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 nearly 120 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. These truly wireless in-ear headphones have a low-profile design that resembles the Apple AirPods but with a glossier finish. Their build quality is decent, and they’re rated IPX5 for sweat and water resistance, but their glossy finish tends to attract fingerprints. They’re decently comfortable and come with 4 silicone tip sizes to help you get a nice, stable fit.
These are the best-sounding wireless earbuds under $100 we’ve tried so far. They have excellent audio reproduction and a balanced sound that is well-suited for a wide variety of music genres, from EDM, to jazz, to even classical. They isolate quite a bit of noise passively and hardly leak any sound at all, which is good for office use.
Unfortunately, they don’t have a companion app to let you customize your listening experience. They also only provide about 4 hours of continuous playback on a charge, but this is about average for truly wireless headphones. Since their charging case provides a few extra charges, they should stay charged for most of the day if you keep them in their case when not in use. Overall, the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air are the best true wireless earbuds under $100; they offer pretty good value for their price and are easy to recommend.
If you like the neutral audio reproduction of the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air Truly Wireless but prefer something you can keep around your neck at all times, then get the JBL Live 200BT. Their neckband design makes them less portable than the truly wireless Ankers, but it's better if you like always having your music at arm’s reach. These earphones can connect to 2 devices at the same time, such as your smartphone and work PC, and have a good 10-hour battery life. Unfortunately, they're not customizable with JBL's companion app, but they do sound very well-balanced sound out-of-the-box.
Get the Ankers if you like the added portability of truly wireless earbuds, but if you prefer the neckband style or want a longer battery life, go with the JBLs.
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 really 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 Wireless. Their sound profile isn't customizable like the Jaybird's, 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 Wireless. They have a less sports-oriented design than the Beats Powerbeats 3, 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.
10/09/2019: Added a "Best Wireless Earbuds for iPhone under $100" category.