Although the new Powerbeats and AirPods may suggest you have to pay a premium to get true wireless earbuds, we’re here to tell you that’s not the case. Good, cheap true wireless headphones are more prevalent than ever. Today we’re going to separate the high-value products from the rest.
If you want more detail on each pick, visit the deep-dive article at SoundGuys which further breaks down each awardee and the testing methodology.
Related: What makes a good pair of true wireless earbuds?| Best earbuds under $50
Best all-around: Creative Outlier Air
Reasons to consider the Creative Outlier Air:
- These standout from the cheap crowd with their dual-codec support of AAC and aptX.
- Athletes will appreciate the IPX5 water-resistant build.
- The bass-heavy sound isn’t overpowering and appeals to a broad audience.
- Microphone quality is good for quick calls.
- The 7.78-hour battery life is great, and the case charges via USB-C.
Best workout: JLab JBuds Air Executive
Reasons to consider the JLab JBuds Air Executive:
- The earbuds are IP55-rated to ensure dust and water-resistance.
- Standalone battery life is good, and a sleek charging case with an integrated USB charging cable is included.
- Isolation is excellent, facilitating strong bass emphasis.
- AAC support is great for iPhone users.
Best sound: Monoprice True Wireless
Reasons to consider the Monoprice True Wireless:
- IPX4 water-resistance
- Good sound quality
- Chic earbud and case design
- Easy-to-operate playback controls
Best battery life: Rowkin Ascent Micro
Reasons to consider the Rowkin Ascent Micro:
- IPX5 water-resistance
- Comprehensive touch controls
- Portable design with AirPods-like charging case
- Effective isolation and noise-reduction performance
Best connectivity: Jam Ultra
Reasons to consider the Jam Ultra:
- Unique cloth-wrap design makes the earbuds and case easy to grip
- Reliable connectivity
- Bass lovers will enjoy the exaggerated low-end in lieu of crystal clear reproduction
- Anker Soundcore Liberty Air: These are great for Android users who don’t want a pair of AirPods lookalikes without the expense.
- JLab JBuds Air: These are even more affordable than the JBuds Air Executive and are IP55-rated.
What you should know about the cheap true wireless earbuds
- High-quality Bluetooth codecs afford better audio quality and reduced latency.
- Standalone battery life with truly wireless earbuds is generally sub par, and the cheaper options are no exception. Granted, picks like the Creative Outlier Air are vastly improving battery life.
- Water-resistance, while not as prevalent as with workout earbuds, is an occasional feature in cheap true wireless earbuds.
- Cheap true wireless earbuds won’t typically don’t outperform their more expensive counterparts when it comes to sound quality, but that can be mitigated by a good fit and with proper ear tips.
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