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Top 10 Best Earbuds Under $100 You Should Buy In 2020 Reviews

So you’re in the market for a great sounding set of earbuds, but don’t want to spend a fortune or go for the cheapest set. The good news is there are a ton of great options available under the $100 mark. And they all combine excellent build quality with a fantastic sound and come with plenty of extra features.

Therefore, we’ve compiled this list of the 10 best earbuds under $100 so that whatever your priorities, you’ll be able to walk away with a pair that suits your needs perfectly. There’s some great value to be had for under $100, as you will see.

So, let’s go through them and find the perfect earbuds for you…

Best Earbuds Under $100

Best Earbuds Under $100 Comparison Table

NameSound QualityBuild QualityComfortPrice
Sound Quality
5
Build Quality
*****
Comfort
****
Price
$$$
Sound Quality
5
Build Quality
*****
Comfort
***
Price
$$$$$
Sound Quality
3
Build Quality
***
Comfort
*****
Price
$$$$
Sound Quality
2
Build Quality
***
Comfort
***
Price
$$$$
Sound Quality
3
Build Quality
*****
Comfort
****
Price
$$
Sound Quality
5
Build Quality
*****
Comfort
****
Price
$$$$$$
Sound Quality
1
Build Quality
***
Comfort
***
Price
$$
Sound Quality
4
Build Quality
***
Comfort
****
Price
$$$
Sound Quality
4
Build Quality
****
Comfort
****
Price
$$$$$
Sound Quality
2
Build Quality
****
Comfort
****
Price
$$$$$

Top 10 Best Earbuds Under $100 On The Market 2020 Reviews

1 1MORE Triple Driver Earbuds

The focus of these mid-priced earbuds offering from 1MORE is firmly on achieving the best sound quality. Each earphone comes with three separate drivers. Two balanced armature drivers handle the mid to high frequency ranges and a dynamic driver which looks after the bass. Most earbuds only come equipped with one driver per earbud to handle the full range.

The result is a very well balanced sound featuring a rich bass that doesn’t overbear the full bodied mids and crisp trebles. In short, these earbuds offer the audio quality of earphones twice their price.

Built to last…

Not only do they sound great, but the stylish look has also been well constructed using tough materials. A braided Kevlar reinforced cable provides good tangle free protection for the wires. Metal casings protect the triple drivers from any potential knocks. The jack housing and inline controls are also mainly metal constructed, providing a nice weight and quality feel to the earbuds.

A well angled ear-tip, and the wide selection of silicone and foam ear-tips to choose from, should provide a comfortable fit for all ear types. They also come with a tough looking case for protection in transit. A conveniently positioned control panel comes with a mic and raised volume and track selection buttons, which are straightforward to locate.

Overall, a fantastic sound complimented by a stylish and sturdy design makes these a real contender for the best earbuds under $100.


1MORE Triple Driver Earbuds

Our rating:3.6 out of 5 stars (3.6 / 5)

Pros

  • Superior sound quality.
  • Durable construction.
  • Stylish design.
  • Great value for money.

Cons

  • Not great for calls.

2 Shure SE215-K Sound Isolating Earphones

One of the leading brands in sound production, Shure have decades of experience to fall back on when it comes to creating good headphones. They’ve certainly put that experience to good use here.

These earbuds have been specifically designed for musicians who want to monitor the quality of their sound whilst on stage. For that reason, the sound quality and noise reduction ability has to be high, which also make them excellent for private listening too.

Crystal clear highs…

A set of dynamic micro drivers provide a remarkably well rounded sound with all ranges represented impressively. Even at high volume, the sound stays remarkably consistent with no distortion. Bass is thumpy yet not overblown, while trebles remain clear, never straying into harsher territory. Capable of blocking out excess noise up to 38 decibels, these earbuds are perfect for peaceful listening on a busy commute.

Build quality has also been given due attention. Hardy materials have been used throughout. The Kevlar reinforced cable provides excellent protection and is also detachable, meaning it can be replaced at a low cost if damaged or lost. All connection points have been strengthened, providing effective stress relief in all the right places.

Comfort all the way…

The over the ear design and the memory capabilities of the wire, maintain comfort when wearing these slightly heavier than average earbuds. You should be able to find the perfect fit from the range of silicone and foam ear-tips supplied.


Shure SE215-K Sound Isolating Earphones

Our rating:3.8 out of 5 stars (3.8 / 5)

Pros

  • Excellent noise reduction.
  • Outstanding audio quality.
  • Detachable cable.

Cons

  • No microphone.
  • Relatively expensive.

3 Beyerdynamic Soul BYRD

Also, at the mid to high end of the price range are the Beyerdynamic Soul Byrd’s.

The first thing you notice out of the box is the sleek design. The earpieces are designed, so they don’t extend beyond the outer ear. The result are unobtrusive earbuds which are pain free to use when lying on your side or in bed. Five sets of ear-tips come as standard, ranging in size from small to large. Finding the correct size should be easy, and the conical tips make for a remarkably comfortable fit.

Nicely balanced…

Sound quality is nicely balanced without blowing your socks off. If you like your music loud, then you’d be advised to look elsewhere. Bass ranges are adequately served without being impressive. Mid ranges are where these earbuds shine, producing excellent vocal and instrumental clarity that never gets overwhelmed by overly intrusive bass.

The sound quality will be fine for most users, although the audiophiles among us will be disappointed by the lack of depth.

But…

Aside from the elegant design, build quality could be better. The non-detachable cables don’t look like they would stand up to much abuse. On the plus side, the aluminum driver housing should provide good protection to the mechanics, although this won’t be much use if the cable fails.


Beyerdynamic Soul BYRD

Our rating:3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)

Pros

  • Sleek design.
  • Good for use in bed.
  • Comfortable.

Cons

  • Underwhelming sound.
  • Questionable cable durability.

4 Anker Soundcore Liberty

One of only two wireless headphones to make this list, Anker has clearly set out to make a more affordable version of the Apple AirPods that can be used with Android operating systems.

Similar in look to the AirPods, if not quite as stylish, these buds are very light and fit comfortably in the ear. The complete lack of any wiring removes one of the most common reasons for headphone failure. Fully charged, the battery will provide up to five hours of use. The compact charging case will provide an extra three charges on the go before it to needs to be charged. A very useful feature, if not near a power supply.

Good for the gym…

Sweat and rain resistance is another handy feature making them more suitable for exercise than some on this list. A good wipe down after use is always advisable.

Audio performance is good if not world beating. Realistically, wired headphones will always provide a higher level of quality, and the Ankers is no exception to that rule. That being said, they sound significantly better than AirPods at around half the price. All frequency ranges are represented well enough, although when pushed up to louder volumes, we noticed unwanted distortion across the soundscape.

Overall…

Not a bad choice if you’re looking for completely wireless tech and are willing to sacrifice a degree of sound quality.


Anker Soundcore Liberty

Our rating:3.8 out of 5 stars (3.8 / 5)

Pros

  • Wireless.
  • Charge on the go ability.
  • Sweat/rain resistance.

Cons

  • Average sound quality.
  • Prone to distortion at high volume.

5 RHA MA390 Universal Earbuds

The cheapest earbuds on our list, the RHA’s really do offer outstanding value for money whilst actually looking quite stylish and expensive.

These headphones have been made to last. The aluminum driver housings not only look great but provide some serious protection. The tangle free, braided cable should also extend the overall lifespan.

Hip-hop and EDM…

Audiophiles won’t be blown away by the quality of the audio, but then again, it’s unlikely audiophiles will be buying such cheap headphones anyway. Most listeners will be satisfied with the overall soundscape, especially for the price. Bass is the most prominent feature of the sound. Whilst this can affect the mid ranges meaning vocals will suffer, listeners of hip-hop or electronic dance music will have fun with these buds.

The ‘universal’ aspect basically means the remote is compatible with both IOS and Android operating systems. A little disappointing that volume control wasn’t included on the remote, although not a huge sacrifice considering the cost.

What’s in the box?

Accessories are also well catered for with a range of ear-tips, a carrying pouch, and a clothing clip.

For the budget conscious buyer looking for the best earbuds under$100, there really isn’t much need to look any further.


RHA MA390 Universal Earbuds

Our rating:3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Very cheap.
  • Robust and durable materials.
  • Good sound quality for the price.
  • Sleek aluminum design.

Cons

  • Audiophiles should look elsewhere.
  • No volume control on remote.

6 Thinksound ms02 Earbuds

An attractive wooden and aluminum housing differentiates these earbuds from the competition. Built and packaged using sustainable materials, Thinksound are offering an eco-friendly product that looks fantastic, whilst not compromising on build quality.

We really loved the wooden section on the driver casing. It provides a touch of class that plastic and metal designs struggle to replicate, rather like the traditional hardwood speaker cabinets of yesteryear. But a modern touch is added by the Kevlar reinforced cable with quality stress relief should ensure the cable won’t be the cause of any malfunctions.

So does the sound match up to the look?

In a word, yes. These are monitor earphones designed for more professional uses than standard earbuds. The relatively small drivers are given a much needed boost by the wooden casings, which really seem to aid the acoustics across the range. A full and clean bass range is complimented by uncongested mids and a far reaching treble. Once a good seal has been made, we found the noise reduction properties to be effective enough.

Discomfort won’t be an issue with these buds. We found the MS02 easy to fit and seal once a pair had been selected from the range of four ear-tips provided. The buds are lightweight, placing less pressure on the seal, keeping them in place for extended periods. In fact, it’s quite easy to forget that you’re wearing them.

On the downside…

Control features are non-existent, with no remote panel attached. No volume, track control, or microphone mean these earphones are probably more suited to home use than on the go.

All in all, they look and sound great, but at the top of our price range, can they compete for the best earbuds under $100 championship?


Thinksound ms02 Earbuds

Our rating:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Pros

  • Wooden casings look awesome.
  • High-quality Audio.
  • Well protected cable.
  • Very comfy.
  • Sustainably manufactured.

Cons

  • Upper level price point.
  • Lack of remote control options.

7 Plantronics BackBeat 100 Wireless Earbuds

These budget earbuds from Plantronics offer a wide range of features at a very low price point. Designed firmly with hands free calling rather than music in mind, these versatile performers combine functionality with style very effectively.

Made to be used over the ear, they have a neckband design that houses the control buttons. The neckband also vibrates when receiving incoming calls. The buds are magnetized to each other for convenient storage when not being used. Three sets of ear-tips provide a limited range of fits but should cover most ear shapes all the same.

Take them for a run…

Multipoint connection options mean they can be connected to more than one device at the same time. The battery provides a decent 8 hours of playtime and takes 90 minutes to reach full charge again. They’re also very light at 30 grams, so lend themselves to exercise well.

Unfortunately, all that functionality seems to come at the expense of good audio reproduction. If sound quality is top of your requirements, then the Backbeat 100 is likely to be a letdown. It’s not that the sound is awful, for the price they are fine. They just don’t possess the full bodied clarity of others on this list because they are primarily designed for handling calls.

In summary, a functional performer lacking audio finesse.


Plantronics BackBeat 100 Wireless Earbuds

Our rating:3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Very Cheap.
  • Wireless design.
  • Great for handling calls.
  • Multi-functional.

Cons

  • Average audio quality.

8 Marshall Mode EQ in-Ear Headphones

As any sound nerd will know, Marshall is more famed for their industry leading guitar amplifier range, but don’t let that put you off. With the Mode EQ’s, they’ve managed to create a very interesting set of earbuds at a remarkably competitive price.

The first thing that strikes you is the classic Marshall design. Simplicity and ruggedness combined with the classic Marshall logo, lets you know you’re dealing with a quality product from the off. As you’d expect, audio quality has been given top priority, with a great set of drivers delivering a sophisticated listening experience. The audio signature provides a tight bass that never bleeds into the mids. Trebles are full of natural energy, and all the ranges stay distortion free, even at high volumes.

EQ to taste…

One feature that separates the Marshalls is the adjustable equalizer option. Bass heads will be happy to hear that these headphones come equipped with a bass boost feature that steps things up a notch if you so desire. These are the only earbuds on the list with such a feature.

The inline control panel features volume and track control and comes with a microphone for handling calls. The bass boost feature can also be controlled from here. Four sets of ear-tips are supplied, and with the correct fit, good noise isolation can be achieved.

The Marshall’s offer excellent all round performance at a very reasonable price.


Marshall Mode EQ in-Ear Headphones

Our rating:3.6 out of 5 stars (3.6 / 5)

Pros

  • Marshall quality sound.
  • Aesthetically pleasing.
  • Bass boost feature.
  • Value for money.

Cons

  • Construction could be more durable.

9 Etymotic Research HF5 In-Ear Earphones

Etymotic Research is a US company that actually designs and makes products to aid people with hearing issues. Possibly because of this, the HF5’s have a very different sound signature than the other earbuds featured here. Bass takes a back seat in favor of a cleaner and crisper all-round sound, which in general, is more representative of how the music was actually recorded. This won’t be to everyone’s taste, but listeners who like instruments and vocals to shine through the lower end will appreciate this signature.

Goes the distance…

Etymotic is confident enough in its build quality to supply a 2-year warranty with these earbuds. The metal driver housings look tough, and a Kevlar reinforced cable with good stress relief should mean these earphones will stand the test of time.

Comfort has not been overlooked. Four sets of ear-tips are provided, with the tri-flange tips providing the listener with excellent noise reduction capabilities. Functionality has definitely taken precedence over style, with the focus on comfort, audio performance, and a snug fit, but for us, this isn’t a negative.

Superb for vocal-driven music…

Better value for money can probably be found elsewhere on this list as these buds are at the top of the price range. However, those who prefer a less bass orientated approach to sound reproduction will appreciate these earbuds, even at the higher price. Have they done enough to top our list of best earbuds under $100, though? Read on to find out…


Etymotic Research HF5 In-Ear Earphones

Our rating:3.6 out of 5 stars (3.6 / 5)

Pros

  • Unique sound signature.
  • 2-year warranty.
  • High level noise reduction.
  • Functionality.

Cons

  • Bass-heads should look elsewhere.
  • High price point.

10 urBeats Wired Earbuds

Having exploded on to the headphone scene just over ten years ago, Dr. Dre’s Beats headphone range has become an incredibly popular brand in that time. We can only put that down to brilliant marketing as the sound has never been much to write home about. You pay extra for the brand name when you buy a pair of Beats headphones, and these earbuds are no exception.

It’s all about the bass…

The urBeats have the same bass heavy sound stage and lack of mid to top end subtlety that all Beats products adhere to. Most genres outside of hip-hop don’t lend themselves to over heavy bass.

However, instrumental and vocal driven music is definitely best listened to on less thumping earphones. Excess environmental noise is restricted well by good noise cancellation properties, which also do a great job of keeping your music in too.

Tough and rugged…

Build strength looks to be solid. The chrome earpieces and tangle free cabling both look tough, and the lightweight design makes them great for travel or exercise. A good variety of ear-tips guarantee an effective fit, and they are as comfortable to wear as any of the earbuds on this list.

A mic attached to the control panel does give the ability to handle calls, although only Apple users will be able to use this feature.

Full-on street cred…

At the higher end of our price spectrum, what you gain in street cred you lose in overall sound quality unless heavy bass is excessively your thing. I think we can safely say urBeats will not be topping our list of best earbuds under $100.


urBeats Wired Earbuds

Our rating:3.6 out of 5 stars (3.6 / 5)

Pros

Cons

  • B

Well, that’s our 10 earbuds reviewed. Read on to reveal who our overall winner is.

More Options

If you haven’t seen anything that has really pushed you to want to buy, then it’s worth checking out our reviews of the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, the Best Earbuds and Best Headphones for Sleeping, and the Most Durable Earbuds currently available.

And for those on a tighter budget, take a look at our reviews of the Best Earbuds under 50 dollars.

So, What Are The Best Earbuds Under $100

For their focus on audio excellence, high build quality, and pleasing aesthetics, all at a very reasonable price point, we had to crown the…

…as best earbuds under $100. The Shure and Thinksound models also offer very high levels of sound quality and build, but at a significantly higher price point.

For those on a tighter budget, the…

…offers unbeatable value for money. Not on a budget? Then it’s well worth spending the extra $30 for the exponential leap in audio pleasure that you will receive from our winner.

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