For any music lover or creator, earbuds are absolutely essential. Whether you side with wireless or wired earbuds, these tools are great for leisurely listening or testing out your latest mix. Simply put, earbuds are an absolute non-negotiable for musicians.
However, not all earbuds are created equally. Though it may not be difficult to find a high-quality set of earbuds, these sets can rack up quickly in price. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most cost-friendly options available on the market today.
Wired Vs. Wireless Earbuds At 30 Bucks
In general, choosing between wired and wireless headphones is almost entirely up to preference.
However, considering the parameters of the under $30 budget, we suggest leaning a bit more towards wired earbud options. This is because wired connections are usually considered more secure.
Wireless earbuds usually connect with a device over Bluetooth. This can be limiting for some users who may not have this feature, though most smartphones should be eligible for pairing.
Moreover, Bluetooth can be a real drain on the battery of your earbuds as well as the battery of your phone. With wired earbuds, you won’t have to worry about keeping them fully charged to enjoy your music.
Wired earbuds generally have better sound quality than wireless options since they’re directly connected to the audio source. In addition to sound quality, you might also be able to hear your music at a higher volume than you would with wireless earbuds.
This is because wireless options have to transmit the signal, so it’s inevitable that some information is lost in translation.
That being said, wireless earbuds can be extremely handy. If you enjoy going for a run or walking the dog while listening to music, you won’t have to worry about getting caught up in the cord.
Hands-free listening opens up a wide variety of listening opportunities that you may not have experienced previously.
You can also listen to music or audio while you’re away from your audio source, which is great for jamming out while cleaning around the house. Though, in most cases, a more costly Bluetooth earbud probably makes the most sense.
Wireless earbuds also cut down on cord clutter which may make them more convenient for travel. However, note that you’ll have to take a charger with you, which will take up extra space.
Nevertheless, I’ll be delving into both wired and wireless options so that you can find the best pick for your needs. Choosing between wired and wireless earbuds is a personal choice, but these audio devices are all a great value for the price.
Best Earbuds Under 30 Buying Guide
Below, we’ll dive into some of our favorite earbud options available. With a variety of sizes, styles, and added features, you’re sure to find a pair that suits you well.
Panasonic ErgoFit RP-HJE120-KA: Best Wired Earbuds Under 30
These earphones are hard to beat for the price, which makes them a great buy for anyone who runs through headsets fairly quickly. With your earbuds, you’ll get three different silicone sizing options so they’re perfect for a wide range of music enthusiasts.
While the cords do tangle somewhat easily, they have a secure L jack which makes them pretty secure when plugging into your phone’s jack.
Though it should be noted that most iPhones will need a lighting converter for any of these wired earbud options. Surprisingly, these earbuds have a great amount of detail in terms of sound.
You’ll be able to experience the midrange and bass with ease. I also appreciate the gel bud coverings that make for a more comfortable fit. Notably, these earbuds are also super lightweight so it’s easy to throw them in your backpack or pocket and go.
These earbuds also have a pretty minimal design that doesn’t call too much attention to itself. The earbuds also come in 8 different color varieties so they’re easily distinguishable in a drawer stuffed with other cords.
All in all, you don’t have too much to lose for the price. These earbuds put out decent sound quality and are super portable. While they may tangle easily, that can easily be fixed with cable ties or just taking the time to untangle their thin cord.
Plus, the cushy tips make the earbuds pretty comfortable and somewhat isolating for decent, full-range sound quality while jamming out to your favorite tune.
- Excellent value for the price
- Varied color designs
- Clear, dynamic sound
- Large earbuds might be uncomfortable for some users
Anker Soundbuds Slim+: Best Wireless Earbuds Under 30
These wireless earbuds are ideal for active use with their waterproof design. The earbuds stay on snuggly while running and have a sound impedance rating of 16 ohms.
It also has an embedded microphone, which isn’t of the greatest quality but can be useful if you have to take a call while on the go.
The lightweight earbuds do have a small headband that sits on the back of your head. So in some sense, they’re not fully wireless, but the design makes cord tangling a non-issue.
On the earbuds, you’ll also find a small remote for quickly adjusting your music or audio without having to wrestle with your phone.
With silicone and rubber ear tips, these earbuds fit snuggly into your ears without being obtrusive. There’s also distinguishing wings on the left and right side of the earbuds, so you won’t even get confused with which side is which.
In terms of sound quality, these earbuds are okay but great for what you pay for. Though the high and bass frequencies might feel a little tinny, it’s not too noticeable if you’re just using these earbuds to jam out from point A to point B.
Plus, the waterproof feature alone makes these earbuds great for active use— If you have these and say, another pair of earbuds or headphones, you can use these confidently when it’s wet out to keep your other pair safe.
- Included microphone
- Waterproof design
- Comes with multiple sizes
- Requires a regular charge
These noise-isolating in-ear monitors might look a bit different upon first glance, but they’re great for jamming out to your favorite tunes.
While they won’t provide a balanced signal like studio monitors, the sound quality of these monitors is pretty good. I find that the low end is somewhat boosted, which is pretty typical for enjoying modern music.
In addition, it appears that the high end is enhanced for clarity. Notably, the connector cable can be disconnected from the earbuds itself, which makes for easy detangling.
While these earbuds are a one size fits all accessory, you can always replace the silicone tips for bigger or smaller coverings according to preference.
These earbuds might be a bit more on the heavy side so they may not be the best pick for active use.
Overall, these earbuds have a cool, unique aesthetic and an impressive enhanced sound that bass lovers will highly appreciate.
- Unique design
- Excellent sound
- Optional embedded microphone
- Some users found them quick to tangle
AUKEY T21: Best True Wireless Earbuds Under 30
These wireless earbuds seem too good to be true— They have a clean matte design and appear eerily similar to Apple Airpods but at a fraction of the price.
Like many other earbuds, these have custom silicone tips that conform to the shape of your ear for added comfort. It also has Bluetooth 5.0 technology, so connection or pairing issues shouldn’t be an issue with any compatible device.
I like that you can use each bud on its own for mono listening (or, listening with a friend). The buds are also water-resistant, making them a gym safe pick.
That being said, the audio is not the best sound you can find, but that’s expected at the price point.
It’s still super passable and has a bass boost enhancer embedded for a full sounding listening experience.
There are also embedded volume controls on the earbuds themselves for hands-free listening. Overall, this is a great affordable pair of earbuds that’s somewhat comparable with its obvious competitors.
- Wireless sleek design
- On-ear touch controls
- Included charging case
- Bass boost might mud audio
Bass lovers, rejoice! These are the earbuds for you. The lightweight earbuds sit easily in your ears and come with a variety of silicone tips so that you can pick out the most comfortable size according to preference.
I like how breathable these earbuds feel- They’re great for exercising or wearing while being active.
The earbuds are super portable and have a Y cord design that makes them easy to untangle. In terms of sound quality, it’s pretty comparable to other earbuds within its bracket, aside from the boosted bass.
These earbuds have a pretty solid build, especially for their affordability.
While you wouldn’t necessarily want these headphones for critical listening, they are the perfect fit for bass loving casual listeners.
- Enhanced bass
- Embedded headset microphone
- Stays untangled with Y cord design
- One size fits all
Picking out the best earbuds for you is a highly personal decision.
That being said, I would have to go with the Panasonic ErgoFit RP-HJE120-KA pair due to their surprisingly affordable price and all-around good sound quality.
I’m personally not a huge wireless earbud fan since I don’t appreciate the inconvenience of charging but to each his own.
I feel like the Panasonic buds do a great job of conforming to the listener’s ear and are super replaceable— Which is great for people who go through earbuds like I do.
Regardless of which pair of earbuds ends up being the right pick for you, all of these options stand as an excellent value for the price. Enjoy jamming out without emptying out your wallet.