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 180 earbuds and in-ear headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best wireless earbuds under $100 to buy. If you’re looking for our top picks in general or are curious about different features, check 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 that we've tested. They have a similar stem design to the 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 that 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.
This truly wireless design doesn't have the best battery life with about six 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 as good overall performance for the price.
If you want earbuds with a neckband design, consider the JBL Live 200BT. While they aren't as portable as the compact Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Truly Wireless, their around-the-neck design means that you won't need to worry about dropping your earbuds. They have a comfortable, stable in-ear fit that should prevent them from falling out during physical activity. Their out-of-the-box sound profile is actually more neutral and better-balanced than the Anker, though some listeners may prefer the Anker's bass-heavy sound. Unfortunately, these earbuds don't have a companion app or any sound customization features. That said, their over 10-hour battery life should be enough to get you through your commute and your day without a recharge.
If you want a truly wireless pair of earbuds, go with the Anker, but if you prefer an around-the-neck design, choose the JBL.
The best wireless earbuds under $100 for sports that we've tested are the Jaybird Tarah. These well-built wireless in-ears are decently comfortable and have a very stable fit, so they should stay on your ears even during intense physical activity. They also have an IPX7 rating for sweat and water resistance, though we don't test for this.
They have a neutral, well-balanced sound profile that makes them versatile for a variety of music genres. Using the dedicated companion app, you can even adjust the sound to your liking using a parametric EQ and several presets. You can also use the app to access and share sound profiles with other Jaybird users.
Unfortunately, they only have six-hour battery life. This shouldn't be an issue if you plan to use the headphones during your workouts, but if you want to use them during your commute and at work, it may not be ideal. That said, they also have a quick charge feature that can give you one hour of playback from just 10 minutes of charge time, which may solve this issue for some listeners.
If you're looking for a cheaper pair of sports-oriented earbuds, consider the Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 instead. These earbuds don't have a companion app or any sound customization features, but their over 18-hour battery life is superior to the Jaybird Tarah Wireless. They're also well-built, very comfortable, and IPX7-rated for sweat and water resistance. Their ear-hook design gives them a very stable fit on your ear, so they should stay in place during your workouts. While their sound profile is decently neutral, it's a little more bass-heavy than the Jaybird, which fans of bass-heavy genres like EDM and hip-hop may actually prefer. Unlike the Jaybird, these earbuds also come with a hard case to help protect them while you're on the go.
If you want to be able to adjust the sound of your earbuds, go with the Jaybird, but if you're shopping on a budget and want longer battery life, choose the Anker.
The best Bluetooth earbuds under $100 for iPhone that we've tested are the Beats PowerBeats3 Wireless. These wireless in-ears are fairly well-built and have a very stable fit courtesy of their ear hook design, which allows them to stay in place even during intense workout sessions. Their almost 12-hour battery life should allow them to last marathon distances, and they charge quite quickly.
They have a well-balanced sound profile that should suit a wide variety of audio content, ranging from audiobooks to classic rock, though their slightly overemphasized bass range should give your favorite EDM and hip-hop tracks a touch of extra kick. While they don't filter out much background noise, that may be helpful if you plan on using these headphones while running outside and want to stay aware of your surroundings. Like most of the Beats lineup, they make use of Apple's W1 chip to allow for quick and seamless pairing with iOS devices.
Unfortunately, their in-line microphone struggles to isolate speech from even moderate background noise, and their companion app offers almost nothing in terms of functionality. Also, these headphones are becoming slightly hard to find, as they're gradually being phased out in favor of the newer Beats Powerbeats 4 Wireless, which offer similar overall performance but last longer on a single charge.
The best budget wireless earbuds that we've tested are the FIIL T1X True Wireless. These true wireless earbuds punch well above their price point in terms of features and performance, with a seven-hour continuous battery life, 15 different switchable EQ presets, and a proprietary 'Low Latency Mode' meant to drop their audio latency on some devices. They're made of dense plastic and feel quite comfortable, in no small part thanks to their included selection of differently-sized stability fins and ear tips.
They deliver audio very consistently and have a slightly bass-heavy sound profile that should add thump and rumble to your favorite EDM and hip-hop tracks without overwhelming more delicate vocals or instrumentals. They don't leak much in the way of audio and do a decent job of filtering out background noise, so you can stay focused on what you're listening to. They come with a charging case that stores an additional three full charges, yielding roughly 27 of total playback time, which is amazing.
Their touch-sensitive control scheme takes some getting used to, and their integrated microphone makes your voice sound unnatural, thin, and distorted. Small issues aside, if you're looking for budget-friendly true wireless earbuds with a rich feature set, they're a good option.
10/09/2020: Removed Beats BeatsX Wireless pick. Added new 'Best Wireless Earbuds Under $50' category with FIIL T1X product pick.
08/11/2020: Updated text for accuracy and clarity; no changes to product picks.
04/13/2020: Replaced the JBL Reflect Mini 2 Wireless with the Anker SoundBuds Curve 2019 Upgraded.
12/06/2019: Replaced Anker SoundCore Liberty Air with Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2.
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 headphones reviews. 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.