These 99 Cent Store Wireless Headphones Are Pretty Damn Good

99 Cent Store Bluetooth Wireless Headphones, sitting on top of Beats by Dre PowerBeats2 wireless earbuds
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99 Cent Store Bluetooth Wireless Headphones, sitting on top of Beats by Dre PowerBeats2 wireless earbuds
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My 99 Cent Store Bluetooth Wireless Headphones crushing your Beats by Dre PowerBeats2 wireless earbuds

Are you laughing at my 99 Cent Store Bluetooth wireless headphones?  I’m crying at how much you paid for your crappy ‘PowerBeats’.

My cousin threw his PowerBeats2 Wireless In-Ear Headphones into the trash.  He told me to immediately return mine.  They stopped pairing properly, and didn’t even stay in his ears.

They were useless.  That’s $150 you can’t get back.

I ignored that advice.  Three weeks later, I’m trying to glue the right earbud together with epoxy in my kitchen.  All the while trying not to accidentally glue the on/off switch.  Total crap — and I’m sadly not alone in that assessment.

But it’s not just Beats…

I’d say it’s a Beats problem, but it’s more accurately a wireless Bluetooth headphone problem.  I’ve heard Beats’ new ‘W1’ third-generation wireless headphones are pretty good, so maybe I’ll come around.  The only problem: I don’t want to blow $200-$350 to learn another hard lesson.

So maybe other brands are figuring this out?

I’m not so sure.  Motorola — a high-quality brand —sent me a pair of their in-ear, VerveOnes+ wireless earbuds.  They look totally revolutionary, nobody knows what they are.  Finally, I had something that nobody else had!

Only problem: they’re the worst earbuds I’ve ever owned.  They fall out in workouts, they stop pairing, and the two sides fall out of sync.  And all within the first month.

They also cost $250.  I’m also going to throw them in the trash.

And Apple, the brand that used to solve our problems, is plunging us headlong into the biggest problem of our modern music lives.  The AirPod isn’t arriving by Christmas for a reason.  And what is that reason?  The entire company realized they were about to drop the crappiest product in Apple’s history on the world.

Now, they’re figuring a way out of that.  But have fun with your crappy iPhone 7 adapter in the meantime.

Let’s face it: wireless Bluetooth headphones f–king suck.  And we’re all suckers for paying hundreds of dollars for this scam.

So what’s wrong with wireless, Bluetooth headphones?

1. Bluetooth is an inferior technology.

For starters, Bluetooth itself is an inferior connectivity technology.  It’s a wireless solution in progress, and it almost always fails.  I used to think the car was a safe space for pairing Bluetooth.  Now I realize that in-dash Bluetooth connections are equally prone to wretched failure.

2. Wireless headphones aren’t ready for prime time.

Bluetooth wireless headphones should still be in a lab somewhere.  Not on our ears.  These companies should be ironing out the problems instead of charging us $300 for products that don’t work.  We’re not guinea pigs!

(Note: I’ll reserve judgment on the Beats’ W1, but my expectations aren’t high).

3. Competition/profit pressures are screwing consumers.

None of these companies want to be left behind.  That’s how people get fired inside suffocating groupthink tech giants.  Add the relentless pressure to make a profit, and the result is a half-baked product push.

So instead of waiting and making it great, headphones are entering a dark age of wireless blah.  And you’re paying $300 for a front row seat.

Which is why I recommend these ‘Art+Sound’ brand wireless headphones, available at 99 Cent Stores.

Technically, it’s the 99 Cents Only Store — but commonly called the ’99 Cents Store’ by the locals. Enter ‘Art+Sound,’ which just figured out a way to deliver a working, wireless Bluetooth-enabled pair of headphones for $5.99.  No, they’re not 99-cents.  But someone is actually delivering a working pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones for under $6.

Here’s a rundown of how they performed.

The sound quality?

Pretty bad!  But, absolutely great if you need something to sweat into, stuff into a gym bag, or use in bad weather or messy environments.  And never worry about.

I workout to ‘Insanity’ from my iPad.  I need to hear the guy yelling out stuff and some background music.  This does that perfectly.

Wireless calling?

Not so good! My girlfriend said I sounded distant (sure, she was talking about the headphones…)

Pairing capabilities?

Very average!  I could pair my iPhone no problem, but couldn’t connect to my MacBook.  Then again, that sounds like every other Bluetooth device I own.  The bar is that low.  So for $6…


Non-existent!  The box says ‘Extra Bass’.  That would be hyperbolic.

Battery Life.

Not bad! 4 hours+.


Extremely high.  And that’s the best part.  If these get stolen, crushed, water-logged, etc., you definitely won’t care.

Image/cool factor.

Extremely low!  You will not get laid wearing these.  But, you WILL have extra cash to spend on someone you’re attracted to.  So think big picture.


There’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack, if you want to go wired.  Not only that, the Art+Sound $5.99 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones come in an attractive box.


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I’m not sure these are available at all 99 Cent Stores.  I got mine on Pico Blvd. by the 405 freeway in Los Angeles.  But call ahead.

You’re welcome.

12 Responses

  1. Anders

    Surprisingly you can often score decent over ear headphones at Ross…,

    Otherwise, don’t trust the tech providers or ‘appcessory’ makers for headphones. Their values are not in line with enjoying the music they pimp, control and peddle.

    Try any of these…–Headphones

    The Audio Technica ATH series are clear, balanced and very comfy, as are the Sony MD series , but many other cheaper brands are just fine….

  2. sgroovez

    Sadly, Beats is the same as the Monster brand. All hype and very little actual specifications that actually show that there is some sort of improvement. However, it all comes down to how the listener perceives the sound. If they feel that spending the money makes them sound better, all the more power to them. They have just taken the placebo and are enjoying the benefits of mind power!

    • Paul Resnikoff

      Most music fans aren’t audiophiles. I was a little surprised by Tidal’s claim that 3 MM people are paying for high-end audio, let’s see if that’s actually real. What Beats has proven is the opposite: people care about audio quality to an extent, but they care far more about image and brand. It’s the same with a lot of other product categories (sneakers, clothing, cars, etc.)

  3. Mike

    This was one of the best reviews I have read. Funny and informative. All I was looking for were some cheap driveway reflectors and I wondered if 99cent has a website. They have great large martini glasses that my wife continually breaks.

  4. Anonymous

    Cheap headphones — not earbuds — are often quite good. It’s actually pretty weird.

    And even the cheapest are way better than mid-range consumer speakers (not to mention pc speakers).

  5. Pedro

    Marketing is one of worst enemies for sound quality. There are plenty of options out there for 20 bucks that accomplish their mission much better than a pair of 250.

    One of my favorite´s are the QCY-AY19

    Great performance, noise cancellation, good design, don´t drop off the ears,….. the link is in spanish but those are worth the purchase.

  6. Alex

    This spring I got a pair of Bluetooth wireless on-ear headphones for $29 that I am pretty happy with. They are Chinese-made Bluedio Turbines. I’ve had to use electrical tape when one sides plastic arm snapped from overstretching but other than that they are great. Nice bass and mids, quick pairing with my phone and laptop. The sound isn’t Beats or Sennheiser but hey, $29 with free shipping on Amazon.

  7. Joe

    Thank you for this review I have had mine since about October and they are still running strong u is notice you didn’t mention they come with a warranty on the receipt just in case you get a defective pair. Again great write up

  8. Bryan

    I bought a pair of these headphones for $5.99 at a “99c Only” in Santa Fe Springs, and I’m pleasantly surprised by their quality. Like all bluetooth headphones, the audio is not great, but it’s better than several of the BT headphones that I’ve paid more than 20 times as much for.

    How well they will do for you will depend a lot on what you want to use them for. Like the authors says, for phone calls they’re not good at all. The microphone just doesn’t pick ip your voice properly. For music, they’re just OK. Think $20-30 Sony or JVCs that you might find at the till at a pharmacy. Where they do quite well is where I use them the most — spoken word. I listen to 5-8 hours a day of podcasts and audiobooks, and these are perfect for that. Clean sound, no distortion, no fatigue.

  9. David Miller

    it’s more accurately a wireless Bluetooth headphone problem. I’ve heard Beats’ new ‘W1’ third-generation wireless headphones are pretty good, so maybe I’ll come around.

  10. Kevin

    Just bought this for my 6 yr old daughter. It’s perfect since she doesn’t care too much for brand name stuff. Plus, it’s something that I won’t get mad if she breaks it, like all little kids do.

    You said the one you bought has a 3.5mm headphone jack. Where is it? I have the AR502 model and I dont see one on here.

  11. Chingatch

    I’ve still got mine! Yeah, should have got a couple more.
    Gone through other more expensive ($25) ones that the charging plug blew out on. Went back to these. The headband kind of dug into my bald head, but I fixed that with a couple adhesive felt strips.
    “ProTip” Dial them in with an equalizer program. 😉
    Also a while back, picked up some COBY wired headphones there that sound great too! I DID get a few of those!
    Moral of the story… Go ahead and try out the “low cost” options, you may be surprised. Other side: If I had all the money I wasted saving money, I would have just wasted it on something else.