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Close-up of RHA MA390 on a wooden beam.

The best cheap earbuds are the RHA MA390.

Cheap earbuds litter city streets and occupy gas station walls. Although we’re riding out a wave of premium wireless and true wireless earbuds, cheap alternatives from the likes of Creative and Shure still have their place in our ears and in our bags.

If you have a moment, we implore you to read the in-depth list at SoundGuys, which provides greater insight to those interested.

Best cheap earbuds under $50:

  1. RHA MA390
  2. Creative Outlier One
  3. SoundPeats Engine
  4. Shure SE112-GR
  5. Panasonic Ergo Fit

Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best earbuds under $50 regularly as new devices launch.


1. RHA MA390

Cheap earbuds: RHA MA390 earbuds on wooden table with one earbud in background dangling over iPod Classic (silver).

The in-line microphone isn’t the best quality, but it works.

The RHA MA390 deliver a bass-heavy sound which is, in part, due to their excellent isolation properties. The company provides an array of ear tips, so you’re bound to find the pair that fits perfectly for your ears. Despite the ~$30 price tag, the earbuds look high-quality. Aluminum housings and a rubberized cable give the MA390 a premium feel. An in-line mic and remote break up the cable and allow for virtual assistant access. If you’re looking for a cheap pair of daily earbuds, this is the pair to get.


2. Creative Outlier One

Creative Outlier One on a wood surface.

Athletes who want to save some money on a good set of wireless earbuds will like the Outlier One.

Creative fans are familiar with the company’s affordable, yet high-quality products and the Outlier One follows suit. These wireless earbuds support SBC only; if you want aptX support, you’ll have to get the Creative Outlier Sports. While the lack of high-quality codec support may be disappointing, these are IPX4-certified, denoting sweat-resistance for athletes.

Battery life is fine and clocks in at 9.4 hours of constant playback. Once the earbuds are out of juice, you’ll need to recharge them via the included microUSB cable. The proprietary wing tips effectively keep the earbuds in place while exercising. Athletes on a budget should throw these in their gym bags.


3. SoundPeats Engine

SoundPeats Engine earbuds on black box with vase in left half of the image.

The SoundPeats Engine Wireless earbuds support aptX and aptX LL, and the magnetic housings are useful when not listening to the buds.

The SoundPeats Engine wireless earbuds support SBC, aptX, and aptX LL. This is nearly unheard of for such an affordable pair of earbuds. The earbuds boast other premium features like magnetic housings, which is great for cable management, Bluetooth 5.0, multipoint connectivity, and an IPX6 water-resistant rating. Although neckband earbuds aren’t for everyone, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better feature set for less than $50.


4. Shure SE112-GR

Shure SE112 earbuds on white background.

These earbuds feature a boosted low-end.

Shure, a legacy audio company, has been around for decades, and its SE112 earbuds feature the company’s bass-heavy house sound. Not only is the bass response strong, but so too are the stress relievers at the Y-splitter. They’re comfortable too, as the nozzles are slightly angled. This allows them to comfortably rest with the curve of your ear canal.

Despite the lack of a stiff ear hook component, these earbuds are meant to be worn around the ear. Doing so mitigates microphonics, the phenomenon of cable vibrations traveling up to the earbuds. For great sound quality and durability, you can’t go wrong with Shure.


5. Panasonic Ergo Fit

Red Panasonic Ergo Fit on white table.

These are great for listeners who just want cheap earbuds that work.

For the cheapest set of good earbuds, the Panasonic Ergo Fit are your best friend. These retail for less than $10 and are available in 15 colorways. Just like the Shure SE112-GR, these have angled nozzles, giving the earbuds their “ergonomic” title. Although sound quality won’t blow you away, it’s reasonably good for the dirt-cheap price.


These are our picks for the best earbuds under $50. This is one of the most saturated audio product categories, so there are certainly great alternatives available, too. We’ll keep this post updated as new arrivals enter the marketplace.

If you’re still looking, check out the full article for excellent alternatives and detailed information concerning how we chose and tested the awardees.

What you should consider before buying cheap earbuds

cheap earbuds - Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100: The earbuds in the case, which lays open, and flanked by two faux greenery pieces.

The Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100 retails for $149.99 and includes more features than the products listed.

  • A cogent seal is an easy way to improve sound quality. If you can’t get a good seal from the included earbuds, investing in third-party ear tips is an easy, long-term solution.
  • Premium materials are usually the first to go. That said, the Outlier One still includes IPX4 water-resistance for running and exercising.
  • A bass-heavy frequency response is common, and often preferred, when it comes to cheap earbuds. If you’d like to EQ the sound, most phones allow users to do so.

Why you should trust SoundGuys

cheap earbuds - Woman wearing Aukey 7.1-Channel RGB gaming headphones.

Writers at SoundGuys respect that audio is both subjective and objective. In turn, they apply this philosophy to their reviews.

 
Editor's Pick

SoundGuys is Android Authority’s sister site, and the writers often cross-over to cover topics on this site. No one on the SoundGuys team benefits from partnerships or referral purchases.

Individually, each writer at SoundGuys has multiple years of experience keeping tabs on the consumer audio domain, informing their review and reporting styles. To get a more in-depth understanding of the inner workings, feel free to visit the SoundGuys ethics policy page.

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