If you are fond of listening to music from your cell phone while going out on your bike or working out, you will definitely want to invest in a good quality pair of earbuds or in-earphones. Usually , the earbuds that comes along with mobile phones are crappy. Not only they are flimsy and cheap, also they do not sound good. Purchasing earbuds can be a tedious process. Most people will go for a pair of earbuds based on following three features: Price, brand quality/popularity, and design.
Though these three qualities are of significant importance in the purchasing process, there are other factors too that must be taken into consideration. Most people overlook the technical details specifications mentioned on the packet of earbuds. Knowing what these terms and specification means makes you much more intelligent customer. This will help you assess whether a pair of earbuds will deliver the kind of performance you are expecting from it.
This guide is specifically focused on the best earbuds under $100 – if you’re looking for something less expensive, but still of high quality, check out our guides for the best earbuds under $50 or $30.
Best Earbuds Under $100 Complete Guide
Sennheiser Momentum In Ear
A-Audio A41 High Definition Earphones
Klipsch X6i Reference In-Ear Headphones
Monster Turbine High Performance In-Ear Speakers
Audio Technica Solid Bass In-Ear Portable Headphones (ATH-CKS99)
Klipsch Image X5 Noise-Isolating Earphones
Marshall Mode EQ In-Ear Headphones
Sony MDR-EX210B Earbuds
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GGMM Cuckoo Max Performance/Superior Sound In-Ear Noise-Isolating Earbuds Metal Headphones w/ Dynamic Dual Drivers
Significant Qualities To Compare When Shopping For The Best Earbuds Under $100
Frequency: You will come across this term on almost every packaging and see numbers like 15 Hz- 30 KHz. This is how the sound is measured. The lower the hertz, the more bass the speaker will deliver. Thus, a headphone that offers you 15 Hz is going to have much deeper bass as compared t one that has 60 Hz as its starting range. And the higher the hertz, the more the treble.
Impedance: Your earphones run on electricity and they will definitely wear out with time if the pair is not strong enough. That having being cleared, a vibrational frequency is being carried by electricity. Vibration produces sound. The type of sound electricity produces is not that appealing or attractive as it lets out a hiss. We need impedance in order to eradicate hiss. It is measured in ohms and it is generally believed that the higher the ohms, the lower the phone. In simple words, a high impedance means a much clear sound producing pair of ear buds. An audiophile wants to buy a pair of ear buds with the high impedance so that all he can experience is music.
Sensitivity: It is measured in sound pressure levels (SPL) and decibels. Without making it complicated, let’s consider the lowest level of audible sound is 0db. This is almost close to the total silence as it can get while still enabling us with the capability to hear something. Also, you do not want to go for something that has impedance of 85 db that will cause a serious damage to hearing ability. When opting for a set of the best earbuds, you will need some that can get loud but obviously not anything that is obnoxiously loud. Having said that, the people love to listen music at high and loud pitch and that sound may certainly exceed 85 db. Just make sure that you keep the exposure to sound as minimum as possible. Though loudness is nice at times, but retaining the hearing capability till old age is even nicer.
Drivers: The drivers are of utmost importance feature in headphones as it help in the production for clear and rich sound. The main factor is the over sized design of the headphones that lets the manufacturer put the drivers of appropriate size in them for better sound quality. In order to get incredible sound results, we need to have drivers in ear buds as well. The problem is, that the earbuds are so small that building and fitting drivers of their size in them is quite tricky. Nevertheless, the stronger the driver, the better the quality of sound. But incorporating drivers in earbuds makes it a bit expensive given the size of them. But the quality you get is worth all the money.
In short, when purchasing earbuds, one of the most important characteristics to look for is the quantity and size of drivers, then followed by decibel rating and frequency range.
A large part of the target audience for high quality earbuds consists of people who cannot afford to install heavy and costly speakers on motorbikes, cars or homes, so these earbuds are a good way to soothe their desire for music without costing them much.
Best Earbuds Under $100 Reviews
1. Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear Headphones Review
The Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear Headphones provides you with the best of listening experience. The true dimensions of Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear Headphones can be measured not only by their uncompromising level of sound but also in a richness of little details such as three button multifunction remote control, stainless steel sound tunnel and an integrated microphone etc. The design and overall look of Sennheiser Momentum in-ear headphones speaks a consistent and clear language.
It comes in a black and red contrast ear buds with a cable of same colors that leads to a red and glossy housing. It has an outstanding design that extends to their fit with convenient and comfortable tips that just fits right. It combines the materials of top quality with superior craftsmanship to deliver uncompromising sound. To increase the durability, it includes a intuitive remote for Android and iPhone, an elliptical cable that reduces tangling and sound loss and an integrated hands free microphone.
2. A-Audio A41 High Definition Earphones Review
The A-Audio A41 High Definition Earphones is a top-rated set of earbuds with excellent sound quality and additional features. Its design is quite attractive and pleasing to eyes as the back of the ear cups is covered with chrome and a beveled edge, while the cord or stem that leads to the cups is black in color. Very elegant looking.
The combination of chrome and black leaves aesthetic effect on the users and are considered to be one of the good looking ear buds. As for performance, the ear buds comes with amazing noise isolation features that keeps external noise away from you and music. Thanks to its neodymium magnets, the sound it produces is clear and of high definition.
Also, it has a gold plated Jack of 24 K for the best signal transfer. It also focuses on details of notes and transition between notes is quite smooth as well. Talking about accessories, it comes with a micro phone and a remote control that lets users to switch between taking important calls and listening to music.
3. Klipsch R6i Earbuds Review
The R6i are packaged in a way so that a single pair of ear buds and an assembled three button microphone having Klipsch’s logo is all you see. Also, the inline mic is worth talking as the ‘i’ in the model stands for iOS compatibility. Crafted from elastomer and aluminum, this slim and sleek design is durable, lightweight and comfortable.
They are engineered to deliver pure performance and crafted specially to be most comfortable and best sounding ear buds available in the market and embodies the legendary Klipsch sound. Its dual magnet moving coil drivers consider a wide frequency range dynamic details and produces strikingly realistic and amazing sound. It also provides full control of iPod touch, iPhone and iPod models while letting you seamlessly control phone calls and music.
It comes with a durable, enhanced, flat tangle resistant cable for transport and free storage. It comes in black and white colors, each having a clothing clip, carrying case and four different sized ear tips so you can have your customize ear fit. Thus, this is one of the best products available out there in the market that provides great music listening experience to people and let them enjoy the tunes thoroughly.
Monster Turbine High-Performance In-Ear Headphones may be new to the market, but they are off to a very good start. Though the packaging of the product does not matter as far as performance goes, Turbine’s attractive and lavish box is on par with the models that sell their products at prices much higher than Tribune’s. The packaging does not make the earbuds sound any better but its beautiful and scrumptious look definitely make you feel like that you have invested your money at the right place and bought something better.
The hardware of the ear buds surprises the people when they use it for the first time. They feature an all metal housing which feels very sturdy and looks pretty cool. The round ear tips let the ear buds stay fit in your ears for a long period of time. The seal they provides is sufficient enough to produce sound of very high quality.
It comes with a cable that is tangle resistant and the plug is thin enough to fit inside your iPhone – even with a bulky case on such as the Otterbox. Overall, the Monster Turbine High-Performance In-Ear Headphones is a very solid package. They are nicely crafted, comfortable enough and the sound quality will surely surpass your expectations.
The Audio Technica ATHCKS99 Portable Headphones uses an exclusive double air chamber system. The ear tips of Audio Technica ATHCKS99 Portable Headphones are crafted for bass response that is maximum, along with a rotating two position post that allows listeners adjust the earbuds to best fit in his or her ears providing low frequency performance and sound isolation.
These are definitely consumer oriented earbuds in its sound signature. They are a half in design like other members of the CKS product line. They are made of metal but comes with a plush and soft ear covers that provides comfort to outer ears. The main features of Audio Technica ATHCKS99 portable headphones includes:
- Exclusively designed drivers of 13 mm provides an entirely rich audio experience.
- Newly developed Double Air Chamber System extends bass output for powerful bass output without compromising audio clarity.
- 2 position post maximizes external sound separation while giving a comfortable fit.
- XS/S/M/L ear tips & Carrying pouch included.
- Exciting mids, good soundstage and detailed bass.
Thus, this is a good pair of earbuds that is available at very reasonable price in the market.
The Klipsch Image X5 Noise-Isolating Earphones sound great consistently, in a variety of settings and across a diverse variety of music. Low and high notes are equally strong with even separation of tones and clear details at low volumes.
The Klipsch Image X5 Noise-Isolating Earphones are consistent sound quality regardless of volume level. It offers a crisp and clear across the audio spectrum. It gives pop and rock music the vibrancy and depth most music lovers and audiophiles expect. Drums have more resonance and bass notes are more pronounced. It has following features:
- Superior noise isolation.
- Small lightweight in ear design.
- Full range balanced driver.
- Precise comfortable design that fits in an ear for long period of time.
- Tuned bass reflex system.
- Works well with iPod, iPhone and other devices.
- Input connection of about 3.5 mm.
- The accessories it includes: Airline adaptor, premium carrying pouch and five sets of different sized ear gels.
- The cable that comes with it is tangle prone and the ear buds are among the smallest you will ever come across.
Thus, this pair of earbuds provides great portability and durability.
7. Marshall Mode EQ Headphones Review
The Marshall Mode EQ Headphones is a renowned name in the world of pop and rock music. It offers an attractive and eye catching design that helps make up to overcome the shortcomings in the accessories section(since it does not comes with a lot of accessories).
The ear cups of Marshall Mode EQ Headphones are covered in gummy plastic that is easy to hold. It is difficult to tell that whether it is because of the larger sound tubes or the almost perfect cylindrical ear tips but the Marshall Mode EQ headphones slipped smoothly in your ear canals without causing any problem and they stay there for a long time very comfortably.
These ear buds are comfortable enough over extended music listening sessions, though they lack at the feature of complete noise isolation. The Marshall Mode EQ Headphones are not about trendy looks. But also they scored well at audio level and performance. There is switch on the in-controller that toggles between two modes for EQ. The modes are meant to improve the quality of different types of music– one for the emphasis on brighter mids and highs and other for the heavy and deep bass.
8. Sony MDR-EX210B Earbuds Review
The Sony MDR-EX210B earbuds perfectly blend amazing sound quality with maximum possible comfort, making them ideal ear phone for your mp3 player, iPhone, iPod or tablets. It features slim housing for a comfortable fit. The efficient drivers made of Neodymium reproduce low end sound and clear mid range. It provides an angled earbuds design for comfortable and stable wearing.
Its main features includes:
- Enhanced performance delivers dynamic and rich sound.
- Driver unit of 13.5 mm provide dynamic audio performance.
- Edgy style with youthful colors.
- For a secure fit it provides 3 sizes of hybrid silicon ear buds.
- Stylish low profile look.
- Frequency response of 5 Hz to 24 KHz.
- 5 mm Plug in L shape.
- Vertical in the ear design.
- Small and lightweight.
Thus, the Sony MDR-EX210B earbuds are comparatively low priced than the average commuting and traveling ear buds. As an ear bud style headphone, you will get the advantage of portability and durability. Thus, these are a great catch at this affordable price. So, these ear buds are highly recommended if you hear music on daily basis.
9. Tribeca Natural Sound Earbuds Review
The Tribeca Natural Sound Ear buds crafted using genuine maple wood provides great compatibility with iPod and iPhone so that you can hear your favorite tunes. These Tribeca Natural Sound earbuds add natural resonance and reverb to the sound quality. Its additional features includes an inline microphone with a nylon wrapped cable. The drivers are enclosed in genuine wood with chrome accents and comes with three silicon tips to provide you with comfortable fit. Its main highlights includes:
- One button in-line microphone.
- Maximum output power of 5mW.
- Works well with smart phones, iPhone, iPod, Samsung galaxy and many other devices.
- Driver includes moving coil dynamic speakers having frequency response varying from 18 Hz to 22 KHz.
- Sensitivity level of 3 dB at 1 KHz and 1 mW.
- Sound chamber designed from natural, genuine wood provides an unparalleled acoustic sound experience.
Thus, if you are in to buying a great pair of earbuds that adds a natural feel to your music listening experience, then Tribeca Natural Sound Earbuds are one of your best choices.