Woman using phone and earbuds

Buying Earbuds on a Budget

Knowledge Base

Even though Apple’s AirPods may be the hottest wireless earbuds on the market, they also come with a hefty price tag. Budget-conscious shoppers can save money and still end up with a great product by doing a little research before shopping. In this article, we’ll show you how to find a pair of wireless headphones that has great sound quality and all the features you need for as little as possible.

Important Features in Your Next Earbud Search

Of course, the most important aspect of buying new headphones is the sound quality. However, there are lots of other features that set different products apart. Here are some other things to consider before starting your search.


You will want to understand your listening environment before making a choice. This is because earbuds are designed to cater to different demands. Say you want a model for your commute, recording music, traveling, etc. Knowing their purpose will help isolate the necessary features.

Open vs. Closed Earbuds

Open earbuds allow audio to leak through the earpiece. This element is associated with natural sound reverb. With open earphones, the ambient noise is not blocked out which may bother some users. But if you need to remain aware of your environment, open earbuds are your best bet.

On the other hand, closed earbuds are as the name suggests, they have a closed back designed to isolate sound completely. They provide you with deep bass as the sound is reproduced inside the earpiece and directly transmitted to the ear. If you are recording music or need to concentrate without distractions, closed earbuds are the way to go.


A built-in mic is an excellent addition to any earbud, even cheap ones. The mic allows you to respond to calls without touching your phone. If you are running or working out, you will not have to touch your phone with sweaty palms.


If you are buying earbuds for working out, you will need to check their water resistance rating. This is because some models are not designed to withstand any moisture entry as it can destroy their circuitry.

An IPX4 rating is the lowest rating for water resistance. These earbuds can withstand light moisture intake but not too much like direct water splashes and heavy rain. But with a higher rating like IPX7, it is incredible the moisture they can tolerate. From direct splashes to intense sweating and rainwater, they are some of the most durable pieces for exercise.


Here you will want to look at the housing and quality of the cable. There is a thin line between durable plastic and thin metallic housing. This is because the small size of earphones causes them to be created from thick, sturdy plastic, which can equal thin metal quality.

Watch out for cables that keep on tangling since that is the number one cause of damaged earphones. The wires inside the cable tend to kink up and break, resulting in loss of connection, such that the cable will not transmit sound.


We looked into the way earbuds fit earlier. Let’s delve more into this issue. Earbuds that tangle in a mess are annoying to untangle. Earbuds for exercise will want to be kept out of the way, so you don’t keep pulling them out of your ears when your hands are in motion.

That’s why Bluetooth technology earbuds are an excellent choice. Also, do not ignore the right size of ear tips since if you squeeze in large tips, your ears will hurt after a while and when they are too small, they keep falling out.

Also, if you can adjust the cable size, the better it will be when trying to keep it out of the way.

Carry Case

Although commonly ignored, a pouch is one of the best tools to have along with your earbuds. It keeps your earbuds tangle-free in your bag or pocket. This way, you don’t risk tangling them around things like keys, pens, and another pair of spare earphones or charging cable.

Drivers and Impedance

Drivers are responsible for reproducing sound. Size does not always matter in earbuds because they are almost always the same size. But bigger drivers are preferred for deep bass. On the cheap, we expect single-driver earbuds since they are cheap to produce.

We also expect low impedance that is below 60 ohms. This means they run on low power such as that produced by smartphones. If used on highly-amplified sound sources, they will likely blow out. Some even blow out when you turn the sound up all the way.

Final Words

Earbuds are everywhere you look. It is downright intimidating for a shopper trying to search through a maze of brands that all claim to be the best. That is where we step in. We have wet our feet in this industry to bring you nothing but tried and tested models.

These earbuds meet our standards in terms of sound quality, portability, durability, and functionality. Whether you want cheap wireless earbuds or are looking to acquire premium-quality designs, you are looking at the best cheap earbuds.