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5 Best Wired Earbuds Under $100 (That Sound Amazing) in 2024

Last updated: 3 weeks ago
7 min read

Here are the best wired earphones under $100 that sound amazing, have a comfy fit, and connect to any 3.5mm AUX-enabled device.

We test and evaluate headphones using a standardized 9-point methodology. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Read more Price Sound signature Connection Mic & Controls
Under $60
Balanced
Wired – 3.5mm (L-shaped plug)
crosscross
Shure SE215 Runner-up
Shure SE215 wired earbuds
Under $100
Balanced
Wired – 3.5mm (L-shaped plug)
Only SE215m+
1MORE Triple Driver Best build quality
1MORE E1001 Triple Driver
Under $70
Balanced
Wired – 3.5mm (I-shaped plug)
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Sennheiser IE 40 PRO Best Sennheiser
Sennheiser IE 40 PRO wired earbuds
Under $100
Balanced
Wired – 3.5mm (L-shaped plug)
crosscross
CCA Trio Best wired bass
CCA Trio small image
Under $40
Balanced
Wired – 3.5mm (L-shaped plug)
Optional
CONTENTS (show more)

    Why pay top dollar when you can get high-quality wired earbuds with Hi-Fi sound quality for less than $100?

    Here, we discuss the pros & cons of headphones under $100.

    Check our list of the best in-ear monitors below to find the right ones for you.

    Best Wired Earbuds Under $100

    1. TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero:Red

    TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero Red IEMs

    If you want impeccable audio quality, the TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero:Red are the best wired earbuds under $100 we’ve tested – 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

    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.

    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.

    TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero Red frequency response
    TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero:Red frequency response chart

    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.

    Runner-Up

    2. Shure SE215

    Shure SE215 wired in-ear monitor

    Excellent pair of earbuds for great audio performance.

    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

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

    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.

    Best Build Quality Wired Earbuds under $100

    3. 1MORE Triple Driver

    1MORE Triple Driver wearing

    If you’re looking for durable, metal earbuds, the 1MORE Triple Driver are the toughest wired earbuds under $100 we’ve tested – 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

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

    Hear the 1MORE Triple Driver A/B Sound Test:

    1MORE Triple Driver Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    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 an inline remote control and microphone for answering phone calls.

    For the toughest wired earbuds, check the 1MORE Triple Driver.

    Related:

    Best Sennheiser Wired Earbuds under $100

    4. Sennheiser IE 40 PRO

    Sennheiser IE 40 PRO wired earbuds

    For Sennheiser fans, the IE 40 PRO are the best wired in-ear headphones under $100.

    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

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

    The sound quality 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 of.

    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.

    If you’re a Sennheiser fan looking for another wired in-ear monitor, check out the Sennheiser IE 40 PRO.

    Best Bass Wired Earbuds under $100

    5. CCA Trio

    CCA Trio side view

    CCA Trio pack three 8mm drivers and adjustable tuning filters to price clear, spacious sound with good bass oomph – CCA Trio review.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 3x 8mm dynamic driver
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-40.000Hz
    Type: In-ear monitor | Back design: Semi-open | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Optional | Impedance: 15-20 ohms | Sensitivity: 101-103dB | Weight: 0.35 ounces (10 grams) per IEM | Cable lenght: 47.2 inches (1.2 meters) | Features: 4 filter switches, detachable cable
    • Natural sound quality for the budget price
    • Wide soundstage & pretty accurate imaging
    • Made with quality materials & come with decent cable
    • Good passive noise isolation despite semi-open design
    • Adjustable tuning switches help personalize the response
    • Quite heavy due to metal plate & 3 dynamic drivers
    • Tuning switches press on earlobe, causing some discomfort
    • A bit too bassy for serious audio purists

    Hear the CCA Trio A/B Sound Test:

    CCA Trio Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    CCA Trio’s name is based on the fact that these IEMs have three 8mm dynamic drivers inside each earbud. Each driver covers a specific frequency range, so you can expect great sound performance for less than $50.

    Soundstage is also surprisingly wide thanks to the semi-open design, which allows the sound to breathe. Furthermore, you can play with 4 tuning filters, which slightly change the sound by adding bass or midrange/treble.

    Trio come with a detachable over-the-ear cable, which ensures good stability and prevents the IEM’s weight from causing discomfort. They’re partially made of metal, so they feel quite heavy in the hand.

    Moreover, they’re super efficient to drive, so you can use them with any device and get optimal results.

    For more options, see the best noise-isolating headphones.

    Honorable Mentions to Consider

    FiiO FH1s

    FiiO FH1s

    These wired earbuds with an over-the-ear fit produce amazing sound quality and come with detachable memory-hook cables. But you need a 3.5mm output on your phone. And the recommended models on the list are slightly better, but these are stil awesome.

    Check FH1 price

    What to Expect from Wired Earbuds Under $100

    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 earphones that excel at value for money and a focus on audio quality.

    Strong sound quality

    Wired earbuds in this price range generally have above-average sound quality. The models recommended on our list strongly outperform their price range and compete with more expensive models at $200 and up.

    Most of them have a balanced sound tonality, but there’s still a noticeable loss in detail compared to the very high-end.

    Generally, wired earbuds sound better than true wireless earbuds for $100. 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.

    Comfort and stability

    Earbuds with a cable are often easier to secure in the ears because you can wear them with the cable behind the ears.

    TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero Red earbud in ears
    The behind-the-ear fit of wired earbuds

    Earbuds under $100 are no less comfortable than more expensive ones. The only thing you have to do is find the correct eartips and way of wearing them that fits your ears.

    Solid build quality

    A lot of cheap earbuds below $50 suffer from poor design and cheap materials that feel flimsy. That’s not the case at the $100 mark. Many are built from metal parts and also come with premium memory-foam ear tips and detachable cables.

    Superb noise isolation

    In-ear monitors are known for noise isolation, and $100 models are no different. With a proper seal, these block more background noise than competitors. Thus dramatically improving the listening experience and lowering sound leakage.

    When ambient noise overwhelms your music and makes it hard to listen, it’s called auditory masking. It dramatically worsens the listening experience. Bass suffers the most, losing power if the seal is poor.

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

    Many don’t have a microphone

    Most wireless earbuds have a built-in microphone but not wired earbuds. Some have an in-line microphone, but many don’t have it at all.

    1MORE Triple Driver inline controls
    1MORE Triple Driver earbuds have an inline microphone and controls

    The focus is on sound quality above other features, which is fine for listening at home, but sometimes you want to have a hands-free phone call. If you want that, check our guide for the best earbuds with a microphone.

    No water protection

    Wired in-ear headphones usually don’t have water resistance (IPX rating) due to design constraints. If you’re looking for sweatproof or waterproof earbuds, check out wireless workout earbuds.

    Do I Need an Amplifier or DAC?

    You might be wondering if you need an amp to properly power your earbuds?

    For wired earbuds under $100 you don’t need an amp or digital-to-analog converted (DAC), in most cases.

    Most wired earbuds at this price are made to be efficient at high sensitivity and low impedance (low Ohm requirements). This means they are loud and clear with most smartphones, tablets, and music players.

    Also, most built-in DACs in modern smartphones are good quality for these earbuds. They convert digital music into analog without noticeable distortion.

    But it can improve sound quality (a bit).

    Strauss & Wagner EM205 with an amp
    A portable amplifier like Dragonfly might slightly improve the audio.

    If you’re an audiophile, you might notice a marginal sound quality difference if you attach them to an amplifier. Generally, an amp increases the details and loudness to get the last bit of fidelity out of them.

    But this is only suitable for listening at home. It’s not worth carrying the amp in your pocket for a minuscule improvement. The cost-to-benefit ratio is just too low, in my opinion.

    Why Trust HeadphonesAddict?

    At HeadphonesAddict, we provide honest headphone tests through a rigorous methodology and a transparent process. See how we test here. We put a lot of effort into personally testing and measuring each pair so we can make educated recommendations.

    More reasons to trust us:

    • We test headphones ourselves on 9 key points (less for wired models).
    • We measure frequency responses, ANC, passive isolation, battery life, and compare EQ presets.
    • We don’t take money for tests and reviews.
    • We don’t delete or edit “bad reviews”, even when brands ask us to. If the headphones sound bad or have other faults, we tell you without embellishment.

    FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

    Do sub $100 wired earbuds have a mic?

    Many wired earbuds under $100 don’t come with a microphone. It’s less common, but some wired earphones have an inline 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. Wired earbuds can last forever if you don’t break the cable or crush them.

    Conclusion

    Let us know if you pick any earbuds from this list. We’d love to know about it.

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

      Reply

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