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The best budget true wireless earbuds for 2022

Wireless earbuds may have started out as expensive, often glitchy devices with questionable sound quality and pathetic battery life, but those days are long gone. Not only has the tech improved dramatically, but prices have tumbled too. Sure, you can still pay $150 or more for Apple's iconic AirPods if you want to, but the great thing is that you no longer have to.

There are tons of great wireless buds for well under $100, some of which clock in under $50, so no matter your budget, there is a set of earbuds for you. We recommend the Earfun Air as the best cheap true wireless earbuds because they have all-day battery life, wireless charging, wear sensors, and they sound great, but they're just the tip of the budget earbuds iceberg. Our list of the best cheap wireless earbuds has something for everyone.

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

Earfun Air
Earfun Air
The best cheap true wireless earbuds
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Earfun Air Pro
Earfun Air Pro
The best with active noise cancellation
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Skullcandy Push Ultra
Skullcandy Push Ultra
The best for working out
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Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2
Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2
The best alternative to AirPods
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Tribit FlyBuds C1
Tribit Flybuds C1
Best for battery life
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Soundpeats Free 2 Classic
Soundpeats Free 2 Classic
Best for those on a strict budget
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ENACFIRE A9 Wireless Earbuds
Enacfire A9 Wireless Earbuds
Best for transparency mode
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FIIL T1XS TWS
FIIL T1XS
Best for bass
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AIR 1 ZEN
Happy Plugs Air 1 Zen
Best for fun colors
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UGreen HiTune T3
UGreen HiTune T3
Cheap, comfy, and perfect for noise control
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Earfun Air true wireless earbuds.
Earfun

Earfun Air

The best cheap true wireless earbuds

Pros
  • Great sound
  • Wireless charging
  • Good battery life
  • IPX7 water resistance
  • Wear sensors
Cons
  • No transparency mode
  • No EQ or control settings

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, or 35 hours of total playtime before you need to look for an outlet or Qi charger.

An IPX7 rating means that 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.

Earfun Air
Earfun Air
The best cheap true wireless earbuds
Earfun Air Pro earbuds.

Earfun Air Pro

The best with active noise cancellation

Pros
  • Very good sound quality
  • Very good ANC and transparency
  • Wear sensors
  • IPX5 water resistance
  • Very good battery life
Cons
  • No wireless charging
  • No EQ or control settings

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, and 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.

Earfun Air Pro
Earfun Air Pro
The best with active noise cancellation
A man in a hat wearing the Skullcandy Push Ultra earbuds.
Skullcandy

Skullcandy Push Ultra

The best for working out

Pros
  • Very good battery life
  • Wireless charging
  • Tile-based tracking
  • IP67 water/dust-resistance
  • Very good situational awareness
  • Secure fit
Cons
  • Weak bass response
  • No wear sensors

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 eartip 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 provide a stable fit. Their quick charging time makes them a great choice.

Skullcandy Push Ultra
Skullcandy Push Ultra
The best for working out
Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 True Wireless Earbuds.

Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2

The best alternative to AirPods

Pros
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Customizable controls and EQ
  • Good battery life
  • IPX5 water resistance
  • Wireless charging
Cons
  • No wear sensors
  • No ANC or transparency modes

Why you should buy them: You like the Apple AirPods design, bt 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 six to seven 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, 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.

Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2
Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2
The best alternative to AirPods
A man wearing the Tribit Flybuds.

Tribit Flybuds C1

Best for battery life

Pros
  • Massive battery life
  • Comfortable fit
  • Physical buttons
  • AptX support
  • IPX5 water resistance
Cons
  • No wear sensors
  • No transparency mode
  • No EQ or button settings

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 ANC.

Tribit FlyBuds C1
Tribit Flybuds C1
Best for battery life
A woman wearing the Soundpeats Free 2 Classic wireless earbuds.
Soundpeats

Soundpeats Free 2 Classic

Best for those on a strict budget

Pros
  • Great sound quality
  • Highly affordable
  • Excellent battery life
Cons
  • No transparency mode

Why you should buy them: Despite being some of the cheapest earbuds on the market, they still offer very good sound quality.

Who they’re for: Anyone seeking decent sound at a highly affordable price.

Why we picked the Soundpeats Free 2 Classic:

How cheap can you go before sound quality starts to take a real hit? We'd argue that the Soundpeats Free 2 Classic set that bar at about $20 to $30 depending on whether they're on sale. These wireless earbuds pack only the bare essentials -- there's no ANC, no transparency mode, no wireless charging, and no control or EQ customizations. But what they do, they do very well.

Sound quality is the biggest surprise. Not only do the Free 2 Classic offer a full and balanced frequency response with plenty of powerful bass and clean, distortion-free midranges and highs, but they also have an impressively wide and accurate soundstage -- a rarity at this price.

With an IPX5 rating, there's more than enough protection from water and sweat to let you run or workout without worry (as long as you don't immerse them), and even their battery life punches well above their weight, with eight hours between charges and a total of 30 hours when you include their easily pocketable charging case.

Call quality is mediocre in noisy environments, but when indoors, the mics deliver very good clarity and fidelity -- your callers probably won't know you're using earbuds.

Soundpeats Free 2 Classic
Soundpeats Free 2 Classic
Best for those on a strict budget
A woman wearing the Enacfire A9 wireless earbuds.

Enacfire A9 Wireless Earbuds

Best for transparency mode

Pros
  • Good ANC
  • Very good transparency mode
  • Excellent price
  • Solid sound quality
  • IPX7 water resistance
Cons
  • No wear sensors
  • No EQ or control adjustments

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 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 and 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 eartips.

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 Pro will at a fraction of the price.

ENACFIRE A9 Wireless Earbuds
Enacfire A9 Wireless Earbuds
Best for transparency mode
A man in a toque wearing Fiil T1XS wireless earbuds.

FIIL T1XS

Best for bass

Pros
  • Huge bass sound
  • Small shape for small ears
  • IPX5 water resistance
  • Wear sensors
  • Fast charging
Cons
  • No transparency mode

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 quarter-inch Dynamic Driver, which can push out multiple basslines and still have them be distinct. A little secret about bass: If the midrange, especially the lower midrange, 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.

FIIL T1XS TWS
FIIL T1XS
Best for bass
happy plugs air 1 zen(1)

Happy Plugs Air 1 Zen

Best for fun colors

Pros
  • Fun colors
  • Good sound quality
  • Easy-to-use buttons
  • Wind noise reduction for calls
Cons
  • No transparency mode
  • No wear sensors
  • No AAC Bluetooth codec

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. Happy Plugs has also coated them in an antibacterial coating that the company says will provide a lifetime of protection.

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 eartips to help you find the perfect fit.

The Happy Plugs Air 1 Zen have a six-hour battery life with noise-canceling and seven 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.

AIR 1 ZEN
Happy Plugs Air 1 Zen
Best for fun colors
UGreen HiTune T3 earbuds in black.
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

UGreen HiTune T3

Cheap, comfy, and perfect for noise control

Pros
  • Light and comfortable
  • Great sound
  • ANC and transparency
  • Very affordable
Cons
  • No water or dust protection
  • No volume control
  • No wear sensors

Why you should buy them: You want ANC and transparency mode for less than $50.

Who they’re for: Those who want very comfortable ANC earbuds that sound great for general purpose use.

Why we picked the UGreen HiTune T3:

Sometimes you just want a set of inexpensive earbuds that just get the job done. At $40, the UGreen T3 are perfect for that, with great sound including surprisingly robust bass and a super-comfortable fit that will let you wear them all day if you want.

Helping with that all-day promise is seven hours of battery life per charge (24 total with the charging case) and both active noise cancellation (ANC) and transparency modes. The ANC won't shut out the world as much as some of the more expensive models like the Earfun Air Pro, but it's still very noticeable, especially in situations where you need to contend with constant droning sounds like fans or mechanical equipment.

The transparency mode, however, is excellent and really lets you hear everything that's going on around you, making them a good choice for folks who need to switch between concentrating and conversations.

They don't have quite as many features as some other models, like wireless charging or wear sensors, but at this price, that's not surprising. You just need to make sure you're not planning heavy exercise in these buds. Not only does their smooth surface tend to let the buds move around a lot, but they also lack any kind of formal protection from water or sweat.

But as long as you set your expectations accordingly, the T3 are a terrific buy.

UGreen HiTune T3
UGreen HiTune T3
Cheap, comfy, and perfect for noise control

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