Best Budget Wired Earbuds

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Originally part of Make the Sound Better, I have attempted to rework this article to make it more relevant. It was originally the best budget earbuds for 2023, but who knows when it was originally written as it listed wired earbuds that are mostly no longer available.

However, there is still a demand for wired earbuds, and I have tried to rework the content based on this.

Wired earbuds are still generally cheaper than their Bluetooth counterparts. Cheap Bluetooth earbuds can be good, but they often are very bass-forward. If audio quality is more important, I think you can get more bang for your buck from wired earbuds.

Some people are also die-hard loyalists of wired earbuds, you don’t have to worry about a reduction in the sound quality from the compression applied with Bluetooth codecs, and you don’t have to worry about battery life. Wired earbuds can be connected to a decent quality mobile DAC and this can really upgrade the quality of the sound significantly, though I am not sure how applicable that would be for budget-wired earbuds.


Best Budget Wired Earbuds 2023 Roundup Review

Technically, I am not sure I’d count all of the below as budget when you consider that they are wired. However, the original content suggested the 1MORE Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones, which I can personally vouch for, they are superb headphones. I have therefore left them in and used their £70 price point as the upper range for what the article is classing as budget.

1) SoundMAGIC E10: Check Price On Amazon

Soundmagic E10

I was torn between recommending the excellent SoundMAGIC E10 or the slightly newer Soundmagic E11C. The Soundmagic E11C is regarded by critics as some of the best-wired earbuds don’t the market, but the SoundMAGIC E10 are better reviewed by Amazon users and more importantly, they are cheaper so fit in with the budget theme better.

For an old review, I checked out the SoundMAGIC E10S back in 2014 (my writing was awful back then, sorry).

The E10 and the subsequent E10S won six WhatHiFi awards from 2011 through to 2016, and I think over the years I personally bought a couple of pairs and recommended them to many friends. They must have been the most popular earbud recommendation for anyone wanting high-quality affordable earbuds about 10 years ago.

They may not be as popular as Bluetooth earbuds now, but they are still an excellent option and only £2 more than when they were launched on Amazon almost 10 years ago.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Decent sound

Cons:

  • The durability could be better
PreviewProductRatingPrice
Soundmagic E10 Earphones - Silver/Black Soundmagic E10 Earphones - Silver/Black No ratings yet £24.98Amazon Prime

2) JBL Tune 210: Check Price On Amazon

JBL T110

The original guide recommended the JBL Tune 210 which appears to have been rebranded to JBL T210. The JBL store no longer stocks them, so I think they are technically discontinued, but you can still pick them up cheaply on Amazon. If you want something ultra cheap, there is the JBL T110, which is actually better reviewed on Amazon (probably because they are so cheap).


Original Content

If you’re the kind of person that wants a pair of earbuds that strike a good balance between looks and performance without making a dent in your wallet, you should check out JBL’s range.

More specifically, you should check out the Tune 210, a pair of compact earbuds that look nice, sound decent, and won’t break the bank.

The design on the Tune 210 is as simple as it gets – and we love it. You get a few colors to choose from, starting from the subtle all-black, to the white/rose gold combo that attracts quite a lot of attention. There is a subtle JBL logo on the earbud itself.

Since the earbuds are made of plastic, they are rather lightweight and you won’t have any trouble keeping them inside your ears.

The cable is flat which eliminates any kind of tangle, so you can just throw them in your pocket or backpack once you’re done with them.

It also terminates in an angled connector, which is a nice addition. The one-button remote also hosts the microphone, and they both do a decent job.

Moving on to the sound, it fits very well with all the other JBL earbuds – punchy bass, clear and crisp highs, and slightly recessed middle. It’s an attempt at the Harman curve, but not a very successful one. They sound good for the money, though, and they’re definitely a nice choice for bass lovers.

Add to this the extra ear tips and carrying pouch you get with them, and the Tune 210 becomes a rather nice pair of budget earbuds for just about anyone.

Pros:

  • Tangle-free cable
  • They look really nice
  • Included carrying pouch

Cons:

  • The sound could be better
  • They feel kind of cheap

3) SOL REPUBLIC Jax Wired: Check Price On Amazon

SOL REPUBLIC Jax

There’s no shortage of people who just want their earbuds to look nice, and if you’re one of them, you should definitely be taking a look at SOL REPUBLIC’s Jax Wired earbuds.

At a reasonable price, they come with a beautiful design and decent sound that you will love, as well as a few other nice things.

First things first, we have to give it to SOL REPUBLIC for the design. The flat cable emphasizes the design a bit more, making it attract a bit more attention, and overall they look really simple, yet beautiful.

Also, that flat cable helps reduce tangle quite a bit, something you’ll find very beneficial if you don’t carry these in a pouch or something.

The sound isn’t far behind, even though this is rather far from a balanced sound. SOL REPUBLIC has made sure that the drivers get you a bit of extra bass, something that some models tend to lack.

However, this is done without compromising on the mids and highs, so you end up with a pretty nice sounding pair of headphones.

What we also loved about the Jax is passive sound isolation.

The four ear tip sizes that are included make sure you can find something that works for everyone, and they allow you to focus on the sound without being distracted by the environment. It’s not as good as active noise canceling though.

But still, these are arguably the best earbuds pair you can get under $30.

Pros:

  • Stunning look in any color
  • Good sound with punchy bass
  • Tangle-free cable

Cons:

  • Mic could be better
  • Feel somewhat cheap

Buy Now From Amazon

4) 1MORE Triple Driver: Check Price On Amazon

1MORE Triple Driver

And so we arrive at the other model by 1MORE, which is their highly acclaimed Triple Driver earbuds.

These are quite possibly the best budget earbuds on the market nowadays, even though their price is higher than the other models we spoke about earlier. They have a lot of things going for them, so let’s take a closer look.

IMG 20170320 115322
From my review of the 1MORE Triple Driver back in 2017

1MORE has focused quite a bit on design here, with a premium finish all around. The earbuds themselves are made of aluminum alloy, which keeps weight low but adds a lot of quality feel overall.

You also get a high-quality cable that’s pretty durable and made with Kevlar fibers, so you won’t damage it easily.

Where these completely destroy all other models in their price range is sound quality. As the name hints, you have three drivers, two of which are balanced armatures, and one is a dynamic driver.

Together, they get you an extremely accurate and balanced sound, with nothing missing or being overpowering.

1MORE has also included a few nice things inside the box. You not only get six sets of silicone ear tips, but you also get three sets of foam tips as well, and a very high quality carrying case.

There’s also an airline adapter, and a shirt clip, so you get a lot for your money.

Pros:

  • Three drivers deliver excellent sound
  • Very high-quality build
  • Premium carrying case and plenty of accessories

Cons:

  • Slightly more expensive than the competition
  • Could be heavy for some

5) Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear: Check Price On Amazon

Sennheiser CX 300 II

The original content recommended the Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear which has long been discontinued as the Momentum series is the range of flagship consumer products and these are now all true wireless earbuds.

I, therefore, switched the recommendation out for the popular Sennheiser CX 300 II. These have been popular earbuds for many years. I think I have owned several pairs over the years and WhatHiFi gave them a 5-star review, back in 2009!

They have technically been discontinued but you can still get them on Amazon.

Pros:

  • Warm yet detailed sound
  • Decent sound isolation
  • Comfortable fit

Cons:

  • Average isolation

No products found.

6) Moondrop CHU Dynamic Driver IEMs: Check Price On Amazon

Moondrop CHU Dynamic

Best Budget Earbuds 2023

Conscious that some of the above recommendations can barely be regarded as budget, I thought I should seek an extra recommendation that was better suited for 2023.

The Moondrop CHU is often regarded as the best pair of wired budget IEMs you can currently buy today. If you buy them without a mic they are just under £/$20 which is an absolute bargain. If you can be bothered waiting, you can get them even cheaper on sites like Aliexpress.

The midrange and treble abilities of the sound are impressively intricate, offering a satisfying level of detail. The bass, on the other hand, demonstrates remarkable precision and control, skillfully emphasizing the appropriate frequencies. While the soundstage boasts an expansive width, the imaging can be perceived as somewhat shallow and lacking in depth.

Pro:

  • Wide Soundstage
  • Punchy bass
  • Price

Cons:

  • Lower mids could be better

Conclusion

When everything is said and done, the best thing you can do when shopping for the best budget earbuds is not to pick the cheapest pair, but the ones that get you the most value. In this case, it’s the Moondrop Chu.

Many of the other recommendations have been around for years, but in recent years there has been a growing number of Chinese brands that excel at producing high-quality audio products at incredibly low priced and the Moondrop Chu is a perfect example of this.

Last update on 2024-06-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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