Updated in January, 2021
There is a ton of new-ish products here from Burris, Leupld, Kowa, Bushnell and others. The numbers are sufficiently large that I am not convinced I can cover it without some sort of a pre-screening process. Normally, I would do that at SHOT, but there is no SHOT this year.
If you can deal with the bulk, Swift still makes the 8.5×44 Audubon and that is still the best optics you will find under $500 for quite a few years now.
The best overall choice here for a general purpose roof prism bino, from what I have seen, is Meopta MeoPro 8×42 or 8×32 if you want to go a little smaller.
I do like the Steiner Peregrine 8×32 roof and Navigator 7×30 porro
You can also often find Vortex Viper HD dropping down into this price range.
These are all very competent general purpose design for comparatively not that much money.
I have been messing the Chase binoculars for Delta Optical for a bit now. They have good optics and really excellent ergonomics. They are definitely in the running.