Earbuds and in-ear headphones are great for people on the go who value versatility and are looking for a convenient way to enjoy their favorite media anywhere, anytime. Compared to over-ear headphones, in-ears and earbuds offer unbeatable portability and are generally a better option for sports since they tend to be more breathable. Sometimes they can even provide pretty good isolation performance, which is great if you don’t want to shell out big bucks for headphones with active noise cancelling (ANC).
We’ve tested over 135 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 Bluetooth earbuds under $100 that we’ve tested so far are the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2. These truly wireless in-ears offer great price-to-performance ratio with some premium features, like a case that supports wireless charging, that you'd typically only find on more expensive headphones. They have a fairly good single-charge battery life of almost 6.5 hours but can get five additional charges from their case, giving you a total of almost 39 hours, which is among the longest we've ever tested for truly wireless headphones. They feel surprisingly well-built and premium for their price, and have a design that's very reminiscent of the Apple AirPods, but with a splash of red to give them their unique flair.
Their out-of-the-box sound reproduction is fairly well-balanced, but with a slight extra thump of bass that should please most listeners. They're versatile enough for most genres of music, especially since, unlike the previous model, these now have a dedicated companion app to let you change their sound profile. Unfortunately, Anker doesn't provide a parametric or graphic EQ, but they do supply 20 presets to let you find the sound that best suits you. They also do a very good job of passively isolating background noise, making them a decent option for your daily commute or to use in the office.
Unfortunately, their in-ear fit may not be for everyone, though they aren't nearly as uncomfortable as some other headphones of this type that we've tested. Their microphone performance also isn't very good and won't work well at all in noisy environments, though this is fairly standard with Bluetooth headphones. Overall, these headphones perform much better than their price would suggest, and help blur the line between premium and budget headphones.
If you prefer a neckband style of wireless earbuds, get the JBL Live 200BT. They don't feel as premium and aren't as small and portable as the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Truly Wireless, but they're always resting on your neck so you can easily remove them and not have to worry about putting them away. They last longer off a single charge at just over 10 hours, and a have a slightly less bass-heavy sound profile. Unfortunately, they don't isolate nearly as much ambient noise as the Anker and they don't have a dedicated companion app, but their control scheme is easier to use.
If you want something that feels premium and gives you extreme portability, go with the Anker, but if you often take your earbuds out of your ear and like having a spot for them to rest, get the JBL.
The best wireless earphones under $100 for sports that we've tested to date are the Jaybird Tarah. These Bluetooth in-ears have a wire to connect the left and right drivers so you can easily hang them from your neck if you need to remove them from your ears. They feel quite well-built and are fairly comfortable thanks to their earbud-like tips that don't enter as deep in the ear canal as most in-ear options. They also feel very sturdy in the ear due to their stability-fin design and are rated IPX7 for waterproofing, though we don't currently test for this.
While their out-of-the-box sound profile is quite well-balanced, they're also compatible with Jaybird's great MySound app, which gives you access to a parametric EQ as well as presets. The app also allows you to customize their multi-purpose button as well as to set the auto-off timer from between 15-60 minutes. They isolate a decent amount of ambient sound and leak almost no audio, making them a good option to use in the office or for your daily commute as well.
Unfortunately, their battery life isn't the greatest at six hours, though that should still be long enough to last most workouts or runs. They also charge via a proprietary cable, which can be annoying. If you want something even cheaper, the Anker SoundCore Spirit X Wireless have a similar out-of-the-box sound profile and double the battery life, but they aren't customizable and don't feel as well-made. Overall, these are a well-rounded pair of Bluetooth in-ears that are comfortable and stable enough for working out but versatile enough to use as your daily headphones as well.
If you want a good pair of budget earbuds for working out but want something with better battery life than the Jaybird Tarah Wireless, check out the JBL Reflect Mini 2. They don't feel quite as well made, and they don't have a dedicated companion app or customization options, but they have much longer battery life. While their lack of a companion app means there are no EQ customization settings, their out-of-the-box sound profile is quite well-balanced and they should be suitable for a wide range of genres and content. They feel just as stable as the Jaybird thanks to their stability fins, and their earbud design is also just as comfortable.
If you want a more versatile pair of Bluetooth earbuds that are great for the gym and daily use and have great customization options, go for the Jaybird, but if their 6-hour battery gives you pause, the JBL are a great alternative with almost double the battery life.
The best wireless earbuds for iPhone under $100 that we've tested so far are the Beats Powerbeats 3. Not all colors are available for less than $100, so you might have to do some digging, but it’s possible to find them for a good price. Thanks to Apple's W1 chip, they offer seamless pairing with any Apple devices connected to your iCloud account and feature a stable ear-hook design that helps secure the earbuds in place without putting too much pressure on your ears. They’re very portable, lightweight, and come with a rubberized carrying pouch.
They have deep, powerful bass that brings out the thump and rumble of bass-heavy music like hip-hop and EDM without drowning out the vocals and lead instruments over other genres. They have a pretty good battery for wireless in-ears too, lasting nearly 12 hours of continuous playback with a full charge only taking just over an hour.
Unfortunately, they may not be the best for commuting, since they don’t isolate very much noise. That said, this means they might be suitable for outdoor runners who need to be able to remain aware of their surroundings. Overall, they’re well-designed, comfortable in-ear headphones that will work for many.
If you want something with better noise isolation but still want to stay within Apple's ecosystem, go for the Beats BeatsX. They have a less sports-oriented design than the Beats Powerbeats 3 Wireless, but they isolate significantly more sound passively and also utilize the W1 chip for easy pairing to all of your Apple devices. They sound similarly well-balanced but unfortunately, their battery life is on the shorter side at only 6.5 hours. Luckily they can be fully charged in just over half an hour, making them easy to quickly juice up before you leave the house.
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.
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.
01/13/2020: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.
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.