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 100 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.
As far as in-ears go, the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air are also the best-sounding wireless earbuds under $100 we’ve tried so far. They have excellent audio reproduction and have a balanced sound that is well-suited for a wide variety of music genres, from EDM, to jazz, to even classical. They also isolate the wearer quite well even though they have no ANC feature. They hardly leak any sound at all, which is good for the office. They have a decent battery that lasts for 4 hours and a charging case that holds up to 3 extra charges.
Unfortunately, the SoundCore Liberty Air don’t have a companion app like the Jaybird Tarah or the Samsung Level U Pro to let you customize your listening experience. They also have 295 ms of latency, which is very poor. That said, the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air offer pretty good value for their price, especially considering they’re they’re portable, lightweight, truly wireless in-ears under $100.
If you don’t like always having to pull out your phone to change the volume of what you’re listening to, get the AKG N200. They’re not truly wireless like the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air, but they have an in-line remote that’s easy-to-use, unlike the finicky touch-sensitive control scheme of the Liberty Air. The AKG N200 are well-built wireless headphones that have good audio reproduction and lower wireless latency (138ms) than most Bluetooth headphones.
Unfortunately, the AKG N200 have a disappointing battery that lasts for only 6.4 hours on a charge. They also don’t have any power saving features, which means you’ll likely need to recharge them throughout the day, especially if you forget to turn them off sometimes. They also don’t isolate noise very well; however, this can be seen as an advantage for outdoor runners who need to remain aware of their surroundings. If you don’t mind their short battery life, the AKG N200 are easy-to-use in-ear headphones that deliver a satisfactory listening experience.
If you’re looking for something with a more sweat-proof design, the best Bluetooth earbuds under $100 are the Jaybird Tarah. They’re well-built headphones with a stable, secure fit and an IPX7 rating for added water resistance. They have eargel tips that don’t enter as far deep into the ear canal as other in-ear tips, so they’re fairly comfortable too.
The Jaybird Tarah are decent-sounding wireless in-ear headphones that should be okay for most music genres, but their default sound profile seems to favor more bass-heavy types of music. Fortunately, it’s possible to customize their sound to your liking with the Jaybird MySound companion app. The app also lets you create and share sound profiles with other Jaybird users. The Tarah have a decent battery that lasts 6 for hours and charges in 1.7 hours. They also have an auto-off timer to save battery life during the day when they’re not in use.
Like the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air, the Jaybird Tarah also have poor latency at 285 ms. This may make it difficult to enjoy video content on your mobile device. They also use a proprietary charging cradle to charge, which is a bit less convenient than a regular micro-USB cable. That said, whether you’re serious about fitness or just like to go on a run from time-to-time, the Jaybird Tarah are still worth considering as great sports in-ears.
If you’re looking for stylish, well-designed earbuds that are great for sports, take a look at the Beats Powerbeats3. These wireless in-ears have 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.
The Beats Powerbeats3 are decent-sounding wireless in-ears and have a deep, powerful bass that brings out the thump and rumble common to bass-heavy genres like hip-hop and EDM. Though their bass is slightly overemphasized, it doesn’t drown out vocals and lead instruments. The Powerbeats3 are well-suited for most genres, even more vocal-centric ones like pop music. They have a pretty good battery for wireless in-ears, lasting nearly 12 hours of continuous playback on a single charge. They don’t support multi-device pairing, but they feature Apple’s proprietary W1 chip for increased ease of use with Apple devices.
Unfortunately, the Beats Powerbeats3 don’t isolate noise very well. They may not be the best for commuting, since they don’t provide any isolation in the bass range and their microphone struggles to separate speech from ambient noise. That said, they’re still well-designed, comfortable in-ear headphones that will work for many.
If the Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless are out of your price range and you prefer a more understated look, get the wireless Anker SoundCore Spirit X. They might not have the same build quality of the Beats Powerbeats3, but they’re significantly cheaper for a very similar design. They’re actually quite comfortable for in-ear headphones, since they don’t enter the ear canal as deeply as other in-ears and have a nice soft ear-hook. They have a bass-heavy sound, similar to the Powerbeats3, but aren’t as well-suited for vocal-centric music.
Like the Powerbeats3, the Anker SoundCore Spirit X don’t isolate all that well. They also don’t have as good a wireless range as other similar Bluetooth headphones either. That said, they still provide great value for their price and are a solid alternative to the similarly-designed Powerbeats3.
If you have an Android smartphone or tablet and you enjoy customizing your devices, get the Samsung Level U Pro. They have a wireless neckband design that won’t be as good for sports as the more flexible braided cable of the Jaybird Tarah or the Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless, but they’re compatible with a practical companion app that offers lots of customization options.
By default, the Samsung Level U Pro have a fairly bass-heavy sound profile that’s best-suited for the deep thump and rumble of EDM and dubstep. Installing the Samsung Level app on an Android device gives you access to 2 types of graphic EQs so you can fine tune their sound your way. The Samsung Level U Pro also have an adjustable auto-off timer that can be adjusted in the app to further prolong their 9.5-hour battery life.
Unfortunately, the Samsung Level app is not available on iOS, which is disappointing for those who use Apple devices. They’re also not very portable for in-ear headphones, since their rigid neckband design doesn’t fold up into a more compact format and they feel a bit cheaply made. That said, they still deliver an all-around satisfactory experience for most use cases, especially on Android.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best 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 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.