With efficient and affordable technological advancements in headphones, buying one for less than $20 is no more waste. That means you can easily get lasting and enjoyable headphones under $20. However, if you are sceptical about this claim, the following information will make you believe it.
In this article, I have discussed all the features that I found considerable when buying headphones. They ensure that you pay for the right product and do not end up with crap. For further assurance, I have reviewed some products that have effectively served me for a long time so you can check them out and find out yourself.
How to Purchase the Best Budget Earphones?
The first thing you need to consider when starting to research for a headphone is its type. There are various types of headphones directed towards different needs and preferences. To narrow down your research, identify the type of headphones you need.
Type of Headphones
There are various factors on which you can categories headphones like wired headsets, headsets for big heads, and Wireless headsets. These factors include their build, i.e. in-ear or over-ear, connection, i.e. wired or wireless, Bluetooth connectivity, compatibility, etc. Among all the factors, the first two form the most significant categories. So let’s shed some light on them.
In-Ear Vs Over-Ear
The two main categories of headphones are over-ear headphones and in-ear headphones. In-ear headphones are generally more compact and lightweight than the other type. They are easier to carry and have a secure fit. You can use them for athletic and other physical activities.
However, over-ear headphones are bulkier and less portable. They offer great sound reproduction but aren’t the most affordable. The comfort provided by both these types depends upon the type of foam surrounding the ear cups, weight, and a few other factors, along with personal preferences.
Wired Vs Wireless
Wired headphones offer better sound quality and playtime than the other type. They require a cable to connect to the audio source, which can be detachable or fixed. However, the audio is gone once you detach the cable. Since the cable has a limited length, you cannot move around freely and will have to remain close to the audio source. Another great feature is their extensive connectivity as most of them only require a 3.5mm audio jack to connect to any device.
With wireless headphones, you are free to move around, but to a certain distance. Some allow for up to 30 ft. while a few others offer up to 100-200 ft. connectivity. Most of them feature Bluetooth connectivity and can only connect to devices with the same connectivity options. Some of them completely run on batteries, while others allow you to join them via cable. Battery life largely affects your experience of the headphones. If your headphones have a short battery life, they may shut down during games or other important use. Thus if you decide to opt for wireless headphones, ensure it has a battery life of at least six hours, though to have a count over eight is a blessing.
Other Factors Include
Plastic is the most common material used for making headphones, but it isn’t the most durable material. It fails to withstand tough use and breaks apart quickly. For long-lasting headphones, you should opt for the ones with an aluminum build.
Another feature depicting the durability of the headphones is their resistance to water and sweat. Since headphones cover your ears or part of it, they block the airflow, which causes sweat buildup. If your headphones are constantly exposed to it, their performance will be affected. Therefore they must be sweat-resistant. It is also quite difficult to save your headphones from the water completely, thereby water-resistance is significant.
Compatibility and Bluetooth Connectivity
Wired headphones work fine with pretty much every device that has a 3.5mm jack and the required software. However, the over-ear or wireless headphones require Bluetooth connectivity to support a platform. These headphones are programmed to connect to a particular version of Bluetooth. Besides that, some headphones have compatibility issues. They do not work with every other device. Therefore, do not forget to check the compatibility of your headphones before buying.
For a pain-free hearing experience, you need to ensure comfort. So to determine the comfort level of the headphones you are considering to buy you need to check its weight, earbuds, hook type, and earcups. If your headphones are heavy, they put unnecessary pressure on your head and ear that can be quite painful. Earbuds are the part of in-ear headphones that fits into the ear canal. They must be soft and comfortable, thereby; foam is the most favorable material for them. Some in-ear headphones feature hooks that go around the top of the ears all the way to the back for better support. These hooks should also be light and soft. Earcups are part of over-ear headphones that cover your ears. They need to be soft and breathable to avoid pain and sweat buildup.
Other features include a built-in microphone, carry case, warranty, appearance, color, etc. These features are add-ons that may or may not be free.
**Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Top Four Headphones under $20
Best Headphones under $20
1. LETSCOM Wireless Bluetooth Headphones – Best Bluetooth Earbuds under $20
LETSCOM Bluetooth Headphones IPX7 Waterproof, Wireless Sport Earphones, HiFi Bass Stereo Sweatproof Earbuds w/Mic, Noise Cancelling Headset for Workout, Running, Gym, 8 Hours Play Time, GreenBlack
9 used from $17.58
If you are constantly troubled by your headphones coming loose during workouts or not serving sufficient sound reproduction, then LETSCOM Wireless Bluetooth Headphones can be your stop.
These cheap in-ear headphones feature a durable build with a plastic fitting-loop that goes behind the ear to keep your earphones secure in their position. This prevents them from popping out or falling during extreme sports. They offer the widest color choice among all the products on our list.
To support athletic and heavy workout sessions that cause excessive sweating, these headphones feature a waterproof build. The earbuds have a nano-coating inside them that prevents sweat or water buildup from damaging the device.
With soft earbuds, these headphones are quite comfortable to use. To ensure the right ear tips, LETSCOM provides four different tip sizes, enabling the user to choose according to requirements. Moreover, it has easy to use control buttons, enabling you to quickly switch between phone calls, music tracks, and voice control.
Another amazing feature that adds comfort to these headphones is the long battery life. Charge them once, and you can enjoy whopping eight hours of constant audio. You can check the remaining battery from the display of the connected device.
The device is compatible with Bluetooth version 4.1 and has a maximum range of up to 30ft. This Bluetooth standard isn’t the latest option available, thereby devices with upgraded versions cannot be supported.
These earphones have excellent noise cancellation ability. It will cut you out of your surroundings, blocking any distracting noises. Plus, they have a vigorous sound signature that delivers high fidelity bass stereo mode and sufficiently large volume. The solid bass is quite favored by heavy workout experts.
- Built-in microphone
- Advanced CSR chipset
- 11mm diaphragm
LETSCOM Wireless Bluetooth Headphones are the best low-cost earbuds for athletes, sportsmen, and gymmers. However, if your device’s Bluetooth version is any other than 4.1, then you’ll have compatibility issues.
- Excellent noise cancellation
- Waterproof and durable build
- Great sound reproduction
- Easy controls
- Compatible with older Bluetooth version
2. 1More Piston Fit Earphones – Best Wired Earbuds under $20 (Amazon Choice)
1MORE Piston Fit in-Ear Earphones Fashion Durable Headphones with 4 Color Options, Noise Isolation, Pure Sound, Phone Control with Mic for Smartphones/PC/Tablet - Black
$11.21 in stock
1 used from $9.36
1More Piston Fit Earphones are the best earphones under $20 for people looking for lasting and reliable headphones at an affordable price. So if you are done shelling out your hard-earned money on crappy headphones one after the other, then this one can be a lifesaver.
Because these cheap in-ear headphones are wired, they directly connect to the audio source via a cord. For lasting performance, these headphones are made up of high-grade aluminum, instead of some plastic. The fibers inside the cord feature a copper-covering for extra protection and durability. On the exterior, the cable has a TPE covering, which strengthens it for even the toughest blows. Since TPE forms a soft coat, which makes it easy to fold or store.
Their ergonomic design and low weight make them super comfortable. Also, their 45⁰-angled earbuds are adaptive to various ear canal sizes. They fit quite well and do not keep popping out as I experienced with some other in-ear headphones. Although you should not use headphones for long hours due to the hearing issues and the pain they cause, you can wear these comfortably for an extended period if you ever need to.
I found the sound quality of these earphones quite near to that of headphones. It offers amazing sound reproduction with its powerful dual-layer drivers. They ensure clarity and accuracy to a greater extent than most of their competitors. Since they seal your ear canal, you become deaf to the outer world even at a low volume.
- Stylish appearance
- Variety of colors
- Built-in microphone
- One-year warranty
- Comes with three different-sized ear tips
- Compatible with laptop, PC and mobile devices
1More Piston Fit Earphones are the best budget earphones that offer excellent sound reproduction, durable build, comfort, and also an attractive appearance. So if you are looking for good, affordable headphones, then surely give these a go.
- Stylish appearance with a variety of colors
- Sound clarity
- Angled earbuds for appropriate fitting and extra comfort
- Durable build and low weight
- Inferior mic
3. Easy KZ ZST In-Ear Headphones –Best In-Ear Headphones under $20 (Amazon Choice)
Easy KZ ZST Colorful Hybrid Banlance Armature with Dynamic in-Ear Earphone 1BA+1DD HiFi Headset (Colorful ZST MIC)
$19.59 in stock
These are the funkiest, colorful, and cheap in-ear headphones for people who like to catch eyes while being completely in a different world of music.
These are wired in-ear headphones with a funky look. I loved its multicolor driver housing. The vibrant hues are quite attention-grabbing. The cord has a thick gold covering that complements the overall look of the earphone. It also features an extra plastic covering for enhanced protection with a black or transparent appearance. The headphone’s overall body is made up of plastic, so you have to be careful with its use. It features a removable cable with a 3.5mm plug, enabling it to connect to almost every device.
The headphones come with three different sizes of earbuds to let you choose according to your needs. These earmuffs are made up of silicon, which isn’t the best at blocking sound but is sufficiently comfortable. Despite a large driver housing, the use of plastic only weighs it around 0.04 lbs., which feels as light as a feather.
With the V-shaped sound signature, you get a slightly boosted bass and above-average treble for loud and crisp audio. It makes music super enjoyable. The soundstage isn’t the most amazing but is effective for the price range. I noticed a standard harmonic distortion, which I think could be reduced. Overall, the headphones offer sufficient for their price range.
- One-year warranty
- Optional mic
- Comes with three different sizes of earbuds
These in-ear wired headphones offer the best option for people looking for amazing noise reproduction along with a fantastic look at an affordable price.
- Vibrant colors
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Amazing sound reproduction
- Removable cord
- Plastic build
- No noise cancellation
4. Panasonic Headphones RP-HT161-K –Best over Ear Headphones under $20
Panasonic Headphones RP-HT161-K Full-Sized Over-the-Ear Lightweight Long-Corded (Black)
$14.99 in stock
14 used from $9.74
If you are looking for simple and classic headphones with enhanced sound quality at such a price range, then Panasonic Headphones RP-HT161-K are the best to consider.
These are full-sized over-ear headphones with closed back. They have a light and durable build, which makes them easy to carry and use. Their matte black finish gives them a decent and sturdy appearance. With the extra-long connection cable, you can move comparatively farther than other shorter cords. Although they do not offer complete movability, they are somewhat flexible.
These Panasonic headphones are super comfortable due to their lightweight design and soft-padded earcups. These earcups snugly fit around your ears and entirely block all the surrounding distractions, letting you enjoy the music calmly. Moreover, the smooth and adjustable headband perfectly fits around your head without putting extra pressure to your head. With the long cord, you have the ease of mobility.
These headphones offer a well-balanced sound with deep bass and mid-range tones, rigorous trebles that delivers amazing vocals and audio quality.
- Can handle a maximum of 1000 Mw power
- Wide compatibility
If you want the best over-ear headphones under $20, then Panasonic Headphones RP-HT161-K are quite suitable for you. They are simple, light, and straightforward. But if you enjoy higher volume, then you may not be pleased with these.
- Lightweight and durable
- Super affordable
- Extra-long cord
- Exceptional sound reproduction
- No noise cancellation
- Lower volume
Read Also: Best Gaming Headsets under $30
Good Quality headphones do not always require a fortune. You can easily get several best earphones under $20. When looking for headphones, first decide the type you require. For the best wireless earbuds under $20checkout LETSCOM Wireless Bluetooth Headphones. They are stylish, plus, they offer amazing sound quality and convenience. These are among the best earbuds with mic under $20 with excellent noise cancellation.
You can turn to Panasonic Headphones RP-HT161-K for the best over-ear headphones under $20. They are simple, easy, and light. With a durable build and exceptional sound reproduction, you can enjoy every sort of audio.
Q1. Why do my ears hurt when I put on the headphones?
Answer: The Following are several reasons due to which your ears hurt when you put on headphones.
- Your headphones aren’t the right size; they are either tight or small.
- The earbuds or earcups are hard or rubberized instead of foamed.
- You use your headphones for long hours without any break.
- You listen to the audios at a very high volume
- You have an extraordinary dry skin that accumulates static electricity and hurts when you come in contact with an electronic device.
- How to unplug the headphones from the device safely?
For a secure plugging and unplugging of headphones, you need to hold the plug of the cable instead of the cord. If you do otherwise, the cord will come pout lose that will destroy your cable.
Q2. How to clean headphones earbuds?
Answer: Long-term use of headphones accumulates earwax, dirt, and other such substances that block the passage of sound affecting its quality. To clean these substances, take off the earbuds and use a blower to clean them. Do not use sharp objects as they can damage the headphones.