skullcandy inkd headphonesIt’s not many electronic devices that get as close to us as headphones. Wrapped around your skull or placed right into your head, headphones are a very personal choice. Whether your preference is for in-ear buds or noise isolating over-ear models, there are a huge amount of choices out there and many price points.

Starting your shopping with recommendations is a great way to narrow the field. Today we’re looking at budget picks; the 5 best headphones as rated by Best Buy shoppers that will set you back $50 or less. We’re looking for top ratings, a high volume of reviews, or strong positive feelings in our picks:

Skull Candy Ink in-ear sound isolating headphones
*4.5 stars
several thousand reviews

One of the most popular and the most reviewed on the best buy site, these budget picks are a crowd favourite. These in-ear models fit snugly, and come with an in-line mic which allows you to use it for phone calls or to control your music.

Ivan from Calgary writes in his online review:

“Not only is the sound amazing, the price is very affordable for everyone. They also have a microphone and remote; can’t get better then these. Skullcandy Ink’d baby!!!!!”


EB from Toronto is ready for another pair:

“Just picked these up on sale. Great sound for its price point. Will likely pick up another pair as a spare. -Recommended.”


hed wavesHed Wavz Underground On-Ear Headphones
5 stars
3 reviews

Another 5-star pick, the Hed Wavz Pro Digital Stereo Headphones are a great way to get amazing sound on a budget. These lightweight headphones have soft cushions for on-ear comfort, so you can listen for hours without feeling squished. Here’s what a couple owners of these headphones had to say in their reviews on the site:

P.M. from Ottawa says:
“Very light and comfortable. Very good sound. Going to buy another set for a gift.”


Howard Smith in Campbellton, New Brunswick adds:

“Awesome sound and the price is right! Quality for a low cost!”

sony inearSony Smartphone In-Ear Headphones 
*4.5-5 stars
700+ reviews

While these Sony headphones get an average rating of just under 5 stars, they have hundreds of reviews to back them up.

For starters:

Lane Draven in Montreal raves:

“I’m not one to review products willy-nilly but these earbuds are fantastic. I got them on sale and haven’t looked back. The sound is great, the mic works. 6 months later and no complaints. I can even use them on the subway without a problem.”

This Sony model has great sound with intuitive smartphone controls, plus hands-free calling via an integrated microphone and multi-function control button. A 9mm dome-type driver and high energy magnets optimize both midrange and bass responses, plus the long Y-type cord with slider prevents tangling.

jansi in Toronto posts:

“I have been using these for 6 months; it’s worth buying. So simple … and good for rough and tough use.”


philips headphonesPhilips On-Ear Sound Isolating Headphones
*4 stars
6+ reviews

Enjoy your favourite audio on the go with these popular and well-rated DJ-inspired headphones from Philips. Rotating earshells and an adjustable headband adapt to fit your head well, while the compact, fold-flat design makes these over-ear headphones easy to stash away.

Powerful 32mm speaker drivers deliver powerful sound and bass, plus the closed earphones keep all the sound inside for you to enjoy.

In his review on the Best Buy site, Rob V from Winnipeg, MB says:

“Recently picked these up on sale and I have to say I’m quite satisfied with them… excellent comfort – exceptional sound for the price – strong reinforced wire.”


Danny in Toronto is similarly impressed:

“I’ve been using this headphone for 5 months now. I was being careless sometimes by accidentally pulling the cord, but this headphone is still going strong and show no signs of problems so far. I am happy with this purchase.”


Sony Over-Ear Headphones (MDRZX110B)

Sony Over-Ear Headphones
*4 stars
1400+ reviews

Our 5th recommendation is another Sony product, but this time it’s an over-ear model, and it gets over 1400 reviews so you know if this many people are praising it publicly, they must be pretty happy.

Available in black or white, these clock in well under our $50 threshold. A compact, lightweight design, these foldable headphones from have sound isolating technology and a minimalist over-ear design. A long 1.2m cord keeps them versatile, and 30mm drivers mean a wide frequency for amazing sound.

Nancy from Guelph, Ontario writes:

“First time ever buying headphones and I think I picked a winner. When watching movies on my tablet, it sounds like the greatest surround sound ever. So great, my daughter wants a pair for herself now. Great price for such a wonderful product. Love the way it folds up to put it and my tablet away in my little bag!!”


Kesha in Toronto is equally impressed:

“I love them. Awesome sound, easy to put away and store when not in use (fold earpieces inward), love the colour (white) … All around amazing. Love it!”

Why not start your budget headphone hunt with these 5 great picks as recommended by the people that own them? If you’ve got a great headphone pick we didn’t include, I’d love to hear it for a future article. Let me know in comments below!

Erin Lawrence
Editor TV and Home Theatre
Erin is a journalist, writer, and TV producer with a fascination for technology and a love of gadgets. Check out her blog