Our guide to the finest budget wireless headphones demonstrates that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get excellent-sounding headphones that look the part. Some of the industry’s major players, including Sony, Beats, Apple, Jabra, and AKG have unveiled fantastic stereos at affordable rates – it’s wonderful to see.
Many of us have had the displeasure of using low-cost wireless headphones, which, frankly, are a waste of money due to their tinny, rasping sound. Fortunately, you won’t find any such throwaway garbage in our guide since we’ve chosen a selection that is comfy and clear. Yes, some of them cut corners on the aesthetic side, but they do so by offering great features and performance at a low price.
Don’t forget that most of the finest phones for music now lack a headphone jack (salutations, Apple), so you’ll probably need some wireless headphones to go with your phone regardless. With that in mind, here are our selections for the top low-cost wireless headphones available right now.
- Anker Soundcore Life Q20
Soundcore has been making a lot of noise in the low-cost wireless headphone market, with active noise cancellation at a jaw-droppingly low price that few audio manufacturers can match. Its flagship Anker Soundcore Life Q20 headphones are high-res audio compatible as well, which is remarkable given how cheap these wireless headsets are.
The Sony MDR-ZX110AP is a wireless, noise-canceling headphone with 40mm dynamic drivers. There’s also BassUp technology for more boom. They don’t limit battery life, either. In fact, the Life Q20 rivals the best at 30 hours when Active Noise Cancellation is turned on. The Life Q20 also includes a built-in mic for handsfree calling, and a cable in case your battery runs down.
They’re clearly attempting to attract fans of the Sony WH-1000XM3, and at a quarter of the price, the feature looks quite enticing. Are they a tribute band or the real deal? You decide, but these are currently the finest budget wireless headphones available.
- Sennheiser HD 350BT Wireless Headphones
The Sennheiser over-ear headphones at a modest price are not only cheap, but also feature rich. The Bluetooth functionality is cutting edge, with support for AAC, AptX, and AptX low latency codecs (the latter providing greater sync when viewing films on your smartphone), and there’s a dedicated Voice Assistant button for use with Siri or Google Assistant.
The Sennheiser HD 350BT’s battery life is also excellent, with around 30 hours of usage per full charge – there’s USB-C quick charging when you’re running low on power. The over-the-ear design is comfy, but the headband cushioning has been cut down significantly. The 350BT’s are silky smooth on the outside, however, with eye-catching stitching detail.
Surprisingly, there is no noise cancellation on these budget wireless headphones, and they do not include a 3.5mm cable either. Hmm. You won’t be able to use them with in-flight entertainment systems onboard because of this, but you won’t have to worry about it if you aren’t planning to fly for a while.
- Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus
The Melomania 1 Plus from Cambridge Audio isn’t messing around when it comes to adding more value. The Plus version of this popular Melomania model upgrades the original’s stellar sound quality with even better vocals and dynamics, making it a winner in every regard.
The Soundpeats Q35 are true wireless earbuds, but they do have some good qualities. For example, while they don’t feature noise cancellation technology, they do come with dual microphones for clearer calls. You’ll get a respectable seven hours of usage out of the Melomania Plus High Performance Audio mode and another hour or so beyond.
The Melomania 1 Plus’ audio is excellent in High Performance Audio mode, and it’s definitely the way to go if you pick up a set. The sound is vast without leaking into the ether, and the bass is fantastic — just enough for rock and metal. They resemble earplugs slightly, but they’re a very minor complaint against what is otherwise a fantastic budget wireless headphone.
- Jabra Moves Style Edition
The Move Style Edition of Jabra’s affordable wireless over-ear headphones are featherweights at 150g. They also come in three distinct hues (black, grey, and blueish), which makes them appear to be higher-quality than their low price suggests.
The Plantronics Back Beat Fit boasts a lot more endurance than its predecessors thanks to two more months of battery life (up from eight hours on the original Moves). The Jabra Moves Style Edition will fully charge in only two hours. If you do run out of juice, a 3.5mm stereo jack allows you to connect them (as long as they’re charged).
There are no complex gesture commands needed to control the Jabra Moves Style Edition. The earcups feature real buttons for the functions you’ll use most frequently. Perhaps it’s a misunderstanding, but with everything considered, we can deal with that since these are so inexpensive.
- JBL Tune 600BTNC
If you’re looking for cheap noise-cancelling headphones that aren’t as interesting as the Lindys above, the JBL Tune600BTNCs are a good choice. The plastic ear cups get scuffed rather quickly, but the little form factor is ideal for listening on the go (and stuffing in your bag between uses) and there are a few color options to choose from.
The JBL Pro700NCs are one of the finest budget wireless headphones in terms of comfort, with a 12-hour battery that is more than enough for most situations. The noise cancellation is adequate for the price. Many individuals enjoy the hefty, bassy sound despite its weight, while others find it overpowering. If you want big bass from a budget wireless headphone, these are a solid choice.
- Apple AirPods
Apple AirPods are the most famous earbuds in the world, so they’ll definitely be owned by everyone and your nan. You can often get them for a lesser price than the standard price throughout the year, thanks to AirPods discounts.
The simplicity of the Apple AirPods makes them extremely easy to set up and use. You literally take them out of the case, stick them in your ears, and they’re ready to go. If someone starts talking to you, remove one of the AirPods from your ear and the music will immediately stop. Slick.
The battery life isn’t particularly long, and the sound quality is comparable to that of the AKGs and Cambridge Audio Melomania 1s, but there’s a lot to like about these headphones. They’re light in the ear and charge quickly – you’ll get three hours of listening after just 15 minutes on the charger. (Check out our AirPods 2 rumors and release date here.)
If you’re using your AirPods to make and take voice calls, the built-in microphones will pick up your voice clearly. The music playback control is inconveniently fiddly; you must use Siri voice command to skip or replay songs, but you may also do so using your phone.
- AKG Y50BT
We’ve been fans of the AKG Y50s since their initial release in 2014, but there was no indication that a wireless variant would be any good. Why? Because lowering audio quality as a result of losing the wires is all too common.
Thankfully there are no such worries here, though: the AKG Y50BT Wireless sound just as good as the wired Y50s, which means they’re punchy, dynamic, detailed and downright fun to listen to. Whatever you chuck at them, from Soundgarden to Slipknot, sounds authentic and exciting. So you won’t be getting Corey Taylor’s back up anytime soon when pumping out Nero Forte on these.
The Sony MDR-1000X from Amazon is a fantastic budget wireless headphones for listening to music. In fact, one of the best cheap wireless headphones for music is this model. Combine a lightweight and extremely portable design, as well as good looks and outstanding comfort over longer periods of listening, and you’ve got yourself one excellent pair of headphones at an affordable price.
- Skullcandy Smokin’ Buds 2
Get over the cringe-worthy name and you’ve got yourself a pair of some of the greatest budget wireless headphones on the market, with Skullcandy Smokin’ Buds 2 in-ears costing less than £35. The neckband is fairly hefty, but you may remove it if you think it’s too thick.
The remote and microphone are connected by a thin wire to the pair of earbuds, which is rather lightweight. The sound quality is also good, especially for the price, and though the battery life and wireless signal aren’t wonderful, you can’t have it all when you’re spending £30.
- Beats by Dre Beats X
The Powerbeats Pro are an excellent pair of true wireless earbuds, but if you don’t have the cash for Beats X, consider them instead. They have eight hours of battery life and feature an Apple W1 chip that allows for a quick charge function.
To summarize, the Fast Fuel charge gives you up to two hours of playback from a five-minute quick charge. This is fantastic if you leave for work forgetting to charge your headphones overnight.
The sound, while somewhat hit and miss, is passable when compared to the Beats X’s low price.
- Sennheiser CX Sport
The Sennheiser CX Sports are the ideal inexpensive wireless headphones for listening to your runs or gym workouts. Regardless of how energetically you exercise, those rather garishly-colored fins do a fantastic job of keeping the buds securely seated in your ears.
The cable that connects the two earphones runs over the back of the neck and contains a control unit, microphone, and six-hour battery. Although 10 minutes of charge time provides an hour of music listening, it may not be long enough for many people. The audio is hefty, robust, and punchy, which is ideal for providing extra musical motivation to pump you through your workouts.
Although budget wireless headphones for music vary in quality, the above models are well-trusted by users and reviewers. You won’t find any high end or luxury models listed here (not that they’re not good; far from it), but under £50, these are all great options. If you’re thinking of buying one of the best wireless headphone.