8 Best Headphones Under $100 of 2023
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by Victoria Kraiselburd August 28, 2023, 6:51 pm
We've all been there: we know what it's like to be on a budget and still want excellent sound quality. The struggle to find headphones that deliver good audio quality, comfort, and durability without emptying your wallet can feel like searching for a hidden treasure.
Headphones under $100 can offer great value for the price, it's just a matter of knowing where to look. You can definitely find great quality headphones with a variety of features, such as a noise canceling feature (ANC) or Bluetooth connectivity, for a great price.
In this article, we’ve picked 8 of the best headphones under $100. They all offer great sound, comfort, and build quality for a good price.
So, whether you're a student, a working professional, or just someone who wants to save some money, we’re confident that you'll find the perfect pair of headphones on this list.
We’ve also included a Buyer’s Guide with tips and key factors to keep in mind when shopping for this product.
Our #1 pick is the Sennheiser HD 569 headphones because they offer a neutral sound signature with good detail and clarity. They are a great option for people who are looking for great sound and comfort without having to spend a lot of money.
The Sennheiser HD 569 headphones earn our #1 pick because of their neutral sound signature and wide soundstage. They don’t emphasize any particular frequencies, which helps create a balanced sound. This makes them a good choice for both studio monitoring and casual listening.
Also, their closed-back design does a good job of keeping the sound contained within the ear cups, which helps create a more intimate audio environment.
Regarding sound quality, these headphones are quite the all-rounders. They have impressive frequency response and rich sound. So, whether you're using them for casual listening on your commute or enjoying your favorite album at home, they're up to the task.
They are also built to withstand everyday use and come with a detachable cable, which makes the cable easy to replace if it gets damaged.
In a nutshell, the Sennheiser HD 569 headphones are an excellent choice if you're looking for a pair of versatile headphones that deliver premium sound, comfort, and sound isolation.
The ATH-M40x headphones stand out due to their accurate sound. These headphones are designed to provide a flat frequency response, which means that the sound profile you’re getting is faithful to the original audio.
For this reason, these headphones are perfect for audio professionals, and they’re a treat for those who want to experience music as it was truly intended by the artist.
Also, while these headphones weren’t designed with an active noise canceling feature, they still offer decent noise isolation thanks to their closed-back design. This makes them great for recording in a studio or listening to music while you travel to work.
The ATH-M40x is known to withstand the wear and tear of daily use because the materials used are robust: they were made with durability in mind.
Just like the Sennheiser HD 569, these headphones also come with a detachable cable that is not only convenient for storage but also allows for cable replacement if needed.
Overall, the ATH-M40x is a solid choice for those looking for headphones that prioritize accurate sound reproduction. They combine durability, comfort, and exceptional sound for just under $100.
The Soundcore by Anker Life Q30 is a pair of wireless headphones with active noise cancellation that offer great sound and a comfortable design for their price.
Regarding sound quality, these headphones offer a balanced sound that works with a wide range of genres. They provide clear vocals and crisp highs while not overly emphasizing any particular frequency range.
What makes these headphones stand out is their hybrid active noise cancelling feature (ANC). This technology can make a significant difference when it comes to reducing ambient noise.
It creates a more immersive listening experience, making the Soundcore by Anker a good choice for traveling or listening to music in noisy environments.
They also come with a number of convenient features. They use Bluetooth 5.0, which offers a stable connection and low latency; they have a battery life of up to 20 hours, which is good for long listening sessions; and they are IPX4 water resistant.
Overall, the Soundcore by Anker Life Q30 is a great pair of headphones that offer good sound quality and effective ANC. Whether you're a frequent traveler, a student, or just a music enthusiast, the Q30 is a great option; they're a well-rounded package.
The Koss Porta Pro X headphones offer a warm and slightly bass-emphasized sound that offers a nostalgic experience. Their open-back design also enhances its vintage sound character.
Regarding sound quality, these headphones emphasize the highs and lows, a feature that gives you a more exciting and energetic sound. However, while this design provides a more natural and spacious soundstage, it also allows for sound leakage.
These headphones are also highly portable: the foldable design makes them super easy to take with you on the go. Whether you're traveling, commuting, or just want your music with you, they're always ready to tag along.
Overall, the Koss Porta Pro X headphones are a perfect blend of retro charm and distinct audio character. They bring back retro vibes while adding modern comfort.
So, if you're a music enthusiast who appreciates a touch of nostalgia, the Porta Pro X is a wonderful choice that pairs the best of both worlds.
The Superlux HD-681 EVO headphones are a budget-friendly option that provides quality audio at an affordable price.
Considering its budget-friendly price point, the Superlux HD-681 EVO has an impressive sound. They offer a balanced sound with a slight emphasis on the low end, which makes them suitable for a wide range of genres.
One of the unique features of the HD-681 EVO headphones is their semi-open design. This design choice offers a compromise between the open-back and closed-back design.
This means that, while the HD-681 EVO doesn’t provide the same level of isolation as closed-back headphones, their design creates a more spacious soundstage compared to fully closed designs.
In addition, these headphones are built with practicality in mind: their plastic build keeps them lightweight, making them comfortable for extended listening periods.
Overall, if you're an audio enthusiast on a budget, the HD-681 EVO is a great choice for you.
While they might lack some of the bells and whistles of higher-end models, their balanced sound signature, semi-open design, and budget-friendly cost make them a fantastic option for those who want a solid audio experience without breaking the bank.
The OneOdio Pro-10 headphones are a great option for DJing because they offer a dynamic sound signature with a good bass response.
This is important for DJs because it allows them to hear the low frequencies clearly, which is essential for mixing and mastering music. The low frequencies can also help create a sense of rhythm and groove.
Also, their closed-back design helps isolate the user from outside noise, which is important for DJs since they need to focus on the music.
The rotating earcups of the OneOdio Pro-10 make them comfortable to wear for long periods of time, a key feature for DJs since they tend to wear their headphones for extended periods of time.
Overall, the OneOdio Pro-10 are a great pair of headphones, and they’re perfect for DJs. They offer a dynamic sound signature with good bass response, a closed-back design, and a detachable cable. These features make them ideal for DJs who need to hear the music clearly and avoid distractions.
The Sony WH-CH520 are great headphones with features that make them ideal for wireless listening. They connect to your devices via Bluetooth, so you can listen to music or audio without wires. This is a great feature for people who want to be able to move around freely while listening to music.
Also, they have a battery life of up to 35 hours, so you can listen to music all day long without having to worry about running out of power, and they come with in-line controls for volume, playback, and calls. This makes it easy to control your music and calls without having to take your headphones off.
Regarding sound quality, the WH-CH520 offers good sound with clear mids and highs, which makes it great for listening to a variety of music genres.
The WH-CH520 doesn't have active noise cancellation (ANC), but they do offer a good amount of passive noise isolation thanks to their design.
Overall, the Sony WH-CH520 is a great pair of headphones for people who are looking for a comfortable, long-lasting, and affordable option. They offer good sound, a comfortable design, and long battery life.
If you are looking for a pair of wireless headphones without ANC, the Sony WH-CH520 is a great option.
The Philips SHP9500 headphones have a simple yet functional design that focuses on comfort and audio performance. Their open-back design not only contributes to their sound quality but also adds an aesthetic touch.
While this design allows for an airy and natural sound, it also means that sound leakage is more prominent. For this reason, these headphones are best suited for quiet listening environments where you can fully appreciate their soundstage without disturbing others.
Their standout feature is their exceptional sound, especially considering their relatively affordable price. These headphones offer a neutral sound signature that's focused on accuracy and clarity.
Also, these headphones come with a detachable cable, which adds versatility to their design. It allows for easier cable replacement if needed and makes storage and transport more convenient.
Overall, the Philips SHP9500 headphones are a fantastic choice for those seeking a high-quality audio experience at an affordable price. Their open-back design and balanced sound signature make them stand out in their price range.
There are several things to consider when shopping for the best headphones under $100: sound quality, comfort, build quality, and additional features.
This is probably the most important factor to consider when buying headphones, regardless of price. You want to buy headphones that sound good to you, so it's important to try out a few different pairs before you buy.
Look for headphones that offer clear, balanced sound with good frequency response. Consider your music preferences–whether you enjoy deep bass, detailed highs, or a neutral sound signature– and choose headphones that match your preferences.
Comfort is crucial, especially if you plan to wear your headphones for extended periods of time. Look for headphones with adjustable headbands, cushioned earpads, and an ergonomic design that suits the shape of your head.
Over-ear headphones often offer better comfort and noise isolation compared to on-ear models. If you have the chance, try them on to ensure they're comfortable for you.
Even though you're shopping on a budget, you still want headphones that will last. Look for headphones with a sturdy build that can withstand regular use.
Check for materials that feel durable, such as metal reinforcements or quality plastics. If possible, read customer reviews to analyze the long-term durability of the headphones.
Consider any additional features that are important to you. This might include wireless Bluetooth connectivity, active noise cancellation, or a detachable cable.
Wireless headphones offer convenience, while noise cancellation can be valuable for reducing ambient noise. Don't forget to check connectivity options such as compatibility with your devices and controls such as volume and playback to ensure your headphones work with your existing devices.
Choosing the right headphones depends on your preferences, intended use, and what features matter most to you.
The first thing you should do is define your needs. Consider how you'll be using the headphones. Are they primarily for music, gaming, work, or travel? Different use cases might require different features.
For example, if you're a music enthusiast, the quality of the sound might be your top priority. If you travel frequently, noise cancellation and portability might matter more.
You should also consider comfort. Think about how long you'll be wearing the headphones. If you plan to use them for extended periods, comfort is crucial. In that case, look for adjustable headbands, cushioned earpads, and a design that suits your head shape.
In the third place, evaluate sound quality. If the quality of the sound matters to you, research the headphones' frequency response, sound signature, and audio reviews.
Do you prefer balanced sound, enhanced bass, or clear highs? Reading about how the headphones perform in terms of sound clarity and balance can help you decide if they match your preferences.
It is also very important that you check compatibility. Make sure that the headphones are compatible with your devices. Don’t forget to see if they have the right connectors (3.5mm, USB-C, etc.) or any necessary adapters.
Another important thing is to assess any additional features: consider any features that are important to you, such as wireless connectivity, noise cancellation, built-in microphone for calls, or even customizable EQ settings, and prioritize the features that align with your needs.
Finally, if possible, try the headphones in a store before making a purchase. Comfort, fit, and sound can vary based on personal preferences, and trying them on can give you a better idea of how they feel.
First of all, consider the headband. Choose headphones with an adjustable headband that can be customized to fit your head size. The headband should distribute the weight of the headphones evenly across your head without creating pressure points.
In the second place, look for headphones with well-padded and soft ear cushions. They should gently rest around your ears without pressing too hard. If you feel the cushions are pressing against your head a bit too much, try another model.
In the long run, too much pressure around your ears might cause headaches. Memory foam or gel-infused cushions can provide added comfort, especially during extended listening sessions.
Also, don’t forget to check your ear cup size. Over-ear headphones with larger ear cups tend to offer better comfort as they fully enclose your ears. On-ear headphones can also be comfortable if they have ample padding and don't press too tightly against your ears.
Finally, test the weight. Consider the weight of the headphones, especially if you'll be wearing them for extended periods. Lighter headphones are generally more comfortable for prolonged use, but make sure they don't compromise on build quality.
When not in use, store your headphones in a protective case to prevent them from getting tangled or dusty, and keep them away from extreme heat or cold, as temperature changes can affect their performance.
It is also very important that you unplug them carefully. When disconnecting your headphones, hold the plug rather than pulling on the cable since pulling on the cable can strain the internal wires.
Also, avoid bending or twisting the cable excessively, as this can damage the internal wires. If your headphones have a long cable, use a cable clip to prevent the cable from tangling.
Regularly cleaning the ear pads, headband, and cable to remove dirt, oil, and sweat is another way to extend your headphones’ lifespan.
Try not to expose your headphones to liquids, as moisture can damage the internal components. And, if your headphones get wet, let them air dry before using them again.
First, we have over-ear headphones. These headphones are the most common ones; they provide the best sound and comfort, but they can be bulky and make you sweat.
Then, we have on-ear headphones, which are smaller and lighter than over-ear headphones, but they don’t provide as much sound isolation.
In-ear headphones (IEMs) are another type of headphones. They're known for being small and portable. Their main downside is that they can be uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time.
Finally, we have wireless headphones. These headphones are convenient, but they can be more expensive than wired headphones.
When shopping for headphones under $100, don’t forget to take into account the sound quality, comfort, build quality, and extra features of the product.
If you want a great all-around pair of headphones that offer a neutral sound signature, you should definitely check out the Sennheiser HD 569.
If you're looking for a pair of cheap headphones that provide quality audio at an affordable price, try the Superlux HD-681 EVO. You won't be disappointed.
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August 31, 2023, 3:33 pmVictoria KraiselburdSPECSImpedance:Frequency response:Sound pressure level:SPECSImpedance: Frequency response: Sound pressure level:SPECSFrequency response: Sound pressure level:Impedance:SPECSImpedance:Frequency response: Sound pressure level:SPECSImpedance:Frequency response:Sound pressure level:SPECSImpedance:Frequency response:Sound pressure level:SPECSImpedance: Frequency response: Sound pressure level:SPECSImpedance:Frequency response: Sound pressure level:Previous articleNext article