Serious music listeners will always be willing to pay for the best headphones that offer more performance and features. You’re probably wondering if you’d have to pay a lot for a good in-ear mode to enjoy your favorite tracks.
But is it possible to find great-sounding earbuds at affordable prices? Ten dollars is quite a small amount to chasing a decent pair with.
To find out, we decided to look at decent and yet affordable earbuds of the types that many of us tend to own and use every day. It might surprise you that some of the best budget earbuds can be found selling in this low pricing range. For so long as you don’t handle these small models too roughly and are careful to store them in protective cases between uses, you should be able to enjoy them for a long time.
Before we run through the details of choosing the best earbuds under 10 USD, here is a table showing the best earbuds under 10 USD.
|AmazonBasics In-Ear||Wired||None||Cord clip||3/0|
|Sentey LS-4206||Wired||Play, mic||Metal earpieces||3/0|
|Monoprice 110153 Enhanced Bass||Wired||Volume/play, mic||Full iOS controls||3/0|
|JLab Audio JBuds2||Wired||None||Long warranty||3/0|
|Philips SHS3200||Wired||None||Loop earhooks||1/1|
|Sentey BULLEX||Wired||Play, mic||Metal earpieces||6/0|
|JVC Marshmallow HAFX32||Wired||Volume/play, mic||Full iOS controls||2/0|
|Panasonic RP-HJE120||Wired||None||Natural even sound||3/0|
|NoiseHush NX80||Wired||Play, mic||Flat cable||3/0|
|Monoprice 109927||Wired||None||Metal earpieces||1/0|
|Panasonic RP-TCM125||Wired||Play, mic||Natural even sound||3/0|
|Sunvito RQ8||Wireless||Volume/play, mic||Bluetooth 4.0||2/1|
|Sennheiser MX365||Wired||None||Classic loose fit||1/0|
Now that you know what the best inexpensive earbuds under 10 USD are, here is a more detailed walkthrough of each and every one of them. We hope this buyer’s guide is of any help to you in choosing the best affordable earbuds.
The Best Budget Earbuds 2017
If your budget is limited, you might be interested in some plain earbuds under 10 USD. With all the options out there, it’s hard to pick, but that’s why we made this guide – to help you pick the best earbuds under 10 USD. We admit that some of these earbuds mentioned in this review cost over 10 dollars, but it’s up to you if you want to spend a bit more on higher quality earbuds. The lower you go down on this list, the more will the earbuds cost you. If you’re wondering: What are the best earbuds under 10 USD? Well, we got you covered. Here are the best affordable earbuds under 10 dollars.
Amazon’s own line inexpensive consumer gear has many items that offer good performance for the price, and this cheap model exemplifies the range. This model isn’t that remarkable, and a few others reviewed here can sound just as balanced and with more verve. But given the very low price, its audio performance is surprisingly good.
We would not go so far as to claim that this pair offers better clarity or presence than the others reviewed here. But it’s capable of detailed and balanced sound that tends to be richer at the lower mid-range. Thankfully, the high notes don’t sound too thin like that of many cheap models, and bass response was good enough to put out heavy tracks without distortion.
The lightweight plastic earpieces are comfortable once they are properly positioned, and three pairs are provided for a good fit. A convenient cord clip is provided, and there’s a sliding sleeve you can use to adjust cord lengths near the earpieces. This is a basic set of headphones for there are no playback or call controls to entice phone users.
AmazonBasics’s In-Ear Headphones are truly affordable earbuds with decent audio quality that offer few conveniences. Considering their low pricing, their performance should please users who’ll use them mainly for listening.
The design of this pair of earbuds got certain things right. First of all, it comes with a useful case that’s good for keeping dirt and grime from entering. Second, the sound quality is decent, with sharp highs as well as mids with presence, and the strong bass response is pleasantly surprising with the right tracks.
Third, the earpieces are integrated within metal casings that have sturdy covers. The covers stretch along the wire from each earpiece for a few inches, which is a feature not usually found on affordable earbuds. It means the cable will be less likely to break close to the stem, something that happens all too frequently with small in-ear models.
Other earbuds locate the microphone on either earpiece, an arrangement that isn’t as good for handling calls or voice recordings. This model’s in-line mic is much better placed along its lengthy 120-cm cord for picking up your voice. But this pair won’t be too good for listeners who tend to jump or run about in the gym or out in the field, as it doesn’t remain in place when the user is moving.
The Sentey LS-4206 is still great for less active users and is presently among the best earphones under 10 dollars in the market. It’s incredible that it’s selling for closer to half that at online sites such as Amazon.
Monoprice’s inexpensive in-ear headphones were well regarded in many reviews over the past few years, where they typically listed among the top models. These can no longer compare with the latest and best, but they do offer clear highs, a smooth mid-range, and surprisingly good bass. Like many budget headphones of good quality, there’s a shiny treble in the highs.
These are among the cheapest models we tested to include full multifunction controls, with all the basic features you’ll actually need. Included are three pairs of tips for forming a tight seal, although if you have big ears you’ll be constantly adjusting the small earpieces. These are rear-heavy and as a result, the earpieces will fall off more readily if you move much, so this model is more appropriate for stationary listening.
This model’s strength is the complete set of in-line controls that are certified to work well with iPhones and are also compatible with Google Now for greater versatility. Hands-free calls were clear and trouble-free, although the button activates too freely in the pocket. The cord does tend to tangles, and this plus the uneasy fit of the earpieces will be a challenge for active users.
You’ll have to spend a lot more to get an anti-tangle cable or appreciably better audio performance. Monoprice’s 110153 may not have their place among the very best earbuds, and you may find them falling off if you’re overly active, but they still offer a lot for the price.
These are some of the most inexpensive earbuds we’ve come across, offering decent performance although the lack of playback controls is concerning. The sound can be thin in the highs and isn’t as rich in the mids or lows as the best models reviewed here. But everything blends smoothly enough with little distortion and it’s ok for playing pop tracks with gusto.
The ultra-lightweight angled earpiece design results in this model’s great strength. They bring a level of comfort that’s beyond anything else in this category, and the compact and flat position in the ear lets them keep their place quite well. The great fit coupled with the good noise-isolating seal leads to comfortable listening, and the company even offers a lifetime ‘fit’ guarantee for it.
Three pairs of ear tips are included, but the thin cords are prone to tangling a bit. These are by no means remarkable earbuds except for their amazing comfort. Still, you’ll have to pay much more for noticeably better sound quality or stability, particularly on sports models.
JLab’s JBuds2 are not the best-sounding earbuds around but do offer a great fit that’s actually warranted. They do stay in place, which is good for active users, and offer reasonably good sound given their low cost.
This classic pair of loose-fitting earbuds features large 15 mm drivers that provide smooth and relatively balanced sound, with bass that’s well controlled if somewhat weak. It’s appropriate for enjoying vocal, classical, jazz, and all kinds of instrumental acoustic genres.
Designed to help resist loosening and sweat, the rather prominent plastic ear hooks are integrated into the earpieces to keep them from falling off while you’re moving. The ear hooks fit around most ears of various sizes without adjustment, and the cable is long enough to let you hang it however you like. These features make it a sensible pick for use in gyms or out in the field.
The Philips SHS3200 offers good audio quality and old-school convenience and its around-the-ear hook ensures excellent stability, although some may find the bass lacking. It’s the best earhook headphones for active listeners who care for ease of use as much as balanced sound.
Sentey is known for their budget metal earpieces and more importantly, decent sound quality. They market a number of headphones, of which this is probably the most popular among their in-ear models. This is something of an upgrade over the cheaper LS-4206, which is already regarded as among the best budget earbuds available.
The most obvious difference between the two is the uniquely cylindrical form of the Bullex, which mimics the shape of, well, a bullet jacket. The cord is not braided unlike the other, although it has a flexible covering that helps to prevent tangling. An In-line control module with a mic and call/playback functions lessens your need to remove your phone from a pocket.
The highs and mids all come together smoothly and the bass is punchy, qualities that are good for thumping rock and dubstep tracks. Interestingly, this model includes a pair of filter caps to shape music properties according to your preference and favorite genres. One is optimized for livelier rock and the other for smoother instrumental and jazz, and both can produce an audible difference.
The earpieces seal in well with good noise isolation, and sound output is clear, powerful, and relatively free of distortion. Two sets of silicone tips in small, medium, and large pairs are packaged along with a very useful hard-shell case.
If you’re searching for decent yet inexpensive in-ear headphones with uniquely appealing looks and good bass response, Sentey’s Bullex will be your best pair of cheap earbuds.
JVC Marshmallow HAFX32
Not all of us are ready or willing to buy pricey new in-ear headphones, so it’s good that competent and yet cheerfully inexpensive models like this are around. This sturdy pair is a great upgrade for the stock units that come with the majority of smartphones and it frequently sells below list price. It offers some of the best-balanced sound quality in the budget category.
You’ll find that it can smoothen various genres from jazz to rock and classical. Even though it doesn’t have the sharpest highs, with middle notes sounding just a tad warm, its presence and staging can envelop quite pleasingly. The volume, pause, and call buttons on the in-line module are compatible with iPhone models, and the cord is usefully long.
Two sets of ear tips made of memory foam are included, and many themes such as green, purple, and blue are available. The earpieces’ styling may not be sensational, but these are stable and comfortable enough when on the go, an advantage that regular gym-goers will like. They offer superior comfort and isolation from outside noises, although you might find the ear tips’ material losing its softness and pliant feel after the better part of a year.
We did not expect this pair to sound so good given their very low price and complete set of music and call controls. The JVC Marshmallow HAF32X is one of the best low cost earbuds available and merits a spot on your checklist of models to try.
Panasonic RP-HJE120 – Best Earphones Under 10 USD
These earbuds come in various color themes, some of which are priced higher than the rest. In all cases, none should cost you more than ten Dollars. With such an inexpensive product, you might think to keep your expectations in check, but the sound quality can be surprisingly decent.
It’s a popular model that sells well at the big online sellers, collecting high ratings along with glowing reviews from thousands of users over the years. With its balanced sound that’s mostly free of distortion, this model compares nicely with many priced three to four times as much. It won’t be as strong in the lows or as well defined in the mids and highs as that of higher-end models, but it performs well at smoothly reproducing pop and acoustic tracks.
The economical design becomes more obvious when listening to more polished genres like jazz and other acoustical tracks that feature quiet passages, where it can sound edgier. It’s also limited in its ability to deliver strong bass as it presents a more tonally neutral sound. We can recommend this model as a replacement for your phone’s stock earbuds, but without call/playback controls it probably won’t be too appealing to iPhone owners.
The housings kind of look like that of cheap earbud designs, although with more flash and some rather cheery colored plastic. Most users should have no trouble fitting them with ease and comfort. Three sets of noise-isolating tips are provided, but the thin cable tends to tangle more often than not.
Among the best earbuds under 10 USD, Panasonic’s ErgoFit RP-HJE120 is neither the sleekest nor sturdiest set and has no playback controls. But it offers superior sound for the price, and overall we believe these to be the best earbuds for stationary listening in this price range.
These are favored by many users for their very decent audio quality and good value. The sound has a solid presence with clean bass due to good noise isolation. Once you’ve chosen the appropriate size of ear tips, you’ll enjoy a quieter listening experience.
Most types of tracks will play well, and many owners seem to think so as these have garnered among the most numbers of reviews online. The good dynamic response renders both high and low notes clearly but still manages to balance everything without muddying the stage or introducing distortion. We think you’ll appreciate its richness if you’re into bass-heavy music.
In-line controls for call and playback let you pocket your phone more of the time and acoustically tuned microphones block external noises for clearer calls. Although the earpieces seal well against outside noises, you obviously can’t expect them to be as good at filtering ambient sounds as specialized noise-cancelling designs. They’re not too stable in place, which won’t be convenient for listeners who move around a lot.
Noisehush’s NX80 is a good pair of in-ear headphones that’s competent at a broad range of music genres, and there are very few rivals as good in its price range.
We frequently mention headgear made by Monoprice as the firm is known for affordable and yet well-designed audio products. Each earpiece is somewhat bulky and of durable metal construction, and the large 14 mm drivers efficiently reproduce musical passages with clarity and presence.
These deliver mostly accurate sound with crisp highs, rich mids, and clean moderate bass with a generally natural and pleasant presentation. The angled form of each earpiece will let you fit them into each ear for many hours of comfortable listening. The somewhat large housings and their raised ridges may be a challenge for users with tight ear openings.
Only a single ear tip pair is included in the package, which will likely not fit everyone, so some owners will have to factor buying additional tips. The cord can be a bit noisy if you move, but its extra-long length will allow you more flexibility to stretch out. There are no in-line controls as this is a basic although quite competent in-ear headphone.
The durable build of Monoprice’s 109927 combined with its comparatively balanced and natural-sounding performance makes this one of the best budget earbuds for those who listen to music with a wide dynamic range.
Panasonic RP-TCM125 – Best Earbuds for the Money
We do not usually think of Panasonic’s models as among the best budget earbuds. But for this pair we’re making an exception even though it’s now retailing above 10 USD. They present a composed and largely distortion-free sound with sufficient detail in most music genres.
Popular at online sites such as Amazon, this model has been gathering amazing numbers of good ratings and positive reviews from thousands of users over the years. The output is not as loud in the lows, or as full and sharp in the mids to highs, as more premium headphone. But for one of the cheapest earbuds they perform surprisingly well at producing smoothly balanced and relatively detailed enjoyable sound.
We think it’s the bestselling product due to its surprisingly decent performance and popular feature set in spite of its low price and plastic construction. The plastic housings are not very striking, but the earpieces have clean-sounding 9 mm drivers, and a broad variety of listeners should find them comfortable. Three pairs of tips are included and isolate noise well with a proper fit, although the cord can be hard to untangle at times.
There is only a single button for playback and call functions on the in-line control module, with no dedicated volume controls. Audio from the mic is not the sharpest around but is more than good enough for recording memos and taking calls. It will be hard to go wrong with upgrading your phone’s stock earbud with a pair as good yet inexpensive as these.
Panasonic’s Ergofit RP-TCM125 may not be the most sensational model among its peers, but you’ll some of the best audio quality and features the little it will cost you. It’s out pick for the earbuds that deliver the most performance value.
Sunvito RQ8 – Best Budget Bluetooth Earbuds
These Bluetooth 4.0 in-ear headphones may be among the most inexpensive wireless models available, but they are currently priced above this review category. We thought to include them as our nominal pick for best wireless earbuds under 10 since we had no others available, anyway.
They do have drivers that perform really well. The clear highs and rich mids are accompanied by deeply satisfying bass, which is great for so affordable a wireless headphone. Sound quality, in general, is generally as good as that of any headphone reviewed here, although not as evenly balanced as that of the ErgoFits.
The sound was free of most of the distortions and sibilance that are common to inexpensive in-ear headphones. CVC 6.0 noise reduction assists the good seal in stopping ambient noises from intruding into your listening. There were no obvious tonal issues like booming bass or a strident treble.
Two ear tips and a single integrated ear hook are included in the set along with a USB charging cable. Build quality is good enough, although the earpiece housings are mostly made of plastic and won’t take much of a hit to come apart. The batteries charge quickly, most of the time under 2 hours.
Sunvito’s RQ8 wireless Bluetooth earbuds are convenient for listening to bass-rich music while on the go or at the gym or field. It’s our pick of the best cheap wireless earbuds.
Sennheiser MX365 – Best Classic Earbuds
We know many listeners who can’t tolerate pushing things tightly into their ears, cushy or not. It may be you’re the type who won’t buy an in-ear model but still desire something fancier than the stock EarPods that came with your iPhone. If so, you might find this pair of classic earbuds just the ticket.
We think you can still get better audio quality by picking up one of the other highly rated in-ear headphones in this review. At least this model features drivers that are designed to output a balanced tonal range with almost no signal distortion. These are therefore the best low-cost earbuds you can find on the market that doesn’t have an intrusive fit.
Like their siblings from the 20th century, this model has disc-shaped earpieces that are cushioned with foam covers. It’s unfortunate that this model has no mic with in-line playback buttons. The cord is of a convenient asymmetrical design that’s convenient for stationary use, but it can rub a bit noisily when moved about.
Among the finest classic models of its kind, it can perform unexpectedly well. If you must own a loose-fitting pair for comfort reasons then this is pretty much the best choice available, although it does cost a bit above the rest of the models reviewed here.
Best Earbuds Under 10 USD – Buyer’s Guide
There are a few things you’ll be smart to consider when it comes to finding decent yet affordable earbuds. Do remember that there are other kinds of headphones that are more comfortable to wear for long periods, in particular, around-the-ear models with big cups that fully enclose your ears.
Learn more about headphones here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headphones
Wireless or corded
You’ll need to decide if wireless models offer a big advantage in convenience given your habits. Should you get a wireless or a wired pair of earbuds? If you like listening to your favorites while seated or otherwise stationary, then wired in-ear headphones might be more appropriate to your needs. These can offer a lot more audio quality at low cost, at the price of some inconvenience with managing cords.
If you’ll be enjoying your music collection while you’re busy at the gym or in the field, you’ll surely find cheap wireless earbuds like the few we’ve covered here to be more convenient. With Bluetooth models, you won’t need to manage messy cables and connections that are constantly coming loose on your phone or tablet, particularly when you’re doing gym workouts or strenuous outdoor activities. As a bonus, you’ll also be able to stream audio from other sources, including PC and auto Bluetooth connections.
Premium makes like Sony or JBL generally sell some of the most durable headgear for consumers. That said, their best designs do tend to be a bit overpriced in most cases, and thus we normally don’t view these as offering great value for money.
With the cheapest earbuds, you’ll want to select a brand that’s known for quality, as you’ll be delving into low-end ranges that are full of questionable products. It’s rare for us to refer to this when reviewing headphones costing much more, but it’s a situation you must deal with.
Generic-sounding and cheap headphones that work well do exist. But many inexpensive but junky models are being marketed in volume, to be re-branded and sold by web-based sellers. By picking the best pair of cheap earbuds you can find that have many good reviews at enthusiast channels or sites, you reduce your risk of ending up with sub-par headgear. Here’s an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oq46DVc6Xkw
All earpieces have forms that are designed to fit different users and meet particular needs. The majority are in-ear types that are good at forming a seal in your ear, isolating your ears from the ambient noise. Other designs are meant for listeners with very vigorous lifestyles, integrating hooks or fins into their earpieces that remain in place though pressure around your ears’ openings.
Most of these earpiece types have housings that bend away and downwards, letting the cords on their stems drop down. Some bend their stems up and towards the front, so that their cords or hooked bodies loop up, around your ear, and to the back for more stability. Most follow the drop-down cord scheme, but active listeners will find benefits in the looped designs that enable them to move about while the earbuds stay securely fitted.
Bluetooth earpieces normally come with bigger and weightier housings as well as larger in-line cord controls. The additional bulk is needed to contain the circuitry and batteries required for wireless connectivity.
Mics and remotes
We rarely suggest in-ear headphones that integrate their microphones into one of the earpieces or side cords. With this arrangement, you might still feel the additional weight of the mic on that side, which may distract you from enjoying your music. Wired models that are evenly balanced in weight and tonal range are more likely to be pleasing in everyday use.
The small mics built into cheap earbuds are usually of a mediocre specification, and the typical caller will normally have issues in hearing you clearly if you’re surrounded by loud music or noisy sources. A long and flat or braided cable would be better at resisting tangling and will be easier to take out of your pocket as well.
Look for pause/play and call control buttons and sliders that are integrated into the cord along one side. In-line controls are convenient for phone users as they can quickly receive and terminate calls and readily change sound volumes as well as play or pause tracks. The majority of buyers searching for affordable earbuds will ignore models without integrated mics and controls anyway.
Design and Build Quality
Solid earpieces that are constructed of sturdy metals like aluminum last longer than most others should. Most have earpieces with angled designs that keep the tips from intruding too deeply into ear openings. These are made to seal nicely with the proper-sized ear tip of your choice.
How much use you’ll get out of your headphones will be based not just on the durability of the tips and cords. It will also depend on how well you can keep the cord from becoming too stretched while tangled up, or being mangled in the pocket or around your person. Therefore, you should store the headphones in a hard shell carrying case whenever you’re not using them, to make them last longer.
Try to figure out which functions and kinds of earpiece shapes will be more appropriate to your everyday situations and preferences in music. If you prefer genres with rich and deep, bass-heavy tracks, you might want to bring a test selection of such tracks to try out headphones with. Buyers looking for good yet inexpensive in-ear models that sound more like Beats should focus on headphones that are reported to deliver a good bass response.
After picking the models with the conveniences you need, you’ll have to figure out which one sounds best for you. Let your ears decide whichever model can render your favored genres and music in the way that pleases you the most.
Cheap and Cheerful Earbuds for Better Days – Our Verdict
We hope that you’ve found this article useful and will find a cheap and decent pair based on our recommendations. There’s a very wide range of models that are being marketed in this pricing segment. Way too many offer little more than appealing themes, with middling audio or indifferent features the norm.
We think you’ll be more likely to find a model that suits your preferences if you choose one from our handpicked selection of the best earbuds under 10 USD. Of the wired sets, we think Panasonic’s Ergofit RP-HJE120 is the best pair of cheap earbuds you can buy. You’ll have a hard time finding one that‘s more comfortable to use or sounds better with most tracks. Of the wireless models, Sunvito’s RQ8 is our pick for the best budget Bluetooth earbuds. These sound better than similar models and have fewer compromises in design and quality.
Whichever you choose, remember to savor experiences while auditioning anything on display that grabs your attention, even if it’s priced beyond your budget. You might find yourself enjoying a headphone that you’d have ignored if you’d just stuck to features and specs without actually trying out stuff. If your budget is a bit higher, consider our following guides:
If you like what you’ve just read through, please leave a comment and let us know what you think about our review of the best earbuds under 10 USD.