A headset — earphones or earbuds (or even a single earbud) with a microphone and controls — is a different beast than a set of earbuds or headphones without a mic. For starters, not every set will work with Android when you need to answer calls and adjust the volume. And when products are cheap, there are literally thousands of choices to wade through. So we chose the best ones.

Best sound: Monoprice Hi-Fi Reflective Sound Earbuds

Staff pick

They handle calls just fine, fit better than average, and aren't terrible to wear. And they sound awesome. Their "Reflective" design points the drivers away from the ears so the sound reflects back. This keeps your ears from ringing or hurting, even with the enhanced bass response these buds deliver. You need to hear it to believe it.

$14 at Amazon

Great fit: JLab Audio Metal

JLab's Audio Metal earbuds have a universal mic and music controls, are sweat resistant, and include seven different pairs of gel comfort cushions to fit almost everyone. Combined with their ergonomic profile, these are some of the best-fitting earbuds you'll find under 20 bucks. They're also tough with a kevlar cable and flex attachment joints.

$15 at Amazon

Awesome for calls: Naztech NX80

The Naztech (formerly NoiseHush) NX80 is the best headset we tested when it comes to talking on the phone. The microphone works great without yelling for calls and voice assistants. They have a flat tangle-free cable, easy to use controls, and deliver surprisingly good sound when listening to music or watching a video.

$13 at Amazon

Type C: OnePlus Type C Bullets

Seeing a pair of USB-C earbuds with a mic and a price under $20 is a surprise, but seeing that OnePlus is the company that offers them isn't. The same thinking that brings high-end phones at not so high-end prices from OnePlus also bleeds over into the company's accessories, and $20 gets you a great pair of USB-C headphones with a mic. Just make sure your phone supports it!

$20 at OnePlus

Most comfortable: Panasonic ErgoFit

Want cheap earbuds that you can wear all day? The Panasonic ErgoFit earbuds are great! The sound is decent for music or phone calls, and they aren't the prettiest things to look at. But whatever the tips are made of is awesome because they fit inside your ear without bugging you that they're in them.

$11 at Amazon

Wireless: iClever Bluetooth Headphones

These Bluetooth sports headphones check the right boxes if you need a set under $20 with a microphone. Boasting 8-hour battery life and a waterproof nano-coating, these hadphones are perfect for someone who is frugal and needs to be wire-free.

$18 at Amazon

You don't have to spend a lot of money to get a set of earbuds that work just the way you want them to work. We've got a selection here that covers all the basics and you'll be sure to find something you like. I like the Monoprice Hi-Fi buds, because I really do dig the sound that comes out of the tiny little things. And at just $12 a pair, you don't have to worry too much if you leave them in a cab or airplane.

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