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You won’t be finding many brand name wireless earphones for under $50, let alone true wireless pairs. But with brand names, you end up paying for just that — the name. For the most part, technology has become cheaper and you can find fabulous features if you’re willing to forgo the brand.
Like these TOZO T10 true wireless earphones. They are solid-sounding with a nod towards athletes. They’re slightly smaller than your average bud and have an IPX8 waterproof rating, which means they can be submerged in depths greater than one meter for up to 30 minutes. That’s pretty much the best certification you’ll find in any earphones. They come with two sets of ear tips in three sizes each, and because the design doesn’t rely on ear hooks or wing tips to secure them in place, finding the right fit is especially important.
The earbuds house 8mm drivers, which is larger than the average 6mm drivers that you’ll find in comparable earbuds. As a result, they have booming bass, which again, is a nod to gym goers who might listen to more high-tempo music. They will last a solid 3.5 hours on a single charge, although that duration decreases as you pump up the volume. Never fear, though; the compact charging case can charge them up to three full times and even supports Qi wireless charging.
TaoTronics continues to impress us with its competitively priced headphones, this time with a true wireless pair. Surprisingly, the most basic feature of wireless headphones — the pairing capability — is often botched, but this pair nails it with automatic pairing. Like Apple AirPods, after initial pairing, they will automatically sync with your phone when you put them in your ears and disconnect when you place them back in the case. Support for Bluetooth 5.0 works seamlessly, letting you wander up to 33 feet away from your phone before losing connection.
We especially like the multiple listening modes it offers. You can listen to both buds as normal, or drop one for Mono Mode. You can even use Twin Mode, which lets you share an earbud with a friend. You can adjust volume, skip tracks and play/pause by tapping a preset combination on the sides of either earbud; the controls put Apple’s pricier AirPods to shame. On top of that, its rated IPX7 for waterproofing and delivers about three hours of playtime on a single charge.
Perhaps most impressively, the charging case can juice your earbuds back up 40 times before needing more battery life. Sound quality doesn’t match that of a wired pair, but for listeners who want true wireless, this pair offers the best value you can find.
The Mpow Flame earphones are sleek and lightweight, making them a smart workout companion. The earbuds sit snuggly in your ear and the rubber hook wraps around your ear to hold the fit in place during even those more intense exercise. The pair comes with three sizes of the generic silicon tips, plus additional memory foam tips. The connecting wire wraps behind your neck but is short enough so it doesn’t get in the way.
They also have a waterproof rating of IPX7, meaning they will survive depths of up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes. Though not ideal for swim training, they will stand up to hot tubs, saunas, and sweat. You can also wash them off in the shower without damaging them. While Mpow claims the earphones will last up to nine hours on a single charge, but reviews peg them at closer to seven hours of battery life. This, of course, depends on the volume level you’re listening to. They’ll recharge from 0 to 100 in around 1.5 hours, but Mpow warns against using any fast-charge USB chargers as they may damage the battery.
Sound quality is surprisingly good considering the price point, with a bass-heavy profile for workout music, but also delivers crisp and clear highs perfect for podcasts.
It’s enough to have to worry about your smartphone dying. Now your headphones, too? In the era of wireless headphones, long battery life is rare but significant. Luckily, the Anker SoundBuds Curve have a solid lifespan that will score you 14 hours of talk time and 12.5 hours of play time on a single charge. Should they happen to fail you, a quick 10-minute recharge yields another hour of juice. While a wired connection still wins, this beats out most other wireless pairs on the market.
As far as sound quality goes, some said that they actually rival the sound of his much-more-expensive Beats PowerBeats 2. You can expect a powerful bass that doesn’t drown out the mids or highs. The earphones have rubber hooks that secure them around your ear, making them perfect for an activity or when you’re on the move. The inline remote lets you intuitively manage your audio, flipping between songs, adjusting the volume and answering calls.
The Anker Soundbuds Slim are lightweight at just 15 grams but that doesn’t mean they feel cheap. Rather, it makes them an excellent travel companion that won’t weigh you down. While the design is similar to models from other brands, that’s likely because it works well. It comes with several sizes of ear tips and ear wings, so you can find the right fit, and the earbuds have magnets that hook them together for security when not in use. Bluetooth 4.1 isn’t anything special but works reliably well. Why fix it if it’s not broken, right?
With 6mm drivers the sound quality does get a bit distorted when played loudly but when listening to lower volumes, the sound is perfectly fine. The 7.5 hours of playtime (at 60 percent volume) on a single charge is perfect for long-haul flights, and it even comes with a small travel pouch for storage.
In any pair of budget earphones, you’ll be expected to make some sacrifices. But these Anker Soundcore Spirit X earphones are about as well rounded as they come, with top-notch sound quality, decent battery life, a sporty design, and more.
The large ear hook that hugs the ear makes these pair secure and especially practical for gymgoers. The design may be off-putting to non-athletes, but that’s all a matter of taste and they are nonetheless extremely comfortable, even over extended periods. What they lack in compactness, though, they make up for in battery life, boasting 12 hours of playtime, plus fast charging that translates five minutes into another hour of power.
Its IPX7 waterproof rating means it can endure dips in the pool but is largely designed to combat sweat. Rare to find in a budget pair like these is the addition of a Bluetooth 5.0 chipset, though this will probably start to penetrate the market soon enough. Still, it is a great way to futureproof your purchase and keeps the wireless connection highly reliable.
As for sound quality, the 10mm drivers are more powerful than you will find in other earphones at this price. They pack a powerful bass with pronounced mids and highs that will leave you with no complaints.
Skullcandy has established itself as a stylish yet affordable brand in the audio world. Its JIB wireless earphones are no exception. The earbuds are colorful with the signature skull on the end of each; ear tips that sit comfortably in your canal. The minimal inline remote is located on the left side of your cable and has just one button that controls power, pairing, answering calls and pausing/playing the track.
So if you want to adjust the volume, you’ll need to reach for your phone instead. The battery pack sits in a small plastic rectangle behind your neck with an LED light to signal power and microUSB charging port. Note that the box only includes a short charging cable, so you’ll need your own wall plug for charging.
Sound quality is the big win here. With 9mm drivers, the earbuds can play loudly without distortion and offer significantly powerful bass and an overall balanced sound. Skullcandy claims 6 hours of playtime on a single charge, which is notably better than Apple’s AirPods.
Want the Apple aesthetic without the Apple price tag? These wireless earphones are for you. Apple currently makes EarPods, a wired version, and AirPods, a true wireless version, but this neckband-style pair sits somewhere in between. The earbud is ergonomically designed nearly identically to Apple’s, so if you like the fit of those, you’ll sure to like the fit of this pair.
The inline remote is slightly different, with controls for volume, a multifunctional button for pausing and skipping tracks, a charging port and a LED light that signals how much battery you have left. There’s also an embedded microphone and cVc 6.0 technology aids in reducing background noise so the person on the end of the other line can hear your crystal clearly.
The latest iteration supports Bluetooth 5.0 for near flawless, lag free connections, and 3D sound by way of four independent speakers, designed to deliver dimensional surround sound.
Our writers spent 7 hours researching the most popular wireless earbuds under $50 on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 46 different earbuds overall, screened options from 17 different brands and manufacturers and read over 22 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.