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Best Budget Wireless Earbuds 2023

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For our money, the Jabra Elite 3 are easily the best budget wireless earbuds on the market, but it's a close race. Because while some of the best wireless earbuds out there – looking at you Apple AirPods – can cost hundreds of dollars, there are plenty of affordable earbuds out there that can sound even better.

TL;DR – These are the Best Budget Wireless Earbuds:

You do lose out a little on aesthetics, though. You're not going to find many earbuds as stylish as Apple's, but if you care about sound quality above all else, you're not missing out on anything. All of the wireless earbuds on this list can be yours for under $100, and there are even some below $50. These will all still connect to all your devices, including your smartphone and gaming laptop, and you probably won't hear a difference.

To be fair, though, the world of budget wireless earbuds is vast. And with Fathers Day deals out there, it's easy to find yourself having to choose a pair out of hundreds of different options. Don't worry, though, we went ahead and picked out eight pairs of earbuds that are worth your time and money.

Jabra Elite 3

Best Budget Wireless Earbuds

Jabra Elite 3Jabra Elite 3

For under $80, you can get everything you want in a pair of wireless earbuds with Jabra’s Elite 3. They bring a well-balanced, expressive audio experience, and you can even tweak the EQ settings to find the perfect sound for your ears. Unfortunately, you don’t get noise cancellation, but the compact, comfortable earbuds do a decent job of isolating sound to minimize distractions in the outside world.

Like most earbuds, the Elite 3 pairs to your devices via a reliable Bluetooth connection and even supports the high-res aptX codec. Four microphones also ensure that your voice is crisp and clear on calls, even on windy days—or rainy ones with its IP55 dust and water resistance. While a manageable seven-hour battery life with four additional charges from the case means you should have no problem getting through workdays or long travel days.

OnePlus Nord Buds

Best Ultra Cheap Wireless Earbuds

Impressive sound, solid battery life, and an affordable price — the OnePlus Nord Buds 2 tote all this and more, making them a hard-to-beat pair of earbuds. The sizable 12.4mm drivers offer a crisp, detailed soundscape with a surprisingly booming bass to immerse yourself in the audio. Three different sound profiles enhance anything from rap to classical, so your favorite music genre is bound to be covered, while additional features can be unlocked with a OnePlus phone. And you’ll be listening for a long time thanks to the seven-hour battery life with an extra 23 hours from the case. There’s even a fast-charging feature, giving you five hours of juice in just 10 minutes.

Somehow for under $60, OnePlus has managed to design sleek, premium-looking earbuds with an ergonomic shape that are comfortable no matter how long your listening session may be. Just be prepared, as the charging case is a bit clunky to fit nicely in your pocket. To amp them up further, an IP55 rating means you can take the headphones on a rainy run or to a sweaty gym session. Bluetooth 5.2 support also makes for a simple and stable connection to all of your devices, though you aren’t getting any high-quality audio codecs. And if you plan on giving a friend a call while out on a walk or doing some grocery shopping, you’ll come across crystal clear due to the four-mic design with noise reduction.

SoundPEATS Mini Pro

Best Budget Wireless Earbuds Under $60

SoundPEATS Mini ProSoundPEATS Mini Pro

The SoundPeats Mini Pro may be small, but they’re mighty. For less than $50, you get lightweight, comfortable earbuds packing some of the latest technology, including AI noise cancellation. Now, you’re probably thinking, how great can this be in these little headphones? But they might surprise you. They manage to filter out most background noise from the engine of an airplane to the coffee shop chatter. If you need to hear the world around you, there’s an easy-to-activate transparency mode. Speaking of controls, you can also activate Smart assistants, switch tracks, adjust volume, and answer calls, all without ever picking up your smartphone. And another handy feature is the “game mode,” which decreases latency at a cost to battery life, but it’s perfect for mobile gaming.

It’s simple to get listening on the SoundPeats Mini Pro. Bluetooth 5.2 support makes for a seamless and stable connection to your devices, while AAC and AptX Adaptive codecs are on offer, so you can even rock out to your premium audio files. And the sound on these tiny earbuds is pretty great. You get crisp vocals, a powerful bass, and solid tonal balance. Though if you plan on bursting your eardrums by cranking up the volume to the max, the audio can get a bit distorted. Beyond that, the 7-hour battery life and additional three charges from the case should satisfy most.

JLab Go Air Pop

Best Wireless Earbuds Under $25

JLab Go Air PopJLab Go Air Pop

Are you looking for a pair of insanely affordable earbuds with all the basics? Look no further than the JLab Go Air Pop. First, the battery life will impress with the 8+ hours of playtime and over 24 additional hours available in the compact case, so you can enjoy listening all day at the office or during a long travel day. They’re a good workout companion, too, with a sweat-resistant IPX4 rating and lightweight, snug design.

For such a cheap pair of earbuds, the JLab Go Air Pop tote a solid audio performance. The 6mm drivers manage a decently weighty bass with nuanced vocals, though that can get lost at higher volumes. There are even three different EQ presets to choose from while listening, including a mode that pumps up the bass for a bit of heart-thumping or a more balanced sound option. And, you control those settings on-ear without a companion app. Bluetooth 5.1 support also offers a reliable and simple connection to all of your devices. So sure, these earbuds lack loads of additional features, and the call quality isn’t the best, but for under $20, they can’t be beat.

Anker Soundcore Life P3

Best Noise-Cancelling Budget Wireless Earbuds

Anker Soundcore Life P3Anker Soundcore Life P3

If you’re ready to *discreetly* tune out the rest of the world, you don’t need to snag a pair of noise-canceling headphones. The Anker Soundcore Life P3 earbuds are a perfect option for doing just that, and it helps they’re super affordable, too. These little devices offer three ANC levels — transport, indoor, and outdoor. And each one does a solid job at blocking out sound, whether it be the pesky dog barking across the street or the screeching train wheels on the way to work. And to rejoin the world, you can use one of the two transparency modes. One focuses solely on vocals, so you can ensure those around you aren't plotting something against you.

You came for the ANC, but you’ll stay for the superb audio quality and special features. The Anker Soundcore Life P3’s 11mm dynamic drivers offer a warm sound with powerful bass. However, it’s easy to further customize your audio with the Soundcore app. On it, you’ll find 22 EQ presets as well as the ability to create your own sound profiles. You can really tune these earbuds to what you’re listening to. And if you’re into mobile gaming, there’s a low latency gaming mode packed in. You’ll even be good to listen for hours thanks to the impressive six-hour battery life with ANC on and comfortable fit.

Sennheiser Sport True Wireless

Best Budget Wireless Earbuds for Working Out

Sennheiser Sport True WirelessSennheiser Sport True Wireless

Sweating it out at the gym or on a run means you need earbuds that stay in place, letting you can focus on your form. Sennheiser’s Sport True Wireless makes this a nonissue with three earbud tip size options and four different ear fins for a secure, snug fit. If they accidentally fall, these earbuds are super durable, while an IP54 rating means you can sweat it out on leg day, bike in the rain, and do beach yoga without damaging them.

Of course, we can’t forget sound quality, and the Sport True Wireless isolates sound to deliver a punchy bass and crisp highs that can be further adjusted using Sennheiser’s companion app. That app also lets you change the touch controls on the earbuds, though you already get control over playback, calls, and voice assistants with a series of taps. And connecting to them is pretty straightforward, thanks to Bluetooth 5.2, while the 9 hour battery life means they’ll be great for marathon listening sessions, literally.

EarFun Air Pro 3

Best Budget Airpods Pro Alternative

EarFun Air Pro 3EarFun Air Pro 3

Let’s say you want the Airpods Pro but don’t want to drop $200+ to get them. There are much more affordable alternatives, like the EarFun Air Pro 3. Coming in under $80, you still get noise-cancellation and touch controls in comfortable, lightweight earbuds. However, EarFun beats out the Airpods in battery life, toting nine hours of playtime with an extra 36 hours from the case that can charge up wirelessly.

Now, the EarFun Air Pro 3 can’t beat out Apple in everything. You don’t get spatial audio or that seamless in-ear detection and connection to your Apple devices thanks to the Airpods’ H1 chip. However, the Air Pro’s Bluetooth Multipoint provides a simple and stable connection to two devices simultaneously and supports the high-res aptX codec. And when it comes to sound, it’s punchy and dynamic, while you can play around further with EQ settings using an app.

SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS

Best Budget Wireless Earbuds for Audiophiles

SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HSSoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS

If you want to dip your toe in the Hi-Fi audio experience, the SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS are a great place to start. These earbuds deliver a surprisingly solid sonic experience for around $50. Their 14.2mm dynamic drivers offer a warm and dynamic sound, while app support lets you personalize EQ settings, making it simple to tune the earbuds for whatever you’re listening to. And for those looking to listen to their high-res audio files, support for the LDAC codec makes that happen.

Beyond their audio prowess, the SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS have a great design that ensures the earbuds rest comfortably in your ears with a fit similar to AirPods. They also offer in-ear detection and touch controls to keep adjustments to audio simple. Unfortunately, there’s no noise-canceling tech, and the battery life could be better with only around five hours of listening time, depending on the audio files playing.

Before You Buy: What to Look for in Wireless Earbuds

Before you go out and grab a new pair of earbuds, there are a few important factors to consider when making a purchase. You don’t want to just get whatever is cheapest or looks the coolest, as this could end up costing you more in the long run. Instead, think about what you’re using them for. Do you want a pair with enough battery life to last a cross-country flight and then some? How about something that stays in place during a run? Below we go over what to look for in wireless earbuds before making that final purchase.

(No-Brainer) Bluetooth

It’s hard to have wireless earbuds without Bluetooth support. The Bluetooth of yesteryear is long gone, and with each iteration comes more stable and reliable connections. All of your devices should support Bluetooth, so it’s super easy to get connected. If you ever find the wireless connection cutting out, just move your source (tablet, laptop, phone, ect.) closer to the earbuds, and your problem should be solved.

Codecs

Also, with Bluetooth comes the support of different codecs. Certain codecs support higher resolution audio, making your music sound a whole lot more nuanced. SBC is the most common, but it only plays more compressed audio files. AAC is similar, and that along with SBC are your only codec options available for Apple products. However, if you’re an Android user, more codecs are supported including aptX and LDAC for a less compressed and stellar sound experience.

Battery

Battery life may be one of the biggest determiners of the earbuds to purchase. When you go wireless, you lose the wired convenience of never worrying about a charge. Luckily, even though they’re tiny, earbuds still offer a decent amount of playtime. Of our options, the longest battery life is an impressive nine hours, so they’re perfect to use during a workday or on a long flight. The lowest is five hours (with ANC on), and that’s still plenty for most. Some even tote a fast charging feature to ensure you don’t miss out on too much listening time. And of course, you always get several extra charges from the case.

Size and Fit

If you decide to buy some new earbuds, you want to make sure they fit. Nothing’s worse than opening everything up and putting them in, only to find they’re too big (or too small) to fit in your ears. To ensure this doesn’t happen, grab earbuds that offer different ear tip size options. This way, you get a snug fit that helps with sound isolation, too. Some even offer a hook or flap to ensure your headphones stay in place. This is most helpful to those looking to use them during high-intensity activities, like trail runs or bike rides.

Water Resistant

Sometimes you may find yourself in a rainy drizzle or dripping sweat during an intense gym session. If that’s the case, you want earbuds that can handle the occasional splash. An IPX4 rating or above should have you covered in most cases. The majority of earbuds are only rated for water resistance and not dust. Therefore, the last number in the IPX rating is the one that really matters.

There are so many wireless earbuds to choose from, so we hope these top picks and buying advice can help you narrow down the best cheap wireless earbuds for you.

What is the Best AirPods Alternative?

If you’re deep in the Apple ecosystem, chances are good you’ve purchased or at least considered purchasing AirPods, whether that’s the original AirPods or AirPods Pro. These earbuds are known for their decent battery life, great sound, touch controls, and simple, painless connection to all your Apple devices. Some AirPods also offer the option of a handy wireless charging case and deliver next-level spatial audio. The two generations of the AirPods Pro even add active noise cancellation into the mix, making the AirPods lineup very alluring. The only downfall is AirPods are expensive and not as Android-friendly.

Here are a few budget-oriented AirPod alternatives and their features. Some of which we also discuss deeper up above.

  • EarFun Air Pro 3 – active noise cancellation, transparency modes, wireless charging case, touch controls, great battery life, multipoint connectivity
  • Anker Soundcore Life P3 – active noise cancellation, wireless charging case, touch controls, great battery life
  • JBL Live Free 2 – noise cancellation, touch controls, great battery life
  • SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS – touch controls, good battery life

Danielle Abraham is a freelance writer and unpaid music historian.

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