Yes, you really can score great-quality headphones for less than a Benjamin. Please note that this article features only wired headphones, so if you’re looking for affordable wireless headphones and earbuds, head over to our dedicated article that’s full of sub-$100 options.
1. Status Audio CB-1 Over-Ear Headphones
Thanks to a pair of 50-millimeter audio drivers, the CB-1 headset offers a neutral sound signature that’s suitable even for studio work.
Each pair ships with two detachable cables — one coiled for studio work and one straight for casual listening. The headphones fold for easier storage.
2. Sony MDR-ZX110NC Noise-Canceling Headphones
The Sony MDR-ZX110NC headphones offer on-ear design, excellent noise canceling, and an entertaining, slightly bass-heavy sound sound signature. The latter comes courtesy of 30-millimeter neodymium audio drivers.
An AAA battery helps the headset deliver up to 80 hours of noise-cancellation between replacements. Overall, if $40 is all you want to spend on noise-canceling headphones, these are impossible to overlook.
3. Bose SoundSport In-Ear Headphones
The Bose SoundSport earbuds are designed with workout warriors in mind, offering a superb fit and lightweight construction (they weigh a tad more than half an ounce). The earbuds are also sweat- and weather-resistant, so even outdoor adventures won’t cause them any harm.
As expected from a Bose headset, the SoundSport earbuds deliver excellent sound quality. A built-in remote for making phone calls is also on board.
4. Razer Hammerhead Lightning Earbuds
The Razer Hammerhead Lightning earbuds are the best option with an Apple Lightning connector for less than $100. Their 10-millimeter audio drivers have been tuned to deliver an immersive audio experience, headlined by powerful, yet distortion-free bass. You can customize the sound to your liking via a mobile app.
We really like the all-metal design of the Hammerhead earbuds, as well as their tangle-free flat cables. When not in use, they snap together via built-in magnets for easier storage.
5. OnePlus Type-C Bullets Wired Earbuds
The Type-C Bullets by OnePlus are easily the best affordable earbuds with a USB-C connector. Priced at only $20, they have an elegant design, a well-balanced sound that’s really excellent for their price range, and a handy three-button remote control.
We like that the Type-C Bullets have a built-in DAC, which enables HD audio support. The metal-clad earbuds are a must-buy for owners of Android phones without a standard audio jack.