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The best headphones under £50 for reliable sound on a shoestring

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Some humans will let you know that simply delicate audiophiles spend no much less than £three hundred on a brand new pair of headphones, however having examined out each set of cans up and down the rate range, we are right here to inform you that you could effortlessly locate excellent on the low cost cease of the spectrum. 

Sure, you’ll ought to rectangular away dropping a number of the height capabilities that trap song-enthusiasts into spending large amounts – along with pinnacle-tier noise cancellation, voice assistant manage, and next-degree sound excellent – however in case you’re analyzing an editorial like this, you are already OK with skimping on some extras which will keep your self a few cash.

So how do you locate those incredible, low cost ear cans? Well, you don’t want to, due to the fact we already did. 

Below are a number of the exceptional headphones under £50 that consist of wi-fi connectivity to Apple iPhone or Android smartphones, a right first rate soundstage and a decrease rate for the greater frugal buyers amongst you.

The entry-degree cease of the headphones spectrum is ruled through Anker’s rock-strong offerings, and right here we check the amazing Soundcore Life Q20. 

Arriving with expansive audio excellent, lively noise cancellation (that is a splendidly top class little bit of tech to be visible at this rate range), a cushty match and a greater than first rate battery to maintain up with busy existence.

Truly wi-fi earphones have an air of secrecy of expense. A trace of luxurious that complements your headwear drip and your song game. 

EarFun’s Air lets in you to stay this dream however for manner much less than £50, with precise sound, water resistance, and the stamina to maintain up with busy existence and longer listening sessions.

Skullcandy is the king of low-rate headphones, and if we had been to maintain forcing the metaphor, then the Cassette studio headphones will be the crowning jewel at the royal family’s price range regalia. 

They are fun, with a vibrant, bouncy sound that belies an low cost rate, and some smarts to enhance the listening experience.


  • Type: Over-ear
  • Battery existence (h): 30
  • Charging: microUSB
  • Noise-cancelling: Active noise cancellation
  • Weight (g): 263

Having hooked up a quite a good deal bomb-evidence popularity on the very entry-degree of the headphones marketplace, Anker is busily expanding. 

Very, very cautiously, though, because the Soundcore Life Q20 demonstrate. 

‘Significantly much less than £50’ is staunchly entry-degree for maximum manufacturers, however for Anker, it represents a precise pass upmarket.

Given the rate, the Q20 honestly do pile at the capabilities. 

Active noise-cancellation and 30 hours of battery existence (which doubles if you turn the ANC off) are a ways from the norm at this form of cash. 

It’s sufficient to make you neglect the instead old-faculty microUSB socket for charging the battery withinside the first place.

As a ways as sound goes, the Q20 are an inoffensive and pretty sprightly pay attention. 

The lowest frequencies are a touch tentative, admittedly – that is a directly reversal of what typically happens on this a part of the marketplace – however there’s a pretty amazing perception into recordings and a reasonably even-passed manner with tonality and pinnacle-cease reaction. 

You’ll want to put together your self for the noise-cancelling right here to be greater like ‘noise-reducing’ – in case you’re hoping to pay attention in a cocoon of silence you’ll be disappointed. 

But ordinary the Anker aren’t anyt any worry in any respect to pay attention to.

The plastics right here are instead difficult and now no longer specifically scuff-resistant, however again, that’s par for the path whilst spending this type of modest sum. 

The Q20 get a ways greater proper than they get wrong.


  • Type: In-ear
  • Battery existence (h): 7 (earbuds); 28 (charging case)
  • Charging: USB-C, Qi
  • Noise-cancelling: no
  • Weight (g): 5.4 (every earbud)

Almost ninety nine instances out of 100, if a deal appears too precise to be real that’s as it is. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the exception that proves the rule: the EarFun Air real wi-fi in-ear headphones. 

Fancy 35 hours of battery existence, wi-fi charging through any Qi-licensed pad, an IPX7 score for moisture resistance, Bluetooth 5.0, voice help and contact controls, and ear-detection that robotically pauses song while you get rid of an earbud? Of path you do. There are lots of real wi-fi in-ears costing two times as a good deal as this that don’t have this type of wealthy function-set.

Naturally, a lot of these capabilities are not anything however tinsel if the Air doesn’t sound just like the cash’s-worth – however (and it’s infrequently a spoiler, seeing as how they’re in this listing withinside the first place) in no way fear. 

The Earfun Air outperform their rate factor pretty easily.

The sonic presentation is pretty spacious and airy, and consequently, the soundstage is straightforward to understand. 

The ordinary signature is punchy and energetic, however there’s not anything compelled or relentless approximately it, and the very agreeable stages of element the Air can extract from a recording additionally assist the balance. 

In fact, approximately the handiest location in which they’re deserving of slight complaint is on the pinnacle cease – treble sounds are usually threatening to lose refinement, and with unsympathetic fabric or at unrealistic quantity stages they are able to get nicely edgy.

In each different respect, though, the Earfun Air are (very nearly) too precise to be real. 


  • Type: Over-ear
  • Battery existence (h): 12
  • Charging: microUSB
  • Noise-cancelling: lively
  • Weight (g): 173

When you’re getting a couple of over-ear headphones from certainly considered one among the largest manufacturers withinside the enterprise for much less than £100, you’d higher be equipped to compromise. 

What’s splendid approximately JBL’s Tune 600BTNC wi-fi lively noise-cancelling over-ear headphones is simply how minimum and affordable the ones compromises are.

So sure, 12 hours of battery existence is not anything special, although it rises to a far greater beneficial 22 hours if you switch the lively noise-cancellation circuitry off. 

The bodily controls grouped round the threshold of the earcup are too near together, too comparable in form and too clean to function in error. 

And the plastics from which the JBL are primarily built experience cheaper and are effortlessly marked.

But with that stuff out of the manner, we are able to get to the (a good deal greater significant) precise stuff. 

And it essentially revolves across the manner the JBL sound and the manner they cancel outside noise. 

They’re now no longer the maximum element-heavy pair of headphones you ever heard, however they need for truly not anything in which punch and assault is concerned – to the factor that the ones of a anxious or bass-damaging disposition can also additionally conceivably desire to appearance elsewhere. 

Noise-cancelling, too, is of the strong range with handiest the tiniest trace of counter-signal, they are able to address the overpowering majority of ambient sound, leaving you to get on with taking part in that huge-beamed sound. 


  • Type: Over-ear
  • Battery existence (h): n/a
  • Charging: n/a
  • Noise-cancelling: no
  • Weight (g): 217

“Ladies and gentlemen, that is your Captain speaking. 

Please placed on your Sennheiser 400S headphones, set your watch lower back 10 years or so, and put together for a few old-faculty entertainment.”

In this company, the Sennheiser 400S over-ear headphones appearance pretty the throwback. 

Hard-stressed operation handiest, this means that no lively noise-cancelling, no manage app, and none of the opposite cutting-edge tinsel maximum purchasers call for as their absolute proper. 

There’s an in-line far flung manage, that is beneficial for making and taking calls – however it doesn’t even function quantity manage.

Where the basics are concerned, though, that is Sennheiser we’re handling right here, this means that the 400S are a balanced, devoted and in reality pretty revealing pay attention, without any of that ramping up of low frequencies that much less succesful designs want to indulge in. 

The sound right here is naturalistic, fast and even – so some thing you positioned into the Sennheisers is lower back to you with minimum interference. 

Add in predictably strong construct excellent and materials, take every other study the asking rate after which take a look at to look in case your cellphone has a headphone socket. It does? Then the Sennheiser 400S makes an lousy lot of feel on the cash. 


  • Type: Over-ear
  • Battery existence (h): 22
  • Charging: USB-C
  • Noise-cancelling: no
  • Weight (g): 147

Skullcandy turned into one of the first headphones manufacturers to marketplace its merchandise as way of life add-ons in place of as gadgets for being attentive to song, and in that, it’s been remarkably successful. 

It doesn’t do any damage that it’s capable of supply headphones like this – nicely made, decently comfortable, with amazing battery existence and to be had in some of pretty unexpected colours – for easily much less than £50. 

And then supply them a call with the form of unfashionable hipster connotations that Young People are certain to be into.

And in all honesty, there’s next-to-not anything to take trouble with right here in case you maintain rate uppermost on your mind. 

In absolute phrases, there’s a hint of sludgy warmness withinside the low frequencies, at the same time as the midrange is surprisingly undemonstrative – however the phrases right here are a ways from absolute. 

As a whole, the Cassette does admirable paintings with element retrieval, don’t ever get difficult on the pinnacle cease even in case you’re listening at pretty a hefty quantity, and feature a quite deft manner with dynamics and rhythms.

In all honesty, Skullcandy isn’t doing itself any favours through banging on approximately how the Cassette are an appropriate accompaniment for one of these lively/intense existence it appears obsessed through due to the fact the Cassette are made nearly completely from standard-grade plastics. 

But in case you rather deal with the form of fee for cash they constitute in sonic phrases, they’re difficult to put a glove on.


  • Type: On-ear
  • Battery existence (h): 35
  • Charging: USB-C
  • Noise-cancelling: no
  • Weight (g): 132

Just due to the fact Sony truly dominates in which the top class cease of the mainstream headphones marketplace is concerned, that doesn’t suggest it neglects the ones folks who don’t need to simply chuck cash on the hassle of selecting a brand new pair of cans. 

A pair of WH-CH510 will set you lower back no greater than the value of a medium-sized spherical of drinks – and in exchange, you’ll very own a couple of light, transportable on-ear headphones which have a number fine attributes.

Battery existence, for instance, is amazing. The sound they make – punchy, pretty poised and a ways much less colored than maximum in addition priced options can manage – is nicely listenable, with handiest the instead heavy-legged low-frequency reaction an apparent shortcoming. 

And let’s now no longer underestimate the significance of emblem cachet on this location of the headphones marketplace.

It’s truthful to mention the WH-CH510 don’t experience the maximum rugged, and in case you’re after a couple of headphones that could simply be casually slung right into a bag and predicted to face up to it day by day then those likely aren’t for you. Their lightness makes them eminently transportable, however you’ll want to take at the least a touch care of them. 

And the dearth of a 3.5mm socket approach they are able to’t be difficult-stressed, so you’ll want to make certain you maintain that huge battery crowned up. 

Otherwise, though, there are few greater low cost approaches to shop for into one of the maximum reputable headphones manufacturers round.

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