5 best budget headphones under £50

We've rounded up five pairs of headphones that could certainly be used in the dictionary to illustrate the word "bargain" - such is their prowess and performance for a relatively small price.

So, if you're heading on your travels and need an affordable travelling companion, or if you just want a replacement that won't cost the earth, read on...

MORE: Best headphones to buy in 2014

SoundMagic E10S

Five Stars

Tested at £40

Is there a better place to start than with some Award-winners? No, make that multi-Award-winners – for that is what you get with the best in-ear headphones under £50 from our Awards 2014. If you want to upgrade your smartphone or music player's freebie bundled buds, look no further.

MORE: SoundMagic E10S review

Sennheiser MM70

Five Stars

Tested at £70 – Compare Prices

Don't panic – we haven't lost our mathematical minds. These Sennheiser buds may have been put to the test when their price tag was £70, but these excellent all-rounders are now available for less than £50. Five stars has just become even more affordable.

MORE: Sennheiser MM70 review

Philips CitiScape Downtown

Four stars

Tested at £55

If in-ears aren't really your thing, you'll be pleased to learn that on-ears aren't averse to being high quality and low price either. Take these Philips cans, for example – fun and stylish, and spotted at a mere £40 with Argos right now.

MORE: Philips CitiScape Downtown review

Slick Distribution SD50

Four stars

Tested at £30

A pair of Bluetooth on-ears with full controls for your smartphone? For £30? Is there a catch? Not really to be honest. Granted, there are some sonic flaws to note, but at this price, you'll get a very listenable pair of cans and that's some achievement.

MORE: Slick Distribution SD50 review


Five stars

Tested at £50 – Compare prices

Cheap – tick; Tiny – tick; Light – tick; Mic and remote – tick; Great sound - tick. Unsurprisingly, this adds up to an earphone proposition that’s hard to resist. Another fine set of cheap in-ear headphones from AKG, and now available under £50.

MORE: AKG K323XSi review

MORE: Best in-ear headphones 2014

See all 99 What Hi-Fi? Awards 2014 winners

Pete was content editor on What Hi-Fi?, overseeing production and publication of digital content. In creating and curating feature articles for web and print consumption, he provided digital and editorial expertise and support to help reposition What Hi-Fi? as a ‘digital-first’ title; reflecting the contemporary media trends. He is now a senior content strategist.