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.
Back to school best cheap wireless headphones for students
Summer will be over before you know it so it’s time to start thinking about back to school sales. The best cheap wireless headphones for students are always in high demand in the run up to schools returning, so it pays to start shopping as early as possible. Whether you’re heading off to college or going back to school, you’ll want best-sounding headphones suitable for both online tutorials and podcasts, as well as while listening to music. Right now many of our favorite picks are currently on sale making now the ideal time to buy one of the best cheap wireless headphones. Be sure to follow our back to school guide for all of your shopping needs this season.
Top 3 best cheap wireless headphones
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.
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.
The best cheap wireless headphones you can buy right now
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 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.
The Galaxy Buds are cheap for a reason: they've been replaced several times over, most recently by the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro. Still, these old-timers are still a viable bargain. Whether you’re an Android or iPhone user, these buds work equally well across both mobile platforms and have a host of features that make them more advanced than the AirPods. In addition to providing near-instant pairing, they also have wireless charging capability — all you need is one of Samsung's S10 phones (or any other recently launched Galaxy smartphone) and you can share power between devices.
The Galaxy Buds deliver great sound in a lightweight, sweatproof casing with up to 6 hours of battery life. An update brings some other great features, such as hands-free access to the Bixby assistant and the ability to tweak equalizer settings with your voice. And a new gesture enables ambient sound mode by holding down the touchpad on the earbud.
Read our full Samsung Galxaxy Buds (2019) review.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.