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Best Over-Ear Headphones under $100

Last updated: 4 months ago
7 min read

Are you looking for top quality over-ear headphones, but don’t want to spend a huge amount of money? Here, we’re reviewing the best options under $100.

Rating Price Connection Mic & Controls Active noise cancellation Foldable More info
Sennheiser HD 4.40 Best wireless
Sennheiser HD 4.40 Bluetooth headphones
4.3
Under $100
Bluetooth 4.0 & wired 3.5mm
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4.6
Under $100
Wired – 3.5mm
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4.4
Under $100
Bluetooth 5.0 & wired 3.5mm
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Treblab Z2 Wireless alternative
Treblab Z2 wireless headphones
4.3
Under $90
Bluetooth 5.0 & wired 3.5mm
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Audio-Technica ATH-M40x Wired alternative
Audio-Technica ATH M40x
4.6
Under $100
Wired 3.5mm / 6.3mm
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Philips SHP9500 Best open-back
Philips SHP9500
4.7
Under $80
Wired 3.5mm / 6.3mm
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Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Best noise-cancelling
Anker Soundcore Life Q30 noise cancelling headphones
4.6
Under $80
Bluetooth 5.0 & wired 3.5mm
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iTeknic IK-BH005 Comfortable noise cancelling
iTeknic IK-BH005
4.4
Under $60
Bluetooth 5.0
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Sony MDR-7506 Best for mixing
Sony MDR-7506
4.8
Under $100
Wired – 3.5mm
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Status Audio CB-1 Best for studio
Status Audio CB-1
4.4
Under $70
Wired – 3.5mm / 6.3mm
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Over-ear headphones are popular among musicians. They’re good for studio use including recording, mixing, and producing.

Most bedroom producers will be starting out with some good over-ear cans which don’t cost a fortune.

And, you don’t have to be a musician to enjoy over-ear headphones. They’re a great way to enjoy your music in peace and block out ambient noise.

Keep in mind, $100 isn’t a budget which is likely to get you the very best in audio fidelity, but it’s plenty to get a starter to an intermediate pair of headphones.

There are different options in terms of wired or wireless, noise-cancelling, or non-noise-cancelling. We’ve explored the best options in each category below.

Table of Contents

    Related headphone guides:

    The best headphones under $100
    Best Bluetooth headphones under $100
    Best earbuds under $100
    Want ANC? See the best noise-cancelling headphones under $100

    Best Over-Ear Headphones under $100

    1. Sennheiser HD 4.40

    wireless Best wireless
    Sennheiser HD 4.40 Bluetooth headphones

    Best wireless over-ear headphones under $100

    Wireless functionality is high on a lot of peoples’ wishlist, and the Sennheiser HD4.40 offer great sound quality as well as wireless functionality.

    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

    As we’ve come to expect from the Sennheiser HD range, the audio reproduction is of a high standard.

    If you are looking for more of a meaty bass range, you can pair up the Sennheiser EQ app and get more bass.

    If you are in the market for portable wireless headphones under $100 that are reliable and functional, these are the answer.

    25-hour battery life is impressive, and you can listen via headphone jack if you wish (if your battery is dead).

    Sennheiser has built these with functionality in mind. You can use the control buttons mounted in the earcups for controlling volume and even making calls with a built-in mic.

    2. Sennheiser HD280 Pro

    wired Best wired
    Sennheiser HD 280 PRO wired headphones

    Best wired over-ear headphones under $100

    Popular and well-made headphones made by one of the most renouned audio brands. The HD280s are even suitable for studio use.

    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

    Sennheiser HD 280 review

    With an impressive frequency spectrum and balanced sound, these cans are quite popular as studio headphones.

    The bass isn’t boosted like with many modern headphones, but if you want accurate reproduction of mids and highs, these are it.

    The Sennheiser HD280 is a very simple set of closed-back headphones, which makes them pretty versatile. They’re good for casual listeners and great for studio reference.

    These cans are great for space-saving as the folding ear cups mean they can be compacted to put in a bag. You can even buy them with their own case.

    A wired design provides reliable sound, and the wire is replaceable so when the cord eventually breaks you can simply replace it.

    Sennheiser HD 280 review

    3. House of Marley Positive Vibration XL

    trophy Best portable
    House of Marley Positive Vibration XL black

    Best over-ear headphones under $100 for portability

    Positive Vibration XL offer everything you’d expect from sturdy portable headphones, plus they sound good.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 40mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 24h | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 2h + quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: No | Features: 3.5mm port, foldable
    • High build quality
    • Cool design with wooden features
    • Sustainability program (helps plant 1 tree)
    • Reliable Bluetooth
    • Enjoyable, balanced sound
    • Price under $100
    • Somewhat inflexible headband
    • Smaller earpads might not fit bigger ears

    Hourse of Marley Positive Vibration XL review

    The audio quality is geared towards a balance of frequency ranges. The vocals are vibrant and come out lively. The highs are clear and precise and bass can be punchy with a nice rumble.

    Honestly, these sound good, and even more demanding users will be happy with them.

    These are quality headphones all-arround. The materials are top-notch with a beautiful finish and there’s even some wood in them.

    The metal hinges fold for easier storage, so you can take them with you.

    Although the earcups aren’t the biggest, they still fit adult ears comfortably for hours.

    On top of that, the Bluetooth connection is super strong and with 1-day battery life, you’ll hardly run out of power.

    House of Marley Positive Vibration XL review

    4. Treblab Z2

    wireless Wireless alternative
    Treblab Z2 Bluetooth headphones on the table

    The best wireless alternative under $100

    Treblab Z2’s are an affordable option to the Sennheisers mentioned above, with active noise-canceling technology.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 40mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 35h (ANC on), 20h+ (ANC off) | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 3h – Micro-USB | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX | Water resistance: IPX4 | Features: ANC, 3.5mm port, multipo supportint
    • Comfortable, plush earpads
    • Great noise isolation
    • Good build quality
    • IPX4 water-protection
    • Great sound performance
    • Hard carrying case
    • 35-hour battery life
    • Micro-USB port
    • Average ANC performance
    • Earpads get a bit sweaty

    Treblab Z2 review

    When the ANC is turned off, the audio quality is somewhat muddy and warm, with booming bass.

    Turning the noise-canceling on sharpens the output, revealing a more detailed midrange and treble. However, it comes at the expense of bass, which takes quite a few steps back.

    Z2 are well-built, over-ear headphones with comfortable ear cushions and stable fit, despite softer clamping force.

    These headphones come with IPX4 water-resistant rating, which protects them from sweat and light rain. Therefore, using them in the gym shouldn’t be a problem.

    They provide you with noise-canceling technology, which works great at combating constant low-end sounds. And, if you plan to use them for phone calls, they aren’t too bad in that category, either.

    Treblab Z2 review

    5. Audio-Technica ATH-M40x

    wired Wired alternative
    Audio-Technica ATH M40x folded

    Alternative wired over-ear headphones under $100

    A real competitor for the Sennheiser HD 280 headphones, the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x are powerful, portable and sound great, all for under $100.

    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)

    Audio-Technica ATH-M40x review

    The frequency response is flat and the drivers provide plenty of power, making the ATH-M40x a great option for all music genres.

    Arguably one of the biggest selling points for this pair of headphones is the fact they have impressive drivers made with earth magnets and copper. They provide a lot of power and a flat response.

    The headband and ear pads give an extra level of comfort, which is arguably better than the Sennheiser options on this list.

    Having a closed-back tends to be good for sound isolation, but the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x cans seem to perform better than most when it comes to passive noise isolation.

    Audio-Technica ATH-M40x review

    6. Philips SHP9500

    trophy Best open-back
    Philips SHP9500 black headphones

    Best over-ear headphones under $100 with open-back design right now

    Comfortable open-back headphones with excellent sound quality and 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

    For the price tag, you’re getting a nicely balanced sound signature, with excellent detail retrieval. The soundstage is also quite large, making them a superb option even for gaming.

    The bass is punchy but doesn’t rumble your skull. Therefore, these open-backs aren’t suitable for bassheads.

    Earpads are dressed in a breathable fabric that feels nice on your ears and prevents excessive sweating.

    Pads can go around your ear entirely, so you can wear them for hours without experiencing fatigue. However, they do leak sound a lot.

    They’re built quite well, with a mostly hard plastic body and a metal headband. Exposed drivers are protected with metallic mesh.

    Also, Philips decided to make the cable design on SHP9500 removable.

    Find more best open-back headphones.

    7. Anker Soundcore Life Q30

    anc Best noise cancelling
    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 noise cancelling headphones

    Best headphones for active noise-cancelling under $100

    Fabulous headphones from Anker that can actively reduce outside noise for an affordable price point.

    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

    Soundcore Life Q30 carry a noticeable boost in the bass. You can make the sound signature much more natural and balanced inside a companion app.

    Anker’s audio products are popular among frequent commuters. The Q30 are made for those users in mind, with comfortable memory foam earpads, up to 60 hours of battery life, and good call quality for those who make many phone calls.

    Of course, we can’t forget about the active noise cancellation. In this price range, these are splendid, coming close to the kings of noise cancelling, Sony WH-1000XM4.

    You get to choose between 3 ANC modes, or you can activate transparency mode to hear ambient noise better.

    8. iTeknic IK-BH005

    anc Comfortable noise cancelling
    iTeknic IK BH005 ANC headphones

    Best headphones for comfort in this price range

    If you are looking for noise-cancelling on a budget, you probably want comfort for long listening too. And, the iTeknic ANC Bluetooth over-ears offer exactly that.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 45mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 30h | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 45 min + quick charge – Micro-USB | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: No | Features: /
    • Switchable noise reduction technology
    • Good sound quality
    • Affordable price
    • Great battery life
    • Comfortable
    • The plastic frame feels cheap
    • Can’t compare to higher-end

    iTeknic IK-BH005 review

    These noise cancelling headphones are better suited for bass lovers. They extend very deep, and thankfully, don’t overshadow the midrange.

    Overall, their warm and non-sibilant sound profile makes for a relaxed music listening experience.

    As a bonus, they can actively reduce noise, especially in lower frequencies. If you’re a frequent commuter and a bus engine gets on your nerves, these should make that noise disappear.

    Also, IK-BH005 housing is easily foldable, which saves a bit of space in your backpack. If their 30-hour battery life ever lets you down, you can still use them with a 3.5mm audio cable.

    For optimal latency and audio quality, these headphones come with AAC and aptX Bluetooth codecs.

    iTeknic IK-BH005 review

    9. Sony MDR-7506

    trophy Best for mixing
    Sony MDR 7506 wired headphones

    Best over-ear headphones under $100 for mixing and producing

    If you don’t want to spend a lot getting professional, flat-response headphones under $100, look no further than the Sony MDR-7506.

    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

    Sony MDR-7506 review

    These are on top lists for many audio professionals. MDR-7506 sport excellent clarity, especially in the treble. Hearing micro-details in your recordings is essential for a good final recording.

    Of course, you can listen to music, too. However, they can get sibilant at times.

    Headphones are lightweight and have a foldable design, making them very portable. They’re reasonably durable, so you can be sure they’ll last you a long time.

    Long, non-detachable cable (3m stretched out) is excellent for studio but can be a bit bothersome for commuting purposes.

    While ear pads aren’t the deepest, they ensure good background noise isolation. Also, they fit bigger heads.

    Sony MDR-7506 review

    Related: The best headphones for mixing

    10. Status Audio CB-1

    trophy Best for studio
    Status Audio CB-1 wired headphones

    Best headphones under $100 for professional use

    If you need over-ears that output clean, neutral sound reproduction for studio audio work, you just found one.

    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

    Status Audio CB-1 review

    50mm drivers inside are tuned to output a near-flat sound signature, perfect for studio work. You can use them for both casual listening and critical analysis of your mix.

    Comfort is excellent. Headphones have thickly padded earpads with cutouts for ears. They fit snugly on your head, without creating pressure points. You can wear these for days.

    While other studio headphones can be bulky and hard to use to commute, CB-1 can be folded to save space. Headphone cables are also removable, which adds to their longevity.

    They do offer good noise isolation. Because of the closed-back design, you can wear these in public and not be bothered by ambient sounds.

    Status Audio CB-1 review

    Interested in more affordable options? See the best cheap headphones.

    Honorable Mentions

    AKG K240 Studio – Budget headphones under $100 with great sound quality for casual listening to music or professional work. Because of their semi-open design, they don’t block background noises very well. (AKG K240 review)

    What are Over-Ear Headphones?

    Over-ear headphones cover the whole of your ear as opposed to going inside the ear or just sitting on the ear. They provide a full, immersive sound and can block out noise better than other designs.

    Also known as circumaural or full-size headphones. They’re the go-to for a comfortable fit (like the best gaming headsets, home-listening models, or studio headphones).

    Which are Better, Over-Ear or On-Ear Headphones?

    • On-ear headphones are usually made to be compact and portable. They require fewer materials than over-ear. For this reason, they are often cheaper.
    • There are many downsides to on-ear, which may make over-ear a better choice. On-ear headphones, for instance, don’t block external sounds anywhere near as well.
    • Over-ear models can include active or passive noise-cancelling, which doesn’t work as well on on-ear design.
    • On-ear tend to have smaller, less-powerful drivers than over-ear, so aren’t as loud and clear.
    • Also, over-ear headphones are often more comfortable as they have better padding and don’t sit awkwardly on your ear, instead, they cover the whole of your ear.

    Of course, it does vary slightly depending on your needs. On-ear can be good for saving space, but the sound quality is unlikely to rival most of the best over-ear headphones.

    There are different types of headphones, like open and closed-back headphones. One of the most popular are true wireless earbuds.