Google Maps is getting an AI-boosted upgrade to be an even better navigation assistant and your personal tour guide

It looks like Google is going all-in on artificial intelligence (AI), and following the rebranding of its generative AI chatbot from Bard to Gemini, it’s now bringing generative AI recommendations to Google Maps.

The AI-aided recommendations will help Google Maps perform even better searches for a variety of destinations, and the feature is also supposedly able to function as an advisor that can offer insights and tips about things like location, budgets, and the weather. Once the feature is enabled, it can be accessed through the search function, much like existing Google Maps features. Currently, it’s only available for US users, but hopefully, it will roll out worldwide very soon. 

This upgrade of Google Maps is the latest move in Google’s ramped-up AI push, which has seen developments like AI functionality integrated into Google Workspace apps. We’ve also had hints before that AI features and functions were coming to Google Maps – such as an improved Local Guides feature. Local Guides is intended to synthesize local knowledge and experiences and share them with users to help them discover new places.

What we know about how this feature works

Android Police got a first look at how users were introduced to the new AI-powered recommendations feature. A reader got in touch with the website and explained how they were given an option to Search with generative AI in their Google Maps search bar. When selected, it opened up a page that detailed how the new feature makes use of generative AI to provide you with recommendations in a short onboarding exercise. Tapping Continue opens up the next page that provides users with a list of suggested queries like nearby attractions they can go to kill time or good local restaurants.

Similarly to ChatGPT, Google Maps apparently also includes tips toward the bottom of that page to help you improve your search results. Users can add more details to finetune their search like their budget, a place or area they might have in mind, and what the weather looks like when they’re planning to go somewhere. If you select one of these suggested queries, Google Maps will then explain how it would go through the process of selecting specific businesses and locations to recommend.

When the user doesn’t specify an area or region, Google Maps resorts to using the user’s current location. However, if you’d like to localize your results to an area (whether you’re there or not), you’ll have to mention that in your search.

After users try the feature for the first time and go through the short onboarding in Maps, they can access it instantly through the search menu. According to Android Police, Search with generative AI will appear below the horizontal menu that lists your saved location such as Home, Work, and so on.

A promising feature with plenty of potential

Again, this feature is currently restricted to people in the US, but we hope it’ll open up to users in other regions very soon. Along with AI recommendations, Google Maps is also getting a user interface redesign aimed at upgrading the user experience.

While I get that some users might be getting annoyed or overwhelmed with generative AI being injected into every part of our digital lives, this is one app I'd like to try when equipped with AI. Also, Google is very savvy when it comes to improving the user experience of its apps, and I’m keen to see how this feature’s introduction plays out.

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The voter’s guide to AI-generated election misinformation

We live in a time when AI-driven tech is starting to take shape in a real, tangible way and our human cognitive faculties may come in clutch in many ways we don’t even immediately realize. 

Multiple outlets and digital experts have put forth concerns about the upcoming 2024 US election (a traditionally very human affair) and the perpetual surge of information – and misinformation – driven by generative AI. We’ve seen recent elections in many countries happen in tandem with the formation of rapidly-growing pockets of users on social media platforms where misinformation can spread like wildfire.

These groups rapidly share information from dubious sources and questionable figures, false or incorrectly contextualized information from foreign agents or organizations, and misinformation from straight-up bogus news sites. In not-so-distant memory, we’ve witnessed the proliferation of conspiracy theories and efforts to discredit the outcomes of elections based on claims that have been proven false.

The upcoming 2024 US presidential race looks like it will be joining the series in this respect with the ease of content generation in our present AI-aided content era. 

The misinformation sensation

Experts in the field have made statements stating as much; AI-generated content that looks and sounds human is already saturating all kinds of content spaces. This adds to the work it takes to sort through and curate the sheer amount of information and data online, further depending on how much or how little reading and understanding a user is willing to do in the first place.

Such a sentiment is expressed by Ben Winters, senior counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a non-profit privacy research organization. “It will have no positive effects on the information ecosystem,” he says, and that this will continue to lower users’ trust in content they find online.

Manipulated images and other specifically-formulated media aren’t a new phenomenon – photoshopped pictures, impersonating emails, and robocalls are commonly found in our everyday lives. One huge issue with these – and other novel forms of misinformation – is how much easier it’s become to make such content.

A mobile device sat on a laptop keyboard with the ChatGPT blog announcement open in a browser window.

ChatGPT has become incredibly easy to access – and abuse. (Image credit: Shutterstock / Tada Images)

The ease of lying

Not only that, but it’s also become easier to target both specific groups and even specific individuals thanks to AI. With the right tools, it’s now possible to generate highly-tailored content much more efficiently.

If you’ve been following the stories of the development and public debut of AI tools like those developed by OpenAI, you already know that AI-assisted software can create audio based on pre-existing voice input, put together fairly convincing text in all types of tones and styles, and generate images of nearly anything you ask it to. It’s not difficult to imagine these faculties being used to make politically-motivated content of all kinds.

You need just at least a little technical literacy to engage with such tools, but otherwise, anyone’s targeted propaganda wish is AI’s command. While AI detection tools already exist and continue to be developed, they’ve demonstrated markedly mixed effectiveness

One extra wrinkle in all this, as Mekela Panditharatne, counsel for the democracy program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, points out is that tools like Large Language Models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT and Google Bard are trained on an immense quantity of online data. To the public understanding, there’s no process to pick through and verify the accuracy of any one bit of information, so misinformation and false claims are folded into this.

OpenAI logo on wall

OpenAI recently shut down its own AI detection program, AI Classifier – but do companies creating AI tools have a moral responsibility to help separate man from machine? (Image credit: / rafapress)

Fighting the bots

There have also been some reactive efforts made by certain countries to start bringing forth legislation that attempts to begin addressing issues like these, and the tech companies running these services have put in some safeguarding measures.

Is it enough, though? I’m probably not alone in my hesitation to put my worries in this regard to rest, especially considering multiple countries have major elections coming up in the next year.

One such instance where there is a particular concern, highlighted by Panditharatne, is around swathes of content being generated and used to bombard people in order to discourage them from voting. As I mentioned above, it’s possible to automate large amounts of authentic-sounding material to this end, and this could convince someone that they are not able to (or simply shouldn’t) vote. 

That said, reacting may still not be all that effective. While it’s better than not addressing it at all, our memories and attentions are fickle things. Even if we see information that may be more correct or accurate, once we have an initial impression and opinion, it can be hard for our brains to accept it. “The exposure to the initial misinformation is hard to overcome once it happens,” says Chenhao Tan, an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Chicago. 

What can we do about it? 

Content that AI tools have spat out has already spread virally on social media platforms, and the American Association of Political Consultants has cautioned about the “threat to democracy” presented by AI-aided means like deepfaked videos. AI-generated videos and imagery have already been released from the likes of GOP presidential candidate, Ron DeSantis, and the Republican National Committee.

Darrell West from the Center for Technology Innovation, a think tank in Washington D.C., expects to see an increase in AI-created videos, audio, and images to paint political opponents in a bad light. He expressed concerns that voters might “take such claims at face value” and make voting decisions based on false information. 


A recent ‘attack ad’ ran by Republican presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis featured the voice of Donald Trump – but it was in fact AI-generated. (Image credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

So, now that I’ve loaded your plate with doom and gloom (sorry), what are we to do? Well, West recommends that you make an extra effort to consult a variety of media sources and double-check the veracity of claims, especially bold, decisive statements. He recommends that you “examine the source and see if it is a credible source of information.” 

Heather Kelly of the Washington Post has also written a longer guide on how to critically examine what you are consuming, especially with respect to political material. She recommends starting with your own judgment and considering if what you are consuming is an opportunity for misinformation in the first place and why, take your time to actually process and reflect on what you’re reading, watching, or looking at, and save sources you find helpful and informative to build up a collection you can consult as developments occur. 

In the end, it’s as it always has been: the last bastion against misinformation is always you, the reader, the voter. Although AI tools have made it easier to manufacture falsehoods, it’s ultimately up to us to verify that what we read is fact, not fiction. Bear that in mind the next time you’re watching a political ad – it only takes a minute to do your own research online.

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Microsoft’s new AI shopping tools will create a buying guide just for you

Online shopping can be difficult as you’ll have to sift through a ton of information before finding the right product for you. Microsoft aims to take some of that busy work out by introducing some, naturally, AI-powered shopping tools to Bing and Edge.

In total, there are three. First, you have Buying Guides, which as you can probably guess from the name, has Bing write up a literal buying guide telling you what to look for according to a certain category. The AI will show “specifications of multiple, similar items next to each other” on a table so you can easily compare your options without having to jump around a thousand different websites. It’ll even make some suggestions on what you should purchase. 

Microsoft claims Buying Guides are already available on Bing Chat in the United States, however, when we checked, it wasn't as widespread as we had hoped. It was able to create a guide for college supplies like in the video above, but when we asked the AI to make something for gaming headphones, nothing new came up. It was still the old version of Bing where you have to do a lot of the legwork yourself. It appears the update is releasing in waves.

Later on in the year, Microsoft plans on launching the tool internationally. As for Edge, its rendition of Buying Guides is “starting to roll out worldwide”. Be sure to keep an eye out for the patch when it arrives. 

Price tracking

Next is Review Summaries to help you decide between two products you’re interested in. What it does is grab information from reviews to then “briefly summarize what people are saying about it online” through Bing's chatbot. Microsoft states the tool will “provide a quick look at top insights and popular opinions about [a] product”, all in an effort to save you a ton of time. The feature is currently rolling out to all global regions.

The final tool is Price Match, which will monitor an item’s price tag over time and then help you request a retailer match the new number “if it drops.” To make this helpful tool possible, the company partnered up with US retailers that already have price match policies in place. We don’t know the companies honoring the feature apart from Microsoft itself. Interestingly enough, there are plans to have more retailers honor the policy down the line. 

Microsoft says Price Match will soon launch exclusively in the United States. It’s unknown if there are plans to expand this tool internationally. We reached out to Microsoft for more information regarding a global rollout plus if it can tell us the retailers honoring Price Match. We’ll update this story at a later time.

As good as these shopping tools may seem, be sure to stay vigilant when dealing with generative AIs. They can’t totally be trusted as chatbots are “prone to spewing out misinformation”. We're not saying Bing's Buying Guides tool will lie or make up information, but the chance does exist. Developers like OpenAI are working on ways to stop hallucinations from appearing in their tech. However, sometimes, you just can’t beat the human touch.

Use these tools as a backup to guides written by real people. Speaking of which, check out TechRadar’s recently updated list of the best PCs you can buy for 2023.  

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Chrome 98 brings better screenshot support and a privacy guide

Another month brings a new version of Google’s web browser, with Chrome 98 showcasing a bunch of features that are hidden behind a flag.

A privacy guide gives you a better understanding of the sites that have been tracking you for example, alongside a better screenshot function that’s been in development since 2021. Chrome should have updated itself automatically, but you can check by going to About Google Chrome and seeing if it’s either at version 98 or if it’s in the midst of being updated.

For the time being, however, these need to be enabled through the flag feature. This hides experimental features under development, but by going to chrome://flags, you can enable the screenshot and privacy guide function that Google Chrome 98 brings.

With Chrome being released on a monthly schedule, and version 100 being on track to be released in March, there are features being brought to the forefront to better help users, rather than the incremental background updates that are invisible to the casual user. But it shouldn’t be long until we see the privacy guide appear without having to be enabled through a flag. 

Analysis: Google, let’s refine the flags page at last

The flag feature has been in Chrome for as long as the web browser has been released to users. Since 2010, the feature was renamed from Labs to Flags, where the experimental features have remained at chrome://flags.

But the way of navigating these flags has always been a struggle, as you can use a search engine to find a feature, but there’s currently no way of filtering the flags that are enabled. It’s either scrolling up or scrolling down to find these.

Google Chrome flag page

(Image credit: Google)

While Google maintains that this is strictly for power users and developers, having to enable a better screenshot function in Chrome 98 seems pointless for these types of users. It would be great to see a refresh of the flags page, with screenshots for each flag, alongside a way of displaying what flags have been enabled so far.

As we’re heading into triple figures in March with version 100, it could be a nice touch to see this page be modernized for the next 100 updates that Chrome is inevitably going to get.

In recent releases, we’ve seen improvements to the engine that powers Chrome and how it displays web pages, but it would be encouraging to see more features be showcased on the flag page, for the casual user instead.

We’re heading into an age where the web browser is going to be used for much more than work and gaming, as Opera has currently showcased. To appeal to users of features that they can switch on and off by themselves while explaining the benefits could be a good next step for Chrome going forward.

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What is VoIP? A guide for businesses

What is VoIP? If you’re looking to set up a modern business phone system, then your research will no doubt have lead to you to VoIP phones, usually referred to in full as: Voice over Internet Protocol technology.

Did you know that “businesses that switch to VoIP reduce the cost of their local calls by up to 40%, and save up to 90% on international calls”? This is what makes VoIP worth learning about and investing in as business. 

Businesses that switch to VoIP reduce the cost of their local calls by up to 40%, and save up to 90% on international calls


Spending time understanding what VoIP is and how VoIP works can help you save a lot as a business long-term. Understanding this modern digitally-based business phone system is key to choosing the best VoIP services later on.

You've also likely run into the acronym SIP, or Session Initiation Protocol in connection with VoIP. In fact, navigating the world of  business phone systems can often feel like an alphabet soup of acronyms. In this article we'll only be looking at what VoIP is in detail, and how it works with SIP. However, you can learn more about SIP and its difference from VoIP in our article, SIP vs. VoIP: a guide for businesses.

What is VoIP?

First things first, what is VoIP and what  exactly does it stand for? VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and is essentially a digital phone service. Instead of sending audio through traditional phone lines, VoIP phone systems digitize your voice and send packets of audio over the internet. 

In some ways, VoIP is a lot like making a video call—except that you’re only sending audio, not video, back and forth.

As a cost-effective alternative to the traditional analog phone system, businesses enjoy significant savings with cloud based telephony systems like VoIP. With free quotes from the best VoIP phone providers, your business can too.

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Bonline mobile VoIP

(Image credit: bOnline)

We've listed the best VoIP services and best VoIP headsets available for businesses to help give you a head start in your search. Why not also take a look at our popular Nextiva VoIP services review?

Thanks to a rise in remote working and customer preference to contact businesses by phone, popularity for VoIP phone software and VoIP hardware is set to keep growing.

With VoIP phone systems, you can add as many phone lines as your business needs without having to bring in an electrician.

You can also integrate with software to automatically route your calls between departments or to keep a digital recording of every call that comes into your business.

What is SIP?

What is SIP? Well, not quite the refreshing summer drink you were imagining: SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol. It's an open-source communications protocol that is deployed by VoIP phone systems to function. 

For VoIP business phone users, SIP is critical to initiating, maintaining, and terminating a phone call between two or more devices.

It’s particularly important to understand the word protocol in order to understand SIP. In this context, a protocol is a set of rules used by digital devices to communicate with each other. 

VoIP is a communications system, and SIP is a signalling protocol used to support that communications system.

Michael Graw

A protocol like SIP regulates how the exchange of data packets is synchronized between devices and how those data packets are interpreted.

The usefulness of Session Initiation Protocol isn’t limited to enabling VoIP business phone calls. SIP software can also be used to conduct video conferences, exchange instant messages, or distribute multimedia files and other data across global teams. 

SIP vs VoIP: What’s the difference?

Trying to compare SIP and VoIP directly doesn’t really make sense. Why? Comparing the two is like assessing a magician and their assistant side by side. 

One, VoIP, is the principal performer while the other is a support act. VoIP is a communications system, and SIP is a signalling protocol used to support that communications system. 

SIP is one way to deploy your VoIP phone system. It's favoured by telephony managers as it directly connects PBX (private branch exchange) users with public network phone users. 

VoIP business phone systems which use SIP rely on the protocol, to relay information between VoIP-enabled devices. You may notice SIP and VoIP have become somewhat synonymous, since SIP is easily the most widely used protocol for supporting VoIP communications.

SIP trunking explained

With a single SIP trunk, you can have as many incoming or outgoing phone calls as your business requires.

Michael Graw

To run a VoIP phone system using SIP, you’ll need a SIP trunk. If you're wondering 'what is a SIP trunk and how does it work?', panic not. A SIP trunk can be defined as the piece of hardware that enables all the SIP-enabled phones and devices in your business to connect to the internet.

If you're opting for a hosted VoIP service, your SIP trunk will likely located at a nearby data center. 

Or, if you are self-hosting your own VoIP business phone system, the SIP trunk may be installed as part of your business’s internal telephony network.

The great thing about using SIP trunks is that they enable you to connect an unlimited number of lines. Practically, that means with a single SIP trunk, you can have as many incoming or outgoing phone calls as your business requires. 

The most significant limitation on the number of simultaneous VoIP calls your company can handle boils down to your internet bandwidth.

Choosing the right hardware for SIP and VoIP

To run a successful VoIP business phone system based on SIP, you need to have compatible SIP hardware. What does compatible SIP hardware include? 

Individual desk phones, which must be SIP-compatible. Analog phones, for example, won’t be able to connect to a SIP trunk to make and receive calls. The same is true for office phones designed for a protocol other than SIP.

The good news is that since SIP is so widely used for VoIP phone systems, the majority of business handsets and other VoIP-enabled devices are compatible with SIP. 

So, you don’t have to spend a fortune to upgrade your business’s phones to a hard-to-get model. Always check to be certain.

The advantages of SIP for business

Why do so many VoIP providers and businesses use SIP as the protocol supporting their phone system? This protocol has become the most popular VoIP protocol because it offers a number of advantages over alternatives, including these:

✓ SIP is a highly flexible, integration-friendly protocol software

Data packets sent using SIP can be interpreted by other communication protocols, which opens the door for integration with non-SIP software. 

This allows VoIP calls running on SIP to be automatically recorded using third-party software, for example, or for businesses to integrate their digital phone calls with a proprietary internal app. 

SIP’s flexibility also means that your business is unlikely to run into compatibility problems if you change software platforms in the future.

✓ Quality-first, SIP processes VoIP call data individual devices

…is another reason why SIP is ideal for businesses, particularly enterprise-scale businesses. This benefit reduces the amount of network bandwidth being used by an individual call. 

So, you can have more employees making more digital phone calls without experiencing connectivity issues or poor call quality.

✓ The protocol of choice for VoIP

SIP’s popularity has also made it the protocol of choice for new VoIP phone systems. Almost any service provider that offers VoIP supports SIP-enabled handsets, so you’re free to switch providers in the future. 

You’re also unlikely to have trouble finding SIP-compatible software to expand the functionality of your phone system.

Black Rotary Telephone on White Surface

Analog phones cannot connect to a SIP trunk (Image credit: Photo by chepté cormani from Pexels)

Alternatives to SIP for business

SIP may be the most popular protocol for operating a VoIP phone system, but it’s not your only option. 

H.323 is another common protocol found in VoIP systems. In contrast to SIP, H.323 is built to work with both analog phone systems and cloud phone systems.

Most businesses shy away from H.323, however, because it’s difficult to implement and highly complex. And unlike SIP, H.323 is not compatible with a wide range of productivity software applications.

Other alternatives include Media Gateway Control Protocol (MGCP) and Skinny Client Control Protocol (SCCP). 

MGCP is somewhat complex and doesn’t support caller ID, which is a major drawback for many businesses. SCCP is a proprietary protocol used by Cisco, and the company has largely been phasing it out in favor of SIP.

VoIP & SIP Summary

It’s easy to get confused when asking the questions, what is VoIP and what is SIP? 

In short, VoIP is a type of phone system that enables you to place calls through the internet rather than through traditional, analog phone lines. SIP is a communications protocol that enables VoIP calling.

Why should you choose VoIP and SIP? While there are other VoIP protocols available, SIP is by far the most popular, for good reason. It enables VoIP-enabled phones to integrate with a wide range of productivity software. 

And with VoIP for business software and hardware options offering faster, more flexible communication styles it's no wonder VoIP is a favourite with multiple business sectors worldwide. 

SIP also reduces the burden that a VoIP phone system places on your company’s network so that your employees can make and take more calls without a drop in quality. Now that we've covered VoIP, dig into your next read: How to choose a small business VoIP phone service.

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AWS: Your complete guide to Amazon Web Services & features

In the current age of cloud computing, there is now a multitude of mature services available — offering security, scalability, and reliability for many business computing needs. What was once a colossal undertaking to build a data center, install server racks, and design storage arrays has given way to an entire marketplace of services that are always just a click away.

One leader in that marketplace is Amazon Web Services, which consists of 175 products and services in a vast catalog that provides cloud storage, compute power, app deployment, user account management, data warehousing, tools for managing and controlling Internet of Things devices, and just about anything you can think of that a business needs.

AWS really grew in popularity and capability over the last decade. One reason is that AWS is so reliable and secure. It’s a gold standard and used by some of the most well-known brands in existence, such as Netflix, Uber, and Airbnb. What started as primarily a cloud infrastructure for computing power and storage evolved and scaled quickly (like the service offerings themselves) as companies kept looking for more and more products to help them do business.

One example of this is AWS Snowball, a highly unique service that involves a physical device that Amazon sends to you. Companies can off-load legacy data from tape back-up systems or from an entire data center (using multiple Snowball clients). When the migration is finished, an electronic label changes automatically so you can send the devices back. The data then becomes part of AWS and the cloud infrastructure and all the benefits that provides.

AWS is a leader but is also not alone in providing exemplary products and services. Both Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud and the two primary competitors in the space. IBM is also a major cloud provider. Perhaps one distinguishing characteristic of AWS is that Amazon uses its own cloud infrastructure to power, the most popular e-commerce website today.

Another important characteristic — the AWS Management Console is a single point of entry to most services, many of which are compatible with each other and work in conjunction. Even a tiny startup can sign up for an AWS account and get started with the console in a few minutes. There may be one simple “register here” button for AWS, but it opens up the door to a wealth of services and products to help businesses achieve their goals.

Jump to:

List of AWS services

The following Amazon Web Services are available:

AWS AMI: An AWS AMI (Amazon Machine Image) allows you to deploy instances in the cloud. In simple terms, it is like the portion of a local server in a data center or like a virtual machine that runs in the cloud. Without an AMI, the advantages of cloud computing really would not be possible.

AWS AppSync: AppSync is a cloud-based service that keeps mobile and web apps up to date, but only as needed and only at the scale you need for your particular needs. It uses a cost structure that is designed to maintain only critical data and leave data at rest untouched.

Amazon Athena: For companies that house their data in the cloud using a service like Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service), Amazon Athena is a godsend. It’s a query service that allows you to run SQL queries in the cloud, which means there’s no need to operate a local database.

Amazon Aurora: For those who need to deploy a relational database in the cloud, there is one main option from Amazon called Aurora. This means you can rely on a high-performance database that can keep up with the needs of your applications.

AWS Batch: One of the key advantages to the cloud is that the infrastructure can scale as your needs change. AWS Batch is a batch processing service for Big Data projects. As your projects increase in size, the cloud infrastructure supporting it can adapt.

AWS CLI: AWS CLI (Command Line Interface) is a downloadable application you can use to control AWS functions. This command line introduces a new, powerful way to form commands, while making it simple for team members to execute them.

AWS CloudFormation: For companies that need to deploy and manage application stacks and resource, AWS CloudFormation is a way to “form the cloud” so that you can deploy web and mobile apps easily. For managing the cloud, you can use one main command line interface.

AWS CloudFront: A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is normally a difficult undertaking for companies to develop and deploy. AWS CloudFront is a CDN that runs in the cloud and can scale as your media streaming, messaging, and file distribution needs change and evolve.

AWS CodeDeploy: This service allows you to deploy apps in a cloud environment, such as Amazon EC2, AWS Fargate, AWS Lambda, or your on-premise infrastructure. It means faster, more efficient deployment for companies that want to reach a market segment faster.

AWS CodePipeline: Modern application development is a complex undertaking, but AWS CodePipeline allows companies to manage all of the steps involved, from building, testing, and production. It’s an efficient method because of a single point of management and control.

AWS Cognito: User account control is easy when it is part of a brand new app. You might only have a few dozen users. AWS Cognito can help when you start scaling up to hundreds, thousands, or even millions of users, helping with the management and authentication.

Amazon Connect: Amazon Connect is the ultimate way to improve customer service, especially for small businesses. It uses the cloud in order to save storage, it’s pay-as-you-go, and efficient and simple to navigate.

AWS Console: AWS Console is the primary source of controlling the services you use, scaling your cloud environment, and even deploying new services. It is like a one-stop shop for cloud computing needs. AWS Console is extremely fast, easy to use, and even offers support assistance if one of your services isn’t working properly.

Amazon Corretto: A production ready distribution of OpenJDK, Amazon Corretto allows you to create, run and deploy Java applications in the cloud. It’s designed to make this process more efficient and scalable so that you don’t have to overhaul your infrastructure.

AWS Data Pipeline: Data transformation is a term that can make your head spin, especially if you are in charge of the migration. AWS Data Pipeline makes this much more fluid and efficient, even if you are migrating and moving data in a complex environment.

AWS Direct Connect: AWS Direct Connect is a bridge between the old and the new. It’s a service that connects legacy and non-critical data to data stores that are actively deployed for your applications and infrastructure. The data becomes available for apps in real-time.

Amazon DynamoDB: Any garden-variety database running on a server just won’t cut it in the modern age of complex apps for the web and mobile devices. Amazon DynamoDB is a high-performance database that runs in the cloud, with all of the advantages of scale and reliability you’d expect.

AWS EBS: AWS EBS (Elastic Block Store) is a cloud service that allows you to store files in the more traditional block storage format that has existed for decades, which is helpful for legacy apps, Big Data projects, or archiving purposes.

Amazon EC2: Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) provides an IT infrastructure that runs in the cloud. It offers power, flexibility, and performance all at the same time. The biggest benefit of EC2 is that it offers quick, efficient scalability for users.

AWS Elastic Beanstalk: As the name implies, Elastic Beanstalk provides an adaptable, flexible way to scale applications without the usual setup, management, and configuration of the server infrastructure. It’s elastic in the sense that it can adapt and scale to your business needs.

Amazon EMR: Amazon Elastic MapReduce is a service for deploying the frameworks needed to do Big Data analytics in the cloud. It is often used for genomic research, drug discovery, analyzing materials used for new products, and other tests that require massive data analysis.

AWS Fargate: AWS Fargate is Amazon’s serverless compute engine that makes it easier than ever to update or develop an application without fear of a data breach, so that you’re constantly keeping up with new infrastructure demands.

AWS Glue: With AWS Glue, there’s no need for advanced technology in order to keep all of your data in one place. AWS Glue is the “glue” that ties together different kinds of data, making it readily available for queries.

Amazon Kinesis: Amazon Kinesis provides real-time analytics for data as it flows in your cloud infrastructure. The service provides real-time analytics and reporting functions. The real power of Kinesis is that it can keep up with your apps and scale accordingly.

AWS Lambda: AWS Lambda is a computing service provided by Amazon that processes code and automatically operates computing resources as needed. As a cloud-based service, there is never a need to worry about power or storage.

Amazon Lightsail: Amazon Lightsail is a framework that allows developers to run applications on virtual servers in the cloud. Because it is a secure environment and is a compliment to other Amazon services like Elastic Compute Cloud (ECS2), it has a powerful use case.

AWS Outposts: What if you could run a replica of the cloud services Amazon offers, but in your own data center? That’s the idea behind AWS Outposts, a service that provides all of the features and functions of cloud services but in your local infrastructure.

Amazon RDS: Amazon RDS helps companies store relational databases in the cloud. It can be used for analytics, business dashboards, web applications or any app that uses a relational database. This provides added flexibility and an ability to scale to your needs.

Amazon Redshift: Amazon Redshift is an online data warehouse that provides its users with flexibility, ease of navigation, security, automatic updates — and it’s just as effective for large businesses as it is small ones.

Amazon S3: A well-known object storage service, Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) is a powerful, scalable, reliable service that meets the demands of even the most complex enterprise-grade apps and the largest companies and institutions.

Amazon SES: Amazon SES (Simple Email Service) is the best way to improve messaging. It’s pay-as-you-go, and it is designed to fit right into the current IT infrastructure your business uses. It can send several thousand messages without concerns about security or performance.

AWS Snowball: AWS Snowball is a data transfer service that helps businesses perform a more secure data migration. The data being moved will not go through the Internet, so the migration is quicker, safer, and more reliable for if you want to access the information later on. Snowball is extremely scalable, allowing businesses to transport any amount of data they need.

Amazon SNS: Modern applications are constantly communicating with servers and each other. Even simple changes like a new high-score in gaming app has to be transmitted. Amazon SNS (Simple Notification Service) manages, tracks, and controls these messages.

Amazon SQS: Amazon SQS (Simple Queue Service) is a message queuing service that runs independent of the actual infrastructure you are using. It makes sure messages between servers and apps run efficiently, securely, and reliably.

AWS Step Functions: Step Functions allows developers to create apps that uses multiple transactional services. Previous to cloud computing services such as Step Functions, linking to multiple sources was much more complex, which caused issues with reliability.

AWS Storage Gateway: AWS Storage Gateway is a hybrid storage option for companies with legacy data stores but who also are taking advantage of cloud storage. The service bridges the gap between the two, providing one console to control and manage both data stores.

AWS VPC: AWS VPC (Virtual Private Cloud) is, as the name implies, a secure virtual cloud that can help ease the minds of business owners launching a new website, app, or other service. AWS VPC is a separate portion of the Amazon cloud that offers a lot of flexibility and scalability.

AWS WAF: Not all firewalls run as a hardware device in a data center. AWS WAF (Web Application Firewall) is a cloud based firewall you use to protect apps and data in the cloud. Companies can add ore remove cloud security features depending on their needs.

AWS X-Ray: One of the most curiously named products from Amazon, X-Ray should not be confused with the Amazon Prime Video service for finding out more about actors. It’s a cloud service that tracks and manages all of the messaging that occurs between cloud-based apps.

Complete list of Amazon Web Services

Complete list of Amazon Web Services

The following is a list of every Amazon Web Service available at this time. It’s likely Amazon will expand the product offering in 2020, and we’ll update this list accordingly.

  1. Analytics
  2. Application Integration
  3. AR&VR
  4. AWS Cost Management
  5. Blockchain
  6. Business Applications
  7. Compute
  8. Customer Engagement
  9. Database
  10. Developer Tools
  11. End User Computing
  12. Game Tech
  13. Internet of Things
  14. Machine Learning
  15. Management & Governance
  16. Media Services
  17. Migration & Transfer
  18. Mobile
  19. Networking & Content Delivery
  20. Quantum Technologies
  21. Robotics
  22. Satellite
  23. Security & Compliance
  24. Storage

1. Analytics

Amazon Athena: Query Data in S3 using SQL

Amazon CloudSearch: Managed Search Service

Amazon Elasticsearch Service: Run and Scale Elasticsearch Clusters

Amazon EMR: Hosted Hadoop Framework

Amazon Kinesis: Work with Real-time Streaming Data

Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka: Fully managed Apache Kafka service

Amazon Redshift: Fast, Simple, Cost-effective Data Warehousing

Amazon QuickSight: Fast Business Analytics Service

AWS Data Exchange: Find, subscribe to, and use third-party data in the cloud

AWS Data Pipeline: Orchestration Service for Periodic, Data-driven Workflows

AWS Glue: Prepare and Load Data

AWS Lake Formation: Build a secure data lake in days

2. Application Integration

Amazon Athena: Query Data in S3 using SQL

Amazon CloudSearch: Managed Search Service

Amazon Elasticsearch Service: Run and Scale Elasticsearch Clusters

Amazon EMR: Hosted Hadoop Framework

Amazon Kinesis: Work with Real-time Streaming Data

3. AR and VR

Amazon Sumerian: Build and Run VR and AR Applications

4. AWS Cost Management

AWS Cost Explorer: Analyze Your AWS Cost and Usage

AWS Budgets: Set Custom Cost and Usage Budgets

AWS Cost and Usage Report: Access Comprehensive Cost and Usage Information

Reserved Instance Reporting: Dive Deeper into Your Reserved Instances (RIs)

Savings Plans: Save up to 72% on compute usage with flexible pricing

5. Blockchain

Amazon Managed Blockchain: Create and manage scalable blockchain networks

Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB): Fully managed ledger database

6. Business Applications

Alexa for Business: Empower your Organization with Alexa

Amazon Chime: Frustration-free Meetings, Video Calls, and Chat

Amazon WorkDocs: Secure enterprise document storage and sharing

Amazon WorkMail: Secure and Managed Business Email and Calendaring

7. Compute

Amazon EC2: Virtual Servers in the Cloud

Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling: Scale Compute Capacity to Meet Demand

Amazon Elastic Container Registry: Store and Retrieve Docker Images

Amazon Elastic Container Service: Run and Manage Docker Containers

Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service: Run Managed Kubernetes on AWS

Amazon Lightsail: Launch and Manage Virtual Private Servers

AWS Batch: Run Batch Jobs at Any Scale

AWS Elastic Beanstalk: Run and Manage Web Apps

AWS Fargate: Run Containers without Managing Servers or Clusters

AWS Lambda: Run your Code in Response to Events

AWS Outposts: Run AWS services on-premises

AWS Serverless Application Repository: Discover, Deploy, and Publish Serverless Applications

AWS Wavelength: Deliver ultra-low latency applications for 5G devices

VMware Cloud on AWS: Build a Hybrid Cloud without Custom Hardware

8. Customer Engagement

Amazon Connect: Cloud-based Contact Center

Amazon Pinpoint: Personalized User Engagement Across Channels

Amazon Simple Email Service (SES): Email Sending and Receiving

Contact Lens for Amazon Connect: Contact center analytics powered by ML

9. Database

Amazon Aurora: High Performance Managed Relational Database

Amazon DynamoDB: Managed NoSQL Database

Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility): Fully managed document database

Amazon ElastiCache: In-memory Caching System

Amazon Managed Apache Cassandra Service: Managed Cassandra-compatible database

Amazon Neptune: Fully Managed Graph Database Service

Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB): Fully managed ledger database

Amazon RDS: Managed Relational Database Service for MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, SQL Server, and MariaDB

Amazon RDS on VMware: Automate on-premises database management

Amazon Redshift: Fast, Simple, Cost-effective Data Warehousing

Amazon Timestream: Fully managed time series database

AWS Database Migration Service: Migrate Databases with Minimal Downtime

10. Developer Tools

Amazon Corretto: Production-ready distribution of OpenJDK

AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK): Model cloud infrastructure using code

AWS Cloud9: Write, Run, and Debug Code on a Cloud IDE

AWS CodeBuild: Build and Test Code

AWS CodeCommit: Store Code in Private Git Repositories

AWS CodeDeploy: Automate Code Deployment

AWS CodePipeline: Release Software using Continuous Delivery

AWS CodeStar: Develop and Deploy AWS Applications

AWS Command Line Interface: Unified Tool to Manage AWS Services

AWS Device Farm: Test Android, iOS, and web apps on real devices in the AWS cloud

AWS Tools and SDKs: Tools and SDKs for AWS

AWS X-Ray: Analyze and debug your applications

11. End User Computing

Amazon AppStream 2.0: Stream Desktop Applications Securely to a Browser

Amazon WorkDocs: Secure enterprise document storage and sharing

Amazon WorkLink: Enable mobile access to internal websites

Amazon WorkSpaces: Desktop Computing Service

12. Game Tech

Amazon GameLift: Simple, Fast, Cost-effective Dedicated Game Server Hosting

Amazon Lumberyard: A Free Cross-platform 3D Game Engine with Full Source, Integrated with AWS and Twitch

13. Internet of Things

AWS IoT Core: Connect Devices to the Cloud

Amazon FreeRTOS: IoT Operating System for Microcontrollers

AWS Greengrass: Local Compute, Messaging, and Sync for Devices

AWS IoT 1-Click: One Click Creation of an AWS Lambda Trigger

AWS IoT Analytics: Analytics for IoT Devices

AWS IoT Button: Cloud Programmable Dash Button

AWS IoT Device Defender: Security Management for IoT Devices

AWS IoT Device Management: Onboard, Organize, and Remotely Manage IoT Devices

AWS IoT Events: IoT event detection and response

AWS IoT SiteWise: IoT data collector and interpreter

AWS IoT Things Graph: Easily connect devices and web services

AWS Partner Device Catalog: Curated catalog of AWS-compatible IoT hardware

14. Machine Learning

Amazon SageMaker: Build, Train, and Deploy Machine Learning Models at Scale

Amazon Augmented AI: Easily implement human review of ML predictions

Amazon CodeGuru (Preview): Automate code reviews and identify expensive lines of code

Amazon Comprehend: Discover Insights and Relationships in Text

Amazon Elastic Inference: Deep learning inference acceleration

Amazon Forecast: Increase forecast accuracy using machine learning

Amazon Fraud Detector (Preview): Detect more online fraud faster

Amazon Kendra: Reinvent enterprise search with ML

Amazon Lex: Build Voice and Text Chatbots

Amazon Personalize: Build real-time recommendations into your applications

Amazon Polly: Turn Text into Lifelike Speech

Amazon Rekognition: Analyze Image and Video

Amazon SageMaker Ground Truth: Build accurate ML training datasets

Amazon Textract: Extract text and data from documents

Amazon Translate: Natural and Fluent Language Translation

Amazon Transcribe: Automatic Speech Recognition

AWS Deep Learning AMIs: Quickly Start Deep Learning on EC2

AWS Deep Learning Containers: Docker images for deep learning

AWS DeepComposer: ML enabled musical keyboard

AWS DeepLens: Deep Learning Enabled Video Camera

AWS DeepRacer: Autonomous 1/18th scale race car, driven by ML

Amazon Inferentia: Machine learning inference chip

Apache MXNet on AWS: Scalable, High-performance Deep Learning

TensorFlow on AWS: Open-source Machine Intelligence Library

15. Management and Governance

Amazon CloudWatch: Monitor Resources and Applications

AWS Auto Scaling: Scale Multiple Resources to Meet Demand

AWS Chatbot: ChatOps for AWS

AWS CloudFormation: Create and Manage Resources with Templates

AWS CloudTrail: Track User Activity and API Usage

AWS Command Line Interface: Unified tool to manage AWS services

AWS Compute Optimizer: Identify optimal AWS Compute resources

AWS Config: Track Resource Inventory and Changes

AWS Control Tower: Set up and govern a secure, compliant, multi-account environment

AWS Console Mobile Application: Access resources on the go

AWS License Manager: Track, manage, and control licenses

AWS Management Console: Web-based user interface

AWS Managed Services: Infrastructure operations management for AWS

AWS OpsWorks: Automate Operations with Chef and Puppet

AWS Organizations: Central governance and management across AWS accounts

AWS Personal Health Dashboard: Personalized View of AWS Service Health

AWS Service Catalog: Create and Use Standardized Products

AWS Systems Manager: Gain Operational Insights and Take Action

AWS Trusted Advisor: Optimize Performance and Security

AWS Well-Architected Tool: Review and improve your workloads

16. Media Services

Amazon Elastic Transcoder: Easy-to-use Scalable Media Transcoding

Amazon Kinesis Video Streams: Process and Analyze Video Streams

AWS Elemental MediaConnect: Reliable and secure live video transport

AWS Elemental MediaConvert: Convert File-based Video Content

AWS Elemental MediaLive: Convert Live Video Content

AWS Elemental MediaPackage: Video Origination and Packaging

AWS Elemental MediaStore: Media Storage and Simple HTTP Origin

AWS Elemental MediaTailor: Video Personalization and Monetization

AWS Elemental Appliances & Software: On-premises media solutions

17. Migration and Transfer

AWS Migration Hub: Track Migrations from a Single Place

AWS Application Discovery Service: Discover On-Premises Applications to Streamline Migration

AWS Database Migration Service: Migrate Databases with Minimal Downtime

AWS DataSync: Simple, fast, online data transfer

AWS Server Migration Service: Migrate On-Premises Servers to AWS

AWS Snow Family: Physical devices to migrate data into and out of AWS

AWS Transfer for SFTP: Fully managed SFTP service

CloudEndure Migration: Automate your mass migration to AWS

18. Mobile

AWS Amplify: Build and deploy mobile and web applications

Amazon API Gateway: Build, Deploy, and Manage APIs

Amazon Pinpoint: Personalized User Engagement Across Channels

AWS AppSync: Power your apps with the right data from many sources, at scale

AWS Device Farm: Test Android, iOS, and web apps on real devices in the AWS cloud

19. Networking and Content Delivery

Amazon VPC: Isolated Cloud Resources

Amazon API Gateway: Build, Deploy, and Manage APIs

Amazon CloudFront: Global Content Delivery Network

Amazon Route 53: Scalable Domain Name System

AWS PrivateLink: Securely Access Services Hosted on AWS

AWS App Mesh: Monitor and control microservices

AWS Cloud Map: Application resource registry for microservices

AWS Direct Connect: Dedicated Network Connection to AWS

AWS Global Accelerator: Improve application availability and performance

AWS Transit Gateway: Easily scale VPC and account connections

Elastic Load Balancing: Distribute incoming traffic across multiple targets

20. Quantum Technologies

Amazon Braket: Explore and experiment with quantum computing

21. Robotics

AWS RoboMaker: Develop, test, and deploy robotics applications

22. Satellite

AWS Ground Station: Fully managed ground station as a service

23. Security and Compliance

AWS RoboMaker: Develop, test, and deploy robotics applications

AWS Ground Station: Fully managed ground station as a service

AWS Identity & Access Management: Manage User Access and Encryption Keys

Amazon Cognito: Identity Management for your Apps

Amazon Detective: Investigate potential security issues

Amazon GuardDuty: Managed Threat Detection Service

Amazon Inspector: Analyze Application Security

Amazon Macie: Discover, Classify, and Protect your Data

AWS Artifact: On-demand access to AWS compliance reports

AWS Certificate Manager: Provision, Manage, and Deploy SSL/TLS Certificates

AWS CloudHSM: Hardware-based Key Storage for Regulatory Compliance

AWS Directory Service: Host and Manage Active Directory

AWS Firewall Manager: Central Management of Firewall Rules

AWS Key Management Service: Managed Creation and Control of Encryption Keys

AWS Resource Access Manager: Simple, secure service to share AWS resources

AWS Secrets Manager: Rotate, Manage, and Retrieve Secrets

AWS Security Hub: Unified security and compliance center

AWS Shield: DDoS Protection

AWS Single Sign-On: Cloud Single Sign-On (SSO) Service

AWS WAF: Filter Malicious Web Traffic

24. Storage

Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3): Scalable Storage in the Cloud

Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS): EC2 block storage volumes

Amazon Elastic File System (EFS): Fully managed file system for EC2

Amazon FSx for Lustre: High-performance file system integrated with S3

Amazon FSx for Windows File Server: Fully managed Windows native file system

Amazon S3 Glacier: Low-cost Archive Storage in the Cloud

AWS Backup: Centralized backup across AWS services

AWS Snow Family: Physical devices to migrate data into and out of AWS

AWS Storage Gateway: Hybrid Storage Integration

CloudEndure Disaster Recovery: Highly automated disaster recovery

Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka: Fully managed Apache Kafka service

Amazon Redshift: Fast, Simple, Cost-effective Data Warehousing

Amazon QuickSight: Fast Business Analytics Service

AWS Data Exchange: Find, subscribe to, and use third-party data in the cloud

AWS Data Pipeline: Orchestration Service for Periodic, Data-driven Workflows

AWS Glue: Prepare and Load Data

AWS Lake Formation: Build a secure data lake in days

AWS Step Functions: Coordinate Distributed Applications

Amazon EventBridge: Serverless event bus for SaaS apps & AWS services

Amazon MQ: Managed Message Broker for ActiveMQ

Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS): Pub/Sub, Mobile Push and SMS

Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS): Managed Message Queues

Amazon AppSync: Power your apps with the right data from many sources, at scale

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Best cheap headphones: your guide to the best budget headphones in 2020

Looking for cheap headphones, but don't want to skimp on sound quality, comfort, and modern conveniences like noise cancelation and Bluetooth? You've come to the right place. 

Headphones are like pieces of art: while the real connoisseurs can spend a fortune on them, for most folks, budget models work just as well. Just like art, there's a big difference between finger painting and Picasso – with a happy medium somewhere in between – and the same is true for headphones. 

Here at TechRadar, we’ve sort of built a reputation for covering all of the latest, greatest and priciest technology in the world. However, even in the face of all of that high-end equipment, we still have a passion for finding great tech items that anyone can afford, and the best cheap headphones are a great place to start. 

It’s this passion for affordability that inspired us to create this list of the best cheap headphones on the market in 2020 – we’ve put our bargain-hunting prowess to great use and found a great deal of cheap headphones that you can buy without thinking twice about it.

Best cheap headphones at a glance

Cheap earphones: RHA MA390
Cheap wireless earphones: OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2
Cheap true wireless earbuds: JLab Go Air True Wireless Earbuds
Cheap on-ear headphones: Grado SR60e
Cheap on-ear wireless headphones: Audio-Technica ATH-S200BT
Cheap over-ear headphones: Monoprice 8323 Hi-FI DJ Style Headphones
Cheap noise-canceling headphones: Taotronics TT-BH040
Cheap studio monitor headphones: Beyerdynamic DT 240 Pro

What are the best cheap headphones?


Everyone's talking about true wireless, but there are still plenty of reasons to go wired. Two of the biggest reasons is sound quality and price. While there are cheap wireless headphones out there, they usually sound much worse than wired headphones for the same price. 

In the budget in-ear headphone category, you usually sacrifice sound and build quality for price. However, there are rare gems that are affordable, sound great, and are built well. The RHA MA390 is one of those headphones. 

While the RHA MA390 is the cheapest headphone the company makes, it doesn’t sacrifice on build quality, design, or sound: These headphones are beautifully crafted out of aluminum, feature a braided cable, and a universal remote that works with Android and iOS. While not perfect, the RHA M390 are an excellent value in the budget in-ear category. 

If these don't take you fancy, check out our roundup of the best earbuds for every budget. 

Read the full review: RHA MA390 in-ear headphones review

oneplus bullets wireless 2

OnePlus is most known for its “flagship killer” phones like the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro,, but the company also makes headphones – the best example of which are the company’s excellent Bullets Wireless 2, which offer an incredible value in the neck-bud headphone category. 

In terms of audio quality, they boast a lively sonic presentation and an accurate-feeling soundstage, although bass-heads may want to look elsewhere for headphones that pack a bassier punch. 

They may be $ 30 more expensive than their predecessors, but the improved battery life and sound quality makes up for that; it also makes it worth upgrading if you have the originals and are due a new pair of wireless earbuds. 

Read the full review: OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 review

jlab go air

The JLab Go Air True Wireless Earbuds will cost just $ 29 / £29 when they’re released in March, and while we’re still waiting for official confirmation of pricing outside the US and UK, that works out at around AU$ 40. In other words, they're unbelievably cheap compared to the rest of the true wireless market.

The JLab Go Airs herald a new age of truly affordable true wireless earbuds – but you get what you pay for with these super-cheap buds. The sound quality is too poor for us to wholeheartedly recommend them, but the Go Airs are so cheap that they could make a good pair of ‘backup’ buds to stow in your bag and forget about until you forget your main pair or they run out of battery.

If you really can’t abide the poor sound quality on offer here (and it is poor, make no mistake), but you like the sound of JLab’s low prices, you could check out the JBuds Air Executive – at $ 69 (about £55 / AU$ 100) they’re a bit pricier, but they offer better sound and better battery life. 

Better yet, the Lypertek Tevi true wireless buds cost £99 (about $ 130 / AU$ 140), and are nearly faultless for the price. 

Read the full review: JLab Go Air True Wireless Earbuds review

Grado SR60e

For your money, you can't do any better than Grado's SR60e. The third-generation of the Brooklyn, NY-based company's Prestige Series is its best and most refined yet. 

The SR60e in particular is a smart choice if you're looking for an entry-level set of headphones that sounds like it should cost you way more than it does. 

Their open-backed ear cup design makes them a more breathable experience than what most on-ear headphones can deliver, although this does mean that they're not ideal for use in loud environments where sound can 'leak' in and disrupt your listening. 

That said, in terms of pure sound quality, they're our gold-standard when it comes to on-ears.

Read the full review: Grado SR60i review (our review is for the SR60i, but the newer SR60e headphones are largely similar in design and performance).

cheap on-ear

You, like everyone else, probably wants a set of headphones that nails the tricky blend of design, useful features and incredible sound. You might think that you need to flush your savings to enjoy such a pair of cans. Protip: you don't.

The Audio-Technica ATH-S200BT are a well-built, great-sounding, long-lasting pair of headphones. Their features constantly outweigh their modest price and we can’t get enough of that 40-hour battery life. While technological advancements usually mean a premium price, that's just not the case with the Audio-Technica ATH-S200BT. 

Read the full review: Audio-Technica ATH-S200BT review


It’s easy to spend an arm and a leg on good over-ear headphones. Barring the exception of noise-cancelling and planar magnetic cans, they are the top dogs of the audio world. Really good over-ears should be the most comfortable, most versatile headphones in your audio arsenal. They should be just as adept with Hi-Def audio sources of 16-bit/44.1KHz as they are streaming from Spotify, and they should do so without sacrificing either end of the audio spectrum. 

In our testing we found a half-dozen that can do the job (the Status Audio CB-1 come to mind, as do the Sennheiser HD201 and Audio-Technica ATH-M20X) but, of them all, the Monoprice 8323 Hi-FI DJ Style Headphones are the cream of the crop. They’re a bit cheaper constructed than the others, but for their price they sound outrageously clear. Balanced and powerful, the Monoprice 8323 is the epitome of what the best cheap headphones should be.

over-ear headphones

If you’re not wedded to the idea of owning full-size headphones, there’s quite a lot of competition worth considering around this price. However, you can’t argue with the Taotronics TT-BH040s' value: while not packed with character, they carry themselves with a premium look above the affordable price tag, with aluminum touches and a generally pleasant design. 

From a distance, and even close up, few would guess they are so affordable … just don’t buy them expecting the same performance as the most desirable pairs from Beats, Sennheiser or Bose.

studio headphones

Beyerdynamic makes loads of equipment for both audiophiles and audio professionals, and some of it comes at a high price. But, the Beyerdynamic DT 240 Pro headphones find a sweet spot offering professional audio and a high standard in design for a lower price point.

The DT 240 Pro headphones cost $ 99 (£89, AU$ 139), making them more affordable than heaps of other studio monitor headphones. This price puts them in close competition with some of Audio-Technica’s cans, like the widely praised ATH-M40X or the wireless ATH-SR5BT, which can be found on sale in the same ballpark as the DT 240 Pro.

Beyerdynamic shines in performance with the DT 240 Pro. As studio monitor headphones, the sound produced is not very colorful, but that’s exactly as it should be. All the sound comes through clean and incredibly well balanced.

The bass is easy to pick up on without being thumpy, though with a subtle punch at higher volumes. From the bass on up to the high end, all the sounds mesh clearly, with the DT 240 Pros not boosting one register over the other.

They're neutral, perfect for recording and best of all, cheap.

Read the full review: Beyerdynamic DT 240 PRO review

 What to look for in cheap headphones 

 In order to create this guide, we’ve tested, listened to and compared over 25 headphones in every category, shape and size. When we found a great pair, we then put it against the rest back-to-back-to-back to make sure they still really deserved the title of ‘best cheap headphones’. 

You might be wondering what we were looking for through all this expansive testing? Sound fidelity was clearly the most essential detail – but we also made sure to consider comfort, design and other features also.

Like most people, we prefer our music detail-rich and well-balanced. We can live with our music sounding a bit warm with an emphasis on the mids and highs, but we still like to be able to feel the bass. Also, it’s important to look for headphones with reasonable battery life if they’re wireless, a robust, durable build that will stand up to the trials of everyday commute and comfortable padding to help make longer listening sittings nice and comfortable. 

Keep in mind though, that testing headphones will be, at least on some level, subjective, and our taste in tonal balance might not match yours (neither will the size of our head or the shape of our ears). Still, we’ve done our best to take subjectivity out of the equation and can present, through our expertise, the best cheap headphones that won’t hurt your wallet.

By their very nature, the headphones you prefer will ultimately boil down to your own personal taste. However, seeing as the headphone market is extremely saturated, it is genuinely hard to figure out what the best headphones for your tastes actually are. That’s where we come in. 

Now, bear with us – it’s impossible to get our hands on every affordable pair of headphones, but we won’t recommend anything we haven’t used ourselves. So if we missed your favorite pair of Beats headphones, it wasn’t on purpose, we assure you.

With this guide, we went through a process – exhaustively testing a huge amount of cheap headphones from all over the internet in every style under the sun. In-ear, over-ear, wireless – everything you can think of. 

We then took the results of all of this exhaustive testing, and measured each headphone against each other until we could confidently pick a few to proudly wear the ‘best cheap headphones’ badge. So rest assured, even if we didn’t pick your favorite headphone, there isn’t a single pair in this list that will disappoint.

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