Updated

The 6 Best Headphones under $100
Reviews

Best Headphones under $100

241 Headphones Tested
  • Store-bought headphones; no cherry-picked units
  • Retest after major updates
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

There are plenty of good options if you want an entry-level pair of headphones that deliver an above-average listening experience. The headphones in this list may not be the most comfortable or well rounded, but they offer a satisfactory sound quality and additional features like wireless Bluetooth and active noise cancelling.

So far, we've tested 50 headphones under $100 and below are our recommendations for the best ones you can buy today. 

Best In-Ear / Earbuds Headphones under $100: Jaybird Freedom

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
Show Help

Test Benches: test

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
7.0
Mixed Usage
Show Help
What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
6.9
Critical Listening
Show Help
What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
7.4
Commute/Travel
Show Help
What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
8.1
Sports/Fitness
Show Help
What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
7.2
Office
Show Help
What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
5.5
Home Theater
Show Help
Score components:
5.4
Gaming
Show Help
Score components:
Type : In-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Balanced Armature

The Jaybird Freedom are portable sports headphones with enough customization options to make them a great recommendation under $100. They're stable, versatile and great for running and working out.

However, their relatively short battery life and a clunky and cumbersome charging clip may be an issue for some. In this case, you might want to consider the Jaybird X3 or the X2, even if it's a bit outdated and doesn't have any app support.

See our review

Alternative for Sound Quality: Bose SoundTrue Ultra In-Ear

Type : Earbuds
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : No
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

If you find typical in-ears a bit uncomfortable but still want an ultra-portable headphone under 100$, then get the Bose SoundTrue Ultra In-ear. They have an earbud fit that's more comfortable and better isolating than the 1More Triple Driver, which we often recommended, they also pack a bit more bass. This makes them more suitable to use in noisy conditions and a good choice for fans of bass-heavy music.

Unfortunately, they do not feel as durable or look as premium as the 1More, and their simple earbud design does not have as many features as the Samsung Level U Pro or U Flex.

See our review

Best On-Ear Headphones under $100: Samsung Level On Wireless

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
Show Help

Test Benches: test

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
6.8
Mixed Usage
Show Help
What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
6.9
Critical Listening
Show Help
What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
7.2
Commute/Travel
Show Help
What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
6.9
Sports/Fitness
Show Help
What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
7.1
Office
Show Help
What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
5.8
Home Theater
Show Help
Score components:
5.6
Gaming
Show Help
Score components:
Type : On-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : Yes
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Samsung Level On are the best on-ear headphones to purchase under 100$. They have a lot more features and codec options than the JBL E45BT although they're not as well built and do not sound as good out-of-the-box.

On the upside, they're lightweight, comfortable, and noise canceling. If you have an Android device, then you can customize their sound profile with the Samsung Level app which makes them a more versatile than most of the other on-ears within this price range. 

See our review

More Comfortable Alternative: Skullcandy Grind

Type : On-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

If you prefer the compact size of on-ears but don't typically find them comfortable, then consider the Skullcandy Grind. They're surprisingly well-padded and don't put as much pressure on your ears like other similarly designed models. They're also decently versatile and well-made for headphones under $100.

They won't be the best to use in loud, noisy environments, but their build and sound quality are easy to recommend if you're looking for a well-rounded pair of headphones to use on a daily basis. 

See our review

Best Over-Ear Headphones under $100: Logitech G433

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
Show Help

Test Benches: test

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
6.6
Mixed Usage
Show Help
What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
7.9
Critical Listening
Show Help
What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
5.7
Commute/Travel
Show Help
What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
5.9
Sports/Fitness
Show Help
What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
6.2
Office
Show Help
What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
6.0
Home Theater
Show Help
Score components:
7.5
Gaming
Show Help
Score components:
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : No
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The best over-ear headphones under $100 that we've tested so far are the Logitech G433. They're a gaming headset with a casual design so you can use them outdoors. They're comfortable, and they have an excellent sound quality that's surprisingly well-balanced for their price range. 

They won't be as convenient as some of the wireless Bluetooth headphones on this list for day-to-day use, but they sound a lot better and come with both a boom mic for gaming and a regular audio cable to use with your phone. This makes them a good choice for both gamers and critical listeners.

However, since they are closed-back headphones, they won't create a soundstage as spacious and open as the Philips SHP9500. If you primarily use your headphones at home, then the Philips are a decent alternative for critical listening. 

See our review

More Versatile Alternative: Skullcandy Hesh 3

Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

If you want a more versatile alternative to the Logitech G433 and you enjoy a bit of bass, we recommend the Skullcandy Hesh 3. They are decently comfortable wireless headphones with a lightweight, easy-to-use design, great battery life and an above-average sound quality that packs a lot of bass.

Unfortunately, their build quality is not as sturdy as some of the other wireless over-ears we've tested like the Bluedio T4, and even the Skullcandy Grind feel much more durable but the on-ear design might not be for everyone. If you want a decently affordable wireless over-ear, then the Hesh 3 are a good choice, especially if you listen to a lot of bass-heavy tracks. 

See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Logitech G930. A wireless gaming headset with lots of customization options. A good substitute to the Logitech G433. See our review
  • Corsair Void RGB. A good alternative to the Logitech G433 if you're looking for a wireless gaming headset. See our review
  • HyperX Cloud II.  A wired gaming headset with a sturdy build quality and a mobile-friendly design. Also a good alternative to the Logitech G433. See our review
  • Audio-Technica ATH M40x. Good audio quality, straightforward, wired design. Slightly plasticky and a bit cumbersome to use as casual headphones. See our review
  • Shure SRH 440. Well-balanced sound. Does not isolate well in loud environments and can be a little leaky at high volumes. See our review
  • Sony MDR-7506. Above-average audio quality and a decently comfortable design. Build quality feels a little plasticky and cheap. See our review
  • Jaybird X2. Good in-ears under $100 and an alternative to the Jaybird Freedom. A bit outdated and it doesn't have any app support. See our review
  • Philips SHP9500. Great sound quality for critical listening. Comfortable and open but not suitable for more casual use cases. See our review
  • SteelSeries Siberia 200. Excellent sounding and affordable wired gaming headset. Semi-open design does not isolate well in noisy conditions, and their build quality is subpar-at-best. See our review
  • Samsung Level U Pro. Good active features and customization options on Android. A good alternative to the Jaybird Freedom if you don't mind around-the-neck designs. See our review
  • 1More Triple Driver In-Ear. Great build quality and good sound. A good alternative to the SoundTrue Ultra but their in-ear fit might not be as comfortable for some. See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best headphones under $100 to buy for most people. We factor in the price (a cheaper headphone wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors and availability (no headphones that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our reviews for headphones under $100. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect headphones. Personal taste, preference and listening habits will matter more in your selection. 

Questions Found an error?

Let us know what is wrong in this question or in the answer.

Email:

Questions & Answers

1 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
0
I have been looking for noise cancelling headphones for a while and all of them are so expensive. What noise cancelling headphones that are less than 30 dollars do you recommend.
We aren't aware of any good sounding active noise cancelling headphones in that price range, but some in-ear headphones can provide great passive isolation at a relatively low price. Our recommendation would be the Jaybird Freedom, although it's slightly above your price point.
Questions Have a question?

Before asking a question, make sure you use the search function of our website. The majority of the answers are already here.

Current estimated response time, based on # of pending questions: 3.9 business days.

:
:
A valid email is required. We answer most questions directly by email to prevent cluttering the site.