Best Earbuds Under $20 Without Compromising Sound Quality

If you are not an audiophile chances are you don’t want to spend a fortune on IEMs. Luckily there are many best earbuds in the market that can fit in your budget (usually under $20) and are not heavy on the pockets. However keep in mind that cheaper earphones don’t have the same quality as the high end ones. You will have to make a compromise on design and durability. Some of the cheaper earbuds also don’t have the features that you get in the expensive ones like microphone etc.  But then again alot of IEMs have some weak points, whether its design or comfort and you only find that out after using them.

Here is a list of some of the best earbuds under $20. You will be surprised with their quality at such throwaway prices and that is exactly why they made the list. They will go beyond your expectations for sure.

Cheap Earbuds under $20:


1: Koss The Plug: Best Earbud for the Money

There are many reasons to choose Koss The Plug In-Ear Earbuds. One of them is that it provides excellent isolation which makes them ideal to be carried during listening. It provides powerful bass and above average quality mids/highs.  The package includes multiple ear tips in various styles and sizes to choose from. They are pretty affordable but are comparable to IEMs at a higher price range. One of the negatives is that there is no playback or volume controls. They can be easily misplaced because of their small size and minimal weight.

Koss The Plug In-Ear Earbuds

The foam tips come can take some getting used to wearing but they come in both cone and cylinder fits in various sizes so if one doesn’t fit you can replace it with another. If they don’t fit properly, then compress the foam before inserting them in your ears. Overall they are pretty comfortable.

The build quality of these Koss IEMs is pretty good, for its price. They are not very durable especially with rough use so they are not good for everyday use.  Use the carrying case to prolong the life of your IEMs. They are very lightweight and the cord is very thin.

The mids and highs are warm and clear and the bass is very strong.  While many people complained about poor sound quality with the previous models the new model doesn’t have the same problem. As those issues have been resolved.  It also provides excellent isolation which makes them ideal to be carried during listening. The expandable foam forms a tight seal in your ears which greatly reduce both noise leakage out of the IEMs and stops the surrounding noise from entering your ear. But if you want to use them while driving they are not a good choice.

If you are looking for an affordable IEMs with a cool design then you should go for the latest Koss The Plug Earphone has to offer.

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2: MEElectronics Sport-Fi M6:

MEElectronics Sport-Fi M6 provide a very good sound quality along with a prominent bass. Noise isolation is also pretty good. They have a durable design. Another good feature is that they are water resistant, which makes them great while playing sports. They are the one of the best in-ear earbuds under $20. It has an ear hook design which might cause discomfort to some people.

MEElectronics Sport-Fi M6 Earbuds

Their memory wire makes them a stable fit in your ears while still being comfortable. Additionally you get 6 different ear tips to fit your ear so test out all the ear tips to find the perfect fit.

If you are using the right types of ear tips and sitting in the proper position then they are very comfortable to use but they are still going to get some time getting used to it.  They are good for workouts because of their stable fit.

The wires are super durable because they have metal protection. They are also sweat-proof and water-resistant making them durable and long lasting.   Overall, they are very durable and can withstand rough use to a great extent.

When it comes to sound, it’s very smooth, warm and detailed with prominent bass tones.  The bass is prominent and punchy which is the best thing about them.  Although the mids are rich in quality but the high pitched sounds lack detail.

If you are looking for sports earbuds under $20 then these provide great value at $20 because they have  a good fit and water resistant.

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3: Monoprice 108321 In-Ear Earphones: Best Earbud Under $10

They also provide a good value for money when it comes to sound quality. However, the design is uncomfortable and the ear plugs are of weak quality.

Monoprice 108321 Button Design In-Ear Earphones

The design needs some getting used to as they are not exactly comfortable. The original ear tips aren’t very comfortable so you should change them. Noise isolation is below average but you can make it better using different earplugs.

They aren’t very comfortable because of their specific design. If you are not comfortable then try on different foam tips.

The built quality isn’t very good but they don’t have any major issues. They are long lasting but don’t use them roughly. They are compatible with iPod and other portable music devices thanks to a stereo plug.

The bass tones are clear and punchy with good bass response while the mids and highs have clarity. Overall the sound is comparable with much more expensive models and that too at an affordable price of under $10.

If you’re looking for dirt cheap earbuds with good sound quality that are comparable to expensive models then choose them.  They are not very comfortable but when it come to sound quality they are better than the Panasonic Model.

Usually earbuds this cheap don’t have a microphone or remote and so is the case with these.They are compatible with iPod and other portable music devices thanks to a stereo plug.

Overall Monoprice 108321 provide very good value for their money and they could have been sold at a much higher price easily.

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4: Panasonic RPHJE120K:

They are very cheap so even if they break you wouldn’t feel bad. They are pretty comfortable and provide a good bass with balanced mid tones. They are also below $10, and are very decent for the price.  Because they are dirt cheap you can carry them around wherever you go.

Panasonic RPHJE120K

Noise isolation is about average, but they are much better than with most over-ear headphones.

They are very comfortable and have a stable fit.  They feel light in the ears and you can go on hours wearing them without any discomfort. They also come with 3 soft ear tip pairs to choose from.

The casing is made from plastic giving them a cheap look and the wire are not that good in terms of durability? It doesn’t include a microphone but then again you don’t get them at this price range.

They provide good quality bass anywhere in this price range. The mid tones are clean and balanced, but the high tones are below average. Overall the sound quality is good and quite balanced for the price and doesn’t have any major issues. Overall you’re still getting superb sound quality for the price that is rather balanced and doesn’t have any major flaws. They can be used while playing sports or during workouts. These Panasonic earbuds don’t have anything special to offer but considering the price, these are the optimal balance of everything a pair of earbuds is supposed to be.

If you’re looking for dirt cheap yet good earbuds, they provide very good quality for  $10.

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5: Philips SHE3590:

There are many different colors to choose from and are very affordable. The cord will last the life of earbuds. The sound quality is good with controlled bass and clear mids and highs.

The biggest negative is that they are not very durable. But this is a problem with almost all dirt cheap IEMs but at least you can carry them around everywhere you go and if they break just buy new ones.

Philips SHE3590

They are very light weight and the fit is stable enough and there won’t be a problem staying in your ears. Sound isolation provided by the original earplugs is pretty good so there is no need to replace them.

The soft silicone ear tips are not exactly comfortable but they aren’t so bad either. Considering the price they are pretty good.

They are not very durable but if they break you can just buy new ones without worrying too much about the price.   It doesn’t include a remote or microphone.

The feature that really stands out in this price range is the sound quality. Initially the sound quality isn’t that good, but after some use you will get very refined, clean sound.  The bass is controlled while the Mids and highs are very precise. The sound is much better than you would expect considering the price.

These are a surprisingly good pair of earbuds for less than $10. They are not very modern or cool but provide a good value for money because of their sound quality.

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The best thing about these earbuds is that they are so dirt cheap that even if you break them or use them roughly it is not going to matter. If you aren’t an audiophile and are just looking for best earbuds for the money that you can use every day during workouts then you should go for these because it doesn’t make sense to spend so much money buying expensive earphones. The sound quality that the IEMs on this list provide are as good as the expensive ones and you would be surprised at the quality.

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