Wireless headphones are becoming easier to find and more affordable than ever. Whether you have a smartphone with no audio jack or are simply looking to free yourself from tangled cables for good, wireless Bluetooth headphones are the way to go. However, Bluetooth headphones can have microphone and latency issues, so although they’re usually fine for casual use, they may not be the best bet for gamers. If you want a pair of wireless headphones to game or watch TV from the couch, but you’re concerned about latency issues over Bluetooth, some headphones use a dedicated USB transmitter to create a wireless connection with less lag and better microphone quality.
We’ve tested over 180 wireless headphones and below are our recommendations for the best Bluetooth headphones under $100 to buy in 2020. If you’re looking for earbuds specifically, check out our recommendations for the best wireless earbuds under $100 and the best wireless earbuds under $50. See also our recommendations for the best budget wireless headphones and the best headphones under $100 for more options.
The best wireless headphones under $100 that we've tested so far are the Mixcder E9 Wireless. With these headphones, you're definitely getting bang for your buck. The build quality is reasonable, with a headband that's reinforced with metal and the hinges feel solid. If you're worried, though, they do come with a hard carrying case for extra protection.
These headphones sound good for their price. The bass is punchy without sounding boomy, but the mids and treble range can be a bit uneven and lacking detail. It's a sound profile that is versatile but better-suited for bass-heavy music. The active noise cancelling does a good job of blocking out ambient noises as well, with the bass and treble region being where they're the most effective. Unfortunately, there isn't a companion app to customize these headphones. On the upside, the battery life is good, averaging 18 hours of playback, which should be enough to get you through the day.
It's worth noting that these headphones are becoming increasingly difficult to find, as the availability on Amazon is strictly from third party sellers at an increased price. However, they're still available for purchase through Mixcder's website for under $100. If you're looking for a decent pair of headphones without spending a fortune, check out the Mixcder E9 Wireless.
If you need something cheaper or headphones with better active noise cancelling, take a look at the Mpow H10 Wireless. The plastic build does feel cheaper and less durable than the Mixcder E9 Wireless, but for such a low price, you're still getting a pair of headphones that sound good with great noise isolation. When ANC is enabled, they're great at blocking out noise across the entire frequency range and still manage to have an average of 23 hours of playback time, which is great. The only weak point that's concerning are the hinges, which produce a snapping sound when folding the headphones for transport.
If you can afford the Mixcder, they're still a better choice. But for something cheaper without compromising too much on performance, try the Mpow.
If you're a bass-head, you may want to take a look at the Anker SoundCore Life 2 Wireless. At 28 hours of continuous playback, these headphones can dish out some serious bass and somehow never overpowering vocals or sounding boomy. They're not as comfortable as the Mixcder E9 Wireless, though, mainly due to the very large headband, which may cause the headphones to fall off if you have a smaller head. The performance of the active noise cancelling is a bit of a mixed bag. They're great at blocking noise in the treble and mid range, but falls short when it comes to the bass region, where the rumbles of airplane and bus engines reside.
If you're concerned about fit, then go with the Mixcder. If you like teeth-rattling bass, however, the Anker are for you.
The best on-ear wireless headphones under $100 that we’ve tested so far are the Skullcandy Grind. They have a comfortable, lightweight design that’s pretty easy-to-use with an efficient control scheme. They feel fairly well-built, especially for their price, and can be used wired or wirelessly.
They reproduce audio fairly well, with a reasonably well-balanced sound that’s generally suitable for most music genres. Some may find they sound a little sharp, but this won’t be an issue for everyone. They have a good 15-hour battery life and charge in less than 2 hours, which is decent. Just remember to turn them off when not in use, since they don’t have an auto-off timer.
On the downside, they’re not compatible with a companion app, which can be disappointing for those who are sensitive to their brighter sound profile, since their sound can’t be as easily EQ’d as that of the JBL Live 400BT Wireless. They also don’t fold into a more compact format. That said, their low-profile design is easy to wear around the neck, especially since it isn’t too heavy, and they’re decent wireless on-ears overall.
If you’re looking for on-ear headphones that have a more customizable sound profile, then consider the JBL Live 400BT. They’re not nearly as comfortable as the Skullcandy Grind Wireless, but they’re compatible with the JBL Headphones app which provides access to a parametric EQ so you can fine-tune the way they sound to better suit your tastes. Their battery performance is also much better, especially since they have an auto-off timer you can toggle in the app. Unfortunately, they feel quite cheaply made and can fit rather uncomfortably tight at times. That said, they still perform well overall and provide pretty good value for their price.
Go with the Skullcandy if comfort is your top priority. However, if you prefer to be able to customize your headphones' sound profile, the JBL are a good option.
If you’ve been considering truly wireless headphones, the best in-ear Bluetooth headphones under $100 we’ve reviewed so far are the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air Truly Wireless. They’re super portable in-ears with a stable fit and impressive isolation performance, which makes them great for light fitness use and a good choice for commuters.
These headphones have surprisingly good audio reproduction for in-ears. They block out ambient noise quite well, which makes them a good choice for use on the bus or in the subway. They also hardly leak any sound at all, so you can raise the volume on a song you like at work without bugging your colleagues. They have a 4-hour battery life, which is about average for truly wireless earbuds, and they have a power-saving mode to help preserve the battery.
Unfortunately, they have a touch-sensitive control scheme that provides mediocre feedback and no volume control. The SoundPeats TrueFree are a cheaper option to consider, but they don’t perform as well as the Anker overall. Even though their controls are a bit disappointing, these are still versatile truly wireless in-ears that provide pretty good value for the price.
If you’re looking for wireless earbuds specifically to wear while running or working out, get the Jaybird Tarah. They’re not truly wireless like the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air Truly Wireless, but their build quality is better and they have an IPX7 rating for superior water and sweat resistance. They’re also compatible with the great Jaybird MySound app that provides an impressive parametric EQ along with a large selection of presets for you to customize your sound your way. However, like most Jaybird headphones, these use a proprietary charging cradle, which is quite restrictive in length and compatibility.
Get the Ankers if you're looking for something for more casual use and care more about noise isolation. However, if you want the ability to customize your sound or use your headphones primarily for sports, go with the Jaybirds.
If you’re looking for wireless earbuds that will connect seamlessly to your iPhone, go with the Beats BeatsX. Like the Jaybird Tarah Wireless, they're not truly wireless like the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air Truly Wireless, but they come with Apple's W1 chip for easier pairing with your Apple devices. They provide deep, thumpy bass while still sounding well-balanced which makes them suitable for most popular genres of music. They also offer great passive isolation, so they're a good option for commuting or traveling. They only have a 6.5-hour battery life, but thankfully can fully charge in just over half an hour.
Go with the Anker if you'd rather have truly wireless earbuds, but if you want to stay within the Apple ecosystem for its added ease-of-use, go for the Beats.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best wireless headphones under $100 for most people to buy. 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 headphones 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.
12/05/2019: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.