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Article updated on June 5, 2024 at 11:00 AM PDT

Best Budget Earbuds for 2024: Cheap Wireless Picks

We've tested and reviewed the best budget earbuds on the market right now. Check out our favorites.

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David Carnoy
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David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Kobo e-books and audiobooks.
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What to consider

Budget

Fit

Return Policy

Our Picks

$80 at Amazon
Image of Earfun Air Pro 3
Top budget wireless earbuds with noise canceling
Earfun Air Pro 3
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$100 at Best Buy
Image of Soundcore by Anker Liberty 4 NC
Best Anker noise-canceling earbuds
Soundcore by Anker Liberty 4 NC
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$50 at Amazon
Image of Tranya Nova
Impressive sounding earbuds for under $70
Tranya Nova
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$35 at Amazon
The Echo Buds 2023 are a good AirPods 3 alternative for less
Best new budget open earbuds
Amazon Echo Buds 2023
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$48 at Amazon
Image of Soundpeats Air3 Deluxe HS
Best cheap open earbuds
Soundpeats Air3 Deluxe HS
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$30 at Amazon
baseus-active-noise-cancelling-wireless-earbuds-headphones
Best wireless earbuds under $35
Baseus Bowie MA10
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$40 at Amazon
Image of Tranya T20
Good-sounding cheap wireless earbuds under $40
Tranya T20
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$100 at Jabra
Image of Jabra Elite 4
Best budget earbuds from Jabra
Jabra Elite 4
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$62 at Amazon
Image of Soundpeats GoFree 2
Top budget open-ear sports earbuds with ear hooks
Soundpeats GoFree 2
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$70 at Amazon
Image of Soundcore by Anker Sport X10
Best Anker wireless sports earbuds
Soundcore by Anker Sport X10
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What are the best cheap wireless earbuds?

Over the last few years, wireless earbuds have flooded the market -- which means you have more options than ever. It also means there are a bunch of budget wireless earbuds that offer good sound quality, active noise cancelation, passive noise isolation and more. With these affordable earbuds, you can get some of the same features found on more expensive models at a fraction of the cost. And since there are so many good budget wireless earbuds available, it’s difficult to name just one as the best overall pick, but there are a few models that stand out from the pack. Models, like the Earfun AirPro 3, Anker Liberty 4 NC and Soundpeats Air3 Deluxe HS, sit at the top of this list.

For the mini-reviews in this list, I've focused on the details of the earbuds' battery life, audio quality and key features, including active noise cancelation and an IPX water-resistant rating, in case you're looking for earbuds to use for running or working out at the gym. Keep scrolling to see the best inexpensive earbuds available right now. I'll update this list as other top affordable wireless earbuds are released.

Read more: Best Wireless Earbuds

Best budget wireless earbuds for 2024

$80 at Amazon

Top budget wireless earbuds with noise canceling

Earfun Air Pro 3

Earfun has put out a series of wireless earbuds over the last couple of years with one important commonality: They're very good values, made more so by frequent discounts. The company's new-for-2024 Earfun Air Pro 3 earbuds feature the latest Qualcomm QCC3071 system-on-a-chip with AptX Adaptive for Android and other devices that support the new LE Audio standard and LC3 audio codec, which is superior to the SBC codec (they also support AAC for Apple devices).

Lightweight and comfortable to wear -- I got a good seal with the largest ear tip size -- these aren't a huge upgrade over the Earfun Air S, but they are better. They have slightly larger wool-composite drivers (11mm versus 10mm), slightly improved noise canceling and better battery life (up to seven hours with noise canceling on, according to Earfun).

In short, the Earfun Air 3 delivers strong performance for its modest price, with robust bass, good clarity and a relatively wide soundstage. They also pack in a lot of features, including a wireless charging case and "multidevice" connectivity. (I could pair them to two devices simultaneously but had to pause the music on one device and hit play on the other for the audio to switch.) They're IPX5 splash-proof and also work well (although not exceptionally well) as a headset for making calls. 

Use the code EAP3CNET at checkout at Amazon to drop the price to around $60.

$100 at Best Buy

Best Anker noise-canceling earbuds

Soundcore by Anker Liberty 4 NC

New for 2023, the Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 NC earbuds carry a lower list price than last year's Liberty 4 buds and are arguably better. They have improved noise canceling and better sound quality, along with support for the LDAC audio codec for devices that support it. (Many Android smartphones do, and in theory, it offers slightly improved sound quality when paired with a music streaming service that offers high-res tracks.) They're lightweight buds that should fit most ears comfortably with four sizes of ear tips to choose from. 

The Liberty 4 NC buds have single custom drivers compared to the Liberty 4's dynamic dual drivers -- and a completely different case design -- but I thought they delivered a more pleasant sound than the Liberty 4s. Their treble is a little smoother and they feature strong bass performance. They came across as fairly open, with a reasonably wide soundstage. You can tweak the sound profile in the companion app for iOS and Android. 

The buds come in several color options and are IPX4 splashproof, so they're suitable for running and gym use. They feature excellent battery life -- up to 10 hours on a single charge at moderate volume levels -- and there's also a transparency mode that lets ambient sound in and sounds pretty natural with only a very faint audible hiss. While the noise canceling is an improvement over the Liberty 4's and is effective, it falls a bit short of what you get from Bose's and Sony's premium ANC earbuds. 

Like the Liberty 4, the earbuds have six integrated mics for noise canceling and making calls, and callers said they thought the buds did a pretty good job of reducing background noise, with my voice coming through relatively clearly. They're an all-around good-performing set of buds for the money, and they offer a strong feature set, including ear-detection sensors and wireless charging.

$50 at Amazon

Impressive sounding earbuds for under $70

Tranya Nova

Tranya's Nova earbuds not only sound surprisingly good but also offer good noise-canceling performance for their modest price. Although you can tweak their sound with the equalizer in Tranya's companion app, at their balanced setting, they seem a bit more tuned to today's popular music, including hip hop and rap, delivering a full dose of bass (the buds have 12mm drivers) while not sounding boomy. Equipped with a Qualcomm 3072 chip that supports Qualcomm's AptX Adaptive audio codec and LE Audio, they're IPX5 splashproof and also have an ambient mode that lets sound in, plus a low-latency gaming mode. Multipoint Bluetooth pairing is supported as well.

Battery life is rated at six hours at moderate volume levels with noise canceling on (I got more like five hours) and up to nine hours with ANC off. The glossy black charging case, which offers wireless charging, does show fingerprints but is easy enough to wipe down, as are the buds themselves. I thought the touch controls worked well, and callers said that while they heard a lot of background noise, they could hear my voice clearly during calls (the buds have three mics on each bud).

While they're missing such premium features as ear-detection sensors that pause your music when you take the buds out of your ears, you couldn't ask for too much more from buds in this price range.

$35 at Amazon

Best new budget open earbuds

Amazon Echo Buds 2023

Amazon's 2023 Echo Buds impressed me in a few ways that I wasn't expecting. For starters, they sound good for inexpensive open earbuds, delivering decent clarity and ample bass. They also have a robust feature set, including multipoint Bluetooth pairing, hands-free Alexa and ear-detection sensors that pause your audio when you take one or both buds out of your ears. 

Their sound falls short of that of Apple's AirPods 3, which delivers fuller bass and overall fuller, smoother sound (they're better at handling more complicated music tracks with a lot of instruments playing at the same time). The AirPods 3 cost around $150 and offer only about 15% to 20% better audio. In short, if you're looking for open earbuds -- or "semi-open" as these types of earbuds are sometimes called -- the Echo Buds are good value at their $50 list price and even easier to recommend when they go on sale.

$48 at Amazon

Best cheap open earbuds

Soundpeats Air3 Deluxe HS

What makes these Soundpeats Air3 Deluxe HS buds special is that they sound surprisingly good for open earbuds -- they're pretty close to what you get from Apple's AirPods 3 for sound. On top of that, they support Sony's LDAC audio codec for devices that offer it. Not too many cheap open earbuds have good sound but these Soundpeats have good bass response and clarity. They're also good for making calls and have a low-latency gaming mode. Battery life is rated at five hours at moderate volume levels, and these are IPX4 splash-proof.

These are listed for $60 but are currently on sale for $43 with a 20% on-page coupon, that’ll bring your total down to around $35. This is a very good deal if you're looking for open-style earbuds.

$30 at Amazon

Best wireless earbuds under $35

Baseus Bowie MA10

Priced at just $32 after you click an instant 20% discount coupon on Amazon, the Baseus Bowie MA10 delivers surprisingly good sound along with active noise canceling for its low price (you just don't see too many active noise canceling earbuds at this price). They're IPX6 water resistant (can withstand a strong spray of water) and also have multipoint Bluetooth pairing and connect to a companion app. They stick out of your ears a bit but they did fit my ears comfortably.

The earbuds deliver impressive battery life, offering up to 8 hours on a single charger at moderate volume levels with an extra 132 hours in the charging case. Yes, you heard right -- 132 hours. The one big downside to these buds is that their charging case is rather large and bulky. If you can live with that, these are a very nice bargain. 

$40 at Amazon

Good-sounding cheap wireless earbuds under $40

Tranya T20

The Tranya T20 reminds me a little of a cheaper version of Samsung's Galaxy Buds 2 without the noise canceling. They're pretty no-frills and missing more premium features such as an ear-detection sensor that automatically pauses your music when you take a bud out of your ears. They sound surprisingly decent for their modest price, if you get a tight seal, they sit pretty flush with your ears (they don't really stick out much) and they have decent battery life -- up to eight hours at moderate volume levels. They also work pretty well for making calls and are IPX7 waterproof.  

The case feels a little cheap and the buds are lightweight. The Galaxy Buds 2 definitely feels more premium. The buds are well-tuned and have a relatively wide soundstage. Don't expect the world from them and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

$100 at Jabra

Best budget earbuds from Jabra

Jabra Elite 4

Jabra has replaced its entry-level Elite 3 buds with the new-for-2023 Elite 4, which offers active noise canceling and multipoint Bluetooth pairing. What's a little confusing is that Jabra also sells the Elite 4 Active, a slightly more ruggedized version of the same buds that carries a list price of $120 but sometimes sells for less than the standard Elite 4. So get the Elite 4 Active if it costs less.

The lightweight Elite 4 fit my ears comfortably and offered good, well-balanced sound with punchy bass and decent clarity. They support Qualcomm's AptX audio codec (for Android and other devices that support AptX) but only the SBC codec for iPhones (no AAC support). The Elite 4 is missing more premium features like ear detection sensors and has a four-microphone array for noise canceling and voice calls (voice-calling performance is good but not exceptionally good). Battery life is rated at up to seven hours at moderate volume levels and the buds have an IP55 water-resistance rating, which means they can take a sustained spray of water and are also dust-resistant. As with a lot of other new buds, you can use either bud independently in a mono mode.

$62 at Amazon

Top budget open-ear sports earbuds with ear hooks

Soundpeats GoFree 2

I didn't try the original Soundpeats GoFree earbuds, but the second-gen GoFree 2s deliver a good value, with decent sound for open earbuds that sit on top of your ears -- there's a touch of distortion at higher volumes, but they have ample bass. While they don't quite look or feel like premium buds, they also don't look or feel cheap. They're missing premium features like ear-detection sensors (when you take one off, your music doesn't automatically pause), and their companion app for iOS and Android is a bit underwhelming. I found them pretty comfortable to wear (they fit securely) and their touch controls worked well. They're equipped with Bluetooth 5.3, have support for the LDAC audio codec for devices like Android phones that support it, and are IPX5 splash-proof. Battery life is rated up to nine hours at moderate volume levels and their case is one of the more compact cases I've seen for these types of earbuds.

I thought voice-calling performance was acceptable, although not great. These are open earbuds, so they do let sound in, and it can be a little hard to hear callers in noisier environments.

$70 at Amazon

Best Anker wireless sports earbuds

Soundcore by Anker Sport X10

The Soundcore Sport X10 have an interesting design with rotating swiveling ear hooks that flip up when you're using them and flip down when you want to set them in their charging case, which has a smaller footprint than a lot of buds with ear hooks. 

As long as you get a tight seal, they sound good, with powerful, punchy bass and good detail. They also have active noise canceling, which is effective, but not as good as Sony or Bose's noise canceling. They're also fully waterproof with an IPX7 rating, which means they can be fully submerged in up to 3 feet of water for 30 minutes. Battery life is rated at up to 8 hours with an additional three charges in the charging case.

Factors to consider when choosing wireless earbuds

Budget

Before anything else, you'll want to figure out how much you're willing to spend on new earbuds. Value priced earbuds continue to improve, so you can find good "cheap" buds for not too much money (less than $60). But if you're looking for premium buds from Sony, Apple and Bose, be prepared to spend a lot more. 

Fit

It's key that the earbuds you buy fit your ears well. They should offer a comfortable, secure fit. If you don't get a tight seal with noise-isolating earbuds, sound quality and noise canceling can be dramatically impacted for the worse. Open earbuds don't have that issue, but they should be comfortable to wear and sit securely in your ears.

Return Policy

Because the fit of your earbuds is so important, it's critical to buy your buds at a retailer that has a good return policy, in case the buds aren't a good match for your ears.

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How we test true-wireless earbuds

We test true-wireless earbuds based on five key criteria, comparing similarly styled and priced models. These criteria are design, sound quality, features, voice-calling performance and value.

  • Design: We assess not only how comfortable the earbuds fit (ergonomics) but their build quality and how well the controls are implemented. We also look at water- and dust-resistance ratings.
  • Sound quality: We evaluate sound quality by listening to a set playlist of music tracks and comparing the earbuds to top competing products in their price range. Sonic traits such as bass definition, clarity, dynamic range and how natural the headphones sound are key factors in our assessment.
  • Features: Some great-sounding earbuds aren't loaded with features, but we do take into account what extra features are on board. These include everything from noise-canceling and transparency modes (ambient sound mode) to special sound modes to ear-detection sensors that automatically pause your music when you take the headphones off your ears.
  • Voice-calling performance: When we test voice-calling performance, we make calls in the noisy streets of New York and evaluate how well the earbuds reduce background noise and how clearly callers can hear your voice.
  • Value: We determine value after evaluating the strength of the earbuds against all these criteria and what the buds are able to deliver compared to other models in their price class.
Wearing the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2
Enlarge Image
Wearing the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2

Our reviewer David Carnoy testing voice-calling performance on the noisy streets of New York. 

David Carnoy/CNET
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Other budget wireless earbuds we've tested

Sony WF-1000XM4: Released in 2021, Sony's WF-1000XM4 earned a CNET Editors' Choice Award. They're still excellent earbuds, but Sony has now released the next-gen WF-1000XM5. They may be a good option if you find them at a good discount. 

JBL Live Pro 2: Over the years, JBL has put out some decent true-wireless earbuds, but nothing that really got me too excited. That's finally changed with the arrival of the Samsung-owned brand's new Live Pro 2 and Live Free 2 buds. Both sets of buds -- the Live Pro 2 have stems while the Live Free 2 have a pill-shaped design -- offer a comfortable fit along with strong noise canceling, very good sound quality and voice-calling performance, plus a robust set of features, including multipoint Bluetooth pairing, an IPX5 splash-proof rating and wireless charging.

Sony Linkbuds: The LinkBuds are, in a sense, Sony's answer to Apple's standard AirPods. While they don't sound as good as Sony's flagship WF-1000XM4 or the Linkbuds S noise-isolating earbuds, they offer a discreet, innovative design and a more secure fit than the AirPods, as well as decent sound and very good voice-calling performance. Like the third-gen AirPods, their open design allows you to hear the outside world -- that's what the ring is all about. Read our Sony Linkbuds review.

JBL Live Free 2: Like the Live Pro 2, JBL's new Live Free 2 buds are surprisingly good. With 11mm drivers, six microphones, oval tubes and oval silicon tips, they combine a comfortable fit along with strong noise canceling, very good sound quality and voice-calling performance. Features include multipoint Bluetooth pairing and wireless charging, and they're rated for up to seven hours with IPX5 water-resistance (splash-proof).

Beats Studio Buds: The Beats Studio Buds look a lot like the rumored stemless AirPods some people have been waiting for. Geared toward both iOS and Android users, they are missing a few key features on the Apple side of things (there's no H1 or W1 chip), but they're small, lightweight buds that are comfortable to wear and offer really good sound. While their noise canceling isn't as good as the AirPods Pro's, they do have a transparency mode and they're decent for making calls. Read our Beats Studio Buds review.

Sennheiser CX: If you can't afford Sennheiser's flagship Momentum True Wireless 3 earbuds, the CX are a good alternative. They feature very good sound, plus decent noise canceling and voice-calling performance. The only issue is they stick out of your ears a bit and may not fit some smaller ears. This model, which often sells for less than $100 on Amazon, doesn't feature active noise canceling but the step-up CX Plus does (the CX Plus is also a good value, particularly when it goes on sale).

Edifier NeoBuds Pro 2: If you can't quite afford the AirPods Pro 2, the Edifier NeoBuds Pro 2 may be a good alternative. They aren't a huge upgrade over the original NeoBuds Pro, but their list price is around $50 less and they have a lightweight premium design, good sound for their price, effective noise cancellation and come with seven sets of ear tips to help you get a good fit. They also have ear-detection sensors and spatial audio with head tracking.

Creative Labs Aurvana Ace 2: There's been some hype recently around solid-state semiconductor Micro-Electromechanical System, aka MEMS, speakers and you can find xMEMS drivers in Creative Labs' Aurvana Ace ($130) and Ace 2 earbuds ($150). Overall the buds are well-designed and have some eye-catching design elements that help them stand out from other earbuds with stems. They're IPX5 splash-resistant, are rated for up to 6 hours of battery life on a single charge at moderate volume levels and offer wireless charging. For their price, they deliver good bang for your buck, particularly when it comes to sound quality.

OnePlus Buds Pro 2: The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 have a lot to like about them. They've got a more premium look and feel than many AirPods Pro 2 clones and feature a dual-driver design and very good sound quality with just a bit of bass push. Equipped with Bluetooth 5.3, they also have support for a good range of audio codecs, including AAC, LHDC 4.0, SBC, and LC3. OnePlus says an upgrade to LHDC 5.0 will be available via a firmware upgrade.

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Best budget wireless earbuds FAQs

Do cheap earbuds sound as good as the AirPods 3rd Gen and AirPods Pro 2?

Apple improved the sound quality of the third-gen AirPods so it raised the bar. That said, many true wireless earbuds that cost less than $100 or even less than $50 offer surprisingly good sound for the money and measure up pretty well against the AirPods and AirPods Pro, although not the AirPods Pro 2, which offer significantly improved sound. 

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What are the biggest differences between cheaper buds and more premium buds?

Often, the biggest difference is build quality. Premium buds tend to feel sturdier and tend to be built with more premium materials. They also have a more premium look and feel to both the buds themselves and their charging case. In theory, premium buds should hold up better over time. Additionally, they tend to have more features such as ear-detection sensors and they pair with a companion app so you can upgrade the firmware (as well as tweak the sound and possibly customize the controls). Finally, while some cheaper buds have active noise cancellation, the performance of the noise-canceling and transparency modes tends to be better with more premium buds.

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Do cheap earbuds work well for making voice calls?

Some do. Many cheaper buds now feature multiple microphones and some do a surprisingly good job when it comes to voice calling. A few models on this list have surprisingly good noise reduction and measure up well against the AirPods, which are known for their strong voice-calling performance.

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