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The best cheap true wireless earbuds for 2021

We know that, for many people, Apple’s iconic white AirPods are the first thing they picture when you mention “true wireless earbuds,” and there’s no doubt that those wireless earbuds almost single-handedly defined the category. But there’s no need to drop $159 (or $199 for the wireless charging model) to get a decent set of true wireless earbuds that will meet your music and voice needs. The Earfun Air are the best cheap true wireless earbuds, in our opinion. They have all-day battery life and sound great for well under $100. But they’re obviously not the only budget earbuds on the market. Check out other selections of cheap true wireless earbuds.

Looking for more features? Check out our more comprehensive list of the best true wireless earbuds.

The best cheap true wireless earbuds at a glance:

The best cheap true wireless earbuds: Earfun Air

Earfun Air true wireless earbuds
Earfun

Why you should buy them: They pack a ton of premium features and very good sound quality into an affordably priced set of wireless earbuds.

Who they’re for: Those who want a highly versatile earbud that comes in well under $100.

Why we picked the Earfun Air:

What do you really want from a set of true wireless earbuds? Our guess is that it’s the same things we look for: Good sound, strong Bluetooth, comfortable fit, all-day battery life, and the ability to act as workout headphones. The Earfun Air easily meet these criteria, but what we love about them is that they offer so much more, too.

These true wireless earbuds come in black and white, and they bear a strong resemblance to a certain fruit-branded company’s product. But thanks to their in-ear design and four different sizes of silicone ear-tips, they offer way better sound quality than you’ll get from a set of AirPods. Just like the AirPods, they have wear sensors that let them pause your tunes automatically when you remove them from your ears.

Their seven-hour battery life between charges isn’t enormous, but it beats out many of the more expensive options, including those made by Apple. The wireless charging case (which also takes USB-C) gives you an additional 28 hours, for 35 hours of total play time before you need to look for an outlet or Qi charger.

An IPX7 rating means these earbuds are almost completely waterproof, making them good sport earbuds. Sweat in them, shower in them, heck, even submerge them in the sink to get them clean — none of those things will harm the Earfun Air.

The touch-sensitive controls are accurate (though not as good as physical buttons), and we found that even voice calls on these earbuds were handled with clarity. The ability to use either earbud on its own is super handy.

Their sound quality is impressive, with plenty of bass, and surprisingly good definition for midranges and high frequencies. They do an excellent job with virtually all music genres.

We have only three small critiques: An app would be nice because there’s no way to adjust the EQ on these earbuds. Getting them out of their wireless charging case can be a bit tricky — you need to grasp them just right to pull them free of their sockets. And, there’s no hear-through mode to be able to listen to ambient sounds. Otherwise, the Earfun Air are a helluva good deal when it comes to a set of true wireless earbuds.

The best cheap true wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation: Earfun Air Pro

Why you should buy them: They’re one of the most affordable ways to get a premium feature: active noise cancellation. And they sound great, too.

Who they’re for: Those who want active noise cancellation (ANC) without paying three-figure prices.

Why we picked the Earfun Air Pro:

Yes, it’s another set of Earfun true wireless earbuds. The brand, which was basically nonexistent a few years ago, has grown to become one of the best for folks who are looking to spend as little as possible on Bluetooth earbuds without sacrificing quality.

The Earfun Air Pro share the same design and features as the more expensive Edifier TWS NB2, and yet somehow, they’re $20 less. The unusual wedge-shaped stems are distinctive and frankly a breath of fresh air in a world where every Bluetooth headphone looks like AirPods or round black buttons. More importantly, the rounded, ergonomic shape of the housing that sits in your ear is very comfortable. We found we could wear them for many hours at a time without fatigue or soreness.

Sound quality is excellent — deep bass is accompanied by clear mids and highs — and while we still wish there was a way to tweak the EQ via an app, we can’t really complain as the out-of-box sound signature is so satisfying.

Like the Earfun Air, you can use the earbuds independently, but the Pros address our biggest critique by adding an ambient mode so you can hear background noise. Active noise cancellation is good, you’ll definitely notice a difference when the feature is turned on, particularly with low-frequency sounds like the rumble of a truck. At this price, you can’t expect AirPods Pro performance, but if you’re looking for a little more peace and quiet, the Earfun Air Pro deliver on noise cancellation.

IPX5 water resistance is good enough to let you use them as wireless workout earbuds, and battery life is excellent — seven hours with active noise cancellation on and nine hours when it’s not in use. The charging case adds another 23 hours when ANC is off.

There’s no wireless charging, and volume control needs to be done from your phone, but these are small caveats. The Earfun Air Pro are otherwise amazing in every way considering their rock-bottom price.

The best cheap true wireless earbuds for working out: Skullcandy Push Ultra

Skullcandy Push Ultra
Skullcandy

Why you should buy them:  They’re great for running and maintaining awareness.

Who they’re for:  Fitness aficionados who dislike traditional in-your-ear-canal earbuds.

Why we picked Skullcandy Push Ultra:

The Skullcandy Push Ultras are an interesting hybrid earbud. With a semi-open design, there’s no silicone ear-tip jammed into your ear canal; the speaker just sits in your outer ear and projects sound inward, just like Apple’s AirPods.

With a secure zippered wireless charging, built-in Tile tracking for finding them when they get lost, and ear-hooks that can be twisted and molded to fit your ears, there’s a lot to love.

The earbuds may only hold six hours of battery life, but their case stores another 34 hours, for a total of 40 hours, which should be plenty for a week of workouts and conference calls, too, if you want.

The bass response on these earbuds is not the best, so you may find that call quality is on the low side, and your favorite tracks might not have that “oomph” that you’re used to.

Even so, the Skullcandy Push Ultra earbuds are solidly built, durable, and provides a stable fit. Their quick charging time makes them a great choice.

The best cheap true wireless earbuds alternative to AirPods: Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2

Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 True Wireless Earbuds

Why you should buy them: You like the Apple AirPods design, but wish they had more features and a lower price.

Who they’re for: Those who love the golf-tee style, but want to save some green over the AirPods.

Why we picked the Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2:

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Apple must be feeling pretty flattered by the Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2. These true wireless earbuds make no excuses in their attempt to mimic Apple’s iconic earbuds, but they make up for that flagrant imitation by going well beyond what Apple offers on the AirPods — and for a lot less cash.

First, you actually get a choice of color: White or black. Second, at around 6 to 7 hours of battery life per charge, the Liberty Air 2 outlast the AirPods. Third, you get way more for your money. Clocking in at just under $100, the Liberty Air 2 have a wireless charging case (which begs a $40 upgrade from Apple), a variety of silicone eartips to achieve a much better fit, and IPX5 water resistance for tough workouts.

You also can use each wireless earbud independently, either one at a time in mono mode with the same device, or you can pair each bud to a separate device. Speaking of pairing, we had a little trouble with the buds on initial pairing and had to reset them, so we recommend downloading Soundcore’s app first, and following the instructions to ensure easy setup.

The app also lets you customize the touch controls, including the ability to swap one of the factory-set options for features like volume control. It also provides a HearID sound test to calibrate the Liberty Air 2’s EQ to your personal hearing profile. Speaking of sound, the default quality is relatively impressive, with some rich bass and clear treble — though things do tend to get a little crispy with brighter instruments.

We think most people will be satisfied with their $100 purchase based on all the features the Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 offer, and the HearID sound test will also add an extra element of control.

The best cheap true wireless earbuds for battery life: Tribit Flybuds C1

tribit flybuds

Why you should buy them: They’ve got massive battery life and sound great, too.

Who they’re for: On-the-go types and those who can’t get to a charger as often.

Why we picked the Tribit Flybuds C1:

These earbuds have a similar design to Apple’s AirPods, a vertical, bottom-heavy design that should stay put when running or exercising. They come with an outstanding six eartip sizes in the box, both silicon, and foam, so you’ll be able to find a snug and ultra-comfortable fit.

The control buttons are located on the stems and aren’t soft touch, so you won’t have to worry about accidentally dialing or turning the buds off. They’re also good at repelling water, making them perfect for your intense workouts or a dash in the rain.

The charging case will juice the battery with up to 90 minutes of listening after a 10-minute charge, and a full charge will get you 12 hours of life — a huge amount of endurance for such affordable earbuds. The case will give you an additional (and mind-blowing!) 38 hours on top of that.

The Flybuds use Bluetooth 5.2, which gives you better sound quality as well as lower power consumption. It also allows you to use a single earbud at any given time.

The sound and call quality on these earbuds is high. Many earbuds don’t deliver in the bass range, but you’ll find the Flybuds are solid across the sound spectrum. They feature four microphones (top and bottom of each earbud) to provide reliable call quality, and they have environmental noise cancellation technology which will help calls seem less noisy, but they are missing true active noise cancellation (ANC).

The best cheap true wireless earbuds for those on a strict budget: Skullcandy Dime

Why you should buy them: These are some of the cheapest earbuds on the market; even so they’re a good pair.

Who they’re for: Those who need to spend the least cash possible; buying for groups, or kids prone to losing their earbuds

Why we picked the Skullcandy Dime:

We all know someone who is constantly misplacing or straight-up losing their earbuds. If that’s you, you might strategically want to stay away from the top end of the price range when it comes to truly wireless earbuds. The Skullcandy Dime could be your new best friend.

The Dimes are decently built earbuds molded from solid plastic and rated IPX4 for water resistance. You’ll be fine with sweat getting on them, but you’ll need to be careful with them around rain and splashing water, as they are not waterproof.

The audio performance on the Dime is pretty solid for the price, and the microphone makes for clear calling. There’s no active noise canceling, though they’ll passively block most external sounds if you fit the earbuds properly. The buttons used for on-earbud control are a little finicky; hidden behind a rubber membrane, they require precise presses that might not be possible when using gloves. But for the price … practice will make perfect.

The Skullcandy Dime will provide 3.5 hours of listening time and 12 hours total with the case. Definitely less than some of the other earbuds we’ve mentioned, but again, you’re looking at an option that will cost you the same as a big lunch out.

The best cheap true wireless earbuds with Transparency Mode: Enacfire A9

enacfire a9(1)

Why you should buy them: Transparency Mode is included on these inexpensive buds, meaning you can keep an ear on the kids or your surroundings if you need to.

Who they’re for: Those who want expensive features at a budget price.

Why we picked the Enacfire A9:

The Enacfire A9 use active noise cancellation (ANC), which the company claims can filter outside noise by up to 80%. We didn’t find the reduction that dramatic, but turning it on definitely helps to reduce sounds better than when the feature isn’t in use.

These earbuds also have a Special Transparency Mode/Ambient Sound Mode, which allows you to hear what’s going on around you while still keeping an ear to your tunes. This is super handy for interacting with others while listening (at work … just sayin’) or when you need to be more aware of your surroundings, like cycling to the office on a busy street.

The A9s are waterproof (IPX7 rating), tough enough to stand up to rain, sweat, and if you drop them in the sink or pool, you’ll be fine as long as you fish them out in less than 30 minutes.

These earbuds have four microphones and are great for calls and general sound quality, with a decent amount of bass. They come with three different sizes of ear tips.

The batteries should last you five to six hours, though the noise canceling mode will drop that down to about four. The case provides another 32 hours of charge or 24 with noise canceling. The case charges via USB-C cable. The Enacfire A9 earbuds will give you a lot of what Apple Airpods will at a fraction of the price.

The best cheap true wireless earbuds for bass: FIIL T1XS

Fiil t1xs

Why you should buy them: Bass. ‘Nuff said

Who they’re for:  Music buffs who want solid low-end sound in a super-affordable earbud.

Why we picked the FIIL T1 XS:

The FIIL T1XS is all about that bass. They have a ¼-inch Dynamic Driver, which can push out multiple basslines and still have them be distinct. A little secret about bass: If the mid-range, especially the lower mid-range, is weak, the bass won’t sound as robust. The T1XS solves this problem handily.

They feature ear-in wear detection, so when you pull out an earbud, your music will stop and continue when you put it back on. They come with three different eartips, as well as sports wings, so they’ll stay securely in place.

The app made for the T1XS shines and is an excellent complement for the earbuds. You can use it to custom equalize your sound and turn on the DPS audio enhance for even better-sounding tunes.

Fiil T1XS earbuds are waterproof (IPX5) so no worries about rain or sweat here. They offer a two-hour playtime on a 10-minute charge or a six-hour standard charge, and with the case, you’ll have up to 24 hours of use.

The best cheap true wireless earbuds in fun colors: Happy Plugs Air 1 Zen

happy plugs air 1 zen(1)

Why you should buy them: Cool colors and stylish looks, these earbuds balance looks and sound quality well.

Who they’re for: Fashionistas and those looking for a little beauty and style in their buds

Why we picked the Happy Plugs Air 1 Zen:

The Happy Plugs Air 1 Zens are, well, a fun choice for wireless earbuds. They have a very rounded design esthetic and physical button controls on the buds, and are made with anti-bacterial materials to keep your ears healthy and clean. They come in fun colors like pink-gold, mint, silver, white and, of course, basic black.

The ambient noise suppression will let you make calls with clarity, and they have proximity sensors that detect when you’ve removed the earbuds, pausing your music.

These earbuds have four microphones to help with clarity, particularly if you’re using them for phone or Zoom calls and they’ll adjust the noise canceling to your surroundings. They come with  a whopping six sizes of ear tips to help you find the perfect fit.

The Happy Plugs Air 1 Zen have a six hour battery life with noise-canceling and 7 hours without. The case will provide an hour of listening time with a 10 minute charge and also give you up to 30 hours with noise canceling on and 38 without. These earbuds also use Bluetooth 5.2, which accounts for the fantastic battery life and allows for solid connectivity with devices.

The best cheap true wireless earbuds for portability: Aukey EP N7

Man wearing Aukey EP-N7 earbuds

Why you should buy them: Small, sleek, and highly portable, these earbuds can fit into any pocket.

Who they’re for: Folks who want a highly versatile earbud at a very attractive price.

Why we picked the Aukey EP N7:

The Aukey EP N7s aren’t the flashiest earbuds on our list, but they’re a solid choice, especially for those who don’t want to spend a lot.

The N7s have a hybrid active noise-canceling system that Aukey claims can cancel up to 35 decibels of ambient sound. ANC is a rarity at this price. And while it might not do as good a job as a $249 set of AirPods Pro, they will definitely help to reduce unwanted sounds. Along with ANC, you also get transparency mode — ideal for having conversations or just keeping tabs on what’s going on around you (without needing to remove the earbuds).

They offer an eight-millimeter driver, which provides solid sound output and will make calls easy to deal with. They’re also designed for solo use, in case you need to have one ear completely free.

The earbuds have a weighted stem which means they’re less likely to fall out, and Aukey provides three sizes of ear tips to make sure your earbuds stay put through whatever challenges you take them through.

The Aukey EP N7s have a battery life of about five hours with noise canceling on and up to seven without. The case will provide further life to get you to 25 hours. The earbuds are rated IPX5 so you can wear them in the rain and through a sweaty workout.

The best cheap true wireless earbuds for basic, simple operation: LinearFlux Hypersonic DX

LinearFlux Hypersonic DX sitting on back of phone.

Why you should buy them: Cool neon highlights differentiate these buds from the basic black competition.

Who they’re for: Listeners who need simple, truly wireless earbuds without a lot of fussy features.

Why we picked the LinearFlux Hypersonic DX:

If you’re a child of the ’80s, the LinearFlux Hypersonic DX will immediately bring to mind the must-have music device of that era, the Sony Sports Walkman: The vibrant neon piping will undoubtedly turn heads.

The DX have a punchy, bass-forward sounds signature that’s perfect for driving your most demanding workouts.

They come with different-sized eartips, so stability and having them stay in place shouldn’t be a problem. The earbuds are rated IPX6, so you can battle back against rain or sweating, and LinearFlux offers an 18-month warranty against sweat and dust rendering these buds inoperable.

The battery will give you 6 to 8 hours of life on board, and up to 20 with the case, plus a five-minute charge will provide an hour of usage. Unlike many charging cases, the Hypersonic DX has Qi wireless charging as well. The controls on this model are relatively simple, with quick-touch operation to take calls and return to music or call up Siri or Google Assistant.

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