We have a list of the top AirPods alternatives under $100. But what if you're looking for something even cheaper? Say, a wireless earbud half that price or even less? Then this list, the best of budget true wireless earbuds, is for you. And while there are certainly a lot of earbuds that cost less than $50, only a few stand out, and several are surprisingly good for the price. As we like to say, you shouldn't expect the world at this low price, but unlike pricier models from Apple and others, you won't feel heartbroken if you happen to lose them.
Earfun Free Pro
CNET TAKE: From a design standpoint, the Earfun Free Pro seems identical to the Fiil T1XS, which used to be on this list and remains a good value. However, the Earfun Free Pro has better features, including active noise cancellation with a transparency mode, wireless charging and Bluetooth 5.2. They're rated for seven hours of battery life without the noise-canceling function on, or about six hours with it activated. They're IPX5 water-resistant, which means they can withstand a sustained spray of water.
They sound very good for the money, with relatively clean, balanced sound and bass that has some kick to it — they're pretty open-sounding. Lightweight and comfortable to wear, they have little fins that help keep them securely in your ears, and they're fairly discreet-looking. Call quality was decent, too: Callers said they heard some background noise but it wasn't intrusive and they could hear my voice well. The touch controls were responsive.
Budget AirPods alternative
SoundPeats Air 3
CNET TAKE: SoundPeats says its open-style Air 3 buds are 10% smaller than their predecessors, the TrueAir 2, and the case is truly tiny, smaller than the AirPods' case. The buds stayed in my ears more securely than the AirPods do. These use Qualcomm's 3040 chipset, which has Bluetooth 5.2, and I had no trouble pairing them with an iPhone 12 Pro and a Google Pixel 4 XL. Our connection was quite stable. The earbuds support the aptX audio codec with compatible devices.