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 2019. 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.
For sports, the best wireless earphones under $100 that we’ve tested so far are the Jaybird Tarah. They’re well-designed with an earbud-like fit that makes them a bit more comfortable than many in-ears we’ve tested. They’re rated IPX7 for waterproofing and feel like solid headphones, so you shouldn’t have to worry too much about them when powering through a challenging workout.
They sound decent out-of-the-box but shine when paired with the Jaybird MySound app, which provides access to lots of customizable features. You can manage the auto-off timer, assign specific playlists to the multi-purpose button, and customize the sound of the headphones using a great parametric EQ. You can even share your favorite playlists, EQ settings with the public, and browse other community presets and playlists.
On the downside, their battery performance isn’t as good as that of other sports-oriented wireless earbuds we’ve tested. They provide 6 hours of continuous playback, which isn’t bad but is only half that of the much cheaper Anker SoundCore Spirit X Wireless. That said, these headphones have an auto-off timer to help save power, so they’ll last you a bit longer if you’re not using them for hours on end.
If you like the stable, secure fit of the Jaybird Tarah Wireless but wish their battery lasted longer, then go for the JBL Reflect Mini 2. Their sound profile isn't customizable like the Jaybird, but their battery lasts significantly longer, providing just over 10 hours of continuous playback. They don’t have any power-saving features, though, so you’ll need to make sure to remember to turn them off when not in use or else they’ll continue draining the battery. Their lack of customization can be disappointing when compared to the Jaybird, but thankfully they have great audio reproduction with a neutral sound profile that’s balanced enough to handle any genre you might throw at them.
Get the Jaybird if EQ customization is important to you, but if you're someone who tends to be away from a charger for a while, then go with the JBL.
The best wireless earbuds for iPhone under $100 that we've tested so far are the Beats Powerbeats 3 Wireless. 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.
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.