5 Best IEM under $50 (2024)

5 Best IEM under $50 (2024)

Introducing the realm of in-ear monitors (IEMs) under $50, where affordability meets quality in the world of audio enthusiasts. Despite their modest price tags, these IEMs offer impressive sound performance, comfort, and durability, making them a popular choice for budget-conscious audiophiles and casual listeners alike.

From well-balanced sound signatures to spacious soundstages and detailed audio reproduction, these IEMs deliver a remarkable listening experience without breaking the bank. Whether you’re a music aficionado seeking immersive sound or a gamer in need of clear communication, the best IEMs under $50 have you covered.

1. KZ ZS10 Pro

Linsoul KZ ZS10 Pro,


The KZ ZS10 Pro distinguishes itself as a budget-friendly IEM with a distinct V-shaped sound signature, emphasizing bass and treble while slightly recessing the mids. This tailored sound profile caters to various preferences, offering a detailed breakdown of its key attributes:

High frequencies are detailed and bright, maintaining nuanced quality without being piercing, ensuring overall clarity.

The midrange is characterized by clarity and crispness, providing natural vocal reproduction and avoiding congestion, resulting in an authentic listening experience.

Low frequencies are well controlled, articulated, and balanced, avoiding muddiness and distortion, maintaining a presence without overpowering the overall sound.

For sound preferences, the ZS10 Pro offers a pronounced bass response, ideal for enthusiasts of genres like EDM and hip-hop.

While not perfectly neutral, the treble boost helps balance the sound, though recessed mids may make vocals seem thin or distant to some listeners. The treble boost introduces sparkle and detail but may become harsh at higher volumes.

Featuring a hybrid driver configuration with a 10mm dynamic driver (DD) for bass and a balanced armature (BA) driver for high frequencies, the ZS10 Pro aims to combine powerful bass with BA driver clarity and precision, enhancing treble detail.

The ZS10 Pro responds well to EQ adjustments, allowing users to customize the sound signature according to their preferences. While some KZ models come with preset EQs, manual adjustments are typically necessary for the ZS10 Pro.

However, there are some drawbacks to consider as well. The headphones can be a bit aggressive in the upper mids and lower treble, potentially causing fatigue during extended use.

Additionally, the earbuds do not include a carry case or bag, which may be considered a downside for users looking for convenient storage and portability options.

  • Well-balanced signature sound.
  • Spacious soundstage.
  • Detailed audio reproduction by 5 drivers on each side.
  • Ear fit comfort.
  • Detachable cable.
  • Cord might be a bit short.

2. Moondrop Chu II:

Moondrop CHU II

Introducing the CHU II, the ultimate budget-friendly IEM under $20 that exceeds expectations with its enhanced comfort and detachable cable feature. Priced the same as its predecessor, this updated model offers a more comfortable design and the convenience of a detachable cable, saving users from having to replace the entire unit due to cable damage.

Delving into its sound profile, the CHU II presents a warm and inviting signature, with a subtle emphasis on the bass and lower midrange, making it ideal for rock, pop, and electronic music genres. The well-balanced treble ensures a smooth and extended listening experience, free from harshness or sibilance.

Examining its key features:

  • Bass: Punchy and well-defined, extending nicely for most genres.
  • Midrange: Clear and detailed, with a notable vocal presence and accurate instrument representation.
  • Treble: Smooth and extended, offering detailed sound without analytical harshness.

Constructed with durable plastic and a detachable cable, the CHU II prioritizes longevity and lightweight comfort over a premium feel. Its ergonomic design, complemented by various ear tips, ensures a snug and comfortable fit for extended listening sessions.

However, there are some drawbacks to consider as well. The earbuds can have an under-emphasized treble that starts at 6kHz, which might be noticeable to listeners with keen ears. Additionally, they provide only average noise isolation, particularly targeting high-pitched sounds, making them less suitable for environments with louder background noise.

  • Improved sound quality compared to the previous model.
  • Comfortable fit for prolonged use.
  • Lower price compared to the previous model.
  • Features a detachable cable, a new addition not present in the previous model.
  • Expected lifespan of 9 months.
  • Lower isolation levels.

3. Moondrop Quark

Moondrop Quark

The Moondrop Quark showcases a minimalistic design, featuring a lightweight and compact build reminiscent of its namesake particles.

This design lends itself well to comfortable sleep, especially for side sleepers, as the Quark remains virtually imperceptible when pressed against a pillow.

The practicality of an in-ear monitor (IEM) often hinges on its physical attributes, and the Quark’s diminutive size aligns perfectly with a focus on comfort.

In terms of sound quality, the Quark’s emphasis lies in its midrange, offering a natural and organic tone that reflects the essence of Moondrop’s flagship models.

While described as neutral, it’s better termed as natural, providing a wholesome sound akin to a sincere and spirited heart.

Although lacking the intricate features of its more mature counterparts, the Quark excels in delivering a genuine and heartfelt audio experience.

The midrange takes center stage, ensuring a comfortable listening experience even at higher volumes. The “n-shaped” spectrum allows for elevated volumes without discomfort, with slight adjustments benefiting the high-mids.

While the highs maintain a subtle presence without being overtly recessed, they delicately complement the overall sound. Although the bass response lacks sub-bass extension, it offers a rounded and lively feel, particularly in the mid-bass region.

Also Read: 7 Best Headphones & Earbuds for Garmin Watch (5,6 & 7)

However, there are some drawbacks to consider as well. The Quarks DSP features a non-detachable cable, which may inconvenience users who prefer using their own cables or need to replace a damaged one.

Additionally, the cable tends to stiffen and become difficult to manage after just a few weeks of use. Another downside is the IEMs’ low noise floor, which can be audible and distracting during usage.

This issue is particularly noticeable when using the IEMs with a smartphone, as they may not reach the same volume levels as other IEMs when directly plugged into the device.

  • Smooth and natural sound signature.
  • Comfortable fit for extended listening sessions.
  • Includes a fabric storage pouch for convenient transportation.
  • Not suitable for heavy bass enthusiasts (which is uncommon in the under $50 price range).

4. Kiwi Ears Dolce

 Linsoul Kiwi Ears Dolce

The Kiwi Ears Dolce, priced at $25, distinguishes itself in the budget IEM market with its innovative features. Sporting a 10mm dynamic driver with a composite diaphragm, it offers a unique sound experience.

The capsules, crafted from 3D printed medical-grade resin, ensure a lightweight and comfortable design. The detachable cable, featuring a 2Pin 0.78mm QDC connection and constructed with high-purity OCC copper, adds to its versatility.

Ergonomically, the Dolce excels, providing an immediate and secure fit suitable for daily use, including sports activities.

In terms of sound, it leans towards a slightly brighter V-shape, offering good bass linearity. However, the mid-range exhibits balance with a focus on voices, though lacking weight in the lower frequencies, resulting in a sense of hollowness. The Dolce effectively manages sibilance, maintaining a sweet and harmonious character.

With treble presenting good extension, brightness, and subtle nuances, it complements the overall sweet character of the sound.

While the soundstage is frontal with acceptable laterality and depth, separation is hindered by limitations in resolution and definition.

However, there are some drawbacks to consider as well. These include a limited variety of eartips, bass that may not be the most refined, and a lack of resolution when multiple instruments play simultaneously. Additionally, some users may find the sound potential too bright, and the soundstage may have limited depth.

  • Impressive bass response, suitable for enthusiasts of EDM, hip-hop, and other bass-heavy genres.
  • Bright and energetic sound signature, delivering an immersive listening experience.
  • Comfortable fit for extended wear during music sessions or daily activities.
  • May not appeal to those seeking a neutral sound signature, but preference-dependent.

5. BLON-03

BLON BL03 in Ear Earphone

The BLON-03 in-ear monitors (IEMs) have garnered considerable attention in the audio community, and after extensive testing, it’s time to share insights. These compact IEMs deliver impressive clarity, courtesy of the 8mm dynamic driver, ensuring a pristine listening experience.

Their ergonomic design guarantees a secure and comfortable fit, ideal for extended listening sessions. Additionally, their lightweight construction prevents discomfort, eliminating the need for constant readjustment.

In terms of value, the BLON-03 excels, providing a high-quality sound experience without breaking the bank. Their warmish sound signature renders them versatile across various music genres, offering a balanced performance suitable for both energetic and mellow tracks.

However, a notable drawback is the included cable, which feels somewhat flimsy and could benefit from an upgrade to a sturdier alternative.

For bass enthusiasts craving earth-shattering lows, the BLON-03 may fall short of expectations. While the bass is present and well-behaved, it may not satisfy those seeking an intense bass experience.

In conclusion, the BLON-03 IEMs pleasantly surprise budget-conscious audiophiles with their combination of clarity, comfort, and versatility, exceeding expectations within their price range.

  • Impressive sound quality for the price point, offering a rewarding listening experience.
  • Robust build quality ensures durability, making them suitable for daily use.
  • Versatile sound signature that caters to a wide range of music genres and preferences.
  • Bass may lack tightness for those seeking a more impactful low-end experience.


In the realm of in-ear monitors (IEMs) priced under $50, there are several standout options tailored to diverse audio preferences.

The KZ ZS10 Pro is celebrated for its exceptional sound quality, featuring a balanced yet enjoyable signature and a hybrid driver setup. The Moondrop CHU II impresses with its warm and inviting sound, sturdy build, and affordability.

The Kiwi Ears Dolce brings innovation to the table with a 10mm dynamic driver equipped with an LDP diaphragm, delivering a sweet and harmonious sound in a lightweight and comfortable design.

Lastly, the BLON-03 has garnered attention for its remarkable clarity, versatility, and value proposition, although some users may find its cable in need of an upgrade.


About HamzaKhan

I'm Hamza Khan—a seasoned expert with six years of invaluable experience at industry giants like JBL and Samsung. From troubleshooting to shaping headphone designs, I continue to mold the future of audio technology.

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