Skip to main content

8 Best Earbuds Under $100 in 2022 (that should cost more)

Last updated: 2 weeks 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).

HeadphonesAddict is user supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Rating Price Sound signature Connection Mic & Controls More info
4.5
Under $100
Balanced
Wired – 3.5mm (L-shaped plug)
Only SE215m+
4.1
Under $100
Balanced
Bluetooth 5.0
checkmarkcheckmark
4.1
Under $70
L-shaped
Bluetooth 5.2
checkmarkcheckmark
4.3
Under $80
Balanced
Wired – 3.5mm (I-shaped plug)
crosscross
4.0
Under $70
Balanced
Wired – 3.5mm (I-shaped plug)
checkmarkcheckmark
4.5
Under $100
Balanced
Wired – 3.5mm (L-shaped plug)
crosscross
4.5
Under $100
Balanced
Wired – 3.5mm (L-shaped plug)
crosscross
4.5
Under $60
Slightly V-shaped
Bluetooth 5.2
checkmarkcheckmark
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.

    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. 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. They truly deserve their top spot on this list.

    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.

    2. 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.

    3. SoundPEATS H1

    SoundPEATS H1 earbuds outside case

    Best earbuds under $100 from SoundPEATS.

    One of the top picks for true wireless earbuds with excellent audio quality.

    SoundPEATS H1 review

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.2
    Driver size icon Driver size: 8.6mm dynamic & balanced armature
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 10h + 30h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 1.5h – USB-C & Qi wireless charging | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX Adaptive | Water resistance: IPX5 | Features: Game mode
    • Comfortable design
    • Excellent passive noise isolation
    • Long-lasting battery life
    • Water-resistant design (IPX5)
    • Great sound quality
    • … but with too much bass
    • Bluetooth range isn't great
    • No ANC or ambient mode

    Hear the SoundPEATS H1 A/B Sound Test:

    SoundPEATS H1 Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    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.

    Paired with three sets of silicone and one foam tips, the audio gets slightly brighter and more natural, especially in the vocal region.

    And with the Adaptive aptX support, they ensure optimal audio quality on an Android phone. If you like smooth but punchy sound, then look no further.

    The design appears bulky, but thanks to the earbuds’ ergonomic shape, they don’t poke your outer ear or an ear canal, even if you have smaller ears. If you use them with foam tips, they even ensure a secure fit during workouts.

    One thing that is the most impressive is their strong battery life, which is also the best in this price range. Earbuds last up to 10.5 hours of battery life per charge, with extra 3 additional charges inside the Qi wireless charging case.

    Related

    4. Beyerdynamic Soul BYRD

    Beyerdynamic Soul BYRD wired earbuds

    Comfort, build, and Hi-Fi audio quality. You can get it all.

    Funky name aside, these are some of the best wired earbuds if you want to step up the game and try something better than what you are used to.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 10-25.000Hz
    Type: In-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Yes | Impedance: n/a | Weight: n/a | Cable lenght: 4 feet (1.2m) | Features: Anodised aluminum housing
    • Good sound and build quality
    • Non-protruding housing
    • Mediocre microphone quality

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

    Bass can be quite accurate, both in quality and quantity. The instruments and vocals are nice and clean. The same goes for the treble.

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

    Construction quality on these is pretty good, with aluminum plates that add to the overall robust construction.

    Because they’re so small and comfortable, you can even wear them under a helmet or use them while sleeping. You can choose between 5 different ear tips to get the perfect fit.

    They’re equipped with built-in remote control for music and good microphone quality for phone calls.

    5. 1MORE Triple Driver

    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.

    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
    • Great sound
    • Durable build quality
    • Many included accessories
    • Non-detachable cable

    There is a great sense of balance coming out of the three drivers. 2 balanced armature drivers take care that the mids and crisp 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 S

    EarFun Air S earbuds on the wall

    Very capable cheap earbuds from EarFun with a companion app and active noise cancellation.

    Comfortable EarFun earbuds for multipurpose use, from commuting to sports.

    EarFun Air S review

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.2
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 5h + 20h (ANC on) | Wireless range: 50 feet (15.2m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 1h + quick charge – USB-C & Qi wireless | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX | Water resistance: IPX5 | Features: Multipoint, game mode, ANC, ambient sound mode
    • Good, smooth sound
    • Comfortable fit
    • Stable enough for workouts
    • Decent active noise cancellation
    • Good transparency mode
    • Multipoint, game mode, & aptX
    • Companion app with custom EQ
    • Somewhat average battery life
    • Slightly too sensitive controls
    • Bass can sometimes muddy the sound

    Hear the EarFun Air S A/B Sound Test:

    EarFun Air S Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    While the out-of-the-box sound signature is slightly V-shaped, you can tweak it slightly inside the EarFun app to make it more natural. Technical performance is decent, with roomy-enough soundstage and accurate imaging.

    Moreover, earbuds come with active noise cancellation and ambient sound mode. ANC is more than decent for the price, reducing low-end hum to a great extent, making the Air S a perfect commuting companion.

    Furthermore, earbuds boast excellent comfort and good stability, suitable even for working out.

    The design is similar to the Apple AirPods 2, with elongated stems that house good performing microphones. On top of that, earbuds have an IPX5 rating, offering full sweat protection.

    For even cheaper options see the best cheap headphones.

    Honorable Mentions

    Aukey Key Series T10

    Aukey T10 buds

    TWS earbuds for working out with water protection and stable fit. These have gotten awards for their unique and smart design. They are the best sport earbuds for workouts that sound decent.

    Aukey T10 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

    1MORE Stylish

    1More Stylish

    Stylish’s are cheap true wireless earbuds, with long battery life, good sound quality, and comfortable fit. They can be a great choice for most users who just can’t find enough bass boost in other buds on the market.

    Check Stylish price

    Brainwavz M2

    Brainwavz M2

    If you are tired of cheap earbuds but don’t want to pay big bucks for top-end quality, you should check out the Brainwavz M2 traditional earbuds.

    Check M2 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

    If you’re willing to pay a bit more: Best Bluetooth earbuds

    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.

    Do earbuds have mic?

    Not all earbuds have a microphone. Most wired earbuds lack a remote module which usually houses a mic unless you explicitly buy the version with a built-in microphone.

    On the flip side, it’s hard to find wireless earbuds that don’t have microphone already built into the housing. However, call quality varies significantly between the models. Some sound terrible, so if you want earbuds for making voice calls, you have to pick them carefully.

    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

      Reply

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published.