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Best Budget Wireless Earbuds (2023): Choosing Affordable True Wireless Earbuds

Now that true wireless earbuds are becoming more common, a lot of models with features that used to be limited to flagships and mid-rangers have spilled over into the budget range. In other words, you don’t have to spend a pretty penny to get a decent pair nowadays. That’s good news since smartphones without headphone jacks are becoming the norm, after all.

Considering price, features and performance, we’ve narrowed down our picks to the JLab GO Air POP, Jaybird Vista 2, Anker Life Dot 2, Soundpeats T3 and Audio-Technica ATH-SQ1TW. Each of these earbuds stands out in one way or another, but in general, it’s hard to go wrong with any of them.

Best Budget Wireless Earbuds Comparison Chart

ModelJLab GO Air POPJaybird Vista 2Anker Life Dot 2Soundpeats T3Audio-Technica ATH-SQ1TW
 Best Budget Wireless EarbudsBest Budget Wireless EarbudsBest Budget Wireless EarbudsBest Budget Wireless EarbudsBest Budget Wireless Earbuds
PriceCheck Price at JLab.comCheck Price at JaybirdSport.comCheck Price at Soundcore.comCheck Price at Soundpeats.comCheck Price at Walmart.com
Active Noise CancellationNoYesNoYesNo
Water ResistanceIPX4IP68IPX5IPX4IPX4
Battery LifeEarbuds: 8 hours
Case: 24 hours
Earbuds: 8 hours
Case: 16 hours
Earbuds: Approx. 7 hours
Case: 100 hours
Earbuds: Approx. 5.5 hours
Case: Approx. 16.5 hours
Earbuds: 6.5 hours
Case: 13 hours

Best Budget Earbuds — JLab GO Air POP

The price-to-performance ratio of the JLab GO Air POP is almost unbeatable.

Best Budget Wireless Earbuds JLab GO Air POP
A closer look at the charging case and its USB-A cable of the JLab GO Air POP.

Put simply, the JLab GO Air POP gets it right across the board. For starters, it’s easy on the budget, and despite that, it doesn’t skimp on performance. Sure, it may have a consumer-friendly signature (i.e., punchy bass), but it delivers fairly accurate sound reproduction.

Also, it isn’t lacking in features either. It may not have active noise cancellation (ANC), but it offers decent isolation to noticeably reduce ambient noise. Plus, it has three EQ presets that let you adjust how it sounds according to your preferences. Last but not least, it has exceptional build quality, which isn’t all that common for earbuds in its price range.

If there’s anything to complain about, it’s its charging cable. It has a short USB-A plug integrated with its case, and with USB-C becoming the global standard, it would’ve been nice to see it keeping up with the times.

Best Budget Wireless Earbuds for Working Out — Jaybird Vista 2

Water and sweat aren’t a problem for the Jaybird Vista 2.

Best Budget Wireless Earbuds Jaybird Vista 2
The Jaybird Vista 2 includes three sizes of ear gels so you can find the best fit for you.

A typical concern most folks have when exercising with true wireless earbuds on is water damage. That’s where the Jaybird Vista 2 comes in with its solid IP68 water and dust resistance rating. In fact, its charging case is also IP54 certified, which is pretty rare.

Moreover, it comes with wingtips in varying sizes, allowing you to get a snug fit so it won’t fall out of your ears even when, say, running. Also, it has a long battery life of up to eight hours on a single charge with 24 hours’ worth of additional power via its case. Lastly, since it’s designed for sports, it has a transparency mode called SurroundSense that lets you hear your surroundings when working out outdoors.

On top of that, it has ANC, but it won’t win any awards on this front. It can block a bit of rumble and humming, but a lot of unwelcome sounds will still slip through.

Best Budget Wireless Earbuds with Long Battery Life — Anker Life Dot 2

With a total playback time of 100 hours, the Anker Life Dot 2 and its charging case can last at least four days.

Best Budget Wireless Earbuds Anker Life Dot 2
The case of the Anker Life Dot 2 can provide 100 hours of extra playback time.

If you’re after a pair of true wireless earbuds that can just keep on going and going, then the Anker Life Dot 2 is likely your best bet. It can last for about seven hours on a full charge, which is par for the course. However, its charging case can hold up to 100 hours of juice, which is something its direct competitors don’t even come close to.

Now it’s touted as having a balanced sound, but what you’re really getting is a bass-heavy profile. That’s not bad per se, as most of its counterparts are guilty of it too. Besides, it works well for genres like hip-hop.

Best Budget Earbuds for Phone Calls — Soundpeats T3

Background noise during calls isn’t an issue for the Soundpeats T3.

Best Budget Wireless Earbuds Soundpeats T3
The Soundpeats T3 has stems, similar to the AirPods.

At first, the Soundpeats T3 may seem like some normal boring pair of earbuds. It has an average battery life of up to 5.5 hours, average sound with extra bass, average IPX4 water resistance, average ANC and transparency mode performance and the list goes on. 

However, once you use it for phone calls, you—or rather, the person on the other end of the line—might just get a pleasant surprise. It can effectively reduce ambient noise to the point that most of what’s going on in the background won’t be heard by the person you’re talking to. Thing is, it almost feels like it’s doing its job too well, as it tends to deliver your voice a little less clearly compared to mid-range and top-of-the-line counterparts. That’s to be expected considering its relatively lower price point, though.

Best Budget Audiophile Earbuds — Audio-Technica ATH-SQ1TW

The Audio-Technica ATH-SQ1TW may not have that many features, but its sound quality is clearly beyond the budget range.

Best Budget Wireless Earbuds Audio-Technica ATH-SQ1TW
A look at the many color options of the Audio-Technica ATH-SQ1TW.

It can be a challenge to find a pair that can meet the needs of your everyday audiophile, but the Audio-Technica ATH-SQ1TW arguably comes the closest to do just that without breaking the bank.

It doesn’t have fancy features like ANC or even EQ presets, nor does it have a companion app to get a visual representation of its settings; however, it more than makes up for it in sound quality. Every detail simply sounds clear without the highs, mids and lows drowning one another.

What’s more, it has a transparency mode to let you hear your surroundings and a low-latency mode to keep audio-visual lag at bay when watching TV shows or movies. Also, it’s worth mentioning that it doesn’t follow the typical design of most earbuds with its squircle form factor.

Verdict

The JLab GO Air POP, Jaybird Vista 2, Anker Life Dot 2, Soundpeats T3 and Audio-Technica ATH-SQ1TW may not be the best of the best, but in the budget range, they definitely punch above their weight in their own ways.

JLab GO Air POP

Best budget wireless earbuds overall

Best Budget Wireless Earbuds

Audio-Technica ATH-SQ1TW

Best-sounding budget wireless earbuds

Best Budget Wireless Earbuds

To sum things up, the JLab GO Air POP is our pick for the best budget true wireless earbuds because of its low price tag and decent performance across the board. If you’re looking for a pair for working out, the Jaybird Vista 2 can deliver with its IP68 water and dust resistance rating and secure fit. 

Meanwhile, the Anker Life Dot 2 is the earbuds to beat in terms of battery life with its 100-hour playback time, and the Soundpeats T3 is one of the best for phone calls, owing to its ability to reduce background noise. Last but not least, the Audio-Technica ATH-SQ1TW is one of the best-sounding earbuds in its price range.

FAQs

📌 What are the best budget true wireless earbuds?

In our opinion, the JLab GO Air POP is among the best true wireless earbuds because of its low price and decent performance. It even has features like EQ presets, and it has an exceptional build quality despite its low cost.

📌 What are the best budget wireless earbuds for working out?

The Jaybird Vista 2 is rated IP68, meaning that it can withstand water and sweat with no problem whatsoever. Also, its charging case has a IP54 rating, so it can survive splashes of water and the like.

📌 What are the best wireless earbuds with a long battery life?

The Anker Life Dot 2 is an outlier in the earbuds space with its charging case that offers 100 hours of playback.

📌 What are the best budget wireless earbuds for audiophiles?

The Audio-Technica ATH-SQ1TW is arguably among the earbuds with the best sound quality out there, making it the most suitable option for the budget-oriented audiophile.

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Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.