In the hugely audiophile-oriented audio landscape, many a layperson has been left agape at the variety and price of the available options.
While they may be perfect for some people, headphones that cost as much as a high-end laptop definitely aren’t for everyone.
To make things worse, most cheap headphones are usually in or on-ear headphones. Don’t get us wrong - there’s nothing wrong with such headphones, but sometimes you just want the soundstage that over-ear headphones provide.
Today, we’ve decided to compile a list of the best over-ear headphones under $50.
Comparison Table of Good Headphones Under $50
Best Over Ear Headphones Under $50
How do Sennheiser headphones that cost less than $50 sound? Are they worth the money?
Build Quality and Comfort
The HD 202s are slightly brittle, and you will need to take some care when using them. However, the fact that they have a two-year warranty is more than enough to mitigate that flaw, at least in our eyes.
While the headphones are over-ear, the earcups aren’t as big as you would expect. If you have a larger than average head, you may have to use these as on-ear headphones.
The headphones also come with a 10-foot Y-cable. Ten feet of cable is really long – some may even call it excessive. However, you do get a belt clip to allows you to deal with excess cable.
The cord can be connected to devices that accept both 3.5mm and 6.3mm jacks which means that you can use the HD 202s with both mobile devices or amplifiers.
The HD 202s isolate sound and eliminate noise leakage very well. If you have people sleeping around you - don’t worry about waking them up if you’re using these headphones.
These headphones do not sound like they cost less than $50. Granted, they don’t offer crystal-clear sound or skull-crushing bass, but they sound much better than they have any right to be – especially at that price.
The bass is slightly boosted, and the music won’t be as clean as that of a top-shelf model, but, hey, you can’t expect the best at this price, right?
Features at a Glance
- 10-foot Y-cable
- 3.5/6.3mm jack
- Wind-up belt clip
- Boosted bass
- Replaceable leatherette earpads
- 2-year warranty
These Superlux headphones are slightly more expensive than the Sennheisers above, but is there a reason for that price difference? Let’s find out!
The HD668Bs come with two different cords. The shorter cord is a meter long and can be used when on the go, while the longer one is three meters in length and is perfect for professional monitoring applications.
In case you need more length, you can also connect both cords and create a Frankenstein cord (Cordenstein?) that’s four meters long.
Even if you have a large noggin, you’ll easily be able to use the HD668Bs as over-ear headphones. The earcups are huge.
Clamping force isn’t that much, and you may find yourself wishing they were a bit tighter on your head.
The headphones are semi-open, and this greatly widens their soundstage. On the other hand, they do end up leaking a lot of noise - which may be a disadvantage depending on where you plan to use them.
The foam earpads are not of the best quality, and you might benefit greatly from buying good third-party earpads and replacing the native ones.
These headphones may seem fragile simply because of their price point, but don’t let this fool you. Exercise a bit of care, and they may end lasting you for a year or two. Not bad for a forty-dollar pair of headphones, right?
The sound clarity is incredible. You’ll be able to hear individual sounds separately without straining. Voice and instrument reproduction is accurate enough to feel real. These headphones sound much better than you’d expect based on their price.
The highs are pretty sharp, and the response isn’t as flat as you might want it to be. However, a bit of experimentation with your device’s equalizer should help you achieve much better playback.
Unfortunately, these headphones won’t help improve low-quality music. If you’re using them professionally, you’ll greatly appreciate this. However, you may not like this so much if you’re only planning on using them for casual listening.
Features at a Glance
- Included 1-meter and 3-meter cables which can be joined to create longer cable
- Huge earcups won’t give you any problems with fit
- Durable construction
- Excellent sound clarity and separation
We’ve covered the Skullcandy Hesh 2 headphones severally, but they never cease to amaze. Let’s take a closer look at these iconic Skullcandy headphones.
Comfort and Design
The Hesh 2s have memory foam earpads and an ultra-durable flexible headband. You can comfortably wear these headphones for an entire day without suffering any discomfort.
The headphones have a sleek, simple design. Their minimalism only makes them look better.
You also get a detachable cable with the headphones. This allows you to take calls, play and pause music, and cycle through your tracks.
Detachable cables are a huge advantage since if one breaks or wears out, all you have to do is plug in a new one.
The Hesh 2s sound good. They offer balanced sound across the board. For bass-lovers, you’ll get bass that’s good without being overpowering.
Would you believe it?
You get a lifetime warranty on a product that costs less than fifty bucks! Isn’t that insane?
While the warranty is limited, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get your money back if the headphones stop working on you.
Just fill out some forms and send the headphones back, and you’ll get full credit toward another pair.
Features at a Glance
- Detachable cable with mic/remote
- Multifunctional button on cable can be used to take calls and control music
- Memory foam ear pillows
- Supreme Sound delivers… you guessed it, supreme sound!
- Sleek minimalistic design
- Lifetime warranty
The Koss UR20 Home headphones look incredible at first glance. But should we judge this book by its cover? Let’s find out whether the contents match the cover.
Comfort and Design
The plush leatherette ear pads both increase comfort and deliver maximum noise isolation.
The flexible headband is highly adjustable and has a sling incorporated to allow for maximum durability and easy single-sided listening.
The headphone’s earcups are so large that they probably won’t even touch your ear. Combine this with the leatherette earpads, and you get really good sound isolation. Unfortunately, this also has the unintended side effect of making the UR20s slightly heavier than similar headphones.
The UR20s also come with a straight 8-foot cord for home and mobile use. You also get .25 and .625-inch plugs for use with stereo equipment. That’s incredibly long, and you may have to whip yourself up a cord holder for added convenience.
From their design and included plugs, it’s clear that Koss designed these headphones for DJs. Luckily, that doesn’t mean they’re any less perfect for casual use.
The headphones use neodymium magnets and Mylar elements to provide the deepest bass possible without sacrificing clarity.
Unfortunately, the UR20s are slightly lacking in the mids and highs. If you’re a fan of orchestral music, you may have some trouble with sound separation when using these headphones.
Surprisingly, these very inexpensive headphones also have a limited lifetime warranty. They might be cheap, but they’re massively durable, and you probably won’t ever need the warranty.
However, it’s great for your peace of mind to know that you can return the headphones in case they give up the ghost at some point in the future.
Features at a Glance
- High level of noise isolation
- Huge earcups
- Flexible headband with sling to allow single-ear listening
- 8-foot cord
- Plugs included for stereo use
- Limited lifetime warranty
Photive’s incredible BTH3s are the only Bluetooth headphones on our list. Does that mean the company compromised on other features? Not at all!
As we already mentioned, the BTH3s are the sole Bluetooth headphones on our list. Most people would say that it’s impossible to find good wireless headphones for less than $50, but Photive proves them wrong.
The headphones support Bluetooth 4.0 – the latest Bluetooth technology.
You’ll get up to twelve hours of audio playback on a single charge.
The headphones’ compact form factor makes them easy to carry around. You also get a carrying case in which you can stow them away for safety during transport.
Their exterior is covered with soft-touch rubber, providing an enjoyable tactile experience.
The headphones’ earcups have various control keys that allow you to take calls and control music.
Finally, you also get a 3.5mm cord to enable you to connect with devices that don’t support Bluetooth.
The headphones offer a balanced experience, allowing you to listen to all kinds of music. From opera to hip-hop, these headphones will handle whichever music you throw at them.
The lows are slightly muddy, but the highs are crystal clear and won’t give you any cause for complaint.
Features at a Glance
- Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity
- 12-hour battery life
- Includes a carrying case
- Additional of using included 3.5mm cord
Which are the best affordable headphones under $50?
We’ve looked at five pairs we think offer incredible bang for your buck, and now it’s time to choose the best of them.
One thing you need to keep in mind when selecting the right headphone is that you’re not going to get incredibly high sound quality under fifty bucks.
That’s not to say you won’t get good sound quality – just that you won’t get anything comparable to an audiophile-grade two-hundred dollar pair of headphones. Unfortunately, in this case, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.
Now that that’s out of the way, which headphone would we choose? It’s really hard to choose but, ultimately, we’d go for the Koss UR20s. They’re comfortable, durable, flexible, and come with a lifetime warranty! What’s not to like?
Which headphones do you think are the best over-ear headphones under $50?
Product images sourced from Amazon.com.