I wrote an articles about cheap earbuds a long time ago back in 2014, the post features some best wire earbuds. At the same time a new generation of earbuds was kick-started and just in a couple of year a they become mature products to consumers, that’s true wireless earbuds. At the beginning they started with several hundreds of dollars now it downs to less than 50$ we can get a pair on Amazon.
- They have entry-tier Bluetooth processor with limited functions
- Average build quality and the battery often degrade quicker than expensive ones if you read teardown Airpods or Sony WF-1000MX3 – their button batteries are great.
- Average battery life is 5 hours but can go up to 6 hours – Quick charging feature like 10 minutes of charge gives 2 hours of listening time is possible.
- They may be worth for the price but their sound is so so, not highly characterized
- Not ideal for calls
- A lot of styles even copycats with Beats earhooks, or toothbrush alike Airpods.
- Good fit for sports
- Touch control is possible
For expensive earbuds when I hear the sound I feel something different, that is sound signature that most audio reviewers could distinguish. But cheapies I don’t feel that way. Bass is sometimes too much and not solid. Treble is not refine and may feel crunchy, all ranges are not really unified to characterize rather they stand alone, so generally they are good or bad for some tracks.
But it is acceptable as long as they blow out the sound.
That’s sound perspective.
In terms of technological advance, Bluetooth chip manages connection and some additional functionalities that depend on makers.
Qualcomm, a US processor maker for smartphones, has a high profile Bluetooth processor expertise. Their chips are more expensive than others but they have more features such as HRM, glucose level reader.
Cheaper Bluetooth processors are from Taiwan or China, they also work and being upgrade frequently – they get better, consume less power, stable pairing, but the design and Antenna play an important role. Generally the connection is quite stable though present hiccups sometimes
To keep low price, accessible to anyone they minimize the design, optimize material hand hardware components to cut the cost.
$50 – $100
Anker Liberty Airs seems to be a good fit if you have small ears.
It has noise isolation that Airpods don’t match, so the bass holds tight and feel more ohm.
The Liberty Airs have a good clarity, nice mid and good treble.
Xiaomi Airdots Pro
In this price range, Xiaomi Airdots Pro can be a good pick for ANC, available to buy on GearBest.
ANC is an ambitious feature that many want to bet in.
Bose possesses the advanced NC tech, but it struggles to build this function into their true wireless, Sony, Apply and other have launched their first set and they are not perfect yet. But it would be a point for users.
Cheap true wireless earbuds with NC would attract more buyers.
Airdots Pro are just another Xiaomi’s product that tries to come in the market with NC for less if you know Airpods Pro cost $249 that is quite a lot for NC.
The 1More Stylish True Wireless are the best at $100.
The last pair I would recommend is true wireless IEMs, the Bluetooth 5.0 TFZ X1 – their sound is highly clear and detailed with BA drivers.
For under 50$ you can get a good pair of true wireless earbuds. They can look like Beats, Airpods, Samsung Buds.
Until recently I found the TOZO T10 Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless Earbuds
I got more than 14,000 ratings on Amazon. The battery life is just 3.5 hours not that an impressive figure but people it because of functionalities and sound.
The TOZO T10 is Bluetooth 5.0 earbuds so once you switch them on, the notification on your Android phone will pop for pairing.
The case can be wirelessly charged, a plus feature that you don’t have to pay $$ for it. Though the charging mat is not included.
If you have ever tried wire Bluetooth earbuds such as Mpow Flame, you would figure out they not only fit to your ears the same but their sounding profile. Truly they aren’t bass-kickers but there are a lot.
Good for music with heavy bass.
Great battery life – even they last longer than Apple Airpods
The JadeAudio EW1’s battery life is rated more than 6 hours (up to 7 hours on average volume)
The EW1 sounds quite natural, there are some bass kicked in but the overal is pleasant to listen to. Well perhaps the AptX support may play an important role for the EW1’s sounding profile. The mid-range is clear, sweet, a bit forward and bright the this range is great.
Powered by QCC3020 Qualcomm Bluetooth processor, the EW1 has the latest noise cancelling technology, the cVc 8.0 so it should be good for calls.
Another choice can be Airpods clone, you like the style, don’t need the advanced features and just want to know what it is like wearing something like Airpods.
As I picked a few good options in this post about Airpods knockoffs, you definitely can pick yours too.
Xiaomi Redmi AirDots, TaoTronics TWS TT-BH053, EarFun Free and a lot more that I couldn’t list them all here. But for under $50 – design, waterproof features and strong bass sound will be the priorities if you like to buy a pair.
Cheap AirPods alternative
A variation here, from sealed to open design, different color and housing appearance – but they share the same long stem. Of course, there are sound signature variation between those too, but not that significantly different.
Like EarFun Free, it features Bluetooth 5.0 and the case has USB-C for charging and can be wirelessly charged too. The IPX rating is 7 that’s impressive. The EarFun Free sounds good with a good bass and crisp details
Six hours of battery is another headline that even tops the Apple Airpods for 5 hours.