Top 10 Best Headphones Under $100 – 2020 Review

We have made a list of Best Headphones Under $100 in 2020 so you can delve deeper into the world of audio without paying much.

headphones under $100

Great headphones don’t have to cost a fortune. While high-priced headphones do generally perform and sound better but there are some great cheap options available under $100. 

Though, we cannot expect the same features and quality from an under $100 headphone that higher priced models provide but they will do what they set out to do: be fantastic headphones for those on a budget.

We have found honest and real joy in searching for good headphones that are below $100.

The list is made based on our personal opinion and we will list them based on their price, quality, durability and more.

To find out more information on these headphones, you can check out the “Check Price on Amazon” button for updated prices and offers.

1. Audio-Technica ATH-M40x

At number 1, we have the definite best headphone under the $100 price in the market, the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x.

These headphones despite having a pretty budget-oriented price deliver a super balanced and clear sound that will deliver one of the best critical listening experiences in the market.

The Audio-Technica ATH-M40x delivers an audiophile-grade performance with a great frequency range and a perfect listening experience.

To deliver the best performance for the price, the company has made some cuts in terms of design.

These budget headphones are very simply designed with their matt black low profile finish with some silver highlights in the outer parts of the ear cups with the Audio-Technica logo.

The Audio-Technica ATH-M40x budget headphones are pretty large and are not the best cans for commuters but the 40-millimetre drivers need to be housed somewhere.

In terms of comfort, these under $100 headphones are pretty much excellent overall.

The Audio-Technica ATH-M40x is designed to be used for long hours by professionals.

On top of all this, we have to say that the build quality of Audio-Technica ATH-M40x is top of the class and is built to last.

And if there is one thing besides audio performance that the company doesn’t compromise, is its build quality.

While you won’t find Bluetooth or any kind of microphone on the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x, you can overlook that since they are built for listening.

In the connectivity department, the company has included two cables. One straight and a coiled one with 3.5-millimetre connectors on the ends.

In the sound quality department, the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x is pretty much perfect for a closed-back headphone and they deliver a great sonic signature that is only present in open-backed headphones. 

The bass is pretty much very strong and punchy with great clearance and details in the mids, to go along with the clarity and sharpness of the trebles.

The overall soundstage of the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x budget headphones is very wide and they won’t ask anything about the sound quality.

Just a clean and neutral critical listening experience. One of the best headphones under $100 in the market without a doubt.

2. Sony MDR7506

Sony MDR7506

At number 2, we have the Sony MDR7506 in our list of best headphones under $100.

For those that are looking for a pair of affordable but extremely capable headphones for home and office use, we can recommend only the Sony MDR7506 headphones.

These budget headphones may be released quite a year ago from now but they deliver one of the best studio experiences in the market.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that the Sony MDR7506 under $100 headphones are extremely durable. 

These fan favourites are extremely popular despite being super old. No one including you should have doubt about the quality and durability of these cans.

You should just remember that they were released in 1991 and people have used them daily for over a decade in the studio environment.

The Sony MDR7506 budget headphones also weigh a pretty lightweight 230 grams which results in a great package compared to most.

That’s mostly due to the plastic construction that’s around these headphones but they don’t feel flimsy at all.

All thanks to the metal construction of the outer part of the earcups.

Inside of the Sony MDR7506 under $100 headphone’s earcups, they pack 40-millimetre neodymium drivers on each side that delivers an impedance rating of 63 ohms.

In terms of comfort, the Sony MDR7506 delivers a great experience despite having an outdated design and not as much padding.

But the clamping force is just right delivering tons of comfort.

On top of that, they don’t leak the sound in or out. These best under $100 headphones come with a coiled cable that is about 10 feet long but lacks a microphone though.

For those with complicated setups, it has a 6.3-millimetre adapter plug for the 3.5-millimetre plug.

The Sony MDR7506 is one of the most used and most popular pairs of budget headphones in the market and you will know why right from the first listen. 

Everything about the soundscape and audio landscape just clicks and is correct.

The balance between the frequency ranges is just excellent and there is no bleeding at all.

The Sony MDR7506 fared well in every single genre delivering versatility and is the perfect tool for critical listening and studio settings, allowing you to catch everything with their neutral performance.

The bass of these under $100 headphones in 2020 is super tight and smooth going along with its accuracy. The mids were also detailed and clean.

Moving on, the highs were bright and accurately sharp. One of the best without a doubt.

3. Marshall Major II Bluetooth

At number 3, we have the Marshall Major II Bluetooth in our best headphones under $100 list.

The Marshall Major II Bluetooth is one of our favourite headphones in the market so far.

These budget headphones are very special as they sport an excellent rock-and-roll styling that a lot of people are big fans of.

Come with a nice coiled cable for passive use, battery life for ages, nice amount of sound isolation and a great Bluetooth connectivity to top it off.

In terms of aesthetics, the Marshall Major II Bluetooth is our favourite pair of budget headphones so far as it rocks the iconic look of Marshall guitar amplifiers.

Coming in a combination of black and gold has found a good balance between subtlety and fanciness as they take your attention away.

The Marshall Major II Bluetooth has a plastic and rubber construction all around with a classic black look and the gold-finished metal on the control joystick on the left earcup.

These under $100 headphones are equipped with plenty of padding on the earcups and headband both of which are covered with soft leather that will deliver tons of comfort around your head.

However, the clamping force may get a little annoying after a while. 

These On-Ear headphones are pretty much excellent as they come with a nice hybrid coiled straight cable that is pretty lightweight and the cable has gold details on the connectors to go along with the look.

These budget headphones may not have noise-cancelling features, however, they managed to isolate the noise pretty well. Hence, the clamping force that we have mentioned.

In terms of controls, you have the adjustment knob we mentioned earlier that has four-way movement and can also be clicked for different intuitive functions.

The mids are also great which results in a perfect performance of stringed instruments and vocals.

We were also impressed with the gaming experience of these headphones as they delivered a great 3D audio performance.

4. Sennheiser HD 4.40

Sennheiser HD 4.40

At number 4, we have the Sennheiser HD 4.40 in our best headphones under $100 list.

Sennheiser has been one of the most notable and respectful headphones and sound gear manufacturers in the market for quite a long time now.

The German giant has even delivered one of the best affordable wireless headphones in the market so far.

The Sennheiser HD 4.40 under $100 headphones besides being one of the best affordable wireless models deliver great sound, amazing battery life, tons of features and a minimalist design to bring in one of the best packages.

The Sennheiser HD 4.40 is a pretty simplistic and minimal pair of over the ear headphones with a closed-back nature. 

We can’t say that the sound quality and overall quality of these headphones are excellent just like any other headphone in Sennheiser line up and that’s despite its rocking synthetic materials.

These under $100 headphones achieved some excellent looks and a nice feeling around the head with their simple looks and exceptional build quality.

The comfort level of these budget headphones is also top of the class as they have tons of cushioning and padding on the earcups and the headband and the soft leather makes them pretty nice on the head.

In terms of control and other ports that are located on the right earcup, the controls include micro-USB charging port, 3.5-millimetre audio jack for passive use, volume controls, multi-function switch, the power button and an LED indicator to top it off.

We can comfortably say that the pollutant 4.0 connection technology is flawless and delivers a perfect experience without any distortion or any other issue that you may come across.

In terms of sound performance of these budget headphones, the Sennheiser HD 4.40 delivers a solid and clean audio outing just as expected from Sennheiser.

The overall sound signature may be a little warmer than expected by some Sennheiser fans but everything is so smooth and ironed out that you really can’t complain about it.

The bass of these under $100 headphones is pretty deep and rich and the mids are super smooth without forgetting the trebles.

They were also supernatural and sharp. Just excellent overall.

5. Jabra Move Style

Jabra Move Style

At number 5, it’s the Jabra Move Style in our list of best headphones under $100.

Buying a headphone is a tricky task as you have to take various factors into consideration and select the best option for you.

When you limit the price range up to $100, things can get a little difficult and confusing.

But hang on, since there are some super solid options in the sub $100 price.

One of the most noting and versatile options is the Jabra Move Style. The Danish manufacturer has hit the sweet spot with these headphones. Definitely top of the class!

These budget headphones deliver great sound, great battery life, superb wireless connectivity and many more features that deliver a package worth way more than asked for.

The Jabra Move Style is equipped with a nice and aesthetically pleasing design that’s mostly done for sports.

But not only that, it has minimalistic and some attractive vibes. It has a mesh fabric headband that’s dust-resistant, very breathable and thickly padded to deliver comfort.

We should mention that the whole thing weighs just 150 grams in total. That’s despite having a stainless steel chassis that connects the ear cups and headband.

That also makes some super durable and flexible simultaneously.

The Jabra Move Style under $100 headphone is available in different colours including black, navy, beige blue and red so you can find the best one for your taste.

One thing that we liked about the Jabra Move Style is that it has no right and left side. That was a little suspicious about it but it’s very well done.

The controls of the device are located on the earcups. The power switch that also acts as a Bluetooth button and the micro-USB port is on the one side.

And on the other side, you will find a 3.5-millimetre audio port for passive use.

The playback buttons and the volume controls are all intuitively placed.

Besides its excellent design and comfort, the Jabra Move Style budget headphones also deliver great performance, especially for its price.

While the sound leakage might get annoying if you get them properly on your head, it will be alright.

The battery life of 8 hours is good enough for its superior connection and overall we can’t complain about these.

6. Mixcder E9 ANC Headphones

Mixcder E9 ANC Headphones

At number 6, we have the Mixcder E9 ANC Headphones in our list of best headphones under $100.

In terms of sound quality, these under $100 headphones are pretty damn good. They offer a well-balanced sound profile that is far from what you’d expect at this price point.

The bass is strong without totally dominating the soundscape and vocals shine through above all else.

We have to say, the Mixcder E9 ANC Headphones do not sound like budget headphones.

The Active Noise Cancellation is off the mids and highs are noticeably quieter.

Given the Mixcder E9 ANC Headphones, more of a bass boosted profile which we don’t mind but you should probably know about.

There is an extremely minor audio-visual lag when watching YouTube or Netflix but honestly, it’s nothing drastic at all.

The ANC is strong offering a great reduction of low frequencies with the flick of a switch but of course, it does struggle when it comes to reducing voices.

All in all, the Mixcder E9 ANC Headphones budget headphones probably offer the best balance of price, sound quality, noise cancellation and are one of the most lightweight and compact.

7. House of Marley Positive Vibration XL

At number 7, we have the House of Marley Positive Vibration XL in our list of best headphones under $100.

Available in black, blue or copper models, the House of Marley Positive Vibration XL headphones have a circumoral build with faux leather earpads and a cloth-covered headband.

The earcups and underside of the headband are padded with memory foam and the fit is comfortable over long listening periods.

The outer panel has FSC Certified wood emblazoned with the House of Marley logo and internally, the enclosure houses 40-millimetre drivers.

The right earcup houses the 3 button control panel. A central multifunction button handles playback call management and acts as a power button.

The outer plus-minus buttons handle the volume and track navigation depending on how long you hold them in for.

Which makes it far easier to skip a track when you mean to adjust the volume.

These under $100 headphones ship with a cloth bound charging cable as well as a cloth-bound audio cable with a single button remote.

They can be used in passive mode when the cable is plugged in.

House of Marley claims the Positive Vibration XL’s battery life to be roughly 24 hours. However, results may vary with your volume levels.

These budget headphones deliver powerful bass depth and surprisingly solid balance with the highs and high mids.

8. Sennheiser HD280PRO Headphone (new model)

Sennheiser HD 280 Pro

Next, we have the Sennheiser HD280PRO Headphone (new model) best under$100 headphones.

If you want an exceptional music listening experience but don’t want to spend a lot of money, you should check the Sennheiser HD280PRO.

It might be surprising to see that a top pick is a budget but these do deliver the performance for the ages.

The Sennheiser HD280PRO are not specifically designed for consumer use or commuting. That’s more of a studio-grade or listening to music at home type of thing.

That’s mostly because of their huge design that’s designed to be sturdy and comfortable for longer periods of time and if you need that then this is it.

The padding one these cans are pretty thick and you won’t feel them on your head because they are pretty light.

We should also mention the padding on the headband and the clamping force which would be too much without the padding.

On the other hand, the clamping force keeps the noise isolation excellently.

The Sennheiser HD280PRO under $100 headphones lacks a detachable cable though which would be a great feature for keeping them by your side for a longer time.

The cable that is provided though is pretty thick and comes with a 3.5-millimetre connection.

In the package of the device, you will find a quarter-inch adapter for more substantial devices.

The sound performance of the Sennheiser HD280PRO budget headphones is pretty much exceptional. Nothing sounds out of place and it delivers a pleasant experience.

It’s not specially sweetened but it delivers a bit more a flat experience with a little touch-up all over.

The frequency response range spans from 8Hertz which is in the sub-bass range, all over to 20,000 Hertz which is more than you would ever need.   

Thes closed-back headphones are lightweight, weighing in at only 285 grams.

These budget headphones feature an extended frequency response as well as padded ear cups that go around the ear.

Despite not being noise-cancelling headphones, meaning you can hear outside noise, they themselves do not leak sound.

Therefore, you can listen on loud without getting dirty looks from outsiders. 

It’s a great idea to get these for studio work as they have an optimal impedance of 64 ohms and a 1 metre, the 3-metre coiled cord that is easily replaceable should you need a replacement.

9. Grado SR60e

Grado SR60e

Next, we have the Grado SR60e in our list of best headphones under $100.

These are an open-back pair of headphones for less than 100 bucks and they have a unique old school look to them.

Instead of being completely covered, each ear cup is partly opened with a grill that allows you to see the components inside.

The cable is fairly long and very thick which is said to improve sound quality and means the cable is less likely to wear out on you.

Grado says on their website, “Everyone loves a thumping bass and kick drum but not at the expense of everything else”.

You will certainly hear the bass here but it’s not overemphasized. This could come as a shock if you are only used to bass-heavy headphones but the aim here is balance. 

Even in these entry-level budget headphones, the mid-range is very clear, unrestrained and open sounding.

The highs are crisp and clear with excellent detail, blending a shimmer and sheen to symbols and high string instruments without ever wandering into the realm of harshness.

The soundstage in these under $100 headphones is excellent. This is somewhat expected in open-back headphones. 

Overall, these are great headphones for both critical listening and just enjoying your music. 

10. Jabra Elite Active 45e

Jabra Elite Active 45e

Last but not the least we have the Jabra Elite Active 45e in our list of best headphones under $100.

Starting with the design of these budget headphones, the neckband at the very top is flexible and it’s almost got a memory property to it.

On the back of the volume control and power button, you do have a USB port and thi is where you charge the headphones.

Moving down to the microphone, you have got two microphones in there and it picks everything you can think of and it also tries to filter out any of the unnecessary stuff.

The earpieces have a solid back and which is of a metal texture and that these can be used to magnetise each other so that when you are done using them, you simply place the backs against each other and then the headphones turn off.

If you disconnect them from each other, the headphones will turn on.

The battery life is decent on these under $100 headphones as you get 9 hours of battery on a single charge. It takes around 40-45 minutes to fully charge up.

Now on top, probably the most important part of this review and that’s the sound quality. The sound quality of the earbuds when you are listening to media and listening to people talk.

When we plugged these in and listened to our favourite track, we were actually quite surprised how bassy these were in a really good way.

It’s also important to say that it’s not overpowering but it is there ready to pack a punch whenever it’s needed.

We also tested them with podcasts as well and that was a good indicator of no instruments and just vocals. Even though speaking, it’s just the vocal clarity and we can say that it worked perfectly.

Just a quick note, you can just actually download the Jabra Sound Plus App to extend the functionality.

By this App, you can enable what voice assistant you want as well as the hybrid ANC, Active Noise-Cancelling to try and block out even more sound.

Overall, to be fair to these under $100 budget headphones, they punch well above their weight. Considering the price that you get these for.

Whether it’s the comfortable earbuds or the ear molds, they fit perfectly in your ear and you can tilt your head left and right and they will not fall out.

Leave a Comment