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 wireless earbuds under $100 we've tested are the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Truly Wireless; they're also the best true wireless earbuds under $100 we've seen to date as well. They're decently comfortable with an in-ear design similar to that of the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless. They're lightweight, very portable, and provide solid value overall for the price.
These wireless earphones have a more thumpy, bass-rich sound than their predecessors, the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air Truly Wireless, but are still well-balanced enough to be suitable for most genres of popular music out-of-the-box. They're also now compatible with a decent companion app that gives you access to lots of EQ presets to help you find a sound profile you might prefer more. They don't last too long on a single charge, but their charging case provides five extra charges for all-day performance.
On the downside, their touch-sensitive controls aren't the easiest to use. They're still better than on the old model, but they don't provide much feedback so it can be difficult to tell whether a command was registered or not. The Anker SoundCore Life P2 Truly Wireless have physical controls that are less finicky, but they don't perform as well overall.
If you prefer being able to always keep your music at arms' reach, then get the JBL Live 200BT. Their neckband design is less compact than the ultra-portable truly wireless Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Truly Wireless, but they last longer on a single charge and their controls are much more user-friendly. They have a remarkably well-balanced, neutral sound profile that lends itself well to not only virtually all types of music, but podcasts and audiobooks too. They do feel a little cheap, though, especially for something that you might be wearing around your neck all day, but their overall solid performance makes up for it.
Get the Ankers 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 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 Bluetooth earbuds under $100 for iPhone that we've tested so far are the Beats Powerbeats 3. Not all colors are available in this price range, so you might have to make some compromises, but if you can get a good deal, it's worth it. 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.
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.