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Cheapest Earbuds With Decent Performance: Panasonic ErgoFit RP-HJE120 $8.95
The Panasonic RP-HJE120-K ErgoFit are very basic in-ear headphones with no additional features. They have a decent sound and barely leak, even at high volumes. However, they have a typical in-ear fit, which may be uncomfortable for some. They're not very stable and cannot block the ambient noise of a moderately busy office.
Pros - Minimal leakage. Decently balanced sound.
Cons - Poor noise isolation. In-ear fit not comfortable for everyone. Cheap build quality.
Best Cheap Earbuds: Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless $26.99
The Anker SoundBuds Curve are good sports headphones, with a long battery life and a decent sound. They're comfortable with a stable ear-hook design for exercising and working out. They're compact enough to fit into your pockets, and they're decently well built, although the audio cable is a little thinner than comparable wireless in-ears. Unfortunately, they do not block that much noise so they may not be the best headphones for loud, noisy environments and their sound may be a bit too bass-heavy for some.
Pros - Stable and portable design. Comfortable fit. Very low leakage.
Cons - Mediocre-at-best noise isolation. Slightly thin audio cable.
Best Budget Earbuds: Sony WI-C310 Wireless $38
The Sony WI-C310 are decent mixed-usage in-ear headphones. They are very lightweight, their neckband design is flexible and portable, and they’ll be stable enough for running. They have a decent sound profile but might be better-suited for bass-heavy genres. The bud cables are very long, creating big loops when wearing the headphones, which may be a bit cumbersome. On the upside, they have a good 17-hour battery life and isolate well against work environment noises, but won’t be the ideal choice for public transit. They are decent all-around headphones and offer good value, but don’t necessarily stand out from other similar in-ears.
Pros - Decent audio reproduction. Portable and flexible around-the-neck design. Good battery life.
Cons - Slightly cheap build quality. Mushy control buttons. Always-on sidetone when using the microphone.