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The Best Wireless Earbuds Under $50 of 2023

You don't have to shell out hundreds of bucks to put quality earbuds in your arsenal. Read on to find out how some of the best wireless earbuds under $50 stacked up to rigorous testing.

Best Wireless Earbuds Under $50(Photo/Josh Wussow)
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I like to think I’m fairly easy on my electronics. But when it comes to reviews, there’s a certain perverse pleasure in seeing just how much abuse a piece of gear can take. Especially cheaper items, which can be pushed to the limits without sweating your wallet.

And speaking of sweat and punishment, perhaps no tool in my kit has a more thankless job than my earbuds.

Rather than suffering in silence, I expect my Bluetooth earbuds to perform on command. Whether it’s phone calls and voice chats for work, a bicycle session, or a gym trip, I rely on these little marvels to keep the world out and my sanity in.

And with so many options available, I could think of no better way to honor these lifesavers than with an old-fashioned budget battle.

Scroll down for the best affordable earbuds of 2023. To expedite your search, jump ahead to our comparison table and buyer’s guide.

The Best Wireless Earbuds Under $50 of 2023

Best Overall

Soundcore Life A1


  • Battery life Up to 9 hours per charge
  • Charging case included Yes
  • Weight 2.1 oz.
  • Microphone Yes. dual mics enable clear calls
  • IPX Sweatproof rating IPX7
The Best Wireless Earbuds Under $50 of 2023(Photo/Josh Wussow)


  • Rich depth of sound
  • Responsible touch interface
  • Secure in-ear fit


  • Occasional connectivity issues
Best Value

JLab Go Air True Wireless Earbuds


  • Battery life Up to 5 hours
  • Charging case included Yes
  • Weight 2.2 oz. with case
  • Microphone Yes
  • IPX Sweatproof rating IPX5
The Best Wireless Earbuds Under $50 of 2023JLAB’s GoAir True; (photo/Josh Wussow)


  • Good sound quality for the price
  • Great value


  • Finicky touch interface

Best of the Rest

Skullcandy Jib True


  • Battery life Up to 6 hours per charge
  • Charging case included Yes
  • Weight 1.8 oz
  • Microphone Yes, dual mics
  • IPX Sweatproof rating IPX4
The Best Wireless Earbuds Under $50 of 2023Skullcandy’s Jib True; (photo/Josh Wussow)


  • Good volume range and sound muffling
  • Nice-looking colorful design


  • Bulky pod shape sticks out of ear

SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe


  • Battery life Up to 5 hours per charge
  • Charging case included Yes
  • Weight 1.3 oz. with case
  • Microphone Yes, dual mics
  • IPX Sweatproof rating Unknown
The Best Wireless Earbuds Under $50 of 2023


  • Simple user interface
  • Effective on-ear detection technology
  • Good value
  • Game mode


  • Not the best bass response

Tribit Wireless Earbuds


  • Battery life Up to 5 hours per charge
  • Charging case included Yes
  • Weight 2.9 oz.
  • Microphone Yes
  • IPX sweatproof rating 8
The Best Wireless Earbuds Under $50 of 2023Tribit FlyBuds 3; (photo/Josh Wussow)


  • The case doubles as a power bank for your phone
  • Excellent sweatproofing


  • Larger case size

Wireless Earbuds Comparison Table

EarbudsPriceBattery LifeWeightCharging Case IncludedMicrophoneSweatproof Rating
JLab Go Air True
Wireless Earbuds
$15Up to five hours per charge2.2 oz. with caseYesYesIPX5
Soundcore Life A1$50Up to 9 hours per charge2.1 oz. with caseYesYes, dual mics enable clear phone callsIPX7
Skullcandy Jib True$50Up to 6 hours per charge1.8 oz. with caseYesYes, dual micsIPX4
SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe$50Up to 5 hours per charge1.3 oz. with caseYesYes, dual micsUnknown
Tribit Wireless Earbuds$40Up to 5 hours per charge2.9 oz with caseYesYesIPX8

Why You Should Trust Us

We tested dozens of earbuds to determine the highest quality affordable options for this list. We selected contenders based on popularity, online reviews, and recommendations from across the GearJunkie team. Once we had compiled a pile of candidates, we carefully assessed comfort, sound quality, and durability.

The tests were fairly straightforward. A drop from a second-story window, an extended shower, and several hours in the freezer. All of these have real-world applications, especially if you live in a harsher climate. Over several days’ worth of ear time and a gym session for each, I got a pretty clear idea of their sonic strengths and weaknesses.

All of the products on this list cleared the hurdles. For $50 or less, our recommendations are the best available.

It’s worth noting that earbuds get much more expensive than those on this list. If you want the all-around best headphones for exercise, plan to spend a little more.

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose Affordable Earbuds

If you’re searching for a pair of reliable headphones for less than $50, there are a handful of key variables to keep in mind. Ultimately, you aren’t going to find high-performance options in this price range. Still, if you understand the basics of sound quality, battery life, and waterproofing, you can make an informed purchase and get the best bang for your buck.

Soundcore Life A3i Wireless Earbuds - packability
For many folks, an affordable pair of earbuds is an everyday carry item; (photo/Josh Wussow)

Sound Quality

Like full-size speakers, earbuds distort different parts of the audio spectrum. No two pairs of earbuds will sound the same. While there are several objective factors that separate high-quality and low-quality sound, personal preference is perhaps the most important consideration. Some folks like a bassy sound balance, while others prefer a heavier treble.

None of the earbuds on this list are truly noise-canceling. Effective noise cancellation is a feature of more expensive options. Still, many users prefer to be able to hear their surroundings while listening to music or podcasts. Some earbuds on this list will simply muffle — but not cancel — outside noise, which comes in handy — especially in loud environments.

Ultimately, many users find that they do not need everyday earbuds with elite sound quality. For most users, a few sonic flaws are reasonable — especially if you want to spend $50 or less.

Best Wireless Earbuds Under $50 - testing
Charging cases typically recharge earbuds 2-5 times; (photo/Josh Wussow)

Battery Life and Charging

Like all wireless devices, earbuds need to be charged from time to time. When you’re in the middle of a flight or bike ride, you certainly don’t want your headphones to suddenly die. For this reason, it’s worth seeking headphones with reasonable battery life and a quality charging case.

The battery life of headphones depends on various factors including surrounding air temperature and audio volume. To get the maximum life out of your fully charged headphones, keep the volume in the low to mid-range.

In 2023, a good pair of affordable earbuds may last up to 5 or 6 hours on a single charge. In our experience, earbuds tend to die a little sooner than the manufacturer claims. Most pairs come with a nifty charging case that allows you to juice up the headphones on the go. Most fully charged cases will charge the earbuds 2-5 times before they need to be plugged into an outlet.

Call Quality

Most high-quality workout headphones are able to accept and manage quick phone calls. A built-in microphone, user-friendly controls, and decent sound quality are essential for taking calls via your headphones.

These days, dual and quad mic technology has dramatically improved call quality — even on cheap earbuds.

However, if you plan to use your ‘buds for long work calls, a $20 pair might not be the best choice.

Soundcore Life A3i Wireless Earbuds - fit
Earbuds are tiny — try not to lose ’em! (Photo/Josh Wussow)

Waterproofing and Durability

If you’re going to be wearing earbuds while working out, durability and a reasonable degree of water resistance are crucial. If your exercise regimen includes outdoor activities such as running, cycling, or rowing, we recommend earbuds with a solid waterproof rating. Even if you don’t plan on being out in the rain, it’s wise to be prepared.

Though all of the headphones on this list are fairly durable, some will withstand wear and tear better than others. Though cheap earbuds are easy on the wallet, there is certainly a relationship between price and build quality.

In order to handle the inevitable perspiration that occurs during exercise, earbuds need to be reasonably water-resistant. Many options come with a water resistance IP rating that serves as a helpful guide.

Basically, headphones exist on a spectrum from IPX1 to IPX9. IPX1 headphones should be able to handle sweat and occasional small drops of light rain. IPX9 headphones can withstand a direct stream of hot water from a pressure nozzle. The IPX rating system can feel a little confusing, and we recommend you don’t think too hard about it.

Simply put, headphones with any IPX rating should be able to handle the demands of any dry-land form of exercise. If you plan to use your earbuds in wet environments — like a scull boat or a paddleboard — we recommend a higher IPX rating.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most affordable earbuds?

Though we recommend all of the earbuds on this list, the Soundcore Life A1s are our pick for the best overall earbud for $50 or less.

Are earbuds waterproof?

Not all earbuds are waterproof, and some are more water-resistant than others.

Most bluetooth earbuds come with a water-resistance rating from IPX1 to IPX9. IPX1 earbuds can generally withstand moisture from sweat but not much more. If you’re going to be exposing your earbuds to wet and rainy conditions, look for a pair with a strong rating of around IPX4 or higher.

What are the best earbuds for running?

Runners need earbuds that fit well and don’t fall out. Because people have different ear shapes, the process of identifying a good pair may require some trial and error.

If you plan to run on the streets or in a public setting, we recommend a pair of streamlined earbuds that won’t stick out and still allow you to maintain situational awareness.

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