As the 3.5-millimeter headphone jack fades into our collective memory, cheap headphones are harder and harder to find. Bluetooth buds are great, but you have to charge ’em. The convenience of wired buds lives on, though, in USB-C. You don’t have to spend a lot to get a decent pair, either. Here are five solid picks under $50.
Google Pixel USB-C earbuds
Google makes its own USB-C earbuds, they’re pretty good! Rather than rubber tips, they’ve got adjustable loops to customize their fit — which is novel, but might not work for everybody’s ears. They’ve got a bassy sound and easy access to the Google Assistant with a press-and-hold action on an in-line button. The Pixel USB-C buds were bundled free with the Pixel 3, but you can also snag a pair from the Google Store for $30.
OnePlus Type-C Bullets
OnePlus introduced the Type-C Bullets around the time its phones stopped having headphone jacks (funny, that). But they’re quality, with a solid build and a nice, rounded sound profile. They’re less bassy than Google’s earbuds, and have more traditional rubber tips. OnePlus sells them for $25.
Samsung USB-C earbuds
Samsung sells its own AKG-branded USB-C earbuds, and reviews are generally positive. They’re not the fancy noise-canceling ones, but they look the same: same bud shape, same in-line remote. They’re really affordable, too. You can snag a pair on Amazon for about $16 — or at Best Buy for $30 (which is still a good price!) if Amazon sells out.
Kimwood USB-C earbuds
Kimwood’s not exactly a high-profile player in the audio space, but its USB-C earbuds are dirt cheap at $17, and they’ve garnered pretty high praise in customer reviews, maintaining a 4.5-star average. Bonus: they’re IPX5 rated, meaning you can use them during your sweatiest of workouts without any worry. You can order a pair from Amazon.
Stretch: Moshi Mythro C
This is straining the limits of “cheap,” so let’s call it a bonus. Moshi’s Mythro C earbuds are $50, so they’re not the type of buds you’d want to lose — but our review found that they earn their price tag with a nice design and clear sound. If you don’t often lose earbuds and you value sound quality (to the tune of about 50 bucks, anyway), pick a pair up.