Here are the best cheap headphones under $35 you can buy right now.
Buying the best cheap headphones is a lot harder than you might think. We're not talking about noise canceling headphones or wireless headphones with powerful performance and special features here. All this is expensive. Those who work on a very tight budget ($35 or less in this case) and just want something to accompany them on a daily basis and fill their ears with captivating sound will have to search even harder for a quality selection in the shopping cart.
After testing many models, we have ranked and ranked the top 10 cheap headphones for sound quality, design, comfort and purpose. There are also some cheap sports headphones that we tested to see how they hold up to our daily activities. Let's move on to our favorite pickups.
What are the best cheap headphones?
Based on our testing, we rate the Sol Republic Jax as the best cheap headphones available right now. Its mixture of powerful sound and practicality with a tangle of loose cable with an inline remote makes them an undeniably smart purchase. Numerous color options and a modest price are also additional incentives for bulk purchases.
Coming in second on our list is the RHA MA390 Universal, one of the most praised models in this category over the past three years. You will enjoy deep bass that complements modern music genres. The headphones can also reproduce the mids and highs well on orchestral recordings. In terms of design, it's a beauty with aluminum driver housings and braided wire to prevent cables from breaking easily.
The best cheap headphones you can buy today
1 Sol Republic Jax
Best Cheap Headphones Overall
Size: 5 x 1,5 x 0,5 inches | The weight: 0,64 oz | Control module: Yes | Microphone: Yes | Water Resistance: No
✅ Powerful sound
✅ The best built-in remote in its category
✅ Minimum leakage
✅ Cheerful, bright colors
❌Some songs may sound too heavy.
Budget headphones with outstanding bass are a rare find, and Sol Republic brings you what we consider to be the best cheap headphones overall: the Jax. These minimalist headphones are powered by the proprietary i2 Sound Engine, which feeds your eardrums with a strong buzz and doesn't distort the sound, although the bass can get a bit over the top on booming hip-hop tracks. You will also get excellent noise isolation from these buds as the tips fit snugly against external sounds.
The Sol Republic's plastic design may feel flimsy and the cable tends to get in the way when walking, but those are minor complaints for the most part. The sound, style and serviceability of Jax is enough to win you over. Trust me, you'll want to add two pairs to your cart ASAP.
2. RHA MA390 Universal
Budget headphones with excellent performance
Size: 0,47 x 0,59 x 53,15 inches | The weight: 0,53 oz | Control module: Yes | Microphone: Yes | Water Resistance: No
✅ Great build quality for the price
✅ Lots of accessories
✅ Three-year warranty
❌ Microphone quality could be better
The RHA MA390 Universal is a $30 wired in-ear headphone that boasts forward-firing bass and a wide soundstage in a beautifully crafted design. Low frequencies are emphasized and blend nicely with the mids and highs, producing a clean, warm sound on most recordings. The earphones are covered in a durable aluminum casing, while the universal remote is encased in a durable plastic mold, while the wire is wrapped in a woven fabric to protect the cable components. You also get a set of accessories (ear tips, shirt clip, mesh carry bag) and a three-year warranty as part of your purchase.
The built-in microphone is disappointing as it struggles to pick up vocals during phone calls and when using Siri. Again, this is a small complaint compared to the overall value that these buds offer at such a low price.
3. Panasonic ErgoFit RP-HJE120-K
The best price of cheap headphones
Size: 1,9 x 1,8 x 1,9 inches | The weight: 0,1 oz | Control module: Yes (optional) | Microphone: Yes (optional) | Water Resistance: No
✅ Dynamic sound
✅ Exceptional comfort and convenience
✅ Available in multiple colors
✅ Unbeatable price
❌Wires are fragile
They may look like what you'll find behind a glass top at your local grocery store, but Panasonic's tiny earbuds have been considered the best bargain in the last few years. The ErgoFit headphones deliver crisp highs, warm mids and deep lows despite their low price. Compared to other earbuds in this price range, the ErgoFit delivers cleaner sound; the soundstage is well suited to modern music genres such as alternative rock, EDM and hip hop.
What's more, they conform to the shape of the ear canal, providing a snug yet comfortable fit for long jam sessions. Those who love to accessorize their headphones with their clothing will find a wide variety of colors that should appeal to those who follow fashion. In total, you have 15 bold shades. Panasonic also sells the ErgoFit with or without a built-in microphone, although the latter is preferred as it gives you the ability to answer calls.
4. Piston fit
The best sounding cheap headphones
Size: 1 x 1 x 1 inch | The weight: 0,48 oz | Control module: Yes | Microphone: Yes | Water Resistance: No
✅ Durable, high-end design
✅ Wide sound range
✅ Decent call quality
❌Low noise isolation
Piston Fit is a great example of how to create premium headphones at a very low price. 1More has outfitted these in-ear headphones with an aluminum alloy casing and a "Kevlar core cable" that's built to withstand the daily abuse you'll be subjected to in the coming months. No matter how attractive they may seem, the main attribute of the buds is the sound quality, which is distinguished by its price. You'll enjoy clear and spacious sound that lets you breathe low, mid and high frequencies over orchestral recordings. Stereo separation is also impressive, making these headphones ideal for mobile gaming and YouTube browsing.
The earphones come with three sets of additional eartips for a personalized fit. 1More also sells the Piston Fit in four vibrant colors: pink, space grey, steel and teal. We really wish the headphones had volume controls and more modern features, but even with these shortcomings, they stand out as one of the best cheap headphones money can buy.
5. Dilvpoetry KZ ZST Dynamic Hybrid Dual Driver In-Ear Earphones
Rigid sound in a muscular design
Size: 4 x 2,9 x 1,3 inches | The weight: 0,68 oz | Control module: Yes | Microphone: Yes | Water Resistance: No
✅ Dominant profile with forward bass
✅ Attractive, ergonomic design
✅ Detachable cable system
✅ Very strong
❌ Vocals disguised as a noisy production
Dilvpoetry is mostly known for its headphone amps, but it turns out that the company also makes some great-sounding headphones. The KZ ZST is an example of this, offering listeners quality comfort and sound reproduction. Low frequencies have a pleasant boomy sound, while allowing the mids to shine on melodic recordings (eg jazz music). On the other hand, bass-heavy content will overshadow distinct vocals and instruments, so keep that in mind when choosing your Spotify playlists.
Another bonus is the ergonomic design of the buds; it fits most ear sizes and is encased in lightweight plastic for excellent protection. Wouldn't it be great if the shell around the buds was a little smaller? Certainly. Is this a deal breaker? My pleasure. While the color options are limited to black and what I would call cosmic purple, the latter looks so fresh that you'd consider buying them based on the looks alone.
6. House of Marley Smile Jamaica
Big bass in an eco-friendly package
Size: 2,76 x 1,57 x 0,79 inches | The weight: 0,63 oz | Control module: Yes | Microphone: Yes | Water Resistance: No
✅Full bass response
✅ Beautiful craftsmanship for the price
✅ Adequate built-in control
✅ Tangle-resistant braided cable
❌ Mids and highs are lost on bass recordings
Functional, well-designed, and capable of delivering loud sound, the House of Marley Budget Headphones score several marks on our list of the best cheap headphones to have. Staying true to the brand's stated mission of making quality audio products from sustainable materials, Smile Jamaica is crafted from African hardwoods that come in a variety of hues and give the buds a sophisticated look. Adding to its rugged feel is a fabric cable that won't break easily if snagged on other objects.
HoM does a commendable job of programming multiple commands (eg play/pause music, answer/end a call, jump/skip forward) onto a one-button remote. It's just a pity that there is no way to control the volume. While the Smile Jamaica comes with two sets of ear tips, we would have appreciated the carry bag for easy portability, especially after seeing how attractive the earbuds look.
7. JBL Tune 210
Affordable headphones with JBL sound
Size: 2,4 x 1,6 x 6,9 inches | The weight: 2,82 | Control module: Yes | Microphone: Yes | Water Resistance: No
✅ JBL patented Pure Bass Sound technology
✅ Exceptional comfort
✅ Good noise isolation
✅ Often slip out
❌ Inconvenient headphone jack
Brand awareness is key when spending money wisely, so when you find a great-sounding pair of JBL headphones for less than $25, don't hesitate to buy them. The Tune 210 stands out in that it has a punchy low end that doesn't get too strong and gives the midrange some room to breathe compared to bass-heavy recordings.
What's even more impressive is the build quality, an area where the JBL doesn't always win critical praise. The earmuffs feature a durable two-piece plastic construction designed for continuous use, which is accompanied by a thin flat wire that is flexible and prevents knots from forming. They provided pleasant comfort when they were tucked into my ears, although I noticed that their tips did not hold sweat well, leading to some slippage. The angled headphone jack can also wear out quickly as it protrudes, making it difficult to store connected audio devices in jeans pockets.
8. Apple EarPods (Lightning Version)
Inexpensive headphones with iOS support
Size: 2,68 x 1,1 x 3,46 inches | The weight: 0,4 oz | Control module: Yes | Microphone: Yes | Water Resistance: No
✅integration with iOS
✅ Excellent built-in microphone
✅ Easy to use controls
❌ Headphone jack required
❌ The sound is not great
The original wired EarPods got a bad rap for being free accessories that Apple ships with every iPhone but no one needs. But at $30, it's one of the cheapest and most effective replacements for familiar (and damaged) iPhone headphones. Apple simplifies the use of headphones with a three-button module that provides excellent tactility and instantly responds to commands. Most importantly, they work very well with iOS devices, providing smooth playback, volume and call controls, and instant access to Siri. The built-in microphone also does a great job with speech recognition, making your voice clear and crisp when making calls, or when calling Apple's virtual assistant to perform its endless list of tricks.
We also know that EarPods have their own set of issues that can't be hidden behind their usability, like cheap build quality and poor sound quality. Using the Lightning version also limits the use of Apple products, although the company still sells a version with a 3.5 jack connector for use with all other audio devices.
9. JBL Endurance Run.
The best cheap sports headphones
Size: 3,75 x 1,37 x 6,30 inches | The weight: 0,64 oz | Control module: Yes | Microphone: Yes | Water Resistance: Yes
✅ Energetic sound
✅ Robust design
✅ Can be worn in two ways
❌ No volume controls
Great fitness headphones for less than $20 may sound far-fetched, but JBL has brought it to life with these wired sports headphones. Endurance Run has a dynamic bass sound that fills your eardrums with loud, accurate bass without distorting the sound. The treble has presence (a rare trait for headphones in this price range) with a clear transmission to better hear the effects and instruments on the recordings. Rats will appreciate the reversible design, which allows you to wear the headphones traditionally with the cable down or wrapped around your ear, while enjoying the secure fit that JBL TwistLock elements provide. You can also choose from five colors: black, blue, red, teal and yellow.
While the Endurance Run is sweat-proof and won't break if dropped on concrete, it would be helpful to have a storage bag to store them on the go. Also, having a single button on the inline remote means that JBL had to compromise on some features, which in this case is volume control.
10. Sony MDR-XB50AP Extra Bass Headphones
Sony sound at an unbeatable price
Size: 2,63 x 1,50 x 6,75 inches | The weight: 0,28 oz | Control module: Yes | Microphone: Yes | Water Resistance: No
✅ Extra Bass technology
✅ Minimum leakage
❌ Can play too much bass on certain tracks
❌ Poor removal
Some of Sony's best headphones sell for a premium, but in some cases, you'll find a pair buried in a trash can that provides far more value than the price suggests. This is our introduction to the Sony MDRXB50AP. These reliable in-ear headphones don't skimp on low frequencies, producing deep, sometimes over-the-top bass that you'll enjoy best at medium volumes. The ear pads create a good seal that keeps the headphones in a stable position and minimizes sound leakage. Most impressive is the build quality, which consists of metal and high-quality plastic.
As much as we love Sony's Extra Bass audio point driving technology, it also makes the soundstage muddy when you're enjoying boom-oriented songs; 90s hip hop can be a rough listening experience at max volume. In addition, the design of the speaker stands out, and not in the best way.
How to choose the best cheap headphones for you
When shopping for the best cheap headphones, you are looking for models that can offer maximum performance and usability at the lowest possible cost. Of course, this can demand a lot from any sub-$50 pair of headphones or headphones, but it's not unrealistic.
Obviously, you need headphones with good sound. Some companies have a great track record with sound, so look for options with reputable namesakes. You'll also discover some hidden gems from lesser-known brands, though you'll want to do your due diligence and look into their reliability (eg consumer reviews, expert reviews). In any case, choose a pair that suits your sonic preferences.
The other priority is features. The limited hardware of cheap headphones won't allow them to have the same advanced feature set as a pair of true wireless headphones, but you can still get some practical use out of them. You'll need a model with a built-in remote for playback, call control, and volume control; these controls may also support modern features such as Google Assistant or Siri. The microphone is also important for answering calls on the road.
Accessories like extra ear tips are a huge bonus. This is a factor in comfort and fit, which is very important for listening to music on the road or listening to music at home for a long time.
Finally, you need to decide which multimedia device you will be using these headphones with. Those who still own an MP3 player (i.e. iPod Classic, Zune) or use an old smartphone with a headphone jack are fine. However, other users of modern Apple or Android smartphones will need to use the headphone adapter that came with their device or purchase an adapter online that is compatible with their device.