Not all of us can afford audiophile-grade headphones that break the bank. But just because you’re broke doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to get a pair of cans that can give you the most bang for your buck. That being said, let’s break down the best headphones under $50 for all you cheap-skates out there.
Best Headphones Under $50, Save Your Coins
The sound of Shure doesn’t disappoint even under $50. The Shure SRH145m+ is like that of the SRH144 in build and affordability (under $50). Though, the SRH145m+ finds itself on our “Best Headphones Under $50” article because it’s got a a few, advantageous tweaks. First to note, the m+ refers to the addition of an in-line remote (for iOS devices) and mic. Be advised, Android users can use the remote as well, but they’ll have to control the volume from their device. The headband is in the shape of a semi-circle with sliding ear cups along the inside of the headband rather than featuring extenders built into the entire headband. The ear cushions are of soft padded leather that lines the underbelly of the headband. The entire unit is pretty lightweight and could do well as a commuter set. When it comes to sound, this is where the SRH145m+ differs from its little bro. This headset provides a sound signature that is a bit warmer, resulting in more oomph in the bass – nothing to rival Beats, so don’t worry. But just enough for some added fun compared to reference headphones. Shure SRH145m+ reaches a frequency response range of 25 Hertz to 18,000 Hertz at an impedance of 34 ohms. These babies are available at Audio 46 and Amazon for $49.
These lightweight and retro-style cans are some of the best headphones you can get at this price point. Koss PortaPro headphones feature a thin metal headband and on-ear cushions oh so reminiscent of the 80’s – like you could literally plug these babies into a Walkman and go. The frame is collapsible and makes for easy storage. Though, be advised it folds in on-itself so the ear cushions are exposed. This may not be preferential for everyone and I get that. Also, while the PortaPro is very lightweight, I understand the style and fit may not be for everyone. And, the retro design isn’t as durable as bulkier built headphones, but what there is an excellent listening experience to be had. Supreme sound quality oozes from those retro-looking foam cushions. The bass is pronounced and thumping without interfering with the mids and highs. With all honesty, these headphones will surprise you with the amount of clarity and detail you’ll hear across the lows, mids, and highs. To note, these are of a open-back design so you’ll be able to hear some of your surroundings when outside, but that also makes these a bit safe if worn when jogging, cycling, rollerskating… perhaps. These headphones reach an impressive frequency response range between 15-25,000 at 60 ohms. As of now, Koss PortaPro headphones can be purchased with a case for $39.95 off of Amazon.
Audio Technica M20x
These headphones at this price provide just the right amount of coverage and fit for anyone interested in studio mixing and producing. The ear cups are of a soft leather, though not quite as plush as the $299 M70x. The same padding on the ear cups wrap around the headband for a comfortable fit. To note, the cable is not detachable like some of the makes that come after it. The audio is full with rich bass, clear mids, and highs that sparkle for the price. The bass in the headphones are lush, but not overpowering. If you’re a super bass head, then you may want something else. I’d suggest the M50x if you like the sound signature of the 20x, but long for a little something else. These headphones reach a frequency response range of 15-20,000 Hertz using 40 mm dynamic drivers on an impedance of 47 ohms. Grab these headphones at Audio 46 $49.
Skullcandy Uproar Wireless
Of course, our “Best Headphones Under $50” article wouldn’t be complete without one Skullcandy headphone on the list. Skullcandy is known for their trendy-looking cans that offer a good amount of durability and audio quality for the price. If you’re looking to go wireless Skullcandy Uproar is here for you. The headphones are made from a durable-grade material and feature two leather-like ear cushions on the end of a semi-circle-shaped headband that is lightly padded underneath. The Uproar is slender and an on-ear design that makes for a great companion to commuters. Controls on the ear cup make for easy set-up, volume adjustment, music navigation, and taking calls. The headphones, however, do not come with a cable for passive listening, but you can get up to 10 hours of use on these headphones. When it comes to sound, prepare for a bit of face melting. Skullcandy always brings the bass and the Uproar Wireless is no exception. The bass is definitely booming without interfering with your mids and highs – very pleasing for bass heads. The Skullcandy Uproar Wireless can be yours for $49.99 off of Audio 46 or Amazon.
Creative Soundblaster Jam
If you’re looking for a pretty cheap headphone equipped with Bluetooth capability, then here you go – a fair, but secondary rival to Skullcandy’s Uproar thanks to the sound quality. Creative Soundblaster Jam is a Bluetooth headphone that hits well below the $50 mark. For $39.99 users can expect a small and lightweight headphone that’s easy to sport. The cushions are on-ear and and the headband is of plastic. It isn’t padded, but the entire frame is super light, regardless. The ear cushions are of soft foam like that of the Koss PortaPro – not super padded, but light enough for on-the-go. There are also a few buttons on the ear cup to adjust the volume and switch back and forth between tracks. When it comes to use, the headphones provide a solid 12 hours of use and can connect with either Bluetooth or NFC technology. Wow! But there is one vice and it is probably of the most concern. The sound isn’t the best, but that’s the trade off for a wireless experience at $40. There is a Bass Mode feature for a little bump in the low end if you so desire. However, the Creative Soundblaster Jam earns a spot on our “Best Headphones Under $50” article thanks to it’s ability to deliver pretty good wireless use and sound for $39.99. You can snag ’em on Amazon.
Honorable Mention: Panasonic RP-HTX7
These headphones rank on our “Best Headphones Under $50” article purely ‘cuz they’re pretty. Panasonic’s RP-HTX7 look super retro in the coolest way ever – and in a slew of different colors like pink, neon green, black, grey, cream, white, and red. The ear cushions are thick in a good way creating a nice seal for some good sound isolation. The headband is a strip of leather (kind of like Sennheiser HD 1 aka Momentums M2) while the ear cups slide along exposed metal extenders. Looks cool to me! The ear cups hold 40 mm dynamic drivers that provide a balanced and accurate listening experience without lacking in bass, which I think makes the Panasonic RP-HTX7 a great headphone for anyone looking for great looking cans with great sound at a great price! Panasonic RP-HTX7is available on Amazon from various dealers.
Are there any headphones you think deserve a shout out in our “Best Headphones Under $50” article? Let us know down below.