If you're looking to improve the quality of your music, headphones are the most important link in the chain. Today's phones, tablets, and computers are capable of spectacular audio quality that was unthinkable just 10 years ago, but you're not going to hear it with the headphones that came in the box.
Fortunately, you don't have to spend a lot of money to hear a dramatic improvement in headphone audio quality. In this Top 5, we have the best headphones for under $50, as selected by CNET Executive Editor David Carnoy and Associate Editor Justin Yu. You can find their full write-up over on, as well as the gallery below outlining 18 choices in total.