Cheap Headphones Buyers Guide
One of the biggest pitfalls of shopping in the lower regions is spotting the better quality items from the cheap rubbish. Sometimes you have to do a little more research to know what to look for.
We do a lot of budgets allocated reviews here with a candid approach, to help guide you through the jargon and understand the specs. Unfortunately, many companies use misleading language when trying to shift something sub-par, and this can be confusing. But, worry not! There are some affordable models that outperform the rest, and, with a keen eye, you can find the best of the bunch.
It’s important to keep in mind that, while there are good deals to be had, you won’t be getting anything premium quality without a substantial investment. Expectations need to be kept realistic.
That said, so long as your tastes aren’t too particular, you’ll be surprised at just what your dollars can get you these days, thanks to the constant evolution within the audio-electronics industry and a healthy dose of competition.
The headphone market, in particular, is pretty overstocked, rendering it a real buyer’s market with many worthy bargains to be had. This is great news for your price-range.
The more advanced technology of higher-end products tends to trickle down to the lower-price products eventually, giving the customers a better deal. This is especially true for well-established reputable brands that have more resources at their fingertips.
What to Look for when Buying Cheap Headphones?
With low-price pair, quality is still essential. You don’t want to find yourself replacing a poorly made set on a regular basis, or you won’t have saved yourself any money in the long run.
The materials chosen are often cheaper and lower quality to begin with, which is often unavoidable because slashing production costs in the early fabrication stages is a sure-fire way to provide a low-cost product for the customer. For better quality, you need often need to spend a little more, but the manufacturing can assist in the durability of the product.
If the product is well designed and put together, then the materials used will fare far better. With earbud models, in particular, metals can be hardier than plastics.
On over-ear models, you should look for a sturdy headband design but with enough flexibility of cushioning to keep it comfortable. If it’s a fold-away set, then the moving parts need to be well-designed or they will actually become a weak-point. The product will then eventually succumb to wear and tear and, unfortunately, break on you.
We have reviewed a range of styled sets in today’s article to provide a variety of cheap headphone options. What you choose is down to your intended use at the end of the day. We have written many buyers guides that help explain the benefits of each headphone style.
The manufacturing quality and components as stated are paramount to the longevity of the product. A second vital factor is, of course, the audio quality itself. After all, headphones are for listening.
The audio reproduced relies heavily on the internal components of the quality and manufacturing. This, once again, determines the capabilities.
In the low-price region, most arrays will utilize neodymium, and they all function in the same manner. But just how well is down to their circuitry and how they process their input signals.
This is largely down to their engineering. It may sound strange, but matching sized diaphragms manufactured with the same components can play the same audio with a very different output.
When a headphone receives an electronic signal, its magnetic field is disturbed. They discern the signal in accordance with their frequency response and how accurately they are trained to interpret it.
Headphones can struggle with low-end frequencies, as reproducing bass accurately requires a bit more of a surface area to reverberate. If you value your bass response, you should look for a set in your price range that has been optimized to handle lower frequencies better.
Comfort is important, no matter the style of headphones you select. While the material choices might be a little more limited, you should try to opt for the best your cash can get.
Over-ear models or studio headphones must be sufficiently cushioned to provide a comfortable fit, ideally with something breathable so that your ears don’t over-heat during prolonged use. The band on studio headphones should be adjustable, and ideally, the earcups should be swivel-mounted.
These models also tend to have some sort of noise cancellation, just because of the way they’re made. As they fit over the ears, they should sport some passive noise cancellation. However, if you want proper noise cancellation, make sure your headphones state they are noise cancelling. You might have to pay more if you want active noise cancellation, and just want it to be you, your sound and your bass.
In-ear models need to have an ergonomic earbud tip made from something skin-friendly and suitably flexible or soft so that they aren’t damaging in any way to your ear canals. It’s always good to buy a model that comes with a selection of tips to choose the best fit for the individual.
Be aware that if you would like a set of wireless headphones, you can expect to pay a little bit more. True wireless earbuds are much the same, even if they’re smaller. When shopping for a pair of cheap wireless headphones, you’ll have to consider a range of things.
First, the Bluetooth connection. Don’t go for a poor connection with true wireless headphones or true wireless earbuds, even if this ups the cost – you’ll just end up with wireless earbuds you’re not happy with.
Secondly, you’ll have to think about battery life. Don’t go for poor battery life with cheap wireless earbuds or headphones, either. The battery life should be at least five hours, especially if you plan to take your true wireless earbuds on your commute. If you’re lucky, the true wireless earbuds will come with a carrying case; these carrying or charging cases often contain additional battery life, so you don’t have to worry about your true wireless headphones running out of battery life.
And, of course, consider sound quality with your true wireless earbuds or true wireless headphones. They will never match up to the quality of a non-wireless pair, but true wireless options should still have good bass and sound. Don’t compromise when it comes to this. If you’re really set on buying a true wireless option, perhaps consider a more expensive set.
Finding a set of affordable headphones shouldn’t be too difficult because there are a plethora of low-priced products to tempt you, from wired options to true wireless options, and from in-ear headphones to over.
Sometimes you have to settle for less when it comes to the quality, but with our buyer’s guide in hand, you should be able to spot a decent set whatever your needs.
So long as you have your priorities in check, finding a bargain should be relatively simple.
As ever, we believe our reviews represent some of the better deals out there. We trust this week’s guide will help you get your hands on a cheap pair of headphones that won’t disappoint.
If you have premium tastes and less cash to splash, we recommend you go for an over-ear set with large-aperture drivers which can capably deliver better audio. If their larger size bothers you, try to find a robust folding set. They store away and are far more portable to take out and about with you, making them one of the best options.
Did you Know
We have written a range of low-priced headphone articles for you to peruse. Why not take a look at our other articles? Or for something a bit more specific you might be interested in our Best Headphones Under $30 article instead.