In 2021, one thing that you may have noticed is that some of the best cheap headphones under $50 that are available are actually pretty good quality. With the never ending advancements of technology as time goes by, it is not too difficult to find some really nice cheap headphone models that sound good and look pretty sleek as well. However, there are a lot of options on the market to choose from, so Consordini is here to help.
This article details reviews of the best headphones under $50 that are available to you in 2021. Keep reading for more!
Here are the best cheap headphones under $50:
- Audio-Technica ATH-M20x
- iTeknic IK-BH002
- FIIL T1X
- Letscom H10
- Anker Soundcore Life Q10
- Sennheiser HD 300
- Winonly Sleep Headphones
- Aluratek ABH04F
- JLab Audio Neon Wireless
- Aukey EP-T21
1. Audio-Technica ATH-M20x
The best overall cheap headphones under $50
Audio-Technica is known mainly for their professional, music industry standard headphones that are meant to be worn in the studio. However, these headphones sound much better than a lot of consumer headphones you’ll find on the market, and an option just under $50 that sounds this nice is something you won’t want to pass by.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M20x headphones are a closed-back, over the ear model, so they don’t leak out audio as much as other styles of headphones like open-back headphones or earbuds. The ATH-M20xs are pretty comfortable to wear, with a thick, padded headband and generously cushioned ear pads. The headband and ear pads are made with synthetic leather type material, it is soft enough material that it will wick up any sweat, but the material does break down eventually over time with rough use, as most studio headphones do, due to the moisture.
As for the sound, these headphones sound extremely nice for being as cheap as they are. I would consider them to be the best $50 headphones you can buy. They have high-quality 40 mm drivers and neodymium magnets that contribute to the high-quality audio you get from them, so you will be able to hear all the details in your audio, even details you may usually miss with cheaper headphones or earbuds.
The frequency response range of the ATH-M20x is 15 Hz to 20 kHz. Audio sounds natural and balanced, with a very slight boost in upper mid range to assist in adding brightness and presence to vocals and instruments like guitar and piano. There is also a good amount of clarity despite being lower in high frequencies. Because of the slight frequency curve, these headphones are good for mixing music, as well as listening to it casually.
|Image credit: Audio-Technica Check Amazon||
I have personally used the Audio-Technica ATH-M20x headphones for both mixing songs as well as casual listening, and they are a fantastic pair of budget headphones that work well for multiple purposes. They are some of the best-sounding headphones under $50. They sound great, are quite comfortable, and I would recommend them to absolutely anyone who wants a natural listening experience without boosted bass frequencies.
2. iTeknic IK-BH002
The best noise-cancelling headphones under $50
iTeknic is a relatively lesser known manufacturer of headphones and earbuds. They offer a very nice variety of styles when it comes to their earbuds and headphones, and their noise-canceling headphones are definitely a steal for being as low-priced as they are.
The iTeknic IK-BH002 wireless ANC headphones are a fantastic solution for those who commute on a bus or subway, as they cancel out background noise and keep your audio from leaking out as much as open-back headphones or normal closed-back headphones. The iTeknic headphones are an over the ear, closed-back pair that have a high level of noise cancellation. They are also a wireless model that uses Bluetooth technology, allowing the user to listen hands-free.
Because there is no cord with these headphones, you won’t have to worry about getting tangled up or having a cord drag or get caught on something as you go about your day. Also featured with these headphones are a built-in microphone and volume and playback controls for the headphones, so you don’t have to use your phone constantly. You can also turn the active noise cancelling feature on and off.
These headphones have a very nice battery life that will give you 30 hours of music playback or talk time, and just a 5 minute charge will give you 2 hours of music playback. Unfortunately these headphones don’t turn off, which may be an issue for some people.
The sound quality here is very good thanks to the 40 mm neodymium magnet drivers, and is balanced and natural without having too much bass. As for the design, they are very sleek and have well-padded, swiveling ear cups and a faux leather cushioned, adjustable, plastic headband. They are very comfortable and easy to wear for long periods of time without irritating your skin.
|Image credit: iTeknic Check Amazon||
The iTeknic IK-BH002 noise-cancelling wireless headphones are a great low-cost option for those who listen to music on the go. They are some of the best wireless headphones under $50 and I would definitely recommend them to anyone for casual listening to music or gaming.
3. FIIL T1X
The best Bluetooth headphones under $50
If you are into sports and looking for wireless headphones, full headphones might not actually be the best fit for you; instead you might consider wireless earbud-style headphones.
The FIIL T1X wireless headphones have an athletic earbud style. They feature 1/4-inch dynamic drivers, Bluetooth technology, and are controlled with intuitive touch gestures. Tapping the left earbud twice raises the volume, while tapping it three times decreases the volume. Similar gestures are used to skip songs and answer calls. The earbuds have a built-in microphone for calls and the sound quality of the microphone is surprisingly very good.
The overall sound of the FIIL T1X is really well balanced and natural, with not too much bass, but also not too little bass. Highs are crisp, and mid range sounds are clear and rich without getting muddy.
A neat feature of these earbud headphones is that there is an app made to control them. The app, FIIL+, allows you to do basic operations like checking the battery level or reset pairing, but there are also advanced features that the app unlocks. You can also choose between 15 equalizer modes to customize your sound further.
The T1Xs have Bluetooth connectivity and pair with your devices in one second upon taking them out of the portable charging and storage case. When the case is fully charged it will charge the T1Xs fully four times before needing to be recharged. The earbuds themselves charge fully in 40 minutes and last 24 hours. A 10 minute charge gives you up to 2 hours of battery life.
As for the design, the earbuds are comfortable, not very bulky, and will stay in your ears while running and going about your day. The design of these also makes them sweat proof so you can wear them while exercising and they won’t get ruined. Included in the package are different sized ear tips for maximum comfort.
|Image credit: FIIL Check Amazon||
The FIIL T1X wireless earbuds are some of the best cheap earbud-style headphones you can get. I would definitely recommend them for more active people who like to listen to music a lot. If you are someone who sweats excessively, they will also be a good option for you.
4. Letscom H10
The best headphones under $30
Another wireless pair of headphones that you and your wallet will love are the Letscom H10 Bluetooth headphones. These headphones are probably some of the cheapest on the list that are worth buying; if you go any lower in terms of price you’ll be sacrificing quality.
The H10 headphones are an over the ear, closed-back pair of headphones, and are actually very impressive despite their extremely low price. These headphones have an incredible battery life, providing 100 hours of audio playback time with just one charge. A The Letscom H10 headphones have passive noise isolation rather than active noise-cancelling technology, so keep in mind that they can’t cancel noise completely.
They feature 44 mm neodymium drivers for high-quality audio, a built-in microphone, and one feature that is not super common on headphones: a bass boost button. Clicking this button will increase the bass frequencies of your audio without having to use an equalizer. This is especially handy for those who enjoy boosted bass when listening to genres like hip-hop, pop, and electronic music. Volume controls and track controls are built in, as well as a microphone to use for calls.
The sound of these headphones is pretty good for how cheap they are. They sound pretty balanced and accurate for being so cheap, with a deep soundstage and good bass response. The sound of the microphone quality is also quite good.
As for the design, they come in a few different color options (purple, rose gold, silver, grey, and black). They’re not especially bulky, and they have an adjustable padded protein headband and protein cushion ear pads. They’re very comfortable and can be worn for long periods of time without irritating your skin. They are large enough to fit most ears, so unless you have abnormally large ears you won’t have a problem with these. The headphones also fold up conveniently for storage and transport.
|Image credit: Letscom Check Amazon||
The Letscom H10 Bluetooth headphones are some of the best budget headphones you will find, especially with being wireless and having a bass boost button. They come at an absolute steal, so I wouldn’t pass these up. I would recommend these to any casual listener who listens to bass-heavy music like hip-hop or electronic music, or someone who likes that extra bass boost.
5. Anker Soundcore Life Q10
One of the best pairs of wireless over-ear headphones in 2021
If you want an alternative headphone that is comparable to Beats by Dre, Anker makes a wireless Bluetooth model that definitely holds up very well against the Audio-Technica ATH-M20x headphones and has that signature feel to them that Beats have.
The Anker Soundcore Life Q10 headphones are an over-ear, closed-back model. Anker is known for making high-quality products at a good price, so these are affordable, nice to look at, and even nicer to wear. The Life Q10 headphones are equipped with some high-quality 40 mm oversized drivers that output high-fidelity audio and a great bass sound. The Life Q10s also feature controls for volume, a power button, a BassUp button, and a built-in microphone for calls.
BassUp is a feature that intelligently analyzes your music as it plays and enhances the bass frequencies according to the frequency spectrum of your music, so that you can ‘feel’ the thump, which is the same effect that the very popular Beats headphones and earbuds give you.
The battery life of the Q10s is impressive, a full 3 hour charge will provide you with 60 hours of audio playback time and the fast charge function can give you 5 hours of playback with just a 5 minute charge. This is especially useful if you wake up late and have to commute on a subway or carpool and forget to charge your headphones up.
The sound of the Life Q10s easily rivals the Audio-Technica ATH-M20Xs, it’s very detailed and has a richness to it. The frequency response range goes up to 40 kHz which is very good, especially for wireless headphones. As for the design, these headphones are quite comfortable, sleek, and not overly bulky. They are also big enough for those who have larger ears. The ear cups are flexible and padded with memory foam, as is the headband, which is also adjustable.
|Image credit: Anker Check Amazon||
The Anker Soundcore Life Q10 headphones are a fantastic pair for everyday listening whether you’re commuting, exercising, or spending time outdoors. If you especially like to be able to feel the bass rather than just hear it, these headphones will be a suitable budget option for you if you like Beats headphones.
6. Sennheiser HD 300
Another top wired option under $50
Sennheiser is another company that excels at making professional audio gear for music production and more, but a lot of their headphone options are good for consumer listening as well. The Sennheiser HD 300 headphones are a great example of this, being some of the best wired headphones you’ll find under $50.
The HD 300s feature their own transducers that give out that classic Sennheiser sound that makes their headphone products so iconic in the pro music world. These wired headphones don’t have a microphone or a built-in remote for controlling volume, skipping songs, or answering calls, but the sound quality of these headphones is top notch considering they are from a company that specializes in pro audio gear.
The frequency response range of the HD 300 headphones is 18 Hz to 20 kHz which is about standard for lower end professional mixing headphones. With the HD 300s you’ll be able to hear plenty of detail in audio. The overall sound character can be described as being natural and well balanced with a powerful (but not overly exaggerated) bass.
The HD 300s are probably also one of the most durable headphone models under $50. Sennheiser is known for having headphones that last a long time because of their quality, and this is true for the HD 300s. While they are lightweight, the headband and ear cups are made from very durable hard plastic. The headband is adjustable and foldable but is not padded. The ear cushions are very thick and have a faux leather covering that wicks up sweat and doesn’t leave your skin hot or irritated.
While there is no active noise-cancelling feature, they seal well against your head and around your ears to block out some of that background noise. Overall, they are quite a good headphone if you want something lightweight.
|Image credit: Sennheiser Check Amazon||
The Sennheiser HD 300 headphones are a perfect option for those who are involved in making music but also enjoy using the same headphones for casual listening. Critical mixing can be done on these headphones or you can wear them as an everyday pair and they will suit your needs. I recommend them for everyone due to their flexibility and durability.
7. Winonly Sleep Headphones
The best wireless sleep headphones under $50
Winonly has a product that is a bit of a wildcard; it’s something that you might not not typically think of when you hear the word ‘headphones’. Many people like to listen to music or sounds of different environments while they go to sleep, but wearing bulky headphones makes it impossible and speakers might disrupt others around you if you don’t live alone. The Winonly Bluetooth sleep headphones are the perfect solution.
They are essentially a headphone speaker inside an elastic headband that you can also wear as a mask when you sleep. These headphones are completely wireless and connect to any Bluetooth compatible device or antenna, so you can use it with your phone, TV, and more. They feature surround sound speakers that are covered in foam for maximum comfort no matter what sleeping position you’re in and rest directly on your ears. The battery life is pretty good, with a 2 hour charge you can get a full 10 hours of playtime out of it, so you can charge it whenever it’s convenient for you and have it for the whole day or night.
The Winonly sleep headphones feature a simple layout with plus, a play/pause button and minus buttons for volume/track skipping. A microphone is also built into the headband for making calls. The sound of the headphones is very clear, and they even play lossless quality audio quite accurately for how cheap they are.
As for the design, you can choose from a couple colors. The material is a mesh elastic that is breathable and also wicks up sweat, so these headphones are also great for wearing while you’re reading, working, exercising, and more. It’s very comfortable and the mesh is soft and doesn’t irritate your skin even if you roll around a lot in your sleep. The headband is also washable if you take the speakers out and just clean the band.
|Image credit: Winonly Check Amazon||
The Winonly Bluetooth sleep headphones are great for multiple uses, but especially for sleep and exercise. They have a great battery life and would be perfect for people with insomnia, are hard of hearing, or who find wearing traditional headphones or earbuds uncomfortable while sleeping. I highly recommend these for anyone because they are the most comfortable headphones under $50.
8. Aluratek ABH04F
The most unique style headphones on a budget
Aluratek is a company that offers a variety of hi-tech, modern, and sleek consumer products across many categories that are also very affordable. They have quite a few good headphone options available for purchase. The Aluratek ABH04F Bluetooth stereo headphones are an on-ear pair of headphones that provide high-quality audio completely wireless through Bluetooth.
You’re able to switch between different devices at the touch of a button. The ABH04Fs have controls for volume, skipping tracks, and playing and pausing your music on one of the headphone cups, and they have an okay battery life. A full charge will get you up to 8 hours of audio playback and call time which is perfect for work. Unfortunately there is no fast charging feature but the battery life is still more than ample, especially if you’re not going to be on it for the whole day and have time to charge it up a bit between uses.
A microphone is built into the headphones to give you the ability to answer calls without fumbling for your phone, and the quality of it is surprisingly nice. The speakers used in these headphones are pretty decent for how thin the headphones are; they provide you with decent-quality audio in a very lightweight package. Audio is balanced with a little bit of brightness to allow you to hear voices and mid-range frequencies better, even in busy or loud surroundings like the subway, grocery store, or your workplace.
The Aluratek ABH04F headphones have a unique design that is not seen on many consumer headphones. The design is very sleek and slim with rectangular ear cups, definitely a more modern headphone style that is not very commonly seen among headphone designs. The headband is not padded, but it’s thin and made of comfortable plastic material, so you can wear it for long periods of time without it getting uncomfortable or feeling too heavy on your head because it’s so lightweight. The ear cups are just as sleek and thin; they sit on the ear rather than around the ear, so there’s no noise cancellation.
|Image credit: Aluratek Check Amazon||
The Aluratek ABH04F wireless headphones are a sleek and stylish choice for those who care about aesthetics and high-quality audio. I highly recommend them for business professionals or those who like alternative-styled headphones.
9. JLab Audio Neon Wireless
The best budget on-ear headphones
If you prefer on-ear headphones to over-ear headphones, there are plenty of headphones that are both stylish and produce high-quality audio. JLab Audio has some fantastic audio products and their Neon wireless headphones are an ideal option if you care just as much about looks as you do sound.
The Neon wireless features 40 mm neodymium drivers paired with JLab’s C3 Sound that gives you high-quality audio that has a punchy bass response. C3 Sound stands for Crystal Clear Clarity. Also featured on the Neon wireless headphones is a power button, a microphone for making calls, and button for turning volume up and down, skipping through tracks, playing and pausing your music, and answering calls. The quality of the microphone is quite nice and gives a clear sound.
Another cool thing is that you can also control Google Assistant or Siri from these headphones and cycle through 3 different EQ modes with the press of a button.
As for the battery life, a full 2.5 hour charge will get you 13 hours of audio playback time, which is pretty decent for all day listening. The rapid charge feature gets you 1 hour of playback time for every 10 minutes you charge, which is convenient if you need to go somewhere and don’t have much time to charge the Neons.
The sound quality of them is very good as well, with the frequency response range going from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. The characteristics and coloration of the sound can be described as having vibrant highs, rich and full mids, and thumping bass.
The design of the Neons is very vibrant, hence their name. They’re a very eye-catching pair of headphones that won’t go unnoticed if you’re walking down the street. The headband is adjustable but not really padded at all, but this makes the headphones very lightweight. The ear cups are heavily cushioned with faux leather and cloud foam, making them ultra plush.
|Image credit: JLab Audio Check Amazon||
The JLab Audio Neon wireless headphones are quite a nice choice for everyday wear, whether you’re at the office, staying in for the evening watching TV, or spending time outside. They’re a well rounded pair of headphones that anyone will find enjoyable. If you like bright neon colors, the Neons are perfect.
10. Aukey EP-T21
The best headphones for sports and active lifestyles
Aukey has some pretty solid traditional-style and sport earbuds-style headphones that have a really nice sound and look very sleek. The Aukey EP-T21 earbuds are completely wireless and use Bluetooth to pair with your devices in seconds.
The EP-T21s have high-quality 6 mm drivers in them that deliver audio that is considered to be high-fidelity. The headphones feature a waterproof coating, so they are ideal for sports and won’t get ruined if you like to jog or play sports in the rain. They are controlled with intuitive touch controls; tapping on the earbuds skips tracks, answers calls, plays and pauses music, and more with ease.
You can even use Siri and answer calls thanks to the built-in microphone, which also provides high-quality audio. There is a microphone on each earbud so you can use either one by itself and still be able to make calls. Unfortunately there is no way to control the volume with the touch controls, so you’ll have to rely on your phone for this.
Battery life with these headphones is okay for earbuds. You charge them using the included case and get 5 hours of audio playback time with a full charge, and can charge up to 6 to 7 other times when the charging case is fully charged. A full charge with the charging case takes about 2 hours.
The sound of these headphones is quite polished and clear, with highs sounding crisp, mids sounding rich and full, and bass frequencies sounding punchy without being overly prominent.
As for the design, they are sleek without any buttons due to the touch controls. Unfortunately there is no active noise cancellation feature, but the earbuds fit snugly in your ear to create a sort of seal that blocks out noise pretty well. Different sized ear tips are included in the package to help you find the right fit.
|Image credit: Aukey Check Amazon||
The Aukey EP-T21 wireless Bluetooth earbuds are a great pair of headphones for sports. I’d recommend them for anyone who is highly active, from athletes to the casual consumer who likes to listen to music while exercising. The typical consumer will also enjoy these for all day listening. These headphones would really be good for anyone, but excel in the sports area because of their design.
Some of the best headphones and earbuds available do not have to be the most expensive pair available in order to provide you with a flexible or pleasurable listening experience. A surprising amount of affordable headphones on the market sound fantastic and are definitely a wise option to purchase if you want something inexpensive that has decent-quality audio.
Wireless options and wired options are plentiful and will absolutely improve your listening experience whether you are a casual listener, a music producer, or an audiophile. If you can go to a store and test out the headphones before you purchase them, I highly recommend it as this will ensure that you acquire headphones that are most suited to your personal needs.
Be sure to check back often with Consordini for more reliable information on the best music production and audio gear available for purchase!