Anker Soundcore Life P2 LifestyleSource: Anker

Best Cheap True Wireless Earbuds Thrifter 2021

There are so many options when it comes to true wireless earbuds and you don't have to spend a lot of money to grab a set these days. A lot of the earbuds on the market share a bulk of features, though some set themselves apart by catering to more specific needs, be it an emphasis on sound quality, call clarity, a fitness focus, or something else. Some, like the Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo, are just great all-rounders that will work great for most users.

Best Overall: Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo

Soundcore Liberty NeoSource: Anker

Anker's Soundcore brand makes some excellent audio products at super-affordable prices. Considering how well the devices are made and how great they sound, it's surprising that they are so inexpensive. When it comes to true wireless earbuds, Soundcore has plenty of options to choose from with price points to suit all budgets, though we find the Liberty Neo to be the best overall choice thanks to their balance of performance and price.

The Soundcore Liberty Neo are loved by existing owners for good reason. They sound great thanks to expertly-tuned graphene drivers, Soundcore's exclusive BassUp technology, and a snug fit that allows for passive noise isolation. They use Bluetooth 5.0 so you'll experience a reliable connection and IPX7 protection guards them from rain and sweat. Each earbud can last for 5 hours per charge and the included charging case stores an additional 15 hours of playtime. A 10-minute charge even gets you an hour of playtime so you won't find yourself without music for long.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Graphene drivers and BassUp
  • Noise isolation
  • Bluetooth 5.0

Cons:

  • Not the longest battery life
  • Charges via Micro-USB

Best Overall

Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo

Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo

An inexpensive true wireless option

This affordable set of earbuds is no-frills but has all of the features you'd expect with the quality of Anker's other products.

Best Budget: JLab Go Air

Jlab Go Air LifestyleSource: JLab

JLab is a well-known name in the audio accessory space and its gear is on par with its competitors in terms of quality. Despite being one of the more affordable options on the market, JLab's Go Air true wireless earbuds are pretty feature-packed.

They feature Bluetooth 5.0, 8mm drivers, and a respectable 20-hour battery life including the charging case capacity. Some sacrifices made to keep the price down include IP44 water resistance which is lower than most others on this list plus the lack of USB-C for recharging. That being said, there is an integrated USB cable in the case which may or may not suit all users.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • 20-hour battery life

Cons:

  • IPX4 rating
  • Built-in USB cable

Best Budget

Jlab Go Air

JLab Go Air

Inexpensive and reliable

There are some features lacking, but the JLab Go Air will offer a decent experience for most users without breaking the bank.

Best for Calls: Anker Soundcore Life P2

Anker Soundcorelife P2 LifestyleSource: Anker

If you plan to use your new wireless earbuds for taking and making calls and want to prioritize the call experience, the Soundcore Life P2 are a great choice. They feature four mics with cVc 8.0 noise-canceling tech so you can be heard clearly and background noise is filtered out. They use Bluetooth 5.0 and also implement simple one-step pairing with the device they last connected to so you can simply remove them from the case and have them automatically paired to your phone every time a call comes in.

On top of that good stuff, the Soundcore Life P2 are IPX7-rated for water resistance, feature graphene drivers and BassUp tech for solid sound quality, and aptX support, and also pack in 40 hours of battery life with USB-C recharging. The only downside to all of that battery life is that the included charging case is slightly larger than other options.

Pros:

  • 4 cVc 8.0 noise-canceling mics
  • 40-hour battery life
  • IPX7 rating
  • One-step pairing
  • USB-C charging

Cons:

  • Larger charging case
  • Physical buttons

Best for Calls

Anker Soundcore Life P

Anker Soundcore Life P2

Take the call

Featuring a focus on a great call experience plus a bunch of advanced tech you want from your wireless earbuds.

Best for Noise Cancellation: JLab JBuds Air ANC

Taotronics Soundliberty 94 LifestyleSource: TaoTronics

You don't have to spend a fortune to snag a set of true wireless earbuds with active noise-cancellation. The JLab JBuds Air ANC offer noise cancellation at a much more affordable price than many competitors and back it up with solid sound quality. There are various silicone ear tip sizes included so you can get a snug fit and really block out distractions, too.

As well as the effective noise reduction, the JBuds Air ANC also have a 'Be Aware' mode that allows for outside noises to be passed through — great for when you need to hear someone speak or pay attention to traffic when out walking the dog. You'll get as much as 40 hours of playtime with ANC off or about 24 hours with it on. Like JLab's other earbuds, there's no USB-C or wireless charging here which you might expect from ANC earbuds of this kind. Instead, you use the integrated USB cable.

Pros:

  • ANC
  • Be Aware mode
  • 40-hour battery life

Cons:

  • No wireless charging
  • Built-in USB cable

Best for Noise Cancellation

Jlab Jbuds Air

JLab JBuds Air ANC

Block out distractions

These earbuds feature active noise-cancellation at an affordable price so you can focus on only the sounds you want to hear.

Best for Workouts: SoundPEATS TrueWings

Soundpeats Truewings LifestyleSource: SoundPEATS

For dedicated workout earbuds, there are other things to consider aside from sound quality. Firstly, you want a set of true wireless earbuds that are comfortable and can resist sweat and rain. You also want earbuds that won't fall out of your ears during even the most vigorous of workouts.

The TrueWings earbuds from SoundPEATS are engineered with sports in mind. Not only do they sound great thanks to their 13.6mm drivers, but they are also designed to stay put when working out thanks to their adjustable ear-hook. They are also IPX7-rated for water-resistance so you don't have to worry about liquid damage and handy on-ear touch controls make it easy to control your music mid-workout.

Pros

  • Secure fit
  • IPX7 rating
  • 13.6mm drivers
  • Bluetooth 5.0

Cons

  • 4-hour battery life per earbud

Best for Workouts

Soundpeats Truewings

SoundPEATS TrueWings

Hit the gym

With IPX7 water-resistance and secure ear-hook design, the TrueWings are a great choice for the gym.

Best for Easy Controls: SoundPEATS TrueFree Plus

Soundpeats True Free Plus LifestyleSource: SoundPEATS

Having control over your media playback via your earbuds is table stakes, but some earbuds do it better than others. The SoundPEATS TrueFree Plus keep it simple which is often better. Take them out of the charging case and they'll automatically pair with the last connected device. Once in your ears, buttons one each earbud make it easy to play/pause your music, switch tracks, and handle phone calls.

The TrueFree Plus also features Bluetooth 5.0 and built-in mics for taking calls, plus an impressive 35-hour battery life. That being said, each earbud lasts just 3.5 to 4 hours between charges so you might find yourself placing them in its chunky charging case more often than with other earbuds.

Pros:

  • Auto-pairing
  • On-ear controls
  • 35-hour battery life

Cons:

  • Large charging case
  • 3.5-4 hours playtime per earbud

Best for Easy Controls

Soundpeats Truefree Plus

SoundPEATS TrueFree Plus

Press play

On-ear controls make it easy to control your music and take calls. Auto-pairing also means less fiddling in your settings.

Best for Wireless Charging: Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2

Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 LifestyleSource: Anker

Anker's Liberty Air 2 pack in most of the technology you could want from your true wireless earbuds. They feature noise-canceling microphones, one-step pairing and Bluetooth 5.0, on-ear controls, and more. They feature advanced drivers for impressive sound quality and with HearID you can even customize the EQ to your preferences.

Their standout features, though, are in the battery department. While the total playtime is 28 hours with the included charging case, each earbud can last for 7 hours of continuous playback which is more than many other competitors and means you'll be putting the earbuds back in the case way less. A quick 10-minute charge in the case will give your earbuds 2 hours of playback, too. The case can also be powered back up wirelessly with any Qi wireless charger, or with the included USB-C cable.

Pros:

  • Qi charging
  • USB-C charging
  • 7 hours playtime per earbud
  • Noise-canceling mics
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • LED charging indicator

Cons:

  • More expensive option

Best for Wireless Charging

Soundcore Liberty Air

Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2

Power up

With great battery life and advanced recharging options, you can listen more and charge less with these earbuds.

Which earbuds are right for you?

There are so many true wireless earbuds out there and there are many more affordable options now than ever before. Most options are pretty similar when it comes to the spec sheet, but there are some key differences to keep an eye out for. The right choice for you will ultimately depend on your needs and preferences. If you plan to use your earbuds for taking a lot of calls, prioritize good mic quality. If you want a set to use at the gym, look for earbuds with a secure fit and water resistance. For blocking out external distractions, look for noise isolation or ANC. Other use cases beget different priorities.

We recommend Anker's Soundcore Liberty Neo because it manages to balance the most important features that people are looking for with its affordable price tag. It doesn't have some of the most advanced features in certain aspects, though any of our other picks may suit better if you have specific needs.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.