A high price is not a guarantee for a quality product. This also applies to cheap products, and if you buy a product with a sensible price tag, it doesn’t mean that it will be deficient or meritless.

If you prefer to get over-ear or in-ear headphones, there’s a wide selection of headphones under $20. Headphones in this price range today offer a variety of advanced features. And the sound quality is not to be underestimated either.

Here is a list of seven of the best headphones under $20. So, if you’re searching for headphones that you can use at home in your room, at the gym, or while jogging, we’ve a good recommendation for you.

Top $20 Headphones

Koss UR20 Over-Ear Headphone

Koss UR20 Over-Ear Headphones, Flexible Sling Headband, Black
  • Frequency Response - 18Hz-24kHz and Impedance - 16 ohms
  • High fidelity stereophone utilizes neodymium rare earth magnet and 16 micron mylar element for deep bass and treble clarity
  • Flexible headband with sling allows for easy, single sided listening and maximum durability
  • Straight, single-entry, 8-foot cord for home and portable use
  • Includes 1/8-inch and 1/4-inch stereo plugs for home and portable use

Koss is the audio company of the same name, founded by John Koss, who has been a remarkable innovator in the world of headphones since the 1950s. Today, the company produces a wide range of very affordable to high-end headphones. The UR20 is their most affordable headphone compared with earphones.

Design and Features

The closed-back over-ear headset comes with wired connections. It’s a bit voluminous, but somewhat lightweight, along with sizable well-padded ear-cups that fit cozy in most cases. The build quality is spectacular in its price range; however, it’s mostly made of plastic.

Furthermore, the ear-cups are tight and the headband flexible. The headset is sturdy for normal activities, and the cable isn’t removable. There’s a 1/8″ to 1/4″ adapter in the box with Koss UR-20 headset.

The sound quality is outstanding within the proposed budget. The headset has an extended and uniform base with the medium mid and high-frequency range. Furthermore, the consistency of the frequency response and reproduction of the headphones are excellent.

In terms of volume, they’ve just got loud enough. The maximum sound pressure level of 97dB is a bit low, but the 32-ohm impedance is also low enough so that almost any device should be able to get them loud enough without too much effort.

It also offers an above-average sound-stage and THD. As the headset doesn’t offer any noise suppression but suppresses enough ambient noise due to its design, it offers moderately good noise isolation with minimal noise dissipation.

  • Weighs 1 lb
  • 32 Ohm impedance
  • Wired Cable (3.5mm plug)
  • 30hz–20khz frequency response
  • 97 dB noise level
  • Dimension: 4.75 x 8.81 x 11.94 inches

Pros

  • Comfortable around the ears
  • Breathable headband
  • Suitable for a wide range of music
  • Long cable

Cons

  • Not having a studio sound
  • One ear hearing is difficult

Why Buy?

The headphones are huge and are very comfortable around the ear. The padding feels deep and decent.


Vogek On-Ear Headphones with Mic

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Vogek On Ear Headphones with Microphone, Lightweight Portable Fold-Flat Stereo Bass Headphones with 1.5M Tangle Free Cord and Mic, Black
  • 40 mm driver units of the on ear headphones deliver full, balanced sound for a complete listening experience from 20 - 22,000 Hz
  • Designed with padded headband, cushioned & pressure-relieving ear pads that rest comfortably on your ears. Strong bass, comfortable on ear headphones with a great seal which minimize outside noise so you can hear the beats clearly
  • The perfect portable on ear headphones offer sleek style and an excellent on-the-go choice for keeping you in sync with sound that inspires. Please Note: This headphones do not support volume control, microphone function do not support PC
  • In-line microphone for hands-free phone calling. The durable, 1.5 m cable resists snags and tangles so you can get caught up in your music, not your cord. 1 wire headphones is less clutter than 2 wires headphones
  • Swivel ear cups, the on ear headphone can lay flat for compact storage. This fold-flat portable design makes the on ear headphones easy to take along or to store in your desk drawer for use at work.

These are equipped with cushioned headband, padded pressure-relieving ear-pads that rest pleasantly on your ears. They’re comfortable headphones with powerful bass and a great seal that reduces outside noise so the beats can be heard clearly.

Design and Features

The on-ear headset is closed-back, has a foldable design, which makes it easy to wear. The cord doesn’t tangle, and the headband and ear-cups are well padded. The padding of the ear-cups makes the headset suitable for longer sessions and helps prevent fatigue.

A flexible, foam-coated metal band links the two earpieces. It’s adjustable to accommodate the different head sizes, and its earpieces can also be swiveled and tilted. It’s also equipped with an in-line microphone for hands-free calling.

The design suppresses ambient noises as it doesn’t support noise suppression and also minimizes sound radiation. It’s available in two colors, black and white, so you can choose what works best for you.

A 59-inch audio cable runs from the left ear-cup, terminating in a metallic 3.5mm jack. The sound is clear with consonant bass and balanced mids. The headset is best suited for quieter genres, and the consistent frequency response is excellent.

At a price range of $20, it offers a mediocre sound image and THD. Moreover, it’s pretty impressive with the 12-month warranty, which includes a money-back or free replacement.

40 mm driver units of the headphones deliver a full, balanced sound for a complete listening experience from 20 – 22,000 Hz. The 1.5m durable cable resists tangling, so you can get caught up in your music, not your cord.

  • Dimension: 2.76 x 1.97 x 0.67 inches
  • 40mm dynamic driver
  • Microphone
  • Weighs 0.31 lbs
  • Foldable design
  • 59-inch cable
  • 20 – 22,000 kHz frequency response
  • Sensitivity: 101dB
  • 32 0hm impedance

Pros

  • Delivers full, balanced sound
  • Comfortable on-ear
  • Fold-flat portable design
  • In-line microphone for hands-free telephony

Cons

  • Not Bluetooth compatible
  • Does not support volume control

Why Buy?

This headset fits well and can be worn comfortably for long periods.


Koss KSC75 Portable Headphone

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Koss KSC75 Portable Stereophone Headphones, Single, Standard Packaging
  • Connectivity Technology: Wired
  • Sport clip design fits neatly around each ear, with pivoting earplates for a comfy fit
  • Titanium-coated drivers deliver accurate sound reproduction with little distortion
  • Neodymium iron boron magnets offer deep bass performance for an extended frequency response
  • Cord measures four feet long; L-shaped 3.5 mm plug

The Koss KSC75 is a very popular portable headphone, and the clips are quite comfortable. They fit fairly loosely on the ears but have a mechanism that ensures they stay in place by pushing the driver closer to your ear.

Design and Features

The KSC75 has a technical build with the company branding on both ear-cup. It’s lightweight and sturdy with a non-removable audio cable. The unit ia very portable and easy to carry but doesn’t have any controls. In terms of comfort, it’s more comfortable than average, and the clip design offers more stability.

The headphone is quite impressive with its breathability and the cable is 4.3ft. long. Together with KSC75, you will receive a manual in the box, and for additional earplugs, you’ll get another option. The open-back on-ear headset offers average sound quality with an excellent midrange and open sound-stage.

The bass is mediocre, just like the thunder and rumble. Also, the consistency of the frequency response and the imaging is impressive. However, the sound-stage and overall harmonic distortion are mediocre.

It doesn’t provide excellent noise suppression and sound dissipation. Overall, it’s a good choice that deserves mention among the best $20 headphones.

  • Dimensions: 6.5 x 2.5 x 6.5 inches
  • Weighs 3.2 ounces
  • Wired (3.5mm plug) connectivity
  • 15 Hz–25 kHz frequency response
  • 60 ohms sensitivity
  • Sound pressure level (SPL): 101 dB SPL/1mW

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Comfortable fit

Cons

  • The appearance of low quality

Why Buy?

The KSC75 has a well-balanced sound. They have a good midrange reproduction, so instruments and vocals sound full and balanced throughout the mix.


Panasonic RP-HT161-K Over-the-Ear Headphone

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Panasonic Headphones RP-HT161-K Full-Sized Over-the-Ear Lightweight Long-Corded (Black)
  • Wired over the Ear Headphones: Full size, classic style Headphones deliver balanced, high frequency sound on par with higher priced headphones for maximum value and hours of listening enjoyment
  • Powerful Bass, Vocals and Lyrics: Dual 30 millimeter neodymium driver units easily handle up to 1000Mw maximum power input for satisfying bass plus mid-range and high frequency trebles for clear vocals and lyrics
  • Padded for Comfort: Plush padded earpads softly surround the entire ear to minimize ambient noise and Distractions, and a smooth, quick adjust headband easily conforms to the head for optimum fit and comfort
  • Extended Headphone Cord: An extra-long, 6.5 feet audio cord gives you plenty of space to sit back and relax while watching movies and TV, and the freedom to move about while gaming
  • sound with style: Sleek, distinctive matte black finish and durable, lightweight design add a clear look of style and comfort wherever you go

The black Panasonic RP-HT161-K is an over-ear headphone powered by 30mm neodymium drivers. It’s capable of handling an input power of up to 1000mW, which makes them strong in the bass department.

Design and Features

The RP-HT161-K is a closed, solid headphone that comes with a matte black plastic headband and two plush padded ear cushions. This padding attenuates ambient noise. It’s also lightweight and comfortable, which is important for longer sessions.

Breathability and noise radiation are impressive. A relatively thin, 2-meter long cable exists from the bottom of the two cups.

These headphones are driven by two 30mm neodymium drivers with a maximum power consumption of 1000mW. Finally, there’s quite a wide frequency response from 10Hz-27 kHz,

The quality of the sound is mediocre with a balanced bass and midrange. The trebles are sweet and above average. Additionally, the consistency of the frequency response and THD are impressive. It has adequately better sound-stage and imaging.

  • Dimensions: 4.1 x 7 x 7.5 inches
  • Dual 30mm Neodymium Driver
  • Weighs 9.6 ounces
  • 5-ft. cable
  • 10Hz–27 kHz frequency response
  • Sensitivity: 98 dB
  • Plush upholstered ear-pads

Pros

  • Comfortable fit
  • Quickly adjustable headband
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • No padding on the band
  • The headband is a little tight for larger heads

Why Buy?

For monitoring at home, in the studio, and for use as flexible headphones for movies, music, games, a pair of Panasonic RP-HT161-Ks should provide what you’re looking for.


Behringer HPS3000 Headphones

Behringer HPS3000 Studio Headphones
  • Ultra-wide frequency response
  • High-definition bass and super-transparent highs
  • Ultra-wide dynamic range
  • High-efficiency cobalt capsule. 1/8" connector plus 1/4" adapter included
  • Refer to the PDF attached below in Technical Specification for User Manual.

These are other bulky headphones without Bluetooth. But far from the Koss headphones, the Behringer headphones are elegant and sleek.

Design and Features

They are designed with white plastic ear-cups and hinges with a touch of white detail on the headband. The Behringer logos are nicely decorated at the top of the headband and the earcups. They look kind of cool, definitely deserve to be among the best $20 headphones when it comes to style.

The headband isn’t adjustable, although it’s ok for most users, if your head is very small or very big, it may not be suitable. Like the headband, the oval ear-cups are fabricated from PU leather. They feel soft and cozy, even after prolonged use.

The plastics are durable, and the hinges appear like they could survive more than a few months of abuse. Plus, they also have a tangle-free cable. The cord is a standard 3.5mm jack, about two meters long, which is permanently attached to the right earpiece.

A larger 6.35mm adapter socket is supplied, which can be screw on/off so that you can use it in larger input. The bass is dynamic and rousing.

Furthermore, the lower frequencies are powerful and full. Apart from that, the higher frequencies sound direct and unequivocal.

The overall listening experience is lively and exciting.

  • 20-20 kHz frequency response
  • Impedance: 64 ohms
  • 5mm jack cable
  • Dimension: 8.07 x 6.89 x 3.70 inches
  • Weighs 0.64 lbs
  • Tangle-free cable

Pros

  • Good construction quality
  • Strong bass
  • Tangle-free cable

Cons

  • The headband isn’t adjustable

Why Buy?

These are ideal for listening to high-energy and bass-driven music genres. They’re fairly low-priced and clunky in look and feel, but comfortable enough.


Otium Bluetooth Headphones IPX7 Waterproof

Otium Bluetooth Headphones, Best Wireless Earbuds IPX7 Waterproof Sports Earphones w/Mic HD Stereo Sweatproof in-Ear Earbuds Gym Running Workout 8 Hour Battery Noise Cancelling Headsets
  • ➤【IPX7 WATERPROOF】Adopting highly sealed shell + nano-coating waterproof technology, its waterproof performance reaches IPX7 waterproof standard, and it is not afraid of sweat attack even if it is used in severe sports. Great for running, hiking, cycling, fitness, yoga, travel, gym etc.
  • ➤【SUPERB SOUND Quality】 headset and Bluetooth V4.1+EDR for stereo sound and superb bass sound. Clear high & low volume. Best wireless earbuds sound.Bulit-in mic with voice notification of incoming calls
  • ➤【UP TO 8 HOURS 】music playing for full battery charge. Super quick charge time with full charge light indication.The headphone battery status will be automatically displayed on the IOS Phone screen.
  • ➤【WITH EASY TO USE BUTTONS】 Allows Skip/Play/Pause on your music tracks as well as all phone use without reaching your phone. Up to 30ft Bluetooth range in the open space and 10ft in the obstacles space. Can be connected with two devices Simultaneously. Super quick pairing with android, IOS and other bluetooth devices.
  • ➤【STATE OF THE ART EARPHONES DESIGN】. Best workout sweatproof bluetooth ear buds. Great for Running, Jogging, Hiking, Biking, Gym etc. Stay in Ear Tech with Comfortable Ear Hook. Neckband design, no wires tangling, and it's easy to storage to your sports armband or arm package bag.

The Otium Bluetooth Headphones are cost-efficient wireless headphones that are perfect for any frequent traveler. With an 8 hours battery life, they can be recharged overnight and have enough battery power for a day on the road or a flight.

Design and Features

These are in-ear earplugs that are placed around the upper part of the ear with a soft and flexible plastic hook. They’re connected with an angle-free cable. All Bluetooth controls are located directly on the right earpiece.

They have three separate sizes of ear-tips to guarantee the best fit. Once they’re in place, they feel pleasant to wear for long periods. They also feel secure and don’t feel like they’ll ever fall out.

These are ideal for use in the gym, on the way to work, or even on the bike. And best of all, you don’t have to worry about getting wet or covered in sweat because they’re IPX7-certified. An IPX7 rating at this price is an unanticipated bonus.

The 4.1 Bluetooth connection is definitive, and the microphone works well even in noisy environments. The controls on the right earpiece are a bit small but can be used easily. You can play, pause, or skip tracks without making use of your phone.

On a full charge, you can get up to 8 hours of playtime. There’s a light indicator on the right ear-bud and a charging bar indicator on your smartphone. It has no charging case, which means that you must ensure that they’re completely charged before going out. However, there’s a regular carrying case.

The headphones sound quite bassy and have an unmistakable modern sound that’s common with other modern headphones & earplugs. However, the bass sometimes sounds slightly muddy when you increase the volume. The treble is good and sounds lucid even at increased volumes, and there’s a bit of lack in the mids, as well as vocals, which isn’t a shock with a bass-heavy set of earphones.

If you’re at the gym, on your bike, or running in the park, these would be perfect. The Otium headphones stay on the head and also in the ears. Apart from that, they won’t break and will help you stay motivated with a powerful, exciting sound.

  • Dimension: 1.4 x 0.57 x 0.58 inches
  • Weighs 0.63 ounces
  • Lithium battery
  • Stereo, microphone
  • 8 hours playing time
  • IPX7 certified

Pros

  • IPX7 rating
  • Fits securely
  • Cozy
  • Good Bluetooth connection
  • Inexpensive
  • Small and firm
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Can be used for telephone calls

Cons

  • No charging carrying case
  • Mids frequencies are a bit thin

Why Buy?

The headphones have razor-sharp sound quality as well as a built-in microphone and voice alert for incoming calls, so you can use your phone even when it’s out of range.


MEE Audio M6 Memory In-Ear Headphone

The MEE audio M6 sports earphones use an over-the-ear build with memory wire technology to provide a comfortable, noise-suppressing in-ear connection during any activity while producing clear and dynamic sound.

Design and Features

The in-the-ear earphone is extremely lightweight and offers impressive wearing comfort. It’s supplied with earplugs of different sizes so that you can choose what suits you best. The safe over-the-ear fit memory wire increases stability and prevents it from falling out, making it suitable for sports.

The design also attenuates significant surrounding noises, and with IPX5 certified ratings, it’s sweat and water-resistant. Included in the box with the M6 are six sets of ear-tips, a shirt clip, a carrying case, and a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.

It produces a crisp sound with harmonious bass; however, in some phases, the bass level may appear higher than that with similar headphones, although many prefer an amplified bass. The mids and highs are well-balanced; in some cases, you may have the impression that the highs are slightly muddy.

Furthermore, the consistency of the frequency response and overall harmonic distortion are moderate. However, the sound-stage is below the norm, thanks to its size. Also, breathability and sound dissipation are exceptional. All in all, it’s an excellent offer at a reasonable price.

  • Weighs 1.60 ounces
  • Sensitivity: 100 ±3 dB
  • 20 – 20 kHz frequency response
  • Supported maximum power consumption: 30 mW
  • Impedance 16 Ohms
  • Dimensions: 7.7 x 3.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Lightweight
  • Sweat-resistant
  • 6 pairs of earplugs

Pros

  • Water and sweat-resistant
  • Wireless
  • Good bass
  • Secure fit
  • Hands-free phone calls

Cons

  • Harsh high-end
  • Cheap cable
  • Tiring sound

Why Buy?

This is one of the best $20 headphones simply because it combines excellent sound quality with all the extras you need, as well as microphone and water-resistance.


Shopping Guide for the Best $20 Headphones

Over-Ear Headphones

Over-ear headphones are more suitable for indoor use and fewer extremities. Some have a slim design and good contemporary connectivity options. If you want a slim headphone with all functions, you don’t have to spend a lot of money.

In-Ear Headphones

A major advantage of in-ear headphones is their weight, firm fit, and low profile. Because they’re lightweight, they’re ideal for sporting activities. They’re also a cost-effective option for your daily commute.

Not only do they’ve a small profile but also a design that gives them more security in the ear. This is ideal for any physical activity or sport. Another edge of in-ear headphones is that they can be easily stored. This feaeure gives them a great advantage with portability. They can simply be put in your pocket or bag.

Wired or Wireless

In the budget price range, one of the first things you need to consider is whether to choose wired or wireless headphones. This depends, of course, on the purpose for which you wear the headphones and the activities you intend to do when wearing them.

Wired headphones can often be acquired for less money than wireless ones, and you may find that they also include a larger driver, which means better sound quality. Plus, you don’t have to worry about battery life or charging wired headphones, so you’ll have unlimited playtime.

With wireless earphones, they connect to your device via Bluetooth, and you’ll need to recharge them always, depending on the time of play. However, wireless earplugs offer many advantages.

Without wires, this means there’s no possibility of a cable getting tangled or pulled, which can occur during exercise. There’s also more comfort-ability in your movement if you don’t have to pull on a wire every time you move your head.

Durability

If you need a durable headphone, in-ear headphones probably offer more durability. Most in-ear headphones have a form of sweat and water resistance. If you use them for sport, an IPX7 rating gives you the best protection.

An IPX7 rating means that they can be submerged in up to one meter of water for 30 minutes and still function. That doesn’t mean you can swim in them, but it means they can withstand your sweaty workouts.

Noise Insulation

Headphones below a cheap price point are often equipped with passive noise isolation. This is to reduce outside noise so that you can focus your attention only on what you hear through the earphones, whether it’s music, a podcast, an audiobook, or someone else on the phone.

Passive noise isolation is based on the fact that in-ear headphones have an ergonomic, comfortable fit that seals the ear canal, similar to earplugs. This is a convenient feature that works best when you plan to listen to music in noisy environments.

Waterproof

Some inexpensive headphones will be waterproof. To make sure they’re, check the IPX7 rating. This means that the sound will still work when they are submerged underwater, which splash-proof earplugs cannot do.

Waterproofing is produced by a nanocoating. This is an important feature for all those who want to wear their earphone when jogging or doing sport so that sweat doesn’t get in the way.

Conclusion

$20 is very little money, and it’s astonishing that you can get headphones at such a low price. Now that the price is in the lower price range, you have to expect a cheaper design quality.

Better materials cost a lot more money. Due to their low price, the headphones are therefore usually made of plastics, which can break or deform. If you want them to last at least a few years, then you have to take good care of them.

Moreover, inexpensive headphones are often equipped with basic functions. A microphone and remote control are a bonus than a regular feature.

And last but not least, most cost-efficient headphones have norm audio quality. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, but don’t expect a Hi-Fi sound experience. Headphones with premium sound usually are more expensive than $20, but that doesn’t essentially mean expensive earphones sound better.