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Finding the Best Earbuds Under 20

Updated on November 28, 2014

Choices for Earbuds in the Sub-$20 Category

Are you in the market for affordable but good quality earphone. Well here is a list for best earbuds under 20 USD (in ear headphones) that will not burn a hole in your pocket and will not compromise the quality of audio output . When we buy mp3 players and cellphone, it is usually accompanied by a headphones that has sound quality that may leave you wanting.. The in-ear type of earbuds are the kind that you have to properly fit inside the ear canal in order to appreciate the fullness of the sound. It also offers good sound isolation so you won't be distracted by outside noise. It is deemed much safer compared to the usual non-in-ear headset because you can turn the volume low yet you can still hear the sound clearly. That way, your hearing will not be permanently damaged by a prolong session of high-decibel listening.

If you don't want to spend a small fortune buying those expensive headset then good news is that high-end sound aren't exclusive for high-priced headphones anymore. In fact, there are a growing list of affordable headphone from different manufacturer that doesn't sacrifice the audio quality at all. This collection is based on rave reviews by customers who actually tried them on.

No reason not to enjoy high fidelity sound because most of the list of best earbuds under 20 are just the best bang for your buck that you can find out there. So audiophiles on a budget need not fret anymore.

Shown in the image is a Panasonic ERGOFIT RP-HJE125 (photo by Rod505)

What to Expect with these Entry Level Earbuds

Not everyone is an audiophile and willing to spend hefty amount just for a set of earbuds. There are actually really great budget earbud that is buzzing with positive feedback based on customer reviews- that is if you like to make your buying decision based on reviews and actual sentiments from people who actually bought those items. In this price point, here are some few things to expect:

  • Sound quality first and foremost - it is very rare that a cellphone or mp3 player comes with a decent sounding earbuds. Most of them seems like an afterthought in the audio department. For music lovers who appreciates the clarity of highs and lows in their songs, it is no-brainer to find a good replacement- and it doesn't have to be that expensive.
  • Price - these are bargain basement earbuds, some even costs less than ten bucks.
  • Passive Noise Cancellation - it only means you can shove the tip or 'buds' to the ear canal to filter some ambient noise, but don't expect a total absence of outside sound though. The benefit of having these is you can turn the sound really low, thereby much better for the health of ear.
  • Aesthetics- They have to cut corners somewhere right? It is obvious from the get go that this is not a designer earbuds so it doesn't come with fancy look.

Skullcandy INK'd 2.0

From a company that usually caters for sports and outdoor enthusiast with their bold and edgy designs audio devices comes the INK'd 2.0. This is actually a follow up to the popular Skullcandy budget offering, the INK'd series.

The INK'd Earbuds 2 is another sub-$20 dollar that improves upon its predecessor in many respects. Firstly, they have tinkered with the quality of the sound which now leans toward a well balanced output and natural vocals. In addition, the wires are now flat to avoid getting tangled.

This also comes with a variant that has built-in mic for phone. This looks like a solid choice as a replacement for stock headset of an mp3 players or smartphones.

JVC HAFX5D Gumy Plus Inner Ear Headphones (Orange)

Reviews are already abound in this particular JVC model and at the moment, it is very positive to say the least. The black one, as of this writing can be had for just $6 and while other color varies in price.

This was also reviewed on CNET website wherein the reviewer is quite impressed with the sound quality knowing how cheap it costs.

It comes with a three pair of buds to chose for comfort. The chord which is 3.28 feet in length is less prone to tangle.

Maxell M&M'S Earbuds

This quirky and whimsical earbuds hits a sweet spot for those looking for fun and on a budget alternative. The confectionery theme may not be everybody's cup of tea in terms of design, but for the price this can be a solid replacement for your old pair.

This will certainly will appeal to younger demographics or if you can get past the aesthetics, this won't be a bad choice for the price either.

This is arguably among the most highly praised and universally loved bargain basement earbuds out there.
This is arguably among the most highly praised and universally loved bargain basement earbuds out there.

Panasonic RPHJE120 - Highly Rated, Low Priced In-Ear Headphone

This unassuming look of this little earbud is nothing to write home about but hard to overlook in the sea of cheap earbuds out there. The Panasonic RPHJE120 set the Amazon customers review section buzzing with thousands of positive feedbacks from verified purchase. This looks like a winner judging how overwhelmingly positive those thousands of feedbacks are. Sure, being ultra cheap doesn't hurt but the well received sound quality really bodes well to bargain hunters out there.

I have been using the other model, which is the RPHJE125 for quite some time now, which looks the same aside from color scheme. Hands down, way better than Apple's stock headset in terms of audio quality. It may not compare to high end and more expensive offerings out there, but the output is much better than those that come with your devices out of the box.


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    • profile image

      kate 3 years ago

      it's a great post for finding earbuds

    • ashley2014 profile image

      ashley2014 3 years ago

      Great lens. I love the Skullcandy Ink'd earbuds. Very cool design and they sound great with any music genre. My only complaint is that they don't last long(about 1-2 months), but for the price and sound quality, you just can't beat it.

    • profile image

      CeyhunDonmez 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing the lens.Keep posting

    • whats4dinner profile image

      whats4dinner 5 years ago

      i've alwayas wanted to have a skullcandy earbuds because of its design!! nice selections. thanks for posting this lens :D

    • koolclipz profile image

      koolclipz 5 years ago

      Love the lens! Great buys and informative!