Many inex­pen­sive TWS ear­phones are equipped with mod­ern fea­tures such as active noise can­cel­la­tion, fast charg­ing, dual-device con­nec­tiv­i­ty, and more. Pho­to: theverge.com

Top bud­get TWS head­phones com­bine great per­for­mance and price. To main­tain a low cost (most of the mod­els under con­sid­er­a­tion are cheap­er than 5,000 rubles), man­u­fac­tur­ers had to make com­pro­mis­es. Some of them affect the sound qual­i­ty. How­ev­er, our list includes head­phones with fea­tures that you would expect to see in much more expen­sive devices. Read on to find out which 10 pairs made it to our top, their fea­tures, advan­tages and dis­ad­van­tages.

How was it evaluated

To pick the best wire­less ear­buds, we com­pared each pair against the oth­ers for each of the fol­low­ing:

- Oper­at­ing time with­out recharg­ing — the longer they work, the high­er the score (the max­i­mum score for each item is 10).

- Blue­tooth ver­sion — the new­er, the high­er the data trans­fer rate, the bet­ter the pow­er con­sump­tion. Head­phones with Blue­tooth 5.2 sup­port will get the max­i­mum score. Keep in mind, to take full advan­tage of the “fresh” stan­dard, the con­nect­ed device (your smart­phone) must also sup­port it.

- Audio codecs — in this case, it is also impor­tant that not only the head­phones sup­port a cer­tain codec, but also the paired gad­get. Let’s briefly talk about those that sup­port devices from our rat­ing:
— SBC — stan­dard and most com­mon, sup­port­ed by all devices except Apple;
— AAC — the sec­ond most pop­u­lar, by default it is sup­port­ed by all “apple” gad­gets;
— aptX — a com­mon audio codec with a reli­able con­nec­tion;
— aptX Adap­tive — more sta­ble con­nec­tion due to dynam­i­cal­ly chang­ing bitrate;
— Sam­sung Scal­able is essen­tial­ly a com­peti­tor to aptX Adap­tive, the main fea­ture is a sta­ble con­nec­tion. Only works with Sam­sung devices;
– LC3 is a new audio codec that replaced SBC, it’s hard to dis­tin­guish it from uncom­pressed audio by ear.

The more codecs the head­phones have, the high­er the score.

– All mod­els in ques­tion are equipped with micro­phones, they can be used as a head­set. The pres­ence of noise reduc­tion improves the qual­i­ty of voice calls, as it cuts off extra­ne­ous sounds. Mod­els with Active Noise Can­cel­la­tion (ANC) will get the high­est score.

- Mois­ture pro­tec­tion — an impor­tant para­me­ter, since you can not be afraid for the per­for­mance of the device when lis­ten­ing to music while play­ing sports or walk­ing in the rain. Please note that only the head­phones have mois­ture pro­tec­tion, the charg­ing cas­es do not have it. A pair with max­i­mum pro­tec­tion (among the mod­els under con­sid­er­a­tion is IPX5 — the gad­get is not afraid of rain and sweat, it can be oper­at­ed with wet hands) will receive 10 points.

Top 10 Budget Wireless Headphones

Honor Earbuds 2 Lite

With the right ear cush­ions, the head­phones sit com­fort­ably in your ears and do not fall out. Pho­to: www.gsmarena.com

Hon­or Ear­buds 2 Lite TWS head­phones sup­port touch con­trol and are equipped with wear­ing sen­sors — when you remove at least one ear­bud from your ear, music play­back auto­mat­i­cal­ly stops, and when you put it back, it starts again.

The Hon­or Ear­buds 2 Lite wire­less head­phones have 2 built-in micro­phones in each ear­bud, which pro­vide decent voice qual­i­ty — the inter­locu­tor hears the speak­er well, although there are com­plaints about an unnat­ur­al-sound­ing voice.

Each ear­phone has a bat­tery with a capac­i­ty of 55 mAh, in a case — 410 mAh. With the ANC sys­tem turned off, the head­phones can work for about 7 hours and 20 min­utes, with ANC turned on, about 5 hours. The charg­ing case increas­es the auton­o­my of the mod­el up to 28 hours (with ANC). There is sup­port for fast charg­ing — 10 min­utes gives about 4.5 hours of music play­back. It takes about 60 min­utes to ful­ly charge the head­phones via USB Type C, and 90 min­utes for the box.

The case has dimen­sions of 46×61×25 mm and weighs 41 g, each ear­bud is 38×24×21 mm and 5.5 g. The head­phones have dust and mois­ture pro­tec­tion IP54 — they can with­stand drops of sweat and light rain.

Head­phones Hon­or Ear­buds 2 Lite are avail­able in black and white and cost from 4,990 rubles (all prices are valid at the time of the rat­ing). On our web­site you can buy a dis­count­ed pair with traces of use and scuffs at a price of 2,550 rubles.

Pros of Honor Earbuds 2 Lite:

  • rich sound;
  • noise reduc­tion, trans­paren­cy mode and wear­ing sen­sors;
  • fast charg­ing.

Cons of Honor Earbuds 2 Lite:

  • there are com­plaints about a weak mag­net on the case cov­er;
  • There may be issues with the com­pan­ion AI Life app if you don’t have an Hon­or smart­phone.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2

Galaxy Buds 2 are avail­able in 4 col­ors. These are the most expen­sive head­phones in our rank­ing. Pho­to: Drew Evans / CNET

Blue­tooth 5.2 is respon­si­ble for the con­nec­tion. SBC, AAC and brand­ed Sam­sung Scal­able codecs are sup­port­ed (only works with man­u­fac­tur­er’s smart­phones). Con­trol is car­ried out using sen­sors on the out­er pan­el of the head­phones or through the Galaxy Wear­able appli­ca­tion. You can use the app to check if your Galaxy Buds 2 fits cor­rect­ly.

Each ear­phone has 3 micro­phones for active noise reduc­tion and voice com­mu­ni­ca­tion. There is a wear sen­sor, but in order to stop play­back, you need to remove both head­phones. The “Audio Back­ground” mode is avail­able (as Sam­sung calls the sound “trans­paren­cy” mode).

The Sam­sung Galaxy Buds 2 wire­less ear­phones are equipped with a 61 mAh bat­tery each, and a 472 mAh bat­tery is installed in the charg­ing case. With­out ANC, the head­phones are able to work for about 6 hours and 15 min­utes, with noise reduc­tion — about 4 hours and 40 min­utes. The case pro­vides 3 full charges of the ear­buds. There is a quick charge func­tion — 10 min­utes in the case is enough for 2.5 hours of work. The case itself is ful­ly charged in 2 hours, wire­less charg­ing is sup­port­ed.

Head­phones Sam­sung Galaxy Buds 2 are avail­able in black, white, olive and pur­ple col­ors at a price of 8,199 rubles. The dimen­sions and weight of the case are 50×50×28 mm and 41 g, the head­phones are 17×21×21 mm, 5 g (each). There is IPX2 water resis­tance — the device can be used with wet hands.

Pros of Samsung Galaxy Buds 2:

  • bal­anced sound;
  • decent noise can­cel­la­tion and voice call qual­i­ty;
  • com­fort­able and tight fit;
  • com­pact case with wire­less charg­ing.

Cons of Samsung Galaxy Buds 2:

  • mois­ture pro­tec­tion only from drops, it is bet­ter not to use it in the rain;
  • false pos­i­tives of sin­gle clicks occur (for exam­ple, when you adjust the ear­piece in your ear);
  • slip­pery.

Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2 NC

The Anker Sound­core Life Dot 2 NC has an excel­lent pro­pri­etary appli­ca­tion with exten­sive head­phone cus­tomiza­tion options. Pho­to: rtings.com

Pair­ing with a smart­phone takes place via Blue­tooth 5.0. SBC, AAC codecs are sup­port­ed.

Each ear­piece has a noise-can­cel­ing micro­phone and a spo­ken micro­phone. The app has 3 set­tings for Active Noise Can­cel­la­tion: Vehi­cle, Indoor, Out­door (in fact, they all work pret­ty much the same). For trans­paren­cy mode 2 — “Full trans­paren­cy” and “Speech mode”. There is an equal­iz­er and 22 pre­sets (acoustic, enhanced bass, clas­si­cal, etc.).

Head­phones sup­port touch con­trol, actions can be assigned in the appli­ca­tion. In total, 6 actions and 4 ges­tures are avail­able (you have to choose).

A full charge of the head­phones is enough for 6 hours of con­tin­u­ous work with ANC. The case extends bat­tery life up to 35 hours. A 10-minute charge gives you 1.5 hours of use.

The cost of Anker Sound­core Life Dot 2 NC head­phones is from 7,961 rubles. The charg­ing box weighs 56 g, each ear­bud weighs 6.2 g. There is IPX5 mois­ture pro­tec­tion — you can use it in light rain.

Pros of Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2 NC:

  • pleas­ant sound with rich bass;
  • sit secure­ly in the ears — a large selec­tion of ear cush­ions and rub­ber bands of dif­fer­ent sizes in the kit;
  • cor­po­rate appli­ca­tion;
  • auton­o­my.

Cons of Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2 NC:

  • no auto pause tech­nol­o­gy;
  • bulky (the heav­i­est pair in our rank­ing);
  • the charg­ing case is eas­i­ly scratched;
  • short charg­ing cable

Haylou W1

Hay­lou W1 fea­tures a dynam­ic dri­ver and Knowles dual arma­ture dri­vers for a bal­anced sound. Pho­to: scarbir.com

Xiao­mi Hay­lou W1 head­phones work on the mod­ern Blue­tooth 5.2 pro­to­col and sup­port SBC, AAC, aptX and aptX Adap­tive codecs with low audio laten­cy for play­ing games and watch­ing videos. This mod­el is equipped with a 10mm dynam­ic dri­ver and a Knowles dual arma­ture dri­ver.

For high-qual­i­ty voice trans­mis­sion, these Xiao­mi TWS head­phones use a noise reduc­tion sys­tem of 4 micro­phones and CvC 8.0 tech­nol­o­gy, which cuts off extra­ne­ous sounds well.

Each ear­phone has a 32 mAh bat­tery, case — 310 mAh. One charge is enough for 7 hours of music play­back at a vol­ume of 50%, with a case — for 20 hours. It takes approx­i­mate­ly 3 hours to ful­ly charge the case and 2 hours for the ear­buds.

There is touch con­trol, you can not adjust the vol­ume from the head­phones.

Head­phones Hay­lou W1 cost from 3,058 rubles and are avail­able in white and blue col­ors. The case weighs 33g, each ear­bud weighs 4.6g. IPX4 water-resis­tant.

Pros of Haylou W1:

  • bal­anced sound, sup­port for aptX and aptX Adap­tive codecs;
  • fast con­nec­tion;
  • great micro­phones.

Cons of Haylou W1:

  • short charg­ing cable;
  • thin ear pads;
  • there is no offi­cial app.

Redmi AirDots 2

Red­mi Air­Dots 2 are the cheap­est wire­less head­phones in our rank­ing. Pho­to: dignited.com

Red­mi Air­Dots 2 head­phones are con­nect­ed via Blue­tooth 5.0, only SBC is avail­able from codecs.

Each ear­phone has a 43 mAh bat­tery, in the box — 300 mAh. On a sin­gle charge, Xiao­mi Red­mi Air­Dots 2 head­phones can work for 4 hours. The case is enough for 3 full charges. The case is ful­ly charged in an hour, the head­phones in about 90 min­utes.

Touch con­trol is sup­port­ed, but the actions are lim­it­ed — you can not switch tracks and adjust the vol­ume. To do this, you can call the voice assis­tant.

The in-ear fit cuts out back­ground noise. Plus there is Envi­ro­ment Noise Reduc­tion noise reduc­tion tech­nol­o­gy.

The cost of Xiao­mi Red­mi Air­Dots 2 is from 1,773 rubles. Avail­able in black and white. Each ear­phone weighs 3.6g, with a case 26g. They are IPX4 water­proof cer­ti­fied.

Pros of Redmi AirDots 2:

  • good sound insu­la­tion;
  • afford­able price.

Cons of Redmi AirDots 2:

  • you can’t switch tracks and adjust the vol­ume from head­phones;
  • out­dat­ed microUSB port for charg­ing, no cable includ­ed.

JBL Wave 100TWS

The JBL Wave 100TWS case has an orig­i­nal design with­out a lid. Pho­to: rtings.com

JBL Wave 100TWS received 8mm dynam­ic dri­vers, the sound is clear with rich low fre­quen­cies.

Mechan­i­cal but­tons con­trol is sup­port­ed, you can call the voice assis­tant, the vol­ume can­not be adjust­ed.

Each ear­phone has a 46 mAh bat­tery, which is enough for about 5 hours of music play­back. A case with a 550 mAh bat­tery increas­es bat­tery life up to 20 hours. It takes approx­i­mate­ly 2 hours to ful­ly charge the ear­buds.

Head­phones can be used as a head­set, there is a good micro­phone. But talk­ing on the street or in a noisy place is incon­ve­nient — the inter­locu­tor hears all extra­ne­ous sounds.

JBL Wave 100TWS head­phones cost from 2,850 rubles. Avail­able in sil­ver, black, pur­ple and blue. The weight of 1 ear­phone is 10.2 g, the case is 36.1 g. There is no mois­ture pro­tec­tion.

Pros of JBL Wave 100TWS:

  • fast and reli­able pair­ing;
  • good sound.

Cons of JBL Wave 100TWS:

  • the case does not have a lid, the head­phones do not fall out, but dust accu­mu­lates;
  • no pro­tec­tion against mois­ture;
  • There is no active noise can­cel­la­tion sys­tem.

1MORE Omthing AirFree Pods

The Omthing Air­Free Pods case sup­ports wire­less charg­ing. Pho­to: smartprix.com

The 1MORE TWS ear­buds are equipped with 13mm tita­ni­um dri­vers. The Qual­comm QCC3020 chip and Blue­tooth 5.0 with SBC, AAC and aptX codecs are respon­si­ble for a sta­ble con­nec­tion.

You can check the con­nec­tion sta­tus in the Omthing app (avail­able on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store). It is quite sim­ple, allows you to cus­tomize the touch con­trols and check for an OTA update.

For voice calls, there are 4 micro­phones with Qual­comm cVc 8.0 ambi­ent noise can­cel­la­tion.

The case with a 400 mAh bat­tery lasts for a total of about 25 hours. Head­phones on a sin­gle charge pro­vide about 5 hours of play­back at 50% vol­ume (with­out aptX). A full charge takes about 1.5 hours. There is sup­port for Qi wire­less charg­ing.

The Omthing Air­Free Pods True Wire­less start at Rs 4,690 and come in white, green, orange, and black. The charg­ing case mea­sures 56 x 25 x 56mm and weighs 55g. One ear­bud weighs 4g. IPX4 water-resis­tant.

Pros of Omthing AirFree Pods:

  • decent sound qual­i­ty, aptX sup­port;
  • many options for touch con­trol set­tings, includ­ing vol­ume con­trol;
  • sup­port for wire­less charg­ing.

Cons of Omthing AirFree Pods:

  • in the appli­ca­tion it is impos­si­ble to check the charge lev­el of the case;
  • aver­age auton­o­my.

Urbanears Alby

Urbanears Alby are styl­ish TWS head­phones with basic fea­tures. Pho­to: techjioblog.com

These TWS head­phones are con­nect­ed using Blue­tooth 5.0 — the con­nec­tion is sta­ble, 2 inte­ri­or doors are not a hin­drance. Of the codecs, only SBC is avail­able, the sound is bal­anced with­out obvi­ous dips.

Each ear­piece has one con­ver­sa­tion­al micro­phone. There are no noise sup­pres­sors, unnec­es­sary sounds are cut off only thanks to the in-chan­nel design. Voice intel­li­gi­bil­i­ty dur­ing a con­ver­sa­tion is good, although it sounds a bit muf­fled. How­ev­er, dis­con­nec­tions occur dur­ing calls.

Urbanears Alby sup­port touch con­trol, you can acti­vate the voice assis­tant, the sound vol­ume can­not be adjust­ed.

One charge of the ear­phones lasts for 3.5 hours of music play­back at 50% vol­ume lev­el. The case is enough for 4 full charges of the head­phones.

Head­phones Urbanears Alby cost about 6,150 rubles. A wide selec­tion of col­ors — black, white, bur­gundy, light green, green, lilac. One ear­phone weighs 3.7g, the case weighs 50g. There is an IPX4 water­proof cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

Pros of Urbanears Alby:

  • light­weight, com­fort­able fit
  • effec­tive pas­sive noise iso­la­tion;
  • large selec­tion of col­ors.

Cons of Urbanears Alby:

  • You can’t adjust the vol­ume from the head­phones.
  • short bat­tery life;
  • call con­nec­tion prob­lems.

Realme Buds Air 2 Neo

Realme Buds Air 2 Neo are inex­pen­sive wire­less head­phones with ANC. Pho­to: scarbir.com

These Realme TWS head­phones use Blue­tooth 5.2 for con­nec­tiv­i­ty and come with Google Fast Pair for fast pair­ing with Android devices. There are audio codecs AAC, SBC.

Realme Buds Air 2 Neo head­phones sup­port touch con­trol, the pan­el shim­mers in the light. You can switch tracks, noise reduc­tion modes, stop and start play­back. The vol­ume can­not be adjust­ed.

Ges­tures can be assigned in a pro­pri­etary appli­ca­tion. There you can also turn on the game mode (the min­i­mum delay between sound and pic­ture) and sound effects.

There is an active noise reduc­tion func­tion that effec­tive­ly absorbs low-fre­quen­cy noise (car engine run­ning, fans, etc.) and trans­paren­cy mode.

The Realme Buds Air 2 Neo wire­less ear­phones are IPX5 water­proof (sweat and rain dur­ing sports).

The head­phones are equipped with bat­ter­ies with a capac­i­ty of 40 mAh, in the case — 400 mAh. A full charge of the head­phones is enough for 7 hours of con­tin­u­ous oper­a­tion with­out acti­vat­ed active noise can­cel­la­tion — for 5. Box­ing increas­es auton­o­my up to 28 hours. It takes 90 min­utes to charge the ear­phones from 0 to 100%, and about 2 hours for the case. There is a fast charge — 10 min­utes is enough for 3 hours of lis­ten­ing to music at 50% vol­ume.

The cost of Realme Buds Air 2 Neo is from 3,915 rubles. Head­phones are sold in black and gray col­ors. Head­phone dimen­sions — 20.95 x 22.35 x 23.77 mm, weight — 4.5 g, case — 44.57 x 60.34 x 32.96 mm and 45 g, respec­tive­ly. Water­proof IPX5.

Pros of Realme Buds Air 2 Neo:

  • Com­pat­i­bil­i­ty with the Google Fast Pair ser­vice;
  • decent active noise can­cel­la­tion (ANC);
  • sev­er­al sound pro­files to choose from;
  • hold a charge well, fast charg­ing.

Cons of Realme Buds Air 2 Neo:

  • many users com­plain that they fall out of their ears;
  • short USB‑C cable includ­ed;
  • accord­ing to reviews — a slip­pery case, some­times slips out of hands when opened.

Redmi Buds 3 Pro

Red­mi Buds 3 Pro sup­port the new LC3 codec. Pho­to: www.gsmarena.com

Xiao­mi Red­mi Buds 3 Pro head­phones come with Blue­tooth 5.2 and sup­port for SBC, AAC, LC3 audio codecs.

This mod­el has 3 micro­phones and there are sev­er­al modes of noise reduc­tion (mut­ing extra­ne­ous sounds from 20 to 35 dB) and trans­paren­cy.

Red­mi Buds 3 Pro are equipped with an opti­cal wear­ing sen­sor to auto­mat­i­cal­ly stop play­back when you remove the head­phones. Touch con­trol is avail­able — you can switch tracks, change the noise reduc­tion mode, answer calls, you can not adjust the vol­ume

The bat­tery capac­i­ty of the head­phones is 35 mAh, the case is 470 mAh. The ear­phones are able to work up to 6 hours on a sin­gle charge with­out ANC (4 with ANC). The case increas­es the ser­vice life up to 28 hours. 10 min­utes in the case pro­vides 3 hours of music play­back.

The Red­mi Buds 3 Pro ear­phones sup­port simul­ta­ne­ous con­nec­tion to two devices and Qi wire­less charg­ing.

The cost of Xiao­mi Red­mi Buds 3 Pro is from 5,581 rubles. This mod­el is avail­able in black and grey. There is mois­ture pro­tec­tion accord­ing to the IPX4 stan­dard — the gad­get can be oper­at­ed with wet hands, it is not afraid of light rain and sweat. Each ear­bud weighs 4.9g, case 55g.

Pros of Redmi Buds 3 Pro:

  • rich sound;
  • good voice qual­i­ty;
  • simul­ta­ne­ous con­nec­tion to two gad­gets;
  • wear­ing sen­sor;
  • fast and wire­less charg­ing.

Cons of Redmi Buds 3 Pro:

  • aver­age vol­ume;
  • no com­pan­ion app for mar­kets out­side of Chi­na.


We have col­lect­ed all the infor­ma­tion for grad­ing in one table:

Mod­el / Char­ac­ter­is­tics auton­o­my Blue­tooth ver­sion Audio codecs Noise sup­pres­sion Mois­ture pro­tec­tion
Hon­or Ear­buds 2 Lite up to 7 hours Blue­tooth 5.2 SBC, AAC ANC IP54
Sam­sung Galaxy Buds 2 just over 6 hours Blue­tooth 5.2 SBC, AAC and Sam­sung Scal­able ANC IPX2
Anker Sound­core Life Dot 2 NC up to 6 hours blue­tooth 5.0 SBC, AAC ANC IPX5
Hay­lou W1 up to 7 hours Blue­tooth 5.2 SBC, AAC, aptX and aptX Adap­tive cVc 8.0 from Qul­comm IPX4
Red­mi Air­Dots 2 up to 4 hours blue­tooth 5.0 SBC Envi­ron­men­tal noise reduc­tion IPX4
JBL Wave 100TWS up to 5 hours blue­tooth 5.0 SBC pas­sive No
1more Omthing Air­Free Pods True Wire­less up to 5 hours blue­tooth 5.0 SBC, AAC and aptX cVc 8.0 from Qul­comm IPX4
Urbanears Alby about 3.5 hours blue­tooth 5.0 SBC pas­sive IPX4
Realme Buds Air 2 Neo up to 7 hours Blue­tooth 5.2 SBC, AAC ANC IPX5
Red­mi Buds 3 Pro up to 6 hours Blue­tooth 5.2 SBC, AAC, LC3 hybrid Hybrid ANC IPX4

Thus, the bud­get wire­less head­phones from our top received the fol­low­ing rat­ings:

Mod­el / Char­ac­ter­is­tics auton­o­my Blue­tooth ver­sion Audio codecs Noise sup­pres­sion Mois­ture pro­tec­tion Aver­age score
Hon­or Ear­buds 2 Lite ten ten 7 ten 9 9.2
Sam­sung Galaxy Buds 2 9 ten eight ten 7 8.8
Anker Sound­core Life Dot 2 NC eight 9 7 ten ten 8.8
Hay­lou W1 ten ten ten 9 eight 9.4
Red­mi Air­Dots 2 6 9 6 eight eight 7.4
JBL Wave 100TWS 7 9 6 7 6 7
1more Omthing Air­Free Pods True Wire­less 7 9 9 9 eight 8.4
Urbanears Alby 5 9 6 7 eight 7
Realme Buds Air 2 Neo ten ten 7 ten ten 9.4
Red­mi Buds 3 Pro eight ten 9 ten eight 9

The two mod­els scored the same num­ber of points — Hay­lou W1 and Realme Buds Air 2 Neo. The for­mer are cheap­er and sup­port the aptX and aptX Adap­tive codecs. The lat­ter sup­port active noise can­cel­la­tion and fast charg­ing.