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 195 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 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 an overall performance for the price.
If you're looking to spend a little less on a pair of truly wireless headphones, you may want to consider the ENACFIRE E60. Unlike the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Truly Wireless, these budget-friendly in-ears don't have a companion app with a graphic EQ, but they're slightly more comfortable and similarly well-built. They have a longer continuous battery life of over six and a half hours too, and their case supplies over 40 hours of total playback time. Their sound profile is mostly well-balanced, so they should suit a wide variety of musical genres and content. They also do a very good job of passively blocking out ambient noise and leak very little audio, so you can listen to music at fairly high volumes without worrying about disrupting people nearby. Unfortunately, their integrated mic is quite poor overall, as it makes your voice sound muffled and distorted, and it struggles to isolate speech from background chatter.
Get the Anker if you want more customizable truly wireless headphones, but consider the ENACFIRE if you're looking to save some money without sacrificing battery life or build quality.
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.
The best Bluetooth earbuds under $100 for iPhone that we've tested are the Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019. Despite their budget-friendly price, these wireless in-ears are decently well-made and supply a relatively impressive continuous battery life of over 18 hours. They exhibit fairly low audio latency on iOS devices, though it's worth mentioning that apps and devices compensate for latency to differing degrees.
They have a relatively well-balanced sound profile with a slightly exaggerated bass range, which emphasizes the thump and rumble of EDM and hip-hop music without totally overwhelming vocals and instrumentals in other genres. They leak very little audio, so you should be able to listen to content at relatively high volumes without annoying people nearby. Their ear hook design also gives them a very stable yet comfortable fit, so they should have no trouble staying in place during strenuous workouts.
Unfortunately, they don't have any sort of sound customization features, such as a companion app or EQ presets. Also, while their microphone offers decent recording quality, it struggles to isolate your voice from background noise. That said, their impressive price-to-performance ratio also helps make them some of the best earbuds under $50 that we've tested.
The best budget wireless earbuds that we've tested are the FIIL T1X. 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.
12/08/2020: Replaced Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless with Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 and removed 'Cheaper Alternative' category. Replaced JBL Live 200BT Wireless with ENACFIRE E60 Truly Wireless.
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 reviews of wireless earbuds and in-ears 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.