Over-Ear

The Best Headphones Under $100

Last updated: 2 months ago, Aug. 31. 2020
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    The best headphones under $100 (over-ear & on-ear) you can get right now.

    Comparison – Best Headphones Under $100

     PictureRating
    i
    From 1-5
    Price
    (approx.)
     TypeConnection 
    Audio-Technica ATH-M40x
    best overall
    4.4under $100Over-ear
    Closed-back
    Wired 3.5mmReview
    Sennheiser HD280PRO
    runner-up
    3.9under $100Over-ear
    Closed-back
    Wired 3.5mmReview
    Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT
    best wireless
    4.2under $100Over-ear
    Closed-back
    Bluetooth
    & wired 3.5mm
    Review
    House of Marley
    Positive Vibration XL

    runner-up wireless
    4.2under $100Over-ear
    Closed-back
    Bluetooth
    & wired 3.5mm
    Review
    Shure SE215
    best in-ear
    4.4under $100In-ear
    Closed-back
    Wired 3.5mmReview
    Cambridge Audio Melomania 1
    best true wireless
    4.1under$100True wireless
    Closed-back
    Wireless BluetoothReview
    1MORE Stylish
    best true wireless
    4.1under $100In-ear
    True wireless
    Wireless BluetoothReview
    TaoTronics TT-BH090
    best noise-cancelling
    4.7under $60Over-ear
    Closed-back
    Bluetooth
    & wired 3.5mm
    Review
    Grado SR80e Prestige Series
    best on-ear
    4.3under $100On-ear
    Open-back
    Wired 3.5mmReview
    Marshall Major III Bluetooth
    best wireless on-ear
    4.3under $100On-ear
    Closed-back
    Bluetooth
    & wired 3.5mm
    Review
    Philips SHP9500
    best open-back
    4.4under $100Over-ear
    Open-back
    Wired 3.5mmReview
    Sony MDR-7506
    best classic
    4.6under $80Over-ear
    Closed-back
    Wired 3.5mmReview
    Status Audio CB-1
    best studio
    4.3under $80Over-ear
    Closed-back
    Wired 3.5mmReview

    After looking at 32 different headphones in the under $100 price bracket, here are the best of the best you should check out.

    Here you’re going to find top-rated over-ear and on-ear headphones in the $50-$100 range.

    For earbuds and other budgets, check the links below.

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      Related:

      The best Bluetooth headphones under $100
      The best earbuds under $100
      The best wireless earbuds under $100
      The best noise cancelling headphones under $100

      Best Headphones under 100$ – Reviews

      Here are the best headphones under 100$. Actually, we picked the top over-ear and on-ear models in the $50-$100 range. For earbuds go here.


      1. Audio-Technica ATH-M40x – best overall

      Audio-Technica ATH M40x - best headphones under $100

      The best headphones under $100 (for most people)

      Type: Over-ear
      Back design: Closed-back
      Connection: Wired, 3.5mm
      Foldable: Yes

      Audio-Technica ATH M40x are a favorite among many audiophiles on a budget. These are almost a classic.

      If you’re looking for a pair of headphones under $100 that is great for all music genres, look no further.

      This “smaller sibling” of M50x more than delivers.

      These Japanese headphones deliver a lot of value in an over-ear and closed-back design.

      The comfort might be below average in the beginning but only until the foam earpads adapt to your head shape. These are comfortable headphones, you just won’t feel it in the beginning.

      Passive noise isolation is above average as well. Since they are developed for studio among other uses, they have very good noise isolation.

      As a result, they remove a lot of ambient noise so you can simply enjoy the music.

      Durability isn’t bad either. Mostly plastic design with metal parts can fold but that’s also their only weak point. You need to be a bit more careful with the hinges but apart from that, these are solid. Also, the wires are detachable and easily replaceable when need be.

      Sound quality is the best thing with Audio-Technica M40x. The overall sound signature is balanced but with a punchy, deep and accurate bass. Get a headphone amp and make them even more fun to listen to. They’re perfect for all music, especially if you use some equalizing.

      Click here for full Audio-Technica M40x review.


      2. Sennheiser HD 280 PRO – runner-up

      Sennheiser HD280PRO (new model)

      Runner-up headphones under $100

      Type: Over-ear
      Back design: Closed-back
      Connection: Wired, 3.5mm
      Foldable: Yes

      Sennheiser HD 280 PRO (new model) are one of the best headphones you can get right now, though they’re harder to get nowadays.

      A great combination of sound quality, comfort and durability is everything you can expect from a pair of headphones.

      This wired model is a great choice for anybody looking for over-ear cans under $100.

      There’s a lot of expensive headphones that are better but for the sub-$100 price, you’ll have a hard time finding them.

      HD 280 PRO are comfortable with big over-ear ear cups. The earpads are made from soft faux leather and offer little resistance. The clamping force is just right too.

      Another great feature is their passive noise isolation, it’s very good since these can be used for audio professionals as well.

      The build quality is solid. Plastic is of high quality and inspires confidence. Good durability is just what you’d expect from Sennheiser.

      They might not look fancy as some alternatives but if performance is more important to you these should be your top choice this price range.

      Sound quality is great too. The balanced sound signature is perfect for audio professionals who need a more accurate sound reproduction or users who like natural sound. But if you’re a basshead you should pass.

      Click here for full Sennheiser HD 280 PRO review.


      3. Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT – best wireless

      Sennheiser HD 4.40 Bluetooth headphones

       

      Best wireless headphones under $100

      They might be missing some modern specs, but their sound is still excellent for under $100.

      Type: Over-ear
      Back design: Closed-back
      Connection: Bluetooth 4.0
      Foldable: No
      Battery life: 25 hours

      Why Buy These?

      These fancy-looking cans have a generous amount of padding inside the earpads, providing excellent comfort and fit. Their clamp force is also fairly light, which is good news for users with glasses.

      Apart from wired mode via 3.5mm headphone jack, their battery can last up to 25 hours. There is no active noise-cancellation on board, but the passive isolation is still splendid.

      There are few buttons on the bottom of the earcup. From there, you can control most of the essential things like regulating volume, answering phone calls. Latency is also kept very low, despite their support of the last-gen Bluetooth 4.0.

      The Bad

      Pouch instead of a hard-shell case.

      The Sound

      You get a typical Sennheiser performance, with well-rounded bass, accurate midrange, and a rolled-off treble. The latter might be a problem if you want to hear subtle details. You can further change the sound inside the mobile app.

      For under $100, you get a great pair of headphones. Even though they’re rocking the BT 4.0, their connection is stable, with minimal latency.


      Related: Find great wireless headphones under $100


      4. House of Marley Positive Vibration XL – wireless runner-up

      House of Marley Positive Vibration XL swivelled cups

      Best portable wireless Bluetooth headphones under $100

      Type: Over-ear
      Back design: Closed-back
      Connection: Bluetooth 5.0 & wired 3.5mm
      Foldable: Yes
      Battery life: 24 hours

      In case you’re looking for the latest technology in Bluetooth headphones and great sound quality for all music genres, then you have to check the Positive Vibration XL (review).

      These House of Marley headphones are made of recycled materials and even have wooden emblems, for better sustainability.

      And the Eco-friendly design doesn’t hurt durability. The wireless headphones are sturdy and give an impression they cost much more money.

      You can fold them to take with you and, if you empty the 24-hour battery, you can plug in the AUX cable and use them as wired over-ears.

      Also, you can controls music with big built-in buttons and make phone calls with a microphone (in a quiet room).

      They stay comfortable for hours with thick ear pads and fabric headband cushion (with one concern).

      Due to smaller earcups, people with big ears might find them less comfortable. Still, they fit regular adult ears fine.

      On top of that, the audio quality is superb. It has a beautifully balanced signature that doesn’t mask vocals or emphasize bass. The signing is always well heard and animated. Bass gets punchy and rumbling, but not overpowering.

      Positive Vibration XL headphones are great for all music genres while feeling high-quality and don’t cost an arm and a leg. What’s not to like?

      Click here for the full House of Marley Positive Vibration XL review.


      5. Shure SE215 – best in-ear

      Shure SE215 wired in-ear monitor

      Best in-ears with great sound

      Old, but still gold. Shure’s beloved in-ear monitors stood the test of time and are still rocking the top spots on best headphone guides.

      Type: In-ear
      Back design: Closed-back
      Connection: Wired, 3.5mm

      Why Buy These?

      These wired in-ears became popular because they offer excellent sound quality, comfortable fit, and durable design for an affordable price.

      Starting with the design, you have to wear these with the wire going behind your ears. That provides a better weight distribution, while also reducing the cable noise, a common problem with wired in-ears.

      Their housing comes in multiple colors. Most of them are transparent, so you can see the earbuds’ insides, which is cool. The cable is replaceable if it gets damaged. You can even wear these for workout since they offer a small degree of sweat protection.

      The Bad

      Some users might not like the style of wearing these.

      The Sound

      Despite coming from the Hi-Fi brand, the sound of these is quite bassy and warm. Treble starts rolling off fairly quickly, giving you a very inoffensive performance across the board.

      Shure SE215 in-ear monitors are an easy recommendation for everyone who wants to take their first steps into the audiophile world.


      6. Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 – best true wireless

      Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 true wireless earbuds

      True wireless earbuds for true audiophiles

      British audio company nailed it on their first try. Melomania 1’s are a great pick for an audiophile looking for a truly wireless solution.

      Why Buy These?

      Their uniquely shaped housing is very lightweight and comfortable to wear. They come with a wide selection of ear tips. If you want the ultimate secure fit, try out the memory-foam ones.

      Their battery life is quite impressive. They can play up to 9 hours straight, with another 36 hours stored in the charging case. If the earbud’s battery depletes, they only need 30 minutes to recharge fully.

      If you like to exercise, you can rely on IPX5 to protect the earbuds from the sweat or water, if you get surprised by rain. Also, if you watch many YouTube videos on your phone, they support aptX, which provides a non-lag watching experience.

      The Bad

      They use a micro-USB charging port instead of USB-C.

      The Sound

      Cambridge Audio is an audiophile company. Therefore they made sure that Melomania 1 reproduces the music in the most natural way possible. Earbuds output a very balanced sound, with exceptional clarity in all frequency ranges.

      If you’re mostly looking for a superb audio performer under $100, Melomania 1 might be your next earbuds.


      7. 1MORE Stylish – true wireless runner-up

      1More Stylish

      Best true wireless earbuds under $100

      The 1MORE Stylish earbuds show that true wireless tech is getting cheaper, as these have a lot of quality features.

      Type: True wireless
      Back design: Closed-back
      Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
      Battery life: 24h total, 6.5h per charge

      There are a few quality models of true wireless earbuds under $100, but this is the best one in our opinion.

      Luca Bignardi, the Grammy award-winning sound engineer, tunes the 1More earbuds to ensure high fidelity and audio clarity.

      The latest 5.0 Bluetooth is more reliable than previous incarnations. This also has aptX and AAC codec and a Qualcomm audio chip to reliably connect to your device.

      24-hours of battery life in total, but you need the charging case for the full capacity. 6.5 hours per charge is the most you can get without extra charging.

      They’re decent for exercise, though not as stable as some other earbuds. The 45° oblique-angled nozzles sit in your ears snugly for most activities.

      The dynamic driver with a titanium composite diaphragm gives a decent level of power and a wide frequency response. For the price, you won’t find better true wireless earbuds right now.


      Related:

      Find other top wireless earbuds under $100.

      The best Bluetooth earbuds under $100


      8. TaoTronics TT-BH090 – best noise-cancelling

      TaoTronics BT090 Bluetooth headphones

      Best ANC performance under $100

      Budget headphones use to have a lot of compromises. However, the BH090 represent excellent value for the price, even offering the active noise-cancellation.

      Type: Over-ear
      Back design: Closed-back
      Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
      Foldable: Yes
      Battery life: 35h total

      Why Buy These?

      Their design is somewhat understated and non-flashy. Headphones are made from hard plastic, which feels robust to the touch. Their earcups can rotate up to 90° in different directions and can be folded for extra portability.

      Earpads are nice and comfy, providing excellent comfort for extended listening sessions. Also, cups are big enough to fit most ear sizes. Looking at battery life, you should get around 35 hours on a single charge.

      Of course, these over-ears come with active noise-cancellation, which works relatively well in most cases, especially if you want to eliminate constant low-end humming from bus or plane engines.

      The Bad

      If you have big ears, these might cause some discomfort.

      The Sound

      Punchy bass can go very deep while keeping itself away from bleeding into the midrange. The latter remains decently clean, with a smooth treble to top it all off.

      If you want the best ANC performance under a $100 price tag, we advise you to check them. They’re comfortable, built well, and have an enjoyable sound.


      Related: Noise-cancelling headphones under $100


      9. Grado SR80e Prestige Series – best on-ear

      Grado SR80e

      Best on-ears under $100

      Type: On-ear
      Back design: Closed-back
      Connection: Wired, 3.5mm
      Foldable: No

      These are the best wired on-ear headphones under $100 and with plenty of classic style.

      The classic wired on-ear headphones with a following. That’s what this almost a classic model has become in a short amount of time.

      If you know headphones you’ve probably seen quite a few of them on the streets. They have a classic but cool design that’s hard to miss.

      The on-ear pads are soft enough to be comfortable for hours though not as comfortable as over-ears. The headband is very simple with minimal cushioning. With time, in many hours of continuous use, you might get to feel some discomfort.

      Since these are open-back headphones they basically have no noise isolation. You can hear all the surrounding noise and others can’t hear your music. This might be a bad thing for some people, but it all makes a change with sound quality.

      Build quality is good. Nothing spectacular but more than justifies the price and you can expect many years of use out of them.

      Grado SR80e are classic wired on-ear headphones without any features or gimmicks, but they do sound great.

      The open-back design creates great soundstage. That’s the feeling of spacious sound coming from all directions. Otherwise, a balanced sound signature is suitable for all music genres which makes them very versatile.

      Click here for full Grado SR80e review.


      10. Marshall Major III Bluetooth – best wireless on-ear

      Marshall Major III Bluetooth on-ear headphones

      Best wireless on-ear headphones under $100

      Marshall is known for their guitar amps and speakers. Now they make headphones too, and the Marshall Major III are superb on-ears with style.

      Type: On-ear
      Back design: Closed-back
      Connection: Wireless Bluetooth (wired option available)
      Foldable: Yes
      Battery life: 30 hours

      There are Bluetooth and wired versions of the headphones. The Bluetooth ones are often just over $100 but sometimes dip under $100.

      They have a comfortable padded design. The ear cups feel natural on your ears. This means you can listen longer, and make good use of the 30 hours of battery life.

      You can take calls with a built-in microphone. Another great feature is the AUX output. You can plug other headphones in, so two people can listen at once without sharing the headphones.

      Some of the bass frequencies can be a bit muddy. The controls for answering calls are a bit awkward and flimsy.

      The sound is as good as you’d expect from the Marshall brand. The bass is boosted though not the clearest, but the mids and highs are very clear and crisp.

      For plenty of power, comfort, and style, consider the on-ear Marshall Major III.


      11. Philips SHP9500 – best open-back

      Philips SHP9500 black headphones

      Best open-back headphones under $100

      The Philips SHP9500 headphones are comfortable and deliver a clear, wide soundstage using the open-back design.

      Type: Over-ear
      Back design: Open-back
      Connection: Wired, 3.5mm
      Foldable: No

      These headphones aren’t wireless, but they are comfortable and have an awesome sound for the price. The SHP9500 used to cost quite a bit more, but now can be yours for an affordable price.

      The breathable, double-layered, cushioned ear cups are great for listening for long periods of time. The open-backed design also allows for a more open soundstage rather than being enclosed. As a result, there’s less noise isolation but makes for better sound.

      Philips SHP9500 have great build quality and gold-plated connectors along with a long 1.5m removable cable. You can use a shorter cable if you wish.

      There are a couple of small downsides. They’re not hugely powerful in the low-end, and the Philips SHP9500 don’t have a microphone included, so no phone calls.

      The clear and balanced sound makes these great for producing and mixing music as well as critical listening. The frequency response is 12-35 000Hz, and the open-back, comfortable design means hours of enjoying music without discomfort.


      12. Sony MDR-7506 – best classic

      Sony MDR 5706

      Best classic headphones under $100

      Type: Over-ear
      Back design: Closed-back
      Connection: Wired, 3.5mm
      Foldable: Yes

      The best classic professional headphones under $100.

      If you don’t mind the outdated, vintage design than the Sony MDR 7506 are one of the best over-ear headphones in the sub-$100 price range.

      Because they’re so lightweight they’re very comfortable. You’ll barely feel them on your ears. The earpads aren’t the thickest but do a good job at comfort and noise isolation.

      Passive noise isolation is above average. The closed-back design helps these studio headphones to do their job well. Listen and monitor the sound without distractions.

      The build quality is solid too. These foldable headphones might not have the modern weak point fortifications but should serve you long enough to justify the price. The only bad thing is that they don’t have detachable cables.

      The coiled cable itself is very long so these might be only useful for studio or home use, not so much on the go. The cables end with 3.5mm AUX plug but you can also use the 6.3mm adapter if you want.

      The sound quality is where the MDR 7506 shine. The sound signature is very neutral and balanced.

      You’ll hear the music the way it’s supposed to sound while still enjoying its clarity and detail. A great choice for any professional or casual listener.

      Click here for full Sony MDR 7506 review.


      13. Status Audio CB-1 – best for studio

      Status Audio CB-1

      Best studio headphones under $100

      Type: Over-ear
      Back design: Closed-back
      Connection: Wired, 3.5mm
      Foldable: Yes

      Great modern studio headphones under $100.

      While professional studio headphones usually cost more than $100 they don’t have to. If you’re just starting your professional audio career and need some affordable gear, the Status Audio CB-1 are a great choice.

      These foldable headphones are big and bulky but also very comfortable. Their deep ear cushions fit even the biggest ears. You can easily wear them for hours without discomfort.

      Noise isolation is good due to closed-back design and tight-fitting ear pads. After all, these are studio headphones where distractions are unacceptable.

      If you can forgive their average durability and take better care of them you’ll get a great piece of equipment you can work or have fun with. The cables are detachable but the structure is rather average.

      The sound reproduction is very accurate and flat. The flat/balanced sound signature is perfect for any kind of audio work. These are great DJ headphones. But can also be a lot of fun for regular music listening.

      Click here for full Status Audio CB-1 review.


      Honorable Mentions

      Sennheiser HD 559 (review): If you’re looking for some high-quality home headphones that don’t break the bank than Sennheiser HD 559 are a great choice. They have a nice balance of bass, mids, and treble with a great soundstage. – Check price

      TaoTronics TT-BH22 noise cancelling headphones (review): An older model of noise cancelling headphones that is now even cheaper than before, still a solid buy. – Check price


      Related: What are the best in-ear monitors under $100?


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