What are the best cheap wireless earbuds?
The market for cheap true wireless earbuds has exploded but ones are the best? With a huge number of affordable options, there’s plenty of headphones to wade through. And while these earbuds are cheap, there are some diamonds to be found for those not looking to pay a premium.
The wireless earbuds on this list are here because they offer good sound, feature reliable build quality, have a lengthy battery life and are easy to use. While they won’t necessarily offering more premium features (though there are some that do), these efforts feature the standard technical features you need to have a good experience.
With this list of the best cheap true wireless earbuds, you’ll find a headphone that suits your needs. The shortlist is a summary of our top picks, but you can scroll down to see summary and links to our full reviews for each pick.
- Best cheap wireless earbud: Cambridge Audio Melomania 1
- Best budget wireless earbud: Lypertek Tevi
- Best cheap wireless noise-cancelling earbuds: Sony WF-1000X
- Best cheap wireless earbud comfort: SoundMagic TWS50
- Best looking wireless earbud comfort: Shanling MTW100
- Best cheap running wireless earbuds: Sony WF-XB700
- Best fit cheap wireless earbuds: Creative Outlier Gold
- Best ANC cheap wireless earbud: Urbanista London
- Best cheap true wireless for bass: Audio-Technica ATH CK3TW
- Best cheap true wireless earbuds under £50: Earfun Free
- Best cheap AirPod alternative: Anker Soundcore Life P2
- Best battery life: Mifo 05
- Best impulse buy: Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo
Cambridge Audio Melomania 1
Great sound on a budget
- Great battery life
- Comfortable fit
- Poised, energetic sound
- Grey finish is a bit austere
- Touch controls take some getting used to
Cambridge Audio’s first wireless earbuds are a resounding success – great sound and super-long battery life for less than £100.
Battery life is excellent at nine hours on a single charge and 45 in total. There’s aptX-HD for high-quality Bluetooth streaming, and when combined with its energetic character and great integration across the frequency range, the Melomania 1 hit a sweet spot of performance and price. They’re one of the best cheap true wireless you can get.
- read our full Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 review
- Confident, lively sound
- Polished build quality
- Long battery life
- Comfortable to use
- Not much at this price
The Tevi are one of more assured and confident listens for less than £100, with a sound that’s smooth and lively, they boast excellent timing and can summon up plenty of power.
The battery life is enough for a very long time, and they’re comfortable enough to wear for prolonged periods. They’re also available in a new, more distinctive pink finish.
- read our full Lypertek Tevi review
- Excellent noise cancellation
- Adaptive noise cancelling totally works
- Comfortable, stable fit
- Great sound
- Charging case is a little chunky
Three years old and the WF-1000X are still a great pair of wire-free earphones, offering excellent sound.
Audio is balanced and refined, offering finesse and detail. They come with lots of features, including active noise cancellation. While battery life has been surpassed by others and the charging case is large, they’re now available for less than £100, making these a good alternative to the WF-1000XM3.
- read our full Sony WF-1000X review
Likable and affordable
- Light, compact and comfortable
- Detailed, informative and coherent sound
- Convincing tonality
- Direct rivals offer better battery life
- Not the most out-and-out dynamic listen
The TWS50 are SoundMagic’s first true wireless, and much like their wireless earphones, they’re great.
Though the tadpole design is odd, the TWS50 are light, compact and comfortable. You get 30 hours of battery, Bluetooth 5.0 and aptX for good-quality streams and connectivity. The sound is entertaining too, with a detailed, well-defined soundstage and a convincing tone.
- read our full SoundMagic TWS50 review
Compelling performance at an affordable price
- Neutral, crisp sound
- Comfortable design
- Excellent all-rounders
- No voice-assistant functionality
- Flimsy case
- Not widely available
For less than £100, the Shanling offers touch controls, 24-hours of battery and a rock-solid Bluetooth 5.0 connection, and despite their low price, they have the look of more expensive headphones.
The Shanling are impressively balanced with a clear sound, energetic treble and warm bass. It’s a character that makes them a good fit for most musical genres.
- read our full Shanling MTW100 review
Fun, affordable sound
- Excellent battery life
- Fun, punchy sound
- Powerful sub-bass
- Quite large
- No active noise cancellation
With the WF-XB700, Sony has pursued a more fitness-focused bent for this entry in its wire-free earbud range. They’re also very good as just a standard, cheap true wireless earbud.
They’re a bit large and there’s a certain pragmatism to their look – think plastic and plenty of it. But these choices help keep the earbuds’ weight down as well making them comfortable to wear. Battery life is a long nine hours, and the sound is fun and lively, with plenty of powerful bass.
- read our full Sony WF-XB700 review
Creative Outlier Gold
Improved performance – same price
- Better balanced sound than the Outlier Air
- Great fit and finish
- Improved battery life
- Super X-FI is limited
- Better-sounding options at the price
- Playback controls may cause discomfort
The Outlier Gold are updates of the Outlier Air, and they’re an improvement in a number of ways.
Firstly, the gold finish is better. Secondly, the spotty wireless connection of the original has been smoothed out. Thirdly, battery life has been increased and to top it all off, they sound better. While the Outlier Air took a more energetic approach, the Outlier Gold has a more balanced sound, which makes them a better fit for a wider range of music.
- read our full Creative Outlier Gold review
- Solid sound
- Impressive noise cancelling
- Comfy fit and compact charging case
- Good range of features
- Better sound can be had for less
- Bluetooth connection can be a bit sporadic
- Can’t skip tracks on the earbuds
The Urbanista London separate themselves from the pack by being the first to true cheap ANC effort we’ve tested.
The London are best that Urbanista have come up with, offering good handling of vocals, decent separation frequency ranges and a reasonable sense of highs and lows. The highlight is an impressive noise-cancelling performance, silencing the word around you effectively.
- read our full Urbanista London review
Brings the bass
- Solid feature set
- Strong noise-isolating design
- Entertaining sound
- Comfort might be an issue for some
- Better sounding options available
The ATH-CK3TW rounds out Audio-Technica’s current true wireless set, and like the CKS5TW they’re a solid performer. Their noise isolating design putting up a good wall against external sounds and the sound quality features plenty of bass and power, if slightly lacking in terms of clarity and detail.
The feature set is also pretty solid with a strong wireless connection and the surprise inclusion of the wear detection (though it isn’t on by default).
- read our full Audio-Technica ATH-CK3TW review
- Excellent value for money
- Great battery life
- Case supports wireless charging
- Plastic design feels cheap
- Few features
Earfun is relatively new, and for less than the £50 the Free earbuds put in a surprisingly compelling performance.
The plasticky design gives the budget game away, but in other areas they’re solid. Touch controls are decently implemented, they’re sturdy with an IPX7 rating and they’re some of the cheapest we’ve seen with a Qi charging support. They sound good, delivering energy and a performance that punches above their price point.
- read our full Earfun Free review
Anker Soundcore Life P2
Good value all-rounders
- Laid-back sound
- Comfortable fit
- Solid controls
- Uninspired design
- Average sound detail
- Large case
The Anker Soundcore Life P2 are a success, even if they aren’t the most refined wireless earbud. They’re comfortable to wear, look appropriate for most environments, sound good for the most part – working particularly well for podcasts – and offer a seamless pairing experience. That they’re all-rounders is their biggest strength.
- read our full Anker Soundcore Life P2 review
Mifo O5 Plus
Long battery life
- Long lasting battery life
- Impressive noise isolation
- Affordably priced
- Buttons too small to use
- Look a touch cheap
Boasting an impressive 100-hour battery life (though that’s since been bested), they’re a pair of earbuds that’ll appeal to many with its comfortable design achieving impressive noise isolation, though the touch controls ought to be better. The sound is fairly well-balanced producing a clear, detailed and fairly revealing listen. One of the more pleasant surprises of 2020.
- read our full Mifo O5 Plus review
Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo
A solid impulse buy
- Great fit
- Super cheap
- Solid connection
- Audio lacks dynamism
- Charge case feels a little cheap
If an inexpensive pair of wireless earbuds for the commute or gym are needed, Anker’s Soundcore Liberty Neo are a solid buy. You’re not going to get much in the way of industry-leading features, but there’s Bluetooth 5.0 and an IPX5 resistance to water.
Battery life is low (3.5 on a single charge, nine in total), but that’s no surprise at this price. It’s the same with the sound, which is not the most dynamically persuasive. Still, these are a solid pair of true wireless under £50.
- read our full Anker Sound Liberty Neo review
How do we select the best cheap true wireless earbuds?
Not just anybody can review a pair of headphones. You don’t need superhuman hearing to tell what’s good, but you do need to know what to listen out for.
Our headphone tests are done by some of the best and most prolific reviewers in the industry, with years of experience listening to everything from the plasticky freebie earbuds that come with your smartphone, to five-figure beasts of glass and marble. We love music and we want your tunes to sound good, too.
So we listen every pair of headphones we can get on or in our ears. We use a variety of sources, from basic MP3s playing on a laptop to high-quality tracks on dedicated hi-res audio players.
Our test tracks are wide-ranging to give headphones a thorough challenge. They’re also familiar, so we know every track backwards, and we know which bits might trouble the lesser performers.
We listen again and again, and we do that for weeks in case the sound changes – because it usually does. Then we’ll listen to similarly priced rivals and come up with a verdict that reflects the performance and features for the money.
Still after a headphone to buy? Looking for something other than the best cheap true wireless earbuds? If you’re interested in delving deeper into other types, here are other pages that go into greater detail.