There seems to be an inverse relationship between the ubiquity of the headphone jack and the salience of true wireless earbuds. Fortunately, the increase in what was once a novel technology has opened the floodgates for cheap true wireless options, which we present to you today.
Best all-around: JLab JBuds Air
Reasons to consider the JLab JBuds Air:
- IP55 dust- and water-resistance
- Good battery performance in addition to the 500mAh charging case
- Stable fit with the proprietary Cush-Fins
- Excellent value for sub-$50 truly wireless earbuds
Best sound: Monoprice True Wireless
Reasons to consider the Monoprice True Wireless:
- IPX4 water-resistance
- Good sound quality
- Chic earbud and case design
- Easy-to-operate playback controls
Best battery life: Rowkin Ascent Micro
Reasons to consider the Rowkin Ascent Micro:
- IPX5 water-resistance
- Comprehensive touch controls
- Portable design with AirPods-like charging case
- Effective isolation and noise-reduction performance
Best style: Soul Emotion
Reasons to consider the Soul Emotion:
- Sleek earbud design
- Compact charging case
Best connectivity: Jam Ultra
Reasons to consider the Jam Ultra:
- Unique cloth-wrap design makes the earbuds and case easy to grip
- Reliable connectivity
- Bass lovers will enjoy the exaggerated low-end in lieu of crystal clear reproduction
What you should know about the cheap true wireless earbuds
- None of these options afford high-quality Bluetooth codecs, but the validity of streaming quality may be suspect anyway.
- Standalone battery life with truly wireless earbuds is generally subpar, and the cheaper options are no exception.
- Water-resistance, while not as prevalent as with workout earbuds, is an occasional feature in cheap true wireless earbuds.
- Cheap true wireless earbuds won’t typically don’t outperform their more expensive counterparts when it comes to sound quality, but that can be mitigated by a good fit and with proper ear tips.