Mpow H5 ANC headphonesSource: Mpow

Best Bluetooth Headphones Under $50 Android Central 2020

Now that we're a few years into manufacturers releasing smartphones without headphone jacks, it's becoming more common for users to own smartphones that no longer have it. If you're on a tight budget, the Mpow H5 are your best bet if you're looking for a set of great all-around Bluetooth headphones.

Best Overall: Mpow H5

Mpow H5 headphonesSource: Mpow

The Mpow H5 seemingly tick all the boxes. First and foremost, they offer great sound. The bass is thumping and has a fantastic rumble but isn't overbearing. This extends into the lower-mids, however, the rest of the midrange and treble is balanced. This gives them an overall dark and warm tonality. If you're a fan of bass, the H5 should be one of the first set of headphones you look at. The amount of bass the H5 produces is rather impressive, especially for this price. They don't distort or drown out the rest of the sound signature.

The H5 have insane battery life with up to 30 hours on a charge, which will be more than enough for most people. They also feature a leather headband and ear cups, which will help with long-term comfort. You could easily wear the H5 for a long haul flight and not have any issues.

The headphones use Micro-USB for charging instead of USB-C. This could be annoying, especially if your phone already has USB-C, forcing you to carry a separate cable to charge your headphones.

Pros:

  • Great sound quality
  • Long battery life
  • Premium materials
  • Comfortable to wear for long periods

Cons:

  • Micro-USB for charging

Best Overall

Mpow H5

High-quality audio over Bluetooth

The H5 from Mpow offer great sound overall with long battery life and are super comfortable for long periods.

Best True Wireless: JLab JBuds Air

JLab JBuds AirSource: JLab

True wireless earbuds are fantastic for working out, and the JBuds Air from JLab are no exception. They feature almost all of the basics that true wireless earbuds typically come with: auto on/off and play/pause, and independent earbud audio playback. This means you can go early 2000s headset style and just have one earbud in your ear.

Sound quality is what you expect for this price range. They feature boosted bass and treble, but the bass doesn't bring too much thump or rumble, and the treble isn't too piercing or sharp. Dynamic range is excellent, although the soundstage is rather narrow compared to other true wireless earbuds.

Being a set of true wireless earbuds, they also come with a charging case. On their own, the earbuds will last up to four hours on a single charge. The charging case nets you an additional 14 hours. The only real downside of the charging case is that it has an integrated charging cable. This means that if the cable frays or completely stops working, you'll need to replace the case entirely.

The JBuds Air are IP55 dust and water-resistant. This means you'll be able to take them on a run or long workout session and should be okay in mild weather conditions like rain. In terms of actually sealing your ears, they come with three sets of ear tips in the standard small, medium, and large sizes as well as one set of ear hooks to provide better stability.

Pros:

  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • IP55 dust and water-resistant
  • True wireless
  • Fun bass and treble boosted sound

Cons:

  • Non-detachable cable

Best True Wireless

JLab JBuds Air

Daily tunes

The JBuds Air are true wireless earbuds that are great for all types of use cases. They offer stellar sound quality, a great seal, and superb comfort.

Best Active Noise-Canceling: TaoTronics Active Noise Canceling Headphones

TaoTronics ANC headphonesSource: TaoTronics

Compared to the top high-end ANC headphones, the Taotronics Active Noise Canceling compare favorably.

In terms of sound quality and active noise-canceling (ANC), they are great for their price. The TaoTronics block out most low-frequency, consistent noise like trains, buses, and planes. Their sound boosts the bass and treble quite heavily. The bass has a small bump to give it a bit of warmth and thump, but the treble is turned up quite a bit, making them slightly sharp and piercing for some people.

Where the TaoTroincs fall short compared to other ANC headphones is the lack of ambient sound mode. With ANC headphones, it's nearly impossible to hear the environment around you, and that's by design. However, most if not all other ANC headphones have an ambient sound mode that allows you to tap or press a button to disable ANC quickly. Ambient sound mode reverses the ANC microphones and pumps in the environment around you without having to remove your headphones.

Lastly, the TaoTronics ANC net you up to 45 hours of battery life on a single charge. Unfortunately, they use Micro-USB for charging, which is expected for headphones at this price point but is extremely annoying for those who have more modern gadgets that use USB-C instead.

Pros:

  • Long battery life
  • Great ANC performance
  • Foldable design
  • Great quality for the price

Cons:

  • Micro-USB for charging
  • No ambient mode
  • Treble can be sharp for some

Best Active Noise-Canceling

TaoTronics Active Noise Canceling Headphones

Travel-friendly headphones

ANC at this price is unheard of. Combine that with great sound quality, battery life, and portability, and you're getting a killer package.

Best Over-Ear: Mpow 059

Mpow 059Source: Android Central

The Mpow 059 are a great pair of over-ear headphones for their price. Unlike many other headphones in this price range, the 059 are rated to last 20 hours on a single charge. And while they are over-ear headphones, they can still be folded up and packed away neatly like some higher-end headphones.

And because they are over-ear headphones, they offer passive noise isolation, which should help cancel out some of your environment. It's not active noise-cancelation (ANC) which would block most of your environment, but reducing some noise is still better than no noise.

For those who like color, the 059 don't disappoint. They come in a variety of colors such as black/red, black, black/green, gray, black/blue, silver, and pink. The construction overall is decent, but you probably don't want to sit on them or try to bend them too hard. Unsurprisingly, they're made of cheap plastic.

In terms of sound quality, these perform decently well. The bass is a bit boosted and sound a bit boomy. The midrange is a bit recessed, so the majority of instruments will take a backseat. The treble is a bit boosted overall.

Lastly, these offer Micro-USB for charging instead of USB-C, which is pretty typical of headphones in this range. They don't feature fast charging either, adding salt to the wound. Overall, you'll want to plan three hours for them to charge from dead to 100%.

Pros:

  • Passive noise isolation
  • Long battery Life
  • Foldable, portable design
  • Variety of color options

Cons:

  • Micro-USB for charging
  • Plastic build

Best Over-Ear

Mpow 059

Solid over-ear introduction

The Mpow 059 are super comfortable and last up to 20 hours over Bluetooth. They sound great and offer a variety of color options for those who like color.

Best On-Ear: Skullcandy Riff

Skullcandy Riff headphonesSource: Android Central

Maybe you don't like over-ear headphones because they block out too much noise... but true wireless earbuds don't block enough noise. That leaves on-ear headphones, and that's where the Skullcandy Riff come in. They're super comfortable and can be used for several hours at a time without any signs of pain or fatigue. In terms of build material, they're also good, featuring a predominantly metal design that feels sturdy.

In terms of sound quality, the Riff perform decently. There is a slight bass boost that is virtually impossible to hear, and the midrange is boosted quite a bit, which equates to a slightly brighter overall sound. The treble region is mediocre at best, and those with sensitive ears may want to avoid the Riff due to their excessive treble boost. Due to the treble boost, treble-heavy tracks and even some more balanced tracks may sound sharp.

Another potential downer is the use of Micro-USB instead of USB-C. This isn't a huge deal if you have older devices, but if you've upgraded your phone, tablet, or computer within the last few years, it more than likely has a USB-C port instead of Micro-USB. Fortunately, the Riff make up for it by having a decent 12-hour battery life that will last you all day.

They don't offer any special features such as ambient mode or ANC. They don't even have the most up-to-date specs. However, at their price, it's hard to ask for more.

Pros:

  • Great comfort
  • Premium build materials
  • Long battery life

Cons:

  • Treble-heavy sound could be piercing

Best On-Ear

Skullcandy Riff

Comfortable listening

The Riff offer solid sound, excellent battery life, and provide an overall comfortable listening experience.

Best Workout Buds: Anker SoundBuds Curve

Anker SoundBuds CurveSource: Anker

The Anker SoundBuds Curve are excellent workout earbuds. The most important thing when it comes to workout earbuds is water resistance, and the SoundBuds Curve are among the best with an IPX7 rating. It doesn't matter if you're out in the rain, drop them in a puddle, or are merely sweating, they will handle all of it without breaking a sweat.

The second most important thing is comfort and stability, which is superb here. They use a hook and bud design that are unlikely to fall out of your ear, even with the most intense activities.

The SoundBuds Curve also sound good for their price range. They offer a ton of thump and rumble in the bass, which is excellent for genres such as EDM and rap. The midrange is balanced, but the treble is very uneven, which equates to some tracks having piercing treble and sibilance, and others lacking treble entirely. They support Bluetooth 5.0, which means they'll have a stable connection to your phone.

Their big downside, as with many other headphones at this price, is that they charge over Micro-USB instead of USB-C

Pros:

  • Bluetooth 5.0 support
  • Long battery life
  • IPX7 water resistance
  • Should fit in most ears

Cons:

  • Micro-USB for charging
  • Uneven treble reproduction

Best Workout Buds

Anker SoundBuds Curve

Flexible workout earbuds

With IPX7 water resistance, 18 hours of battery life, and a pretty great sound, it's hard to say no at this price.

Best Battery Life: Tribit XFree Tune

Tribit XFree TuneSource: Tribit

If you're looking for headphones with the longest battery life, look no further than the Tribit XFree Tune. With up to 40 hours on a single charge, they'll easily last you a full week. The downside is that they use Micro-USB for charging instead of USB-C.

They're comfortable too, so you can keep them in your ears and soak up that battery. There are no issues with pain on the crown of the head or heat building up in the ear cups over long periods of use. The ear cups are large and accommodate big ears (including my own). When you want to put them away, the ear cups fold up nicely, making them super compact for travel.

For sound, they're above average. The bass isn't overly punchy or thumpy, the midrange is balanced, and the treble has a good boost without being overly sibilant or fatiguing. Overall, you'll get a slightly bass and treble boosted sound without much fatigue.

Pros:

  • Ridiculously long battery life
  • Comfortable for long use
  • Great sound
  • Fold up compactly for travel

Cons:

  • Micro-USB for charging

Best Battery Life

Tribit XFree Tune

Long listening sessions

Wow, the Tribit XFree Tune last quite a long time with up to 40 hours of use on a single charge.

Best Comfort Buds: Mpow Flame

Mpow Flame earbudsSource: Mpow

For some users, the most important thing when it comes to earbuds is comfort, and the Mpow Flame covers that pretty well. They have a hook and bud design, which means they also have great stability as well.

You'll also get excellent water resistance as well with an IPX7 rating. This means that if you drop your buds in a puddle or plan on using them for working out, you can pick them up, dry them off and they'll be ready to use.

In terms of sound quality, the Flame feature bass and treble-boosted sound. This means the bass will have a considerable bump with deep bass that can sometimes feel overpowering and downright muddy. The treble is boosted but isn't overly piercing. The midrange is balanced, but because the bass is boosted so much, it can be drowned out.

For battery life, they're pretty decent with a total of nine hours of listening. In terms of charging, you're able to get the full nine hours of listening with a one and a half-hour charge. The Flame are one of the few headphones in this price range to offer fast charging. Most other headphones will require two to three hours to charge from dead to 100%. Unfortunately, the Flame still uses Micro-USB instead of USB-C for charging.

Pros:

  • Comfortable and stable
  • Bass boosted, V-shaped sound
  • Long battery life
  • Fast charging
  • Should stay in most ears

Cons:

  • Micro-USB for charging

Best Comfort Buds

Mpow Flame

Comfortable listening

The Mpow Flame are super comfortable with a fun bass-boosted sound. Their battery life isn't that great but they feature fast charging.

Bottom line

Great headphones come in all shapes and sizes. Just because the headphones are cheap doesn't mean they're bad. Even if you pay an exorbitant amount of money on a set of headphones, you're not guaranteed good sound quality, comfort, or battery life.

A great example of this is the Mpow H5, which are a solid set of headphones that covers most of the bases. They feature a long 30-hour battery life, a superb bass-boosted sound, and premium build materials for a ridiculously low price.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Peter Cao spends most of his days receiving, testing, and reviewing headphones. If not, he's usually analyzing and enjoying music whether it be digitally through Apple Music, or via analog on his vinyl player.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.