If you’re an audiophile, you already appreciate the difference between bad headphones and good ones.
There’s a reason why the market is estimated to be worth $20 billion or more by 2023. There’s no point buying an expensive tablet or smartphone to then go and listen to your music with poor headphones.
That doesn’t mean you have to break the bank buying them, however. You can buy good headphones for less than $50 if you know what to look for.
That’s why you’re here—so let’s help you. Here are the best in-ear headphones under $50 worth buying.
Sennheiser CX 300-II
Sennheiser, originally founded in 1945, has been serving the high-end audio market for decades. The Sennheiser CX 300-II shows that they’re serving the under $50 market well, too.
These headphones rank as the best bass in-ear headphones under $50 on our list.
A gold-plated 3.5mm aux connection and reinforced cabling reinforce that expensive pedigree, although they’re plastic, so their lifespan might be reduced if you want to use them in a heavy setting.
That said, it’s the audio that matters. It’s definitely bass-orientated, which might not be your thing, but if good bass levels are important to you, choose these.
If you’re not interested in faffing with your audio levels, the SoundMAGIC E10 in-ear phones are perfect.
The bass levels on these aren’t great, but other than that, they’re perfect for under $40 (so you can save a bit of cash). They block out excess noise, they’re well-made and come in a high-quality metal finish.
These are near-perfect headphones for a good audio balance, so don’t let somewhat disappointed bass levels put you off.
Zero Audio Carbo Tenore
The Zero Audio Carbo Tenore are good earbuds under $50 and offer the best balance of all of the choices on our list.
That balance is outstanding for less than $50, but there are downsides. Zero Audio is a budget firm and builds to budget specs, so you need to be wary of fragile cabling. That probably limits these to indoor use.
That said, we can’t fault the quality of the audio, even at loud volumes. Whatever your music genre of choice is, these would be a good indoor choice to listen with.
Just don’t expect Apple AirPod or Galaxy Bud quality from these. You never know, our video review of the two might sway you to spend a little more instead.
MEE Audio M6 PRO 2nd Gen
Metalheads and gig performers now have the perfect in-ear headphones under $50 to choose from. The MEE Audio M6 Pro 2nd Gen headphones are built for performers in mind.
They’re well-built and have detachable cabling, with options to switch between mic and stereo versions. The fit is great, and the earbuds themselves are comfortable.
Performers don’t need to worry about noise, as these are very good at blocking out any excess. You’ve also got well-balanced sound without overpowering bass levels, so you can focus on your own music.
The Brainwavz S0 is probably the second-best of the bunch here. They’re comfortable, well built with impressive noise cancellation compared to other sub-$50 contenders.
Sound levels are reasonably balanced, with a middle-of-the-road approach to bass that makes it a good choice for most genres. You also get a mic and controls, so these would be a good option to use with your smartphone.
Overall, the Brainwavz S0 impresses with a wide set of features for a budget price.
When it comes to in-ear headphones, $50 can net you some pretty decent earbuds worth wearing.
Any of the headphones we’ve listed here would be strong contenders, but the best in-ear headphones under $50 on this list is the SoundMagic E10. They’re lightweight, durable, and comfortable to wear for long periods of use.
They’re also less than $40. When you can save on a $50 budget and still get a good set of headphones, you know they’re worth trying.
If you’ve decided to spend a little bit more on your next set, why not take a look at our ultimate guide to noise canceling in-ear headphones?
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