The best cheap wireless earbuds in 2024

The best cheap wireless earbuds crush their more upmarket counterparts with a balance of solid performance, features, and great value for money. Just like the best wireless earbuds overall, you can count on the models listed here to deliver on sound quality regardless of their budget price tag. 

All cost less than $99 (with several models below $50), but despite the budget price tag they don't skimp on features. Several of our best cheap wireless earbuds choices also include effective active noise cancellation (ANC), making them even better value for anyone wanting to reduce distractions from the outside world for less.

The Tom's Guide team test dozens of low-cost wireless earbuds a year, which means we have plenty of insight in weighing up which are the best value models on the market for budget pockets. Don't forget, you'll find lots more info in our in-depth standalone reviews, covering design and comfort, features, ANC performance (where applicable), battery life, and sound quality across all kinds of media, as well as how well they handle calls. 

Read on to find the pick of the best cheap wireless earbuds available to buy right now.

The quick list

The best cheap wireless earbuds you can buy right now

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The best cheap wireless earbuds overall

OnePlus Buds 3 in charging case held in hand in outdoorsEditor's Choice

(Image credit: Future)
Flagship noise-canceling buds for an entry-level price

Specifications

Size: 1.24 x 0.79 x 0.96 inches (per bud)
Weight: 0.16 ounces (per bud)
Battery life (rated): Up to 10 hours, 44 hours total (charging case)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2 with SBC, AAC
ANC: Yes
Durability: IPX4

Reasons to buy

+
Terrific sound and call quality
+
Flagship features and style
+
Responsive touch controls
+
Strong noise cancellation

Reasons to avoid

-
ANC battery life beaten by rivals 
-
Spatial audio could be better

Priced at just $99, OnePlus Buds 3 set a new standard for true wireless performance on cheap wireless earbuds. Upscaled features like adaptive ANC deliver at a premium level, eliminating close to 90% of unwanted noises from the soundstage, which only the best noise-cancelling buds can do. A powerful mic array grants superb digital assistance and voice calling. OnePlus even equipped their latest buds with advanced audio specs such as dual dynamic driver units (6mm tweeter + 10.4mm woofer) and Bluetooth 5.3 with hi-res LHDC codec support. The result is stellar audio output that can be personalized through multiple sound-enhancing features unavailable on most models.

Compromises were made to accommodate the low price point, but the middling 3D audio and poor battery management are easy to overlook at the price. These are  outstanding value and the best wireless earbuds under $100 around right now.

The best value

JLab JBuds Mini being taken out of casebest value awards badge

(Image credit: JLab)
These $39 wireless earbuds are a total bargain (and cute)

Specifications

Size: 0.7 x 0.8 inches (per bud)
Weight: 0.11 ounces (per bud)
Battery life (rated): 5.5 hours (per bud); 20 hours (charging case)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3 with SBC, AAC
ANC: No
Durability: IP55

Reasons to buy

+
Small and durable design
+
Strong features in app
+
Satisfying, customizable sound
+
Respectable battery life with USB-C charging
+
Responsive controls

Reasons to avoid

-
Buggy connectivity
-
Too much background interference during calls
-
No quick charging

JLab's JBuds Mini wireless earbuds blend powerful sound and special features into one of the smallest true wireless designs ever created. They tap into the neglected market of users with smaller ears, or those that just don't like the look or discomfort of larger buds protruding from ear canals. They have an impossibly tiny form, and the non-bulky charging case means they can be easily attached to a keyfob. JLab even threw in upscale features like an ambient listening mode and Bluetooth multipoint for pairing to two devices simultaneously.

Comfort levels are high, and our reviewer found they barley noticed wearing them even after several hours. These buds don't feature active noise cancellation but they successfully manage to block out noise passively when listening to music. They form a tight seal around the ear canal that prevents external sounds from creeping in.

The JBuds Mini are some of the brand’s best-sounding buds under $50. The bass-forward profile produces lively sound right out of the box, courtesy of the default JLab Signature EQ, though you can experience better sound by swapping out the Equalizer setting via companion app. Companion app access extends functionality to personalize the buds in multiple ways, be it audio customization or usability.

The best sound and big-brand experience

The Sony WF-C500 wireless earbuds on display over a green-dotted backdropTop Pick

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)
Upmarket features and sound quality at a great price

Specifications

Size: 1.2 x 1.1 x 0.9 inches (per bud)
Weight: 0.2 ounces (per bud)
Battery life (rated): 10 hours; 20 hours (charging case)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2 with SBC, AAC
ANC: No
Durability: IPX4

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful bass
+
360 Reality Audio and DSEE support
+
Lengthy playback time
+
Works with Sony Headphones Connect app
+
Strong connectivity

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks some features found on Sony's upmarket models
-
Charging case only holds two additional full charges
-
No touch controls

Sony's WF-C500 earbuds may not wow you with their looks, but arguably these are the best wireless earbuds under $100. Music sounds punchy and although their profile might not be as depth-filled as Sony’s WF-1000XM4, you can expect powerful lows and crisp highs, along with under-emphasized mids. Should you want to tweak the sound, there’s the Equalizer feature in the Sony Headphones Connect app to manually adjust frequencies or select from nine presets that prioritize different sonic elements, depending on the music genre or content.

The WF-C500 isn’t perfect, though, with slightly impractical controls that can inflict some discomfort when attempting to activate, and mediocre capacity from the charging case. However, these are trivial complaints when factoring in the level of sound Sony has managed to engineer into these tiny buds, and they're a bargain-priced model that really shouldn't be overlooked.

Best battery life

Soundcore Anker Liberty 4 NC inside opern charging case next to packaging box

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Strong audio, battery life, and special features

Specifications

Size: Not specified
Weight: 0.2 ounces (per bud); 1.53 ounces (charging case)
Battery life (rated): 10 hours; 50 hours (charging case)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3 with SBC, AAC, LDAC
ANC: Yes
Durability: IPX4

Reasons to buy

+
Great sound
+
Up to 10 hours playback from a single charge
+
Impressive features including LDAC support
+
Durable design

Reasons to avoid

-
Disappointing ANC
-
Unreliable fit
-
Buggy connectivity

Soundcore's newest entry-level buds are stacked with features and offer strong performance for the money. For $99, the Liberty 4 NC are fantastic-sounding buds that should be marketed towards budget audiophiles. They have an adjustable EQ with multiple customization settings, fine-tuned 11mm drivers, LDAC codec support, and spatial audio. You can expect an engaging and satisfying listening experience across the board. These buds give plenty of sonic versatility, be it booming bass, crisp mids, or well-balanced frequency range. 

Battery life is rated at 10 hours with noise canceling off, while enabling the feature reduces playtime to 8 hours, and LDAC brings it down to 7 hours. The charging case holds up to 50 hours, which is considerably longer than many here and stronger then the AirPods Pro 2 case (30 hours) and WF-1000XM5 case (34 hours), which are both more than double the price. 

Only noise-canceling performance lets it down. It struggles with mid- and high frequency sounds, and the unstable fit didn’t help isolate noise either.

Best for small ears

The 1More PistonBuds Pro being held in hand over a ball pit

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)
Entry-level ANC earbuds that surpass expectations at the price

Specifications

Size: 0.6 x 0.7 x 0.8 inches (per bud)
Weight: 0.15 ounces (per bud)
Battery life (rated): Up to 7.5 hours; 30 hours (charging case)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2 with SBC and AAC
ANC: Yes
Durability: IPX5

Reasons to buy

+
Great ANC for the price
+
Energetic sound
+
Sleek, compact design
+
Responsive touch controls

Reasons to avoid

-
Bass heavy on some tracks-
-
Sub-standard battery life
-
Weak call quality

The PistonBuds Pro are a win for budget-conscious consumers who desire outstanding ANC and sound in a stylish, affordable package. Are they going to replace your AirPods Pro? No, but they are easily one of the best AirPods alternatives that can be had for a third of the price. 

Okay, battery life isn’t anything to write home about, nor is call quality. But these shortcomings are forgivable when factoring in the audio and noise cancellation these buds deliver, and are enough to satisfy (especially at the $69 price) and give the Piston Buds Pro mass appeal. 

Best for style

The Donner DoBuds One wireless earbuds in reviewer's hand.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Effective ANC and great sound in an AirPods-like design

Specifications

Size: 0.9 x 1.247 x 0.88 inches (per bud)
Weight: 0.16 ounces (per bud)
Battery life (rated): 6.5 hours (ANC on); 8 hours (ANC off); 26 hours (charging case with ANC on); 32 hours (charging case with ANC off)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2 with SBC, mSBC, AAC
ANC: Yes
Durability: IPX4

Reasons to buy

+
Balanced sound
+
Effective ANC
+
Better than AirPods battery life
+
Sweat and water resistant

Reasons to avoid

-
Poor comfort levels
-
EQ presets are poorly engineered
-
Unreliable connectivity with Control app

The Donner DoBuds One are one of the most affordable ANC models we've seen and a fantastic fake AirPods-style design and one of the most competitive cheap noise-cancelling earbuds market.

Any noise-cancelling earbuds that come with more playtime than the AirPods Pro (4.5 to 5 hours) are a win in our book, and the DoBuds One give up to 6.5 hours of play with ANC on, and 8 hours with ANC off. They undercut several mid-range models by delivering superb sound and surprisingly good ANC in an affordable package. Not everything hits its mark, such as app connectivity, comfort, and the EQ, but you’re still getting an incredible deal for the price.

Best cheap wireless earbuds under $25

The JLab Go Air Pop held in hand

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)
The best wireless earbuds under $25

Specifications

Size: 0.9 x 1 x 0.9 inches
Weight: 0.1 ounces (per bud)
Battery life (rated): 8 hours; 32 hours (with charging case)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.1 with SBC and AAC
ANC: No
Durability: IPX4

Reasons to buy

+
Satisfactory sound at price 
+
IPX4-rated water resistance
+
Respectable battery life
+
Custom EQ settings

Reasons to avoid

-
Poor call quality
-
Unreliable controls

The Go Air Pop are a pretty similar set of cheap wireless earbuds to the JBuds Air, with water resistance, a choice of EQ settings and even a case with a built-in charging cable. Except the Go Air Pop are even cheaper, launching with a nigh-unbelievable MSRP of $20. When we tested the cheapest headphones on Amazon, even the no-name brands didn't produce true wireless models that were this affordable.

Even so, this is much better than bargain bin fare. While you can tweak the EQ, the default sound has plenty of bass, and the lightweight design actually avoids some of the comfort issues we had with the JBuds Air. Battery life is good too: expect about 7 hours of normal use per charge.

Best cheap wireless earbuds for sports

The JLab JBuds Air Pro wireless earbuds resting on a concrete surface

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)
Inexpensive sports buds with strong sound

Specifications

Size: 0.88 x 1.03 x 0.83 inches (per bud)
Weight: 0.18 ounces (per bud)
Battery life (rated): 9 hours; 36 hours (charging case)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.1 with AAC and SBC
ANC: No
Durability: IP55

Reasons to buy

+
Bass-forward sound with custom EQ
+
Effective ambient listening mode
+
Long battery life
+
Sturdy feel and secure fit

Reasons to avoid

-
Charging via USB-A port
-
No companion app or wireless charging

The JLab JBuds Air Pro offer durable construction, instant auto-connect capabilities, and a tiny charging case with integrated USB cable. Although they're not marketed towards active lifestyles, our reviewer found the fit to be stable and the gel tips created a tight seal that kept the buds locked in. He commented that he never had to adjust them while out on runs, and slippage never became a problem. 

These aren't the strongest earbuds when it comes to call quality. But with music playback, workout favorites like Jamiroquai’s “Shake It On,” the 6mm driver produced punchy bass, which intensified in Bass Boost mode and felt like bass drumsticks were striking against my ear drums. Essentially, that is the forceful low end you want to consume before kickstarting a run. There are three EQ modes for those who wish to tinker, and their bold sound, responsive controls, stable connectivity, and respectable playtime in a water-resistant design make the JBuds Air Pro a worthwhile purchase for budget-conscious exercisers everywhere.

Best for voice calls

Listing image for Skullcandy Dime 3 in charging case

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
An drop stem design with great call quality

Specifications

Size: 1.06 x 0.77 x 0.73 inches (earbuds); 2.33 x 1.55 x 0.90 inches (charging case)
Weight: 0.14 ounces (per bud); 0.91 ounces (charging case)
Battery life (rated): 8 hours; 20 hours (charging case)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3 with SBC, AAC, LC3
ANC: No
Durability: IPX4

Reasons to buy

+
Great call quality
+
Impressive sound with well-engineered EQs
+
Effective transparency mode
+
Durable design
+
Multipoint connectivity

Reasons to avoid

-
Poor control scheme
-
No wear detection
-
No companion app support

The Skullcandy Dime 3 wireless earbuds are an enticing option with strong call quality and multipoint connectivity. The effective mics do a solid job with noise reduction and voice recognition and makes them a great buy for use on calls. 

Sound quality while listening to music is great and these buds come with three built-in EQs, and boom-filled bangers handle monstrous lows like a pro. Sadly, there's no companion to let you tweak the sound profile to suit your preference, but Music (the default), Bass Boost, and Podcast serve listeners well.

Not everything hits the mark though. There’s no way to assign and personalize the controls, and we're also surprised by the absence of wear detection to auto-pause content when removing the buds. The charging case is nicely compact though and small enough to be a neat key-fob addition. 

Battery life in our tests ran up to 7.5 hours, and total recharge time from the case maxes out at 20 hours. A 10-minute quick charge boosts these enough to give 2 hours of playback. 

Best cheap wireless earbuds: Specs compared

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 ANCBattery life (rated)Durability rating
OnePlus Buds 3YesUp to 10 hours, 44 hours total (charging case)IPX4
JLab JBuds MiniNo5.5 hours (per bud); 20 hours (charging case)IP55
Sony WF-C500No10 hours; 20 hours (charging case)IPX4
Soundcore by Anker Liberty 4 NCYes10 hours; 50 hours (charging case)IPX4
1More PistonBuds Pro YesUp to 7.5 hours; 30 hours (charging case)IPX5
Donner DoBuds OneYes6.5 hours (ANC on); 8 hours (ANC off); 26 hours (charging case with ANC on); 32 hours (charging case with ANC off)IPX4
JLab Go Air PopNo8 hours; 32 hours (with charging case)IPX4
JLab JBuds Air ProNo9 hours; 36 hours (charging case)IP55
Skullcandy Dime 3No8 hours; 20 hours (with charging case)IPX4

How to choose the best cheap wireless earbuds for you

Obviously, price is a big consideration when looking for the best cheap wireless earbuds. Many cheap models have listed prices of less than $100, but with sales and discounts at online retailers, you can easily bag a bargain for even less.

Any money you save on your earbuds purchase won't do you much good if you're constantly needing to recharge your audio gear. So pay attention to rated battery life and whether any carrying case comes with the earbuds to provide additional power. You'll also want to see what reviews from both professional testers and people who bought the earbuds have to say about sound quality. That goes for both listening to music via the earbuds as well as fielding phone calls.

How well wireless earbuds fit your ears can vary from person to person. But some models come with additional tips and fins to offer something approaching a customized fit.

Frequently asked questions

What do IP-ratings mean? 

IP-ratings refer to the level of Ingress Protection (IP) from liquids and dirt that a device is protected from. This is part of a device's durability. 

IP-ratings explained: The first digit refers to the level of protection from solid particles, such as dust and sand. The scale ranges from 0 (no protection) to 6 (dust-tight) for full protection. For example, an IP6X rating ensures that the device is completely dust-tight, making it ideal for harsh outdoor conditions or industrial settings where fine dust particles are common. 

The second digit refers to a devices resistance to moisture, and the scale ranges from 0 (no protection) to 8 for the highest level of protection. For example, with an IPX4 rating, earbuds are protected from water splashes from any direction, while an IPX7 rating ensures that the device can be submerged in water up to 1 meter (around 3 feet) for 30 minutes without any damage.

Most common IP ratings explained

Swipe to scroll horizontally
RatingLevel of protection
IPX4This rating shows that the device has been tested and offers protection against splashes of water, making them suitable for workouts or light rain.
IPX6This rating indicates that the device can withstands power jets of water from any direction.
IPX8The device is waterproof and fully submersible up to 1.5 meters for up to 30 mins.

How we test the best cheap wireless earbuds

When rating the best cheap wireless earbuds, we look not only at price but also design, sound quality and battery life. We also consider how easy it is to pair earbuds with a smartphone and what kind of controls are accessible through the device.

In terms of audio, we listen to many sample tracks that span a number of genres, including hip-hop, rock, jazz, classical, R&B, and electronic, while assessing volume levels and how easy the earbuds are to drive. Movies, podcasts and video games are also used where necessary. We also make phone calls to assess both call quality and microphone performance. 

During the testing phase, our reviewers wear each pair of headphones for hours at a time throughout the course of a week. Reviewers will make note of battery life and how well it matches the rated battery life provided by earbud makers. 

Star ratings explained: As with all our reviews, we evaluate the best cheap earbuds based on a five-point system (1 = worst, 5 = best). If a product hits nearly every mark, it’s awarded a coveted Recommended badge, while our Best Value award speaks for itself. Only products with truly exceptional performance across the board are awarded an Editor's Choice badge. 

For more information, check out our how we test page for Tom's Guide.

Contributions from: Alex Bracetti

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