Here at WIRED, it’s a part of our job to listen to music all day, often on exceedingly fancy and bonkers-expensive headphones. We have playlists for testing bass, for assessing detail, for dance parties—we get way into it. You might think reviewing cheaper headphones would be a chore, but it’s actually really exciting. We find real joy searching for good headphones and earbuds with price tags between $5 and $100. It’s where the competition is stiffest!
Our work isn’t done, either. Etailers are overflowing with cheap, awful headphones, so we’ll keep listening and updating this list as we try the ever-expanding options. Now fire up your favorite playlist, count your pennies, and take a peek below. We’ve sifted through dozens of terrible cheap headphones to find the true gold.
Updated November 2020: We’ve added the Beats Flex and 1More ColorBuds, and updated prices and links throughout.