Headphones have become more and more popular in recent years, with people becoming less reliant on their smartphones to stream music or podcasts. The sound quality from these headphones is way better than what you’ll get from your phone speakers, which tend to distort low frequencies.
When you think of buying headphones, you might be wondering whether a good set is worth the money. There are so many brands and models to choose from that it can be hard to know what’s best for your budget. That’s why we’re here with our list of the best headphone under 100. In this post, Hooke Audio will help you find a pair that fits your needs and won’t break the budget!
Headphones Under 100 Buying advice
Wired Vs. Wireless headphones
The wired option will always be the cheapest, as you don’t have any additional expense from the wireless headphone. The only thing preventing this from being the most affordable option is that you have to pay a bit extra for the wire or detachable cable itself, and you will also need to pay an additional licensing fee if you want to include a headphone jack on your phone.
We recommend using a 3.5mm audio jack for wired headphones as this is the most common size of the headphone plug. This allows for maximum compatibility with all devices such as smartphones, laptops, and desktop computers.
However, if you decide to go for a wireless option, there are more factors to consider, such as the technology used and Bluetooth codecs, which we will discuss below.
Noise cancellation works by listening to the surrounding sounds with a microphone and then playing back the same sound but with an inverted waveform which cancels out any noise that gets in the way.
This is particularly good for use during travel, as it can help drown out cabin noise when you are taking a flight or train journey. It’s not quite as good as being in your sound booth, but it’s a pretty decent alternative.
This technology is usually only found on more expensive headphones, so it probably won’t have this feature if you are looking for one under 100 dollars.
However, you are willing to spend a bit more, then we recommend the Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7b as it has excellent reviews and comes in at a reasonable price.
Noise cancelling is an additional feature that can be added to any headphones, whether they are wired or wireless to avoid unwanted noise. However, it is usually only included in more expensive models.
This type of technology works by listening to the sounds around you with a microphone before playing them back with an inverted waveform, which cancels any noise in the way.
These are the different technologies that are used for transmitting audio signals wirelessly. You will need to make sure your headphones match your devices, as every device supports not all Bluetooth codecs.
There is also a range of different Bluetooth codecs regarding sound quality, with better-sounding ones being more expensive to produce.
Impedance is an odd one as it’s not something that you will notice, but it can be essential to know about if you want to get the best sound possible. It measures the headphones’ resistance against the alternating current, so essentially, how much they resist playing your music.
If you think of speakers, for instance, then lower impedance means they require more power to get a higher loudness. In the case of headphones, however, there is an optimal level. This is usually between 50 and 100Ω, which you can find on each headphone’s specification sheet.
Lastly, we have a sound quality which is probably the most critical factor in our list when choosing the best headphones under 100. This is because you will want a decent sound to enjoy your music to the fullest and not have it ruined with poor-quality audio.
Voice quality depends on personal preference in terms of what kind of sound you like, but as a general rule, if you are looking for accurate bass-heavy headphones, you will probably have to compromise on the mids and highs.
There are also other factors such as soundstage, which is how well a pair of cans can separate individual sounds while still giving you an impression of being in the middle of it all, and sound isolation, which is required for an extended listening session without having any external noise disrupt your enjoyment.
If you are looking for a pair of headphones to travel with, certain factors such as size and weight will be necessary. You should also check whether the ear cups can fold and store away quickly into the headband so that you don’t have to carry them all over separately in a bag or backpack.
This is not an essential feature, but it can play a significant role in your overall impression of the headphones, so you should choose an aesthetically pleasing one. The headphones under 100 with design as an essential factor would be the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x.
Top Rated Best Headphones Under 100 Brands
1. Sony MDR-7506
The MDR 7506’s sound quality is what makes it stand out. The MDR 7506’s almost neutral sound signature sounds very balanced. The classic Sony MDR-7506 is just what you need.
The music will sound exactly as it is supposed to, but you’ll still enjoy its clarity and detail. These headphones under 100 are an excellent choice for casual and professional listeners.
Passive noise isolation is excellent. These studio headphones are well-suited for their purpose because of the closed design. You can listen and monitor the sound with no distractions.
Solid build quality is also a plus. Although these headphones don’t have modern weak point protections, they should last you enough to be worth the cost.
Because the spiral cable design is quite long, these cables might not be helpful on the move. It is seen as the very best headphones for music and studio monitoring.
- Powerful and accurate sound
- Lightweight & foldable design
- Studio work can be done with long cable
- Noise isolation at an acceptable level
- It works well with larger heads
- The cable that is not detachable
- The foldable design feels a bit flimsy
2. Audio-Technica ATH-M40x
Audio-Technica M40x over ear headphones under 100 are all about sound quality. The overall sound signature is balanced, but the bass is punchy and deep.
The ATH-M40x is a good pair of headsets, It provides more subtle bass reproduction than the ATH-M50x, which is ideal for mixing music and makes it easier for sound engineers to register and remedy overemphasized treble, something that can fatigue products
You can make your headsets even more enjoyable to listen to by adding a headphone amplifier. These headsets are fabulous for listening to all types of music.
Also, passive noise isolation is excellent. These are great for studio use, among other services.
It’s also durable. Folding hinges are a common feature of most plastic designs with metal parts. However, this is their weakest point. These over-ear headphones’ hinges are strong, but you need to be more careful.
Audio-Technica also designed them with removable wires that can be easily replaced. It is seen as one of the very best headphones under 100for voice calls.
- Sound profile with a balanced sound
- Good bass
- Professional design features
- High-quality detachable cables
- Good noise isolation
- Amazing value for money
- Some users may not find it immediately comfortable (it can be modified).
- The cable connecting to the ear cups can break (can be detached).
3. Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Over ear Heaphones
The Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Over ear headphones under 100 will suit bass-lovers. You can customize the audio by downloading the Anker App.
The voice quality is exceptional, especially considering the price.
The Anker Soundcore Life Q30 over-ear headphones have memory foam padding for maximum comfort. When you place the headsets in the backpack, the included carrying case will protect them.
They are superior to other noise-cancelling devices to avoid ambient sound. The ambient noise mode can be used to keep you safe in an environment where you are not ambient aware.
Not many headsets can offer such a long run time, with 40 hours of battery life and noise cancellation. Anker Soundcore Life Q30 is seen as the very best headphones under 100 for the casual listener
- Excellent sound quality
- Excellent ANC with three modes
- Comfortable fit
- Companion app for EQ
- Amazing longer battery life
- Too low with stock EQ
- Bulky in size
4. Sennheiser HD 280 PRO Over-ear Headphones
It has an excellent sound quality. For audio professionals or users who prefer natural sound, the balanced sound signature is ideal.
They will be a favorite of sound engineers, but they are not recommended for bass heads.
You can find better headsets at a higher price, but they are hard to come by if you’re looking for them in the $100-$100 range.
The HD 280 PRO over-ear headphones under 100 is comfortable with sizeable over-ear ear cups. Earpads made of soft faux leather offer minimal resistance and are very pleased. Even if you have glasses, the clamping force is perfect.
Their background noise isolation is another excellent feature. Audio professionals can also use this.
Solid build quality. The plastic is high quality and inspires confidence. Sennheiser is known for its durability. It is worthy one of the best headphones in the market.
- Great noise isolation
- High-quality professional build
- Design for heavy-duty use
- This is a great way to monitor at low volumes
- Good audio technica designed
- Heavy coiled cables can damage connectors
- For larger heads, the fit and padding can be too restrictive.
5. Philips SHP9500
The Philips SHP9500 is our top pick for over-ear headphones. The Philips SHP9500 headphones offer a balanced, neutral listening experience that is comparable to more expensive options.
They also have an expansive passive soundstage that will allow you to immerse yourself in your music fully. These headsets are lightweight and comfortable enough to be worn for hours.
They have a slightly underemphasized low-bass response which can cause some EDM and hip hop tracks to rumble and thump, but most of their sound profile sounds very balanced.
Clear vocals and precise lead instruments are complemented by bright, present sibilants and clear vocals. The quality of the product is decent for the price. It has a dense plastic construction and a detachable, interchangeable audio cable.
They leak quite a lot of audio, even if they are up to the same standards as other open-back headphones. Their ear cups and headband fabric feel thin and fragile and may show signs of wear after prolonged use.
These are an excellent choice for audiophiles with a tight budget due to their sizeable passive soundstage and well-balanced sounds.
- Comfortable headband cushion
- Headband made of durable steel
- Good sound, low cost, and good build quality. It also has excellent open-back comfort with breathable pads. Replaceable cord
- Earpads that are not replaceable; somewhat inconsistent treble response
6. Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT
These are Sennheiser’s best-sellers: a well-rounded bass, a precise midrange, and a roll-off treble.
This can be problematic if you need to hear fine details. The mobile app allows you to change the sound.
These cans are beautiful and have plenty of padding. This provides excellent comfort and fits. The clamping force is relatively light, which is a good thing for glasses users.
Although there is no active noise cancellation, the passive isolation is excellent.
The bottom of the earcup has very few buttons. You can control volume and answering calls from there. Even though they support Bluetooth 4.0, latency is kept low. Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT wireless headset is seen as one of the very best over ear headphones.
- Amazing accurate sound reproduction
- Companion app for EQ
- Battery life is excellent
- Users with larger heads cannot be fitted.
- When wired, you are unable to use the built-in control.
7. Status Audio CB-1
The sound reproduction is among the very best over ear headphones.
This flat/balanced sound signature works well for all types of audio work. These headsets are excellent for DJs. It can also be used for music listening.
Professional studio headphones can be expensive, but they don’t need to. The Status Audio CB-1 is an excellent option for those just starting in professional audio.
These headsets fold up and are bulky, but they’re also very comfortable. Even the most enormous ears can be comfortably fit with their deep ear cushions. They can be worn for hours with no discomfort.
Due to the closed design of these earpads and tight-fitting earpads, outside noise isolation is excellent. These headsets are perfect for studio use, where distractions are not acceptable.
- Nearly flat frequency response
- For long listening sessions
- Design and branding that is straightforward
- Large 50mm drivers
- Excellent performance
- Affordable pair of headphones
- Quality control issues in construction for specific units
- Some music tracks can make the mids seem muddy or mushy.
8. Jabra Elite 45h
You get a lot of sound from slight headsets. These headsets are fun to listen to with punchy bass and a little emphasis on the highs.
The midrange is very natural, and the low-end elevation doesn’t overwhelm it. The Jabra app allows you to customize the sound further.
On-ear designs have a terrible reputation for causing discomfort. The Elite 45his different. They provide just enough padding in the earpads and a comfortable headband to allow for hours of uninterrupted listening.
They are lightweight but have a large battery. They have around 50 hours of battery life on one charge. This is enough to last at least a week. Fast charging allows you to get an extra 10 hours of use in as little as 15 minutes.
- Excellent voice quality
- Portable and lightweight design
- Fast charging and amazing battery life
- Sound leakage
- On-ear design isn’t for everyone.
9. Sennheiser PCX 550-II
For headsets less than $200, the PXC550-II has some of the best noise-cancelling performance. Although it is not as good as the Sony WH1000XM4’s ANC, the PCX 550 -II has impressive ANC and significantly reduces low-frequency noises such as jet engine rumbles.
The PCX 550 II’s sound quality is excellent. Frequencies are reproduced accurately up to 1.5kHz. The PCX 550 -II accurately reproduces the most important sounds in your music.
The PCX 550-II supports various Bluetooth codecs, including AAC, SBC, aptX, and aptX Low Latency. The combination of the extensive codec support and neutral-leaning sound signature creates a unified listening experience for all listeners, from general consumers to audiophiles. It is seen as one of the very best over ear headphones.
- Voice quality
- Excellent noise cancellation
- Bluetooth multipoint
- Portable, comfortable design
- Bluetooth headphones 5.0, SBC. aptX. aptX Low Latency. AAC.
- Charge quickly
- Microphone quality
- It is easy to turn the headset off/on accidentally
- MicroUSB charging
10. Bose QuietComfort 35 II
Bose has been at the top of active noise cancellation turned for many years. This was due in large part to its QuietComfort headsets.
The company now has the Noise Cancelling 700 headphones (terrible name, I know), but the QC35 Series II was the best noise-cancelling headphones. How do they fare now that some time has passed? Do they still have value over newer models or the competition?
It’s very similar to the regular QC35 noise cancelling headphones but not as different as the newer series II. They are almost identical, apart from a few key differences.
The unique series II features an Action button that can activate the Google Assistant directly from the headset. The headset has been updated to be compatible with Amazon Alexa since its release.
You can use the same button to activate Google Assistant or as an active noise cancelling toggle. This allows you to switch between three levels of ANC. Although it’s pretty clever, it was not very useful in my testing. You can still adjust how it plays music. It is worthy one of the great headphones.
- Excellent ANC
- Strong connections
- Good noise cancelling
- Not cheap headphones
- Audio quality is only ok
11. AKG Pro Audio K361
AKG tuned the K361 to match the Harman target. It produces a beautiful, balanced sound that leaves nothing to be desired. The imaging is also very accurate.
AKG made some compromises in the build quality department. K361 is still very comfortable to hold, but they are entirely plastic and weigh only 219g.
These large, over-ear rotating ear cups can be swiveled to reduce weight if needed for travel. Earpads should be comfortable all day. They are thick and durable.
The big positives include a detachable cable and low impedance at 32 Ohms. This means you can use K361 with any music device. These are why they are our top choice.
- Super lightweight
- Harman target tuning
- Plush Ear cups that fold easily
- Comfortable fit
- Sound changes based upon position
- Non-noise cancelling
12. Plantronics BackBeat 810 Wireless Over ear Headphones
The Plantronics BackBeat 810 Wireless is a closed-back pair of headphones that have a neutral sound profile.
Although their passive soundstage may not be as immersive or spacious as the Philips SHP9500 Wireless, they leak less sound due to their closed-back design.
The ANC feature does an excellent job of isolating the user from background noises like a conversation. They have a neutral sound and well-balanced default sound profile that can be used for many content types.
Also, they are better at reproducing low-bass than Philips. They can last for approximately 24.5 hours without needing to be charged, which should make them suitable for both commutes and workdays from 9-5.
They are not as comfortable as Philips, and some users reported that the headphones’ headbands cracked or fell apart with repeated use.
Open-back headphones are more natural and can produce a more immersive soundstage. The Plantronics is a great pair of headphones that come with convenient features if you prefer closed-back headphones.
- Good control scheme.
- Great audio reproduction.
- Excellent battery life.
- The performance of the Active noise cancelling is dismal
- Inadequate customization and companion app
- Very high latency
13. Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Headphones under 100
Cambridge Audio true wireless earbuds are the audiophile firm. They made sure Melomania 1 audio products reproduce the music in the best way possible. Earbuds produce a balanced sound with excellent clarity across all frequencies.
They last longer than the majority of their competition. They can be fully charged in 30 minutes if the battery life is low. There are many ear tips available. The memory foam ones are the best for a snug fit.
Even though they don’t offer ANC, you can get noise-cancelling earbuds.
IPX5 can protect your true wireless earbuds against water and sweat, even if it rains. You can also use the aptX Bluetooth codec to enjoy lag-free YouTube videos.
- Natural sound signature
- High-quality build
- Water resistance IPX5
- With relatively fast charging, you can charge for 6.5 hours in a single charge.
- Cheap headphones Below $100
- Built-in controls are easy to use
- Sleek design
- If you can’t find the right ear tips, it will be a bad fit.
- Micro-USB cable out of date
- It can’t get super loud
14. ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air Wireless Headphone Under 100
We’ve found the ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air Wireless to be the best gaming over-ear headphones under 100. The wireless gaming headset includes a USB-A dongle for low-latency audio transmission.
This gaming headset ensures that you won’t miss any critical audio cues while gaming. The headphones can also playback approximately 16 hours on one charge. This should provide enough power for several long gaming sessions.
Their default sound profile is well-balanced, so they don’t overwhelm music or dialogue in action-heavy games.
You can adjust the audio quality of their output via a few EQ presets. The boom mic is capable of producing a full-bodied sound that is clear and detailed without any adjustments.
They are not good at blocking background noise. This gaming headset could prove annoying for gamers who play in noisy environments. The audio reproduction of their headset is sensitive to the fit and position of their head.
Also, their adjustable headband can easily slip. They are our favorite wireless gaming headsets due to their low wireless latency, comprehensive configuration options, and broad range. It is among the best-sounding headphones.
- Lightweight, comfortable, and sound good
- The build quality is excellent
- Do not plug the microphone into the headset’s side.
15. Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus
We loved the original Melomania 1 wireless earbuds from Cambridge. They were compact, simple, and inexpensive.
We are stoked to see the new Melomania 1 Plus get a slicker finish, app support for EQ customization, and a step up in sonic detail.
Their price was recently reduced to below PS100. This qualifies them for this listing.
The original Melomania 1 is still available at a substantial discount, but they are no longer in production. We recommend this new model.
Although there is no noise cancelling onboard, those who do not need it should add the latest Melomanias models to their shortlist.
The Melomania 1 Plus is the very best sound quality headphone for a rich, engaging and expansive listening experience.
- Dynamic expression added to your words
- Excellent clarity at the level
- Slick app support
- No noise-canceling
16. Klipsch T5 M Wired
Klipsch bought a What Hi-Fi! Klipsch won the 2019 Award, and their appeal has not diminished in the two years that have followed.
The oval silicone tips are among the best headphones under 100. The 5mm dynamic drivers deliver powerful, punchy bass-heavy sound with incredible precision.
These headphones under 100 give you a sense of space, no matter if you are streaming Spotify or Netflix. Their dynamic quality also reveals many subtle sonic details you wouldn’t expect of budget headsets.
The cable is unique in that it has Klipsch’s signature copper specks embedded within it. They are sweat- and waterproof, so they should be fine for most workouts.
They’re not designed to be used as a sports pair of headphones. If you plan on running Ironman, however, they will need to be made for that purpose.
These great musical performers are worth looking for anyone who wants to upgrade their headphones but doesn’t want to break the bank. These headphones are the best music headphones.
- Comfortable, elegant fit
- Dynamic, detailed sound
- Even the tonal balance
- Can generate cable noise
- No volume control
Best Audio Quality Headphones FAQs
Can I plug wired headsets into a DVD/CD player?
Are more significant headphone drivers better?
The size doesn’t necessarily matter as long as they can deliver enough sound and have a good frequency response, which you can check on specification sheets. The more giant headphones are usually more comfortable, though, and some prefer that over audio quality.
How to clean headphone pads?
All you need is some alcohol and a soft clean cloth. Also, check out this guide.
What is headphone impedance?
Impedance is essentially the resistance against the alternating current, so effectively how much they resist playing your music. If you think of speakers, for instance, then lower impedance means they require more power to get a higher loudness. In the case of headphones, however, there is an optimal level.
This is because too low of an impedance and the device can’t supply enough power, which results in a bit of volume, while with higher impedance, you need more battery juice.
A good example that explains this pretty well is when you are using Bluetooth headphones, and your headphones have a high impedance compared to what your source will output at total volume, then your battery life won’t be affected much.
However, with low impedance headphones, you will drain your battery life at a faster rate than with high impedance ones. The maximum recommended impedance for most devices is 80 ohms, representing a good balance between voice quality and power consumption.
What’s the Difference Between on-ear and Over-ear Headphones?
The main difference between on-ear and over-ear headphones is the size of the earcups. The ones that go over the ears ultimately will be bigger as they need to accommodate the whole area, while on-ears are designed to cover your outer ears and rest on your head.
Should You Get Closed-back or Open-back Headphones Under 100?
The main difference between both types is the way they handle sound. Closed-back headphones are meant to keep all outside noise out, while open-back headphones let it leak in and let some sound escape, making for a more natural listening experience with better imaging. This does not mean that you won’t be able to use closed-back headphones in noisy places, but you might not get the best isolation possible.
This short buying guide should give you a good impression of what to look for when purchasing the best headphones under 100. We have tried to cover all the essential points but feel free to ask in the comments if you need any further help or specific advice, and we are also open to suggestions of how we can improve this article.
If you are wondering about these items, we highly recommend Sony MDR-7506 and Audio-Technica ATH-M40x headphones under 100; those are received much good feedback from customers on Amazon.
Last update on 2021-09-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API