Bluetooth headphones are becoming increasingly popular and affordable, but wired earbuds do have some advantages. There are no connectivity issues, nor do they run out of battery. Importantly, they are also typically cheaper.
So long as you have a device with a 3.5mm headphone jack (or an additional adaptor), wired earbuds are still a great, cost-effective option. Here are some of the best cheap wired earbuds available today.
1. KZ ZSN
The KZ ZSN are some of the best-sounding affordable earbuds. Their audio reproduction is so good, you may even be able to use them instead of your studio monitors in a pinch. The company has released many headphones in the past, but this set strikes the right balance between performance and price.
This pair has a bassy sound profile and can get loud enough to drown out the ambient noise around you. They’re also very comfortable, as they’re shaped in a way that fits snugly inside your ear. The outsides have metal housing while the insides are made of green, purple, or black colored plastic, which gives them a unique look.
Unlike most earbuds in this price range, these have a detachable cable. If your wire ever snaps or breaks, you can easily buy a replacement cable and swap it out in under a minute. You can also purchase a separate, Bluetooth-enabled cable that turns your pair into wireless earbuds.
Like other headphones in the Sony Extra Bass lineup, the MDR-XB50AP Extra Bass earbuds are tuned for above-average bass reproduction. The earbuds have a full-range sound, making them well-suited to most types of music and spoken word.
They have a Y-shaped flat cord to reduce tangling, too. In keeping with other Sony products, the earbuds are durable and built to last. The Sony MDR-XB50AP also has an in-built microphone and a smartphone control button that you can use to pause, play, and skip your songs.
In addition to the earbuds itself, you get four additional pairs of tips in varying sizes and a small soft pouch that you can use to carry everything. Keep in mind, though, that these are not water-resistant or splash-proof. If this is an important factor for you, others on this list may be a better choice.
One of the primary considerations when looking at any set of in-ear headphones is whether they’ll fit your ears comfortably. The Monster iSport Strive are some of the best-fitting wired earbuds available today. The earbuds are designed for active lifestyles, with outer rubberized grips designed to sit snugly inside your ears.
Although most earbuds go inside your ear, the iSport Strive sit on top of your ear canal. This makes them more comfortable across long listening sessions and for those who don’t enjoy in-ear designs. These earbuds are also sweat-proof, making them ideal for workout sessions.
Thanks to the earpiece’s construction, the earbuds can provide noise isolation, too. The cable is flat rather than circular to prevent tangling. Despite this unusual design, the earbuds come with a three-button ControlTalk remote and microphone. This allows you to control music playback, as well as accept or reject calls.
If you’re looking for a cheap pair of earbuds with decent noise isolation, the Symphonized NRG 3.0 are a great pick. They’re well-built and offer good noise reduction. The casing on the outside of each bud is made of wood, which gives them a warmer sound than most of the other options in this price range.
They’re available in six styles that determine the shade and grain of the wood, the color of the wire, and the accent colors on the back of each earbud. Along with an in-line mic, this pair has built-in buttons that allow you to control your music app and adjust your phone’s volume in a pinch.
The NRG 3.0 ship with a hard shell carrying case that compliments the look of the earphones. They also come with six pairs of earbuds in varying sizes and styles, so you won’t have to worry about losing one or both of the attached tips.
Skullcandy is one of the most established and well-respected headphone brands around. Its products are among the best value earbuds you can find, and the Skullcandy Ink’d Mic’d 2.0 are no exception. The first thing you’ll notice is that these earphones are very cheap, even compared to the other entries on this list.
Given the price, you shouldn’t buy these expecting the highest-quality audio. That said, this set contains Skullcandy’s Supreme Sound technology, allowing for excellent sound reproduction. This same technology provides the company’s Attacking Bass experience, giving your audio a powerful low-end.
The Ink’d Mic’d 2.0 come with an in-line microphone and one-button remote. The earbuds come in a range of 10 different colors, so you’ll be sure to find something to match your style. The cable is flat, too, minimizing the amount of time you’ll spend untangling the headphones.
The Panasonic ErgoFit buds are probably the most popular wired headphones of any type on Amazon, with over 50,000 reviews. There’s a good reason why. They offer decent sound reproduction, build quality, and comfort, while also being one of the cheapest options available.
The ErgoFit name comes from Panasonic’s way of designing the buds, which make them comfortable to have in your ears for extended periods. While they don’t offer the best sound reproduction, they’re fine for listening to a couple of songs at the office or watching videos on YouTube.
The base model comes without a mic, but the ErgoFit with Microphone costs just an extra few dollars. Both are available in over a dozen colors. If you need a couple of pairs of extra earbuds around the house as backups, these are a great option. They’re also a good choice for young kids.
The Best Wired Earbuds for You
Wired earbuds are still an affordable option for listening on the go. Bluetooth headphones offer a wire-free experience, but you then need to consider battery life and connectivity instead.
Even if you choose wireless headphones as your daily set, wired earbuds make a great backup option, too. That said, if you’re committed to a wire-free existence, then you should check out some of these affordable true wireless earbuds instead.