The Best Cheap Earbuds of 2019

Good earbuds have never been cheaper.

That's because three types of earbuds are fighting for your dollar: truly-wireless earbuds like Apple's AirPods, Bluetooth earbuds with a tether, and traditional (wired) earbuds.

Wired earbuds are the cheapest option. They're perfect for stowing in a carry-on bag so you'll never watch an in-flight movie without sound again. Wired earbuds are also cheap enough to wear (without concern) during sweaty workouts.

Today's earbuds have surprisingly good sound quality. For less than $10, you can score a pair of earbuds with decent bass and an open soundstage. 

If you have large or small ears, look for earbuds that include different-sized tips to adjust the fit. (Finding a comfortable tip is worth it.) Removable tips also make it easier to clean your earbuds.

Keeping your earbuds (and ears) clean is a good practice for everyone, but people with chronic ear infections should be mindful of headphone-induced problems. Remember: All headphones can be dangerous if they're played too loud, so listen at a safe volume.

Here are the best-reviewed earbuds that have sold for $15 or less in the last 12 months:

Good Price: $8 | Great Deal: $5

Several Amazon customers praised these earbuds sound quality and shiny looks, but some customers had a hard time keeping them in their ears, even with the largest silicone tip. Those reviews imply that these earbuds run large (and are better-suited for big ear canals).

Good Price: $15 | Great Deal: $12

Marsno's earbuds are packaged nicely, well built and they sound respectable for the money, according to several Amazon customers. Some reviewers wrote that the earbuds' angled design kept them feeling snug in their ears. Despite the manufacturer claiming that these headphones are "full metal," one reviewer noted that the earbuds are mostly made from plastic.

Good Price: $15 | Great Deal: $10

These solidly-built earbuds sound good and their thick cord doesn't tangle easily, according to several Amazon customers. Some reviewers noted that these earbuds are not a good choice for the gym because they fall out during intense activities.

Good Price: $12 | Great Deal: $9

These Betron earbuds have good bass and a durable cord, according to several Amazon customers. Some reviewers had trouble getting these earbuds to stay in their ears (especially while jogging).

Author's Note: I didn't include Panasonic's ErgoFit earbuds above because there are thousands of suspicious-looking reviews. That said, I have two pairs of ErgoFit earbuds (that I bought on sale for $6) and I love them.


John DeFeo