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The Best Headphones Under $100

Last updated: 2 months ago
7 min read

The best headphones under $100 (over-ear & on-ear) you can get right now.

Rating Price Type Connection Mic & Controls More info
AKG Pro Audio K361 Best overall
AKG Pro Audio K361
4.3
Under $80
Over-ear, closed-back
Wired – 3.5mm & 6.3mm
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4.6
Under $100
Over-ear, closed-back
Wired – 3.5mm & 6.3mm
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Sennheiser HD 4.40 Best wireless
Sennheiser HD 4.40 Bluetooth headphones
4.3
Under $100
Over-ear, closed-back
Bluetooth 4.0 / 3.5mm
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Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Best noise cancellation
Anker Soundcore Life Q30 noise cancelling headphones
4.6
Under $80
Over-ear, closed-back
Bluetooth 5.0 / 3.5mm
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Sennheiser HD 280 PRO Wired alternative
Sennheiser HD280
4.6
Under $100
Over-ear, closed-back
Wired – 3.5mm & 6.3mm
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Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Best true wireless
Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 true wireless earbuds
4.1
Under $100
True wireless, closed-back
Bluetooth 5.0
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EarFun Free Pro Best ANC true wireless
Earfun Free Pro true wireless earbuds
4.7
Under $60
True wireless, closed-back
Bluetooth 5.0
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Jabra Elite 45h Best wireless on-ear
Jabra Elite 45h wireless on-ear headphones
4.4
Under $100
On-ear, closed-back
Bluetooth
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Philips SHP9500 Best open-back
Philips SHP9500
4.7
Under $80
Over-ear, open-back
Wired – 3.5mm & 6.3mm
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Sony MDR-7506 Best classic
Sony MDR-7506
4.7
Under $100
Over-ear, closed-back
Wired – 3.5mm & 6.3mm
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Status Audio CB-1 Best studio
Status Audio CB-1
4.4
Under $70
Over-ear, closed-back
Wired – 3.5mm & 6.3mm
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After looking at 32 different headphones in the under $100 price tag, 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.

Table of Contents

    Related:

    The best Bluetooth headphones under $100
    Best earbuds under $100
    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.

    1. AKG Pro Audio K361

    1st-place Best overall
    AKG Pro Audio K361 over-ear headphones

    AKG K361 are the best headphones under $100 for a neutral sound experience

    Connection icon Connection: WIred – 3.5mm & 6.3mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 50mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 15-28.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 32 Ohm | Weight: 7.7 oz (219g) | Cable length: 4 ft (1.2m) & 9.8 ft (3m) | Features: OFC detachable cables, foldable
    • Super lightweigth
    • Harman target tuning
    • Foldable ear cups
    • Comfortable fit
    • Sound changes based on position

    AKG tuned their K361 based on the Harman target. The result is a beautifully balanced sound with nothing sticking out. Apart from natural performance, the imaging is pinpoint accurate.

    The build quality is where AKG cut some corners. While K361 still feel nice in hand, they’re entirely made of plastic, weighing only 219 grams.

    Over-ear rotating ear cups are big and can swivel to save space if you need to pack them for a trip. Earpads are nicely thick and should provide all-day comfort.

    Big positives are a detachable cable and low impedance at 32 ohms, meaning you can drive K361 with any music device. No wonder why these are our top pick.

    2. Audio-Technica ATH-M40x

    2nd-place Runner-up
    Audio-Technica ATH M40x over-ear headphones folded

    Audio-Technica ATH-M40x are one of the best headphones under $100 (for most people)

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm / 6.3mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 40mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 15-24.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 35 Ohm | Weight: n/a | Cable lenght: 47 inch (1.2m) + 118 inch (3m) | Features: Detachable cable
    • Balanced sound profile
    • Good bass
    • Professional design features
    • Quality detachable cables
    • Good noise isolation
    • Great value for money
    • Not immediately comfortable for many users (can modify)
    • Cable connecting the ear cups is susceptible to breaking (is detachable)

    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 great headphones for all kinds of music, especially if you use some equalizing to get them close to the neutral sound.

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

    Durability isn’t bad either. Mostly plastic design with metal parts comes with folding hinges 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, Audio-Technica designed these with detachable wires that are easily replaceable.

    Audio-Technica M40x review

    3. Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT

    wireless 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.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 4.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 18-22.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 25h | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: Micro-USB | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX | Water resistance: No | Features: NFC, foldable, app, EQ, 3.5mm port
    • Great sound reproduction
    • Companion app with EQ
    • Good battery life
    • Can't fit users with bigger heads
    • Unable to use built-in control when in wired mode

    The best part about these is a typical Sennheiser performance: 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.

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

    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 control essential things like volume and answering phone calls. Latency is also kept very low, despite their support of the last-gen Bluetooth 4.0.

    Related: Find best Bluetooth headphones under $100

    4. Anker Soundcore Life Q30

    anc Best noise cancellation
    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 noise cancelling headphones

    Best ANC performance under $100

    Budget headphones use to have a lot of compromises. However, the Life Q30 (successor to Life Q20) represent excellent value for the price, even offering ANC.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 40mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 16-40.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 60h (40h with ANC) | Wireless range: 50ft (15m) | Noise cancelling: Yes, hybrid | Charging: Quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: No | Features: ANC, ambient mode, multipoint, mobile app with EQ, NFC
    • Great sound quality
    • Excellent ANC with 3 modes
    • Comfortable fit
    • Companion app with EQ
    • Outstanding battery life
    • Too bassy with stock EQ
    • Bulky in size

    If you’re a fan of bass, the Life Q30 stock sound should suit you well. Of course, downloading the Anker app lets you fully customize the audio, from adding even more bass or making them near neutral.

    The audio quality is excellent, especially for the low price.

    Over-ear earpads are nicely padded with memory foam for maximum comfort. The included carrying case protects the headphone when you throw them in the backpack.

    Their noise-canceling performance is superb compared to the competition. The ambient mode is an additional safety feature for when you want to remain aware of your surroundings.

    Not many headphones have such an excellent runtime, providing 40 hours of battery life with noise cancellation turned on.

    Related:

    5. Sennheiser HD 280 PRO

    wired Wired alternative
    Sennheiser HD 280 PRO wired headphones

    Runner-up over-ear headphones under $100

    A good pair of headphones that are comfortable to wear and can output better audio quality than the vast majority of the cans in this price range.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 8-25.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 64 Ohm | Weight: 10.1 oz (285g) | Cable lenght: 118 inch (3m), 51 inch when coiled | Features: /
    • Excellent noise isolation
    • Professional build quality
    • Heavy-duty design
    • Great for monitoring at low volume
    • Heavy coiled cable can strain connectors
    • Padding and fit can be too tight for larger head sizes

    The sound quality is great. The balanced sound signature is perfect for audio professionals who need a more accurate sound reproduction or users who like natural sound.

    Sound engineers will like them, but if you’re a basshead, you should see best bass headphones.

    There’s a lot of expensive headphones that are better but in the sub-$100 price range, 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, even if you wear glasses.

    Another great feature is their background 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.

    Sennheiser HD 280 PRO review

    6. Cambridge Audio Melomania 1

    true-wireless Best true wireless
    Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 earbuds with case

    Truly wireless earbuds with audio quality 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.

    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

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

    They have a longer battery life than most of the competition. If the earbud’s battery depletes, they only need 30 minutes to recharge fully. They come with a wide selection of ear tips. If you want a proper fit, try out the memory foam ones.

    Though they don’t have ANC, for that see best noise cancelling earbuds.

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

    Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 review

    Want cheap headphones alternative?

    Best cheap earbuds

    7. EarFun Free Pro

    true-wireless Best ANC true wireless
    EarFun Free Pro true wireless earbuds

    Best truly wireless earbuds with noise cancellation under $100

    The EarFun Free Pro earbuds show that truly wireless tech is getting cheaper, as these have a lot of quality features.

    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

    These truly wireless earbuds are a joy to listen to. They add a nice bass punch to every song while retaining clarity and dynamics across the frequency response. The sound signature is warm but natural, and the soundstage is quite big as well.

    Free Pro’s are packed with extra features. You’re getting the latest Bluetooth connection version 5.2, a decent ANC, ambient mode, and support for Qi wireless charging.

    That’s more than you can expect from the best earbuds under $50.

    Since they’re tiny and come with proprietary ear tips and ear fins, you can wear them all day long without experiencing discomfort. Earbuds sport an IPX5 water-resistant rating, so you can use them for working out.

    See the best option for your next pair in our best workout headphones guide.

    EarFun Free Pro review

    Related:

    Best bass earbuds

    Best wireless earbuds under $100

    Best true wireless earbuds under $100

    8. Jabra Elite 45h

    trophy Best wireless on-ear
    Jabra Elite 45h wireless on-ear headphones

    Best wireless on-ear headphones under $100

    The Elite 45h are superb on-ears with style.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 40mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: On-ear | Battery life: 50h | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 1.5h + quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: n/a | Water resistance: No | Features: Mobile app with EQ, foldable
    • Great sound quality
    • Lightweight and portable design
    • Excellent battery life with fast charging
    • Sound leakage
    • On-ear design isn't for everyone

    Small headphones, big sound. They’re fun to listen to, with punchy bass and an ever-so-slight emphasis on highs.

    The elevation in the low-end doesn’t overtake the midrange, which stays very natural. You can further customize the sound in the Jabra app.

    The on-ear design has a bad reputation of causing discomfort. Elite 45h are different, providing just enough padding inside earpads and a headband for hours of uninterrupted listening sessions.

    Even though they’re lightweight, they pack a big battery. There are around 50 hours of juice inside them on a single charge, which is more than enough for at least a week of use. Also, fast charging gives you extra 10 hours of playtime in just 15 minutes.

    9. Philips SHP9500

    trophy Best open-back
    Philips SHP9500 black headphones

    Best open-back headphones under $100

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

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm / 6.3mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 50mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 12-35.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Back design: Open-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 32 Ohm | Weight: 11.3 oz (320g) | Cable lenght: 118 inch (3m) | Features: Detachable cable
    • Excellent sound for the price
    • Big soundstage
    • Detachable cable
    • Cushy earpads with breathable fabric
    • Not very portable due to bulkiness and open design
    • Lots of sound leakage

    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.

    The breathable, double-layered, plush ear cups are great for listening for long periods of time. The open-backs are known for a more open soundstage compared to enclosed ones. 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 audio cable if you wish.

    10. Sony MDR-7506

    trophy Best classic
    Sony MDR 7506 wired headphones

    Best classic pair of headphones under $100

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm / 6.3mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 40mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 10-20.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 63 Ohm | Weight: 8.1 oz (229g) | Cable lenght: 9.8 feet (3m) | Features: Foldable
    • Accurate and powerful sound
    • Lightweight & foldable design
    • Long cable good for studio work
    • Decent noise isolation
    • Fits well with larger head sizes
    • Non-detachable cable
    • Foldable design feels a bit flimsy

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

    Passive noise isolation is above average. The closed 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 coiled cable design itself is very long so these might be only useful for studio monitoring or home use, not so much on the go.

    Sony MDR-7506 review

    11. Status Audio CB-1

    trophy Best for studio
    Status Audio CB-1 wired headphones

    Best studio headphones under $100

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm / 6.3mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 50mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 15-30.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 32 Ohm | Weight: 13.2 oz (374g) | Cable lenght: 9.8 feet (3m) | Features: Detachable cable
    • Close to flat frequency response
    • Comfortable for long listening sessions
    • No-frills design and branding
    • Large 50mm drivers
    • Great performance for the price
    • Construction quality control issues for some units
    • Mids can seem muddy or mushy for some music tracks

    The sound reproduction is very accurate and flat, with a more subtle bass reproduction.

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

    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 to wear. Their deep ear cushions fit securely, even the biggest ears. You can easily wear them for hours without discomfort.

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

    Status Audio CB-1 review

    Honorable Mentions

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

    TaoTronics TT-BH22 review: An older model of cheap headphones with noise-canceling are now even cheaper than before and still a solid buy. (TaoTronics TT-BH22 review)

    House of Marley Positive Vibration XL review: It has a beautifully balanced signature that doesn’t mask vocals or emphasize bass. They’re also eco-friendly and can fold up to save space in your bag. (House of Marley Positive Vibration XL price)

    Shure SE215: Reliable and legendary pair of in-ear monitors. Shure’s beloved in-ear monitors stood the test of time and are still rocking the top spots on best headphone guides. Their wearing style reduces cable noise.

    Grado SR80e: Grado is one of the classic audio brands with a following. That’s why this a classic model that provides high fidelity listening experience with big soundstage. (Grado SR80e review)

    Related: The best earbuds under $100.