Here in the sub £20 area, we’re in bargain basement territory. While cheaper earphones can still sound pretty good, don’t expect any of these to compete on audio quality with pricier offerings. Design styles are much simpler in this price range with most earpieces being made from molded plastic rather than machined metal. There are still plenty of colourful options – so you’re not just limited to black. Despite the price, there are plenty to choose from – we’re looking at cheap and cheerful, here’s the cream of the crop.
Our comparison table and short reviews listed below are automatically kept up to date, so they always show the products that we think are the best earphones under £20.
Best Earphones Under £20 Comparison
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Best Earphones Under £20 – The Winners
As you can see from the comparison table of the best earphones for less than £20, there are a few sets of standout earphones in this price range that offer a little more than the rest.
Award winning manufacturers SoundMAGIC have aimed the ES19S directly at the smartphone upgrade market. With a price that is as attractive as their design, the ES19S deliver very highly on the bang for buck scale.
The clean (white), understated looks will compliment pretty much any smartphone out there and will appeal to a lot of people. The quality of finish is very good and the earphones feel very light to the touch. The tough silicone cable resists tangles very well & should survive a lot of rough handling.
The sound has a level of clarity and frequency balance that is unexpected at this price point - and in doing so, sets them out from the rest of the competition. The deep warm bass, accurate stereo image and tight mid range punch will keep you happy during hours of listening. For the price, the sound is truly exceptional - they make an excellent upgrade choice for any smartphone.
Betron have become known for knocking out set after set of cheap earphones - the DNZ500 stands out from many of their other products offering great value for money.
The way that the DNZ500 are presented in the box makes them look more like a £50+ product rather than a sub £20 one. Bundled with loads of extra accessories - they almost seem to good to be true.
The small metal earpieces are nicely finished, feeling very solid and light. With tough re-enforcement on the hard wearing cable, these will survive a lot of rough handling.
The level of detail in the sound that they produce is good and the stereo image is pretty accurate as well - these are both areas that Betron often let themselves down in, however, not this time. The natural sounding bass is deep and warm. The mid range is clearly defined, but does sound a little boxy, but not in an overly bad way.
The DNZ500 deliver fantastic value for money - while not quite as refined as some other earphones out their, they perform well and are a worthy option.
The affordable RK300 from budget earphones brand Betron is another of their successful products. A previous favorite, the RK300 still outperforms most of the competition under £20.
Made from sleek looking plastic, the detailed level of finish is very impressive. With good cable re-enforcement and our preferred style of twisted silicone cable, this product has been well thought out. As normal for Betron, you also get plenty of accessories included. While these earphones are quite small & are better suited to those with slightly smaller ears - they should still fit most people.
The choice of eartips that you use will change the sound quite dramatically (we prefer the red ones), these help balance the sound giving it more life and excitement. The bass is plentiful - but you might want to add a little more using EQ. The detail and level of clarity are both reasonable - but perfectly ok for the price.
Overall, the RK300 offer great value for money and are tough to beat in this price bracket.
SoundPEATS look to be hot on the tails of Betron, bringing out wave after wave of budget earphones. The M20 come in at a very low price (perhaps too low) and yet still manage to compete with earphones that cost over double the price.
The quality of finish on the metal earpieces is outstanding at this price - they look like they should cost considerably more! The strain relief on the cable provides excellent re-enforcement, and very little cable noise is transmitted to the earpiece. The range of included accessories is more restrained than Betron offer - but they do seem to be of a higher quality.
While the M20 isn't an audio diamond in the rough, they do perform very well. The bass is deep and plentiful (more boomy than warm) and overall, have a hi-fi style sound.
These really are as cheap and cheerful as earphones get - yet they still manage to deliver a decent sound. They are so cheap that you could almost consider them to be disposable...possibly a very good choice for holidays/by the pool etc
Brainwavz aren't known as a budget brand, and usually strive to produce sleek looking products in higher price brackets. The Jive is a little different to the rest of their earphone range and as a result are an intriguing budget option.
The simply designed metal earpieces are nicely finished and feel lightweight in the hand. Brainwavz normally produce extremely tough earphones, and these are not an exception. The robust cable will take a lot of abuse and the metal earpieces should be pretty much indestructable. These are made to be used every day and will survive rough handling.
The bass is a little on the light side and benefits from additional EQ - when added back in, it is quite 'sub' like and not completely warm or natural sounding. Where these start to shine is in the higher frequencies where they manage to deliver good detail and clarity...more than you'd perhaps expect at this price.
The Jive are significantly tougher than all the other earphones in this price bracket - the bass is a little bit of a let down, but they are built to be used and abused...we think that is there greatest selling point.