Best Earbuds Under $100 For Excellent Quality Of Sound

best earbuds under $100

Earbuds are available for purchase almost anywhere.  That said, cheaper sets tend to break and have poor sound quality.  The temptation to save money could end up costing you more in the long run.  To stop the cycle, you have to find earbuds that merge quality, function, and price, which leads us to our list of the best earbuds under $100.  

Earbud Facts

Earbuds are an alternative to traditional headphones.  They are more portable, compact, and can be purchased at various levels of quality. The most significant distinction between buds and traditional headphones is that they are inserted into the ears rather than worn over the ears.

The simple design of earbuds makes them ideal for working out, wearing while commuting, or when in a public setting.  Their design minimizes dead space, meaning no sound is lost between the bud and your ear, in contrast to headphones, giving users a superior sound stage.

Earbuds come in various sizes and fits, such as flat buds which sit on the tips of your ears and rounded buds made to fit inside your ear canal.  There are also noise canceling options and ones with studio quality sound.  There are several tiers of earbuds that determine their quality, drivers, and price:

  • Low tier
  • Mid-tier
  • Low upper tier
  • Upper tier

Low tier buds are available for purchase almost anywhere, such as at convenient stores, gas stations, and even online for as little as ten cents...yes, cents.  Higher tier buds, purchased online or at specialty stores, can cost nearly three thousand dollars! That is quite a range, which is why so many people have no idea what to choose.

best earbuds under $100

How We Reviewed Our Best Earbuds Under $100 Choices

Our top picks were reviewed and graded based on a short list of the most important and practical qualities:

  • Construction
  • Fit
  • Drivers
  • Connectors and adaptors
  • Durability

Obviously, there are aspects unique to each set of buds, so our ranking fluctuated for those characteristics.  Since we have done all the footwork for you, your choice will be far simpler.  Consider what you are looking for in a set of buds, and what you have disliked about your previous sets.  Doing so will help you pinpoint the set that is the right choice for you.

Price vs. Options

best earbuds under $100

As we discussed earlier, the price range for earbuds is all over the place.  The best way for you to understand how amazing some of our picks are, especially for the price, is to help you understand what you get on the lower and higher tiers of earbuds.

On the high end, you have virtual works of art such as the Audeze LCDi4. This set of buds sells for about 2,500 dollars, pre-tax.  Obviously, they won’t be making our list. That said, It is worth noting, this option only has dual drivers, while one of our deals for under 100 dollars has three.  We also have an option on our list that has a two-year warranty vs. the shorter one for this ultra expensive model.

Some Audeze LCDi4 features include:

  • Dual 30mm planar magnetic drivers with an ultra-thin diaphragm, enhanced dynamics/detailed sound, and patented magnetic technology
  • Silicone ear tips
  • 47-inch OCC silver-plated cable with 3.5mm connector
  • Storage wallet
  • Handmade in the USA
  • One-year warranty

On the complete bottom of the price spectrum for earbuds, are the Economy Earbud Headphones.  They won’t be making our list of Best Earbuds Under $100.  The specs rundown is pretty unimpressive, but here it goes:

  • 10mm drivers
  • Rubber earbud covers
  • 3.5-inch cord
  • No volume control
  • Thirty-day warranty 

Our Top Ten Picks

Ok, now let’s get into what you all have come for, the top ten best earbuds under $100.  

1MORE Triple Driver In-Ear Earphones Hi-Res Headphones with High...
  • Three drivers- These headphones have two balanced armatures and a separate dynamic driver. Together they deliver an...
  • Tuned By A Grammy Award Winning Sound Engineer- 1MORE collaborated with internationally acclaimed producer, mixer, and...
  • Comfortable ergonomic design- the OBLIQUE angled ear fittings naturally match your ear canals. 9 sets of included ear...

The 1MORE is power packed and has an innovative design.  They are ideal for lovers of EDM, Hip Hop, or any genre rich in bass, but also cater to guitar work as they have high-quality treble.  The soundstage is almost unparalleled in this price range, and they are the first buds ever to be THX Certified.

Pros

  • Bass heavy
  • Excellent treble
  • High-quality sound for a reasonable price
  • Memory foam and silicone tips (nine pairs total)
  • Airline adaptor
  • Magnetic travel case
  • Shirt clip
  • Noise isolation
  • Two balanced armatures and separate dynamic driver
  • THX Certified

Cons

  • Poor fit, constantly need adjusting
  • Not suited for an active user, unlike Bose SoundSport

Pricing, Purchase Options, And Warranty

When purchased directly from 1More, these earbuds have a thirty-day money-back guarantee.  They also have a one-year warranty.  That said, you have to be careful where you buy them.  They sell for up to 150 dollars at retailers like Best Buy but make our list of Best Earbuds Under $100 because they come in under 100 dollars from most other suppliers, including 1MORE.

Bose SoundSport In-Ear Headphones, 3.5mm Connector for Apple Devices -...
  • Deep, clear sound enhanced by exclusive TriPort technology for crisp highs and natural sounding lows.Connectivity...
  • Proprietary Stay Hear tips, in three sizes, conform to your ear's shape to stay comfortably in place all day
  • Sweat and weather resistant; engineered and tested for lasting quality and durability;Case:8.4 cm Height x 8.4...

Bose Soundsport earbuds are ideal for people who commute or are active when wearing their units, hence the name SoundSport. Their design goal was to give users clarity of audio.

Pros

  • Crisp, clear audio even at high frequencies
  • Treble is fairly stable
  • Base has depth
  • Decent Midrange
  • Good for the average user
  • Built-in microphone
  • Remote access
  • Auto turn off
  • Wireless
  • Sweat and weather resistant
  • Sweat and weather resistant

Cons

  • Compresses sound of subtleties in audio aren’t clear
  • The treble range could be improved
  • Not ideal for audiophiles
  • Non-noise isolating–unlike other options on our list
  • On the higher end of the price spectrum

Pricing, Purchase Options, And Warranty

The Bose SoundSport sells for between 59.9 to 99.00 dollars.  The traditional warranty is one year in the US and two years in the EU.  While there are not normally coupons for this item, if you are comfortable buying them from retailers on eBay, or other smaller online merchants, you can snag a deal.  That said, if these buds pique your interest, the Marshall Mode earbuds, should be on your radar too.

Shure SE215-K Sound Isolating Earphones with Single Dynamic...
  • "-K" designates the product's color variation (black).
  • Evolved from personal monitor technology that's been road-tested by pro musicians, the SE215 offers detailed sound with...
  • Comfortable sound isolating sleeves block up to 37 dB of ambient noise. Sound isolation technology prevents outside...

Shure SE215 is a relatively affordable earbud option.  They have noise canceling technology of 37 dB, making them great for commuters.  The units have excellent sound considering their price.

Pros

  • Well-balanced sound like audio spectrums
  • Over the ear design
  • Carrying case
  • Gold-plated MMCX earpiece connectors
  • Color varieties
  • Kevlar-reinforced cable

Cons

  • The over the ear design is not for everyone
  • Large size
  • It needs one lithium polymer battery

Pricing, Purchase Options, And Warranty

The price range on this set is wide.  Depending on where you purchase them they will cost between $64-$119 dollars. Just like the Sennheiser Momentum units, they have a two-year limited warranty.  It is probably best to buy this option online since finding them in a brick and mortar store is hit or miss.

We have to admit; for the price, these are not our top choice.  However if you can catch them for a deal, they may be worth it.  These units are better suited for music with minimal base.  They are not a good choice for active users as they tend to fall out.

Pros

  • Clear and stable sound
  • Made of brass for less distortion
  • Provides a secure fit

Cons

  • Will need burning in
  • The sound is poor quality straight out of the box
  • Lacks bass
  • Heavy
  • Not very durable
  • Right-angled plug
  • No microphone available

Pricing, Purchase Options, And Warranty

These should not be confused with the 650AP model, which is significantly less expensive.  The model B comes with a price of around 70.00 to 90.00.  They are not widely available, and the best place to get them is online.  They come with a one-year warranty..

Focal Sphear S High-Definition In-ear Earphones, Black
  • 10.8mm electrodynamic drivers for rich and natural sound
  • Bass-reflex system for ultra-realistic bass
  • Stainless steel ring and grille for increased aesthetics

Focal Sphear get a lot of hype because a Grammy award-winning sound engineer tuned them. Presumably, that translates into better sound quality.   That said, the design is lacking. The biggest complaint on these is that they are awesome until one of the buds dies.

Pros

  • Three adjustable electrodynamic drivers
  • Foam ear tips
  • Airline flight adapter
  • Shirt clip
  • Dedicate bass reflex

Cons

  • Too sensitive for an external amp
  • Not durable
  • Weaker low and mid-range frequencies

Pricing, Purchase Options, And Warranty

The price on these units range from about $90 to $150 dollars, so look around to find the best deals.   For accurate warranty information, consult the booklet that comes with your set

Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear (Android version) - Black Red
  • Samsung Galaxy model using newly designed, tangle-free oval cable featuring 3-button in-line remote with integrated...
  • Custom machined, low resonance stainless steel housing deliver a detailed and accurate sound
  • High-quality dynamic transducers produce high output level with low distortion

The Sennheiser Momentum earbuds come in on the higher range of our list.  What they lack in some features, they make up for with one of the longest warranties available on our list of Best Earbuds Under $100. They were developed with crystal clear sound in mind.  This set is not the best for lovers of metal, hard rock, or anything guitar heavy, but if you love bass, these may be your pick.

Pros

  • It comes with a Two-Year Warranty
  • Intense bass range
  • Slim streamline design
  • Fair treble
  • Built-in microphone

Cons

  • High-end frequencies can get distorted
  • Timid midrange
  • They are not ideal for large devices

Pricing, Purchase Options, And Warranty

The Sennheiser Momentum units sell for between $75 to $99.99 dollars.  You can find a better deal if you choose a colored pair over the chrome model.  As mentioned in our comparison list of Best Earbuds Under $100, these units come with a two-year warranty.  They are available for purchase at brick and motor locations like Best Buy or online for better pricing and variety. 

Marshall Mode EQ in-Ear Headphones, Black/Brass (4090940)
  • Big Sound Small Package
  • Microphone and remote
  • EQ Switch

Marshall has built its reputation on manufacturing classic amplifiers and speakers, so it is safe to say they have the game down.  Compared to the higher end models on our list of Best Earbuds Under $100, their quality to price ratio is impressive.  They deliver the sound for all genres of music equally well.

Pros

  • Decent base without blurriness
  • Play well at both low and high frequencies
  • Clear treble
  • Full, rich sound
  • Very comfortable
  • Excellent Price

Cons

  • Treble gets distorted on high-frequency guitar and similar sounds
  • No volume control
  • Only one button for all other functions
  • It has a slow response rate

Pricing, Purchase Options, And Warranty

Marshall Mode earbuds have an unbelievable price point for the quality, ranging from 30.00-40.00 dollars.  They carry a one-year warranty and can be purchased from brick and motor stores such as Guitar Center or electronics retailers as well as online.  Purchasing through eBay or Amazon is an excellent way to snag a deal.

If your budget is ultra tight, and you need decent sound, the AKG units are the option for you. The earbuds can take on higher frequency sounds pretty, respectively. They are an excellent replacement for factory base model buds and more ideal for heavy bass music.

Pros

  • Handles higher frequencies well
  • Clean bass boost
  • The treble is sufficient
  • Provides a good fit
  • Available with a microphone
  • It comes with a two-year warranty

Cons

  • Mid-range is susceptible to distortion
  • The treble is mellow
  • Discernable compromise of highs and lows
  • The baseline can overpower vocals
  • Streamline single button remote

Pricing, Purchase Options, And Warranty

You should never pay over $30-$40 dollars for these units.  While stores like Sears sell them, it is a safer bet to find them online.  If you purchase them directly from AKG, you will get a 30-day money-back guarantee. They also have a 2-year limited warranty, which is pretty impressive for their price. 

Brainwavz Delta Earbuds Noise Isolating Earphones w/Microphone in Ear...
  • Instruments and vocals reproduced with clarity. Astounding value for money sound performance. You won't find earphones...
  • Balanced sound with a balanced bass response. The sound signature is commonly only found on higher end audiophile...
  • All metal housing. Manufactured from high grade aluminium making the housing rugged and durable, perfect for on the go...

Brainwaves sound decent for the price and have a secure fit.  The price is low enough you won't feel crushed if they are lost or broken.  These are a good option for active users.

Pros

  • Provide a great fit
  • Good treble
  • Full and robust sound
  • lightweight

Cons

  • Weak low-end sound quality
  • Not durable

Pricing, Purchase Options, And Warranty

These units come in at around 20.00-30.00 dollars.  They can be found at most electronics stores and online.   Warranty information may vary, it is best to check the paperwork that comes with your units for that information.

Jaybird Freedom F5 In-Ear Wireless Bluetooth Sports Headphones -...
  • MICRO-SIZED METAL BUDS - The Freedom Headphones by Jaybird have sandblasted, injection-molded metal parts for premium...
  • UNIVERSAL SECURE FIT - The patented silicone ear fins securely attach to the top and back/lower surface areas of the ear...
  • SWEAT-PROOF - Built to last with a sleek yet rugged design, the Freedom Wireless Headphones are great for sports,...

These buds come with an interesting design.  The pricing for them is all over the place, so do your due diligence.  That said, for the price, these are a crowd favorite.

Pros

  • Provides a stable fit
  • It has a balanced and natural sound quality
  • Wireless
  • User-friendly controls
  • Consistently good reception
  • They are heat resistant

Cons

  • Battery needed
  • They have an eight-hour life
  • They can be uncomfortable
  • The battery clip is needed for charging
  • It has a large remote
  • They are not sweat proof

Pricing, Purchase Options, And Warranty

You can grab these at just under 50.00 dollars, but be careful, because some retailers sell them for as much as almost 100.00 dollars.  They have a one-year warranty, which is standard for buds of this price range.  We recommend buying them on Amazon or from Jaybird directly.

 

Comparison Table

The Verdict

Our Pick for the Best Earbuds Under $100 is the Shure SE215-K Sound Isolating Earphones.  They are available at a moderate price, starting at $64, yet still have the high-end features ultimately providing the consumer with the greatest value and listening experience.  

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