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Best Apple headphones for budget conscious shoppers: AirPods, Beats Studio Buds, beats Flex

There's no shame in trying to save a little money — here are the best Apple headphones that you can snag if you're on a budget.

Not everyone wants to shell out $250 for AirPods Pro, and even fewer want to shell out more than $500 for AirPods Max. However, just because some of Apple's lineup is pricey, that doesn't mean there aren't deals to be found.

Maybe you're looking for a pair of Apple-branded headphones for your tween or teen, picking up a second pair for the office, or just looking for ways to save money while not compromising on quality.

Here are our top picks for the best budget-friendly Apple headphones.

Apple AirPods

If you're in the market for the best Apple headphones that won't break the bank, you've got a couple of choices. While AirPods Pro may be out of the picture, that doesn't mean you should overlook the standard AirPods.

3rd-Generation Apple AirPods

Apple's newest iteration of the base model AirPods are a great way to get a pair of Apple-branded headphones for under $200.

Apple AirPods (3rd Gen)

The third-generation AirPods feature six hours of battery life, and a five-minute charge in the included case gives you an extra hour of listening or talk time. The case also allows you to have up to 30 hours of combined listening time in total.

While they don't feature Active Noice Cancelling (ANC) or Transparency Mode, they still offer other great features like Find My and Audio Sharing.

And, thanks to the IPX4 rating, you don't need to worry about damage from sweat or rain.

They're available in two models, one with a MagSafe charging case and one with a Lightning-only charging case.

If you opt for the model with the MagSafe charging case, they'll run you $179.

You can save a little money with the Lightning-only case, which costs $169.

Apple AirPods 2nd Gen

We'd classify Apple's second-generation AirPods as "oldies but goodies." While these aren't the best Apple headphones based on specs, they are the best for your wallet.

With five hours of playtime and a combined 24 hours of listening time, these are excellent earphones to throw in your bag as you head out for the day. A 15-minute fast charge gives you up to three hours of additional listening time, ensuring you never have to go without your favorite music.

Second-generation Apple AirPods
Second-generation Apple AirPods

The Apple H1 chip lets the AirPods detect when they're in your ears, saving battery life and pausing your music when not in use. It also enables seamless switching between your iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Best of all, the second-generation AirPods are priced at $129, making it a fantastic gift for tweens and teens who may not be ready for AirPods Pro yet. Get them at a discounted $99 from Amazon at the time of publication.

Beats by Dre lineup

Of course, you aren't constrained solely to the Apple AirPods lineup if you want to take advantage of great features like Audio Sharing or Find My.

Apple's lineup of Beats by Dre headphones also boasts fantastic Apple ecosystem integration, but with different form factors and some enticing price points, too. Best of all — they also work for Android devices, making them even more versatile.

Beats Studio Buds True Wireless Noise Cancelling Earphones

If you're looking for a comfortable fit, Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) and Transparency modes, and many must-have Apple headphones features, the Beats Studio Buds may be exactly what you're looking for.

Beats Studio Buds
Beats Studio Buds

The IPX4 rating means they're sweat and splashproof, making them ideal for hitting the gym or running in the rain. The soft silicone tips keep them securely in your ears, and Find My integration ensures you don't lose them while running errands or hitting the trails.

With Transparency or ANC mode enabled, you'll get up to 5 hours of listening time on a single charge and up to 15 hours when combined with the charging case. Without any specialized listening modes, Beats Studio Buds get 8 hours of listening time on a single charge or 24 hours of combined listening time with the case. A five-minute Fast Fuel charge gives you up to an hour of additional listening.

Beats Studio Buds are available in White, Sunset Pink, Moon Gray, Ocean Blue, Black, and Beats Red. They are available for $149.99 on Amazon.

Beats Studio Buds +

If you want to bump up to the newest version of Studio Buds, the Beats Studio Buds+ are great all-purpose earbuds.

Beats Studio Buds+
Beats Studio Buds+

They feature 36 hours of total battery life — nine from the earbud itself and 27 from the wireless charging case. A five-minute fast charge gives you a full hour of additional talk and listening time, ensuring you always have music on hand.

If you're the kind of person who makes a lot of phone or FaceTime calls, Beats Studio Buds+ feature upgraded voice-targeting microphones for enhanced call quality. They filter out background noise, making sure you sound great no matter where you are

If you've got a fair amount of Android devices, these are the earbuds for you. They feature Google Fast Pair, Audio Switch, and Google Find My Device.

Beats Studio Buds+ are available in Transparent, Black and Gold, and Ivory. They can be purchased for $169.99 on Amazon.

Beats Flex - All-Day Wireless Earphones

Easily the most affordable Apple headphones on our list, Beats Flex are sports-style, wrap-around earphones. They feature Apple's W1 chip, which allows you to pair them with all devices synced to your iCloud account or use Audio Sync with another friend.

The earbuds offers up to 12 hours of listening time, and a 10-minute charge can give you 1.5 hours of playback.

The Beats Flex are available in Flame Blue, Beats Black, Smoke Gray, and Yuzu Yellow. They are normally $69.99 but are currently on sale for $29.99 on Amazon at the time of publication.