singing the praises of these cheap look-alikes. The glory was short lived and after a few months, many of these units have failed to perform.
We see exact copies showing up all the time but in the long run, they are cheaply built and missing the key build quality that makes the genuine Apple Airpods what they are.
We have included one budget option above if you are looking for a completely wireless option. While they do not look like the Apple product (they are not even white!) they do give you the benefit of being cable free.
Buyers Guide: How We Picked These Bluetooth Earbuds?
Totally wireless vs “wired” wireless: You may prefer a pair of Bluetooth earbuds without a cord, but keep in mind they often have shorter battery life than regular ones. On the bright side, you are free from the cable.
You may get the same pair from many brands: A quick search on Amazon reveals that a lot of the same pairs are being sold by different brands. They are manufactured by the same factory so they have the same sound profile and look identical.
Many of these products are outsourced from the same Chinese companies that list their products on sites like Alibaba. Sellers will contact those companies and discuss how to redesign the products to look differently, but the drivers and hardware will usually not be re-engineered.
Sellers will re-brand these Bluetooth earbuds so you get more stylish earbuds, but with the same sound quality. The price of these earbuds varies. You can identify several brands that have the same design as our top pick Anker SoundBuds Slim because it is very likely that they have come out of the same Chinese factory.
Sound quality: For sound, you get used whatever pair you use most often. If you switch between two pairs you will favor one over the other and use it more often.
Most importantly, the sound quality is a decisive factor. When looking for a pair of Bluetooth headphones for sports, a snug fit both inside and outside the ear is critical to prevent them from falling out, but also to provide proper noise isolation.
Smart Features: Most budget Bluetooth earbuds don’t have smart features. None of them have a companion app for checking battery status or location tracking. This is one main reason for their cheaper price tag.
Another reason for the price difference between lower and higher-end Bluetooth earbuds is the Bluetooth chip that is used. A higher quality Bluetooth chip will offer better, more detailed sound as well as a stronger connection that spans a greater distance.
Previous selections from our list (2015-2018)
Sony MDR-XB50BS (these are no longer under $50)
Style: Earpieces with wing tips | Play Time: 8.5 hours | Bluetooth 4.1 | Driver type: Dynamic | Bluetooth range: 30 feet | Mic Noise cancellation: Yes | Sound signature: Strong bass performance
These earbuds feel light and sturdy, fit well and sound decent at a reasonable price point. The bass isn’t as punchy as it could be, but it comes through enough to make you feel the bass is present without being too bloated.
In terms of battery life, this is the best set on the list, with up to 8 hours of playback. This set is also great for call quality.
TaoTronics Bluetooth Earbuds
These are one of the best-designed earbuds in this category. They come with wingtips that provide a secure fit for sports and stylish, slick metal housings.
These Bluetooth earbuds are also light, durable, and sweat-resistant. The battery provides 5 hours of playback which is average for earbuds in this category. Tao earbuds sound clear with a decent amount of bass.
Mpow Wolverine: The Best Wireless Earbuds For The Gym
A solid pair of Bluetooth wireless earbuds is essential for the gym. These headphones are inexpensive and sound great for the price. Unfortunately, they lack bass, but their sound is great overall, especially for the price.
The Mpow Wolverine earbuds are sweat-proof, and the entire construction is built with vigorous workouts in mind.
They come with an inline control, various earhooks and ear tips to give you a secure, personalized listening experience with excellent noise isolation.
Styled somewhat similarly to Beats Powerbeats3, the Photive PH-BTE70 sound great and have even better noise isolation. They also have bendable hangers, which you can adjust to fit over the ear for extra stability. The battery lasts up to 6 hours which is a bit longer than other sets on this list. They are sturdy and have an inline control with a mic on the right earbud.
Plantronics BackBeat Go 2
The Go 2 has excellent build quality with a durable design and compact size. They are also waterproof and include a very useful charging case.
The Go 2 earbuds are not just for music on the go, they also isolate noise well when you enjoy music on a train or other noisy places. They are also perfect for the gym as they sound decent and their Bluetooth connection is reliable. Unfortunately, they don’t fit as securely as Photive or 1Buyone. If you are looking for a set of Bluetooth earbuds for the gym, the Photive earbuds above would be a better choice.
Camond Bluetooth Earbuds: Best Choice for Runners
Runners are looking for earbuds with high-quality sound, a comfortable, snug fit, and waterproof/sweat-proof protection.
Bluetooth wireless earbuds are designed with these things in mind. They provide an excellent fit with flexible hooks which wrap around your ear so the earbuds never fall out.
You get a massive 10 hours of playback time which is impressive for budget earbuds. These earbuds also have a handy feature that allows you to connect to more than two devices at once, then manually switch back and forth between them.
Meizu’s EP-51: The Best For Sound Quality
Many sets of wireless earbuds have great sound at around the $100 mark. Meizu’s MP-51 earbuds are a new, affordable Bluetooth headset that offers excellent, balanced sound similar to Apple AirPods, but at a fraction of the price. They have a strong bass presence and great sound isolation.
If you are looking for a set of Bluetooth earbuds to use with your new iPhone, the Meizu MP-51 would be a nice choice. They have a natural, detailed sound so you don’t have to sacrifice sound quality for Bluetooth compatibility.
The fit is comfortably snug and they are water/sweat-resistance. When not in use the two earbuds attach magnetically so you don’t have to worry about them falling off your neck.
This sports headset also comes with an inline remote with mic and buttons for playback control.
LyreBeats – S1 Sports Wireless Earbuds
Style: Earbuds with earhooks | Play Time: 8 hours | Bluetooth 4.1 CSR8635 | Driver type: Dynamic | Bluetooth range: 30 feet | Mic Noise cancellation: Yes | Sound signature: Enhanced bass, warmer sound with foam tips
Beats has been greatly successful with their PowerBeats wireless earbuds which represent fashion, a sporty design, and a bass-enhanced sound signature.
Unfortunately, they are expensive and don’t always provide the best fit for some users.
-S1 wireless sports earphones cost considerably less than PowerBeats, but their sound is truly impressive. If you are shopping for something that looks similar to Beats headphones but offer better noise isolation, the LyreBeats-S1 is perfect for you.
- Stable Bluetooth connection
- Solid bass, clear treble
- Control buttons feel a bit cheap
- Average build quality