While high-end headphones like Apple’s AirPods Pro generally deliver superior sound quality, that high-end performance comes with a high-end price. Sometimes you want or need a cheap pair of headphones or earbuds to get the job done.
From simple breakage and loss to wanting a spare pair for running, being unhappy with the set that came with your phone or looking for a change in style or connection.
If your budget is tight but you still want to make the most of your music, here are some cheap headphone choices – whether your taste is for wired earbuds, Bluetooth or over-ear cans. These should help you break beats without breaking the bank.
Cheap Wired Earbuds
Klim Fusion Earphones, $34.97
Klim’s Fusion Earphones don’t feature spectacular design – they’re a pretty basic set of cheap headphone buds, all things considered – but they do come with memory foam tips to give you better noise isolation, which should give them an edge when you’re using them for music playback.
AGPTEK SE11 IPX8 Waterproof in-Ear Earphones, $19.99
The AGPTEK SE11 wired earbuds are relatively inexpensive, and surprisingly for their price point promise IPX8 water resistance. We wouldn’t suggest you go scuba diving with them, but they should survive an accidental dunking far better than most cheap headphones could.
dyplay Active Noise Cancelling Headphones, $44.99
If you’re keen on headphones to block out the noise of the outside world, you’re probably looking at the noise-cancelling space. Most of those headphones carry serious price points, but not so for budget brand dyplay. You’re not going to get absolute top-notch noise cancelling of course – but even at this price point it’s a surprising extra.
Cheap Wired Over Ear Headphones
Behringer HPM1000 Multi-Purpose Studio Headphones, $19
They’re not terribly expensive, and the use of “Studio” is perhaps overselling them a tad, but Behringer’s HPM1000 headphones should deliver a decent audio output if you prefer your headphones in the over-ear style .
Rockpapa Comfort Stereo On Ear/Over Ear Headphones, $21.99
Rockpapa’s headphones are pitched more at the junior crowd, but that could make them a good choice if you’re after a set of headphones so you don’t have to hear your kid’s latest tablet game or streaming obsession.
New Bee Gaming Headset, $35.99
If you’re after a gaming headset, you’re not going to necessarily impress on-camera with the New Bee Gaming Headset, but it does cover all the essential basics, with an integrated microphone, adjustable headband and (naturally) LED lights when you plug it in via USB.
Cheap Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
TaoTronics Bluetooth Headphones, $48.44
You’re certainly not getting Airpods’ quality at this kind of price point, but the Taotronics Bluetooth Headphones promise simple true wireless flexibility, up to 30 hours of battery life and Bluetooth 5.0 support, which is pretty decent for the cost.
dyplay ANC 30 Wireless Neckband Headset, $32.99
If your wireless tastes run more to the neckband style, dyplay’s ANC 30 headphones promises active noise cancelling, a choice of ear tip sizes and a lightweight 40g neckband.
Anker Soundcore Life Q10 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, $62.99
Anker is better known in the charging space, but its Soundcore Life Q10 headphones are nicely affordable, with Bluetooth, five minute charging for five hours of playback and up to 60 hours of play time on a single full charge. They do note compatibility issues with the iPhone 11, however, promising a software update to fix this, so that could be a concern.
Editor’s note: Descriptions and features are as taken from manufacturer/seller claims and user reviews on Amazon.