The best budget wireless earbuds for 2024

Bluetooth: v5.2 | ANC: No | Transparency mode: No | Custom EQ: Yes | Charging port: USB-C | Wireless charging: No | Water resistance: IPX2 | Multi-point connection: Yes (2 devices) | Wear detection: Yes | Battery life (rating): 5 hours, 6 hours, when the word is off, work for 20 hours | Fast charging: 15 minutes = 2 hours | Codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX | Guarantee: 1 year

All our picks so far are technical earphones, that is, they extend into your ear canal. For some people, this is naturally uncomfortable. Unfortunately, the market is spotty for decent but affordable “earbuds” that rest on the concha instead of going all the way to your ear. If you can’t bring yourself to pay pair of AirPodsthough, Amazon Echo Buds It’s a decent compromise for $50.

The plastic earcups here aren’t exactly premium, but they sit lightly on the ear and feel solidly assembled. They release and leak noise more easily than in-ear headphones, but if you prefer open-back headphones, that’s more of a feature than a bug. If the consistency is not suitable, you can pour a little mass by eliminating pre-installed silicone covers. (Like most open-back headphones, comfort here depends on the shape of your ear.) Microphone quality is adequate, and the circular touchpads provide plenty of room to use customizable and consistently responsive controls. Battery life sits around five hours, which is average, but not typical for budget headphones. The pocket-friendly case adds about three full charges, but it’s worth noting that Amazon doesn’t include a USB-C charging cable. A poor IPX2 water resistance rating means you’ll have to avoid the gym with them, too.

to work Echo Buds If it sounds good out of the box, I’d use the EQ sliders in the Alexa app to reduce the loudness with a click or two. By default, the highs are a bit too jittery. However, this emphasis gives things like vocals, cymbals and strings a nice crispness, and there’s enough separation to keep complex tracks from sounding completely muddled. The profile here is not that complete the latest AirPodsand neither open headphone delivers true sub-bass, but there’s at least some rumble for hip-hop and EDM.

Unlike many cheap earbuds, the Echo Buds support auto-pause and multi-device pairing. I often had to manually pause playback on one device before switching to another, but at this price it’s great to have this feature. Not surprisingly, they’re also built with Alexa, which you can use hands-free. You control the Echo Buds through the Alexa app, which is more cluttered than this dedicated audio app, but includes extras like a lost device tracker and side tone control for phone calls. It also lets you turn off microphones and wake word support if you don’t have anything to do with Alexa.

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