TechThe best headphones up to $25. For running, talking, and listening to music

The best headphones up to $25. For running, talking, and listening to music

The best headphones up to $25. For running, talking, and listening to music
Images source: © GETTY | Bloomberg

12:17 PM EDT, April 4, 2024, updated: 1:02 PM EDT, April 4, 2024

Which headphones are worth buying for up to $25 in 2024? We present a ranking of budget headphones that are not only cheap but also good. Our list includes wireless and wired, in-ear, in-ear, and on-ear models, with and without a microphone.

Which headphones up to $25 are worth choosing? Ranking 2024

We know that cheap headphones are good because they are cheap. Although we all admire the possibilities of high-class headphones costing almost $200 or more, most of us use the equipment for much less money daily - both due to common sense and budget constraints, as well as the fact that in most cases, these the cheaper ones are just perfectly adequate. With equipment that is so personal and used so much, and therefore at such a high risk of being lost, damaged, or destroyed, a popular life philosophy called "just cheap sunglasses" comes to the fore - the point is that something that over the next year you will almost certainly mess it up, it shouldn't cost much.

Of course, when choosing headphones up to $25, we should not count on high sound quality, a wide and precise soundstage, or additional functions such as active noise cancellation (ANC). However, you can still find fully satisfactory equipment with good sound, solid construction, and comfortable use without spending a fortune. The basic question remains whether you are looking for headphones to use daily, for example, while commuting to work or school, or whether you need headphones for running or for the gym. Headphones that you would like to use in the office - either at home or in a company - or those whose main purpose will be entertainment must also meet slightly different expectations.

Which headphones under $20 should you choose for running and which for calls?

The second important issue to decide, which will strongly influence your search and choice, is whether you want wired or wireless headphones and want them to be on-ear, around-ear, in-ear, or in-ear. Personal preferences and sense of comfort will largely depend here - for many people, in-ear headphones are very tiring in the long run, while using them does not cause any problems for others. It is also worth considering the size, how the headphones fit on the head, and their resistance to sweat or light rain in running or exercise headphones. In our headphones, which rank up to $20, we included all types of devices to give you a wider choice.

Ranking of budget headphones that you will be happy with

JBL Tune 500 - Siri and Google without a phone

JBL
JBL© Amazon | JBL

JBL Tune 500 headphones are intended primarily for young users who care about the universality of the headphones and a reasonable price-quality ratio. They have been designed in an extremely elegant and, at the same time, simple way; the lightweight and foldable design makes the headphones perfect for traveling. The ear cushions and padding are very soft and guarantee excellent comfort of use, even for several hours without interruption. The headphones have a control button in a convenient place, making it easy to answer calls, use the voice assistant, and manage music. The sound is well-balanced, and the sound quality allows for a comfortable reception of many music genres. The transducers installed in these headphones have a diameter of 32 mm, and their combination with JBL Pure Bass technology guarantees excellent impressions. The high tones are extremely clear, the mids are warm and transparent, and the bass is precise. JBL Tune 500 headphones allow you to use Siri and Google Now assistants without a mobile device, and a microphone on the headphone cable allows you to conduct high-quality calls.

Xiaomi Redmi Buds 4 Active - Inexpensive for runners

Xiaomi
Xiaomi© Amazon | Xiaomi

Xiaomi Redmi Buds 4 Active headphones are popular among users due to their small size and comfortable fit. They are simple and elegant. Both the casing and the headphones have a matte finish, and the fact that they are light allows them to be conveniently used while running or exercising at the gym, when their resistance to splashes, rain, or sweat by IPX4 may also be very useful. Despite the low price, Redmi Buds 4 Active offers good sound quality and strong bass, and their touch controls respond quickly to touch. Battery life: The Redmi earphones have good battery life and support Bluetooth 5.3 and Google Fast Pair technology, allowing users to pair them quickly by simply opening the charging case. Xiaomi Redmi Buds 4 Active is a good option for people looking for inexpensive but solid wireless headphones.

Panasonic RP-HJE125 - In-ear headphones with cable

Panasonic
Panasonic© Amazon | Panasonic

Panasonic RP-HJE125 headphones are good in-ear equipment whose specially designed hardware design ensures a perfect fit to the ear and extraordinary comfort of use, and the headphones come with replaceable ear tips in three different sizes. A wide frequency response ranging from 10 Hz to 24 kHz ensures pure, natural sound and great sound reproduction. RP-HJE125 has a 1.1-meter cable with a 3.5 mm jack plug, so they will work well with all devices with an audio jack (you can also use a USB-C adapter). At the same time, you don't have to worry if you ever lose them - they were inexpensive.

Redmi Buds 4 Lite - Colorful and wireless

Xiaomi
Xiaomi© Amazon | Xiaomi


Redmi Buds 4 Lite are light, compact, wireless headphones at an attractive price. They are equipped with Bluetooth 5.3, a low-latency mode for movies or games, and the now fashionable artificial intelligence, which, in this case, reduces noise during a conversation, making it easier to understand what is being said. Despite the low price, Redmi Buds 4 Lite is dust and water-resistant according to the IP54 standard, so they are good for running, exercising, or using outdoors. The headphones are available in black, white, and orange, and their extremely handy charging case weighs only 28 grams and fits easily into a trouser or shirt pocket. For people bothered by in-ear headphones, it will be important to know that Redmi Buds 4 Lite are in-ear, so they are much more comfortable to wear - especially since they weigh only four grams. Despite their low weight, they can achieve a listening time of six and a half hours and then be fully charged twice in the case, giving a total operating time of 23 hours.

QCY T2C - Up to 32 hours of battery life

QCY
QCY© Amazon | QCY

QCY T2C are true wireless headphones, i.e., without any cable between the headphones and the playback device and between the headphones themselves. They are equipped with 6 mm dynamic drivers, ensuring good frequency response and HD stereo sound quality. The connection with the phone uses the stable and energy-saving Bluetooth standard version 5.0, and each speaker has a 43mAh battery. The case in which the headphones are charged has a battery with a capacity of 800mAh, which allows you to increase the total music playback time without being connected to a socket to 32 hours. QCY T2C is made entirely of plastic, which makes them light - each earphone is rounded, small, and adapted to the shape of the ears, sitting firmly and securely in them. The headphones are available in white and black, with a matte finish. For lovers of physical activity, it will be important that the device is resistant to dust but not necessarily to water, as indicated by compliance with the IP41 standard. At the same time, gamers will be pleased with up to 25 percent lower latency in games. Everyone can benefit from using a voice assistant.

Edifier X3 - The most waterproof in the company

Edifier
Edifier© Amazon | Edifier

Edifier X3 headphones are compact, stylish, and comfortable to use as wireless headphones. They provide the user with high sound quality for this price range, with a good balance of high and low tones, great detail, and a relatively natural sound. The decoding speed is up to 352 kbps, with CD-quality sound. The ergonomic design and low weight of the headphones make them comfortable for long hours. They fit perfectly in the ears and do not fall out or cause discomfort. The headphones have an IPX5 protection rating, which means that they are also great for outdoor use or during training because neither drops of sweat nor even rain pose a threat to them. The Bluetooth 5.0 connection ensures stable and fast signal transmission and reduces energy consumption, translating into a long operating time for the headphones. The built-in battery allows them to operate for up to 5 hours, and using the charging case, you can charge them three more times, extending the time to 20 hours. Edifier X3 has CVC 8.0 noise reduction, making conversations easier in difficult environmental conditions. The headphones are available in two colors - black and white.

Sony MDR-ZX110AP - Foldable, light and comfortable

Sony
Sony© Amazon | Sony

Sony MDR-ZX110 headphones combine elegance and functionality. They are equipped with 30 mm dynamic-type acoustic drivers that provide clear, balanced sound regardless of the listening position, and the frequency response extends from 12 Hz to 22 kHz, ensuring excellent sound quality. They are very light and comfortable to wear, weighing only 120 g. The headphone cable is 1.2 m long, allowing great movement freedom. The headphones have an angled mini-jack plug, which is more breaking-resistant and ensures a solid and safe connection. The impedance of the MDR-ZX110 headphones is 24 ohms (1 kHz), which makes everything sound as it should, and the sensitivity is 98 dB/mW, thanks to which the sound is loud and clear. If you want to make phone calls or use Teams, you'll find an electret condenser microphone here. Sony headphones can be easily folded and taken anywhere thanks to the swivel and foldable design. The headphones are available in different colors: pink, white, and black.

Baseus WM01 - budget headphones

Baseus
Baseus© Amazon | Baseus

The Baseus WM01 headphones are wireless in-ear headphones with many features that make them a good choice for music lovers. WM01 is equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 technology, ensuring a stable and fast connection to the playback device. Of course, one of the most important aspects of these headphones is their sound quality. Baseus WM01 offers a high-quality sound that is balanced and effective. Importantly, from the point of view of long-term use, Baseus headphones are very light, weighing only 4.5 g, which makes them very comfortable to wear - even after a few hours, you will not feel tired. Control is via touch controls, and the battery life is up to 6 hours (however, with the volume limited to approximately 30%).

Our list includes headphones with very different application profiles, so it is difficult to highlight one specific model as the absolute favorite. I use this equipment mainly for listening to music while traveling (including short ones for work), watching movies at home, and exercising, so I would probably choose Edifier for my first and last use. For home use, I would prefer the Sony MDR-ZX110 because here I can afford the comfort of over-ear headphones, and also with a cable, and achieve very good sound quality. But you know what's great about cheap headphones? Well, if you want, it's much easier to choose more than one in other price ranges!

This article may contain affiliate links that the publisher and/or Microsoft may receive a commission from if you buy a product or service through those links. Affiliate links does not influence opinions about the products included in the article.

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