Are cheap headphones worth it? Big W headphones compared

Fergus Halliday
May 31, 2024
Icon Time To Read6 min read
// Hold onto your wallet, we've put together a guide to the best Big W headphones.

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If you're looking to snag yourself a cheap set of headphones and don't want to deal with shipping fees, it might be worth hitting up your local Big W.

Even if the big blue discount department store's roster of over-ear audio options isn't as affordable as what Kmart has going on with its Anko hardware, there's still a wide variety of over-ear and in-ear options from both global and local brands to choose from.

We've rounded up what each has to offer to help you determine which Big W headphones will be the best value and the right fit for your needs. There's a lot to get through, so let's dive in.

What to look for in cheap headphones

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Features

The features you're looking for in a cheap set of headphones aren't all that different to what you'd want from a more expensive set, you're just less likely to find them. Noise cancelling is the most valuable inclusion here, as it has the potential to actively improve every second you spend listening to music or podcasts through a given set of headphones.

Other nice-to-haves here include long battery life, fast charging, companion apps or voice controls.

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Connectivity

While some cheaper budget headphones are still wired and rely on an old-school 3.5mm audio port, many others have moved to adopt Bluetooth. If you're not familiar with it, this is the standard that is for wireless connectivity across smartphones, tablets, TVs, PCs and handheld gaming consoles.

There are different versions of Bluetooth, but I wouldn't sweat it if your next set of noise cans is kitted out with Bluetooth 5.1 rather than the more recent Bluetooth 5.3.

Cheap Big W headphones - Laser

Laser is a local player when it comes to cheap electronics products and while they don't have the prestige that comes with a global brand like JBL, the products themselves are inoffensive on the eyes and easy on the wallet. There are currently three sets of cheap headphones by Laser that you can find at Big W.

While these Laser headphones all look very similar and come with the same 40mm drivers inside them, there are a few key differences to keep tabs on here. The most noteworthy one is that the most expensive option comes with wireless Bluetooth connectivity while the rest rely on traditional wired playback via a 3.5mm audio cable.

Laser Foldable Padded Hands-Free Headphones
Laser Foldable Padded Hands-Free Headphones
RRP
$18
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    Drivers: 40mm
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    Connectivity: 3.5mm + Bluetooth
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    Noise cancelling: No
Laser Wired On-Ear Headphones
Laser Wired On-Ear Headphones
RRP
$14
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    Drivers: 40mm
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    Connectivity: 3.5mm
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    Noise cancelling: No
Laser Wired On-Ear Headphones
Laser Wired On-Ear Headphones
RRP
$19.95
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    Drivers: 40mm
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    Connectivity: 3.5mm
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    Noise cancelling: No

Cheap Big W headphones - Liquid Ears

If the likes of Sony and JBL are proving to be a little too pricey for you, Liquid Ears might be more your speed. This brand offers several very similar-looking headphones at a much cheaper price point.

At the time of writing, there are currently four different models you can find from the affordable audio brand at Big W. In terms of price, these range from $29 to $49. When it comes to hardware, all four models share a lot of the fundamentals but vary when it comes to connectivity and battery life. As you'd expect, the most expensive option here is the only one that comes with noise cancelling.

Liquid Ears Bluetooth Over-Ear Premium Headphones
Liquid Ears Bluetooth Over-Ear Premium Headphones
RRP
$49
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    Drivers: 40mm
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    Battery life: 60 hours
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    Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3
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    Noise Cancelling: Yes
Liquid Ears Wireless Over-Ear Headphones
Liquid Ears RGB Wired Headphones
RRP
$39
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    Drivers: 40mm
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    Battery life: 20 hours
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    Connectivity: Bluetooth + 3.5mm
Liquid Ears All Day Wired Over-Ear Headphone
Liquid Ears Bluetooth Over-Ear Premium Headphones
RRP
$29.95
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    Drivers: 40mm
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    Connectivity: 3.5mm
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    Noise cancelling: No
Liquid Ears RGB Wired Headphones
Liquid Ears RGB Wired Headphones
RRP
$34.95
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    Battery life: 6 hours
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    Connectivity: 3.5mm
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    Noise cancelling: No

Cheap headphones: Pros and cons

What's the catch?
pro
Pros
pro You're saving a lot of money
pro Very similar designs
pro Hold onto the headphone jack
pro More battery life than you'd expect
con
Cons
con Fewer features
con Not so great noise cancelling
con Inferior build quality
con Iffy fits

While you're going to have a better time with premium headphones like the Sony WH-1000XM5s or Apple AirPods Max than pretty much anything featured in this particular article, that's not to say that you're completely out of luck when it comes to budget-friendly headphones.

The biggest advantage that cheap headphones is the price. While the sweet spot for quality and cost is probably between $100 and $200, those looking for something under the former sum still have plenty of choice when it comes to brands and style. That said, regardless of where you end up, chances are your next set of budget headphones probably won't offer the kind of control over sound that a high-end set of headphones might.

If there are any other silver linings here it's not uncommon for budget headphones to offer surprisingly good battery life. This is partially a byproduct of it being easy for manufacturers to offer more battery life by simply bolting in a bigger battery, however, it's also owed to the reality that while some cheap headphones do come with some form of noise cancelling, most skip the feature outright and that omission reduces overall power consumption.

Cheap Big W headphones - Belkin

Belkin is better known for its power banks and chargers than it is for budget headphones, but it's still one of the better options you can find at Big W in terms of both build quality and bang for your buck. At the time of writing, Big W currently offers one single set of Belkin over-ear headphones. This $29 set of cheap headphones for kids doesn't come with high-end features like noise cancellation but it is available in three different colours: Blue, Pink and Black.

Belkin SoundForm Mini Wired On-Ear Headphones for Kids
Starts at
$29.95
Connectivity
3.5mm audio jack
Noise cancelling
None
Weight
218g
Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

Cheap Big W headphones - EKO

EKO isn't exactly a household name, but they are based in Australia. It's one of several budget-friendly headphones brands that Big W stocks.

As with Belkin, Big W carries one set of EKO over-ear wireless headphones. This set of over-ear headphones doesn't come with any fancy features but if you compare it to other cheap Bluetooth headphones available at Big W, EKO comes ahead in terms of offering decent battery life at a bargain of price. It's also available in three different colors: White, Black and Blue.

EKO Bluetooth Headphones
Starts at
$19
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Battery life
15 hours
Noise cancelling
None
Weight
570g
Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

Cheap Big W headphones - Moki

Moki is one of the more prolific brands you'll find in the mix when it comes to headphones you can find at Big W nowadays. At the time of writing, you'll find as many as 7 different models on offer.  While colour, fit and style vary here, the entire range sits between the $20 and $40 mark.

None of these cheap Moki headphones offers noise cancelling, though the more expensive ones do come with Bluetooth connectivity while the older models are reliant on a traditional 3.5mm audio jack. That said, several other brands on this page offer Bluetooth connectivity and more battery life at a better price so don't hesitate to shop around.

Moki Brites Bluetooth Headphones
Moki Brites Bluetooth Headphones
RRP
$29
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    Battery life: 6 hours
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    Connectivity: 3.5mm + Bluetooth
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    Noise cancelling: No
Moki Camo Headphones
Moki Camo Headphones
RRP
$28
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    In line microphone: Yes
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    Connectivity: 3.5mm
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    Noise cancelling: No
Moki Exo Double Black Bluetooth Headphones
Moki Exo Double Black Bluetooth Headphones
RRP
$49.95
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    Battery life: 6 hours
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    Connectivity: 3.5mm
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    Noise cancelling: No
Moki EXO Prime Bluetooth Headphones
Moki EXO Prime Bluetooth Headphones
RRP
$99.95
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    Battery life: 6 hours
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    Connectivity: 3.5mm + Bluetooth
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    Noise cancelling: No
Moki Flip Headphones + Removable 3.5mm Audio Cable & In-line Mic
Moki Flip Headphones + Removable 3.5mm Audio Cable & In-line Mic
RRP
$29.95
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    In line microphone: Yes
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    Connectivity: 3.5mm
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    Noise cancelling: No
Moki Hyper Headphones
Moki Hyper Headphones
RRP
$19
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    In line microphone: No
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    Connectivity: 3.5mm
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    Noise cancelling: No
Moki Nero Headphones with Microphone
Moki Nero Headphones with Microphone
RRP
$39.95
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    In line microphone: Yes
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    Connectivity: 3.5mm
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    Noise cancelling: No

Cheap Big W headphones - JBL

JBL is one of the biggest audio brands in the world, so it's little surprise that it has as much to offer when it comes to cheap headphones as it does portable and Bluetooth speakers. At the time of writing, the brand has a total of ten different options for Aussies looking for on-the-go audio.

Price-wise, these cheap JBL headphones range from as cheap as $59.99 to as expensive as $129. That might make it one of the most expensive headphone brands you can find at Big W, but that price also correlates to an increase in both sound quality and features like JBL PureBass Sound and support for voice assistant integration.

JBL Free Work From Home Headphone
JBL Free Work From Home Headphone
RRP
$59.95
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    Drivers: 40mm
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    Connectivity: 3.5mm
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    Noise cancelling: No
JBL Tour One M2 Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones
JBL Tour One M2 Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones
RRP
$279
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    Drivers: 40mm
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    Battery life: 30-50 hours
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    Connectivity: 3.5mm + Bluetooth 5.3
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    Noise cancelling: Yes
JBL Tune 720BT Wireless Over-Ear Headphones
JBL Tune 720BT Wireless Over-Ear Headphones
RRP
$129.95
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    Drivers: 40mm
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    Battery life: 76 hours
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    Connectivity: 3.5mm + Bluetooth 5.3
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    Noise cancelling: No
JBL Tune 520BT Wireless On-Ear Headphones
JBL Tune 520BT Wireless On-Ear Headphones
RRP
$79.95
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    Drivers: 40mm
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    Battery life: 57 hours
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    Connectivity: 3.5mm + Bluetooth 3.5
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    Noise cancelling: No
JBL Headphones Wired On Ear T500
JBL Headphones Wired On Ear T500
RRP
$49.95
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    Drivers: 32mm
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    Connectivity: 3.5mm
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    Noise cancelling: No
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    In line microphone: Yes
JBL Tune 670 Wireless Adaptive Noise Cancelling On-Ear Headphones
JBL Tune 670 Wireless Adaptive Noise Cancelling On-Ear Headphones
RRP
$149.95
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    Drivers: 40mm
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    Battery life: 70 hours
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    Connectivity: 3.5mm + Bluetooth 5.3
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    Noise cancelling: Yes

Cheap Big W headphones - Sony

Sony might have built its reputation on premium headphones like the WH-1000XM5 but that's not to say it doesn't offer a few more affordable alternatives. When it comes to Big W headphones, you've got two options to choose from. The main difference between the two is cost, but the more expensive model does come with noise cancelling so that's something to keep in mind.

Sony Overhead Headphone MDRZX110B
Sony Overhead Headphone MDRZX110B
RRP
$44.95
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    Drivers: 30mm
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    Connectivity: 3.5mm
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    Noise cancelling: No
Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones MDRZX110NC
Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones MDRZX110NC
RRP
$99.95
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    Drivers: 30mm
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    Connectivity: 3.5mm
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    Noise cancelling: Yes

How do cheap headphones compare?

How do the headphones available at Big W compare to every other one we've reviewed and recommended?
Product
Rating
Price
Battery life
Fast charging
Noise cancelling
Availability
Fergus Halliday
Written by
Fergus Halliday
Fergus Halliday is a journalist and editor for Reviews.org. He’s written about technology, telecommunications, gaming and more for over a decade. He got his start writing in high school and began his full-time career as the Editor of PC World Australia. Fergus has made the MCV 30 Under 30 list, been a finalist for seven categories at the IT Journalism Awards and won Most Controversial Writer at the 2022 Consensus Awards. He has been published in Gizmodo, Kotaku, GamesHub, Press Start, Screen Rant, Superjump, Nestegg and more.