10 Best Headphones Under $30 In 2022

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Comfort – Comfort is key. Make sure that your headphones of choice have enough padding and airflow to support hours of casual listening. For earbuds, look for a set that comes with flexible sizing inserts so that you can find the perfect fit for your ear type.

Kate Brunotts

Kate Brunotts FOR MUSIC CRITIC

Headphones Under $30 Buyers Guide

When you find yourself lurking online with a very limited budget in mind, shopping can be considerably more challenging. The consumer electronics industry is an overly-competitive one with products being developed and added constantly. This can mean you are spoiled for choice, which can actually make if more difficult to separate the sensible affordable solutions from the complete junk.

Are Cheap Headphones Any Good?

We have said it before and we stand by it; there really are 2 kinds of ‘cheap’ out there and this is determined by the ways in which the companies producing low-priced electronics manage to reduce the retail prices for the market.

Quite often you will find that the materials are where they manage to cut the costs and this is prudent and understandable so you shouldn’t set your expectations too high.

This can mean that an over-head set of headphones might not be as luxuriously cushioned as a more expensive set and whilst comfort is important, on a lower budget if you want decent audio you really ought to sacrifice the external quality over the internal.

How they sound should be above all other concerns, but they still need to be well-designed and durable enough not to break and need replacing or they really aren’t a bargain at all.

With that in mind, we have a few key things to look out for when purchasing a low-priced set of headphones to ensure you actually get your money’s worth.

What To Look For When Buying Headphones Under $30?

As with any headphone buying venture, you initially have to settle whether you want in-ear or over ear sound. This generally boils down to comfort, portability, and functionality – a set for lounging on your laptop will likely be very different from a pair to pull weights or punch-bag in at the gym.

Whatever the headphone style was chosen – the audio should be paramount. Obviously, in the lower price regions, this will not be fairly comparable with a high-end set, but there are many more than adequate choices out there which provide great options.

Generally speaking the larger the driver the better your low-end response will be and the more head-room you get before they break up and distort. Over-options can incorporate much larger drivers than in-ear models, let’s compare.

Over-ear Headphones

Logically then, over-ear or circumaural overhead headphones provide better audio. Adhering to this we then suggest you seek those with decent response and the highest performance you can afford.

In terms of quality and other desirable assets, you should always have a very flexible headband or an adjustable one, cups should ideally swivel to some degree and they should be cushioned accordingly. These three characteristics will enable you to wear them comfortably for longer sessions.

You then have to settle the wired versus wireless argument, if audio is key to you-you don’t necessarily need the wireless conveniences, then we suggest a durable wired set, as the quality of wireless audio, is often lack-luster in low-end products. See some cheap wireless headphones here.

If your lifestyle dictates Bluetooth requirements and hands-free capabilities then opt for a noise canceling or isolating model with up to date reception.

One of the drawbacks to an over-head model is their larger size which can affect their portability. If you are likely to travel about, you may want to think about a fold-up or fold-away option.

If this is the case then you need to examine how they collapse, as some methods provide more durable mechanics than others. The materials used also become far more important, as moving parts become a weak point in terms of construction if they aren’t exceptionally well designed and fabricated.

In-Ear Earbuds

When looking for an in-ear earbud model consider your needs just as carefully in term of wires or Bluetooth and microphone integration.

The sound will always be less powerfully driven by smaller component speakers, but there are many products which are pushing the boundaries and incorporating clever design implements, to allow for bigger driver placement and ultimately better audio.

For a rough idea of what to look for in a cheap earbud set you have to consider their use, if you are a sportier sort, you will need a set which has the support of some kind, to help keep them in place.

This could be via over ear hooks or inner-auricle fins and locks. You also might want to think about their water resistance if you like to run outside. If you are wearing them for long periods they need to be comfortably fit within your ear canal, so look for ergonomically shaped tips from skin friendly flexible materials such as foam and silicone.

There are a number of earbuds on the market which come with a range of tip sizes provided, to help ensure you get a snug fit that won’t harm or damage your ears in use.

Sometimes it is wise to stick with a brand you are familiar with when shopping on a shoe-string. They can often reduce costs simply because they have a larger operation and can mass produce.

This means they can sometimes incorporate better-engineered electronic components than their similarly priced lesser-known competitors can.

Conclusion

Headphones under $30 don’t tend to come with any huge surprises, but we think we have managed to muster up a decent range of choices.

Luckily you won’t find yourself short of options just because you are short of cash a very cheap set of headphones can cost around ten bucks.

You are bound to find something suitable for you once you have narrowed down your preferred comfort preferences in terms of the headphone style. If you keep the key info from today’s buyers guide in mind you should shop a little savvier as well.

Expert Tip

If you have a little more wiggle room in the cash department, we recently reviewed the 10 Best Headphones For Under $50 which might present a few extra options for some of you.

Did you Know

Skullcandy make a whole range of affordably priced earbud products, their silicone gel tips are very comfortable and many of their sets are below todays $30 dollar cap. You can find a few compared

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