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8 Best Earbuds Under $100 in 2023 (that should cost more)

Last updated: 4 months ago
9 min read

Here are the best earbuds under $100 that sound good, have a comfy fit, and have the latest features. (Honestly, these should cost more).

We test and review headphones based on an independent 9-point methodology. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Rating Price Sound signature Connection Mic & Controls More info
Under $60
Wired – 3.5mm (L-shaped plug)
Under $100
Wired – 3.5mm (L-shaped plug)
Only SE215m+
Under $100
Bluetooth 5.0
Under $80
Bluetooth 5.3
Under $70
Wired – 3.5mm (I-shaped plug)
Under $100
Wired – 3.5mm (L-shaped plug)
Under $100
Wired – 3.5mm (L-shaped plug)
Under $80
Bluetooth 5.3
CONTENTS (show more)

    Why pay top dollar when you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get high-quality earbuds?

    You can find better-value earbuds under $100 price tags that sound good, have a great build, and make for a perfect portable companion. Here we discuss the pros & cons of headphones under $100.

    And, check the in-ear monitors below to find the right ones for you.

    What are the Best Earbuds under $100 for You?

    To get the best value for money, go with wired earbuds. You get better sound quality for the price, but your phone needs to have a 3.5mm headphone jack. In case you have one of the newer phones you’ll have to use an adapter or switch to wireless.

    Wireless Bluetooth earbuds are a solid alternative. While frequency response hasn’t yet reached the oldschool wires, it’s close enough. Plus, you get to move around freely which adds to the user experience (and you look cooler). True wireless earbuds have gotten cheaper. See the best true wireless earbuds under $50.

    If you’re an active user, you need at least an IPX4 rating or more. Water-resistance is crucial for sports and other activities. Liquids are the arch-enemy of electronics and can quickly end your earbuds. IPX4 protection makes them sweatproof, while IPX6 and 7 are waterproof.

    Best Earbuds Under $100

    1. TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero:Red

    TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero Red IEMs

    Fantastic budget IEM with impeccable sound tuning under $100.

    Tuned by the king of IEM, Crinacle, the Zero:Red offer everything a budget audiophile might want. They truly deserve their top spot on this list.

    TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero:Red review

    Connection icon Connection: Wired 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 10mm & 7.8mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: In-ear monitors | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 17.5 ohms | Weight: 0.9 ounces (26 grams) with cable | Cable lenght: 4.1 feet (1.25 meters) | Features: Bass+ adapter
    • Smooth & neutral tuning that goes with all music genres
    • Comfortable & stable fit for long listening sessions
    • Detachable cable & replaceable nozzle mesh extends durability
    • Good overall passive noise isolation
    • No option for cable with mic/controls support

    Hear the TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero:Red A/B Sound Test:

    TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero:Red Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    If you’re looking for the best overall wired IEMs under $100, you can’t get anything better than ZERO:RED. They have an almost neutral sound signature and work fantastically with all music genres.

    They may have a slight bass boost, a thin midrange, and more energy could be in the treble. But we’re nitpicking. If you want a bit more oomph, you can use a Bass+ adapter to add a few dB to the low end.

    ZERO:RED design is simply gorgeous. They’re made of resin and have a red plate with a feather-like pattern underneath. Housing is ergonomically shaped, so you don’t need to worry about comfort.

    Even stability is impeccable thanks to the over-the-ear cable, which you can detach and replace if damaged.

    2. Shure SE215

    Shure SE215 wired in-ear monitor

    Excellent pair of earbuds for great audio performance.

    Shure SE215 are designed as professional-grade in-ear monitors for stage musicians.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 22-17.500Hz
    Type: In-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise Cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Microphone only | Impedance: n/a | Weight: n/a | Cable length: n/a | Features: Detachable cable, optional wireless adapter
    • Good sound quality
    • Price-to-performance ratio
    • Detachable cable
    • Narrow soundstage

    The overall signature on Shure SE 215 can be characterized as balanced, rich, and full. High frequencies are articulate, but not too sharp or piercing.

    Mids are precise and clear, without being tubby or muddy. And the bass response sounds warm, natural, and even.

    Here are some of the best audiophile headphones on the market.

    Shure makes high-quality audio products designed for use and abuse on and off the stage, so these earbuds are perfect for those in need of a robust headphone solution and good passive noise reduction capabilities.

    The body and tip assembly of the earbuds are resistant to moisture and sweat, making them a great option for use when exercising.

    You can get an adapter for Bluetooth connectivity from Shure to run SE215 wirelessly.

    3. Cambridge Audio Melomania 1+

    Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus

    The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1+ are the best true wireless earbuds under $100 for most people.

    When a British audio company with a long tradition shows their true wireless pair of earbuds, you know they must be good.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 5.8mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 9h + 36h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 2h + quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX | Water resistance: IPX5 | Features: Companion app
    • Even better sound that the predecessor
    • Excellent battery life (9h per charge)
    • Comfortable fit
    • Good build quality
    • Unique design
    • Foam tips required for optimal fit
    • No ANC or Ambient sound mode

    Small, 5.8mm graphene drivers do a fantastic job at reproducing your favorite tracks as faithfully as possible.

    They offer a balanced sound signature, that is very clean across the board, with good imaging capabilities. The Plus version now comes with an app with greater control over the sound and EQ.

    Melomania bullet-like housing not only makes them unique looking but also very comfortable to wear. For better comfort and best fit, there are foam tips already included in the box.

    In terms of features, they’re IPX5 sweat-resistant, have Bluetooth 5.0, and aptX and AAC audio codecs, covering both iOS and Android devices.

    The battery life is excellent, with up to 9 hours on a single charge and another 36 hours inside the charging case.

    Since they’re very similar, you can check the review of the older version Cambridge Audio Melomania 1.

    Want more alternatives? Check the best Bluetooth headphones under $100.

    4. Edifier W240TN

    Edifier W240TN on a tree

    Best earbuds under $100 that hit all the marks.

    One of the top picks for true wireless earbuds with excellent audio quality and active noise cancellation.

    Edifier W240TN review

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.3
    Driver size icon Driver size: 10mm woofer + 6mm tweeter
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 7h + 14h in case | Wireless range: 40 feet (12.1m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: Quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC | Water resistance: IP55 | Features: ANC, app, Game mode, EQ
    • Great sound quality (after EQing)
    • Comfortable & stable fit for long listening sessions
    • ANC and Transparency mode performance rivals the best
    • Solid build quality with an IP55 rating
    • Edifier app packed with features and customizations
    • Average battery life of 6+ hours per charge with ANC
    • ANC makes the sound noticeably bright and thin
    • Mediocre indoor Bluetooth range of around 40 feet

    Hear the Edifier W240TN A/B Sound Test:

    Edifier W240TN Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    In terms of pure value, Edifier W240TN are amazing. You get great sound quality for the price, with a controlled bass response and natural midrange.

    Of course, earbuds can sound better if you adjust their EQ inside the Edifier app. On top of custom EQ, the app also offers a control customizer and shutdown timer if you like sleeping with earbuds.

    Moreover, earbuds have impressive active noise cancellation that works almost as well as the best TWS earbuds, like Sony WF-1000XM4.

    Furthermore, the transparency mode boosts the ambient noise quite realistically, so you don’t have to take earbuds out of your ears to talk to people around.


    5. 1MORE Triple Driver

    1MORE Triple Driver wearing

    Some of the best wired earbuds under $100 for the build.

    Despite getting slightly old, 1MORE Triple Driver are still one of the best-wired earbuds under $100.

    1MORE Triple Driver review

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 2 BA + 1 Dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-40.000Hz
    Type: In-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Yes | Impedance: 32 Ohm | Weight: 0.6 oz (18g) | Cable lenght: 4 feet (1.2m) | Features: Airplane adapter
    • Decent sound with a forgiving, dark treble
    • Premium-feeling build quality & a braided cable
    • Tons of the accessories, even airplane adaptor
    • Competitors are better in sound quality
    • Background distortion when making phone calls in loud places
    • Non-detachable cable & somewhat thin wires

    There is a decent sense of balance coming out of the three drivers. 2 balanced armature drivers take care that the mids and highs remain smooth and lush, while the remaining dynamic driver handles the low-end.

    These earbuds have something that the majority of true wireless ones don’t: aluminum construction. While they’re not water-resistant, at least they can take a little beating. Of course, they can survive longer if you carry them in an included case.

    It’s excellent to have a significant amount of accessories. You get 9 pairs of ear tips in various sizes and materials, from silicone to foam. That ensures a good fit, which is required to squeeze the most out of any IEM.

    The cable has inline remote control and microphone for answering phone calls.

    Check the best earbuds under $50.

    6. Sennheiser IE 40 PRO

    Sennheiser IE 40 PRO wired earbuds

    Best wired in-ear headphones under $100 for high-quality sound.

    A new addition to the Sennheiser IE series offers a less general-public and more honest, audiophile sound signature.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 10mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-18.000Hz
    Type: In-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 20 Ohm | Weight: 0.6 oz (18g) | Cable lenght: 4.3 feet (1.3m) | Features: Over-the-ear design, detachable cable
    • Detailed sound
    • Stable fit
    • Detachable cables
    • No case included

    The sound reproduction on these is very detailed, especially in the treble, which is slightly boosted.

    The low-end has a good punch thanks to the 10mm dynamic driver, while the midrange remains somewhat recessed.

    Generally speaking, the IE 40 Pro are more suitable for professionals who like having in-ears during a stage performance. That’s why there aren’t many extra features to speak off.

    The detachable cable (MMCX connection) forms a hook, indicating that you need to wear these IEMs with the wire behind your ears. That reduces weight and helps with microphonics.

    Inside the box, there are 4 pairs of ear tips, with only one made of memory foam, and a cleaning tool.

    7. Etymotic Research ER2XR

    Etymotic Research ER2XR

    Impressive audio quality and passive outside noise reduction.

    In-ear monitors with a single balanced armature driver for clean frequency response.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: Balanced armature
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-16.000Hz
    Type: In-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 15 Ohm | Weight: n/a | Cable length: 47 inch (1.2m) | Features: Detachable cable, triple-flanged tips
    • Impressive sound quality (for the price)
    • Excellent passive noise isolation
    • Detachable cable
    • Deeper insertion isn't for everyone

    Despite rocking only one full-range balanced-armature driver, the bass frequencies are quite present on these.

    Thankfully, it has good control, much like midrange and treble. The latter has good detail and is smooth, so you don’t have to worry about sibilance.

    Every Etymotic in-ear headphone has a familiar design. ER2XR (XR stands for “extended range”) are tiny earbuds that can easily fit in your ears.

    They come with foam and triple-flanged ear tips for deeper insertion. That ensures excellent passive isolation, but it can feel weird when you use them.

    The cable is detachable and uses an MMCX connection if you ever want to upgrade.

    See best noise-isolating headphones.

    8. EarFun Air Pro 3

    EarFun Air Pro 3 earbuds on stone

    Exceptional value earbuds from EarFun with a companion app and active noise cancellation.

    Comfortable EarFun earbuds for multipurpose use, from commuting, mobile gaming, and even serious music listening.

    EarFun Air Pro 3 review

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.3
    Driver size icon Driver size: 11mm wool composite dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 8h + 36h in case | Wireless range: 40 feet (12.2 meters) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 1h – quick charge – USB-C & Qi charging | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX Adaptive, LC3 | Water resistance: IPX5 | Features: App, multipoint
    • Natural sound (after EQ)
    • Comfortable & lightweight design
    • Customization via companion app
    • Bluetooth 5.3, LC3 codec, & multipoint
    • Excellent battery life of over 8 hours per charge
    • Effective active noise cancellation & ambient sound mode
    • Not stable enough for sports activities
    • Background hiss when in ANC mode

    Hear the EarFun Air Pro 3 A/B Sound Test:

    EarFun Air Pro 3 Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    By tweaking the sound using custom EQ, you make the Air Pro 3 nicely detailed and well-controlled across the entire frequency spectrum. These buds are perfect for any music lover.

    Earbuds are comfy (although not the most stable for exercising) and pack a beefy 8-hour battery on a single charge with ambient sound mode or active noise cancellation enabled.

    Speaking of the latter, it works impressively well for the price, with only a faith hiss in the background that isn’t too bothersome.

    Opening the EarFun Audio app lets you enable Game Mode and customize touch controls. Furthermore, you can use the new and highly efficient LC3 Bluetooth codec.

    For even cheaper options see the best cheap headphones.

    Honorable Mentions

    SoundPEATS H1

    SoundPEATS H1 both earbuds

    SoundPEATS has a good track record for making good-sounding products.

    The H1 budget wireless earbuds are fairly bass-heavy yet controlled-sounding earbuds with relatively balanced midrange and treble.

    SoundPEATS H1 review

    FiiO FH1s

    FiiO FH1s

    Wired earbuds with an over-the-ear fit that produce amazing sound and come with detachable cables. But you need a 3.5mm output on your phone.

    Check FH1 price

    Beats Flex Wireless

    Beats Flex earbuds hanging

    You can now get Apple’s W1 chip on a budget. Compared to other Beats wireless headphones, Flex Wireless affordable earbuds output a more balanced sound profile.

    Beats Flex review

    Anker Soundcore Life P3

    Anker Soundcore Life P3

    This good pair of buds feature an app with an adjustable EQ where you can fine-tune their sound to your liking and active noise cancellation.

    Thanks to the lightweight design, they’re comfy and fit securely for light exercising.

    Check Soundcore Life P3 price

    Sennheiser CX 400BT

    Sennheiser CX 400BT true wireless earbuds

    Truly wireless headphones with audio performance similar to the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2.

    Check CX 400BT price

    EarFun Air Pro 2

    EarFun Air Pro 2 on a rock

    Great truly wireless earbuds with a sound profile for bass lovers and excellent noise canceling for under $100. EarFun Air Pro 2 provide good call quality, too.

    EarFun Air Pro 2 review

    Beyerdynamic Soul BYRD 2. Gen

    Beyerdynamic BYRD 2nd gen

    For the current asking price, this affordable pair of earbuds can portray impressively balanced, full-bodied sound.

    The second generation comes in a wireless neckband design, with Bluetooth 5.2 and an IPX4 sweat resistance for sports.

    If you are looking for a more low-end rumble, check our best bass earbuds guide.

    Check BYRD (2. Gen) price

    EarFun Free Pro 2

    EarFun Free Pro 2 buds and case

    One of the best earbuds under $100 for active noise cancellation and ambient sound mode from EarFun with excellent sound performance.

    They even support Low Latency mode, which greatly reduces audio lag when watching videos and playing mobile games.

    EarFun Free Pro 2 review

    Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2

    Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 true wireless earbuds

    Great TWS earbuds from Anker, with good battery life, sound performance, and mic quality for taking phone calls.

    They come with an IPX5 rating, USB-C, and wireless charging, which is quite a lot for earbuds under $100.

    Check Liberty Air 2 price

    Creative Outlier Gold

    Creative Outlier Gold true wireless earbuds

    Cheap TWS earbuds with Super X-Fi app and 39-hour battery life. Creative Outlier Gold pack aptX and AAC Bluetooth codecs, giving you good wireless audio streaming with a balanced frequency range.

    Check Outlier Gold price

    What You Should Know About Earbuds under $100

    What tier of earbuds are these?

    While $100 isn’t little money, you won’t get flagship earbuds either. Although the advancement in the last few years has come a long way. These are mid-tier buds that excel at good value for money, though you can expect more than from best cheap earbuds under $50.

    Above-average sound quality

    Earbuds in this wallet-friendly price range have overall decent sound quality with some gems outperforming models even above the $100 mark. You can find tonally very balanced models, but there’s still a noticeable loss in detail compared to the very high-end.

    On the other hand, if you just seek earbuds for some quality entertainment for music or movie watching, then earbuds under $100 is where you should be looking for.

    Better build quality

    A lot of cheap earbuds below $50 suffer from poor design and cheap materials that feel a bit flimsy. Spending a bit more also means that your earbuds are built better and with more durable materials.

    Good isolation

    Ambient noise overwhelms your music and makes it harder to listen to it (a fancy way to call it is auditory masking). Lower frequencies are the ones that suffer the most if the seal is too poor.

    With a proper seal, especially with memory-foam ear tips, you block more background and let in more music. Thus, dramatically improving the overall sound and lowering sound leakage.

    You can get aftermarket memory foam eartips for almost all earbuds. You just need to figure out what size fits them.

    Do you need an amplifier or DAC?

    You might be wondering if you need an amp to properly power your earbuds. You don’t (in most cases). Since earbuds are made to work well at lower Ohm requirements, they are loud and clear with most smartphones.

    It’s true if you’re an audiophile, you might notice a difference if you attach a high-end source device, but it won’t dramatically improve the loudness or clarity. It’s not worth carrying the amp in your pocket for a minuscule improvement.

    (FAQ): Frequently Asked Questions About Earbuds under $100

    Do sub $100 earbuds have a mic?

    Most wireless earbuds under $100 come with a decent microphone. It’s less common with wired earbuds, you have to look for the microphone module on the cable. If there’s no module, the earbuds don’t have a microphone.

    How long do cheap earbuds last?

    Cheap earbuds can last as long as expensive ones if you take good care of them. Usually earbuds last at least a couple of years. But wireless earbuds with a battery slowly lose their capacity and have to be replaced eventually. Wired earbuds can last forever if you don’t break the cable.

    If you want the latter, definitely check our guide for the best earbuds with microphone.

    1 Comment
    1. Fiio FH1 after 100hr burn-in Beats anything on this list including some $200 or under IEM’s


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