Well, my Klipsch Image S4 earphones broke yesterday. Had them for at least 4 years I think, and I put them through their paces, so it's understandable. They were amazing for their price though, and will be sorely missed.

I'm saving quite heavily at the moment, and don't have another $90+ AUD to spare on another set of headphones for a while to come, hence me coming here. I'd like a recommendation for a good, but super-cheap pair of headphones, to get me through until I have some more disposable income next year or later.


Preferably as comfortable as possible, especially for long periods. Over-the-head bands need to be padded, or else I really feel it on the top of my head after hours of having them on.

Over-the-ears clips also bug me after long periods, but if you happen to have a recommendation for over-the-ears headphones which don't feel like they're cutting into where your ear connects to your head after hours of use, please feel free to share.

Noise-cancelling (preferred)

I know that for the price I'm looking at right now, this may be pushing it more than a little. But the main time I used my S4's was when I really needed to concentrate on a big project at work.

This isn't a huge requirement, as having music to listen to at all can help me concentrate at times, even if it has to be played barely-audibly to make sure I'm not annoying co-workers. But if by some miracle there are cheap headphones out there which have any kind of noise-cancelling, I'd love to hear about it - both so I'm not annoying anyone, and so I can play my music at more than whisper-volume.


Stereo sound, not mono. Probably accounts for almost all headphones/earphones nowadays, but again, considering my price range, it's worth saying this explicitly. I have many songs I love listening to partly because of just how well they utilise each individual speaker.


The big one. I'd love something less than $10 AUD. To get the above features I could probably go up to $25 AUD. But less is definitely better for me right now.

I'm a huge fan of good sound quality, but just for now (until I'm able to splurge on something else) I'm willing to put sound quality on the back-burner. Of course, all the above preferences being equal, I'd love to hear in any answer what kind of sound quality the headphones do have. :)

Edited to add: I'm sure everyone can pick up on my locality from the fact that I keep saying "AUD". But just to be clear: These should be able to be bought/ordered from within Australia. If I have to order them internationally, that may be okay. But please note in your answer if you think I'll need to order them from another country.

  • My answer hardwarerecs.stackexchange.com/a/627/531 and the other options may be worth a look. Oct 20, 2015 at 9:36
  • @JourneymanGeek On that same site, there's another Xiaomi model for $13.10 (here: geekbuying.com/item/… ). If that model is any good, would be a good addition to if you do decide to put an answer on this question...
    – RPBCL
    Oct 20, 2015 at 22:59
  • Old thread but the way the question was asked begs a question in and of itself. Does no one find the premise of "cheap yet good quality" to be amusing, seeing as cheap denotes quality, while inexpensive denotes cost? Feb 14, 2017 at 5:02

2 Answers 2


The xiaomi piston 2.0/2.1 (there's a 3.0 model out at the moment) out but I've never used it before. I know folks have ordered a pair into australia, and ordered it off ibuygou. OP's mentioned this model which seems to be a plastic varient of the 3.0 (the 2.0/2.1 had these too), but I'll talk about the ones I do have. Xiaomi's headphones do typically punch above their weight pricewise so, its worth considering. Outside the "its metal" and possibily how it sounds like, many of these features are common across the product line.

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The cliff's notes version

  • Price: 20-30 usd depending. Got mine for 20 singapore dollars.

  • Good sound quality - Good enough. I've tried it on my good gear on a lark and it sounds fine. My phone/whatever google play transcodes it to seems to be the limitation

  • Reliability - I've had mine ~6 months I think. Its built solidly

  • Durability - Kevlar reinforced cables, sleeving on half of it. Place where the cable splits is protected by the remote. Earbuds and most of the fittings are milled aluminum. Jack looks solid too.
  • Comfort - Has different eartips to suit your needs.
  • Isolation - Its decent, though the level of isolation would depend on the tips. I can wear them all day (but I don't!). In some ways good passive isolation (which works at any range) is better than ANR (which

That's the model I have anyway. Reviews are decent and people tend to like it. And yes, they come with a case, rubber winding widget, and other shiny stuff.

The headphones are machined aluminium. Cable has a remote control and the length between the plug and controller's covered in a protective sheath, and are supposed to be kevlar reinforced. The headphones have great strain relief, and I've had mine for quite a while, daily use with no issues. Its built seriously solidly.

You'll get 3 pairs of smooth earbud covers in different sizes and one flanged one, which is supposed to fit tighter.

Sound quality's decent, my phone's more of a limiting factor (I'm an audio snob). They're about as good as you'd get for the price range. It comes with that lovely rubber headphone holder and 'jewel case', and street price is ~30usd.

Remote control is below where the headphone splits. Its got 3 buttons, tho the volume buttons only work on some phones.

That said, there's a lot of fakes of these so caveat emptor. I got mine from xiaomi directly.

Considering I was going with super cheapie headphones since I killed quite a few, and this has surviced me, I'd say these are a hardy pair.

  • Ignore previous comment (since deleted) about GeekBuying. Lots of people online saying they had no problem with the company, lots of others saying they had a whole mess of problems. Seems to be a very hit-and-miss company to buy from. Still, answer upvoted nonetheless because the model discussed (just) falls into my price range from some sites, the other (plastic) model more easily falls into the price range, and both sound very good for their price and my preferences. :)
    – RPBCL
    Oct 20, 2015 at 23:48

JVC XX In-ear headphones all the way! Had 2 pairs so far because I lost the first one. Highly recommended!

  1. Dirt cheap
  2. Ok sound
  3. Good noise cancelling
  4. Heavy bass
  5. Very durable
  • Following the link (from that link) to the JVC store, it says it's about $53 AUD. Everything else looks good about them though :) Will keep this suggestion in mind if I haven't bought anything new by next year...
    – RPBCL
    Oct 20, 2015 at 22:41
  • Half price on ebay :-). I got mine for £15 so you should be able to get it around $25. ebay.com.au/bhp/jvc-xtreme-xplosives
    – koullislp
    Oct 21, 2015 at 14:07

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