The best cheap wireless headphones in 2022

Hero image for cheap wireless headphones showing Anker Soundcore Space Q45 on brick paving with smart phone placed alongside
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
What is ANC?

Active noise cancelling (ANC) headphones use an 'active' combination of hardware (microphones) and firmware to make external sounds or noises sound quieter when you’re listening to your favorite music or podcasts, say. Unlike passive noise isolation, which simply muffles those sounds by forming a seal with headphone ear cups or in-ear tips, active noise cancellation listens out for background sounds and uses clever audio trickery to “cancel” these potentially disruptive sounds out. For a more in-depth explanation see ANC explained.

The best cheap wireless headphones bring together the convenience of wireless Bluetooth connectivity at an affordable price tag. Whether you're working from home or commuting to the office, these budget headphones are ideal if you're not too bothered about the fully featured designs of the absolute best models that come at a premium.

That being said, just because you’re paying less doesn’t mean you have to skimp on quality. The headphones you’ll find below have all passed our stringent performance testing criteria, so you can be sure they sound great and some may even include handy features like active noise cancellation or extended battery life. Simply read on to find out more about the best cheap wireless headphones.

Top 3 best cheap wireless headphones

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1More website (opens in new tab)

Best with ANC: 1More PistonBuds Pro
At $69, these are the best value wireless earbuds with ANC. Even better news for buyers is that they're discounted to $59 on the 1More website (opens in new tab) as well as through online retailer Newegg (opens in new tab). ANC is effective at the price, and the 'buds are a win for consumers looking for great performance in a stylish and affordable package.

Best over-ear cheap wireless: Cleer Enduro ANC 
The Cleer Enduro ANC over-ear headphones are still by far the best pair of cheap ANC headphones we've tested, especially when it comes to battery life. ANC and especially the transparent ambient mode work well, fit is decent, and Bluetooth supports aptX Adaptive. (opens in new tab)

Best over-ear cheap wireless: Cleer Enduro ANC
The Cleer Enduro ANC over-ear headphones are still by far the best pair of cheap ANC headphones we've tested, especially when it comes to battery life. ANC and especially the transparent ambient mode work well, fit is decent, and Bluetooth supports aptX Adaptive.

Best value cheap wireless: OnePlus Nord Buds
At $39, the Nord Buds are too good to pass up, especially for OnePlus conformists and commuters who desire quality true wireless performance for less. Sound is dynamic and bass heavy at times, but the EQ customization helps balance things out. The controls work without a hitch and Fast Charging is a bonus. (opens in new tab)

Best value cheap wireless: OnePlus Nord Buds
At $39, the Nord Buds are too good to pass up, especially for OnePlus conformists and commuters who desire quality true wireless performance for less. Sound is dynamic and bass heavy at times, but the EQ customization helps balance things out. The controls work without a hitch and Fast Charging is a bonus.

Best cheap wireless headphones deals

Black Friday 2022 is right around the corner so it’s time to start thinking about what to look out for in this year's deals. The best cheap wireless headphones are always in high demand, so it pays to start shopping as early as possible if you're looking for top performance at a bargain price. Many of our favorite picks will be on sale making this period an ideal time to buy one of the best cheap wireless headphones. Be sure to follow our Black Friday deals page for all of your shopping needs this season.

The best cheap wireless headphones you can buy right now

The Cleer Enduro ANC collapsed inwardTop Pick

(Image credit: Future)
The best cheap ANC headphones for battery life

Specifications

Size and weight: 7 x 6.6 x 3 inches; 10.6 ounces
Battery life (rated): Up to 60 hours
Bluetooth range: 33 feet
Digital assistant support: Yes
Type: Over-ear headphones
ANC : Yes
Codec support: SBC, AAC, aptX Adaptive

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible battery life
+
ANC and transparency modes
+
High sound quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Wind noise in ANC mode
-
Comfort isn't long-lasting

The Cleer Enduro ANC is more "cheap for a pair of ANC over-ear headphones" than cheap in general, though there's no arguing against this being a fantastic bargain. ANC and especially the transparent ambient mode work well, and there are some handy bonus features like the built-in NFC tag for fast pairing.

The fit is decent, though you might want relief after a couple hours, and while the Bluetooth connection support aptX Adaptive you could alternatively use the included 3.5mm cable for full Hi-Res Audio support. Best of all is the battery life: we got over 50 hours of ANC-enabled playback, something no other pair of the best noise-cancelling headphones can currently match.

Read our full Cleer Enduro ANC review.

The 1More PistonBuds Pro wireless earbuds resting on a pillowbest value awards badge

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)
These entry-level ANC earbuds surpass expectations

Specifications

Size and weight : 0.6 x 0.7 x 0.8 inches; 0.15 ounces (per bud)
Battery life (rated): Up to 7.5 hours
Bluetooth range: 60 feet
Digital assistant support: Yes
Type: In-ears
ANC: Yes
Codec support: SBC, AAC

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. 

Read our full 1More PistonBuds Pro review.

Anker Soundcore Space Q45 headphones placed in reviewer's hand with outdoors Florida scene in background

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Effective noise cancelling and support high-quality LDAC sound

Specifications

Size and weight: 6.3 x 3.4 x 7.4 inches; 10.3 ounces
Battery life (rated): 37 hours (ANC and LDAC on); 45 hours (LDAC on); 50 hours (ANC on); 65 hours (ANC off)
Bluetooth range: > 33 feet
Digital assistant support: Google Assistant; Siri
Type: Over-ear
ANC: Yes
Codec support: SBC, AAC, LDAC

Reasons to buy

+
Big sound with plenty of bass 
+
Lengthy battery life
+
Loaded with special features
+
Effective ANC
+
Bluetooth 5.3 with multipoint and LDAC support

Reasons to avoid

-
Clunky
-
Digital assistant needs work
-
Call quality could benefit from better wind resistance
-
No Find My Headphones function

Like the Cleer Enduro ANC (above), Anker's Soundcore Space Q45 are quite the bargain with a remarkable set of features and effective ANC performance. They offer remarkable battery life, quality ANC, and superb sound powered by upmarket specs and special features. Sound quality has a liveliness that pulls listeners to the front row of the performance on whatever music you're listening to. The sonic soundstage is wide and immersive, and have a ramped up low end, rich mids and crisp highs. 

Anker engineered the Space Q45 with a versatile Ambient Sound mode that features dual settings for both Noise Cancellation and Transparency settings. And they all work well when used in proper situations. These headphone are not without some flaws, but nevertheless they have compelling sound and noise neutralization for half the price of Bose and Sony’s flagship models and are worth tracking down.

Read the full Anker Soundcore Space Q45 review.

The Sony WF-C500 displayed on a concrete surface

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

Specifications

Size and weight: 1.2 x 1.1 x 0.9 inches (per bud); 0.2 ounces (per bud)
Battery life (rated): 10 hours; 20 hours (charging case)
Bluetooth range: 70 feet
Digital assistant support: Siri
Type: In-ear
ANC: No
Codec support: SBC, AAC

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 the Sony 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.

Read our full Sony WF-C500 review.

The OnePlus Nord Buds sitting in the charging caseTop Pick

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)
Cheap buds that deliver big on sound

Specifications

Size & weight: 1.9 x 0.8 x 0.92 inches; 0.17 ounces (per bud)
Battery life (rated): 7 hours; 30 hours (charging case)
Bluetooth: Not specified
Digital assistant: No
Type: In-ear
ANC: No
Codec support: SBC, AAC

Reasons to buy

+
Rich, customizable sound
+
Useful battery life with powerful quick charging
+
Dependable call quality and connectivity
+
Reliable touch controls

Reasons to avoid

-
Poor wind noise reduction on calls
-
Bass heavy on some music tracks

The Edifier W240TN are a fine-looking and sounding pair of wireless earbuds. They're pretty well featured, although not everything works quite as well as we'd like. For an ANC model at the price, though, performance is strong and you get detailed sonics thanks to the dual dynamic drivers that deliver a wide and compelling sound, and effective noise cancellation.

We weren't sold on call quality or wind resistance when on the move, but these sorts of compromises are to be expected for wireless earbuds this affordable. Battery life is very respectable as is connectivity, and the overall comfort and craftsmanship make them well worth their asking price.

Read our full Edifier W240TN review.

Edifier W240TN packaging box placed on top of a closed laptop

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Great sound and ANC at a great price

Specifications

Size & weight: 0.9 x 0.6 x 0.9 inches (per bud); 2.3 x 1.08 x 1.6 inches (charging case); 1.8 ounces (earbuds + charging case)
Battery life (rated): Up to 8.5 hours; 25.5 hours
Bluetooth range: 100 feet
Digital assistant support: Yes
Type: In-ear
ANC: Yes
Codec support: SBC

Reasons to buy

+
Detailed, dynamic soundstage
+
Effective ANC 
+
Attractive, durable design
+
Reliable battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited touch control customization
-
Weak call quality
-
No wireless charging 

At $39, the Nord Buds are too good to pass up, especially for OnePlus conformists and commuters who desire quality true wireless performance for less. These buds have a 4-mic array with AI noise reduction, 12.4mm titanium drivers, mobile app compatibility with personalization tools, and proprietary Flash Charge technology. OnePlus mobile users may receive special software perks, but the solid controls, strong audio performance, and sufficient battery life remain consistent across all platforms. 

Sound is dynamic and bass heavy at times, but the ability to customize frequencies helps balance things out. The controls work without a hitch, comfort is pleasant, and Fast Charging is clutch for recharging in short time spans. The noise reduction on calls could be better, but the Nord Buds pros outweigh any cons to make it a must-own for budget-conscious earbud users everywhere.

Read our full OnePlus Nord Buds review

The OnePlus Buds Z2 in its charging case in front of a green wood background

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Well-rounded wireless earbuds for under $100

Specifications

Size and weight: 1.2 x 0.8 x 0.8 inches; 0.15 ounces (per bud)
Battery life (rated): 5 hours (ANC on), 7 hours (ANC off), 27 hours (with charging case and ANC on), 38 hours (with charging case and ANC off)
Bluetooth range: 32 feet
Digital assistant support: Yes
Type: In-ears
ANC: Yes
Codec support: SBC, AAC

Reasons to buy

+
Punchy sound
+
Great build quality
+
Powerful charging
+
Instant connectivity

Reasons to avoid

-
Slow controls
-
Some features unavailable on most phones

The Buds Z2 aren’t as high-powered as the premium sibling, the OnePlus Buds Pro, but don’t think for one second that it is any less valuable. All three levels of active noise cancellation are effective for taming different frequencies, while the bass-forward sound profile gives music and movies a lively sonic presence. Those with a newer OnePlus device gain exclusive perks like Dolby Atmos support and Pro Gaming mode for lower latency when gaming. Where the Buds Z2 really flexes its muscle is charging. Features like Warp Charge technology gain you 5 hours of playtime in just 10 minutes. We’re also fond of the simple, sturdy design.

If you’re someone who constantly switches tracks or activates the digital assistant, be mindful that the controls can act finicky at times, which results in delays when trying to execute commands.

Read our full OnePlus Buds Z2 review.

The Master & Dynamic MW07 and metal charging case

(Image credit: Master & Dynamic)
Luxury sound for under $100

Specifications

Size and weight: Not specified; 0.32 ounces (per bud)
Battery life (rated): 3.5 hours; 14 hours (with charging case)
Bluetooth range: 30 feet
Digital assistant support: Yes
Type: Earbuds
Codec support: SBC, AAC, aptX

Reasons to buy

+
Balanced, well-defined sound
+
Eye-catching design
+
Impressive noise isolation
+
Intelligent controls

Reasons to avoid

-
Short battery life
-
Charging case is prone to fingerprints and scuffs

Marked down from $300, the Master & Dynamic MW07 can be found for less than $99, and well worth the pickup if you value sound and style. The well-judged sound signature fills your ears with clean, immersive audio that complements all music genres. These buds create a tight and secure seal that prevents ambient noises from creeping into the soundscape, while keeping the buds locked in for a stable fit. Just as impressive is the premium design, highlighted by the acetate and stainless-steel construction. The combination of physical buttons, on-ear detection, and digital assistance form a sweet trifecta of functionality.

Our only legitimate complaint about the MW07 is its very short battery life, which is capped at 3.5 hours and much shorter than the average industry time set by the AirPods (5 hours).

Read our full Master & Dynamic MW07 review.

The Amazon Echo Buds 2 taken out of the charging case

(Image credit: Amazon)
Cheap wireless headphones with excellent voice controls

Specifications

Size and weight: 0.8 x 0.8 x 0.8 inches; 0.2 ounces (per bud)
Battery life (rated): Up to 19.5 hours
Bluetooth range: 35 feet
Digital assistant support: Yes
Type: Earbuds
ANC: No
Codec support: SBC, AAC

Reasons to buy

+
Alexa works brilliantly
+
Good ANC and ambient modes
+
Sleek case with wireless charging

Reasons to avoid

-
Middling battery life
-
Vocals could be crisper

The Amazon Echo Buds 2 is already affordable by ANC earbuds standards, and is even cheaper if you don't opt for the wireless charging case model. And while there are cheap wireless headphones on this list that don't even come close to breaking 3 figures, Amazon's earbuds sport an enviable feature list that includes ANC and IPX4 water resistance.

It's also got one of the best digital assistant implementations we've seen on any pair of wireless headphones. All you need to do to summon Alexa is say its name; the microphones will pick you up and ready Alexa for further voice commands, so you don't even need to press a button or activate a touch sensor.

Read our full Amazon Echo Buds 2 review.

The JLab Go Air Pop held in hand

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)
The best cheap wireless earbuds value

Specifications

Size and weight: 1.8 x 3 x 1.6 inches; 0.13 ounces (per bud)
Battery life (rated): Up to 14 hours (with charging case)
Bluetooth range: 30 feet
Digital assistant support: Yes
Type: Earbuds
ANC: No
Codec support: SBC, AAC

Reasons to buy

+
Versatile audio
+
Good battery life
+
Sweat and water-resistant

Reasons to avoid

-
Unimpressive call quality
-
No companion app or extra features

To see a pair of $20 wireless earbuds show up on any “best of” list is an accomplishment. The JLab Go Air Pop isn’t just one of the best cheap wireless headphones available – these are some of best wireless earbuds in general. We’re impressed by the level of sound these tiny, water-resistant buds reproduce, programmed with three EQs that enhance audio in different ways. You can enable Balance for a neutral listening experience, increase the low end with Bass Boost or get a bit of both with JLab Signature, which is our recommendation. Being able to use the buds for up to 8 hours on a single charge might be the Go Air Pop’s greatest strength, alongside its 32-hour charging case that’s super compact and comes with a built-in USB cable for charging on the go.

Had the buds worked well for phone calls or been compatible with the JLab app, this product would easily rank higher, but a 4-star rating suits it well.

Read our full JLab Go Air Pop review.

A frequent flyer using the Plantronics BackBeat Go 810

(Image credit: Plantronics)
Cheap wireless headphones with dependable ANC and battery life

Specifications

Size and weight: 8.10 x 2.20 x 1.60 inches; 7.0 ounces
Battery life (rated): Up to 28 hours
Bluetooth range: 30 feet
Digital assistant support: Yes
Type: On-ear headphones
ANC: Yes
Codec support: SBC, aptX

Reasons to buy

+
Loud, warm sound
+
Dependable noise cancellation
+
Long playtimes

Reasons to avoid

-
Buggy performance
-
No motion or touch controls

Plantronics is no stranger to making high-quality wireless headphones, and while the drastic price drop on the BackBeat Go 810 might seem alarming, rest assured that these are premium cans worth adding to your Amazon cart. You’re getting signature Plantronics sound, which falls on the warm end of the audio spectrum and has a heavy bass presence. That just means contemporary songs and anything with upbeat tempos will sound lively. The Plantronics app is definitely worth downloading to extend functionality, granting access to special features such as an EQ, HD voice support for calls, a Find MyHeadset setting, and ANC adjustment. Speaking of which, noise cancellation is decent enough to block out nearby rumblings

On occasion, you might stumble upon some bugs in the app or notice the controls acting finicky, though we’re told updating the app with the latest software update should fix these issues. 

Read our full Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 review.

The Jabra Elite Active 65t propped up against a book

(Image credit: Future)
Excellent wireless earbuds for the price

Specifications

Size and weight: 1.2. x 1.1 x 0.9 x inches; 0.2 ounces (per bud)
Battery life (rated): Up to 15 hours
Bluetooth range: 33 feet
Digital assistant support: Yes
Type: Earbuds
ANC: No
Codec support: SBC, AAC, aptX

Reasons to buy

+
Great comfort and fit
+
Sound customization via companion app
+
Doubles as a fitness tracker

Reasons to avoid

-
Charging case is tough to open
-
Inconvenient controls

If you're looking for a pair of inexpensive truly wireless earbuds that offer the right balance of personalized comfort and sound, place the Jabra Elite Active 65t at the top of your list. These buds made it on our best cheap wireless headphones list because they are sleek and unassuming, deliver impressive sound, and last up to 5 hours on a charge.

The Active 65t consumes less power so that you get longer battery life, can pair with two separate devices simultaneously, and have a signal range of up to 800 feet. While the Elite Active 65t is designed for fitness use, it's also a great everyday pair for enjoying music and taking calls on the go. The same can be said about its non-fitness sibling, the standard Elite 65t, which offers solid audio performance and call quality

See our full Jabra Elite Active 65t review.

How to choose the best cheap wireless headphones for you

The market for cheap wireless headphones is massive, so to help narrow down the search, you’ll want to take several things into consideration. Let’s start with fit. Since there are several different types, including in-ear, on-ear, and over-ear, base your decision on what will feel comfortable to wear for long periods of time. 

Going wireless means restricted playtimes, as Bluetooth products consume a lot of power and require recharging every few days. Get a pair of wireless headphones with at least 12 hours of battery life. If you're going with truly wireless earbuds, 5 hours should be the minimum.

Build quality is also huge, especially when investing in sports headphones. Those who are big on fitness will want a pair that offers sweat- or water-resistant protection. Otherwise, look for models with durable aesthetics (e.g. strong plastic, stainless steel).

Keep in mind that modern wireless headphones and earbuds are taking on more advanced features. Look around and you’ll find some that have active noise cancellation, wireless charging, and even sound customization via mobile apps.

How we test the best wireless cheap headphones

Tom’s Guide tests all headphones on the following criteria: design, comfort, features, performance, and value. Our reviewers employ a rigorous testing process that compares products with similar fit, features, and price to determine the best option for you.

Every pair of cheap wireless headphones we test is worn over the course of a week for 2 hours at a time. Comfort, ease of use, and sound quality are three main categories we assess. In terms of audio performance, we test each model across a number of genres, including hip-hop, rock, jazz, classical and R&B, while also evaluating volume, clarity, and fullness.

Find out how we test and try out demo tracks for yourself in our guide to getting the best headphone sound for you

When it comes to features, we test the effectiveness of active noise cancelling, Bluetooth range and battery life. For sports headphones, we put them through intense workouts to determine how securely they fit during exercises and how well they handle ambient noise. We test every feature for app-enabled headphones too.

Once testing is completed, Tom’s Guide rates headphones on a five-star system (1 = worst, 5 = best). If a product is truly exemplary, it is awarded an Editor's Choice.

Now that streaming music services are offering hi-res resolution audio, we advise reading our audio codecs FAQ for everything you need to know about every kind of  file format and which are capable of delivering the highest quality audio for your setup.

Contributions from: Alex Bracetti

Next: You may also want to take a look at our guides to the best wireless headphones overall, the best cheap running headphones and the best cheap wireless earbuds.

Lee Dunkley
Audio Editor

As a former editor of the U.K.'s Hi-Fi Choice magazine, Lee is passionate about all kinds of audio tech and has been providing sound advice to enable consumers to make informed buying decisions since he joined Which? magazine as a product tester in the 1990s. Lee covers all things audio for Tom's Guide, including headphones, wireless speakers and soundbars and loves to connect and share the mindfulness benefits that listening to music in the very best quality can bring.