Not more than a few years ago, if you wanted a pair of earphones that could provide a solid listening experience with a decent microphone, you would have to shell out $50 or more – that is before considering the numerous other factors like build quality, ergonomics, and additional features. Thankfully, continued advancements in technology have allowed more budget-friendly earphones to be able to keep up with the big boys.
Of course, the question then becomes “should you buy earphones with a mic?”. Unlike certain products which might be more specialized and better suited for niche markets, earphones have a bit of a ubiquitous appeal where they can provide value for virtually everyone. Whether it is for working out, conducting business, or simply entertainment purposes, earphones with a mic offer something for everyone.
Still, figuring out what to look for in your earphones can be confusing. Do you want to go with the best sound quality? Perhaps, especially if you intend to use them for listening to music. If you need them for exercise though, you might need them to provide better durability or ergonomics. That is why we have put together a list of the 10 best earphones with mic, highlighting what each one is best suited for.
We realize you may not want to scour through the entire list to find a pair of earphones with a mic that is right for you. That is why we have put our top 3 recommendations at that the front of the pack. The SoundPEATS, Senso, and to a lesser extent, Actionpie all play ideally into a specific niche, but you have to read more to really dig into the meat of them.
Best Earphones with Mic Under $30
|Actionpie||wired||yes||best for bass|
|Arisen||wireless||yes||11-hrs play time|
|HC-RET||wired||no||on a budget|
|Marsno M1||wired||no||most durable|
1. SoundPEATS: Best Quality Bluetooth Headphones with Mic
SoundPEATS is one of the few brands on our list that actually has a solid presence beyond the online world. Even though it is one of the more expensive pairs of earphones we reviewed, it is still well within the $30 limit that traditionally defines a pair of budget-friendly earphones.
Beyond audio quality, this pair of earphones is also exceptionally comfortable and designed to be worn in a variety of situations. For instance, the IPX6 waterproof rating is still exceedingly good at this price point. The buds are made out of a high-quality silicone material while the exceptionally lightweight design ensures that they will stay in your ears while in motion.
Why we recommend SoundPEATS to you
Ultimately, when you are looking for a pair of earphones under $30, you generally do not expect them to also provide a solid audio quality. When that package exists and comes in a wireless design, that is an unheard of combination. With the dual Bluetooth codecs to provide higher audio fidelity, the SoundPEATS are potentially the best audio quality earphones we reviewed – whether wireless or not.
2. Senso: Noise-Cancelling Wireless Earphones with Mic
Senso is another brand with a strong brand presence – something that is often unusual in the budget-friendly electronics market as numerous brands with ties to Chinese factories sprout up seemingly overnight. Even better, this brand actually specializes exclusively in wireless earphones making them uniquely positioned to provide one of the more reliable experiences in the market.
First, these might otherwise be the best all-purpose earphones on our list were it not for a similar pair that is just a little bit better. That said, these earphones offer a wide range of qualities and features that definitely put them a step above most. Of course, it seems as though Senso is well aware of this fact, and they have priced their earphones accordingly making this one of the most expensive pairs of earphones we reviewed – though they do still fall within the budget-friendly range.
3. Actionpie: In-ear Headphones with Mic for Bass and Music
Outside of our top 2 pairs of earphones on the list, you will likely want something to be especially good–or especially cheap. When it comes to the Actionpies, you get the best of both worlds. While they are not the least expensive product we reviewed, they do fall just below the average price. However, it is definitely the audio quality that they achieved at this price point that truly sets them apart from the competition.
These drivers allow the Actionpies to produce some of the best rated audio quality that we saw. For instance, these earphones can replicate the greatest frequency range on our list between 20Hz to 24kHz. While the sensitivity is a touch high at 110dB, the impedance of only 8 ohms – which is exceptionally low for earphones – means that it can handle the additional power necessary to truly push them.
4. Symphonized NRG 3.0: Wood Earbuds with Microphone and Volume Control
Symphonized is another brand that we encountered which focuses on a fairly narrow specialization, though this time it is determined more by material than by use. Specifically, the Symphonized brand makes it a point to incorporate wood into a wide variety of their audio equipment products. While they do sell listening products that are not made out of wood, it is clear that the wood products are their feature lineup.
This attention to sound detail is apparent in other features of the NRG 3.0s as well. For instance, this is the only pair of wired earphones we reviewed which use gold-plated jacks. This allows the electrical current carrying the audio signal to transfer more efficiently and accurately from the playback device to the earphone. On top of that, the cord was designed to not make noise if moved.
5. ROVKING: Noise Isolating Headphones with Mic for Computer
And now, meet the most budget-friendly earphones we found that are also still capable of either providing an excellent experience or filling a specific niche. For the ROVKING earphones, it is the latter. This because these earphones definitely leave something to be desired when it comes to both sound quality as well as mic quality when compared to their competitors.
That said, one situation which generally does not call for the best of either is with PC use. In this setting, the primary functions of earphones are to either work for gaming purposes or work for conference calls. In both situations, the absolute quality of both the sound and the mic are less important. Instead, it is the connectivity that matters more.
These earphones also offer a solid ergonomic design with smaller housings. This means that they will not sit as heavily in your ears and will fit better in general. On top of that, the cord has actually been molded into a hook to slip around the ear and keep the buds securely in place.
6. Arisen Phantom: Wireless Sports Earphones with Mic
The Arisen Phantoms might have made it into one of the most recommended spots on our list were it not for a single fact: price. They are by far the most expensive pair of earphones on our list and even slightly exceed the required $30. While they do definitely provide a solid experience in a number of settings, it is hard to justify paying 50 percent more for a pair of earphones that are not that much better than some of the others we reviewed.
That said, if you do choose to go with the Phantoms, you will not be disappointed. In terms of audio quality, these earphones use a dual driver design that is common among products that can produce some of the best sound quality. Despite the fact that the Phantoms use a 6 mm driver, the dual driver arrangement does allow them to produce truer sound than most – though the bass is only okay.
7. HC-RET: Best Budget In-Ear Earbuds with Microphone
HC-RET is not a company with brand recognition that has a wide market presence like some of the other earphones that we reviewed. That said, they have managed to put together a surprisingly durable pair of earphones at an eye-popping price. Though, it should be noted that the price is remarkable not because of how high it is, but because of how low it is. Quite simply, these are the least expensive pair of earphone that we reviewed.
Of course, the other shoe has to drop somewhere, and with the HC-RET, that shoe comes in the form of the mic. The mic and the inline controls are by far one of the buggier that we found. The issue seems to stem from a casing that is not meant to withstand the continued pressing that the controls require. This leads to both the controls and the mic failing quicker than most.
8. Mpow: Waterproof Wireless Earphones with Mic
Mpow is another brand on our list that has managed to find the proper balance between good quality and a reasonable price. Even better, they also have a fairly broad market presence with their products sold both online and in traditional brick-and-mortar stores. That said, few budgetary products – regardless the market – are going to be able to provide all things to all people, but the Mpow actually gets closer to that mark of perfection than most.
Another necessary quality for a good pair of earphones is its wireless capabilities. These days, Bluetooth is a must. However, taking that a step further, you would like to see advanced codecs as well as other wireless qualities. The Mpows check both boxes. First, the battery provides a decent, though not great, 7-9 hours of play time, but it can be fully recharged in only 1+ hours. In terms of audio quality, the CVC 6.0 noise suppression combines with a CSR chip and both the A2DP and AVRCP codec to provide great sound quality.
9. Marsno M1: Most Durable Earphones with Mic
One of the things that most people expect when they buy a pair of budget earphones is that they will have to buy them again and again in short succession. This is simply because most budget earphones might provide some nice features and even decent sound quality, but they often cut corners in terms of manufacturing processes and materials.
The cord also has some unique characteristics which make it more durable than most. First, the cord is made out of thermoplastic elastomer, or TPE. This is a material that was designed to bend and flex without breaking, creasing, or fraying. On top of the material, the oxygen-free copper wires are threaded through the cord by hand.
10. KEKU E-Sport: Unique Earphones with Mic for Gaming
Keku follows the more general trend of budget-minded companies that do not truly have a specialty and simply manufacture a number of products that can be easily made using open source patent designs. That said, they definitely decided to go a bit above and beyond for a pair of earphones in this price range and ended up surprising us with the level of quality.
For instance, these earphones are tied on our list for using the largest drivers. While this does not necessarily translate to a better frequency – likely due to merely adequate materials – the size of the driver works especially well for producing deep bass. Of course, this is also likely why the earphones only have a sensitivity of 105dB. Still, they work exceptionally well for gaming.
So, what is the best earphones with mic under $30?
In the end, the best earphones with mic will be different things to different people. If you are looking for a pair of earphones that you can take on the go, you are likely going to want to go with a pair of wireless earphones. Of course, if you want a hassle-free pair of earphones that you do not have to worry about charging, then a corded model is a better idea – especially if you need a pair for a computer.
In terms of the best all-around audio quality, the SoundPEATS are by far the best on our list. For one, this pair of earphones provides numerous technological components and firmware specifically designed to provide true-to-life audio quality. While the 6mm driver does limit the total amount of bass it can produce, the realism of sound is the best that we saw.