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The best cheap headphones

We spend a lot of time talking about high-end headphones like the Bose QC35 II and the Sony WH-1000XM3 — and for good reason, they're incredible products — but nothing says you have to spend over $300 just to get some good headphones for casual listening. Panasonic, Monoprice, COWIN, and even Google all make great, affordable headphones to fit almost any budget.

Smartest headphones

Google Pixel USB-C Earbuds

For better of worse, most phones these days ship without a headphone jack, so USB-C earbuds are your best bet for wired audio. Google's Pixel Earbuds support 24-bit digital audio, and have some great smart features tucked inside — you can access Google Assistant, Google Translate, and your latest notifications all from the inline microphone controls.

$30 at Google Store

Most comfortable

Panasonic ErgoFit Earbuds

For phones that still tout the more traditional 3.5mm headphone jack, the Panasonic ErgoFit earbuds prioritize comfort for a fit you can wear all day. Aesthetically, they're nothing fancy, and sound quality for music and phone calls is decent at best, but you'll hardly notice the ErgoFits in your ears, and they feature in-line controls that work with Android.

$11 at Amazon

Great for calls

NoiseHush NX80

Whether you're talking to your friends or just your voice assistant, the NoiseHush NX80 has a great noise-canceling microphone built into the in-line controls, along with a flat, tangle-free cable. It sounds surprisingly good for music playback, too, and comes with a two-year warranty.

$19 at Amazon

Budget Bluetooth

Monoprice Hi-Fi Reflective Sound Earbuds

Monoprice's Hi-Fi headphones are Bluetooth-compatible, held together by a short flexible cord, and they sound fantastic. Their "reflective" design points the drivers away from the ears so the sound reflects back, which keeps your ears from ringing and delivers far better sound than you're paying for.

$30 at Amazon

Best Bluetooth headphones

OnePlus Bullets Wireless

For $70, you can't ask for much more from the Bullets Wireless earbuds. They sound fantastic, with great (but not overwhelming) bass and clear high end, they recharge with the same USB-C cable that likely charges your phone, and the neckband design keeps them from getting tangled or in your way.

$69 at OnePlus

Best budget ANC


Noise-canceling is usually a premium feature reserved only for expensive headphones, but COWIN's E7 Pro headphones are an excellent exception to that rule. They're bulky, but that makes room for abnormally large 45mm drivers and well-cushioned earpads for a comfortable and great-sounding experience.

$61 at Amazon

Best for workouts

Jaybird X3

Jaybird is one of the most popular brands in fitness headphones, and the X3s feature a lightweight and compact design with a nano-coating that protects it from sweat and rain. The wings on the earbuds keep them from falling out during intense workouts, and despite their tiny size, the X3s last for 8 hours on a charge.

$88 at Amazon

Best sound isolation

Beyerdynamic DT 240 Pro

$73 may be pushing the upper limit of what's considered cheap, but the DT 240 Pros are great for mobile listening and budget studio production alike, prioritizing audio quality, isolation, and comfort above all else. Since they isolate sound so well, they're also great for podcasting and any situation where you're directly in front of the microphone you're monitoring.

$73 at Amazon

There's a great set of headphones for every price range, with plenty of options for different form factors and specialized needs. If you're after over-the-ear headphones, Beyerdynamic's DT 240 Pro headphones are a slightly pricey but outstanding value. On the other hand, Google's Pixel USB-C Earbuds offer a ton of smart features and good audio quality for just $30.

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