Headphones for $50 or less

CNET editors round up a bunch of worthwhile headphones that will cost you less than $50. Includes models from V-Moda, JVC, Koss, and more.

Sony MDR-710LP headphones

New headphones are my No. 1 recommendation to anyone who wants to get the most out of their new MP3 player. (Except, of course, for those who decided to go with the Sony NWZ-A810 series or the Zune 80 .) Straight up: Those janky, plastic buds that came with your player aren't doing you any favors. First off, they're not terribly comfortable, and they don't fit most users securely--for me, there are few things more annoying than having to constantly shove a hard piece of plastic into my ear. Then of course there's the sound-quality issue...hollow, tinny, bassless, muffled, hissy. I've heard it all. If you really want to hear what your MP3 player has to offer, replacing those 'buds is a must. Of course, I understand that not everyone can afford to throw down $450 on a pair of Shure SE530s , or even close to $100 on the Ultimate Ears Super.fi 3 Studio (though I can assure you that they are both worth it if you've got the dough). To that end, I've rounded up six deserving contenders that will set you back just $50 or less. There's a style for every taste and comfort requirement, and each and every one of these selections will offer some noticeable improvement over stock 'buds. Check out the products.

About the author

    Since 2003, Jasmine France has worked at CNET covering everything from scanners to keyboards to GPS devices to MP3 players. She currently cohosts the Crave podcast and spends the majority of her time testing headphones, music software, and mobile apps.



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