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These $10 Sony Earbuds Are an Affordable Alternative to AirPods

For almost a decade, these wildly affordable earbuds have been my secret everyday carry must-have for keeping music in and unwanted noise out.
Review: These $10 Sony Earbuds Are Better Than You'd Expect
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One day, a long time ago when I was in college, I needed a pair of headphones—immediately. I had a tedious day of studying ahead of me, and playing phat beats to distract me from the pain was essential. I went to the Rite Aid on Rutgers’ campus and laid my eyes upon a humble, unremarkable, $10 pair of wired headphones from Sony. Available in a slew of colorful options and, more importantly, super-affordable, they were ever so inviting. Forgetting my headphones one day in college turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because I had never turned back almost 10 years later. 


Specifically, this life-saving piece of Sony tech was, and remains, the MDREX15LP Earbuds. Admittedly, that’s quite a mouthful, but I swear they’re worth it. I already knew Sony was a banger brand when it comes to audio gear, but for 10 bucks, I’m shocked that you can get a pair of earbuds that sound this good. In my opinion, the sound is near-equivalent to my Apple AirPods, which obviously have their own major perks, but I’m on a mission to convince you these bad boys offer similar superior sound and noise blocking capabilities that offer surprisingly rich audio and use ergonomically thoughtful design to block out your surroundings (all for just a mere $10). 

$9.88 at Amazon

$9.88 at Amazon

In terms of sound quality, Sony uses 9-millimeter dome driver units and high-energy neodymium magnets in these small but mighty earbuds to provide big, killer sound with powerful bass, treble, and midrange, and offer higher sensitivity using less power. These buds are also ultra comfy, with a variety of different-sized silicone earbuds included for a secure fit. 

Whenever I wear these buds, I feel like I’m at the Brooklyn Mirage throwin’ down hard thanks to the earbuds’ incredibly deep, immersive bass (sans the pricey concert ticket). I should point out that, yes, these are wired, but in case you weren’t already aware, wired earbuds have become quite a staple of street style. Don’t believe me? There's a dedicated Instagram called @wireditgirls showcasing “hot girls” dominating the trend.   


Truthfully, they’re not built to last forever—I’ve gone through many pairs of these headphones in my time, but each one lasts me a couple of years. I honestly find that to be pretty impressive given the ridiculously low price tag, but to each their own. I mean, they do have a 4.3-star average rating and over 33,000 reviews on Amazon. One user even said, “I accidentally put them in the wash more than eight times and they still work perfectly fine”—which is nuts, so these bad boys deserve a medal. 

TL;DR: If you’re prone to losing AirPods, breaking pricey headphones, and don’t want to deal with finagling big, over-the-ear audio gear, these $10 Sony earbuds are a godsend for throwing in your bag or pocket and always having the ability to plug in and tune out (with surprisingly rich sound). I will keep buying these until the day I die. Does that sound too extreme? Oh, well, sue me.

Sony MDREX15LP Earbuds are available for purchase on Amazon

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