The best wireless headphones for under $ 50

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We have a list of best AirPods alternatives under $ 100. But what if you are looking for something even cheaper? Say, a wireless headphones option half that price or even less? So this list, the best of the budget true wireless earphones, is for you. And while there are certainly plenty of headphones that cost less than $ 50, only a few stand out, and several are surprisingly good for the price. As I like to say, you shouldn’t expect the world at this low price, but unlike more expensive models from Apple and others, you won’t be heartbroken if you lose them.

Here are my current true wireless favorites under $ 50, ranked highest to lowest price. I’ve tried them all and update this list regularly with new products. Note that prices fluctuate, so some of them can cost a few dollars above $ 50.

Read more: Best True Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones

David Carnoy / CNET

The Soundpeats T3 headphones have two advantages besides their modest price: they sound good and work well for making calls with very good noise reduction. They are also comfortable to wear and have both an active noise cancellation mode and a transparency mode. However, noise reduction is only OK, not great (same goes for transparency mode). But you can’t expect everything for such a low price.

Equipped with Bluetooth 5.2, they are IPX4 splash proof and have up to 5.5 hours of battery life on a single charge at moderate volume levels.

They have a relatively smooth and balanced sound and ample bass. They won’t impress you with their clarity or dynamic sound, but they’re a pleasure to listen to, that’s all you could ask for in a budget headphone set.

Callers said my voice sounded clearer when using the AirPods Pro, but the Soundpeats actually reduced more background noise than the AirPods Pro. I was able to have conversations in the noisy streets of New York without a problem.

David Carnoy / CNET

The TaoTronics SoundLiberty P10 Bluetooth headphones are another true AirPods Pro wireless headset, but it’s one of the best for the money, with good sound and decent headphone performance for making calls. Noise cancellation is not on the level of the AIrPods Pro, but it is reasonably effective and there is also an Ambient mode that lets in sound (the transparency equivalent of the AirPods Pro just not as natural) and a anti-wind.

I have tried many Taotronics headphones over the years and they are perhaps the best headphones in the company to date. Although the earpiece is not fancy, this inexpensive wireless earpiece fits my ears well, their case is compact, and the instructions clearly explain how to use the touch controls. They are equipped with Bluetooth 5.2 and are fully waterproof with an IPX8 rating. Battery life is rated at six and a half hours with noise cancellation on and volume at 50%.

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From a design point of view, the Earfun Free Pro seem identical to T1XS wire, which was on this list and remains good value for money. However, the Earfun Free Pro has better features, including active noise cancellation with a transparency mode, wireless charging, and Bluetooth 5.2. They have a battery life of seven hours without the noise reduction feature, or about six hours with it. They are IPX5 water resistant, which means they can withstand a sustained water spray.

They sound great for the money, with relatively clean, balanced sound and bass that packs a punch – they sound pretty open. Lightweight and comfortable to wear, they have small fins that help keep them securely in your ears, and they’re pretty discreet.

Don’t expect them to cancel noise as well as the AirPods Pro, but they do offer decent muffling. It should be noted that you can use the left or right earbud independently and there is a low latency mode for watching videos (and possibly gaming). Call quality was also ok: callers said they heard background noise, but it was not intrusive and they could hear my voice well. The touch controls were responsive.

If you choose between the Earfun Free Pro and the above Mpow X3, it depends on the style of the headphones. The X3 has a stick style design, while it doesn’t.

Note that the Earfun Free Pro sometimes costs more than $ 50, but they often go down to less than $ 50, which is why they are on this list.

David Carnoy / CNET

SoundPeats says its open-style Air 3 headphones are 10% smaller than their predecessors, the TrueAir 2, and the case is really tiny, smaller than the case of AirPods. The buds stayed in my ears more securely than the AirPods (I find it hard to keep the AirPods in my ears, especially if I start to run). These use Qualcomm’s 3040 chipset, which has Bluetooth 5.2, and I had no problem pairing them with an iPhone 12 Pro and a Google Pixel 4 XL. My connection was fairly stable. The headphones support the aptX audio codec with compatible devices.

The sound quality is good for open headphones. It’s right there with the AirPods and those even have a bit more bass. I think most people will be happy with the sound. The only problem I noticed is that you can only push them that far. When playing some tracks at higher volumes, I encountered some distortion; rock tracks where several instruments are playing at the same time can be difficult. As a result, I kept the headphones at around 60% of the maximum. You can adjust the volume using the touch controls, which work well. They play loudly at higher volumes.

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Anker released his new Soundcore Life P3 (around $ 70), but the Soundcore Life P2 headphones remain a good value option at around $ 45. The buds load horizontally in their casing rather than vertically, and the casing and buds are slightly cheaper compared to the Liberty Air 2. Their sound does not have the increased presence in the highs that the Liberty Air 2 buds have. , so they don’t sound as clearly with well-recorded tracks, and the bass isn’t as well defined. But they’re warmer and more forgiving, which I liked, and they sound more like the original Liberty Air.

It’s also worth noting that instead of touch controls, they feature physical buttons, which some people may prefer. They have four microphones, two of which are supposed to help with noise reduction when calling in noisier environments. They do a decent job of reducing background noise during calls, but my voice wasn’t as clear to callers as it was with Anker’s Liberty Air 2.

While there is no wireless charging, you do get USB-C charging. The battery life is rated at seven hours and this true wireless earphone option has an IPX7 water resistance rating, which means it can be completely submerged in water up to a 3 feet depth and survive. They are arguably the best value in the true Anker cordless range right now. A version almost identical to these headphones is sold at Target under the name Soundcore Life Note.

I should also mention that Anker now sells the smaller Soundcore Life P2 Mini, which has shorter stems. It’s also good for the money, but this model has four microphones for voice calls while this model has two. The Life P3 has six microphones. Read our Anker Soundcore Life P2 review.

Read our Anker Soundcore Life P2 review.

David Carnoy / CNET

I was a fan of the original Earfun Free headphones and now there is an upgraded version called Earfun Free 2. It’s not a huge upgrade but like the originals they fit my ears well and offer a good value. value for money with loud sound – – it just has a touch of treble and bass boost (there’s plenty of bass) – and extra features like wireless charging.

Battery life can reach up to seven hours at moderate volume levels and these headphones are fully waterproof with an IPX7 rating. These are equipped with Bluetooth 5.2 and use Qualcomm’s QCC3040 chip which supports Qualcomm’s aptX audio codec if you are using an aptX compatible device (some Android smartphones support aptX).

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