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, those 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 buds that will meet your music and voice needs. Want proof? Check out this selection 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: 1More Stylish
- The best cheap true wireless earbuds for working out: JLab Jbuds Air Sport
- The best cheap true wireless earbuds alternative to AirPods: Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2
- The best cheap true wireless earbuds for $50: EarFun Free
- The best cheap true wireless earbuds for those on a strict budget: JLab Go Air
Why you should buy them: With great sound, comfort, and battery life, the 1More Stylish are the best bang for your buck.
Who they’re for: Anyone who wants a set of excellent, daily-driver true wireless earbuds that are well priced.
Why we picked the 1More Stylish:
When it comes right down to it, what should a set of true wireless earbuds deliver? Great sound? Absolutely. Enough battery life to keep you from worrying? Definitely. A comfortable, lightweight design that is also easy to use? Yes, please! The 1More Stylish do all of these things, plus they’re able to stand up to a moderate amount of sweat, making them a great companion no matter where you go.
Best of all, at the magical $100 price, they’re way cheaper than true wireless models from Apple, Jabra, Beats, and Sony, proving that you don’t have to spend tons of money for a great set of wireless buds.
Even though they’ve been around awhile, the Stylish’s 6.5 hours of battery per charge beats several of today’s best buds, including both of Apple’s AirPods models. Their elegant charging case extends that to 26 hours, and if you ever find yourself in need of a quick top-up, the 1More Stylish can give you an extra three hours after just 15 minutes spent in the case. With Bluetooth 5 and support for aptX and AAC, the wireless connection is clear and reliable.
Perhaps the best feature of the 1More Stylish is their sound quality. As with the majority of 1More products we’ve tested, the Stylish sound way better than their humble price suggests. “With bold bass and well-balanced mid and treble frequencies, the headphones made all genres I listened to … sound just the way I expected,” our reviewer noted.
Of course, when you’re in this price range, there are a couple of features that don’t show up. There’s no active noise cancellation and no passthrough mode for piping in outside sounds. But given the Stylish’s many strengths, these are both fair compromises for what you get.
Why you should buy them: They’re tough as nails and won’t budge during even your most strenuous workouts.
Who they’re for: Those who need true wireless earbuds designed for serious activity — that don’t cost a small fortune.
Why we picked the JLab Jbuds Air Sport:
Yes, we’ve seen plenty of people at the gym with Apple AirPods. And why not? If your workout consists of free weights and cardio sessions on a stationary bike, you probably aren’t at risk of losing one of those little white golf tees. Or if you do, they don’t have far to fall. But more demanding fitness regimens require a different kind of true wireless earbud, like the JLab Jbuds Air Sport.
Designed with a Powerbeats Pro-style wraparound earhook (but without the astronomical price point), the Jbuds Air Sport should stay put no matter how intense your training session gets. They also offer an IP66 rating, which means that short of taking them for a swim (don’t do that), they’ll stand up to any water or dust you expose them to.
A solid 6-hour battery life per charge (and 34 hours of reserve in the case) means the Air Sport will get you through even your longest sessions, and the Be Aware function is a must for those who take their workouts to the streets, allowing you to bring in the ambient world around you with a tap. We’re also big fans of JLab’s built-in EQ settings. Without ever needing to open an app or touch your phone, you can switch between three different modes to match your tunes.
Finally, a two-year warranty — one of the longest you’ll find on any true wireless earbuds — provides confidence that these buds can walk (or run) the talk.
Why you should buy them: You like the 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 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 can also use the earbuds 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 these buds offer, and the HearID sound test will also add an extra element of control.
Why you should buy them: For $50, you won’t find a better-sounding or more feature-packed set of true wireless earbuds.
Who they’re for: Anyone who wants a decent set of true wireless earbuds for the magic price of $50.
Why we picked the EarFun Free:
$50 is not a lot of money to spend on a set of true wireless earbuds. So it’s understandable if you think you’ll end up having to severely compromise in some way in order to stay within that budget. But that’s the remarkable thing about the EarFun Free: They cost less than a night at the movies for two, and yet they come with a feature list that you often can’t find on earbuds that cost three times as much.
Don’t let their basic-black appearance fool you. The EarFun Free have a six-hour battery life, which while not spectacular, still beats everyone’s favorite all-white Apple-made earbuds. Their charging case carries an extra four full charges, for 30 hours of total wire-free time. That charging case is also wireless, giving you the option of using a Qi-compatible charging mat, or the included USB-C cable.
The earbuds themselves are rated as IPX7, making them effectively waterproof. This doesn’t mean you can use them while swimming — Bluetooth hates traveling through water — but it does mean that if you forget they’re in your ears, a plunge in the pool won’t hurt them at all. It also makes cleaning them a cinch.
The rubber-sealed push-button controls are easy to use, and unlike some other models, you get volume control in addition to the standard play/pause, track skip forward/back, and call answer/end.
The most surprising part though is the sound. It’s rich and full, with a nice blend of low-end bass and balanced mids and highs. Very picky listeners may find them a tad lacking in precision, but the vast majority of folks will be very happy with how the EarFun Free sound. Did we mention they’re just $50?
Why you should buy them: They’re shockingly cheap, offer decent sound and connection, and look good to boot.
Who they’re for: Anyone looking to dip their toes into fully wireless earbuds for a crazy-low price point.
Why we picked the JLab Go Air:
Earlier this year, we updated this list withas the best choice for a budget set of true wireless earbuds. But then JLab released its Go Air buds and set an even lower bar for price — just $30 — while preserving almost everything we liked about the FlyBuds.
The Go Air tick a lot of the boxes we think matter in a set of true wireless earbuds: They get five hours on a single charge — not amazing, but certainly on par with some far more expensive products like the $130 Amazon Echo Buds, $149 AirPods, and $249 AirPods Pro. The charging case packs another 15 hours for a total of 20 hours.
With an AirPod-beating IPX4 rating for water-resistance, they’re highly workout-friendly and though the earbuds lack a hook or earfin, they still stay put thanks to their small and light design.
The touch controls on each earbud are easy to use and manage to remain responsive while avoiding accidental triggers most of the time. through a combination of taps and long-presses, you get all of the essentials: Volume, track control, play/pause, call answer/end, and voice assistant access. JLab even includes its unique three-mode EQ, which can be toggled without using your phone.
JLab gives you a lot for $30, but let’s face it, you can’t get there without making a few sacrifices. The sound quality is good, far better in fact than we were expecting, but you’re not going to get the kind of details and subtleties that the 1More Stylish offer. Bass response is good, but only when using the Bass Boost EQ setting. Call quality is acceptable, but you should think of it as something that’s handy to have, not something you want to use a lot.
The charging case is lid-less, with the earbuds always exposed, even though large guardrails prevent then from being bumped accidentally. The magnets that keep the buds in place are plenty strong enough — almost too strong. It can be a bit tricky to extract the buds from their sockets. We love the convenience of having a USB cable built into the bottom of the charging case, but it’s also a risk: If it gets damaged, the charging case is useless.
Even with these drawbacks, the JLab Go Air are a killer deal for those on a super-tight budget who still want fully wireless freedom.
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