The world is better with music, and music is best enjoyed with a pair of earbuds on. However, if you are tight on cash right now, the last thing you probably want to think about right now is a new pair of earbuds. Good thing this is not always the case. You can get yourself a shiny new pair of earbuds without breaking the bank.
Believe it or not, you can score the best cheap earbuds right now if you know where to look. There are a few gems out there waiting to be found. So, if you have an extra couple of bucks right now, we have listed the best earbuds under $30 that you can get to upgrade your music experience. Let me get into it!
1. JLab Audio Metal Bluetooth Wireless Rugged Earbuds
Best Sturdy Earbuds Under $30
|Frequency Response||20 Hz – 20 kHz|
|Battery Life||6 hours|
|Size||5.91 x 1.06 x 3.54 inches|
JLab Audio has been in the industry for quite some time now, and they are known to make affordable and high-quality audio products. Good thing that the JLab Audio Metal Bluetooth Wireless Rugged Earbuds is not the one to break tradition, as this pair is budget-friendly and performs well. JLab also offers a 30-day moneyback guarantee if you are not satisfied, so you can be sure to get what you pay for.
Build wise the JLab Audio Metal is enclosed in an aluminum housing to ensure durability. The wires are also thick enough to survive accidental pulls. This pair of earbuds also have an IP55 rating, which means that it is water-resistant and can withstand sweats and light rain drizzles. Perfect for outdoor escapades as these earbuds are built to last. They are sturdy and robust, a great companion for outdoorsy people.
When it comes to audio performance, the JLab Audio Metal is pretty decent. Audio accuracy is not all over the place, and you can expect satisfying music binges. The Bass response is a bit lacking since the audio driver is not that big. However, bass accuracy is pretty decent. It does not sound muffled or muddy at all. Mid, on the other hand, is clear and relatively balanced; vocals and lead instruments are heard distinctly. Treble response is poor, so expect some harsh notes. But if you are just a casual listener, you will not really pick on these sound cues.
Battery life, on the other hand, is pretty mediocre at just 6 hours. However, this is more than enough for a quick trip to the gym or during your morning run. Bluetooth connectivity is also amazing can stay connected even at 30ft away. Overall, the JLab Audio Metal is an excellent pick for earbuds under $30. They are affordable and have a decent sound quality that is perfect for outdoor lovers.
2. TOZO T10 True Wireless Earbuds
Best True Wireless Earbuds Under $30
|Frequency Response||20 Hz – 20 kHz|
|Battery Life||3.5 hours (4 charges on the case)|
|Size||1.04 x 0.99 x 0.66 inches|
If you want to own a pair of true wireless earbuds but lack the budget, then I have good news for you. The TOZO T10 is an affordable pick for users who want to get in the true wireless action but is on a limited budget. This pair of earbuds are a bit bass-heavy perfect for playlists consisting of EDMs and hip-hop songs.
Design-wise, the TOZO T10 is pretty stylish and does not look cheap at all. They are made using solid matte plastic, with a few glossy accents on the back. The case is oval and made with the same material as the earbuds. This pair also comes in five different color variants, black, blue, white, gray, and khaki. Whatever your style preference is, you are sure to find the best color for you. These earbuds are also comfortable to wear, and they come with four different sized tips so you can pick the one with the best fit. This pair of earbuds is thoroughly design except for the controls. The control scheme is subpar, and the buttons are hard to press.
When it comes to audio performance, the TOZO T10 is a bit bass heavy. Its sound profile warm, but you can notice that the bass is overemphasized. These pair packs a punch with its low, rumbling bass, which is perfect for bass-heavy music genres like EDM or hip-hop. Unfortunately, they are a bit muddy when you are listening to jazz and classical music.
For the mid-range accuracy, this pair of true wireless earbuds a pretty good for its price. The mid-range is well-balanced, so you can vocals and lead instruments are pretty distinct. The treble accuracy, however, is not that great. It is decent for casual listening but lacking if you are critical with your audio.
Battery life, on the other hand, is not that great at just 3.5-hours. But on the bright side, their charging case carries four additional charges, and it only takes an hour for them to fully charge. So, if you ran out of battery on the road, simply out them back on their case for a quick charge. The case also supports wireless charging so you can easily use your wireless charger to power it back up.
Overall, the TOZO T10 is an affordable pair of true wireless headphones that are great for budget-conscious music lovers. They are comfortable to wear and are relatively durable thanks to their IPX8 rating. It is also impressive that TOZO T10’s case supports wireless charging, which is uncommon on this price range.
3. Soundcore Spirit X Wireless Sports Earbuds
Best Sports Earbuds Under $30
|Frequency Response||20 Hz – 48 kHz|
|Battery Life||18 hours|
|Size||27.17 x 1.69 x 1.1 inches|
Music is basically a part of your workout routine for gym-goers, so it is only natural for you to invest in an earbud that is great for sports. The Soundcore Spirit X Wireless Sports Earbuds is an excellent pick since it has an excellent build quality, and it feels premium even though it sits in an affordable price tag. Its drivers are powerful enough to produce some solid bass, and they are comfortable enough to wear even during intense work out sessions.
The Soundcore Spirit X is a sporty pair of earbuds, plus it looks pretty high-end. Both buds are connected to a thick and flexible ear-hooks to ensure that they won’t easily fall off during a workout. The in-line remote is pretty solid looking and easy to memorize. Unfortunately, the cable is a bit thin, so make sure that you don’t pull it too hard. When it comes to comfort, the Soundcore Spirit X is excellent. You can run, lift weights and do circuit training while listening to your hype music.
This pair of earbuds do not strain your ears, and they just rest comfortably on your ear canal entrance. If you sweat a lot or you don’t mind running during light rain showers, the Soundcore Spirit X won’t bail out on you. They have an IP68 rating, meaning they are water-resistant. This pair is reliable and exceptionally durable, perfect for music lovers with an active lifestyle.
When it comes to sound quality, the Soundcore Spirit X is pretty great. The bass is excellent, so you can enjoy epic beat drops on your EDM playlist. Low-bass is accurate, so you can hear thumps and rumbles quite well. The mid-range accuracy, on the other hand, is superb. The overall mid response is even and flat, but still a bit subdued by the bass frequency. For the treble performance, it is pretty decent and well-balanced.
Battery life, on the other hand, is impressive. It is rated to last up to 18hours of playtime, which is more than enough for a whole day at work or trip to the gym. Unfortunately, the Soundcore Spirit X does not have any battery-saving features. But on the bright side, charging is fast, so you don’t have to worry about your music fix when it does get drained.
Overall, the Soundcore Spirit X is an excellent pair of wireless earbuds for users with an active lifestyle. This pair is perfect for sports and fitness use since the ear-hook design is quite handy during intense workout sessions. They are also easy to carry around, so you can bring them anywhere.
4. TaoTronics TT-EP003 Active Noise Cancelling Earbuds
Best Active Noise Cancelling Earbuds Under $30
|Frequency Response||20 Hz – 28 kHz|
|Size||0.2 x 0.2 x 47.24 inches|
If you regularly commute or simply want to enjoy uninterrupted music listening, then owning a pair of noise-canceling earbuds is in order. However, you might be thinking that earbuds with this feature cost a fortune; however, this is not always the case. The TaoTronics TT-EP003 is a pair of active noise-canceling earbuds that are perfect for commuters and office workers who enjoy me-time.
The TaoTronics TT-EP003 also sports a comfortable fit and a decent audio quality that is perfect for extended usage. Aside from having an ANC function, this pair of earbuds also have an ‘Aware’ mode, so even though the ANC feature is on, you won’t miss important sounds as airport announcements or vehicle sounds like honking. Build-wise, the TaoTronics TT-EP003 is made using high-grade plastic. The cable is made of tangle resistant rubber so you won’t have to worry about its wires getting caught somewhere.
Sound-wise, the TaoTronics TT-EP003 has good volume levels and not harsh on the ears even at max volumes. Powered by 8mm audio drivers, it has a pretty decent audio quality. Unfortunately, the bass response is not that great and underemphasized. Kick drum reproduction is weak, so this pair is not that great on bass-heavy music. Mid-range, on the other hand, is great. Vocals and lead instruments are well-defined, and you can expect consistent flat responses across all music genres.
The ANC function on the TaoTronics TT-EP003 is pretty good for its price. The ANC box is integrated on the cable itself; it is pretty subtle looking and can be placed inside your pocket instead of hanging around when in use. To use the ANC function, you need to charge it for 2 hours using the provided USB cable. After each charge, you can enjoy up to twelve hours of ANC enabled playback.
5. Sony MDRXB50AP Extra Bass Earbuds
Best Earbud with Great Bass Response Under $30
|Frequency Response||4 Hz – 24 kHz|
|Size||2.63 x 1.5 x 6.75 inches|
If you are a legitimate bass-head, you will surely love the Sony MDR-XB50AP Extra Bass Earbuds. This pair puts extra emphasis on bass, so you can expect solid thumps and excellent kick drum reproduction. They are also portable and can be easily stashed away in your jeans pocket. Since they are built well, you can rest assured that they will stay in one piece even when unceremoniously tucked inside your jeans’ pocket.
The MDR-XB50AP is not stylish, but they are not ugly looking either. This pair of earbuds look simple and are pretty straightforward in design. The cable is quite sturdy and rubberized, so they have this premium look that is consistent among Sony’s earbud line. This pair of earbuds also come in 3 color variations, red, blue, and black. Comfort-wise the Sony XB50AP has an excellent in-ear fit. They are slightly angled, so they don’t go too deep into your ear canal. Although they are just barely on your ears, there are stable enough not to fall off, and they provide an excellent seal to prevent any audio leaks.
When it comes to audio performance, the Sony MDR-XB50AP has a powerful bass response. This earbud is perfect for playlists with a bunch of EDM and hip-hop songs. The Sony MDR-XB50AP is also great when watching action-packed movies since the bass-heavy audio profile is handy on scenes with tons of explosions. However, the bass’s overemphasis might not sit well with all users, so if you are not a fan of bass-heavy music, then this pair is not for you. Mid-range performance, on the other hand, is quite good. The low-mid is a bit bumpy, which is expected considering how overemphasized the bass is. You will notice thick vocals but not enough to sound cluttered or muddy.
If you want to know more about the Sony MDR-XB50AP, you can check out our comprehensive review here.
6. Turtle Beach Battle Buds
Best Gaming Earbuds Under $30
|Frequency Response||20 Hz – 20 kHz|
|Size||4.72 x 2.36 x 4.72 inches|
If you are a gamer and can’t be bothered by huge gaming headsets, then the next best thing is gaming earbuds. Turtle Beach is already a household name when it comes to making excellent gaming peripherals. So leave it to them to make affordable gaming earbuds. The Turtle Beach Battle Buds is a unique pair of earbuds since it has a detachable boom mic on the side, which closely resembles a gaming headset. This pair is one of the best gaming earbuds out there because it is comfortable enough for extended gaming sessions, and its sound profile is suitable for gaming.
Design-wise, the Turtle Beach Battle Buds is well-built, considering that they are mostly plastic. The earbud casing looks premium, and the cable is pretty thick. On the other hand, the tips are quite soft, so they are gentle on the ears, so even if you game for hours, you won’t feel any discomfort or strain. The overall build is pretty decent, considering its price.
When it comes to audio performance, the Turtle Beach Battle Buds is a bit bass heavy. Not surprising since this an earbud for gaming, and games are known to have bass-heavy music scores. The bass range is somewhat overpowering, so it is not recommended for country songs and ballads. However, it is pretty good for playlists with tons of EDM and hip-hop; the mid accuracy, on the other hand, is subpar. It is noticeable how low-mid and mid-mid ranges are underemphasized, good thing that the high-mid range is pretty accurate, which is its saving grace. The treble accuracy of the Turtle Beach Battle Buds is pretty decent. Some tones may sound a bit harsh or piercing, but bearable.
Overall, the Turtle Beach Battle Buds is a great pair of wired gaming earbuds. The detachable boom microphone is pretty handy for in-game comms, and since it is removable, you can simply remove it and use it for casual listening. They are also comfortable enough for extended gaming sessions, and they are not too deep into your ear canal, so they are fairly breathable.
7. Kurdene K-S8 True Wireless Earbuds
Best Earbuds Under $30 For Small Ears
|Frequency Response||20 Hz – 20 kHz|
|Battery Life||6 hours (4 charges on the case)|
|Size||2.36 x 1.77 x 1.5 inches|
The Kurdene K-S8 is another true wireless earbud on this list. It is affordable and has a pretty decent audio quality. Plus, this pick is perfect if you have small ears and if normal earbuds just keep falling off your ears. To get a better fit, the Kurdene K-S8 is packed with six tips to ensure that you end up with the size that suits you best. This pair is really one of the best earbuds for small ears.
Design-wise, Kurdene K-S8 looks pretty high-end for its price. They are simple yet stylish enough to grab a few stares. The materials used are not cheap, looking, and they look pretty durable. This pair also has an IPX8 rating, meaning that they are waterproof and can survive getting submerged into 1-meter deep water for 30 minutes. The case also has an IPX6 waterproof rating, so even if it suffers a few mishaps, it will walk away unscathed.
Sound-wise, Kurdene K-S8 is decent. Not for critical listening, yes, but more than enough for casual music binges. The 8mm driver is not just for show as it is capable of producing satisfying thumps and rumbles. Bass accuracy is not the best out there, but it is pretty good. If you love listening to EDM and hip-hop, then this pair will give your Spotify playlist justice. Overall, the Kurdene K-S8 is an excellent pick for those who are looking for an affordable pair of true wireless earbuds.
When hunting for the best earbuds under $30, you don’t need to have a hard time. Many audio companies are striving to make audio peripherals that are both affordable and in high quality. So it is a myth that budget earbuds are made by nobodies and unheard of companies. Big players are now entering the scene, which makes it more competitive.
There are tons of choices out there if you know where to look. You can opt to get a true wireless pair, an earbud that is great for sport, or even a pair with ANC features. You don’t need to splurge if you know where to look. Because even if you have a limited budget, it does not mean that you can’t enjoy your music.