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Best wireless headphones under $50 in 2022

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 on desk.
(Image credit: Anker)

Finding a headphone jack on a phone now is rare. Chances are your phone doesn't have one — leaving you to go the wireless route to keep the music playing. Luckily, if your need coincides with a tight budget, you still have options. The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 is your best starting point to get a set of great, all-around Bluetooth headphones. Here are some of our top choices for the best Bluetooth headphones under $50.

The best wireless headphones on a budget

Man wearing Anker Soundcore Life Q20.

(Image credit: Anker)

Anker Soundcore Life Q20

Best overall budget headphones

Reasons to buy

+
Good soundstage
+
ANC support
+
Really long battery Life
+
Foldable, portable design
+
Fast charging

Reasons to avoid

-
No app support
-
Plastic build

Anker has become quite the value brand of late, and one of the headphone pairs that set the tone are the Soundcore Life Q20. These affordable cans have ANC built-in, and while not as good as their successors, the Soundcore Life Q30, they are solid value at this price.

A lot of that has to do with the excellent battery life, which goes up to 40 hours per charge with ANC on and 60 hours off. Fast charging them for five minutes will get you up to four hours of playback, so in the rare time you run out of juice, you can get back to listening in short order. The build quality isn't as good as the newer Q30, but the fit is snug and the lightweight body shouldn't feel cumbersome to wear.

With the Q20, what you hear is what you get. Unlike other Anker headphones, the Q20 don't work with the company's excellent app for sound customization. Still, if you're looking for good bass and a nice balance with the mids and highs, these headphones will be perfectly fine for what they cost. The ANC isn't the best you'll find, but again, it works as well as you might expect for a budget pair of cans.

Exercising with Back Bay Audio earbuds.

(Image credit: Back Bay Audio)

Back Bay Audio Tempo 30

Best true wireless

Reasons to buy

+
Great sound for the price
+
Bass and Game modes
+
32 hours of total battery life
+
IPX7 water-resistance
+
Solid Bluetooth connection
+
Extremely affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
No wireless or fast charging
-
No ANC or ambient modes

Boston-based Back Bay Audio did right by the Tempo 30 in making these earbuds sound really good for the price. There are even a couple of customization options. You can toggle on the Bass Mode to give them an extra rumble or try their Game Mode, which cuts down audio lag while playing games or watching movies.

It also wisely throws in six different ear tips in the box to ensure you find a fit that suits your ears, big or small. Bear in mind these earbuds are all about audio, first and foremost, meaning they don't have ANC or an ambient mode to deal with background noise. However, if you find the right fit you'll get some decent passive noise isolation, so at least there's that.

I mentioned switching modes, and you do that through the touch controls, which are fairly responsive and reliable. You will need that if you plan to be active with these and need to play/pause or skip tracks. Back Bay made these earbuds with IPX7 water resistance, which is great if you want to go for a run or work out in the gym — just don't take them for a swim.

At up to eight hours per charge, the Tempo 30 hold up well for their cost. Doesn't hurt they add another three charges in the case, and that you can charge them via USB-C. Keep the cable handy because there's neither wireless nor fast charging.

Man wearing Tozo NC2 earbuds.

(Image credit: Tozo)

TOZO NC2 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Wireless Earbuds

Best active noise-canceling

Reasons to buy

+
Nice sound quality
+
Good battery life
+
Decent ANC performance
+
OK water resistance
+
USB-C and wireless charging

Reasons to avoid

-
Call quality isn't the best
-
ANC can struggle with certain frequencies
-
No app for customization

Tozo is one of the greats for budget headphones, so the NC2 are right at home by default. What makes them stand out, though, is the active noise cancelation (ANC). It's reliable in a very bang-for-your-buck kind of way, meaning it won't match the performance of more premium earbuds capable of canceling outside noise, but the effect is certainly still there. It strangely does a little better with varying frequencies while inconsistent with low-frequency droning sounds, like an engine or fan.

Their signature sound veers toward bass, and it's immediately obvious that the highs and mids take a backseat to maintain that skew. That's great if you like listening to genres that need help on the low end, though it's unfortunate you don't have a way to tweak the sound using an equalizer on a supporting app.

Battery life is pretty respectable at up to eight hours per charge, with the case giving you an extra three charges. This is with ANC on, where you essentially have no option to turn it off. Fully charge the case in less than two hours via USB-C, or lay it down on a Qi-enabled wireless charging pad to cut out all wires entirely.

Woman wearing the Sony Sony WH-CH510 headphones.

(Image credit: Sony)

Sony WH-CH510

Best on-ear

Reasons to buy

+
Solid audio quality
+
Comfortable fit
+
Lightweight build
+
Very long battery life
+
Swivels for easier storage

Reasons to avoid

-
No real passive noise isolation
-
No option for wired playback

On-ear headphones are a compromise in that they don't fully block outside noise nor pinch the ears like over-ears might. The Sony WH-CH510 have the comfort part down, given that you can probably wear these for hours and not complain about it. The price is on par with the build quality, which is a mix of metal and plastic that doesn't feel premium.

You will get good sound from the WH-CH510, courtesy of slightly boosted bass that reveals itself most in quieter confines. The highs and mids are more pronounced, which is hardly surprising because of passive noise isolation. These headphones are all about sound, given the dearth of other features. You don't get ANC or ambient mode, or any support from Sony's Headphones app. You just put these on and listen. The Bluetooth connection is solid, except it's also your only option. There is no wired playback here.

Battery life is amazing at up to 35 hours per charge. And in the rare instance you run out, get 90 minutes of playback with just a 10-minute quick charge. Plus, it has a USB-C port, so no more Micro-USB.

Man wearing Anker Soundcore Life P2 earbuds.

(Image credit: Anker)

Anker Soundcore Life P2

Best workout buds

Reasons to buy

+
Bluetooth 5.0 support
+
Decent battery life
+
Good sound signature
+
IPX7 water resistance
+
Should fit most ears

Reasons to avoid

-
Should've had ear hooks
-
No app support

The Anker Soundcore Life P2 are all about ensuring you can stay active. You get an IPX7 rating for a decent level of durability, meaning you can work hard while working out, run in the rain, or even accidentally drop them in water. Anker considers them waterproof, but you should wipe them down after every activity to keep them dry after you're done. With Bluetooth 5.0 included, you can count on a stable connection to your phone.

It helps that they're comfortable and secure in your ears, too. Of course, every pair of ears is different, but Anker tried to design them to stay as still as possible during intense activity. Unfortunately, Anker would've been better served to go with a design utilizing ear hooks rather than an AirPods clone.

They do sound good for what you're paying, especially with an emphasis on bigger sound. There's some thump and rumble here, with a balanced mid-range and uneven treble, but it's highly dependent on the kind of seal you get when they're in your ears. And you'll have to rely on that because they're not compatible with Anker's solid Soundcore app, which would have offered an equalizer for a more personalized sound.

Battery life is decent at up to seven hours per charge at 60% volume. That guarantees a few workouts before having to charge them up again, though the case gives you almost five more charges before it runs out of juice. And you get fast charging via USB-C, where plugging them in for 10 minutes gives up to one hour of playback in a pinch.

Man wearing KVideo Bluetooth Headphones.

(Image credit: KVideo)

KVidio Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Best battery life

Reasons to buy

+
Long battery life
+
Comfortable for longer use
+
Great sound
+
Fold up for easier transport
+
USB-C for charging

Reasons to avoid

-
No ANC or ambient mode
-
No real app support

Long battery life can obviously be a convenient feature, and the KVideo Wireless Bluetooth Headphones let you go with up to 55 hours on a single charge. That should keep you listening to music and other content for days. You don't get fast charging support, but the USB-C port should have you back up and listening after an hour or two. You can also listen in wired mode using the included 3.5mm cable.

They also have a high degree of comfort, where the headband and earcups shouldn't pose a problem over long periods of use. They do stick out a little because of how the cups stick out, but that should be fine if you have big ears. When you want to put them away, the cups fold up nicely.

You can expect above-average sound, with deep and punchy bass, balanced mid-range, and boosted treble, all combining for a decent soundstage. You won't have any ANC to rely on, including for phone calls, but at least passive isolation does a pretty good job on its own. They are lively, so if you want something that plays a little louder and crisper right out of the box, these are worth a listen.

Wearing Creative Outlier Air V3 earbuds.

(Image credit: Ted Kritsonis / Android Central)
Best comfort buds

Reasons to buy

+
Great audio quality
+
Ambient mode works well
+
Excellent battery life
+
Comfortable fit
+
Improved touch controls
+
Wireless charging support

Reasons to avoid

-
Super X-Fi too limited
-
Not fully noise-canceling
-
Bulky case

Comfort with the Outlier Air V3 encompasses more than just how they fit, though you should feel pretty snug when wearing them over longer periods anyway. Neither huge nor diminutive, these earbuds take a middle ground on a lot of things, and the combination works well. They're not as rugged as other options, but that's perfectly fine if you're mostly going the leisure route wearing them.

We found in our testing that sound quality is excellent for what you pay, delivering a nice mix that doesn't necessarily favor one genre over another. If you're listening to hip-hop in one sitting, and then rock in another, you will find something that works for you. Part of the reason is Creative's app and equalizer, including a multitude of presets to tailor the audio the way you want. 

Noise cancelation is more akin to "reduction," which means that it's not your full-fledged ANC but rather a reduced mode that does its best to muffle low-frequency sounds. Ambient mode works well if you want to hear the background, while phone calls come through nicely when talking to others. 

Battery life holds up nicely, with up to 10 hours per charge if you leave noise reduction and ambient mode off, and a very respectable eight hours if you leave them on. The case gives you an extra three charges, and supports wireless charging.

Music to your ears

Great headphones come in all shapes and sizes. But they also come at different price ranges, as evidenced by this list. Just because headphones are cheap doesn't mean they're bad. Getting more for less always feels like a win, and that's one of the best ways to describe the sound quality, comfort, and battery life with this group of the best Bluetooth headphones under $50.

The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 are a solid example. They cover most of the bases with excellent sound quality, ANC support, and 30 hours of battery life — all at a price you can afford.