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These sub-$20 earbuds are great for taking calls and listening to tunes

A headset — earphones or earbuds (or even a single earbud) with a microphone and controls — is a different beast than a set of earbuds or headphones without a mic. For starters, not every set will work with Android when you need to answer calls and adjust the volume. Plus, when products are cheap, there are thousands of choices to wade through — some not all that great. So we chose the best ones.

Foam fit

KLIM Fusion Earbuds

Staff pick

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They handle calls just fine, fit better than average, and aren’t terrible to wear. Best of all, they sound awesome. The Fusion Earbuds also include memory foam ear-tips so that you’ll get the best fit possible, without having to worry about ear fatigue. Plus, KLIM offers a 5-year warranty if anything goes awry with your amazing earbuds.

$20 at Amazon

For the gym

LETSCOM U8I Bluetooth Earbuds

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These Bluetooth sports headphones check the right boxes if you need a set under $20 with a microphone. Boasting eight-hour battery life and an IPX7 water-resistance rating, these headphones are perfect for someone frugal, needs to be wire-free, and likes a good workout.

$20 at Amazon

Type C

HTC USonic Adaptic Audio Earphones

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Seeing a pair of USB-C earbuds with a mic and a price under $20 is a surprise, but seeing a couple as nifty and versatile as the HTC Usonic is even more of a surprise. These headphones offer a high-resolution DAC to convert standard audio to lossless in a lightweight package. Plus, the audio coming in will be optimized for your ears and outside noise levels.

$20 at Amazon
$20 at Walmart

Great fit

JBL Endurance RUN

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JBL’s Endurance RUN earbuds have a universal mic and music controls, an IPX5 sweat rating, and can be worn “traditionally” with the cable hanging down or looped behind your ear. JBL also included magnets in the earbuds themselves to provide better cable management when you’re finished with your workout.

$20 at Amazon
$20 at B&H

Awesome for calls

Sony MDR-EX155AP

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The Sony MDR-EX155AP are a fantastic choice thanks to the 45-degree angled design, which allows the earbuds to sit better in your ear canal. The in-line mic makes it easy to chat on the phone without much background noise and includes playback controls if you’re listening to some tunes. Plus there are a few different colors to choose from so that you can get some headphones that match your style.

$20 at Amazon
$20 at Best Buy

Most comfortable

Panasonic ErgoFit

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Want cheap earbuds that you can wear all day? The Panasonic ErgoFit earbuds are great! The sound is decent for music or phone calls, and they aren’t the prettiest things to look at. Luckily, whatever the tips are made of is awesome because they fit inside your ear without bugging you along the way.

$14 at Amazon
$9 at Walmart

Unique fit

Skullcandy Ink’d Plus

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Although these don’t sport a 45-degree angle, the Skullcandy Ink’d Plus promise a noise-isolating fit in part due to the earbud tips themselves. These come in seven different colors to choose from, and you get two extra sets of earbud tips to find your best fit. Skullcandy also offers a two-year warranty if something goes awry.

$15 at Amazon
$18 at Best Buy

Tangle-free cable

Samsung Type-C Earphones

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Samsung’s Type-C are included with certain Samsung smartphones, but now you can get them alone. The headphones come with four different interchangeable ear tips so that you get the best sound out of these AKG-tuned headphones. Additionally, the in-line microphone has three buttons, allows you to control phone calls, and you won’t have to worry about dongles with the USB-C connector.

$15 at Amazon

Durable and reliable

Edifier P265 In-Ear Headphones

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Edifier prides itself on providing a great audio experience on a budget, and that is further proven by the Edifier P265 headphones. They offer Hi-Fi sound without breaking the bank, along with an inline microphone and music controller, and a one-year warranty in case you need to replace them.

$18 at Amazon
$18 at Walmart
$18 at Newegg

No wires here

Skullcandy Jib Plus Wireless

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Skullcandy’s Jib Plus Wireless earbuds remove the need for any additional wires, along with six hours of battery life and a splash-resistant coating. The headphones also have gel tips that fit into your ear to help keep the earbuds in place and come in three different colors.

$19 at Amazon
$20 at Best Buy
$19 at Walmart

Tangle-free lifestyle

Betron BS10 High Definition Headphones

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The Betron BS10 headphones are lightweight, sound amazing, and offer passive noise isolation. This is in part because of the six different earbud tips that come in the box so you can find the perfect fit. Plus, the flat, rubber cable makes it, so your headphones won’t come out of your pocket a jumbled mess that takes forever to unravel.

$17 at Amazon
$17 at Newegg

Wooden aesthetic

Symphonized NRG In-Ear Wood Headphones

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Instead of dealing with the same ole’ plastic earbuds, why not get something that looks a bit more awesome? The Symphonized NRG In-Ear headphones are made from real wood, which aims to provide a crisp acoustic sound, coupled with deep bass. The inline controls not only allow you to skip or pause your music, but there’s also a microphone built-in so you can just take your calls when they come in.

$19 at Amazon

Great headphones on a budget

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a set of earbuds that work just the way you want them to work. We’ve got a selection here that covers all the basics, and you’ll be sure to find something you like. I like the KLIM Fusion Earbuds because I dig the sound that comes out of the tiny little things. And you can always know you’re getting an excellent seal with the foam ear tips.

For those looking for a superb wireless earbud experience, you can’t go wrong with the LETSCOM U8I Bluetooth Earbuds. Not only do these headphones offer up to eight hours of music playback while also sporting a water-resistance rating of IPX7. This makes the U8I Headphones the perfect choice for those looking to get rid of the wires and hit the gym.

Are you looking for something in a higher price range? Are you looking for something specifically wireless? Headphones and earbuds come in all shapes and sizes, so check out our round-up of the best wireless headphones with microphones.

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