As the true wireless earbud market has matured, we’ve reached a point where we now have a lot of good quality options even at lower price points — they’re no longer just an expensive toy for early adopters. Anyone can pick up an affordable pair of TWEs these days and expect half-decent sound quality as well as a few useful extra features. We’ve reviewed quite a few of these over the years and are therefore able to help you decide which pair is right for you. These are our favorite options in the ‘less than $50’ and ‘less than $100’ price brackets.
Best under $50
Taylor wasn’t expecting much when he recently reviewed this pair of true wireless earbuds from EarFun that cost just $50, but he was pleasantly surprised by what they’re able to offer. You still won’t find both USB-C and Qi wireless charging on some of the most expensive products in the category, yet the EarFun Free feature both. IPX7 water resistance is also a huge plus. The sound may not be hugely impressive, nor the build quality, but if you’re just looking for a dirt-cheap pair to use in the gym or while running, they could be what you’re after.
- EarFun Free — $50 — Amazon
Taotronics SoundLiberty 79 and 53
The last iteration of this list included the 2019 version of the Taotonics SoundLiberty 53, but they’ve since been upgraded and the SoundLiberty 79 has also been launched, both with positive reactions from reviewers and users alike. The new 53 model now has an IPX8 rating and 6 hours of battery life on a charge (50 in total). The SoundLiverty 79 have the same IP rating, but can get up to 8 hours on a single charge (30 in total). Smart AI noise reduction technology is also on board. Both feature Bluetooth 5.0 and audio quality far better than you would expect for the price.
- Taotronics SoundLiberty 79 — $50 from Amazon
- Taotronics SoundLiberty 53 (2020 upgrade) — $45 from Amazon
Soundcore Liberty Neo
The Liberty Neo earbuds from the Anker sub-brand Soundcore were the first sub-$100 true wireless set I tried and I was more than pleasantly surprised by them. They’ve recently been upgraded with more powerful bass to go along with pretty damn good all-round audio, improved battery life of around 5 hours (plus three more full charges in the case), and they now come with an IPX7 rating. They don’t have all the bells and whistles of more expensive products, but they are a solid pick for $35.
- Soundcore Liberty Neo — $35 — Amazon
JLabs JBuds Air and Go Air
JLabs has launched a number of true wireless products at this point, but their two cheapest models are probably the best value for money in their entire lineup. The JBuds Air retail for $50 and offer six hours battery life (plus 18 more in the case), Bluetooth 5.0, and an IP55 water and dust resistance rating. The Go Air cost an astonishingly small 30 bucks and come with a smaller case (albeit with just 2 additional hours of charge), IP44 rating, and five hours playback time. Interestingly, both charge using a USB-A connector integrated into the case itself, so it’s the other end of the cable you have to worry about.
Best under $100
Samsung Galaxy Buds
The updated Galaxy Buds Plus are among the best true wireless earbuds you can buy, but before them, the original Galaxy Buds also did a fine job. They retailed for $130, but you can now get them for just $90, making them an absolute steal. Even though they’re more than two years old now, I’d still recommend them over everything else on this list. They simply great all-rounders, with solid battery life (6 hours), great sound, and a tiny, pocketable case that charges wirelessly or over USB-C. Read my review for more on what makes them so good.
- Samsung Galaxy Buds — $90 — B&H
Jabra Elite 65t
The Jabra Elite 65t originally retailed for $170 but with their successor now on sale, the old model is available for as little as $99.99 (sometimes even less). You get stellar sound, better than average call quality, and 5 hours of battery life per charge, as well as an IP55 rating for peace of mind.
- Jabra Elite 65t — $99 — Amazon
Another set that’s much cheaper now than it originally retailed for is the Klipsch T5. Taylor was suitably impressed when he reviewed them last year, particularly by the audio quality and 8-hour battery life (24 with the case). The unique Zippo-inspired case also lends an air of class to them that few others on this list can boast. We’ve seen them on offer for less than the $200 MSRP quite a few times, but they’re now half off which makes them an excellent buy.
- Klipsch T5 — $100 — Amazon
Soundcore Liberty 2 / Air 2
Anker’s Soundcore products have become synonymous with good quality at a decent price, and its latest range of budget earbuds continue this fine tradition. Rita put the Air 2 and Liberty 2 Pro through their paces and commended them for long battery life, USB-C and Qi charging versatility, and great value. The usual price of $100 for the non-Pro Liberty 2 and Air 2 is already a good deal, but you’ll often find them on sale for even less.
- Soundcore Liberty 2 — $99.99 — Amazon (save an extra $20 with coupon at time of writing)
- Soundcore Air 2 — $99.99 — Amazon, Best Buy
Creative Outlier Air
The $60 Outlier Air from Creative boast some impressive features such as up to 10 hours of battery life on a single charge with a further two charges in the case. The case also has a touch of class with an aluminum chassis, USB Type-C charging, and individual charging lights for each earbud and the case, which is nifty. The graphene-enhanced drivers are said to produce competitive audio quality with impressive bass, and there’s support for AAC and aptX codecs.
- Creative Outlier Air — $59.99 — Amazon
Summer 2020 update
Products added from Samsung, Earfun, Taotronics, Klipsch, and JLabs.