13 Best True Wireless Earbuds Under $50 in 2021

Affordable true wireless audio solutions that offer exceptional value

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Best True Wireless Earbuds Under $50 In 2020
Best True Wireless Earbuds Under $50 In 2020

True wireless earbuds are seeing a rapid increase in popularity because of their tangle-free convenience and portability. While some are ridiculously expensive, several high-quality earbuds are steadily creeping into the budget price range. The audio market is full of products that would make a cheapskate drool, but only a few earbuds are truly worth their price. 

It is fair to say that the first budget true wireless earbuds that entered the market were unremarkable at best because of their tiny transducers. Since then, the audio capabilities of these devices have immensely improved with the evolution of driver methods and modern engineering. You won’t want to return to the wired life once you’ve cut the cord. 

This article goes over some of the best true wireless earbuds you can get for under $50. Additionally, we included a couple of options that cost just above the price limit in case you want to stretch your budget ever so slightly. 

We rated these earbuds based on critical factors like design, connectivity, sound quality, microphone quality, and battery life. This piece is regularly amended to keep your options up to date. 

Don’t have the time to go over our comprehensive reviews? Check out the quick product comparison table below:

Best True Wireless Earbuds Just Over $50

TOZO NC9

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Specifications

Driver Size 9.2 mm
Bluetooth Version 5.0
Bluetooth Codecs SBC / AAC
Wireless Range ~ 50 ft
Battery Life ~ 8 h
Microphone Yes
IP Rating IPX6
Earbud Weight 6 g

HaykSaakian Scorecard

Design 9
Connectivity 9
Sound Quality 10
Microphone Quality 8
Battery Life 9
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Snug and comfortable fit
  • Exceptional sound quality
  • Excellent value
Cons
  • Lackluster microphone quality

The TOZO NC9 is a pair of budget earbuds that can compete with higher-end alternatives sound quality-wise. Unfortunately, it falls flat in some aspects, but its stellar tuning more than makes up for its minor shortcomings.   

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The NC9 flaunts smooth and elegant matte enclosures that give it understated aesthetics. It is available in various colors, including black, brown, red, white, and champagne. The earbuds deliver a snug, comfortable fit, which is necessary for users who intend to wear them for hours on end. 

The NC9 is a suitable candidate if you want a pair of earbuds you can take to the gym. It has an IPX6 water-resistance rating and is stable enough to remain in place while you perform strenuous exercises. 

The included silicone ear tips already provide effective passive noise cancellation, but TOZO goes the extra mile by equipping the NC9 with active noise-canceling technology. This feature is enabled by default, delivering a distraction-free listening experience from the get-go. In addition, it doesn’t introduce an audible hiss, so you can also use this feature to concentrate on intensive tasks like studying and writing. 

Sound quality is undoubtedly this pair’s strongest asset. Its default audio profile is consistent across various music genres, delivering slightly emphasized bass, dense midrange, and crisp treble. Additionally, the soundstage is surprisingly wide relative to its true wireless contemporaries.

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The NC9 comes with a magnetic charging case. When plugged in, this case has four light indicators on the front that illuminate to show you how much charge its battery has stored. The earbuds also have magnets that help draw them into the case for uninterrupted charging. 

Connectivity is another strong suit of the NC9. The earbuds automatically pair with each other the moment you remove them from the case, and connecting them to a compatible device is a painless experience. 

Unfortunately, the NC9 is pretty underwhelming when it comes to microphone quality. If you take calls in loud environments, the microphone introduces a substantial echo that makes it sound like you’re in a tunnel or chamber. It is perfectly fine for casual use but is unsuitable for professional or business calls.

On a more positive note, the NC9 has a remarkable battery capacity, rated to endure up to eight hours of playback from a single charge. Meanwhile, the case can provide three full charges, ensuring you have enough juice to last up to two days without charging. 

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Overall, the NC9 is worth spending a few extra dollars over our set budget. It offers a lot of value for its standout design, connectivity, sound quality, and battery life. If you can look past the lackluster microphone performance, this pair is for you.

EarFun Free Pro

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Specifications

Driver Size 6.1 mm
Bluetooth Version 5.2
Bluetooth Codecs SBC / AAC
Wireless Range ~ 50 ft
Battery Life ~ 7 h
Microphone Yes
IP Rating IPX5
Earbud Weight 4 g

HaykSaakian Scorecard

Design 9
Connectivity 9
Sound Quality 9
Microphone Quality 8
Battery Life 8
Pros
  • Balanced sound profile
  • Snug fit
  • Active noise cancellation
  • Good battery life
Cons
  • Lacks a wide soundstage

The EarFun Free Pro is the most expensive option on this list, and for good reasons. It is a compact and lightweight pair of true wireless earbuds that offers features rarely found at this price range, including active noise cancellation and optional ear hook support. 

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The Free Pro comes with four extra ear tips and ear hooks of different sizes to help you find the optimal fit. If you use earbuds when working out, the ear hooks help keep the earphones in place. Additionally, the IPX5 water-resistance rating makes this pair an excellent companion for sweating it out in the gym.  

The Free Pro is a feature-packed pair of true wireless earbuds. It is one of the few options on this list that has active noise cancellation, aggressively filtering ambient noise so that it doesn’t get in the way of your music. Moreover, it has a low latency mode that effectively reduces audio delay when gaming or streaming. 

Microphone quality is pretty mediocre for the Free Pro. It transmits your voice clearly, but it introduces occasional annoying pops. Speaking too loudly also tends to distort the sound, making it unreliable in noisy environments.

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The Free Pro uses intuitive touch controls for various functions like voice assistant, volume adjustment, and track control. The package also includes a matching matte black charging case that is compact enough to fit in your pocket. 

In terms of battery life, the Free Pro is rated to endure up to seven hours of playback on a single charge. The charging case can provide up to three full charges, enough to keep you busy during long road trips or plane rides. Additionally, the case has fast charging capabilities, granting up to two hours of playback for a ten-minute charge.

The Free Pro has dual composite dynamic drivers that produce a well-rounded sound signature. It has a decent bass response that doesn’t overshadow the mids and the highs. This kind of balanced audio profile is ideal for any music genre as well as movies and video games. It lacks an extensive soundstage, but the same is true for most compact earbuds with closed enclosures.  

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If you can afford to stretch your budget just a bit above our set limit, the Free Pro is a no-brainer. Its drawbacks are pretty minor and are easily outweighed by its upsides.  

Best True Wireless Earbuds Under $50

Edifier TWS1 Pro

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Specifications

Driver Size 8 mm
Bluetooth Version 5.2
Bluetooth Codecs SBC / aptX / aptX Adaptive
Wireless Range ~ 33 ft
Battery Life ~ 12 h
Microphone Yes
IP Rating IP65
Earbud Weight 4 g

HaykSaakian Scorecard

Design 9
Connectivity 10
Sound Quality 9
Microphone Quality 9
Battery Life 10
Pros
  • Good microphone
  • Excellent battery life
  • Balanced sound profile
  • Supports aptX codec
Cons
  • Non-magnetic case
  • Sizable enclosures

The Edifier TWS1 Pro offers solid microphone performance, excellent battery life, and remarkable sound quality at an affordable price point. It is also incredibly easy on the eyes, featuring sleek enclosures paired with elegant color options. 

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The TWS1 Pro has ergonomic enclosures designed to follow the shape of your ears. Its ear tips also do an excellent job of creating a seal to block ambient noise passively. Unfortunately, the sheer size of the enclosures can feel fatiguing on the ears, and you may need to relieve the pressure every hour or so to avoid discomfort. 

The included charging case is scratch-resistant and feels premium. It can provide an additional two full charges to keep you company during extended work hours or long trips. The case also has a single indicator light on the front that shows the remaining battery life. Unfortunately, neither the case nor the earbuds are magnetic, which means they need a bit of fiddling to ensure they’re properly connected. Otherwise, the earbuds can remain connected to your phone and continue depleting its battery without you even noticing. 

On the bright side, the TWS1 Pro has the best battery capacity out of all the earbuds on this list. A full charge can get you well over ten hours of playback, depending on the volume levels. So you can expect it to last you an entire day or two without recharging.

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The TWS1 Pro is also quite rugged, boasting an IP65 rating that makes it resistant to water and dust. That means you won’t have to worry about it dying on you when you take it out for a run in the rain. 

The TWS1 Pro has a comprehensive control scheme based on the touch panels. It lets you perform commands like track controls and volume adjustments by tapping or holding the panels.

Call quality is pretty solid for the TWS1 Pro. Whether you’re indoors or outdoors, the microphone transmits your voice clearly, but it slightly lacks volume, making your voice sound a little soft. Nevertheless, it is perfectly suitable for taking personal or professional calls. 

The TWS1 deflects from the typical bass-heavy audio profiles of budget earbuds in favor of a more balanced signature. It has a bright sound profile that enhances upper-mids and highs and downplays the lower mids and lows. That means vocals from female and high-pitched male singers and instruments like pianos and guitars will sound clear and powerful. 

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It is worth noting that the TWS1 is one of the few options on this list that supports the aptX codec. Thus, if you have an aptX-compatible device, you should have this pair on your wishlist.  

Skullcandy Indy Evo

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Specifications

Driver Size 6 mm
Bluetooth Version 5.0
Bluetooth Codecs SBC
Wireless Range ~ 33 ft
Battery Life ~ 5 h
Microphone Yes
IP Rating IP55
Earbud Weight 5 g

HaykSaakian Scorecard

Design 9
Connectivity 8
Sound Quality 8
Microphone Quality 9
Battery Life 8
Pros
  • Snug fit
  • Useful tracking feature
  • Comprehensive touch controls
Cons
  • Underwhelming sound quality

The Skullcandy Indy Evo is the much-anticipated successor to the popular Skullcandy Indy. It takes all the good aspects of the old model and introduces substantial upgrades, such as integrated device tracking and improved battery life. 

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The Indy Evo has an IP55 rating that makes it resistant to dust and water. It also comes with three sets of ear tips and two pairs of stabilizing ear gel designed to help stabilize the earbuds in the outer sections of your ears.

Battery life is pretty much average for the Indy Evo, capable of lasting around five hours on a single charge. However, the case can provide an additional five full charges for a total playback time of up to 30 hours. 

The Indy Evo employs silicone ear tips and stabilizing ear gels to help you find the optimal fit. It isn’t as comfortable as some of the other options on this list, but your ears shouldn’t feel fatigued after a couple of hours of usage. Once you find a snug fit, you can expect it to stay in place, even when exercising. Additionally, the ear tips provide a good seal to filter ambient noise effectively. 

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The Indy Evo has different presets specifically tuned for different media types like movies, music, and podcasts. The movie preset is bass-heavy but is also the most well-balanced. Podcast mode underemphasizes bass tones to improve vocal clarity. Music mode is arguably the worst among the three presets, sounding relatively flat and muddy. You’re probably better off using the movies preset when listening to your favorite tracks. Expectedly, the soundstage lacks depth, but it is more than adequate for casual use. 

The Indy Evo has an integrated tracking feature that allows you to locate the earbuds quickly when misplaced. If the earbuds are within wireless range, you can trigger a high-pitched noise to pinpoint their location. If they aren’t within range, you can use a proprietary smartphone application to spot the last place your mobile device and the earbuds were connected. This feature is handy, especially when you consider the earbuds’ tiny frames. 

The intuitive touch control scheme is another upside for the Indy Evo. It lets you seamlessly switch between preset modes or adjust volume levels using straightforward touch combinations like holding and double-tapping. 

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All in all, there’s a lot to like about the Indy Evo. Its novel features make it an appealing option at this price point. But if sound quality is on top of your priority list, you’re probably better off with the Edifier TWS1 Pro.

Best True Wireless Earbuds Under $40

Tranya T10

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Specifications

Driver Size 12 mm
Bluetooth Version 5.0
Bluetooth Codecs SBC / AAC / aptX
Wireless Range ~ 33 ft
Battery Life ~ 8 h
Microphone Yes
IP Rating IPX7
Earbud Weight 5 g

HaykSaakian Scorecard

Design 9
Connectivity 10
Sound Quality 8
Microphone Quality 9
Battery Life 9
Pros
  • Durable
  • Waterproof
  • Comfortable
  • Powerful bass
  • Supports aptX codec
  • Decent microphone
Cons
  • Lacks mid-range detail

The Tranya T10 is one of the latest products from the brand best known for delivering high-quality budget audio solutions. It is one of only two options on this list with an IPX7 or higher water-proof rating. It also comes with support for the aptX codec, which is equally rare at this price point. 

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In terms of design, the T10 is a compact pair of true wireless earbuds with a signature matte black finish. It isn’t eye-catching from an aesthetics standpoint, but its enclosures house sizable drivers that produce some of the powerful bass for true wireless earbuds. 

Although its enclosures are pretty substantial, the T10 manages to stay lightweight and comfortable. You can practically forget that you’re wearing it after a few hours. It also fits snugly in your ears, so you don’t have to worry about the earbuds falling out when you work out or run. 

The T10 comes with a magnetic charging case. The front of the case has four light indicators that illuminate to show how much charge it has stored. Moreover, the magnets embedded in the case and the earbuds help ensure a reliable charging connection.

The T10 uses capacitive touch panels for playback control and volume adjustment. These panels are also responsible for initiating pairing and resetting the earbuds. 

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The T10 can compete with even more expensive alternatives when it comes to connectivity. It has comprehensive coverage of wireless codecs, supporting SBC, AAC, and aptX. In addition, the sound profile boasts an enhanced bass response, which, when paired with the low-latency aptX codec, is ideal for gaming. 

The overall sound quality is mediocre at best. It is noticeably lacking in the mid-range, drowning out some significant frequencies. The highs are also laid back and sound rather dull. On the other hand, the elevated lows are great for users who listen to bass-heavy music or enjoy action-packed games and movies.

The T10 packs a decent microphone that makes your voice sound natural. It can be a bit too muted for some people, but it delivers fewer compression artifacts than most true wireless counterparts. If you take plenty of phone calls daily, you should be fairly happy with this microphone’s performance. 

Battery life is above average for the T10. It is rated to last around eight hours on a single charge, capable of getting you through an entire day without charging. If you happen to run out of battery, the charging case provides up to three additional charges. 

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At its current price point, the T10 is a steal. It is well built, supports wireless charging, and has decent battery life. The sound profile could use more balance, but if you prefer bass-boosted audio, this pair of earbuds is for you.  

TOZO T12

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Specifications

Driver Size 10 mm
Bluetooth Version 5.0
Bluetooth Codecs SBC / AAC
Wireless Range ~ 33 ft
Battery Life ~ 5 h
Microphone Yes
IP Rating IPX8
Earbud Weight 6 g

HaykSaakian Scorecard

Design 9
Connectivity 9
Sound Quality 8
Microphone Quality 9
Battery Life 8
Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Powerful bass
  • Water-proof
  • Good microphone
Cons
  • Average battery life
  • Weak highs

The TOZO T12 is our pick for the best workout true wireless earbuds. It packs the highest water-proof rating possible for earbuds, making it suitable for complete submersion. 

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The T12 has a solid plastic exterior with a matte finish in various color options, including black, blue, red, champagne, and rose gold. Both the earbuds and the chargings case are resistant to fingerprints, requiring less maintenance than glossy alternatives. 

The T12 has large enclosures designed to accommodate the sizable drivers without compromising comfort. Its ear tips sit deep in your ear canal to ensure a snug fit for effective passive noise cancellation. Additionally, the package includes three extra sets of ear tips to help you find a suitable pair.  

The back of the earbuds has small indicator lights that tell you when they’re active or charging. They also house touch control panels that you can use to adjust the volume, skip tracks, play or pause media, and answer or reject calls. These panels have a soft-touch design to ensure they don’t interfere with your listening experience when you press them. 

The compact charging case has a clamshell-style design with a spring-loaded lid for responsive opening and closing. There’s also a groove just under the cover that enables you to snap it open with one hand. A unique feature of this case is the small display between the earbud docks that indicate the exact battery levels of each earphone. Most charging cases use vague light indicators for the same purpose, and this feature eliminates that ambiguity. 

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The T12 is pretty average when it comes to battery life. The earbuds are rated to endure up to five hours of playback, which is enough for most use-cases. Additionally, the charging case provides an extra three full charges, ensuring you can go through at least a day without needing to charge it. 

The earbuds support individual mono pairing, meaning you can use one earphone while the other one is charging in the case. While this scenario isn’t ideal for listening to music, it doubles your battery life and improves environmental awareness. 

In terms of sound quality, the T12 has relatively large drivers that deliver powerful bass and plenty of response across the entire sound spectrum. Moreover, the lows don’t drown out the mids, ensuring that vocals and instrumentals sound clear. The highs are present and crisp, but they are notably weak at times.

Microphone performance is commendable for the T12. It picks up quite a bit of ambient noise, but your voice should sound full-bodied and clear from the other line. 

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Overall, the T12 offers a lot of appealing features for budget consumers. The sound quality is expectedly bass-heavy, so they’re not ideal for treble-oriented music genres like jazz and country. If you primarily listen to hip-hop or electronic music, this pair is an excellent pick. 

Best True Wireless Earbuds Under $30

Skullcandy Jib

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Specifications

Driver Size 6 mm
Bluetooth Version 5.0
Bluetooth Codecs SBC / AAC
Wireless Range ~ 33 ft
Battery Life ~ 6 h
Microphone Yes
IP Rating IPX4
Earbud Weight 5 g

HaykSaakian Scorecard

Design 8
Connectivity 9
Sound Quality 8
Microphone Quality 9
Battery Life 8
Pros
  • Powerful bass
  • Slim and compact case
Cons
  • Tacky physical buttons
  • Weak highs

The Skullcandy Jib is among the cheapest pairs of true wireless earbuds from the renowned audio products manufacturer. It is designed for budget consumers who don’t mind the typical bass-heavy sound profile that comes with inexpensive drivers.

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While the Jib is an entry-level set of earbuds, it is constructed of high-quality materials that give it a premium feel. It comes in trendy and vibrant colorways, such as blue, black and orange, chill gray, golden age red, light gray and blue, and true black.  

The enclosures are considerably large, but they don’t protrude too much from your ears. Each earbud has a dedicated physical button used to control volume and playback. Unfortunately, it is difficult to press these buttons without pushing the ear tips uncomfortably deep in your ear canals. 

The Jib has a modest IPX4 water-resistant resting, making it suitable for working out. In addition, the included charging case has a sleek form factor, making it easy to slip inside your pocket when you go to the gym or out for a run. The package also includes extra sets of soft silicone ear tips to help you find a secure fit for your ears. 

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The earbuds have angled tips optimized for ergonomics. They are easy to put on and remove and can be worn for extended periods without causing discomfort or irritation.

The sound quality of these earbuds is expectedly unexceptional. However, they can get pretty loud, so you may want to lower the volume a couple of notches when you first try them out. The tonality is heavily skewed towards the low-end, which is typical for earphones at this price point. It gives a nice rumble and boom to your music, but it tends to overshadow the other frequencies. The mids get masked by the bass, while the highs sound lacking in energy.

On a more positive note, the Jib has a decent microphone. So your voice should sound loud and clear on the other line, even when taking calls in environments with substantial ambient noise.

The Jib is rated to last around six hours of playback on a full charge. The compact charging case has enough juice to give you over two more full charges, ensuring the earbuds can go through an entire day or two of average usage. 

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If you’re looking for a basic and affordable pair of true wireless earbuds, the Jib is worth considering. The sound quality won’t impress your audiophile friends, but it is good enough for listening to your favorite bass-heavy tunes that keep you distracted on your daily commute. If you want something even cheaper from the same brand, check out the Skullcandy Dime

JVC Gumy HA-A7T

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Specifications

Driver Size 6 mm
Bluetooth Version 5.0
Bluetooth Codecs SBC
Wireless Range ~ 33 ft
Battery Life ~ 6 h
Microphone Yes
IP Rating IPX4
Earbud Weight 5 g

HaykSaakian Scorecard

Design 9
Connectivity 8
Sound Quality 9
Microphone Quality 7
Battery Life 8
Pros
  • Comfortable fit
  • Powerful bass
Cons
  • Poor microphone quality

The JVC Gumy HA-A7T is a comfortable and affordable pair of true wireless earbuds that deliver on its promise of powerful sound. It bears a striking resemblance to the original Apple Airpods, offering a similarly sleek and lightweight form factor. 

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The Gumy HA-A7T takes a minimalistic approach to aesthetics. It has a familiar stemmed design paired with a matte exterior available in five lively colors: black, blue, mint, white, and pink. Meanwhile, the package includes three extra sets of soft silicone ear tips with the same color as the earbuds for aesthetic continuity.

The Gumy HA-A7T features a magnetic case that attracts the charging pins embedded in the earbuds to ensure uninterrupted charging. This feature is hard to find at this price range, making this pair even more appealing. The case also has four light indicators that show its charging status. 

The sleek form factor of the earbuds makes them comfortable to wear for extended periods. They also provide a tight seal in your ear canals to ensure effective passive noise cancellation. This snug fit also allows them to stay in place when you perform strenuous exercises. In addition, you wouldn’t have to worry about damaging them with your sweat since they have an IPX4 water-resistance rating.

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The Gumy HA-A7T has a decent battery capacity rated to endure six hours of continuous playback on a single charge. Meanwhile, the case has enough power to provide two full charges for a total playback time of around 15 hours.   

These earbuds can produce powerful sounds uncharacteristic of their form factor. The bass is hefty but not overwhelming. Additionally, it doesn’t drown out the mids and the highs to create a reasonably balanced audio profile. Of course, it can’t compete with high-end alternatives, but it can hold its own at this price range. 

Microphone quality is probably this pair’s weakest aspect. While your voice will sound comprehensible, it can get pretty loud and annoying, especially in environments with prominent ambient noise. 

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Overall, the Gumy HA-A7T is worth considering for its exceptional value. Its combination of balanced sound quality, sleek aesthetics, durable build, and comfortable fit is exceedingly rare at this price point. 

Best True Wireless Earbuds Under $20

1MORE PistonBuds

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Specifications

Driver Size 7 mm
Bluetooth Version 5.0
Bluetooth Codecs SBA / AAC
Wireless Range ~ 33 ft
Battery Life ~ 3 h
Microphone Yes
IP Rating IPX4
Earbud Weight 4 g

HaykSaakian Scorecard

Design 8
Connectivity 9
Sound Quality 8
Microphone Quality 8
Battery Life 7
Pros
  • Intuitive touch controls
  • Mono listening mode
Cons
  • Slippery case material

The 1MORE PistonBuds is one of the cheapest true wireless earbuds you can get today, but its performance doesn’t necessarily reflect its price tag. It even manages to squeeze in features usually found on higher-end alternatives, including an IPX4 water-resistance rating and intuitive touch control panels.

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The PistonBuds is suitable for frequent travelers who want to make every gram in their bag count. It is incredibly lightweight and has an ergonomic stemmed design to ensure you remain comfortable during long road trips or plane rides. 

These earbuds have angled ear tips that fit well in the ear canal. You also get extra ear tips of different sizes out of the box to help you get a snug and comfortable fit. The earbuds’ backs have touch panels you can use to control playback or activate voice control. Unfortunately, it doesn’t let you adjust the volume, so you have to tweak the volume levels using the connected device manually. 

The package includes a magnetic charging case, which, unfortunately, is quite slippery. It can easily slip out of your hands and clatter to the floor if you’re not careful. On a more positive note, the magnetic case design secures the earbuds in place for uninterrupted charging. 

The PistonBuds can be used individually in mono mode, which is a surprising feature to have for earbuds this cheap. Pairing these earbuds with your preferred device is a seamless experience, but the connection quality is nothing to write home about. They exhibit a substantial audio-visual delay when playing games or streaming videos, which is very annoying. We wouldn’t recommend these earbuds if you play mobile games.

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The PistonBuds are rated to last a lackluster three hours on a single charge. If you listen to your music at low volume levels, you can squeeze out about an hour more of playback time, but that’s it. However, the case does provide nearly five extra charge cycles, amounting to about 20 hours of total playback time. 

Sound quality is what you would expect from earbuds this affordable. The bass response is significantly amplified, making them sound twice as loud as the mid-range and treble frequencies. If you enjoy listening to bass-oriented genres like heavy metal and punk rock, these earbuds might suit your preferences. 

The built-in microphone for the PistunBuds is pretty serviceable in quiet environments. However, if you frequently take calls outdoors, it can pick up even light winds, severely affecting call quality.  

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If you want to spend the bare minimum for a quality pair of true wireless earbuds, look no further than the PistonBuds. It is an ideal entry product to this segment of audio devices, making it appealing to users who want to cut the cord without breaking the bank. 

Skullcandy Dime

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Specifications

Driver Size 6 mm
Bluetooth Version 5.0
Bluetooth Codecs SBC
Wireless Range ~ 33 ft
Battery Life ~ 3 h
IP Rating IPX4
Earbud Weight 4 g

HaykSaakian Scorecard

Design 7
Connectivity 7
Sound Quality 9
Microphone Quality 9
Battery Life 7
Pros
  • Balanced sound profile
  • Decent microphone
Cons
  • Poor battery life
  • Cheap plastic construction

The Skullcandy Dime is the third entry from the same manufacturer on this list. It is in the same price range as the 1MORE PistonBuds and offers far better audio quality than you would expect from a product this affordable. 

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The Dime has a remarkably balanced sound profile, with a slightly boosted bass depth that complements the bright and detailed highs. Its solid audio performance more than makes up for its shortcomings in controls and battery life. 

The Dime features a matte exterior in various vibrant solid and combination colorways, including chill gray, dark blue and green, golden orange, golden red, light gray and blue, and true black. The enclosures are made of a lightweight plastic material to prevent ear fatigue when worn for extended periods. They are also fitted with on-ear controls that trigger when the back of the earpieces are pressed. Unfortunately, the construction quality is disappointing for both the earbuds and the charging case, making them feel relatively cheap. 

Three sets of silicone ear tips are included in the box to help you get a snug and comfortable fit. With the right pair of ear tips, these devices can stay securely in your ears even when you perform strenuous exercises. Additionally, they have an IPX4 water-resistance rating, making them suitable gym and outdoor companions.

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The battery life of these earbuds is estimated to last only three hours on a single charge. Fortunately, the charging case can provide an additional three full charges, bringing the total possible playback time to over ten hours. 

If you’re a bass head, you can probably appreciate this pair’s slight emphasis on low-end frequencies. The sound doesn’t distort, and its depth is robust and powerful. Meanwhile, the highs get a similar enhancement to match the lows. There’s also a reasonable amount of detail in the low-mids and high-mids to deliver a balanced sound signature overall. 

Microphone performance is surprisingly good for the Dime, transmitting vocal sounds intelligibly. Unfortunately, it exhibits some distortion that fuzzes up the edges of words, but this issue is common with earbuds at this price point. 

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Overall, this pair’s powerful and surprisingly balanced sound signature makes it well worth its modest price. If you’re entering the world of true wireless earbuds for the first time, this option is a no-brainer. 

Notable Mentions

  1. JLab JBuds Air ANC – This option goes slightly over our set budget but offers compelling features like active noise cancellation, low latency mode, and intuitive touch controls.
  2. SoundPEATS TrueAir2+ – These stemmed earbuds fit right into your budget and have aptX codec support, wireless charging, and a high-quality microphone.  
  3. UGREEN HiTune – This affordable pair of earbuds has an excellent battery life and some of the most sought-after premium features, such as aptX codec support, quick charge support, and mono mode.

Buyer’s Guide: How to Find True Wireless Earbuds that Suit Your Needs


True wireless earbuds have unique feature sets that distinguish them from each other, which is why you need to consider several factors before entering the market. Whether you value comfort, portability, or sound quality, there’s a pair of budget earbuds on this list that can cater to your specific demands. 

Sound Quality

The sound quality of budget true wireless earbuds has improved immensely over the past few years. Although it often pales in comparison to higher-end alternatives, the audio production of these earbuds is well worth their affordable price tags. 

Driver Size

Large drivers can produce more sound than their smaller counterparts. Driver size is especially relevant to bass reproduction, but it isn’t the only factor contributing to sound quality. Drivers are made up of several components, and the quality of these components is as important as the drivers’ size. 

Some technical specifications have nothing to do with driver size, but they have a considerable effect on sound quality. These include a pair of earbuds’ frequency response, impedance, sensitivity, and supported codecs. You can usually find these specifications on official product pages, but some manufacturers don’t disclose this information. 

It is worth noting that true wireless earbuds at this price point are usually bass-heavy. While most consumers prefer this sound signature, some listeners may want a more balanced and accurate audio profile.

Supported Bluetooth Codecs

Bluetooth is the wireless technology behind true wireless earbuds that lets them connect to and communicate with devices like smartphones, tablets, and gaming consoles. This technology has different codecs that determine how data is transmitted from your source device to your earbuds. The most common types of codecs include SBC, AAC, and Qualcomm aptX.

SBC

SBC is virtually universal among true wireless earbuds. It has a bitrate of up to 328 kbps at a 44.1 kHz sampling rate. It is generally inferior to AAC and aptX, but the sound quality varies widely between implementations. 

aptX

aptX is a proprietary codec developed for demanding audio applications like gaming. It delivers lower latency, a faster data transfer rate, and better audio encoding efficiency than SBC. However, it only works if both the source and the earbuds support aptX. It also lacks support for iOS devices, limiting its compatibility to premium Android smartphones like the Google Pixel 5. If you have a compatible device, the Edifier TWS1 Pro and Tranya T10 are the only options on this list that support aptX.

AAC

AAC is the popular audio standard for iOS devices. It has a bitrate of around 250 kbps, allowing it to compete in fidelity with high-quality lossy codecs like MP3. AAC in true wireless earbuds is fairly uncommon, but over half the options on this list support it. Unfortunately, Android users won’t necessarily benefit from AAC because its performance is notoriously inefficient and lackluster in the platform. 

Noise Cancellation

A pair of earbuds’ noise cancellation capability is one of the main contributing factors to your overall listening experience. It determines how much ambient sound the earphones can block out to let you enjoy your music without external interruption. If you plan on using a pair in loud environments, effective noise cancellation is necessary.

Passive Noise Cancellation

This term refers to how much ambient noise a pair of earbuds can block out based on how they fit in your ears. A snug fit creates a physical seal that effectively prevents the passage of external noise into your ears. Most earbuds come with extra ear tips of different sizes to help you find the best possible fit. 

Active Noise Cancellation

This noise cancellation method requires a physical chipset integrated into the earbuds. It employs a microphone to listen to the ambient noise around you. In turn, the earphones create a sound opposite to that soundwave, effectively canceling it out so that all you hear is the music coming from your earbuds. 

Active noise cancellation necessitates adding components to the earbuds, which is why few manufacturers implement the technology at this price range. Among all the options on this list, only the EarFun Free Pro and the TOZO NC9 have this feature, both being priced slightly over $50.

Durability

True wireless earbuds are suitable for everyday use because of their unparalleled portability and convenience. However, some earbuds are more robust than others. If you plan on using a pair for your daily transport or fitness routine, make sure they are durable enough to meet your demands. While most options at this price point have plastic enclosures, they are equipped with features that reinforce their longevity.

IP Rating

The earbuds on this list have a corresponding Ingress Protection (IP) rating that determines their resistance to dust and water. These ratings are formatted IPXX, with the first X being a placeholder for dust resistance and the second X for water resistance. So, for example, IP6X earbuds are dust-proof, while IP1X to IP5X are considered dust-resistant. In the same way, IPX7 and IPX8 earbuds are water-proof, while IPX1 to IPX6 are water-resistant. 

The ideal earbuds for working out should have water resistance to prevent sweat from damaging the hardware. If you’re in the market for an aural fitness companion, consider the TOZO T12. This pair has an IPX8 waterproof rating and is compact enough to remain stable when you go out for a run.

Battery Life

True wireless earbuds generally have limited battery capacities because of their compact form factor. The average battery life of these devices range between four to six hours, but some outliers, like the Edifier TWS1 Pro, are rated to last well over ten hours of audio playback. Additionally, most of these earbuds come with portable cases that recharge your earphones when not in use.

Comfort

Wearing a pair of true wireless earbuds for extended periods can cause discomfort, which is why you should consider ergonomics. For example, some earbuds have angled ear tips that allow for a comfortable and snug fit, making them suitable for long study sessions or workout routines. On the other hand, some earphones have protruding enclosures that make contact with the outer sections of your ears, causing irritation. 

Another thing you should consider is ear tip material. Most earbuds have silicone ear tips that create a good seal for passive noise cancellation but are pretty uncomfortable. Memory foam ear tips are the consensus better alternative, providing a comfortable fit without compromising the earbuds’ passive noise cancellation ability.  

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are cheap true wireless earbuds good?

True wireless earbuds at this price range generally can’t compete with higher-end alternatives when it comes to overall performance. However, they provide exceptional value and are suitable for consumers who don’t mind a bass-heavy sound signature or a plastic enclosure. Additionally, these earbuds are getting more and more premium features like aptX support and water-proofing.

  • Do earbud batteries lose capacity over time?

The batteries used in true wireless earbuds aren’t built to last forever and are bound to run out of juice at some point. That means the playback time you can get on a single charge also diminishes over time.

Recap of the 

Best True Wireless Earbuds Just Over $50

  1. TOZO NC9
  2. EarFun Free Pro

Best True Wireless Earbuds Under $50

  1. Edifier TWS1 Pro
  2. Skullcandy Indy Evo

Best True Wireless Earbuds Under $40 

  1. Tranya T10
  2. TOZO T12

Best True Wireless Earbuds Under $30

  1. Skullcandy Jib
  2. JVC Gumy HA-A7T 

Best True Wireless Earbuds Under $20

  1. 1MORE PistonBuds
  2. Skullcandy Dime

Runners-Up

  1. JLab JBuds Air ANC
  2. SoundPEATS TrueAir2+
  3. UGREEN HiTune

Final Words

That concludes our roundup of the best true wireless earbuds you can get for under $50. So which products made you want to cut the cord and live the wireless life? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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