Wireless earbuds are cheaper than they’ve ever been. A few years ago, wireless buds cost at least $100—the same technology can be had for $40 today. The proliferation of more affordable wireless tech also means there have never been more options at the sub-$60 price point, so we surveyed the market and combed through user reviews to compile this list of cheap wireless earbuds for every type of runner. But before you buy, here’s what you need to know.
What You Get For $60 or Less
Don’t expect all the bells and whistles of the industry’s top-notch wireless earbuds, but do look for a few crucial, running-specific features.
Sweat and rain can kill wireless earbuds, so look for an Ingress Protection (IP) rating. It’ll contain one or two numbers: The first indicates dust protection, the second indicates for water protection. An “X” in place of either number means there’s no available data; most earbuds at this price don’t have a rating for dust. But the important rating is water protection: Every earbud here has an IP rating of at least four, meaning they should survive rainfall and sweat. Higher ratings of seven to nine mean a pair of earbuds can be submerged in water, but remember that Bluetooth signals struggle underwater, so even those won’t be good for swimming either way.
MORE FROM RUNNER’S WORLD
The latest in Bluetooth wireless connection, Bluetooth 5.0 reduces your earbuds’ energy usage. Only recently have wireless earbuds upgraded to 5.0 (also known as Bluetooth Low Energy), and most on this list use the new technology. Bluetooth 5.0 also boasts improved connectivity over Bluetooth 4.2, the previous standard, although user reviews for some cheap wireless earbuds indicate that range tops out around 10 meters.
Wire-connected earbuds, like the Skullcandy Jib+ Active and Anker Soundcore Sweatguard, tend to have longer battery life than truly wireless buds because there’s room to accommodate a bigger battery along the wire. For truly wireless models, a charging case is standard nowadays. On a single charge, these wireless buds provide only three to four hours of battery life, but the case should provide three or four additional charges.
What You Don’t Get
Value pricing comes with some trade-offs. Here’s what you shouldn’t expect on your cheap earbuds.
High-end Sound Quality
We haven’t personally tested most of the earbuds on this list, but our experience with cheap wireless earbuds has revealed that they (unsurprisingly) don’t sound as good as top-end models from Apple, Bose, Sennheiser, Jaybird, and others. Sound quality is subjective enough to be impossible to evaluate from user reviews, so we’re not going to bother. Just know that you’re probably not getting hi-fi audio from a $40 set of earbuds.
Noise Cancelling and Hear-Through Mode
These two features are standard for pricier wireless earbuds, and some on this list does include noise canceling. But these features are less common at lower price points. And as a runner, you’ll likely want to have a better hearing of your surroundings.
How We Made This List
We started by scanning the market for wireless earbuds that cost $60 or less, and then we narrowed our list based on the features runners need: Waterproofing and marathon-worthy battery life. Then we checked our picks against product reviews from reputable sites and user reviews from Amazon, and we removed selections with persistent quality and connectivity problems. As we haven’t tested most of these buds, we can’t guarantee their quality, but our research indicates that these are your best picks for budget wireless running earbuds.
Bluedio T Elf 2
1) Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless Earbuds,
2) Bluedio T Elf 2 True Wireless Touch Headphones in-Ear Earphones with Charging Case,
3) Mini Car Headset Built-in Mic for Cell Phone/Sports,
4) 6Hrs Playtime, LED Indicatore.
Bluedio Hi(Hurricane) TWS Wireless Earbud
Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless Earbuds,
Mini Car Headset Built-in Mic for Cell Phone/Running/Android,
- No longer use infrared sensing technology to control music pause and play, Bluedio introduces the latest face recognition technology to control music pause/play, it is more stable. When you take down the RIGHT earbud from your head, the music will pause, when you wear it, the music will continue to play.
JBL Endurance Sprint
- JBL Signature Sound,
- 8 hours of wireless playback with Speed Charge battery,
- Touch controls,
- Hands-free calls.
JLab Audio JBuds
- AUTO ON & CONNECT: The JBuds Air automatically turns on and connects to each other once taken out of their charging case so you can keep going hassle-free.
- CLASS 1 BLUETOOTH CONNECTION: A Class 1 Bluetooth 5.0 connection keeps you going for 6+ hours in each earbud plus 18 extra hours of charge in the case, that’s about 24 hours of your favorite music or podcast. *Since launch the JBuds Air have included Bluetooth 5. The package wasn’t updated in time for the launch so note that your package may say Bluetooth 4.2. Enjoy the upgraded Bluetooth 5.
- CUSTOM EQ3 SOUND: You control the sound. Tune the JBuds Air sound to your personal preferences with JLab Signature, Balanced and Bass Boost modes – without an app.
- CONTROL IT ALL: Control all your music and volume with a push or two on the outside of the earbud. Utilize the built-in microphone to activate Siri, Google Assistant, and other voice assistants, or take phone calls and keep GOing on the move.
- EVERYDAY PROOF / POCKET SIZE: An IP55 sweat resistance helps the earbuds hold up against moisture and dirt so you never have to worry during any hobby, travel, or workout. Extra ear tips and Cush Fins help keep the comfort perfect and reliable for your everyday needs. Compact, but sturdy, the JBuds Air included charging case will fit in any bag or jacket pocket you’re taking on-the-GO with you. Lights on the outside will indicate how much power you have left before your next charge.
Best Cheap Wireless Earbuds FAQ’s
What are the best affordable earbuds?
Plantronics Backbeat Pro.
Shure SE112 Sound Isolating Earphones.
Jabra Move Wireless Headphones.
Bose Soundsport Wireless.
AKG N60NC Wireless.
Jaybird X3 Wireless Sport Headphones.
Optoma Nuforce Be Sports3.
Are cheap wireless earbuds good?
The best cheap wireless earbuds that we’ve tested so far are the Skullcandy Jib. These inexpensive Bluetooth headphones offer an impressive price-to-performance ratio and are surprisingly decent for their low price.
What are the best earbuds under $100?
1MORE Triple Driver in-Ear Earphones.
Shure SE215-K Sound Isolating Earphones.
Beyerdynamic Soul Byrd.
Soundcore Anker Liberty Air True-Wireless Earphones.
RHA MA390 Universal Earbuds.
Thinksound ms02 In-ear Monitors.
Plantronics – BackBeat 100 Wireless Earbuds.
Are cheap AirPods worth it?
Nevertheless, AirPods will remain the most popular true wireless earbuds by a long shot: they command 75 percent of the global market share. Still, AirPods aren’t cheap. You can buy a pair for $159 or $200, depending on whether you want a wireless charging case. … Only they’re not AirPods at all.
Are wireless earbuds worth it?
They’re definitely worth having but choose a pair with responsive controls. One of the truly wireless earphones with the best controls is Sennheiser’s superb Momentum TW earphones. … The charging case that stores and recharges wireless earbuds is a very important part of a pair of wireless earbuds.