You’re probably propped on your bed, surfing this site with a pair of buds in your ears. They are more commonplace than ever these days: the badge of the modern, hip culture. This does not mean that it is easy to find good ones these days, especially if you’re not that much of an aficionado that you’d be willing to spend hundreds of dollars over a pair of buds you need just to keep you company while you walk.
These days, getting the best sounding earbuds under $50 is becoming more of an art. You really should be paid if you know how to do that. Just kidding, though.
Anyway, familiar with the popular frustration that comes with finding the best affordable earbuds there are, we have decided to come through for the culture. In our reviews today, we will carefully examine our five best, top rated earbuds under $50.
We’re pretty sure “the one” is lurking around somewhere in our reviews. Nuff said. Let’s meet our top five earbuds under $50.
Microphone, universal remote (2 buttons)
Micro USB port, Microphone, 3-button remote
One button for microphone and remote
What makes these ear buds really great is their affordability. Costing somewhere below $30, these buds surprise everyone with how high-end they sound and look.
Who are these Earbuds For?
Now, about the buds themselves…
We already said it’s made of 6063-grade aluminum. This aluminum is designed in the company’s signature aerophonic pattern. This simply means that sound is concentrated in an inverted trumpet style to give pure, unadulterated sound.
We love the fact that these buds don’t take too long to straighten out when tangled. Plus, they also come with a cable zipper. This cable zipper might seem like a little thing but, for wired earbuds, they are absolutely essential. They keep the wires closed so they don’t snag on any and every object.
As for the ear tips, they are quite durable and comfortable. Their noise isolation effect is a lot better than most ear tips, but definitely not the best. In fact, in looking for the best noise isolating earbuds under $50, you must be ready to bring down your expectations a bit.
The remote is thankfully universal. However, it wouldn’t have been too much to make them three buttons even at this price. But then again, they are quite easy-to-use, tactile, and easy to locate where they are placed on the right cable.
The microphones of these buds are about the worst aspect of these, otherwise great, buds. When trying to place a call, oftentimes, you’d find yourself repeating yourself over and over again. This gets worse if you’re outdoors in a place that’s even slightly windy. As for voice commands though, the microphone of these buds seems to permit such. Using your Google Assistant is surprising stress-free especially in comparison to placing a call.
Are you still wondering if these are the best noise cancelling earbuds under $50? Nah…
Now, on to the connectivity…
The cable of the earbuds measure at 1.35 meters, while the headphone jack is your standard 3.5 millimeters, gold-plated guy.
The bad… Again…
Microphonics refers to a case whereby cable noise manages to reverberate through the housing of the earbuds, thereby affecting sound quality. This can actually be fixed if you wear your buds the way the more expensive RHA models are worn: that is, over the ear.
But then, you face a small problem with the mic because it will now be found somewhere behind your right jaw. So, you’d have to make a compromise here. It’s either crisp sound or clear voice transmission. No, you can’t have both.
To the sound...
These are not audiophile earbuds at all… not by a long shot. They are too bass heavy, the mids are not distinguishable enough, and the treble is accentuated. An average person who doesn’t care for all these features, though, wouldn’t miss them so it’s not like they are so bad.
Altogether, the MA390 are fantastic earbuds especially for the customer on a budget. They weigh at just 15grams so they aren’t too heavy to carry around.
If these earbuds piques your interest but you don’t see yourself using any set of earbuds that isn’t Bluetooth, then try out the RHA MA650 Wireless. You might just like it.
For those asking for the best wireless earbuds under $50, this pair is a pretty fair deal. They aren’t the absolute “bestest” you’d come across but they do deliver on their promise. That means they will permit you to have a sweaty workout while using them without getting bad.
So, what’s inside that all-black pouch you get when you purchase the Anker NB10?
Well, there are the headphones themselves, a nice carrying pouch made of breathable mesh material, a micro USB cable for charging, extra ear tips (two extra pairs), a cable tie, an instruction manual, and a customer satisfaction pamphlet.
The build of the buds…
While plastic and rubber as choice materials for making a pair of earbuds might seem like a cost-cutting move, they are actually excellent choices for these particular buds. This makes sense when you recall their USP, and that is, that they are waterproof. Metal and leather would fail in this case.
Again, this is a very lightweight model. The earbuds do not weigh the entire headphones down. Well, technically, they might, but the difference must be so infinitesimal because you can’t feel it.
The design of these earbuds is over-the-ear and it does give that scary feeling like it might just fall off your ears very soon. Yes, even after using the cable tie and picking the right ear tip from the 3 sets offered in the pack. But the truth is that they won’t. Just get used to the feeling and soon you’ll be working out with confidence.
The controls are found on the right earbud somewhere along the top, thankfully, they are three in number. At the bottom of the same right earbud, there are two other features. One is the small microphone and the other is a micro USB port hidden under a plastic flap with which you’d charge the device.
Pairing these earbuds to your device, whether android or iOS, won’t be difficult at all. The middle button at the top of the right earbud is a multifunction button and by holding it down for longer than a few seconds, you can get the earbuds to pair with your device.
Of course, the buttons at the extremes are for increasing and decreasing volume. That is pretty intuitive enough. But as we have mentioned, the middle button is a multifunction button. So, beyond pairing, it can do a few more things…
If you tap it once, it would either pause or play the music, depending the last action. A double tap changes the song to the next. However, a triple tap won’t take you back to the previous song. No number of taps will actually. It’s gone forever, which is a small annoyance. Finally, pressing on to the middle button for a second or two will power the device on or off, depending on the last action.
The connection strength is decent. You can actually wander up to 30 feet (without walls, 20 if there are walls) and still get a clear connection. However, having the phone in your pocket is a different story as expected. You’d definitely hear quite a few stutters. Of course, we would prefer if the earbuds do not stutter at all, but hey, they aren’t bad at all, overall. Plus, at this price, they are quite decent.
Now, the batteries…
At 6 hours battery life, Anker’s claims are actually quite correct. These headphones will keep playing at their loudest volume for about 5 hours 30 minutes. However, for headphones made for these days, 6 hours is well below the more popular average of 8 hours. But, on the bright side, 6 hours is enough for the average person to complete any workout routine at the gym. So, maybe it isn’t too bad. Just don’t forget to charge.
Overall, these earbuds don’t offer a fantastic seal, even though they are our best noise isolating earbuds on this review (finding them at this price range is hard). Nonetheless, that may come in handy while taking your morning jog in the neighborhood. With the headphones at a low to moderate volume, you’d still be able to hear what’s going on in your environment.
Now, let’s get a bit more specific…
The Lows: In this aspect, these earbuds are just fair at best. They might be great if you’re just listening casually, but when you need some pump in your workout, you might miss the bass a little bit.
The Mids: The mids aren’t very clear and distinguishable. It does manage to sort out enough details to make things manageable but many times, some instruments and nuances get lost while using these earbuds.
The Highs: It could sometimes get a little harsh, but, it’s not so bad. The fact that it is slightly pulled back means you lose out on the details of higher synth elements.
So, Who Should Buy These?
As an active person reading this review, you’re probably looking for the best earbuds with mics under $50. We are happy to say that these buds fit the bill. And even equally as important is the fact that they stay put no matter how rigorous your movements.
Also, attention was paid to the build of these earbuds so they will withstand all the sweat and heavy movements. However, just keep it in mind that that’s all you’re paying for. Sound quality didn’t seem to be a priority for Anker when making these headphones.
Finally, the Anker SoundBuds NB10 are still our best wireless earbuds under $50, barring all the afore-mentioned hiccups.
The catch here was the price. Once we saw it, we were hooked! If a brand is going to promise durability, and sound quality that’s fit for musicians, all for about $40, then you know that’s one juicy offer we can’t pass up. We just had to give these guys a shot so that we could come back to you with all the details. And here they are…
What’s in the Box?
When you open the box, of course, you get the headphones. Alongside the headphones, you also get an information manual, and a carrying case with a hard shell that’s really nice. Again, inside the carrying case, you will find different sized ear tips to help you settle on the pair that gives the best fit.
Design and Build
If you’re the type to judge a book by its cover, then you’d no doubt dismiss these headphones on first glance. They are a bit heavy, the earbuds feel a little cheap, plus the plastic cable is braided. These sound terrible, right? Well, not exactly, they were so designed for a purpose.
First of all, these are cheap cost-wise, so forgive them if they look or feel a little cheap. However, even more importantly, they are very solid, durable, and can hardly get tangled. Even if you carry them without their case, or you intentionally shuck them into your pockets to get them tangled, these guys are stoic. They just won’t tangle.
The braided cable also offers another advantage which is increased strength. Except you’re particularly looking to destroy the earbuds, a decent amount of force won’t bring them down. This feature alone easily makes this device our most durable earbuds under $50 in our reviews today.
Now, this feature that makes these earbuds durable is also the very thing that brings a little inconvenience. These buds are heavy, dude. So, normally, when you wear them, they tend to hang down and get caught around different things very easily, which can be annoying. However, in their defense, the manufacturers made sure to include a shirt clip. This should help to manage the situation, but we still felt you should know about the possibility.
These earbuds were made to listen to music with only. Please, keep that in mind while we proceed to talk about the connectivity features of these buds.
They are compatible with either Android or iOS. However, they do not boast loads of features, if that’s what you’re expecting. The best you’ll get from these buds by way of features is one button. This one button doubles as the mic and remote. On an iOS device, you will be able to shuffle around your songs (go back and forth), pause and play your music. You’d even be able to access Siri straight from your buds.
For the Android users, your buds will also give you access to almost the same things as you have on the iOS device. Of course you won’t be able to access Siri, but you’ll be able to access your Google Assistant. However, Android users won’t be able to return to a previous song.
It’s thoughtful that the cable ends in a 3.5 millimeter jack, bent to form a 90 degree angle. This shape is quite important in maintaining the durability of the buds as it keeps the internal wires from getting frayed.
Finally, the sound quality…
The Lows: The low ends are really great for us. The only reason you might not enjoy them is if you have a particular craving for heavy, metallic bass. Otherwise, these are good. Plus, they don’t bleed into the mids and muddy them up. So, we are straight.
The Mids: In a normal arrangement, earbuds often allow the vocals sit way on top to the “detriment” of the instruments. Most times, these instruments just blend together into one indistinguishable mesh. Here, the vocals, and instruments can be clearly heard in significant detail.
The Highs: We were doing so good until we got to this part. This part is easily the weakest aspect of these buds. The highs are way too harsh. In fact if your normal listening volume is the max volume, even you will be forced to reduce this a bit or run the risk of damaging your tympanic membrane.
At the end of the day, the M4s teach a very valuable life lesson. Sometimes, the very thing you love about a thing can make you dislike it a little bit. This is evidenced in how the very features that make these buds durable are the same features that make them somewhat heavy.
Again, though they do superbly on sound, the highs are just not it at all.
However, altogether, these buds are super affordable so they give you the bang for your buck. Are they your best value earbuds? Maybe not, but if durability is primary to you, then you should definitely give these a try. Once you get them, they’ll be going nowhere anytime soon.
The best noise isolating earbuds under $50 will definitely include these barebones soundbuds from Shure. Yeah, we said it, these are barebones earbuds. It’s sound quality over features here and if that works for you, then, dear audiophile, hop on the train and invest the money into this solid pair. You won’t regret it.
Who Should Get These?
If you’re follower of the brand, you would know that Shure is an audiophile’s brand. It has always manufactured audio equipment primarily geared towards the sound professional. To be blunt, until recently, they couldn’t care less about the average consumer. However, with the introduction of the SE112, it’s obvious that Shure is working on that. These earbuds might not be audio professional standard, but they “Shure” pack all the mean audio standards that the brand cannot compromise on.
What’s In the Box?
Upon opening the box, the first things that greet your eyes are your precious earbuds (which was already visible even before opening the box). The rest of the stuff in the box are located behind the compartment carrying the headphones. The “rest of the stuff” include extra tips, a tool for cleaning, a carrying pouch, as well as warranty information.
Next, let’s examine the build of this thing
First of all, let’s look at something quite trivial, and that is the color. For now, the only color available is the gray. However, the model number of this particular set contains a color code (GR). So, who knows, there might actually be other color options available in the future.
Moving on, before trying these on, it might be a good idea to go through the manual first and see how they should be worn. If you wear them wrong, they would feel heavy like they are threatening to fallout of your ears.
That said, how should they be worn?
When using these headphones, ensure that the cables jutting out of the earbuds are not pointing downwards but upwards. They should go upwards and over your ears. This should make them feel just right and comfortable.
With this style of wear, plus the adjustable slider for keeping the cables closed together, these earbuds give a more secure and comfortable feel than most other earbuds of this nature.
We hope you don’t get disappointed here as we already gave you the spoiler from the very beginning. These earbuds are barebones. They don’t come with a mic or controls or that sort of thing. All the time, energy and resources that would have gone into creating those were instead channeled into creating ear buds with awesome sound quality.
That said; the cable runs up to 50 inches in length which is an excellent feature for those who like to keep their devices everywhere except their pockets.
The jack is also pretty standard… just your regular 3.5millimeter jack.
Finally, we examine the sound quality…
The Shure SE112 are surely about the best audiophiles earbuds under $50 that we have seen. Check out how they do on sound.
The Lows: They come pretty solid, even though you can’t say that there is a particular emphasis on it. Also, even though they fall low, they sound closer to accurate than most. So, no; no boosted bass frequencies here.
The Mids: The mids come with a slight “forwardness” which makes vocals slightly emphasized. Altogether, the lower mids are not muddy and the higher mids are not harsh. Nice!
The Highs: Crisp without any harshness! And the details are plenty enough for you to enjoy yourself while using these buds.
Overall, the Shure SE112 definitely earns a spot among the best sound quality earbuds under $50 available in the market. They might not be your go-to for sophisticated gym buds with tons of features, but if sound quality is a major deal for you, then go ahead and invest in these. It’s easily our most expensive set of earbuds on review today, but, we can beat our chest to tell you that it will be money well invested.
So, we are now down to the final set of earphones for the day. Now, if you’re on the tightest budget ever, and all you can spare is something around the environs of $10, we didn’t leave you out of these reviews. The best value earbuds for us here will have to be the Panasonic Ergo Fit. Of course, it won’t work wonders but then you weren’t expecting that with $10 earphones so that’s fine.
The overall best parts of these buds are their comfort and sound quality.
Build and Design
Don’t get too ambitious, the build of these buds look and feel cheap. If you dare make the mistake of crumpling them absently into your pockets, there will be loads to pay. The cable will get tangled faster than you can say jack. Fewer things are as annoying.
As for their fit, well, they are ergonomic. Now, remember the rules, do not get too ambitious. Though they might be ergonomic, no one is saying that these are ear huggers. They are just better than most at the same price. So, if you have some serious work you’re involved with, the buds are gonna pull out at some point. So you’d have to bear in mind that constant replacement is part of the bargain with these buds.
Finally, one thing we are totally excited about is the color variation. These earphones come with a number of different color variations to suit your personal style and preferences. So, feel free to explore.
As to the quality of sound…
Well, at this price, these are definitely the best earbuds for the money sound-wise. We can tell you for free that you won’t get it better elsewhere at this price. Nonetheless, sound quality here is still a far cry from what you’ll find in other affordable earbuds in our reviews today.
Finally, after deciding on any of our top earbuds under $50 in this article, you can just spare the extra cash and throw in these buds for casual listening, if you want.
One thing you should always keep in mind when talking about the best affordable earphones is that the manufacturers make a lot of compromises. So, before you criticize any earphones under $50, try to be a bit practical.
Earphone manufacturing companies are also in the business to profit. So in the middle of trying to make earphones of the highest quality they possibly can while, at the same time, cutting costs so that the earphones are affordable in the end, some bells and whistles have to go.
So, first tip is to lower your expectations a bit.
It’s wishful thinking to expect to find earbuds under $50 that would do well on every count. As you see, all our earphones on our reviews today have one big flaw or another.
There’s no strait jacket rule. The only rule is to know your priorities, and pick a set that delivers highly on those priorities.
For some, it’s durability. For others it’s some serious bass. The audiophiles among us won’t joke with sound quality. And for the active ones, maybe it’s the best earbuds with mic under $50 you seek, something with enough buttons to keep up with your busy lifestyle.
So, you get the picture, yeah?
The best earbuds for the money for you should be the ones that possess your top qualities in a set of earbuds, and whose flaws (cos it will definitely have them), you can live with.
Every set of earphones on our reviews today would appeal to different sets of individuals. The audiophiles will definitely go for the Shure SE112. Those who need their buds to keep them motivated at the gym will go for Anker.
However, perhaps the most versatile of all the earbuds on review today and which most people seem to settle for are the RHA MA390s. The M4s seems to be a close contender for the sake of price. As you know, they are pretty affordable.
If we were to pick an absolute favorite, it would have to be the RHA M390s, of course. However, this time, the Shure SE112 will be a close second instead.
Why the MA390s? Why not? The earbuds have a nice overall blend of all the features the average person would desire in his set of earbuds. It is by no means perfect, but we already said to expect that. So, overall, these are pretty good buds.
In fact, if there wasn’t an issue of microphonics, these would easily have been perfect earbuds for under $50. We are not mentioning sound quality because at this price range, you can’t expect to get superior sound quality from your earphones, so that’s that.
We chose the Shure SE112 as a close second for a reason, the sound quality. Of all the earphones on our reviews, the SE112s are the overall best sound quality earbuds under $50. The reason we decided on the Shure SE112 is because we figured that the primary function of earbuds are to listen, so sound quality should normally always be primary.
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