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The 6 Best Over-Ear Headphones Under $100 - Summer 2024 Reviews

Updated May 17, 2024 at 04:03 pm
Best Over-Ear Headphones Under $100

If you prefer the comfort, ease of use, and sound quality of over-ear headphones, you surely know how challenging it can be to find the best bang for your buck. There are many options out there, but how do they stack up? It depends on what you're looking for—some models are more versatile, with noise cancelling and Bluetooth for added convenience while commuting. However, gamers will want something with lower latency, and audiophiles will focus most on sound quality and comfort. Fortunately, there's something for everyone, even under $100.

We've tested over 375 pairs of over-ear headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best headphones with an over-ear design under $100. If you're looking for our top picks for other over-ear headphones, check out our recommendations for the best over-ear headphones, the best wireless Bluetooth over-ear headphones, and the best over-ear headphones for working out.

  1. Best Over-Ear Headphones Under $100

    The best over-ear headphones under $100 that we've tested are the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless. These lightweight, well-built headphones are a good option if you're looking for all-around casual use. They have a comfortable fit and have about 44 hours of continuous battery life to get you through long flights or a few days at work. Their ANC system can be set to different modes to target different types of noise. Using 'Transport' mode, they have outstanding noise isolation and can help cut out rumbling engines and background chit-chat, making them the best ANC headphones on this list.

    Out of the box, their V-shaped sound profile brings out the thump, rumble, and boom in your audio, while voices and lead instruments are bright. This sound is well-suited for genres like rock and pop and can be adjusted with a graphic EQ and presets in the headphones' companion app. Unfortunately, the ANC affects the headphones' sound quality, and when ANC is off, the audio sounds thinner and more hollow. The headphones also leak quite a bit of audio, so if you're listening to music at the office, people nearby might hear it. If you work in a quiet place, you might prefer the Wyze Noise-Cancelling Headphones Wireless. They leak much less audio but have a shorter battery life and weaker ANC performance.

    See our review

  2. Best Over-Ears Under $100 For Low Latency

    If you use headphones to watch videos on your phone or computer, you might prefer the Razer Opus X Wireless. They have a 'Gaming Mode' that lowers their latency, especially with iOS devices and PCs, so your audio stays in sync when watching TV or playing a game. They have a sturdy design and a comfortable fit for most people. You can't use them passively when the battery dies, but they have a long continuous battery life. We measured 68 hours of playback time, far exceeding their advertised 30 hours.

    While their lime green look may not be for everyone, they also come in white and pink colorways to better suit your style. Out of the box, their sound has extra boom and punch in the bass range, but mixes can also sound muddy. They lack more robust sound customization features like an EQ, but you can choose between a few EQ presets in the companion app, which gives you some control over the sound profile. Unfortunately, their ANC feature doesn't perform nearly as well overall as the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless', and they struggle to block out bass-range noise like rumbling engines. Still, they do a good job if you want to reduce distractions like background chit-chat or a computer fan.

    See our review

  3. Best Over-Ear Ηeadphones Under $100 For Calls

    The best over-ear Bluetooth headphones under $100 for calls that we've tested are the JBL Tune 760NC Wireless. These headphones fluctuate in price, but if you can find them for under $100, they offer a better microphone performance than the other options listed here. The integrated mic makes your voice clear and natural and does a decent job of separating it from ambient sound, so distractions like traffic outside your window or a humming A/C unit won't disrupt calls very much. Their onboard controls allow you to answer and end calls without pulling out your phone.

    Their long continuous battery life of more than 40 hours is more than enough to get you through several workdays without recharging. They also have a well-balanced sound profile, with a neutral mid-range that ensures voices are detailed and clear. That said, unlike previous picks, they lack companion software and customization features. Unfortunately, their ANC feature doesn't have the best performance, so they aren't ideal if you work in a busy office. They have a comfortable design but can feel tight, especially if you have a large head.

    See our review

  4. Best Over-Ear Headphones With LDAC Support Under $100

    If you're looking for wireless headphones that can play high-quality audio, consider the Anker Soundcore Life Q35 Wireless. They're the next generation of the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless, and although their price point tends to sit just above the $100 mark, they're worth checking out if you can spare the extra cash. Unlike their predecessor, they support LDAC, Sony's proprietary codec for Hi-Res audio. Their companion app also offers a graphic EQ and presets so you can fine-tune their otherwise bass-heavy sound to better suit your preferences.

    These over-ears have a comfortable fit suitable for long listening sessions. If you want to tune out the rest of the world when listening to music, they have an ANC system that can reduce background noise. With their ANC on, they also last over 44 hours continuously; you can even use them wired in a pinch. That said, their sound differs depending on if you're using the ANC, and when this feature is off, the audio sounds hollow and thin. They're also closed-back headphones, meaning they won't give you as immersive an audio experience as dedicated audiophile headphones.

    See our review

  5. Best Wired Over-Ear Headphones Under $100

    If you want a pair of headphones you can plug and play without worrying about charging, look at the Logitech G433. These wired headphones are primarily for gaming and can be a little tricky to find in stock. However, if you can get your hands on them, they're versatile and have a non-descript design, making them a solid budget-friendly option for casual-use headphones. They have a decently well-built, comfortable design. You can customize their well-balanced sound profile with a graphic EQ and presets in the headphones' companion software. Unlike the other picks on this list, they also support virtual surround sound, which can help make your audio more immersive.

    The headphones have a boom mic with an impressive overall performance, so your voice sounds clear and understandable over the phone, even with some noise in the background. When you're not using the mic, you can detach it to give the headphones a more casual look. Also, unlike most gaming headsets, they come with a separate cable with in-line controls for calls and music, which is helpful when using them for work or listening to music at home. However, they aren't intended for use in noisy places since they only block out a little ambient sound. They also leak a lot of audio, so people nearby can hear your music if you turn up the volume.

    See our review

  6. Best Audiophile Over-Ear Headphones Under $100

    If you're looking for dedicated headphones for listening to music, look at the Superlux HD 681. These are the best audiophile headphones under $100 that we've tested, and unlike the Anker Soundcore Life Q35 Wireless, they're wired and have a semi-open-back design. As a result, they create a more spacious and immersive soundstage than closed-backs like the Anker. However, their build quality reflects their wallet-friendly price; they feel plasticky and not very durable.

    These comfortable over-ears have a neutral sound, ensuring vocals and instruments are clear and natural in mixes. They can deliver sufficient thumpy, rumbly bass, but sibilants like cymbals are piercing. They're not designed to block out a lot of background noise, though. If you want headphones for music that block out a little more background sound and leak less audio, you might prefer the closed-back Sony MDR-7506. Although they're more pricy, their sound packs a bit more bass, and they bleed less audio at high volumes. On the flip side, the Sony's soundstage feels less immersive, and they're less comfortable.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless: The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless are the previous generation of the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless. Their out-of-the-box sound profile is less bass-heavy, and they have a more stable fit. However, they lack robust sound customization features, block out less ambient noise, lack any multi-device pairing capability, and don't last as long on a single charge. See our review
  • Philips SHP9600: The Philips SHP9600 are open-back audiophile headphones that are more comfortable and well-built than the Superlux HD 681 but have a warmer sound with more boom. Vocals and instruments are a bit more muddy-sounding compared to the more natural and flat mids of the Superlux. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. May 17, 2024: We've updated our text to ensure it's up-to-date and accurate. Our recommendations have stayed the same, though.

  2. Mar 21, 2024: We've check our picks for accuracy and product availability, but there hasn't been a change in what we recommend.

  3. Jan 15, 2024: We've made minor changes to the text so that it's up-to-date and accurate. We haven't changed our recommendations, though.

  4. Nov 20, 2023: We've replaced the Philips SHP9500 with the Superlux HD 681 as the Philips are no longer available. We've also added the Philips SHP9600 as a Notable Mention.

  5. Sep 22, 2023: We've validated this article to ensure that all picks are currently in stock and that the text is up to date.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best headphones under $100 with an over-ear design to buy for most people. We factor in the price (cheaper headphones win over pricier ones 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 of over-ear 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.