If you’re often on the go and find over-ear headphones to be a bit too bulky, in-ears and earbuds are a great portable option. They tend to be very small and easy to bring around, and some designs are also more oriented towards sports. Some might not be as comfortable as well-padded over-ear headphones, but they can be a good option for passively isolating you against the outside world without breaking the bank for high-end noise cancelling over-ears.
We live in a world of wireless bliss. At least now we can. True wireless headphones have taken the market by storm beginning with the Apple Airpods. The sound quality has been greatly improved upon with advancements in Bluetooth technology.
The convenience of true wireless headphones is palpable. With absolutely no wires to speak of, there is now nothing dangling, swinging, or tangling up. Listening on the move has never been easier. The freedom that true wireless earbuds give you is really convenient and exciting.
In any tech market, there is always a wide variety of options available. The big players that have set the standard are still there but tend to come at a slightly higher price point. But what if you’re looking for the added convenience without emptying your wallet? We’ve scoured the market looking for a pair of truly wireless headphones for under $100.
We’ve come up with 5 choices that we believe will give you the experience you crave at a price that satisfies you. Here’s our list of the 5 best true wireless earbuds under $100 in 2021.
To get the best value for money, go with wired earbuds. You get better sound quality for the price, but your phone needs to have a 3.5mm headphone jack. In case you have one of the newer phones you’ll have to use an adapter or switch to wireless.
Wireless Bluetooth earbuds are a solid alternative. While frequency response hasn’t yet reached the old school wires, it’s close enough. Plus, you get to move around freely which adds to the user experience (and you look cooler). True wireless earbuds have gotten cheaper.
If you’re an active user, you need at least an IPX4 rating or more. Water resistance is crucial for sports and other activities. Liquids are the arch-enemy of electronics and can quickly end your earbuds. IPX4 protection makes them sweatproof, while IPX6 and 7 are waterproof.
1. Enacfire E-19 Wireless Earbuds
Enacfire E-19 Wireless Earbuds
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Slick design
- HD sound
- Great price
- Easy pairing
No wires mean no limits with the Enacfire E-19’s. They are really easy to pair up by just taking them out of the box and waiting a couple of seconds for the icon to appear on your phone. 3D stereo hi-fi outputs will boast some amazing bass tones and clear trebles. You won’t want to put these headphones down with the HD sound quality.
Don’t worry about dropped signals for up to 33ft away from your device with Bluetooth v5.0. In one fell swoop, you can have 3 hours of listening time with an additional 15 hours if you’ve got the charging case with you. A really small design will have the headphones blend right into your favorite style.
2. Cambridge Audio Melomania 1
Cambridge Audio Melomania 1
- Natural sound signature
- High build quality
- IPX5 water resistance
- 6.5 hours per single charge with relatively quick charging
- Affordable price under $100
- Easy to use built-in controls
- Wireless range: 33ft (10m)
- Sleek design
- Bad fit if you don’t find proper eartips
- Outdated Micro-USB cable
- Can’t get super loud
Small, 5.8mm graphene drivers do a fantastic job at reproducing your favorite tracks as faithfully as possible.
They offer a balanced sound signature that is very clean across the board, with good imaging capabilities.
Melomania bullet-like housing not only makes them unique looking but also very comfortable to wear. For better comfort and fit, there are foam tips already included in the box.
In terms of features, they come with an IPX5 water-resistance rating, Bluetooth 5.0, and aptX and AAC audio codecs.
The battery life is excellent, with up to 9 hours on a single charge and another 36 hours inside the charging case.
3. TNSO E-18 True Wireless Headphones
TNSO E-18 True Wireless Headphones
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Compact and lightweight
- Stylish design
- Convenient charging case
- 360-degree sound
With true wireless headphones, you are looking for extra subtlety and style. Not to mention convenience. TNSO E-18’S are just that, they give you everything you want out of wireless earbuds. They have a built-in mic for calls, a compact carrying case, and one-touch button control on the outside, and decent battery life.
Your earbuds will stay charged for up to 4 hours after only 30 minutes of charging. You also get 3-4 charges out of the carrying case. 360-degree surround sound is a notable feature. Even in loud environments, the sound comes through clearly. They are very lightweight and comfortable. You’ll barely even know they are there. Bluetooth v5.0 also gives you great connectivity.
These headphones with surround sound work great. They are comfortable, look good and sound good. There are very few drops on Bluetooth so the sound just keeps on coming. It’s a really convenient pair of earbuds for under $100.
4. Sennheiser CX 400BT
Sennheiser CX 400BT
- Excellent sound quality
- Customizable equalizer and controls
- Comfortable fit
- No IP rating
- Battery life could be longer
- Wireless range: 33ft (10m)
Consequently, you can connect them with the app and further tweak the sound. Just make sure to turn on the “High-End Tuning” feature.
You can expect great listening experience with a good soundstage that will make every music sound excellent, from rock to hip hop.
Sadly, Sennheiser cut some corners. These earbuds lack background noise cancellation and transparency mode, and even IP rating.
Thankfully, you still get a comfortable, well-built product with up to seven hours of battery life and a quick charge feature.
Inside the app, there’s an option to customize touch controls, and you can also summon voice assistant, which comes in very handy.
5. FocusPower F10 Mini
The FocusPower minis are a really small set of true wireless headphones. You may be the person who people think are talking to them because it will be hard to notice these earbuds in your ears. They come with all the standard features such as a microphone, carrying case, one-touch button control, and Bluetooth.
The Bluetooth is v.41 so it is not as strong as some of the other choices on our list. The battery life, however, is quite exceptional. You can consistently talk or listen for up to 7 hours on 30-40% volume. If you’re on full volume you will still get 4.5 hours of listening time. It’s really easy to charge them with a magnetic USB charging technology.
They have a good sound for a smaller pair of earbuds but not quite as good as some of the others on the list. The compact portability is the standout feature of these earbuds.
They are extremely small and compact. That makes them really comfortable since they don’t have any extra bulk or weight to speak of. The extra listening time is really convenient. Not having to recharge often is really nice because you can just pick them up and go. The magnetic USB charge port is pretty cool too.
Aukey Key Series T10 – true wireless earbuds for working out with water protection and stable fit. These have gotten awards for their unique and smart design. They are the best sport earbuds for workouts.
FiiO FH1s – wired earbuds with an over-the-ear fit and that produce amazing sound and come with detachable cables. But you need a 3.5mm output on your phone.
Beats Flex Wireless – you can now get Apple’s W1 chip on a budget. Compared to other Beats wireless headphones, Flex Wireless output a more balanced sound profile.
Mpow X3 – truly wireless headphones with noise-canceling capabilities with a high water resistance rating of IPX8, which is uncommon for noise reduction buds.
EarFun Air Pro – great truly wireless earbuds with a bassy sound profile and good noise canceling. EarFun Air Pro provides good call quality, too.
1MORE Stylish – Stylish’s are cheap true wireless earbuds, with long battery life, good sound quality, and comfortable fit. They can be an exciting choice for users who just can’t find enough bass in other buds on the market.
Brainwavz M2 – if you are tired of cheap earbuds but don’t want to pay big bucks for top-end quality, you should check out the Brainwavz M2.
Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear – the Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear series delivers a bass-heavy sound profile in a lightweight and attractive package. These are some of the best thanks to the dependable and approachable sound reproduction.
Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 – great true wireless earbuds from Anker, with good battery life, sound performance, and mic quality for taking phone calls. Soundcore Liberty Air 2 come with an IPX5 rating, USB-C, and wireless charging, which is quite a lot for earbuds under $100.
Creative Outlier Gold – cheap true wireless earbuds with Super X-Fi app and 39-hour battery life in total. Creative Outlier Gold pack aptX and AAC Bluetooth codecs, which gives you good wireless audio streaming with a balanced frequency range.
What to look for when buying true wireless earbuds under $100
You’re not going for a top of the line product when you are looking for wireless earbuds under $100. Nonetheless, you want to be sure you’re going to have good enough quality to use your earbuds so you can rely on them daily. Whether you’re an active user or prefer to have them in the car or around the office, things like reliable connectivity, sound quality, comfort, style, and durability will all come into play. So how do you find the right pair for you?
It doesn’t matter if you’re a total newcomer to the world of true wireless headphones, or if you have a little bit of experience and you’re just looking for some more information. It can be tough to figure out what the best earbuds will be for you. We have put together a short guide based on things we believe you should keep your mind on.
Bluetooth in this modern day is quite good, but it is not perfect. Occasionally, dropped calls and music skips happen. It can be annoying to be interrupted during an activity or a call because of a poor connection. Bluetooth 5.0 is the newest version of Bluetooth at the time of writing. It will provide the strongest connection and clearest signal. If you settle for an inferior connection you will certainly notice a difference.
With better versions of Bluetooth, you can get further away from your device without losing connection. The standard range in 2021 is 10 meters or 33ft. Most of the time around the house you aren’t much more than 10 meters away from your device. But that extra strength can add an element of convenience.
Sound quality will be more or less important to you depending on what your favorite earbud uses are. If you’re an avid music listener, then you may want to go for a higher quality sound that will pulsate the music to you in a more robust fashion. For calls, podcasts, and e-books, you won’t need the resounding bass, but noise-cancellation may be a little more important so you can keep your attention where you want it.
Do you like to have your music in your ears during a workout? Sound quality will certainly help when you’re out in public with people and cars all around. Earbuds with better bass and treble capabilities will enhance your listening experience and your movie watching enjoyment. For other everyday uses, you may be able to sacrifice sound quality with less remorse.
Of course, you want your headphones to be comfortable. Most earbuds these days are designed to outwit the competition in terms of comfortability. Some earbuds are designed to stay in place better than others with may be better for working out. If your earbuds have not been designed with specific purposes in mind, then they may be better suited for everyday use.
But pay attention to the comfort features that are involved in the earbuds you are picking out. Even though you’re spending less than $100, you still want to enjoy blissful comfort when it comes to your true wireless headphones.
How do you want your earbuds to look? We all have our own personal style that accents our personality. True wireless earbuds are generally very small, compact, and subtle. In most cases, they will not be incredibly noticeable the way that older over-ear headphones are. However, you still want them to look good right? Style will also play a part in how comfortable they are.
Sometimes in the pursuit of a better-looking pair of headphones, ease of use and comfort may be sacrificed. Ensure that The headphones that look, sound, and work the best, also have a good deal of comfort.
No two earbud users are the same. Some people like to have them around the laptop for easy listening while doing some work, others like to have them at the ready for every and any occasion. Durability will equate to peace of mind and possible avoided headaches. Do you need headphones that are waterproof? If you are a hard hitter, always wearing them during a workout, then you probably do.
If you’re more of a stay at home user, then waterproofing will be more of an extra feature as opposed to a necessity. The last thing you want is to have an innocent drop on the ground and suddenly your headphones no longer work. You have to reorder and wait for them to show up, which can be very frustrating. Check that your headphones are made with durable materials that can stand up to a little bit up the pressure.
Warranty is going to be important in the same way that durability is. Any time there is a problem with a product, it surely helps to have a reliable warranty. It will help you avoid any hassle if you need to replace your earbuds for any reason. Customer service can go a long way to ensure that you are satisfied with the product you are purchasing.
What tier of earbuds are these?
While $100 isn’t little money, you won’t get flagship earbuds either. These are mid-tier buds that excel at value for money, though you can expect more than from best cheap earbuds under $50.
Passive noise isolation
Thanks to their in-ear fit, these have great passive noise isolation. Ambient noise overwhelms your music and makes it harder to listen to it (a fancy way to call it is auditory masking).
With a proper seal, especially with memory-foam ear tips, you block more background and let in more music. Thus, dramatically improving the overall sound and lowering sound leakage.
You can get aftermarket memory-foam eartips for almost all earbuds. You just need to figure out what size fits them.
Do you need an amplifier or DAC?
You might be wondering if you need an amp to properly power your earbuds. You don’t (in most cases). Since earbuds are made to work well at lower Ohm requirements, they are loud and clear with most smartphones.
It’s true if you’re an audiophile, you might notice a difference if you attach a high-end source device, but it won’t dramatically improve the loudness or clarity. It’s not worth carrying the amp in your pocket for a minuscule improvement.
Waterproof/sweatproof may be more important than you think. Since there is no wire to keep the earbuds in place in case of a drop, it would be much easier to have them fall into a sink, toilet, or ocean. If you have that extra little bit of protection, you could save yourself a replacement pair.
Going true wireless adds a ton of comfort and convenience to your life. With no wires dangling around, you truly have the freedom of movement we all crave. There are a lot of high-quality products available, including earbuds for a friendly budget. For under $100 you will be able to find a pair that will truly please your senses.