I tried $13 wireless earbuds... and the results were surprising

·5 min read

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Yes, these true-wireless earbuds are just $13 with code. No, they don't sound as good as pricier ones. Yes, they're fine for workouts and walking the dog. No, they don't emit little lightning bolts. (Photo: Amazon)
Yes, these true-wireless earbuds are just $13 with code. No, they don't sound as good as pricier ones. Yes, they're fine for workouts and walking the dog. No, they don't emit little lightning bolts. (Photo: Amazon)

See if you fall into any of these categories:

  • You want cheap earbuds you can throw into a gym bag and not have to worry about getting lost or washed.

  • You need an inexpensive gift for a white-elephant, Secret Santa or similar holiday event.

  • You've always wondered if you really need to spend $129 or more for Apple AirPods.

Allow me to assist. I just tried a pair of no-brand true-wireless earbuds priced at just $13 — $13! — with promo code Z2ZYS39V. How good could they possibly be? Read on.

$13 with promo code

(Pro tip: You can enjoy free shipping on this item and nearly everything else you buy if you have Amazon Prime. Not yet a member? No problem: Sign up for a free 30-day Prime trial here.)

Although the brand listed on the product page is CasemartUSA, that name is nowhere to be found on the product itself. Instead, it simply says "TWS," which is the industry-wide abbreviation for "true-wireless stereo."

No matter. Amazon is home to countless earbuds of similarly questionable lineage. The question at hand is, how good could $13 earbuds possibly be?

Read more: The best wireless earbuds for under $100

Honestly, they're not great. The sound quality is bass-heavy and just plain muddy overall, especially at louder volumes. I like to listen at a pretty low volume while working, but the lowest volume level available here isn't very low at all.

However, are they good enough for working out, walking the dog, weeding the garden and that kind of thing? I say yes, because in those situations, sound quality isn't a huge deal. (That's especially true if you're listening to podcasts or audiobooks.)

The earbuds do offer a good fit (at least in my ears; your mileage may vary), reliable touch controls, a sweat-resistant design and decent battery life. I like that the charging case has a little click-lock mechanism, meaning it shouldn't come open by accident. (I can't say the same for cases that have magnetic closures.)

Also, remember: $13. As a stocking-stuffer or Secret Santa gift, that's pretty hard to beat.

Now, if you place a higher value on sound quality, be sure to check out my roundup of the best wireless earbuds under $100. You can get something like the EarFun Air Pro 2 for just $46 — a vastly superior product that's still very affordable.

What do you think? Is there a place in your world for $13 earbuds? Or is it worth spending more to get more?

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