If you're often on the go and find over-ear headphones to be a bit too bulky, in-ears and earbuds are a great portable option. They tend to be very small and easy to bring around, and some designs are also more oriented towards sports. Some might not be as comfortable as well-padded over-ear headphones, but they can be a good option for passively isolating you against the outside world without breaking the bank for high-end noise cancelling over-ears.
We’ve tested over 150 earbuds and in-ear headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best wireless earbuds under $100 to buy in 2020. If you’re looking for our top picks in general or are curious about different features, check out our recommendations for the best headphones under $100, the best wireless earbuds, the best wireless headphones under $100, and the best earbuds under $50.
The best wireless earbuds under $100 we've tested are the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2; they're also the best true wireless earbuds under $100 we've seen to date as well. They have a similar stem-design to the Apple AirPods, are very portable, and come with different tip sizes to help you find the best and most comfortable fit.
Their audio reproduction is well-balanced, but it has a little bit extra of bass, which is great if you listen to hip-hop or EDM music. They're compatible with the Anker Soundcore app which gives you access to a graphic EQ and some presets, so you can customize the sound signature to your preference. They also have a great passive isolation performance thanks to their in-ear fit, which is very useful when commuting in public transit.
However, this truly wireless design doesn't have the best battery life with about 6 hours of continuous playback, but on the upside, the case provides the equivalent of three additional charges. Also, the touch-sensitive surface can be finicky at times. If you'd prefer physical buttons, check out the Anker SoundCore Life P2 Truly Wireless, although they don't have an as good overall performance for the price.
If you don't like the idea of truly wireless headphones and are scared of losing one of the buds, then get the JBL Live 200BT neckband headphones. These Bluetooth headphones might not be as compact as the Anker, but their battery lasts much longer on a single charge and you'll never have to worry about losing them as they constantly sit around your neck. Their sound profile is very well-balanced and suitable for a wide variety of music genres. they're also decently comfortable, but feel slightly cheaply made, which is disappointing. Also, their wireless latency is pretty high, which might not be ideal if you watch a lot of videos, although some apps compensate and you might not notice it.
Get the Anker if you're looking for wireless earbuds that take up as little space as possible, but if you prefer something that you can keep on you all day long, then go for the JBL.
The best wireless earphones under $100 for sports that we've tested so far are the Jaybird Tarah. These Bluetooth earbuds are decently comfortable, portable, and very stable thanks to their stability fins. They also have a wire connecting the two buds together, which is very useful if you need to take them off and let them dangle around your neck, rather than holding them in your hands like you would need to do with truly wireless headphones.
They're very well-built and are rated IPX7 for water resistance, but we don't test this internally. Their sound signature is well-balanced and they're compatible with the MySound app that allows for lots of customization via a fully parametric EQ. Their fit also provides decent passive isolation, which can reduce the amount of noise in a crowded gym.
Unfortunately, they come with a very restrictive charging cradle that you need to bring around for them to charge, and its cable is very short. Also, the in-line remote doesn't offer the best tactile feedback, which might be annoying for some when trying to adjust the volume or skip tracks when running. Nevertheless, these are a great pair of headphones and are one of the best Bluetooth earbuds under 100$ for active people.
If you're on a tighter budget but would still like great sports headphones, get the Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 instead. Their cable might feel a bit cheaper and thinner than the Jaybird Tarah Wireless' but the Anker are more comfortable and have a better battery life. They also have an ear-hook design for added stability, so you're sure they won't fall when running or working out. However, they don't have any compatible app for sound customization like the Jaybird do and can't be connected to two devices simultaneously. On the upside, they offer a well-balanced sound profile, but might be a bit bass-heavy for some. Overall, these are a nice improvement over the Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless and offer some of the best value we've seen so far.
If you want something that is better-built and that allows you to customize your sound to your liking, get the Jaybird, but if you're looking for the best bang for your buck, then get the Anker.
The best Bluetooth earbuds under $100 for iPhone that we've tested so far are the Beats Powerbeats3. These wireless headphones have a stable ear-hook design that's great for sports but its performance is well-suited for everyday casual use too. They take advantage of the Apple W1 chip to seamlessly connect to your iPhone. They're very portable, decently comfortable, and feel durable, although they don't have an IP rating for dust and water resistance.
Their sound signature is very well-balanced and is suitable for a wide variety of music genres and can also be used for podcasts and audiobooks. They offer about 12 hours of continuous playback, which is okay for wireless headphones, although some other products can offer more. On the upside, they only take a single hour to fully charge.
However, these headphones don't isolate against noise very well and won't be ideal for a daily commute, but could be an interesting choice for outside runners who would like to listen to music while still being able to monitor their surroundings. They also don't have a companion app to let you customize their sound profile. Nevertheless, if you're looking for the best wireless earbuds under $100 for your iPhone, these are a good overall option.
If you're looking for earbuds that'll block out the ambient noise while still staying inside the Apple ecosystem, get the Beats BeatsX instead. They might not have ear-hooks for additional stability like the Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless, and their battery is noticeably shorter at about only 6 hours, but the BeatsX's design passively block a good amount of outside noise. If you're looking for headphones for your daily commute, these would be a good option, especially since they also use the W1 chip to connect easily to Apple devices. Their sound signature is also well-balanced, although they might sound a bit dark with a slight overemphasis in the bass range and a lack of detail in higher frequencies.
Get the Powerbeats3 if you're an active person who wants a sturdy pair of headphones that will last you a full day of use on a single charge. However, if you want something that will do a better job at blocking out noises around you, go with the BeatsX.
04/13/2020: Replaced the JBL Reflect Mini 2 Wireless with the Anker SoundBuds Curve 2019 Upgraded.
02/12/2020: Small updates to the text, no pick changes.
12/06/2019: Replaced Anker SoundCore Liberty Air with Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2.
10/09/2019: Added a "Best Wireless Earbuds for iPhone under $100" category.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best wireless earbuds under $100 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 for wireless Bluetooth earbuds 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.