There's no shortage of high-quality earbuds on the market, which can make choosing one a complex process. Who has the time to sift through the hundreds of options and sellers on Amazon to find the pair that fits their exact specifications? This also becomes especially difficult when it comes to pricing. Not ever music lover can afford to dish out large sums of cash for the top-rated earbuds. However, you don't have to break your budget to get the sound you desire. That's why we've put together this top 10 list of the best earbuds under $20.
What are earbuds?
Earbuds are the smaller version of the more traditional headphones. Users prefer them over the latter because they are less noticeable and easily fit into a pocket or handbag.
What do earbuds do?
Unlike headphones that clamp over the ears, earbuds fit comfortably into the ear. They are especially popular for listening to audio on MP3 players and smartphones.
How do earbuds work?
Like headphones, earbuds have a left and right speaker so the user can wear them for portable audio. There is also a small volume adjuster. Some earbuds come with a cord and jack that users plug into a device. Others are Bluetooth-enabled and pair with a device wirelessly.
Where can you buy earbuds?
Earbuds are available at electronics stores, department stores with an electronics section, and online retailers. A free set of earbuds comes with an iPhone purchase.
How much do earbuds cost?
Like many electronic devices, earbuds range in price according to quality. Connoisseurs may go for deluxe options, but earbuds are available to those shopping on a budget too. Be aware, though, that if you choose ones that are very cheap, you may end up sacrificing their quality and durability.
How We Reviewed Our Best Earbuds Under $20
When compiling this list, we considered a range of features to deliver the most comprehensive overview possible, keeping in mind that different users have different needs. For some, sound is everything. Others need earbuds for a particular use, such as sports activities. People also look for a cool design or a particular color when choosing a pair of earbuds.
This list covers many types of earbuds to reflect the needs of various users. Our considerations include:
Overall Earbud Price Range
Earbuds encompass a price range of hundreds of dollars, with the most basic coming at a mere $5 and the more expensive costing around $500. The Bose Hearphones, for example, go for $499 on Amazon. They not only come with the expected options such as Bluetooth, noise cancelation, and quality sound but also boast some impressive features like:
Obviously, the options in the best earbuds under $20 options won't be this luxurious. However, you may be surprised at the range of features you can access without causing undue strain to your budget. Without further ado, here are our top 10:
- High quality copper material driver unit, have an accurate resolution than ordinary driver. Sound performance is clear...
- This sports headphone with a HD microphone, have a better sound quality, cooperate to the CVC digital noise reduction...
- Gold-plated jack contact surface to prevent oxidation, reduces signal loss, and provides better audio restoration. 32...
All-Around Best Value
For the best bang for your buck, you can't go wrong with the KZ ATE Hifi earbuds on Amazon and coming in as the top of our list for best earbuds under $20. The copper build delivers high-quality sound in both treble and bass. The in-ear-monitors (IEM) mimic those used by professional musicians, so the sound experience is unique for this price point. These earbuds also offer noise cancelation, making them ideal for open plan office workers and commuters taking public transportation.
The foam ear tips are light, and the shape will fit comfortably with most ears, allowing users to wear the earbuds for extended periods of time while running or working out. This design minimizes "microphonics," annoying vibrations from the cable. However, not everyone is a fan of the over-the-ear-style, so users looking for the smallest option may find themselves drawn to another item.
The earbuds come with a 12-month warranty, which does not cover man-made damage or immersing the earbuds in liquid. Available on Amazon, you can also buy them at Ankerly and FocusOnValue for the same price.
- Frequency response - 88- 108 MHz
- Easy-Fit Design for Comfort and Fit 3.5 mm plug
- 1 Pair of Soft Earpads Included 1 Year Limited Warranty Parts and Labor
You wouldn't expect to hear thudding bass out of unassuming earbuds that is very affordable, but sound is where this model delivers. While most earbuds struggle with the mid and lower tones, the Monoprice Enhanced Hi-Fi offers stellar bass. Playing ambient "pink noise" for 24 hours may also help the speakers reach their maximum potential.
These earbuds are smaller than the KZ ATE Hifi, and are available in four colors, including a stylish neon blue/green option. They come with a 12-month limited warranty. You can find these on Amazon, as well as from Huetron, Monoprice, and OutletPC in a range of affordable prices.
- Strong Stereo, Bass Driven Sound. YSM1000 Headphones provides Powerful bass enhanced sound with superb musical detail.
- Ideal for use will all MP3, iPod, iPhone, DVD and CD players, and portable gaming systems
- In-ear sound isolating design to hear your music without interruption. Metal Earphones with a pleasing design
We gave these best design for a reason: the sleek metal and gold exterior looks like something out of a steampunk novel. The design is also optimized for superior sound, delivering quality bass and noise cancelation. There's a range of ear tips so users can choose the size that provides the best fit. They also come with a custom leather case for stylish portability.
While it looks like the YSM1000 has gone up in price on Amazon, Betron also offers the similar ELR50 earphones at an affordable price. They have a similar look, amazing bass, and three sizes of silicone ear tips. The ELR50 comes with a one-year warranty and 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Secure over-the-ear fit with memory wire never falls out
- Noise isolating in-ear design with energetic sound and enhanced bass
- Inline microphone, remote, and universal volume control for headset use
Best for Workouts
So far, we've mainly focused on audio as the prime feature, but that's not all there is to design. The MEE Audio Sport-Fi M6P offers decent sound with a fit that will stand up to the most strenuous workout. With a secure but discreet over-the-ear fit, these earbuds won't come out even jostled. They are also 100 percent sweat and water resistant, so for athletes, these may be the best earbuds under $20.
They are offered in a wide range of stylish neon colors, including pink, orange, purple, and sky blue. Some colors are pricier than others. The MEE comes with a one-year manufacturer's warranty and six sets of ear tips. Besides online sellers like Amazon and eBay, you can also purchase these earbuds at Walmart.
- WIRED IN EAR HEADPHONES Perfect for exercising; With three sets of earpads (S/M/L), headphones stay in your ears while...
- ERGOFIT DESIGN FOR PERFECT FIT Ultra soft ErgoFit in ear earbud headphones conform instantly to your ears (S/M/L...
- SMARTPHONE COMPATIBLE Panasonic in ear headphones with integrated microphone and remote are compatible with Apple...
The Panasonic Ergofit is the cheapest option thus far. These earbuds deliver good quality sound for the price, but may not stand up to some of the other options on this list. Their main draw is an "ergonomic" fit, meaning you won't have to worry about annoying hot spots in your ears during use.
Originally designed to pair with the iPod Nano, the Ergofit comes in a variety of whimsical colors. You can purchase them in blue, orange, purple, pink and red. You can also opt for a traditional white or black if you prefer a more minimalist look. These earpieces are lightweight and convenient.
You can purchase Panasonic Ergofit earbuds at your local Walmart or Target, as well as on Amazon and the Panasonic website. They do not come with a warranty.
- Hearing As You Never Have Before. Stereo and clear sound, the basic demand of a pair of wonderful earphones. That's...
- Unique noise cancelling design: These noise cancelling in-ear headphones reduce ambient noise for an optimal audio...
- Comfortable and Convenient: 3 size (S/M/L) custom silicone gel earbud ensure the ear phone conform instantly to your...
For a similar price point but a more sophisticated fit, try the Urophylla earbuds. A special silicone gel earbud in three sizes conforms to the shape of your ear for optimal comfort. In contrast to the bright Ergofit colors, the Urophylla's design is sleek and black, going for "cool" rather than "cute." Although they aren't noise canceling, they will drown out background noise for a better listening experience.
To top it all off, the Urophylla earbuds come with a lifetime warranty. The company will address any issues with the earbuds for as long as you own them. Talk about getting your money's worth!
These are a lightweight and budget-friendly option for users seeking a basic earbud set. They come with three sizes of ear tips to ensure that they will fit snugly through all types of movement without coming loose. The 3.6-foot cord is easy to hide under clothing, and the buds also boast an ergonomic fit.
The two-tone casing comes in a variety of friendly, neon colors that give the product an energetic feel even though they're not intended for sports. With eight options to choose from, users can personalize their earbuds to their own sense of style. .
- Lightweight in-ear earphones engineered for the most secure and comfortable fit.Connectivity Technology: Wired
- 10mm dynamic drivers deliver crisp and clear sound with deep, yet controlled bass
- Ergonomic earpiece design follows the natural shape of the ear to provide all-day comfort
Good price and color
These earbuds are definitely one of the better buys on this list. Although they're not meant for sports, like the MEE Sport-fi above, they do provide all the basic earbud functionality. They are ideal for normal use listening to music, audiobooks, and podcasts, and for playing smartphone games.
In spite of the lightweight casing, 10mm dynamic drivers offer clear sound and controlled bass. Besides the original black, they come in pink, blue and white. They also include a one year warranty. You can purchase them in store at Fry’s, Best Buy, and Walmart.
Affordable price and fashion
The silicone ear tips mean a comfortable fit, even when users are napping.
In addition to providing quality sound, these earbuds look and feel like a fashion accessory. The Y-type cord comes with a slider to prevent tangling when you wind up the earbuds and store them for later. (Really, do you see luxury headphones addressing the dreaded problem of tangles?) The two-tone earbuds come in dainty shades of pink, lilac, and sky blue besides the more traditional white and black.
The Sony MDREX15LP is available at online retailers such as Amazon and eBay. Shoppers can also find them at department stores with an electronics section, such as Target. Unfortunately, the Sony MDREX15LP does not include a warranty.
If you barely want to spend anything
The Sentry HO343 gives the basic functionality of earbuds with an elegant and classic design. If you want to go for the option in white, you’ll end up paying a little more.
They still boast 10mm drivers, balanced sound, and digital stereo. They are lightweight, with a lengthy 3.5-foot cord for versatile use. Amazon shoppers can add a two-year protection plan for $1.00.
Yes, cutting down the price does mean compromising on durability and sound. However, for shoppers who have to make every dollar count, the Sentry H0343 undoubtedly offers the best price. Truly these earbuds show that you the tech you need is available at any price.
Verdict: Did You Find Your New Best Buds?
Maybe while you were reading about the best earbuds under $20, you came across something that immediately spoke to you, and you're ready to dash off to buy your new earbuds. Maybe nothing seemed to match your requirements.
If you're looking for the best quality, you can't go wrong with the KZ ATE Hifi or the Betron. If you want something easily replaceable in case you lose them, then the Sony or the Sentry may be the best options.
Even if this is only the start to your quest for the perfect earbuds, you now have the information you need to seek out the products with the best features in your price range. As they say, "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing." After reading this comprehensive list, you will have all the knowledge you need to start your search for your own best earbuds under $20 and get the best quality on the dollar.