Just because you’re looking for a pair of affordable earbuds, it doesn’t mean that you have to give up on decent sound. If you’re looking for a good pair of wireless headphones but don’t want to break the bank, a number of brands are making great options right now that you can get for $100 or less.
Of course, a small pair of buds won’t produce the excellent sound quality that our favorite audiophile headphones can, but with built-in Bluetooth, better battery life, as well as more secure ear pieces and no awkward cords in sight, the best wireless earbuds make it easier to listen to your music or podcasts when you’re on the go, from your home office to your kitchen and anywhere you’re streaming.
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Now, you won’t find Apple AirPods or Airpods Pro on this list — for now, they’re over our $100 limit. But if you can go over your budget a bit, they’re some of the best affordable earbuds you can buy, and some of our top Bluetooth earbud recommendations. But don’t worry, there are plenty of other great options available that still stay under the $100 price tag.
Whether you need a travel-savvy pair of buds or simple Bluetooth in-ears for Zoom meetings or jamming on a budget, we’ve picked some of the top headphones under $100.
What Are the Best Earbuds Under $100?
There are more cheap earbuds than ever to buy online. And while many brands produce good options that will likely do the trick, there are a few key things to consider when you’re shopping for your next pair of buds. For this list, we chose versatile earbuds, most of which include Bluetooth and claim a decent battery life and, in some cases, some level of water resistance. Here’s what else to look for in a good pair of cheap wireless earbuds.
Bluetooth Connectivity: Almost all the earbuds on our list include the option to connect them with your smartphone over Bluetooth. All you have to do to easily sync your headphones to your phone is connect them in your device’s settings.
Battery Life: One of the most important factors to consider in buying a new pair of wireless earbuds is the battery life. While the earbuds below can last for hours when they’re fully charged, some of our picks also are sold with included charging cases to prolong the amount of time you can use your earbuds when you’re not near an outlet or leave your portable charger at home. Decide how you’re going to be using them, and determine how much of a battery you need.
Water Resistance: Whether you’re looking for sweat-resistant earbuds for workouts or you just want to be sure your next earbuds purchase can hold up when you’re caught in the rain, consider how you’ll be using your buds and if you need extra waterproofing features to protect your tech.
1. Sennheiser CX 400BT True Wireless Earbuds
These highly-rated Sennheiser True Wireless Earbuds — currently available for $99.95, a 50 percent discount, at the time of publication — include a variety of ear tips so you can find the right size for a more comfortable listening experience, whether you need them for work or checking out your favorite podcast’s latest episode. Sennheiser’s known for its top-quality audio gear, and these buds were built with the music lover in mind thanks to adjustable sound settings and a strong battery that the brand says can go for up to 20 hours when charged up. In short, you’ll never have to cut your listening sessions short again.
2. JBL Tune 125TWS True Wireless In-Ear Headphones
From excellent bookshelf speakers (which we included in the Rolling Stone Essentials 2020 list) to affordable Bluetooth speakers with clear sound, JBL is one of our go-to brands for well-made audio products. If you’re looking for long-lasting earbuds, try these in-ear wireless headphones, which the company says offer a bass boost and can pack a total 32 hours of playtime with the case.
3. Anker Soundcore Life P2 True Wireless Earbuds
We’ve long been fans of Anker’s great chargers, so it’s no surprise its Soundcore wireless earbuds can last you seven hours at a time — 40 overall, according to the company — with the case they come in. For anyone who’s constantly joining another work call, these buds feature four mics so you’re ready for any meeting.
4. EarFun Free Bluetooth 5.0 Earbuds
With a user rating of 4.3 stars out of 5 and more than 14,000 reviews on Amazon, these top-rated EarFun Bluetooth buds boast a total of about six hours of use on a charge and a whopping 30+ hours of playtime when you use them with the case. The ergonomic and lightweight design comes with three sets of eartips, so you can mix and match to find your best fit. These earbuds are also rated IPX7 on the waterproofing scale, meaning they’re both sweat-resistant and water-resistant — a great choice for workouts. They use the Bluetooth 5.0 standard too, for easy pairing and connectivity.
5. JVC Truly Wireless Earbud Headphones
These water-resistant JVC headphones can play music up to four hours on a charge, and according to the brand, a total of 14 when you use the included charging case, as long as it’s fully powered up. Not bad for a pair of earbuds under 50 bucks. You’ll also have the option to choose among three different ear tips for a better fit, and you can even use them with a digital voice assistant like Siri when you can’t reach your phone (think: meal prepping or during a cold-weather run with gloves).
6. Jaybird Tarah Bluetooth Wireless Sport Headphones
With a sweat-proof and waterproof design, these buds can last you up to six hours, which means you’ll be able to run through all your favorite albums and then some during your training. The Jaybirds also feature tips that are designed to stay put in your ears even when you kick your workouts into high gear.
7. Apple EarPods With Lightning Connector
No, they’re not high-tech or wireless, but you’ll never have to wonder how much battery life you have left with these Apple EarPods. If you need a simple pair of fuss-free earbuds to connect with your iPhone, these are your best bet under 20 bucks. We love them for the plane too, for easy plugging into your in-flight entertainment system.
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