Top 15 Best Headphones under 50 in 2018
For most of us, our music is our lifeline. Whatever our budget for headphones be, we deserve the sweet solace of music. In this post, we cover the best headphones under $50. These walk a fine line balancing budget and audio quality. To many casual listeners, this is the sweet spot of compromise between the two. The 15 top headphones selected here were selected carefully for their build and audio quality. We love finding high-value-for-money headphones for you and this list triggered and exciting testing spree. We were able to weed out the tall claims and the lost causes to arrive at these headphones that deliver stellar performance, for personal use or as a gift.
Expensive headphones vs. Best Headphones under $50
The debate on how much you must spend on headphones for great sound is ceaseless. On every forum we contribute to, we see audiophiles going bonkers on a particular headphone. Then someone peeps in with an even more expensive specimen and everybody starts gushing about it. So where does the buck stop? Your dream headphones can end up running into 100s of dollars and the added expense of worthy playback equipment like amps and DACs. Read our complete guide about the best headphones under 30.
Can the $50 headphones compete? Yes and no. In most cases they dole out reasonably detailed audio. The newer headphones have escaped the trap of boomy bass and overwhelming treble. With most such headphones you can expect more balance and finesse than the older headphones under $50. Our best headphones under $50 have reflected good build quality which can last for years if properly cared for. When you move up the price range up to $150, the variation in audio quality is a hit and miss. Beyond that, we see better detailing, a more precise balance and a more mature sound signature. The build quality also improves though it will feel subjective to how well you treat the headphones. Read our latest guide about the best bluetooth headphones under 50.
Comfort varies from unit to unit. Good budget headphones might turn out to be more comfortable than the more expensive based on design quirks, headband size, individual head size. The material of earcups is another determinant of comfort. Usually protein leather of affordable headphones tend to be hotter than the leather earpads of more expensive earpads. Velour earpads are the best of the lot and provide plenty of airflow. But velour is common in moderately-priced and pricier headphones.
Affordable headphones: Buying Guide
To get maximum value for your money, you can prioritize the factors that affect the overall experience of using a headphone. Here’s how you can get the best deal:
Type: You can have in-ear, over-ear and on-ear headphones under $50. The in-ear headphones are more common and scale more quality-wise within the $50 price range. However, headphones have larger drivers which can chug out better detail and isolation at the same price. We have covered only on-ear and over-ear headphones in this post.
Sound: Everyone has their own preferences of sound. Some like bass-heavy, while others may go for balanced, delicate audio. This changes with the genres you listen to most often. EDM fans will like a bass-focused audio signature while the classical fans will look for a balanced sound with detailed mids. Most of the affordable headphone have a slight bass and treble peak to make the audio sound more energetic. Casual listeners can make do with decent amount of detailing as a compromise. That being said, the bass shouldn’t be noticeably boomy or have harsh highs. This will create audio fatigue and muddy the audio.
Comfort: Most people use affordable headphones for everyday use. So comfort over long hours of use is a strict requirement. Since most ecommerce sites allow returns, you can try on headphones and return them if you they don’t fit well. All headphones may not fit everyone well. So this requires personal trial.
Build Quality: Even budget headphones are expected to last, especially if you don’t have deep pockets. While you might not get the best build, you can avoid common design fails. Even headphones under $50 might be reinforced at the critical points like where headband expands. Metal-infused designs are not unheard of even in this price range.
Wired/Wireless: There are both wired and wireless headphones available in this price range. Wired headphones are the safer option since Bluetooth malfunction can be extremely annoying. We often hear complaints of Bluetooth completely failing in cheaper headphones. The best headphones under $50 are a mixed bag of wired and wireless since reliable manufacturers make excellent Bluetooth headphones.
Brand: Usually reliable brands maintain excellent quality throughout their price range: a trademark of Sennheiser. Yet, the under-$50 price range has a number of newer manufacturers who specialize in bringing excellent value for money.
Microphonics: This is a concern with the wired budget headphones. Their cables exhibit cable noise when they rub against your clothes. This is a constant issue if you travel with these everyday headphones. It’s best to buy
headphones with minimum microphonics or use a cable clip to restrict movement.
Which are the best headphones under $50?
We sorted through the abundant market of affordable cans to find the best headphones under $50. These were ranked based on:
Audio Quality: We refused to compromise completely with audio quality. As a result, we found some excellent headphones that maintained the integrity of audio in spite of the price. These have a good balance of energy and detailing and avoid the common pitfalls like sibilance and noticeable bass bleed.
Durability: We carefully examined the build quality to understand whether these will last. We checked that even if the build was all plastic, the material used is high grade and likely to last longer. We put them through our normal day-stress test to understand their longevity.
Comfort: We want comfortable headphones for daily use. We checked the comfort levels of the best headphones under $50 on a variety of head shapes and sizes. We tested the earpads, the headband with adjustment and long-term effect on the head.
Features: Other features like Bluetooth connectivity, detachable cables, inline controls also added brownie points to their profile.
TOP 15 BEST HEADPHONES UNDER 50 IN 2018
Sennheiser HD201 has been around for more than a decade. But it’s unbeatable for the price in terms of audio quality and comfort. Sennheiser is famous for maintaining a balanced and enjoyable audio response through their price spectrum. And HD201 is a clear example of this. These might not be the most attractive pick of the lot, but they are excellent performers. They have been our reserved pick for the best headphones under $50 list.
Design and Features
The Sennheiser HD201 over-ear headphones pack all their substance into a simplistic design. It will work out with both professional and casual looks. The body is completely back with silver-colored backplates on the earcups. The ear pieces are racetrack oval and large enough to completely cover the moderate and large ears. The earpads are plush and soft. They are reasonably deep so the ears can nestle inside. The ear cushions are sheathed in protein leather which is soft on the ears. The earpads are replaceable too, so in case the leatherette wears off you can replace them. The headband also has cranial padding that cushions the impact.
These budget headphones are extremely lightweight. The weight may make them feel a tad rickety but they have survived multiple drops from our hand. The upside is that you can put them on and forget they are there. The earcups swivel forward a bit to adapt to the shape of your head. The cable of these Sennheiser headphones connect to both earcups as with most older headphones. The cord extends 10 feet long. It terminates in a 3.5mm plug. It is shipped with a 6.3mm plug which allows you to plug it into studio equipment.
The Sennheiser HD201 are over-ear headphones that sound pleasant, no matter what the genre. They remind us of the Momentums in their ability to do justice to all kinds of songs, though they don’t have the dynamism of these high-end Sennheisers. The HD201 shows remarkable stability and consistency in its tonal quality. They are balanced across bass, mids and highs. The bass is clean and agile for the price. Unlike most headphones in this price range, they don’t boost bass or spill bass into mids.
The mids are presented with clarity and transparency in a reasonably large soundstage. Being a closed-back headphone, the soundstage is intimate. The treble has a bit of a bite that pumps energy into the audio but it rarely sounds harsh. Overall the audio sounds very natural with no boominess or sibilance that we expect at the price. One small caveat though, these aren’t noise isolating. They let a fair amount of ambient noise through although not as much as the open-back headphones. In spite of their pros and cons are highly competent headphones for the money.
- Lightweight but highly durable
- Balanced audio
- Clear and transparent mids
- Good soundstage
- Long cord
- Low noise isolation
The Mpow H1 are one of their latest Bluetooth headphones. Their direct competition is the hugely popular Mpow 059. These are two very different animals. Being big fans of balanced, we chose the H1 over the 059. This lightweight and comfy design pumps out excellent audio over a wireless connection. The robust battery life and the wired connection option also helps its street cred. It takes a well-deserved place in the best headphones under $50 list.
Design and Features
The Mpow H1 Bluetooth headphones have a more conservative design than the 059s but these avoid the trap of fingerprint magnets. The earcups have a matte finish and the headband is sheathed completely in vinyl. The headband is amply padded and slim. It is finished in stitching work with a contrast color on the underside. The earcups are racetrack oval and sit around the ears. They are topped with cushy cushions which are deep enough to surround moderate-sized ears. The only problem we faced is that these look relatively dorky compared to Sony MDRXB450AP.
The arms of these budget headphones can be folded inwards for portability. They make a much more compact package than the Mpow 059. They also weigh 1 ounce less at 8 ounces compared to the 9-ounce 059s. These connect wirelessly to the playback sources. They works through 20 hours of playback per charge. The range of this connection is 33 feet. It can also connect to the source via a 3.5mm male-male audio cable when the power runs out. It comes with a nice microfiber pouch for travel. The H1 is also equipped with a mic which can be used to make calls. Do note though that the mic only works in the wireless mode.
We were impressed by Mpow H1 Bluetooth headphone’s ability to pair quickly with our sources. We were pleasantly surprised to find that these stay connected in a larger range than the stipulated 33 feet. The H1 are very mature in their audio response. They have a very even and balanced response. A casual listener or even somewhat of an audiophile will love the sound for all genres. The bass is present in punchy quantities. It adds substance to every genre. It never gets pushy or bleed into the mids much. The midrange is clean and detailed. You can enjoy classical and jazz with decent depth and detailing. The treble also shows good amount of details and bite without any harshness. These headphones are easy on the ears both sonically and physically.
- Super lightweight
- 20-hour battery life
- Works in wired mode
- Balanced and clean audio
- Look dorky on the head
The JVC HARX700 are a pair of audiophile headphones on a budget. Though they might not be down the alley of every user, they will delight the people who want refined audio and don’t mind the audiophiliac design. These are supremely comfortable and wired for convenience. They are favored for at-home use because of their long cord and relatively clunky design. These go straight into our best headphones under $50 list.
Design and Features
The JVC HARX700 headphones are designed like the AKG headphones that music-enthusiasts love. They have a suspension-type headband. A wide fabric headband sits directly on the head and distributes the weight evenly. A secondary piece of stocky wire holds the ear pieces together. This system creates a self-adjusting headband that doesn’t require any fiddling to fit on your head. The main headband can be adjusted for larger head sizes. The earcups are round. They are mounted with cushy pads which surround the ears. These headphones weigh over 11 ounces but the headband and lavish cushions make them one of the most comfy units in this price range. The earpads are mounted on
These affordable headphones have the cable connected to a single earcup. This cable extends 11.5 feet long and is lengthy enough to reach all kinds of audio equipment. It also comes with a 6.3mm adapter to plug into studio gear. The bulk and the length of the cable are clear indicators that these are to be used at home or in a studio. They do not fold for portability either. They are closed-back headphones too, so suited to the studio.
The JVC HARX700 headphones are amazing sounding from an audiophile point of view. They compared favorably with many headphones twice its price. They have a clean and precise audio. They reminded us of Sony MDR7506. They are just as musical and almost as precise. But HARX700 is warmer and more enjoyable. It works well with all genres although it might not have the bass that a casual listener likes.
These budget headphone offer oomphy but tight bass. The midrange is clear and transparent. The treble is sweet and defined. It sounds fun and it’s more forgiving on the recordings compared to Sony MDR7506. The 7506 is very revealing which is great for monitoring. But the HARX700 is better suited for reveling in the music. The audio sounds consistent after a burn-in period. So we recommend reserving your judgment on these until then.
- Very comfortable
- Self-adjusting band
- Warm, balanced audio
- Very long single-sided cable
- Not portable
Mpow has become a trusted brand in the affordable audio gear space. They pack some excellent features along with somewhat stylish designs. The Mpow 059 is a gorgeous Bluetooth headphone that comes at a budget. The multipoint connection caters to all your important devices at a time. This is a high portable unit with solid bass for all genres. The high value for money lands it in the best headphones under $50 list.
Design and Features
The Mpow 059 Bluetooth headphones are a handsome pair. The construction is mostly lightweight but sturdy plastic. The headband is slides on steel bands that extend if you have a bigger head. The steel bands also reinforce the structure. The arms of the headband fold to reduce the footprint of these headphones by half. This makes them easier to pack and take around. The glossy finish of the headphones is a fingerprint magnet. There’s padding along the crown. The earcups are racetrack oval. The earpads are made of memory foam which adapts to the shape of your head. These are sheathed in pleather. The large earpads are circumaural and sit comfortably around the ears. The drivers are covered in mesh which allows better air circulation.
These budget headphones can connect wirelessly via Bluetooth. The Bluetooth range is 30 feet. It can connect to two devices at a point and play based on priority. The new updated design can chug out 20 hours on a single charge as opposed to the older model which averaged 13-15 hours playback time. It takes 4 hours to charge to full. When it runs out of charge, it can be connected via a 3.5mm male-male cable to the source. A USB charging cable and a 3.5mm audio cable is supplied with the package. These are available in 7 color combinations.
First off, the Mpow 059 Bluetooth headphones block a good amount of noise. They only have passive noise cancellation, but the large cups and fitment filter out more noise than the Sennheiser HD201. The Bluetooth connection holds strong within the 30-feet range as long as its line of sight. If you have walls in between the source and the headphone, the range might reduce but the connection stays non-choppy.
These affordable headphones went for a balanced audio. The bass is well-defined but never pushy. It packs plenty of punch for the popular genres like rock and jazz. The midrange is clear and devoid of any bleed from the bass. The treble is smooth and decently detailed. It also has a mic which can be used to make calls. The call quality was surprisingly clear in our tests.
- 20-hour battery life
- Balanced audio with good bass
- Works in wired mode
- Charging issues in some pieces
Sony has been known for designing hi-fidelity balanced headphones. But in the past few years, it has actively played to the interests of bassheads as well. The MDRXB450AP is one such on-ear headphone. It has all the essentials: portability, mic and looks. Being a Sony headphone, it doles out bass with some definition instead of an onslaught of muddiness. For those of us who value bass, this is one of the best headphones under $50.
Design and Features
Sony invests in incredibly smart designs. The MDRXB450AP headphones barely look their price on the surface. They have a sleek headband attached to circular earcups. These are very low-profile headphones in that they don’t stick out from your ears like the Mpow 059. They look classier when worn too. Only trade-off is that they are on-ear headphones so they sit on the ears rather than around them. They feel more ventilated than the over-ears. The ear pieces are mounted with cushy earpads. They headphone is pretty light so these put very little pressure on your ears. The earcups fold flat for easy portability.
The cable of these affordable headphones is connected to both the ear pieces. The cable is flat and serrated. This prevents tangles and looks incredibly sporty. The AP version comes with an inline control and mic. So these can be your everyday headphones for music and mic. The earcups can swivel forward a bit in their yokes to adapt to the shape of your head. These come in 5 different colors, each one glossier and classier than the next.
The Sony MDRXB450AP are Extra Bass headphones. And Sony delivers on that promise. There’s plenty of bass here to satisfy even the hardcore bassheads. For the price, they offer pretty good quality of bass along with the quantity. It doesn’t get noticeably boomy and maintains the ace of balanced bass. We liked to rock our EDM and Techno tracks on these. Within the budget, they manage to pump out as much bass as they can without sounding distorted at high volumes.
The midrange of these budget headphones are affected by the bass boost. They are less transparent than the mids of balanced headphones like HD201. People who like their bass might not notice the difference much. The treble is smooth and without any sibilance at high volumes. The audio is geared towards people with an active lifestyle who need bass to keep the energy up. The MDRXB450AP sound solid enough for them. The relative lack of midrange clarity is barely noticed during commutes or workouts.
- Classy looks
- Plenty of bass
- Reasonably well-defined bass
- Folds flat
- Midrange is recessed
Panasonic is one of the name brands that sells headphones for throwaway prices just like the unknown and shady brands. The difference is that the Panasonic headphones are pretty reliable. The RPHT161 is one such pick for extremely low budgets. These offer good build quality, plenty of volume range and decently detailed audio. The clear audio at this price impressed us enough to put it on the best headphones under $50 list.
Design and Features
Panasonic RPHT161 over-ear headphones have a simple, unassuming design which actually makes it hard to guess its price. The entire structure is plastic and extremely lightweight. The headband has a slotted design that allows ventilation and keeps your head cool. The earcups are round and sit around the ears rather than over them. They are mounted with plush pads and leatherette sheaths. They are very comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. The fitment is also compact on the head, as in it doesn’t stick out from the ears. These headphones are also available in on-the-ear design.
These budget headphones have their cable connected to both ear pieces. This is a 6.5-feet long cord that’s long enough to give you some moving-around space from your desk. We do wish that it was a single-sided design though. The unit is pretty durable with users getting 1-2 years out of it even with regular use. The leatherette cover on the earpads is likely to peel off after a bit but it’s otherwise very sturdy. The RPHT161 is great value for money in terms of comfort and durability.
The Panasonic RPHT161 over-ear headphones don’t cost enough to be critiqued from an audiophile point of view. But they satisfy even the audiophile souls. Some testing showed that they had excellent tonal balance and EQ characteristics. The audio quality is great for the price. There’s plenty of bass, decent vocals and smooth highs. It doesn’t get overtly boomy or sibilant. The audio quality is nothing to write home about but for the price, its way better than we expected. It has excellent volume range for most people.
These affordable headphones don’t just satisfy the minimum requirements audio-wise, they exceed them with a large enough soundstage and ability to play all genres without distortion.
- Highly affordable
- Light and comfortable
- Balanced beautiful audio
- 5-feet long wire
The Edifier H840 bang so big for the buck that they land right in our best headphones under $50 list. These are basic headphones with no bells and whistles. But Edifier managed to make them look reasonably classy and capable of handling any kind of music. These warm and dynamic headphones can deliver a stellar performance with any genre. We tested them with a number of genres and equipment.
Design and Features
The Edifier H840 over-ear headphones look classy in their understated design. If you can think beyond black, they have some really elegant color combinations like beige/tan and blue/black. The design is simple and functional. The headband is moderately slim and thick. The earcups are racetrack oval and sit around the ears. The headphones are very light at approximately 7 ounces. The earcups are mounted with cushy pads. They also swivel forward a bit in the yoke to hug your head. The headband is padded along the crown for comfort.
The band of these budget headphones can be extended to fit larger heads. The earcups fold flat for portability or to simply hang around your neck when not in use. A 6.5 feet long cable is permanently attached to both the earcups. The cord isn’t too thick but it holds up to regular abuse. In the black color, you can choose between models that come with or without mic. The one with mic has a single-button inline control that works with both Android and Apple phones.
The Edifier H840 over-ear headphones dazzled with their audio response. Again, these are balanced headphones. But they borrow another trait of higher-end headphones. These sound dynamic in their presentation. They are lively and kicking, thanks to their punchy bass. They have a powerful bass impact without sounding very boomy except at the highest volumes or while playing bass-heavy songs.
The midrange is relatively clear given the power of bass. It just sounded very full and articulate because of the lower registers. The mids are a bit recessed compared to the more neutral headphones. But the H840 sound fun. They bring out the emotions of the song rather than the technicality. These are excellent gear for TV and gaming as well. The bass in itself will appeal to the gamers. The large earcups also offered great noise isolation. So these ended up sounding more full and rich.
- Elegant design
- Balanced and dynamic audio
- Powerful bass
- Inline control should be available on all colors
LyxPro HAS10 closed-back headphones are designed for studio monitoring and they are not kidding. Even at its price point, this is a solid device with durable build and excellent sonic character. Although it might not score in the style department, it has all the bells and whistles to be useful to music producers and DJs. It checks all the boxes of comfort, sturdiness and audio response. What more can we ask of one of the best headphones under $100.
Design and Features
LyxPro HAS10 studio headphones look like they mean business. The internal frame is done in stainless steel. The body is all black with thin silver highlights on the backplates of the earcups. The headband is broad but only moderately thick. It is padded from ear to ear and finished with visible stitches. The earcups are racetrack oval and completely rotatable. They can swing to one side for single-sided monitoring. The earcups are mounted with plush padding and sheathed in leather. HAS10 is much sturdier than the price demands and is up for all the abuse doled out in the studio.
These budget headphones have the cable attached to the right ear piece. Single-sided cable made handling and DJing more convenient. This is a 3m cable that’s immune to tangling. The headphones themselves weigh 10.4 ounces, a weight that is distributed along the wide headband. A screw-on 6.3mm adapter is included with the pack. The earpads are replaceable too. This again adds to the life of the headphones.
The LyxPro HAS10 studio headphones have doled out impressively balanced audio. The bass is punchy and tight. It works with agility so the attack is fast. If you are playing a bass-heavy song, it will play with quantity and quality. The bass doesn’t bleed into mids as a result. You can always pump more bass power with some simple equalizing. The highs are smooth and defined.
The EQ curve of these affordable headphones is close to flat and quite consistent. We had no trouble getting the audio response to behave the way we want with the right EQ. The volume range is plenty wide so it suits all your monitoring and music-blaring needs. The HAS10 also treated the MP3 and other lossy formats well compared to the highly revealing headphones. We could hear the discrepancies but they weren’t jarring.
- Audiophile audio
- Folds flat
- Single-sided monitoring
- Clean sound with tight bass
- Long cable
Monoprice Premium Hi-Fi DJ headphones are designed with premium focus on the audio. These may look like a workhorse but they perform beautifully. Monoprice has many similar models with different sound signatures and noise-cancelling, all in a similar price range. We picked the Hi-Fi DJ version because it has a more versatile and substantial audio signature than the rest. It goes straight into our best headphones under $50 list.
Design and Features
Monoprice Premium Hi-Fi DJ headphones look simple in their all-black design. The earcups are large and racetrack oval. They lean forward and hug your ears for perfect fitment. The earcups are padded with lavish cushions that sit around the ears rather than on them. These are sheathed in leather. The earpads are replaceable. You can use the popular Brainwavz earpads to get the best out of it. The headband is broad and padded at the crown. Although they look clunky, they are very comfortable for long hours of continuous use. The headband is extendable enough to take fit larger heads.
These affordable headphones also distinguish themselves with detachable cables. There are two cables: an 11.5-foot thick cable for professional use and a 50-inch thinner cable. These are both 3.5mm male – male cables that connect to a single side. A 6.3mm adapter is also provided to connect to the studio equipment. There’s only one 3.5mm jack here so you can’t daisy chain these headphones. You can easily replace the cables and use one with an inline mic and control. A Bluetooth model of these is also available.
Monoprice Premium Hi-Fi DJ headphones do not disappoint from the audio aspect either. As DJ headphones, they pump plenty of bass into the audio response. We found that we could dance along with their audio presentation, it got so lively. The upbeat audio sounded even better because of the excellent noise isolation it offered. The ANC versions cut down the ambient noise by running a reverse noise signal and also boost the bass a bit.
We didn’t find the bass muddying the mids. The vocals played clearly and with enough space between the instruments. The highs are pleasant and without any harshness. The sound profile is V-shaped so the mids sound a tad bit recessed. But they serve the purpose of everyday commuter and DJs well and remain loud and rich well above the ambient noise.
- 2 Detachable cables
- Full and warm audio
- Replaceable earbuds
- Available in ANC and Bluetooth models also
- Stock pads may need to be replaced
The August EP650 are one very user-friendly pair of Bluetooth headphones. These are rather stylish and have all the bells and whistles that earn them a place in the best headphones under $50 list. The audio quality is not top-notch but it is helped by apt-X which improves the quality of Bluetooth playback. The multipoint connectivity and multiple connectivity options also helps its street cred.
Design and Features
The August EP650 Bluetooth headphones look classy in their muted gold and silver models. They are available in 4 other colors too including a fiery maroon. The headband is slim and broad. It is padded in the crown area for a comfortable fit. The earcups are rectangular with rounded edges. They sit around even large-sized ears. They are mounted with lavish cushions and sheathed in pleather. The arms of the headband fold to pack them away in a compact manner. The plastic material of these cans are of good quality. Unlike some Beats headphones, they can be beat up with regular use.
These affordable headphones connect wirelessly via multi-point Bluetooth v4.1. These are updated versions and bring more details into the playback. They can also connect via NFC by simply bumping into another NFC-enabled device. It has a button pad on the back of the earcup. These can also be connected via a 3.5mm male-male cable. This includes a multifunctional button, volume navigation keys and track navigation keys. We like that track control is this easy. This has an integrated mic for making calls.
For all the features they pack, the August EP50 Bluetooth headphones have a decent audio response. They have plenty of bass, good midrange clarity and smooth treble. They might not blow you away but given all their features and potential for casual use, they have good dynamism. They last 2-3 years easily with good handling and this again contributes to their value for money.
The Bluetooth connection remains strong within the 30 feet range. We didn’t have any issues with choppy connection.
- Bluetooth and NFC
- Comprehensive button pad
- Works in wired mode too
- Decent audio
- Only 10-hour battery life
The Sony MDRZX110NC is an exceptionally useful unit for daily commuters, office workers with little privacy and occasional fliers. These are compact and stylish and offer a hint of noise cancelling too. Their portable package is very popular amongst people taking occasional vacations who do not want to splurge of costly Bose headphones. These got a straight flight into our best headphones under $50 list.
Design and Features
The Sony MDRZX110NC active noise-cancelling headphones look pretty similar to the MDRXB450AP. These have an on-ear design too. The earcups are small and round. They sit on the ears and not around it. The headband is flat and moderately wide. It’s not padded because the light weight of the unit does not demand it. The earcups are mounted with squishy round earpads. These sit snug but don’t press the ears too hard. The headband can be extended to fit large noggins. It also folds at the arms for easy packing.
These budget headphones depend on AAA batteries for their active noise cancellation. There’s a button on the left earcup to power this function on and off. They chug out a battery life of 80 hours, so you wouldn’t need to replace batteries that often. The cable is connected to both the earcups. Do note that since these aren’t over-ear headphones, they will offer little passive noise cancelation when the ANC is not on.
The Sony MDRZX110NC headphones feature ANC. This is nothing compared to the powerful radio silence of Bose headphones. Yet they dull down the low-frequency noise although vocals and high-pitch noises get through. This is very useful in office environments where you want to mute the general chatter but still want to catch conversation directed at you. Sony goes for a V-shaped signature here. The bass and treble are slightly elevated and help keep the ambient noise down. The vocals are clear but slightly recessed. We liked the audio for the price although the
- Lightweight and compact
- 80 hour AAA battery life
- Enjoyable audio
- ANC could be stronger
The Skullcandy Uproar are your basic Bluetooth headphones to wear to gym or everyday life. These are pretty compact and almost disappear from your conscience once worn. Many fitness freaks find solace in the familiar audio of Skullcandy, strong bass powerful punch. These are liked enough to be on the best headphones under $50 list.
Design and Features
The Skullcandy Uproar is a funky and small headphone. Being an on-ear design, it has small round earcups. These are topped with cushy flat earpads with holes for ventilation. These allow proper airflow while you workout. The on-ear design also helps keep your ears cool. The slim headband has optimal padding at the crown. The headphones are super lightweight and they barely press down on the ears. They are available in 8 colors. Some like red and orange are glamorous. These headphones sit snug on the head and do not stick out near the ears. So they are pretty low-profile.
These budget headphones connect wirelessly via Bluetooth. The standard range is 33 feet. It has the volume navigation and multifunctional button on the rim of the right earcup. These buttons are done in contrast and are raised from the surface, so they are easy to operate in the blind. A mic is integrated into the design so you can also makes calls on the go. The batter lasts through 10 hours of life per charge.
The Skullcandy Uproar pumps out solid bass for workouts and an active lifestyle. Skullcandy is famously infamous for bass boosting. But in this case it actually works in their favor. People who work out or commute in a noisy environment will appreciate the extra bass. This keeps the audio from sounding tinny or thin at all volumes. Although compact, these headphones can churn out a good volume range.
- Punchy bass
- Stylish and low profile
- Funky colors
- Compact and lightweight
- Bassy not clean
The JVC HARX330 headphones have been around a long time. But they have garnered enough praise to stay visible in a market suffocated with new offerings in the under-$50 price range. These are meant mostly for at-home listening and is geared towards enjoying music that everyday commute. They are comfortable and invest is great audio quality over style. Their performance earns them a place in the best headphones under $50 list.
Design and Features
The JVC HARX330 headphones get no brownie points for design. This a function-over-form situation where the HARX330 focuses on audio and comfort. That being said, these look pretty neutral for any situation. The headband itself is slotted at the top along the crown. This improves air circulation in these areas. The earcups are round. They swing forward to hug your ears. They have deep earpads sheathed in pleather. We don’t like the pleather quality for the way it wears off with daily use but it’s very comfortable.
The cable of these budget headphones connects to both the earcups. This is a 2.5m long cord that can easily reach and plug into studio equipment. The portion over the Y-junction is pretty thin but it held up to regular use.
The JVC HARX330 headphones offer excellent noise isolation. This in itself improves the audio quality. The bass game is strong with this one. It has rumbling bass which pulses through the song with impact. It might not be the best quality that headphones can offer but it works for a casual music lover. The midrange and treble are clear and crisp. They work well with games and movies too. The bass can get boomy at higher volumes but at moderate volumes it adds body to the audio. The good amount of bass ensures that the audio remains audible through the ambient noise.
- Powerful bass
- Reasonably detailed
- Long cable
- Headband could do with some padding
The Behringer HPX2000 are DJ headphones that look and sound that part. These are built like a beast. They look pretty bold in their design too, just like something a DJ might want to wear. The audio is supported by great bass and clarity across the board. This is perfect best headphones under $50 list material.
Design and Features
The Behringer HPX2000 headphones look pretty racy in their black and silver design. The headband is all black with the Behringer label in bold black. It has a lot of give so it can stretch to fit a head of any size. Like most DJ headphones, these are designed to stand out. The joints of the yoke and the extension bands of the headband are in silver. The earcups are completely silver with what looks like vents. The headband and the earcups have plush padding. The earcups are large and mounted with deep earpads such that even large ears fit into them.
These budget headphones have a single-sided cable fortunately. This is permanently attached to the right earcup. It terminates in a 3.5mm jack. A 6.3mm screw-on adapter is also provided with the pack. Although robust, we recommend treating them well and especially avoid stress at the joint along the arms of the headband.
The Behringer HPX2000, being DJ headphones, respect bass in their own way. There’s plenty of punch here without making the bass overwhelming or bleed into the midrange. They don’t hit the sub bass notes like the higher headphones do. But they don’t try to cover that up by bloating the bass. The mids have a good presence and the high are smooth. They are pretty balanced for DJ monitoring.
The HPX2000 is not particularly noise isolating, possibly because of the grille at the back. They do offer up a slightly better soundstage than the completely closed-back headphones. They sound much better than what you would expect from this price.
- Stylish design
- Balanced sound with good bass
- Single-sided cable
- Bendable arms
- Could be more durable
Koss Porta Pros have been on the market for decades but they are still the favorites because of their brilliant rhythm. They are the audiophile pick of this price range. Their comfortable design has also gained antique value during the current decade. The Porta Pros make a worthy close to the best headphones under $50 list.
Design and Features
The Koss Porta Pros look retro by design, not by choice. They debuted in the early 1980s. The headband is a slim metal band. The ear pieces have a maverick form with temporal zone pads that go above the ears and on-ear earpads. There are foam cushions on the round ear pieces and the zone pads. The temporal pads can tightened for a perfect fitment. The unit is very lightweight and also portable thanks to arms that fold inwards.
Since these budget headphones are truly old, they go for the double-sided thin cable. It terminates in a standard 3.5mm jack.
The rhythmic uniformity of Koss Porta Pro is the chief reason they have been around as long as they have. They sound so spot-on musically that audiophiles and casual listeners alike can appreciate the upgrade from cheaper headphones. They have a deep and extended bass that throws quality in with quantity. This bass makes for a full and rich audio. The midrange is clean and transparent for the amount of bass supporting it. The treble is sweet and sparkling. This remains one of Koss’ most musical offerings.
- Retro design is pretty cool
- Fitment options
- Rhythmic and warm audio
- Lightweight and comfy
- Retro design might be for everyone