So you’re looking to hop aboard the endless hype train that is the wireless headphone market. Where better to start than at the entry-level? It’s a great idea to scout out the terrain, to find out if the wireless form factor fits well into your circumstances before jumping right in at the ~$500 price point. And you may be surprised by just how well some of these lower-end models can actually perform compared to your stock earbuds.
Even just the fact of being without a wire is itself a luxury. No more untangling cables before use; no more snagging your earbuds out of your ear on a stranger’s bag. It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, and you’re ready to take the plunge.
3 Best Budget Wireless Bluetooth Headphones Under $50
The AUSDOM AH2s are an extremely strong entry from a relatively unknown brand that has managed to deliver fantastically across the board. With an incredibly useful ability to switch from wireless to wired playback, sound quality that performs well for the price point, and a battery life that is more or less unparalleled in this bracket, you can’t go wrong.
The Skullcandy Uproar Wireless represent a very strong addition to the entry level of wireless headphones which is hard to fault for the price point. Combining a strong eye for design with performance that—whilst far from perfect—outperforms much of the competition, this is a solid choice for anyone entering the wireless market.
The Mpow Thors provide a solid experience all things considered. If you’re hoping for a fashion statement, you will be thoroughly disappointed. But decent (if light on bass) audio quality, wired/wireless playback options, and a comfortable, secure fit all make for a pretty decent offering at this price range.
It’s going to sound a little stupid, but the best thing about entry-level wireless headphones is that they’re, you know, wireless. Stick with us on this one; there is a point here, we promise.
Sure, you’re not going to end up with audio performance that will totally change your life and make you wonder how you ever lived without it, and you’re certainly not going to be blown away by the vast quantity of extras and perks thrown in with your purchase as you may be with higher-end models. But guess what: there are no wires. You can’t quite imagine how freeing this is until you’ve tried it. And, trust us, once you have, it’s extremely difficult to conceive of how you lived without it until now.
The downsides to purchasing in this price bracket are fairly obvious and don’t take too much knowledge of the headphone market to understand. Basically, you’re going to get what you pay for. Whilst it’s true that the entry-level for wireless headphones has come a long way—particularly over the last two or three years—in terms of average quality and product lifespan, you still aren’t going to be getting the kind of quality which you would find for even a sub-$100 model.
If you’re just looking to swap out your stock earbuds for a pair of wireless headphones, then you will, of course, reap the benefits of that decision at this price point. But you’ll have to step up to the next bracket if you really want to improve on things like audio quality and features rather than just step into the wireless future.
What to Look For
Given that the majority of headphones at this price point are going to sound roughly as good as each other, we don’t recommend taking audio quality into account too heavily. That said, you will probably want to get your hands on some of your final choices once you’ve narrowed down your options so you can find out if the sound signature is right for you. But if you can’t it isn’t the end of the world.
Instead, our recommendation is that you strongly prioritize battery life. Wireless headphones—and especially your first ever pair of wireless headphones—can come with something of a learning curve as far as managing battery goes. Even though many devices across all price points do offer a wired (or passive) listening mode, being caught out with a dead battery and no cable is a real shame. For that reason, make sure that you factor in things like your average commute, how long your working day lasts, and how frequently you’ll be able to (practically as well as theoretically) charge your device.
If this is going to be your first foray into wireless headphones, you’re on the verge of taking one relatively small step for your wallet and a giant leap into the brave, new, tangle-free world. Wave goodbye to the pains of the past, and enjoy all of the benefits that The Future has to offer.
At this price range, you’re able to get a sense of whether wireless is right for you. And if it is, you’ll forgive the fact that you’ve basically just switched out your earbuds for a pair of similar performance but, you know, without the wires. It’s worth it, believe us. You won’t look back.