Earbud prices can run all over the place — and unfortunately, the ones you typically hear about most often are super expensive. Still, there are some great budget options out there, such as the Anker Soundcore Life P3, which offer superb sound quality, exceptional comfort, and solid app support. But besides those, we've done the research and gathered some of the best cheap true wireless earbuds for any style and budget.
These are the best cheap true wireless earbuds for any budget
There's no doubt that the Creative Outlier Pro are some of the very best true wireless earbuds you can buy. Still, if you're looking for something different, we felt Anker's Soundcore Life P3 stood out as effective alternatives in our review. They have ANC and a comfortable design that should work for most ears. The IPX5 rating doesn't make them all that rugged, so you will have to be careful, but there's a lot to like about how these earbuds perform.
They have larger drivers that kick out really good audio quality, with deep bass and lively highs that are an impressive package at this price. Creative holds an edge in overall sound quality, but these are more than capable of serenading your ears and are better at nullifying background sounds. Unlike Creative's pair, these have ANC, and it's surprisingly good for budget buds.
It's also nice to have the Soundcore app to alter the sound through the equalizer, or make other adjustments. A sturdy Bluetooth connection and effective mics also keep phone calls going when you need them to.
Rounding out the experience is decent battery life, at up to six hours of playback with ANC on (seven with it off) and another 28 hours in the case, keeping the audio going for a reasonable amount of time. Those numbers are also relative to volume levels, so keep pumping it up and you're not going to crack those higher battery numbers.
It's hard to beat the Outlier Pro on battery life, which was easy to confirm when we reviewed them. Even compared to the best wireless earbuds, they outperform most with up to 10 hours of audio playback per charge at default volume — and with ANC on. Add another three charges in the case, and you've got about 40 hours of total listening time. Leave ANC off and it goes up to 60 hours.
While the premise behind these is similar to Creative's other Outlier models, including the Outlier Air V3, albeit with a more unique design. You do get good passive isolation to preserve as much of the bass and soundstage as possible. Unfortunately, Creative chose not to include aptX codec support, but you do get some other goodies to make up for that.
Creative's companion app offers some decent settings, including a pretty long list of equalizer presets that even includes some popular video games. Switch between four levels of ANC and Ambient mode, and there's a Low Latency mode ideal for shows, movies, or games.
While Creative did throw in its excellent Super X-Fi technology again, it still doesn't work with most content that would benefit from it. For example, you can only apply it to its music and video files stored on your device, rather than something you would stream.
Our next pick are the Jabra Elite 4, and for all the reasons we pointed out in our review. The beauty of these is that Jabra took much from its more mid-range and premium earbuds and found ways to integrate them here. For a higher-end earbud experience without the outrageous price tag, these could be an excellent fit.
To start, the Elite 4 are molded similarly to those other pairs, ensuring the fit is sturdy and comfortable. The tighter seal does wonders for passive isolation, which only serves to elevate the effectiveness of the onboard ANC. Go through the personalized test in the Sound+ app and you can tailor the noise cancelation to your preferences. All told, these buds perform well in blocking out ambience considering what they cost.
They also sound good, where you can also use the app's EQ to customize the tuning to your liking. It's great for switching things up based on genre, and you get the benefit of support for the aptX codec. Interestingly, though, AAC isn't supported — basically the only Jabra earbuds that don't. On top of all that, phone calls come in clearer.
Physical button controls prove to be very reliable, as is battery life, which actually outperforms Jabra's own estimates. You won't get wireless charging from the case, but USB-C charging is quick enough to get you back up and running.
Back Bay Audio Tempo 30
Best for tight budgets
Back Bay Audio hails from Boston, and its main claim to fame is offering more for a lot less. The Tempo 30 are ready to play, focusing mainly on two key areas to stand out: First is the audio quality, which prioritizes bass — hardly a surprise for a pair of inexpensive buds — yet offers other ways to listen, too. Bass Mode is, as it implies, pushing the lows to rumble more for a deeper sound profile. There's also a Game Mode that reduces lag to make audio and video sync up better when playing games or watching shows and movies.
Getting the right sound is easier when you have no less than six different ear tips to choose from, and their smaller size should fit most ears relatively easily. Despite the audio focus, there are no extras, like ANC or ambient sound, so you won't have any way to block outside noise. With a tight seal, though, you do get pretty good passive noise isolation.
Touch controls aren't bad, all things considered, and you will have to learn how to consistently switch between modes, but otherwise, these earbuds are pretty straightforward. The second thing that makes them stand out is the IPX7 water resistance. So if you want cheaper buds to work out or run in, these may be right up your alley. Just don't go swimming with them.
And battery life? The Tempo 30 can go up to eight hours per charge, depending on volume levels, with the case adding another 24 hours. So you can charge them up via USB-C pretty quickly, except there's no way to fast charge them in a pinch.
If you're reading this and have no idea what Soundpeats is, don't fret. It's a relatively small and obscure company creating top-notch audio gear since 2010. When it comes to cheap true wireless earbuds, one of the best options comes from Soundpeats.
Looking at the Mini Pro, we liked a lot of things about them off the bat in our review. These earbuds sound better than their price would indicate, for starters, thanks to 10mm drivers that really do turn out good audio playback. Turn on ANC, and performance improves, helping round out a solid package. Comfort is pretty good, though their size isn't as sleek as others are, so you may find them sticking out a bit more.
Battery life isn't bad at up to seven hours per charge, and up to five if you leave ANC on. The case includes an extra two charges, and its size is small enough to take with you just about anywhere. USB-C charging gets you back to fully charged in 90 minutes, though you won't get any wireless charging.
Tribit FlyBuds C1
Best battery life
For someone that's always on the move and needs earbuds that aren't constantly running out of juice, the Tribit FlyBuds C1 are an easy pair to like. Where most wireless earbuds reach a limit, either for the earbuds themselves or what the case can manage, the FlyBuds C1 are adept at both. They can play for up to 12 hours per charge, while the case gives you 50 hours total.
It's not that Tribit has set or broken a record, but it is a combination that keeps audio playing for longer than most, regardless of what they cost. The beauty of this is that the case itself isn't massive, so you get longevity without the extra bulk to go with all that juice. Part of what enables the FlyBuds C1 to hit these numbers is that they don't have ANC or ambient modes. Unfortunately, they don't have a dedicated app to customize the sound, either.
Despite that, they do sound good on their own, and other elements, like call quality, comfort, and durability, hold up well to round out a good overall performance for a pair of budget buds.
EarFun Air Pro 3
The EarFun Air Pro 3 follow right in the comfortable footsteps of their predecessors, starting with four sizes of ear tips to get the right match for your ears. You end up with a nice combination of form, function, and feature set that feels expansive and efficient.
At this price, you can't go wrong. Earfun addressed a gaping hole in previous pairs by making these accessible through its own mobile app to customize certain features. That includes an EQ to adjust tuning how you want, even if the default sound may not come off like it's anything exceptional. Tinker with it and see what happens.
Improved ANC and ambient modes help the cause, effectively blocking outside noises or letting them in to help you hear surroundings. They aren't on par with more expensive earbuds, but the results are easy to appreciate for what you pay. That also matters for phone calls, where the six-mic array does a good job keeping voices clear and audible throughout. Plus, the Air Pro 3 have multipoint, letting you connect to two devices simultaneously.
Battery life is solid at up to seven hours with ANC turned on. Keep it off, and that goes up to nine hours. The case gives you an impressive four extra charges, including USB-C and wireless charging.
Treblab X3 Pro
Best workout buds
When looking for workout earbuds, one of the most important things to look for is how water-resistant they are. Fortunately, the Treblab X3 Pro are IPX7 rated, which means you'll be able to do some intense workouts without worrying about whether you're going to damage them in the process. Just don't swim with them, as they're not rated for full submersion.
The X3 Pro should feel lightweight and secure in terms of comfort, thanks to the ear hooks that keep them in place. It's a design that does wonders for stability, comfort, and fit, making it easier to wear them for more extended periods or when you're particularly active, like during a run, for instance. So long as you get the proper seal with at least one pair of ear tips out of the box, you will see just how good these earbuds can get.
Larger drivers, plus an obviously bass-heavy audio profile, make them sound great for the crowd looking for power. Of course, they aren't going to sound anything like balanced audiophile earbuds, but that's not really the point. You want tunes to pump you up while you break a sweat? These can manage that just fine.
Battery life is impressive at up to nine hours per charge, with an extra 36 hours coming from the case. No wireless charging, though USB-C charging should get you back up and playing in short order. Without ANC and ambient modes, battery life is only really affected by how loud the volume is.
Best hook design
We found firsthand that the JLab Audio Epic Air Sport ANC were rugged enough to handle regular workouts and runs, thanks to the IP66 rating. They're just not meant for exposure to water, so keep them as dry as possible. The ear hooks are flexible enough to feel comfortable on just about any pair of ears, and with six pairs of ear tips in the box, you're bound to find something that works.
Getting that passive noise isolation only benefits the onboard ANC to block out the background when you want to hear little else than your music, podcast, or audiobook. The Be Aware mode is JLab's ambient setting when you want to pipe in some of the background to stay aware of your surroundings, especially when out for a run or talking to someone.
The sound comes off as balanced, with an extra boost for the bass, though you can change that in JLab's Air ANC app, where you can adjust ANC controls and sound through the included equalizer. JLab claims up to 15 hours of battery life per charge, albeit with ANC off. Keep it on, and the number is still an excellent 10 hours per charge. And when you need to charge, you can use the cable built into the case or set it down on a Qi charger for wireless charging.
1More PistonBuds Pro
Best sound quality
The 1More PistonBuds Pro are ideal if you're trying to solve a few problems at once. You want good sound, a lot of comfort, and excellent app support. Plus, if you have smaller ears, you may find these nestle in just right. Despite their smaller stature, they do pack a punch, and it shows when the music plays.
These aren't the pair you will wear for rumbling bass, though you might if you like the idea of a balanced soundstage that does right by many genres. Rather than a customizable equalizer, you get to tune the earbuds to your own ears through SonarWorks via a quick sound test. There are EQ presets you can always try, regardless, to gauge what kind of sound the PistonBuds Pro are capable of.
The ANC and ambient modes perform well throughout, even if they're not going to be the best available. Like volume levels, they do affect battery life, cutting playback down to about six hours per charge or less. Leave it off, and it's about 7.5 hours. A small and compact case is easy to carry around, and with three extra charges inside, they're just as handy that way. No wireless charging, but quick charging for five minutes will get you up to an hour's worth of playback.
As we mentioned at the top, the best wireless earbuds have gotten much better over the past few years, with a resulting drop in prices to go with that. The Anker Soundcore Life P3 are a great example of that, proving themselves to be awesome true wireless earbuds at an incredibly low price.
The Life P3 offer deep app support to get even more out of how they sound, not to mention the benefits of a comfortable fit and good battery life. To take it a step further, their case can charge up the earbuds another three times, netting you up to 28 hours of total audio playback. Pretty good times when you get great sound and superb comfort for those long listening sessions.
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Ted Kritsonis loves taking photos when the opportunity arises, be it on a camera or smartphone. Beyond sports and world history, you can find him tinkering with gadgets or enjoying a cigar. Often times, that will be with a pair of headphones or earbuds playing tunes. When he's not testing something, he's working on the next episode of his podcast, Tednologic.