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The Best Earbuds Under $100

Last updated: 4 months ago
7 min read

Get great sound at an affordable price. Compare top earbuds that you can get for under $100.

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
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4.4
Under $100
Balanced
Bluetooth 5.1
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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
4.6
Under $60
V-shaped
Bluetooth 5.2
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Table of Contents

    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 better, have 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 good option for use when exercising.

    2. Cambridge Audio Melomania 1

    Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 earbuds with case

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

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

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 5.8mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 6.5h + 25h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 2h + quick charge – Micro-USB | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX | Water resistance: IPX5 | Features: Physical controls
    • Natural sound signature
    • High build quality
    • IPX5 water resistance
    • 6.5 hours per single charge with relatively quick charging
    • Affordable price under $100
    • Easy to use built-in controls
    • Sleek design
    • Bad fit if you don’t find proper eartips
    • Outdated Micro-USB cable
    • Can’t get super loud

    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.

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

    In terms of features, they come with an IPX5 water-resistance rating, Bluetooth 5.0, and aptX and AAC audio codecs.

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

    Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 review

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

    3. Sennheiser CX 400BT

    Sennheiser CX 400BT true wireless earbuds

    Best wireless earbuds under $100 from Sennheiser.

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

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.1
    Driver size icon Driver size: 7mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 5-21.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 7h + 13h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: Quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX | Water resistance: No | Features: Companion app
    • Excellent sound quality
    • Customizable equalizer and controls
    • Comfortable fit
    • No IP rating
    • Battery life could be longer

    These earbuds output the same sound quality as more premium Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2.

    Consequently, you can connect them with the app and further tweak the sound. Just make sure to turn on the “High-End Tuning” feature.

    You can expect great listening experience with a good soundstage that will make every music sound excellent, from rock to hip hop.

    Sadly, Sennheiser cut some corners. These earbuds lack background noise cancellation and transparency mode, and even IP rating.

    Thankfully, you still get a comfortable, well-built product with up to seven hours of battery life and a quick charge feature.

    Inside the app, there’s an option to customize touch controls, and you can also summon voice assistant, which comes in very handy.

    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 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 look 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 best ear canal 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 triple driver setup. 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.

    The amount of accessories is excellent. You get 9 pairs of ear tips in various sizes and materials, from silicone to foam. That ensures optimal 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.

    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 the 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 background noise isolation.

    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
    • Great sound quality
    • Excellent passive noise isolation
    • Detachable cable
    • Deeper insertion isn't for everyone

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

    Thankfully, it has good control, much like midrange and treble. The latter is detailed and 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 noise 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 Free Pro

    EarFun Free Pro true wireless earbuds

    Affordable pair of earbuds for commuters on a budget.

    Best true wireless earbuds under $100 for noise cancellation from EarFun with excellent sound performance.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.2
    Driver size icon Driver size: Dual composite dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 7h + 25h in case | Wireless range: 50ft (15m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 2h + quick charge – USB-C & Qi wireless charging | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IPX5 | Features: ANC, ambient aware, ear fins, mono mode, touch controls
    • Excellent sound quality for the price
    • Natural, dynamic audio performance
    • Punchy bass with good extension
    • Great comfort and stability
    • Stable connection with Bluetooth 5.2
    • Long battery life
    • Many useful extra features
    • Decent active noise cancelling effectiveness
    • … but not the best ambient mode
    • No mobile app or built-in EQ presets
    • Flimsy charging case

    Very dynamic sounding earbuds for the price. The bass adds a noticeable punch to your music, but thanks to the sparkly treble, everything gets balanced out.

    The overall audio performance is great, with good detail retrieval. Sadly, there’s no companion app or EQ presets.

    The earbuds are rather small and should fit all ear shapes. You get 4 pairs of ear tips and 3 pairs of ear fins to better secure them in place.

    Using touch controls, you can change volume, skip songs, and enable active noise cancellation and Ambient mode.

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

    EarFun Free Pro review

    For even cheaper options see the best cheap headphones.

    Honorable Mentions

    Aukey Key Series T10 – true wireless 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. Aukey T10 review

    FiiO FH1s – wired earbuds with an over-the-ear fit and 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 – you can now get Apple’s W1 chip on a budget. Compared to other Beats wireless headphones, Flex Wireless output a more balanced sound profile. (Check Flex price)

    Mpow X3 – truly wireless headphones with noise canceling capabilities with a high water resistance rating of IPX8, which is uncommon for noise reduction buds. (Check X3 price)

    EarFun Air Pro – great truly wireless earbuds with a bassy sound profile and good noise canceling. EarFun Air Pro provide good call quality, too. (Check Air Pro price)

    1MORE Stylish – Stylish’s are cheap true wireless earbuds, with long battery life, good sound quality, and comfortable fit. They can be an exciting choice for users who just can’t find enough bass in other buds on the market. (Check Stylish price)

    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. (Check M2 price)

    Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear – the Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear series delivers a bass-heavy sound profile in a lightweight and attractive package. These are one of the best thanks to the dependable and approachable sound reproduction. (Check Momentum In-Ear price)

    Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 – great true wireless earbuds from Anker, with good battery life, sound performance, and mic quality for taking phone calls. Soundcore Liberty Air 2 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 – cheap true wireless earbuds with Super X-Fi app and 39-hour battery life in total. Creative Outlier Gold pack aptX and AAC Bluetooth codecs, which gives 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. These are mid-tier buds that excel at value for money, though you can expect more than from best cheap earbuds under $50.

    Passive noise isolation

    Thanks to their in-ear fit, these have great passive noise isolation. Ambient noise overwhelms your music and makes it harder to listen to it (a fancy way to call it is auditory masking).

    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.