The 5 Best 2024 Wired Earbuds Under $100 - Optimizing Your Headphone Budget

Once we start edging over closer towards the major milestone that is the $100 price point, you’ll notice a sharp uptick in the sheer variety of earbuds that are on offer. It’s now that we really begin to specialize, and now that we can talk seriously about things like bass response and the clarity of the overall audio performance.

In short, $100 is a pretty solid budget, and if you keep all buying considerations in mind, you should be able to walk away with an extremely sound purchase that fits your precise needs and requirements. First, we’ll go through our picks. Afterwards, we’ll get into how this price point compares to the $200 bracket. 

1

Best Overall + Best Call Quality

2

Best Sound + Best Sound Isolation

3

Best Comfort + Best Sound (Option 2)

5

Best for iPhone + Best USB-C & Lighting

What Are The Top Wired Earbuds Under $100? : Full Reviews

1

Best Overall + Best Call Quality

PROS

CONS

For the uninitiated, Marshall is a name that rings synonymous with affordable high fidelity sound and rock n’ roll heritage. The Marshall Mode EQ Wired In-Ear Headphones continue this legacy, offering a budget-friendly earphone that seamlessly blends sound quality and design. Mode EQ’s unique in-ear design anchors securely, ensuring comfort whilst delivering high-output sound with minimal distortion. Four different size sleeves adjust to individual ear shapes, adding another layer of personalized comfort.

Of course, another striking aspect of these earphones is their distinct auditory range. Listeners often acclaimed the clarity of the middle frequencies, which is often overlooked in other brands. This translates into a robust listening experience, keeping the mids clear even with complex compositions. The EQ switch is an innovative feature; it customizes the sound based on personal preference or type of audio being played, enhancing the listening experience further.

The majority of users have found the call quality exceptional, commenting on the clear sound perceived by the listener at the other end. They also appreciate the functional controls on the earbuds that work perfectly, adding a layer of convenience. With a good passive noise isolation and durable, tangle-free wires, the Mode EQ strikes the right balance between form and function. In terms of affordability, Marshall doesn’t disappoint. For the price, these earphones offer features and quality that compete with much higher-end models. All in all, these headphones are a true testament to Marshall’s commitment to quality and innovation, making them the top pick in two categories simultaneously.

2

Best Sound + Best Sound Isolation

PROS

CONS

Enter the realm of pure, immersive sound with the Shure SE215 Wired Sound Earphones. These earphones claim the title for Best Sound and Best Sound Isolation for 2024. The SE215 showcases Shure’s famed sound isolation technology, which blocks up to an impressive 37 dB of outside noise. Whether you’re practicing the drums or mowing your lawn, these headphones ensure that the external world won’t intrude on your audio experience.

The SE215’s single dynamic driver produces a great sound that users appreciate, be it for professional or personal use. The extended low-frequency response received particularly high praise for delivering a solid, consistent bass experience. The sound isolation not only gives the user a serene listening space, but it also means the volume can be set lower, preserving ear health.

These headphones are also lauded for their weight. They are so light, users often comment that they’re hardly noticed when wearing them. Most parts are replaceable, adding to their longevity and providing a strong argument for their cost-effectiveness. Shure has once again created a product that offers an immersive audio experience in an affordable package, proving why it’s a trusted name in the industry.

3

Best Comfort + Best Sound (Option 2)

PROS

CONS

Next up on our list, for those who value an unparalleled comfort experience along with brilliant sound, we present the FiiO FH3. FiiO’s commitment to user comfort shines in the FH3’s design. Made from aerospace-grade aluminum-magnesium alloy, the earbuds are shaped for maximum comfort. Paired with the sound experience delivered by the beryllium-plated dynamic driver, they offer a luxurious listening experience.

The triple-driver setup, one dynamic and two balanced armature, work together to provide clear separation and robust bass that doesn’t muddy the mids. Users find this tuning very pleasant for long periods of listening. Build quality, the good wire, carrying case, and variety of ear tips all receive high marks from long-term owners.

Despite not having a built-in microphone for calls, we appreciate the interchangeability of the mmcx cable that can be switched with one that does have a mic. This makes the FH3 versatile and practical for both music listening and daily phone or laptop use. The thoughtful design, focus on comfort, and excellent sound make the FiiO FH3 an easy choice for Best Comfort and a solid alternative choice for Best Sound.

PROS

CONS

If you’re seeking a blend of luxury aesthetics and budget-friendly high-quality sound, then look no further than MediaDevil’s CB-01 earphones. Recognized with the UK Department of Trade & Investment’s Business Innovation Award, MediaDevil’s combination of aerospace-grade aluminium and reclaimed luxury wood creates a visually appealing earphone that also packs a punch in terms of acoustic performance. The CB-01 earphones are a testament to how quality needn’t come with an exorbitant price tag, making them our best value pick for 2024.

One feature that sets the MediaDevil CB-01 apart is the inclusion of Nanene, an advanced material (a commercial-grade graphene) that creates a thinner and more flexible diaphragm than traditional materials. This innovative feature amplifies both the high-end and low-end, offering a balanced and refined sound experience that is mostly exclusive to higher price points. Unlike other earphones, the CB-01 prioritizes the overall listening experience, rather than bombarding you with an overpowering bass.

Despite the affordable price, most long-term owners praise the CB-01 for its exceptional sound quality, balanced audio, and long-lasting comfort. The superior craftsmanship and tangible quality echo the commitment of MediaDevil to offer a top-tier listening experience at a budget-friendly price. Whether you’re an audiophile or a casual listener, the CB-01 offers an unparalleled blend of price, design, and performance. When compared to the Rayz Pro, while the latter offers advanced features, the CB-01 reigns supreme in terms of value, proving that you can experience high-quality sound without burning a hole in your pocket.

5

Best for iPhone + Best USB-C & Lighting

PROS

CONS

Rayz Pioneer Pro brings a unique flair to noise-cancelling earbuds with its ground-breaking app-driven personalized audio technology. Offering both Lightning and USB-C adapters, the Pioneer Pro reigns supreme as the go-to earbuds for iOS, Android, Laptops, and even the Nintendo Switch. It’s this kind of adaptability that justifies its recognition as the top choice for iPhone and USC-C & Lightning users.

The Pioneer Pro triumphs in delivering optimal sound with their Dynamic N50 Neodymium drivers and Smart Noise Cancellation, not to mention its onboard DAC that facilitates improved audio processing. What makes these earbuds truly shine is the ability to listen and charge simultaneously with the Lightning cable, meaning you won’t have to compromise your music experience while charging your iPhone. For a truly personalized experience, the Rayz companion app features a 5 band graphic EQ that lets you tweak the sound profiles, making these earbuds truly adaptable to your preference.

The Rayz Pioneer Pro, however, is more than just a piece of technology. It understands the rhythms of life. The built-in motion sensors detect when you’ve removed your earphones, pausing your audio automatically and seamlessly resumes when you’re back. Users are often drawn to the noise cancellation feature for effectively reducing ambient noise, and the sound performance for being at par with some of the most well-known brands in the market. Despite a bit of bulk in the adaptors, users appreciate the ability to connect both to iPhone and laptop’s USB-C, offering an overall great experience at an affordable price.

 

2024 Wired Earbuds Buyers Guide

What to Look For in The Best Earbuds

Or, rather, what to listen for. This price point is all about that bass. Or those mids. Or those highs. Basically, whichever flavor of sound signature and customization options you have in mind, that should be your main priority when purchasing at around this range.

Compare the ~$100 bracket to the offerings directly above and below it, and you’ll find that the general distinction is that they have more in common aesthetically with ~$200 models, more in common features-wise with ~$50 models, and a sound quality that, while variable, tends towards the former.

Reasons to Increase Your Price Budget

Better Fit And Comfort

One of the factors that most people tend to forget about is the fit and comfort higher-end earbuds bring to the table. Most of the models on our list are a result of a comprehensive design process during which someone sat down and invested a lot of effort into making the end product a comfortable piece of tech to use. The issue is that you can’t really see that by simply looking at the earbuds in question. Either way, higher-end earbuds are much more likely to meet your fit and comfort needs than a cheaper set.

Niche Earbuds

By far, one of the most popular reasons to sink this kind of money into a set of earbuds is niche designs created for a very specific purpose. This is where you will find most of your wireless models that have a proper water resistance rating.

Designing a wireless set that stays in your ear during a jog, doesn’t get damaged from sweating and performs consistently is harder than it seems. Spending a bit more money on a set will ensure that you get all of these features and then some. When fitness is a way of life for you, the last thing you want to endure on your daily run are earbuds that keeps falling out of your ears. It is situations like that when you really have to ask yourself what consistent and reliable performance is worth it to you?

Better Hardware

Better hardware is what defines how good any earbud is going to be. With headphones, you can always use larger drivers and other means of enhancing the quality of sound. However, when you are dealing with something as small as earbuds, you don’t have that luxury. Instead, most brands are forced to develop complex driver solutions in order to squeeze in more juice in the same sized chassis.

Ease of Use

The best earbuds for your money will be user-friendly and uncomplicated to use. You’ll need a pair of headphones that are quick and easy to set up and require zero effort to function. Ideally, you’ll connect them to your device the first time and they’ll recognize your phone, laptop or tablet every other time after that. No matter what you intend to use the earbuds for, you want to have a choice of the device you connect them to.

Additional Features

When looking at the best earbuds under $100, you’ll find that many come with a variety of additional features. Many high-quality earbuds feature noise canceling so any background talking, the TV, people walking around etc. is blocked out so you can focus on what you’re listening to. This is a great feature should you want to switch off from the outside world if you’re on an airplane or have a noisy neighbor and wish you get some shut-eye.

Another popular feature is voice assistant access. As the name suggests, this is great if you have no hands free and want to pause or switch a track without having to touch your device. This is also a handy feature if you’re at the gym and want to avoid touching your phone with sweaty hands.

Final Thoughts

If you’re serious about your listening experience, dropping $100 on a new pair of quality earbuds is something of a no-brainer. As far as bang for your buck goes, this is pretty much the sweet spot for the kind of audio quality you’re likely to find for the money you spend.

Even if the features are lackluster, even if the design leaves you a little cold, head out to your nearest store, listen to some of our recommendations, and you’re sure to find something that does the trick for you.