You don’t even have $40 to drop on a great pair of headphones, but you still want superior sound, comfortable ear pads, and a pretty cool look.
Voila – here are the best 30 dollar headphones your itty bitty budget can buy.
You see, headphone technology is just not the same as it was back in the days of your metal-wire-and-foam Sony Walkman days.
You can find a surprisingly great selection of inexpensive headphones – ones that offer comfort, top quality sound, and tech features like in-line mics for hands free phone calling.
So, here are the Top 5 Best Rated and Reviewed Headphones for $30 or less!
A retail brand of Masvoker Electronic Technology Limited, Vogek makes desktop chargers in addition to this very inexpensive pair of on-ear headphones. You get your choice of colors, including basic black, a bright blue, red, or white.
There are 40 mm driver units on these on-ear headphones that give you a great, full, and balanced sound that goes from just 20 Hz all the way up to 22,000 Hz. That’s quite a range for this price point. The bass is strong, too, for listening to hip hop, pop, or rock music.
Thick & Padded
How about comfort? These on-ear headphones have a thick and padded head band that won’t add pressure to the top of your head. It’s retractable for an adjustable fit.
The ear pads are large and cushioned, made to swivel to fit your head perfectly. They’re also designed to relieve pressure and be worn for hours at a time. The pads are sealed to minimize outside noise and give you that immersive experience that’s a specialty of on-ear headphones.
These headphones are less than $30, but you still get an in-line microphone so you can take phone calls in between tracks.
Alloy Plated Plug
The controls are right on a small remote that is connected to the headphone cables. It’s got Play/Pause, Previous Track, Next Track, Answer a Call, and Hang Up features, as well as volume control.
Also, these headphones can fold flat for more compact storage. The ear cups move inwards and upwards to rest inside the headband. They come with a 44 inch length cable that’s resistant to snags and tangles. At the end of the cord is a 3.5 mm alloy-plated plug.
These headphones do not come with a case, which is a possible negative. You do get a 12 month money back, free replacement warranty. Some users have reported they don’t last very long until one side stops working.
With a modern, urban look and over 3,000 reviews, these are popular on-ear headphones. You get your choice of five interesting color combinations: light blue with purple accents, purple with pink accents, black with orange accents, black with purple accents, or gray with lime green accents. They certainly stand out!
Ailihen advertises that they’ve tested the joints over 20,000 times, since the ear cups swivel to fold up into the headband for portability. The fully padded headband itself is also retractable and ensures a secure fit.
The ear cups on these headphones are quite large, soft, and comfortable for long-term use. They’re made of protein genuine leather and are of a big size to create that noise cancelling seal and give you an engaging sound experience. It’s like wearing earmuffs, although these are not over-the-ear headphones. They are designed to fit right on top of your ears.
Despite the size, these headphones are lightweight and won’t cause headaches or ‘head squeeze’ if being worn for a long period of time.
There’s 40 mm drivers to produce powerful audio. There’s a bit of bass present, but overall, the quality is well balanced. You can listen to audiobooks, music, and movies just fine, but for serious audiophiles, you’ll want something more high end.
As for the cable, that is made of braided nylon, it’s single sided, is about five feet in length, and it has a 3.5 mm gold-plated angled jack on the end.
On the cable, you’ll find the small controls, as well as an HD 360 degree pickup microphone that can take calls with crystal clarity. The controls include Play/Pause, Previous Track, Next Track, Answer Call, and Hang Up. There are no volume controls.
These headphones are compatible with any device operating system you have, including Android, Apple, Windows phone, and even Blackberry, if you still have one! They’re not just a fashion accessory, but they are popular for the preteen and teen market looking for something cool. They’re adult sized, though, and not scaled down for a smaller head size.
However, these Ailihen headphones don’t come with any accessories, so you don’t even get a travel bag or case. Another negative is that when you use the microphone to take calls, the person on the other end can hear plenty of background noise. They’re not built for sports, so you should choose something else if you want workout headphones. Also, there is no warranty.
An over-the-ear pair of headphones for under $30? No other brand offers that. These RockPapa stereo headphones also come in a wide array of great colors. You can choose from black with green accents, black with pink accents, black with purple accents, black with red accents, pink with green and orange accents, white with blue accents, or white with orange accents.
The best feature of these is their noise-cancelling ability. The extra large ear cups fit over the ears, creating a seal and isolating you from the environment. This makes them perfect for travel and total sound immersion. They are the highest rated over-ear headphones for this price range. The head band is also padded for comfort and adjustable to fit larger heads.
Rich Sound Quality
Although these are geared more towards the kid and preteen market, adults can still wear these. With their rich sound quality, they have good bass and volume, although there are no controls on the cord. They have a frequency response between 20 and 20,000 Hz, with a 32 ohm impedance.
These headphones are compatible with plenty of your devices, including smartphones, computers, tablets, and game players. The jack is a straight 3.5 mm, so it’ll fit into any device that takes that size. However, they’re not compatible with the iPhone 7, since that has a TYPE-C plug. Check your audio jack size to make sure it’ll fit with these headphones.
The cable is single-sided and connected to only one ear, and it’s 1.5 meters in length. One cute feature is that the cable is the same color as the accent color on the headphones, so it’s not just a basic black. It is a standard thin cord, not braided or nylon.
If you’re looking for lightweight, these are not designed with that in mind. You do get the larger ear cups and more sound isolation, but they are heavier than other headphones of the same dimensions.
Also, these headphones don’t come with a case for travel, and they’re not foldable. For those looking to take calls or have more remote controls, there’s nothing like that present on the cable cord. They’d be best for either preteens or young teens looking for a fashion accessory that only delivers an audio experience.
The Behringer company produces both DJ and studio headphones, in addition to other products like mixers and keyboards. This German brand has been around since the 1960’s and are offering these inexpensive HPS3000 on-ear headphones for under $30.
The first thing you’ll notice about these headphones is their rugged industrial, urban design. They only come in black, with a really thick and padded headband, large oval ear cups, and a brushed chrome finish on the outsides of the ear pads. Despite their heavy duty appearance, they’re surprisingly lightweight.
Engineered by RHA
These are high performance studio on-ear headphones. They’ve got a great and ultra-wide frequency response, high definition bass, very transparent highs, and also a really expansive dynamic range. These are not built to be bass-heavy, though, so they’re not going to produce a ‘booming’ sound. It’s much more balanced.
The ear cup design is really unique and high quality. The soft pads reduce fatigue when you use them for a long time. They have high resolution cobalt capsules for more sound nuance than you’d expect in such an inexpensive pair of headphones.
You can also use these headphones for mixing a recording or monitoring a bass line. Since they were developed by DJs and studio professionals, you get that quality as part of the overall sound range.
While they do block out plenty of sound and the volume can go pretty high, they might have some sound leak. These are not over-the-ear headphones, so there’s a chance those around you can hear the leaking sound.
Behringer has put design thought into the cables, since those can be delicate. The cable is single-sided on one ear cup, and is made from oxygen-free copper to make it resistant to tangles and that much more durable. The cable is a generous 6’ 6” in length.
There is a standard 3.5 mm audio jack at the end of the cable, but these headphones also come with an extra ¼” headphone jack to plug into amps and guitars. That’s pretty unique and not something that any other pair of headphones on this list offers.
These headphones are great for a casual listener or ‘at home’ pair of headphones, but you’re not going to find the type of durability and full spectrum sound from a higher end model. They don’t come with a case, either, and they don’t fold for portability.
While these Red Ant on-ear headphones may look like a basic black pair, they have a surprising amount of features, will work with any device, and are really well made. The overall design is slim, unisex, and doesn’t draw attention to itself.
The soft faux leather ear cups on these headphones are perfectly round and are foldable up into the head band as well. They rest on your ears and don’t give you any sweat or clamminess.
The head band is fully padded all the way around, which adds comfort. It’s also adjustable for any size head, and when you adjust them, you’ll see a metal band inside. These headphones are very lightweight and won’t ‘squeeze’ your ears, resulting in a headache.
The cable comes with a 3.5 mm jack stereo, which will fit most devices like smartphones, computers, tablets, and portable movie players. They’re compatible with Android, Apple, and Windows devices. The cable is single-sided and only on one ear cup, too. It is made from a standard rubber material.
On the cable is the in-line microphone. You can pause your music and take a regular phone call or use Skype with them. The cable also detaches so that you can fold it up for convenience and travel, although you can’t listen to music while they’re detached.
What about the sound? These are closed, supra-aural, and dynamic stereo headphones. The frequency response is quite large, from 18 Hz all the way up to 18 KHz, so that’s wider than most at this price range. There’s a great attenuation of ambient noise. The bass is of good quality, although not as full and round as with a higher priced model. These will give you a more balanced aural spectral range.
The sound leak outside the headphones is minimal as well, while still retaining some of that noise isolation. These aren’t noise-cancelling and the ear cups aren’t large enough to fit over your ears.
Also, although these aren’t traditional ‘sport’ headphones, the fit is snug and some users have enjoyed them for workouts. They don’t come with a case or any accessories, and they are not as durable as some other models. All in all, though, one of the best headphones you can buy for $30 or less.