Best cheap TWS for audiophiles, bass lovers and more
After testing around 50 truly wireless earphones and reviewing 37 of them, it's time for THE big test. These are the best cheap true wireless earbuds under $50 when it comes to sound quality - incredible performers for this price.
Over the last months, I've spent lots and lots of time listening to all kinds of TWS (True Wireless Stereo-earphones), ranging from 10 to 350 dollars. I've tested them all extensively on sound quality, but also their call quality, battery life, video playback capabilities, their comfort, and build. I tested them indoor, but also outdoors while riding a bike and while walking - which turns out to be quite a challenge for some Bluetooth connections. So far, I wrote 39 reviews of true wireless earphones with all these aspects covered.
The last weeks, I've received more and more requests for a comparison on which the best sounding truly wireless earphones are - on a budget.
I decided on a Top 5 of the best sounding TWS under $50. Why 50 dollar? Because it's the most competitive segment in true wireless earphones mid-2019, with lots of great earbuds and sound tastes to choose from - products with the best value for money in perhaps the entire spectrum of Bluetooth earphones.
What to expect from truly wireless earphones under $50?
Amazing sound quality for the money: the top 5 products in this list offer an impeccable sound quality for the amount of money you pay for them. the items listed here have a better, more balanced and cohesive sound than the Apple AirPods and many more capable sounding earphones over 100 dollars.
Great build quality: wearing cheap TWS doesn't have to make you feel like a cheapskate. Other than the best earphones under 25 dollars, offerings in this price category often look and feel premium in your ears.
Solid battery life: the battery life of these earphones lasts a minimum of 3,5 hours on a single charge - with some models performing remarkably better. I've mentioned the excesses in the reviews. Keep in mind that all TWS come in a charging case that can recharge the earpieces a minimum of 3,5 times before needing a recharge itself.
Different sound signatures: the earphones listed have different sound signatures. Please read carefully which sound character may be best for you - my number 4 may be your number 2, for example.
This list will be updated when there are new models deserving a place in this Top 5 - last update September 20, 2019
Here are the Top 5 best cheap true wireless earbuds under $50 if you're looking for sound quality:
1. Mpow T5/ M5
best sound quality on TWS under $50
Mpow, one of the hottest selling Chinese manufacturers of audio products on Amazon, has nailed it with their newest wireless earphones to date. The Mpow T5 (also sold as Mpow M5) has a full, versatile, detailed and engaging sound.
The bass and the lower mids are phenomenal on the Mpow T5 (full review here). The sub-bass knows how to give a good rumble and the mid-bass delivers an addictive thump, without overpowering any of the other frequencies - and only when the music calls for it. The lower mids, like bass guitars, drums, and darker electronic tones, sound textured and impactful - you'll hear details that you can't hear on any other of the models listed here.
Mids and highs sound clear on the Mpow T5, without being blown up. Vocals have a forward position within the big soundstage the T5 provides. Music comes from closeby and further away, with details coming from everywhere. It's even perfectly doable to place instruments in easier going songs.
Other aspects of the Mpow T5 are great too. The earpieces offer around 5,5 hours on a single charge and can be recharged 6 times fully via the charging case. The tiny size of the earpieces make them comfortable and as long as you're indoor, even calling is entirely possible.
But, most importantly of course, The Mpow T5/ M5 delivers an engaging, all-round great sound, for whatever genre you throw at it.
2. Tranya T3
Best TWS for bass lovers under $50
If the bass can't be too big for you, the Tranya T3 may even be more up your alley than the Mpow T5. The bass takes the leading role on these beasts that play and pump you up, 5 hours per charge.
No beating around the bush here: it's the bass that counts on the Tranya T3 (full review here). It thumps, kicks and rumbles deep, making these earphones great companions for modern music genres like pop, dance and electronic pieces.
That's not all there is to these earphones, however. No other wireless earphone in this price range offers such a sense of stage. Music is everywhere, with drums, basses, guitars, and vocals coming from all around you. It works wonders for live recorded sessions or classical pieces, where instruments will surround you. You'll be able to place them precisely. Prepare for some awe-struck moments.
The Tranya T3 has a V-shape signature, meaning the lower frequencies like the bass and the highs are accentuated. As a result, the mids in between, which represent for example male vocals, guitars and piano strokes, can be pushed back by the bass a bit. The Mpow T5 is the more balanced choice, therefore.
However, if you can fit the relatively large earpieces of the T3 in your ears and you love a big bass, treat yourself to the Tranya T3.
3. UiiSii TWS60
The audiophile choice for TWS under $50
The UiiSii TWS60 has a rigorous different sound character than the other models in this list. The bass plays merely a tight, controlled and functional part here - it's the treble where it's at.
There's a big emphasis on the upper mids and highs, making the UiiSii TWS60 (full review here) sound transparent and bright. Female and higher pitches vocals come through with great clarity, and with a more natural tonality than on the K1 TWS for example.
The tradeoff is in the lower mids. Bass guitars, drums, and darker electronic tones perform a background role if they have higher frequencies to compete with. Soundstage and instrument placement, luckily, are solid - especially in the higher frequencies.
With 3,5 hours of battery life per charge, 3,5 times recharging via the charging case, a comfortable fit and solid touch controls though, the UiiSii TWS60 is an excellent choice for lovers of treble and vocals. If you dislike a big, overpowering bass, this one should be on the top of your list also.
4. KZ T1 TWS
Joyful allrounder at a sweet price
Are you familiar with the kind of headphone that sounds a bit tinny the first instances you have them in, but then you forget it after a few minutes? That's the KZ T1 TWS for sub-50 dollar wireless earphones.
The KZ T1 TWS (full review here) has some similarities with the Mpow T5, but rather than the lower mids; these accentuate the upper mids. Higher pitched male and female vocals sound bright and forward, taking center stage in the music. If a track itself pushes the frequencies already, however, mids can sound a bit tinny and overblown.
The center mids, such as guitars and darker vocals, aren't pushed forward. The inconsistency between the mids and upper mids on the KZ T1 TWS can make one song sound a bit off, and the next bone-chillingly great. A strange sensation. Happily, there's always a nice warm, gentle thumping bass with a reasonably deep rumble underneath the music. Before you know it, you're 3,5 hours further thoroughly enjoying the KZ T1. Then, it's time for a charge again.
If you are an iPhone user, you should know the volume steps on the T1 TWS are too few and too big - making it hard to listen at your preferred volume. On Android, this problem doesn't occur. The KZ T1 is an excellent first entry from KZ - but it doesn't make the top of this list just yet.
5. Wavefun X-Pods 3
One pair of TWS, two sound signatures
The Wavefun X-Pods 3 may not be the most refined sounding true wireless earphones under 50 dollars, but the way you can twist them in your ears, you can get two sound signatures out of them.
Typically, if you don't feel a strong bass, you're carrying the earphone the wrong way. And you'll notice it too - a subtle shake of the head may be enough to lose your earpieces. The pebble-designed earpieces of the Wavefun X-Pods 3 (full review here) are so comfortable and steady, it's easy to put them in two different ways in your ear. Hang them in your ears, and you'll hear a big emphasis on the higher notes. Twist them in further, and you'll meet the enormous bass that lurks under those clear, higher notes.
In the, intended, latest scenario, the bass can be a bit boomy - but music also sounds full, warm and still open in the vocals. There's a right amount of detail in the lower mids like drums and bass guitars too. The Wavefun X-Pods lacks the balance or versatility of the higher-ranked earphones on this list but still sound great for their price.
Other recommendations for best sounding wireless earphones under $50:
The QCY T3 is one of the highest-rated headsets on this site when it comes to sound, with crystal clear forwarded vocals and a sweet boosted bass. However - it is too much of a hassle to get the ultimate sound of it. The T3 comes with uniquely designed rubber tips in one size only. If they don't seal correctly for you, you can only put other regular tips on them to get the most out of them. When you do - you can't put them in the charging case anymore. Full QCY T3 review here.
The Tranya T1-Pro misses this top 5 list by an inch. It is an apparent relative to the Tranya T3, but its sound is just a bit more balanced. The bass still knows how to pump and kick, but it behaves a tad more delicate than on the T3. The T1-Pro has more weight to the mids, giving a fuller and more cohesive sound - but unfortunately, the highs can be a bit splashy. The soundstage doesn't reach the excellent level of the T3 too. Full Tranya T1-Pro review here.
The QCY QS1 and its upgraded version QCY QS2 are still excellent sounding choices if you only want to pay half of 50 dollars - they're the best sounding true wireless earphones under $25. The vocals are crystal clear and forward, the bass is mainly supportive but knows how to pump and rumble deep when required. Full QCY QS2 review here.
I buy most of the earphones myself; sometimes, a manufacturer sends them to me. I review all audio products on a level playing field, always stating their strengths and their downsides. Visit the leaderboard of true wireless earphones for all my reviews and ratings.
Consider buying a pair of earphones in this list? I'd really appreciate it if you use the links in this article. It won't cost you extra, yet it will financially support me a bit in my ongoing quest to test great affordable audio. <3
Also check out my other articles:
Leaderboard: all earphones from 10-300 dollar tested
Bought a product and want to share your opinion? Do use the comments. I hope this article helps you!