Best Headphones Under $100

Here is a selection of the best headphones for under $100 without compromising quality.

Niya Andrew • August 21, 2023 • 22 mins read

Excellent Features

Anker Soundcore Life Q30

Anker Soundcore Life Q30
  • Excellent ANC with three variations.
  • Graphic EQ and presets are available.
  • Companion app with EQ.
  • Impressive battery life
  • Easy-to-use control buttons.
  • Not waterproof or water-resistant
  • The bulky design feels heavy
  • Leak audio/sound at high volumes
  • Relatively slow bass performance

Excellent Audio

Sony WH-CH520 Wireless

Sony WH-CH520 Wireless
  • Comfortable and innovative design.
  • Impressive battery life.
  • 5-band graphic EQ and presets in-app.
  • Bluetooth multi-point pairing.
  • Excellent call performance.
  • Poor passive noise isolation.
  • No 3.5mm jack.
  • Not very good ANC performance.
  • Not a stable and secure fit for everyone.

Ultra-comfortable

GRADO SR60x Prestige Series

GRADO SR60x Prestige Series
  • Comfortable ear padding.
  • It has an aesthetic appeal.
  • Detailed audio.
  • Wider frequency range.
  • Offers value for money performance.
  • Not very good noise isolation.
  • It makes unusual sounds sometimes.
  • EQ prioritizes highs

Top Pick

Sturdy Built

Audio-Technica ATH-M30X

Audio-Technica ATH-M30X
  • Good sound quality.
  • Great structure built quality.
  • Can turn earcups around.
  • Comfortable to wear.
  • Minimum sound leakage.
  • Second option to its latest version, M50x.
  • Bad at canceling out background noises.
  • No way to control audio.

Travel-friendly

Sennheiser HD 350BT

Sennheiser HD 350BT
  • Portable, compact, travel-friendly design.
  • Supports SBC, AAC, aptX, and aptX LL.
  • Great sound reproduction.
  • USB-C charging cable.
  • Long battery life.
  • Unreliable Bluetooth multipoint connection.
  • No wired connection port.
  • Ear-cups are not built for larger ears.
  • No noise cancellation.

Affordable Price

Sony MDR ZX110

Sony MDR ZX110
  • Good sound quality for the price.
  • Foldable design. Fold into three sizes.
  • Very affordable price range.
  • Good noise isolation.
  • Wide frequency response.
  • Bass boosted sound.
  • Poor-quality plastic built.
  • Ear-pad cover can get flaky if used a lot.
  • Ear padding could’ve been more.

Impressive Battery

JBL Tune 660NC

JBL Tune 660NC
  • Compact, portable design.
  • Good noise isolation.
  • Nice sound quality for the price.
  • Options for Bluetooth and wired.
  • Impressive battery performance.
  • It is plasticky built and feels cheap.
  • Not suitable to wear for longer hours.
  • Poor ANC performance.
  • It does not come with a charging case.

Very Lightweight

Koss Porta Pro

Koss Porta Pro
  • Unique retro style design.
  • Good sound quality.
  • Portable because of it’s lightweight built.
  • Decent overall performance.
  • Retro style does not appeal to everyone.
  • Irreplaceable cables.
  • Built quality is not so significant.
  • Sound leakage at high volumes.
  • May get entangled in long hair.

Solid Bass

Skullcandy Hesh Evo Wireless

Skullcandy Hesh Evo Wireless
  • Good audio performance.
  • Rich lows and crisp highs.
  • Comfortable over-ear fit.
  • Very affordable price range.
  • Impressive battery performance.
  • Less additional features.
  • Sound leakage at high volumes.
  • No EQ feature.
  • Average built quality.
  • It does not come with a case or pouch.

Not everyone is up for spending a butt-load of money on their electronics, let alone their headphones. While the price is nothing much, If you know where to look, $100 or less can get you a lot of headphones that meet your requirements. We reviewed many wireless, wired, over-ear, and earbud headphones under $100 to discover the best for each purpose.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the best wireless headphones under $100 that you can buy online, considering factors affecting their overall performance, such as their playtime, sound quality, and comfort.


The Best Headphone Under $100 For 2024

Audio-Technica ATH-M30x

Audio-Technica ATH-M30X
Type: Over-Ear
Back design: Closed-back dynamic
Drivers: 40mm
Frequency range: 15 - 22,000 Hz
Impedance: 47 Ohms
Weight: 221g
Active noise canceling: No
Cable Length: 9.8' / 3 m
Cable Design: Single-Sided

The Audio-Technica ATH-M30x professional headphones are beyond-average headphones in sound quality. Their build quality and comfort are also above average. They will only make a little noise or draw attention to yourself. However, they need to be more durable for use in a gym and will not perform as well in noisy conditions.

According to our test results, we found Audio-Technica ATH-M30x for gaming features to have impressive sound quality for their affordable pricing, but their closed-back design limits their soundstage. They do exceptionally well in a neutral listening environment, but they might stand to be more receptive. We recommend the headphones for personal use at home or for a run. Their poor noise isolation might disappoint you when used in loud environments.


1. Sony MDR-ZX110AP On-Ear Wired

Sony MDR ZX110
Type: Over-ear
Back design: Closed back
Drivers: 30 mm | Dynamic
Frequency range: 12–22,000Hz
Impedance: 24 ohms (1KHz)
Weight: 4.23 oz
Water resistance: N/A
Active noise canceling: No
Cable Length: 1.2 m
Cable Design: Y-Type

The Sony MDR ZX110 is among the best noise cancelling headphones for under $100 from Sony and other manufacturers. Its price tag is lower than many other earbuds, yet it offers high-quality sound.

The Sony MDR ZX110 on-ear wired headphones are excellent over-ear headphones because they expertly block out ambient noise, have a powerful bass, and have exceptionally sturdy wires.

However, remember that the MDR ZX110 isn’t wireless like somewhat more expensive items like the Mpow 059. But what we like about this pair is that they are one of the most reasonably priced over-the-ear headphones on the market, and its emphasis on bass enhances the pleasure of listening to your favorite tunes. The Sony MDR ZX110, for less than twenty dollars, has everything you want, including a comfortable construction, a wide frequency response, and Active noise cancellation.


2. GRADO SR60x Prestige Series

GRADO SR60x Prestige Series
Type: On-ear
Back design: Open
Drivers: 3.5mm
Frequency range: 20 - 20,000 hz
Impedance: 38 ohms
Weight: 245g
Water resistance: N/A
Active noise canceling: No
Microphone: No
Cord Length: 68"

The Grado Labs SR60x are the best on-ear headphones under $100 with a fabric-wrapped cord and a 3.5mm connector, but we found them to be somewhat larger. Moreover, many smartphones do not have a jack for headphones, so if you want to use this with your phone, you’ll either have to find one that does or invest in a dongle.

The Grado SR60x headphones require adjusting the sliding rods to expand the band to accommodate the wearer’s head. The band may need to stretch farther to accommodate a person with an enormous head. In contrast to over-the-ear models, on-ear headphones rest directly on the outer ear, necessitating more significant pressure to keep them in place. On the other hand, Grado’s design uses extremely thick but lightweight foam, which disperses the force and relies instead on friction rather than clamping force. This style has likely survived because it is more comfortable than most on-ear headphones.

Lastly, the Grado SR60x headphones are open-backed, making them more delicate than standard on-ear models. For instance, you must be cautious so that items don’t slip through the mesh and into the driver’s compartment.


3. KOSS Porta Pro On-Ear Stereo

Koss Porta Pro
Type: On-Ear
Drivers: N/A
Frequency range: 15 Hz - 25000 Hz
Impedance: 60 Ohms
Weight: Mere 2 ounces
Water-resistant: No
Active noise canceling: No
Cable Length: 1.2m

About its design and build, the Porta Pro’s aluminum headband and foldable design are nice features. Still, the headphones’ ear cups and driver assembly are built almost completely plastic, making them feel cheap when held in the hands. Yet, the chassis they use does a great job of providing a snug and comfortable fit, so much so that you don’t feel tired or weary even after having them on for a long time. For sound performance, the Koss Porta pro-on-ear stereo headphones offer great sound quality that is not too loud or sharp but still incredibly detailed.

As our overall verdict, Koss Porta Pros are the best-wired headphones under $100 for anyone looking for a high-quality listening experience. But of the lack of a back, these headphones are not ideal for usage in a busy workplace or public spaces due to their sound leakage, but that may still not be that much of a drawback if you wear them out on your errands or other outdoor activities.


4. Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Bluetooth

Anker Soundcore Life Q30
Type Over-ear
Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
Back design: Closed-back
Drivers: 40mm
Frequency range: 16-24.000Hz
Impedance: 16 Ohm
Weight: 9.31 oz (264 g)
Mic & Controls: Yes
Water resistance: None
Battery life: 60h (40h with ANC)
Charging time: 2h + Quick charge – USB-C
Active noise canceling: Yes, hybrid
Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC
Wireless range: 65ft (20m)
Microphone: Yes, noise canceling

Life Q30 is on our top recommendation list for best noise-canceling wireless headphones under $100. They have excellent noise cancellation performance and optimal noise cancellation for your surroundings among their three options. They have a V-shaped sound profile that is both exciting and powerful. If you’d rather have more control over your listening experience, their companion app features a visual equalizer, and many presets. Over 44 hours of nonstop listening may be enjoyed during long car rides or back-to-back days at the office.


5. Sony WH-CH520 Wireless

Sony WH-CH520 Wireless
Type: Over-ear
Connection: Bluetooth Specification Version 5.2
Back design: Closed
Drivers: 11.82n
Frequency range: 20 Hz–20,000 Hz
Impedance: N/A
Weight: 5.2 oz
Water resistance: No
Battery life: 40 HR
Charging time: 3 HR
Active noise canceling: No
Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC
Wireless range: 32.81 ft
Microphone: Built-in

This pair of Sony WH-CH520 Wireless Headphones With Microphone may seem too good to be true at this price, but our editors have highly regarded them due to their high-quality sound and useful functions.

These Sony WH-CH520 wireless on-ear Bluetooth headphones with a mic are ideal for long-distance phone calls in the office or virtual meetings because of their 40-hour battery life, in-line microphone, and low price (less than $60). Plugging them in for three minutes will give you up to an hour and a half of battery life if you fail to charge them in advance.
Meanwhile, you can use Siri to make calls without touching your phone.

It’s also simple to link up with your other Bluetooth-enabled gadgets so you can play games, listen to music, or watch shows on your smart TV.


6. Sennheiser HD 350BT

Sennheiser HD 350BT
Type: Over-ear
Connection: Bluetooth Version 5.0
Back design: Closed-Back
Drivers: 32mm
Frequency range: 18 Hz - 22000 Hz
Impedance: 490 ohm
Weight: 238 gm
Water resistance: N/A
Battery life: 30 Hours
Charging time: 2 Hours
Noise-canceling: No
Bluetooth codecs: A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP, SBC, aptX™, aptX™ Low Latency, AAC
Wireless range: 10 Meters

While credit is due to Sennheiser’s attempt to introduce ergonomic headset in the best over-ear Bluetooth headphones under $100 category, the ear cups are too narrow for most listeners’ comfort. The headphones are lightweight and portable. However, the manufacturer compromised adequate ear clearance. The ear pads are removable and washable, which is wonderful if you find a third-party set that works with your headphones.

The HD 350BT is more comfortable than the HD 450BT from Sennheiser. The HD 450BT variant’s clamping force is significantly lower, making it comfortable to wear for up to two hours at a time. There isn’t much wiggle room in the ear cups, but they can be rolled up toward the headband for storage. If you’re concerned about scuffs and scratches, purchase a headphone case in addition to the Sennheiser’s carrying pouch.


7. JBL Tune 660NC

JBL Tune 660NC
Type: On-Ear
Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
Back design: Closed back
Drivers: 32 mm | Dynamic
Frequency range: 2.402 to 2.48 GHz
Impedance: 32 Ohms
Weight: 166g
Mic & Controls: Controls: Earpiece (Side Unspecified), Microphone: Earpiece (Side Unspecified)
Water resistance: .
Battery life: 55 Hours (BT), 44 Hours (BT+ANC), 35 Hours (ANC)
Charging time: 2 Hours
Charger Type: USB-C
Active noise canceling: Yes
Bluetooth codecs: HFP 1.6, A2DP 1.3, AVRCP 1.5

The JBL Tune 660NC BT headphones are the best workout headphones under 100 to look for if you prefer to exercise while immersing into your favorite soundtracks. They offer much flexibility and a long battery life of about 42 hours of continuous playback. They’re great for a wide range of music since their somewhat v-shaped sound profile gives your mixes extra punch and brightness. While they do have active noise cancellation (ANC), it does a poor job of eradicating ambient noise. You may pair them with two devices at once through Bluetooth or wired with the provided audio cord; however, they are a little flimsy and lack any sound adjustment tools.


8. Skullcandy Hesh Evo Wireless

Skullcandy Hesh Evo Wireless
Type: Over-Ear
Connection: Bluetooth® 5.0
Drivers: 40mm
Frequency range: 20Hz - 20KHz
Impedance: 32 Ohms
Weight: 213g
Battery life: 36 Hours
Charging time: 10 Minutes for 3 Hours
Active noise canceling: No
Charging Port: USB-C

The Skullcandy Hesh Evo are wireless, over-ear headphones with a sleek design making them a justified member of the best bass headphones under 100 dollars category. You get a great fit and a bass-heavy listening experience, but that’s about it. These wireless headphones are merely headphones; there is no app, no active noise cancellation, and no special capabilities for usage during exercise. That’s fine by us, but then all eyes and ears are on the sound, and the sound in this place is good but never great. The bass lacks the expected depth, and the high-mids lack the sharpness and definition that Skullcandy is known for. These headphones don’t sound terrible by any means, but they don’t accomplish anything particularly well compared to the competition.


Commonly Asked Questions About Headphones Under $100

Is there a big difference between cheap and expensive headphones?

Cheap headphones, or any other cheap audio equipment, are notorious for their poor sound quality, sluggish performance, and fragility. Expensive audio gear is typically well-designed but exaggerated in its claims. Headphones in the low (consumer) or high (professional) middle price range are usually the best bet. Check out our expertly curated list of slightly more premium headphones for $200. 

Why do cheap headphones sound muffled?

Headphones with poor design, such as those with undersized or improperly placed drivers, can also result in muffled sounds. The headphones’ audio quality is also affected by how snugly they fit over your ears. The quality of the music may suffer if the headphones are either too small or don’t create a tight enough seal around the ears.

Is it OK to buy cheap headphones?

We wouldn’t advise somebody to go out and buy low-quality headphones that won’t last more than a few weeks.

On the other hand, cheap headphones are a good option if you’re on a tight budget, want an extra pair, or want to listen to audio without experiencing the complete auditory image. Explore your cheap headphones with our expert-suggested list of Best Headphones Under $50 in 2024.

Why are open-back headphones better than closed-back?

Headphones with open backs allow air to flow through the ear cups and out the back of the speaker driver. This eliminates the need to worry about resonances and low-frequency buildup due to the enclosure’s placement in the back.

What headphones did Billie Eilish use?

Billie and Finneas use the Audio Technica ATH-M50X headphones throughout the production scenes to listen to and discuss their music.

Are bigger headphone drivers better?

The optimal driver size will vary from one set of headphones to another. The drivers in earbuds normally range from 8 to 15 millimeters in diameter, whereas those in headphones usually range from 20 to 50 millimeters. There is no correlation between the driver’s size and the sound quality it generates.

Are over-ear headphones worth it?

Over-ear headphones are the best option for anyone who wants to listen to music for extended periods in comfort. Over-ear headphones, in comparison to earbuds or even on-ear headphones, require some adjustments, but their sound quality makes the trade-off worthwhile for many of us.

Critical Considerations For Picking Headphones

Now that you have read our top suggestions, you know high virus does not guarantee a good or satisfying experience with your headphones. Let’s review the key aspects to consider while choosing headphones that won’t empty your pockets.

Sound Quality:

Make sure the headphones you pick deliver decent, if not the best, sound that fulfills your purpose. Go for the headset with a frequency range that covers the full spectrum of sound, and make sure it produces clear, crisp audio. Sony WH-CH520 Wireless is an example of an affordable can with great sound and audio performance.

Comfortable Fit:

Headphones are essential accessories you need everywhere you go. Be sure not to sacrifice your comfort for a low price if you’ll wear them for over an hour. Check that the earcups are enveloped in breathable fabric and plush enough not to cause your ears to feel fatigued after taking them off for a while. GRADO SR60x Prestige Series, which we have included in our list, retails for $99 and offers the most comfortable and snug fit than any other budget headphone.

Durable Built:

Cheap headphones don’t have to only last for a short while. Select a pair built with sturdy and high-quality material, like Audio-Technica ATH-M30X mentioned in our list above. Headphones with excellent outer structure are expected to last long, making each penny spent worth it.

Aesthetic Design:

Though this requirement is optional, many users won’t care how the set looks as long as it delivers quality performance. However, design does matter. You may want to ensure the headphones are convenient and match your style and personality. If you love to travel and want lightweight, foldable, and compact headphone, we recommend you check out the Sennheiser HD 350BT in our list.

Conclusion:

From the hand-picked selection of the best headphones under $100 to FAQs and things to consider before buying the headphones, we have covered all aspects in this review. Though, if your curious brain still tickles, we’ve narrowed down your search further to help you land that perfectly dreamy headphone without making you go bankrupt.

You are now ready to choose the headphones that fall under your budget, without sacrificing the comfort or quality of the headphones. Good luck!

Check out our specific blogs for headphones under $100 including:

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