The best cheap headphones
- Headphones can cost hundreds of dollars, but you can get some excellent pairs of earbuds, over-ear, on-ear, and wireless headphones for much less.
- With impressive audio response, great build quality, and a comfortable no-nonsense design, the Audio-Technica ATH-M20x offers everything you could want in a pair of solid, high-quality, entry-level studio headphones for less than the competition.
If you spend a lot of time listening to music, watching shows and movies, and playing video games, then a good set of headphones is one of the quickest ways to get the most out of your media. A good set of cans creates a much more immersive experience by letting you hear all the detailed highs and lows of your songs, films, and game worlds, with closed-back designs taking this even further by blocking out exterior noise so you can enjoy your entertainment without distractions.
Audiophiles will happily spend $200 and more on high-end headphones, but since you're reading this, you're probably like most people and you're not looking to drop several Benjamins on a pair. Even audio enthusiasts will admit that you don't have to spend hundreds, however, and that inexpensive headphones have come a long way in recent years with a number of very nice sets to be found for less than 50 bucks.
In the sub-$50 range, you shouldn't get into the weeds regarding technical specifications like equalization, frequency response, active noise cancellation, impedance/resistance, and so on - these are more of a concern with high-end head-fi. At this price point, your primary considerations are durability and sound quality: Your headphones should be well-built enough to withstand regular use without cracking or falling apart and should offer good sound for casual music listening, movie watching, and gaming.
With these criteria in mind, we've rounded up the best headphones that you can get for under $50 right now. Our top picks include standard over-ear headphones as well as some more specialized models that offer additional portability, wireless functionality, or other features built for specific tasks like gaming.
Here are the best cheap headphones you can buy:
- Best cheap headphones overall: Audio-Technica ATH-M20x
- Best cheap over-ear headphones: Tascam TH-02
- Best cheap portable headphones: Koss PortaPro
- Best cheap wireless Bluetooth: Mpow 059
- Best cheap gaming headphones: HyperX Cloud Stinger
- Best cheap wireless earbuds: iFrogz Impulse Duo Wireless Earbuds
- Best cheap true wireless earbuds: JLab Audio JBuds Air
Updated on 11/04/2019 by Christian de Looper: Added a pair of true wireless earbuds to the list. Updated prices and formatting.
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