HomeLatest FeedsTechnology NewsBest cheap earbuds under $100 in 2023

Best cheap earbuds under $100 in 2023

Inexpensive in-ear headphones can keep you connected to your favorite music, audiobooks, and podcasts without breaking the bank.

For most of us, headphones are an everyday necessity, helping us connect to our favorite media, make phone calls, and tune-out noisy distractions. Over-ear headphones can provide stellar audio and noise cancelation but tend to be bulky, making them difficult to stow or unsuitable for exercise. Earbuds are a great, lightweight option for versatile listening in any environment. Some of the best wireless earbuds come at a high price point, but you don’t need to break the bank on a new pair, so long as you’ve identified your priorities.

Would you prefer to focus on audio fidelity? How about iOS compatibility? Or maybe you need something that can handle a sweat-inducing jump rope workout? Regardless, we’ve got you covered for budget-friendly listening for under $100.

  • Anker Soundcore Space A40 on transparent background

    Source: Anker

    Soundcore Space A40 Earbuds

    Editor’s choice

    $80 $100 Save

    The Anker Soundcore Space A40 is our favorite pair of affordable earbuds. They’re small but mighty, provide surprisingly excellent noise cancelation, up to 10 hours of battery, and sport a neutral sound profile that works for most musical genres. Each pair comes with four different ear tip sizes, and the case provides an additional 50 hours of charge. The Soundcore app also provides 22 preset EQ options with support for SBC, AAC, and LDAC codes.

  • OnePlus Nord Buds 2 render

    Source: OnePlus

    OnePlus Nord Buds 2

    Best value

    The OnePlus Nord Buds 2 offer a comfortable fit and active noise cancelation at a more affordable price. The sound quality might not be the most impressive, but it’s solid considering the price. Pairing is simple for both iOS and Android devices, and an IP55 means it’s protected from water and dust. Each model comes with three ear-tip sizes and a charging case that provides an additional 36 hours of battery.

  • Jabra Elite 4 Navy Render

    Source: Jabra

    Jabra Elite 4

    Best for remote work

    The Jabra Elite 4 are solid, midrange earbuds when it comes to sound quality, onboard controls, and battery life. But it shines with mic quality, effectively isolating your voice from background noise. You also have access to an optional sidetone that sends a small amount of your own voice into your ear as you speak. This allows you to adjust your speaking volume based on your environment.

  • Beats Flex render

    Source: Beats

    Beats Flex

    Best for Apple users

    $50 $70 Save

    The Beats Flex earbuds are the best AirPods alternatives at less than half the price. Flexible and lightweight, these inexpensive in-ears feature excellent Bluetooth codec support, particularly for iOS users. There’s also a W1 chip that allows you to share audio with friends as long as they have a compatible pair of Apple headphones. Battery lasts for up to 12 hours with automatic play/pause and answering functions available by snapping or unsnapping the magnetic earbuds.

  • Google Pixel Buds A transparent render

    Source: Google

    Google Pixel Buds A

    Best for Android users

    $94 $99 Save

    The Google Pixel Buds A-Series provides seamless integration with Android devices. The Pixel Buds app (on Android only) automatically pairs to the buds, allowing you to access Google Assistant for hands-free control. You can also trigger Adaptive Sound, which adjusts your music’s volume in relation to your setting. Some really love this feature and others aren’t so sure about it, but we’ll let you be the judge.

  • A render of the Nothing Ear Stick earbuds.

    Nothing Ear Stick

    Best open ear

    The Nothing Ear Stick are a great option for those who want to stay connected to the world around them. These lightweight pods have an IP54 rating, squeezable stem controls, and a well-designed app. The microphone filters out most street noise and automatically adopts low lag mode when paired with an Android. Like the original AirPods, the Sticks don’t come with ear tips, so they may not be suitable for all ear shapes.

  • JLab Go Air Sport render

    Source: JLab

    JLab Go Air Sport

    Best for exercise

    The JLab Go Air Sport wireless earbuds are the perfect pair to use for exercise (preserving your perhaps less durable but more expensive everyday listening set). Available in multiple colors, these buds have an IP55 rating that makes them essentially sweatproof, while the over-ear hook keeps them secure and stable. Touch controls eliminate the need to pull out your phone and eight hours of battery life will keep you rocking out during your run.

  • TOZO A1 Mini Earbuds render

    Source: TOZO

    TOZO A1 Mini Earbuds

    Most colorful

    $20 $30 Save

    The TOZO A1 mini wireless headphones are pretty much the cheapest option for functional earbuds. While there aren’t any fancy features, you will get smart touch controls, voice assistant integration, Bluetooth 5.3, and up to 5.5 hours of battery. Available in six colors, these earbuds are ultra-lightweight with a small charging case, USB-C charging cable, and five ear tip sizes.

Choosing the best cheap earbuds for you

Whether you’re supplementing a growing headphone collection or looking for your first pair of earbuds on a budget, you don’t have to make detrimental sacrifices to find the right fit. While you might not find a complete substitute for expensive audiophile sound quality or $200 noise cancelation, you can certainly find a model or two that will satisfy your priorities.

Before buying a new pair of earbuds, make sure you consider what device you’ll be streaming from the most and where you’ll be listening. Android and iOS systems can have different needs. The most common codec to see is SBC, which is supported by every Bluetooth device. If you’re an iOS user looking for higher quality, consider a model with AAC. If you have an Android smart device, look for aptX/aptX HD/aptX Adaptive (or LDAC) support for faster transfer rates that preserve more data. Not all inexpensive models will offer a higher-end codec, but it doesn’t hurt to check.

You’ll also want to tier your priorities when it comes to listening activity. If you blast trap and metal during a sweaty workout, you’ll want something with a high IP rating. If you like to listen to podcasts while biking to work, you may want an open-ear design as opposed to noise cancelation. Or, maybe you need a lightweight option to get you through hours of meetings, which means you should pay attention to weight and microphone quality.

The best cheap earbuds keep the music pumping without draining your wallet

Our favorite earbuds for just about anyone are the Anker Soundcore Space A40. While they aren’t the cheapest pair on our list, they deliver pretty impressive audio, solid ANC, and up to 10 hours of listening on a single charge. Budget-friendly earbuds aren’t often able to preserve a neutral sound profile suitable for most genres; they frequently overcompensate on bass resulting in muddy mids and highs. The Space A40s don’t have this problem, which means most listeners will be more than satisfied with the sound quality. If the flat sound isn’t working for you, you can always cycle through one of the 22 EQ presents included with the Soundcore app. Finally, this model comes with four ear tip sizes so those with small or large ears won’t have to worry about them falling out.

If the Space A40s price tag is still too high, then the Nord Buds 2 will bring solid sound to the table at a low, low price. If you’re eager to prioritize sound quality, even if it comes with a high price point, we recommend the Jabra Elite 4 or the Pixel Buds.


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