Trying to find the best cheap headphones is already a tough task with the amount of options out there, and it gets more difficult when trying to find the best eaerbuds under $20. 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. So we chose the best ones.
KLIM Fusion Earbuds
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
These Bluetooth sports headphones check the right boxes if you need earbuds under $20 with a microphone. Boasting eight-hour battery life and an IPX7 water-resistance rating, these headphones are perfect for someone frugal that needs to be wire-free and likes a good workout.
$16 at Amazon
$26 at Walmart
HTC USonic Adaptive Audio Earphones
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
JBL Endurance RUN
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
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.
From $20 at Amazon
$20 at Best Buy
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.
$13 at Amazon
$10 at Walmart
$10 at B&H
Skullcandy Ink’d Plus
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.
$18 at Dell
$13 at Best Buy
Samsung Type-C Earphones
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
Mpow M12 Wireless Earbuds
If you’re looking for some durability at a price you can afford, the Mpow M12 fit the bill. They’re made with IPX8 protection to handle all kinds of activity, and you’ll be able to use each earbud independently, which is something that even some of the best headphones won’t allow.
$20 at Amazon
No wires here
Skullcandy Jib Plus Wireless
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.
$15 at Amazon
$15 at Best Buy
$27 at Walmart
Betron BS10 High Definition Headphones
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
Symphonized NRG In-Ear Wood Headphones
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
Get the best earbuds under $20
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.