Top 10 best budget TWS earbuds you can buy

If you’re shopping for a true wireless earphone, chances are you want something cheap that still manages to sound and feel premium. If that’s you and you’re here, you’re in luck; I’ve rounded up the best Bluetooth TWS earbuds available to buy on AliExpress for budget earbud shopper.

Overall best AliExpress TWS earbud – the QCY HT01

Standout features on the QCY HT01
The best implementation of active noise cancellation
on a budget TWS earbud
Top of the line sound quality
Extras: proximity sensor
Trendy and exquisite looking design
Check current price here
Featured Image of QCY HT01 review
The QCY HT01 is perhaps the only notable budget true wireless earbud that punches far into premium top-of-the-range TWS territory

Read my full review of the QCY HT01 here

If Apple made the QCY HT01 and slammed a $250 price tag on it, many people, including me, would buy it and not just buy it; we would be very satisfied with the purchase.

Yet this cost just $43. For that, you get what’s perhaps the best implementation of active noise cancellation on a budget TWS earbud, premium, true, and pure high fidelity sound, and a TWS battery that lasts well over 42 hours on standby.

If the unmatched sound of the QCY HT01 is not enough to sway you over, then check out its design and build. This is hands down one of the best looking and best made TWS earbuds you can get under $50 on AliExpress or Amazon. Not even the exquisitely crafted Haylou GT5 comes close – it’s that good.

1st runner up – the Haylou GT5

Standout features on the Haylou GT5
Sleek and minimalist design
Hifi sound and surround effect
Extras: proximity sensor
Superb noise cancellation
Check current price here
Image showing the simple and stylish design of the Haylou GT5
The Haylou GT5 is simple yet stylish

Read my full review of the Haylou GT5 here

The Haylou GT5 is the TWS earbud you’d get if you wanted something minimalist but with an ever-so-subtle touch of class. Weighing in at 3.9g and with a deftly crafted pebble-shaped body, the GT5 brings premium design to the budget TWS earbud category.

Active noise cancellation on the GT5 is superb. And, like the QCY HT01, it also puts out high fidelity sounds with the sound profile best described as balanced with as much surround sound as you would like.

I love the GT5 for its minimalism, subtlety, and comfortability. This thing glides into your ear and stays in there almost unnoticed. When it’s, however noticed, people will compliment its fluid and passive look.

Like I said in my original review of the GT5, it’s the one TWS earbud that stands out as a genuine fashion accessory.

2nd runner up – the Mpow Mpods

Standout features on the Mpow Mpods
Best TWS for calls
Excellent sound quality
Rugged build
Superb active noise cancellation
Check current price here
featured image for the Mpow Mpods review
The Mpow Mpods packs top-tech, premium sound and a superb build in a budget friendly True Wireless earphone

Read my full review of the Mpow Mpods here

Think of the Mpow Mpods as a performance-oriented TWS earbud. It’s not trying to look pretty or sleek; instead, what it does is excel at all performance metrics you’d use to grade a TWS earbud.

So, this thing sounds fantastic, packs a really decent noise-canceling tech, and even more impressively, outshines virtually every other earbud on this list in making and receiving calls. That’s thanks to well over four dedicated microphones on its body.

The Mpow Mpods is the TWS earbud for anyone who cares less about looks, is tight on cash, and wants a TWS that performs greatly at everywhere it matters, save design. If you’re into cars, think of it as the Honda Element in the Honda lineup of cars.

Third runner up – the Mpow X3

Standout features on the Mpow X3
Modern and sophisticated design
High fidelity sound and surround effect
Long lasting battery
Superb active noise cancellation
Check current price here
Image showing front view of the Mpow X3
The Mpow X3 offers quite a lot for the $47 asking price

Read my full review of the Mpow X3 here

On the Mpow X3, you get what’s arguably the best sounding Mpow TWS earphone in an exquisitely crafted build. You can think of it as a more refined and sleeker version of the Mpow Mpods that retains the top-sounding audio profile with a few cutbacks in performance.

When I say cutbacks, I mean in areas like call quality and Bluetooth connection – the X3 has a lesser effective connection range compared to the Mpods.

All those cutbacks are, however, made up for in the more streamlined and refined build. Bar the rather bold Mpow lettering on the side (which I didn’t like, but you may like), this is hands down Mpow’s most well-built TWS earbud.

In-ear, it feels nice, and with the same quality of active noise cancellation you’d get on the Mpods, this thing provides a truly immersive listening experience.

Fifth position – the Mpow Mdots

Standout features on the Mpow Mdots
Cheapest TWS with premium sound profile
Top of the line active and passive noise cancellation
Excellent battery life
Secure-fit design
Check current price here
Image showing close up of the Mpow Mdots
For its sub $20 price the Mdots define what bargain feels like in a TWS earbud

Read my full review of the Mpow Mdots here

The Mpow Mdots is one of the cheapest TWS earbuds on this list. However, it manages to snatch fifth-spot for the singular fact that it is one of the best sounding TWS earbuds on the market – even coming close to the sound profile on the QCY HT01.

There’s no soft-touch controls here or IP rating for water resistance (most other TWS on this list come with these by default), but the Mdots shines for its emphasis on practicality and functionality.

You get a physical control button, a larger TWS build, and appendages on its frame that help to keep this firmly rooted in your ear. You can confidently take the Mpow Mdots for a weekend of hiking and not fear that it would get lost. No other TWS earbud on this list can make that claim.

Sixth position – the QCY T11

Standout features on the QCY T11
Streamlined build
Excellent and balanced sound profile with 3D surround effect
Active noise cancellation
Cheap
Check current price here
Featured Image of QCY T11 review
The QCY T11 does what many other true wireless earphones in this price range fail to do – sound nice, look nice and feel premium.

Read my full review of the QCY T11 here

Like the Mpow Mdots, the QCY T11 attempts to recreate that ever-attractive blend of simplicity and practicality. To put it shortly, think of the T11 as the Mdots of the QCY family.

It scraps a number of features (like the proximity sensor on the HT01, or Bluetooth 5.1 on the T12) for a simple build that costs less but, most importantly, still manages to sound awesome. With the T11, you get punchy bass, sublime trebles, and very well-represented vocals and instrumentals.

The design though not sophisticated, is good and comfortable enough. If the QCY HT01 didn’t exist, it would be my favorite QCY TWS earbud, that’s for sure.

Seventh position – the Mpow M13

Standout features on the Mpow M13
Budget all rounder
Good quality sound profile
Classy design
Active noise cancellation
Check current price here
Imaging showing the overall build of the Mpow M13
The M13 attempts to do everything its predecessors did to considerable success

Read my full review of the Mpow M13 here

The Mpow M13 is a recent release, and before I got mine, I had really high hopes especially considering the price – it’s costlier than the Mdots or the QCY T11. My high expectations were, however, not fulfilled, at least not in full.

The M13 lacks the punchy sound of Mpow Mdots or the all-round performance of the Mpods, or the sleek build of the X3. What it is is an all-rounder that attempts to do everything other Mpow TWS do – but you know what they say about being a jack of all trades.

Don’t get me wrong, though; this is a nice-sounding earphone that looks and feels great. It comes with new-gen features like Bluetooth 5.2 and wireless, and I certainly love the textured plastic build.

However, I feel you’ll be better off sticking with one of the other Mpow TWS earbuds depending on your needs. Those are more specific in attending to individual user needs.

Eight position – the Haylou GT3

Standout features on the Haylou GT3
Sleek design and build quality
Airy sound profile
Excellent call quality
Superb battery life
Check current price here
Image showing the precision crafted look of the Haylou GT3
There’s a machined feel to the Haylou GT3

Read my full review of the Haylou GT3 here

The Haylou GT3 is just another QCY T11 in a different skin. It falls low on this ranking because, unlike the T11, which fits squarely in-ear, these tend to slip. And to deliver the full-on TWS sound experience as you would get on the QCY T11, they need to fit securely in-ear.

Ignore that, and the GT3 makes for a really nice TWS earbud. Like the GT5, it’s built with a premium and sublime touch. Call quality is excellent, and on standby, this can last well over 42 hours.

Ninth position – the QCY T11S

Standout features on the QCY T11S
Good enough sound quality
Extras: proximity sensor
Check current price here
Image showing overall build of the QCY T11S
The QCY is essentially the T11 with a proximity sensor, aptX codec support and a $10 extra bill

Read my full review of the QCY T11S here

The T11S is supposed to be an upgrade of the QCY T11. It’s certainly an upgrade in the price department, but much of that extra money you’ll pay is not well accounted for – please stick with the original T11.

Tenth position – the QCY T12

Standout features on the QCY T12
Trendy and in vogue design
Cheap
Classy carry case
Good battery life
Check current price here
Image showing side view of the QCY T12
It looks a lot like an Apple earphone

Read my full review of the QCY T12 here

With its cabriolet-styled carry case and a design that’s reminiscent of the original Apple earphone, the QCY T12 is a unique TWS earphone. Its style is different from pretty every other TWS earphones on this list.

It’s the only one that comes with an extra leather pouch. And it’s one of the more recent QCY earphones on sale. So why does it come last on this ranking?

Simple, the sound profile. Because these are over-ear rather than in-ear, the QCY T12 doesn’t come close to matching the sound quality of any other earphone on this list.

It also performs poorly at noise cancellation. However, if you wanted something that delivered an ‘open air’ sound profile, then I’d say consider the T12, especially if you wanted something stylish, bold, and in the looks of an Apple earphone.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Is buying a TWS earbud on AliExpress safe

Yes! Much like Amazon and eBay, AliExpress runs a buyer protection program that ensures your money is safe when you purchase an item on AliExpress.
If the said item is not delivered to you or is delivered but not what was advertised, you can promptly file a dispute and get refunded in full. If you need more information about shopping on AliExpress, read my guide here.

What should I look out for when shopping for a TWS earbud?

The ideal TWS earbud should come with the following features:

*Active noise cancellation (ANC)
*Hifi sound with surround support
*A battery that lasts at least 24 hours on standby
*A comfortable fit
*Soft-touch controls
*Some more premium TWS earbuds (like the QCY HT01) might come with extras like:
A proximity sensor – to detect when the earbud is in-ear or not
Wireless charging

Now, it’s important to note that many manufacturers will advertise their TWS earbuds as having most of these features when they don’t, or they’re poorly implemented.
That’s why I made this guide to help you simplify your selection process. I’ve tested all the earbuds included on this list of the best TWS available on AliExpress. If you want more info on them, simply read my review.