Skip to main content

Best wireless headphones under $100 in 2022

Lifestyle shot of Anker Soundcore Life Q30.
(Image credit: Anker)

If you don't have a big budget for a pair of wireless headphones, not to worry — there are plenty of great options that are under $100. They range from over-ear headphones to true wireless earbuds, giving you some variety to select from. For the best of the bunch, you'd have to start with the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 because of their excellent sound quality, comfort, and consistency.

Enjoy these wireless headphones if you're on a tighter budget

Wearing the Anker Soundcore Life Q30.

(Image credit: Ted Kritsonis / Android Central)
Best overall

Reasons to buy

+
Superb audio quality
+
Outstanding battery life
+
Better build this time
+
Great companion app
+
ANC support
+
Affordable price

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited touch controls
-
Bulky design
-
Unclear long-term durability

Need long battery life? We got plenty when we reviewed the Anker Soundcore Life Q30, so you can expect up to 40 hours of playback while ANC is enabled, with that number going up to a ridiculous 60 hours when ANC is off. That's an impressive figure for a pair of budget headphones, and adding USB-C now makes fast charging possible. Plug in for five minutes and get four hours of playtime.

That kind of long battery life makes comfort a more significant factor, and thankfully, Anker delivers there. It improved the design and materials from the previous iteration, with a nice headband with deep and wide ear cups to accommodate even the biggest ears. That combination makes longer listening periods a lot easier on your head and ears. It also means they deliver better passive noise isolation and effective ANC.

The ANC is still best at dealing with higher-frequency sounds, with minimal improvement in handling lower-frequency ones. Usually, it's the opposite, especially at this price range, which makes these unique. If you live with screaming kids, you might appreciate the help. You also get three distinct settings on the app as well.

Still, sound quality is excellent for the price, thanks to a lively soundstage out of the box that doesn't skew too far one way or the other. If you want bass, you can get even more of it through the great Soundcore app that includes a customizable equalizer and over 20 presets. It changes the overall sound to find a combination that better suits your ears.

Lifetsyle shot of Sennheiser HD 350BT.

(Image credit: Sennheiser)

Sennheiser HD 350BT - Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless Headphone

Best over-ear

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent sound quality
+
Good call quality
+
Wired playback included
+
Comfortable fit
+
Great value

Reasons to avoid

-
aptX Low Latency is suspect
-
No active noise-cancelation

Sennheiser doesn't often compete on aesthetics, but the company is very consistent in its audio prowess. Even at a price range like this, the HD 350BT are among the best-sounding wireless headphones under $100, proving that you get real bang for your buck. It might be somewhat surprising, given Sennheiser usually charges a premium, but they're a bargain and sound just as good as some that are more expensive.

Granted, the sound signature here isn't on Sennheiser's regular audiophile-level, opting to go with a more crowd-pleasing soundstage that slightly boosts the bass. Despite that, it works well for multiple genres, pushing a vibrant sound that never feels imbalanced to any significant degree. You could listen to hip hop or rock on these and probably draw the same conclusion. Call quality holds up well, too, making them convenient to use when you need to talk.

But to get more out of them, your best bet is to use the company's Smart Control app and start tweaking the equalizer to customize the sound however you like it. While Sennheiser highlights the aptX Low Latency support, be wary of its efficacy, as it may not always work as advertised. They also don't have any active noise-cancelation (ANC), so passive noise isolation is your only method to block out the background.

That's easy to manage when they're comfortable to wear. It also matters because battery life goes up to 30 hours per charge, give or take the volume.

Anker Soundcore Life P3 lifestyle shot.

(Image credit: Anker)

Anker Soundcore Life P3 Noise Canceling Earbuds

Best true wireless

Reasons to buy

+
Good sound quality
+
Surprising ANC performance
+
Pretty comfortable fit
+
Decent battery life
+
Solid app support
+
Wireless charging support

Reasons to avoid

-
Weaker mid-range sound
-
Not especially durable

Wireless earbuds often get the most attention at the higher end of the pricing bracket, but good ones are getting easier to find on a budget, too. The Anker Soundcore Life P3 stand firmly in that category with a nicely balanced sound signature. You will hear bass punch through with a slight boost to the highs and fairly consistent mids for exceptional performance.

The comfortable design is helpful, and you do need to get a good seal to get everything the sound can offer you. That way, you can hear more of what the larger drivers inside are capable of delivering, which is impressive at this price. It doesn't hurt that there's ANC onboard, with a pretty effective ambient mode to work with when you need to hear the background around you.

Make good use of the Soundcore app and the deep equalizer to change how these earbuds sound. Bluetooth connections are pretty sturdy for phone calls on top of that. The IPX5 rating isn't especially rugged, so maybe not the ideal pair to work out in, but at least they're not super fragile, either.

Battery life is OK at up to six hours with ANC on (seven when off) and another three charges in the case, keeping the music playing for a reasonable amount of time. An extra perk is wireless charging support.

Wearing the Cowin E7 Pro in London.

(Image credit: Cowin)

COWIN E7 Pro - Active Noise Cancelling Headphone

Best value

Reasons to buy

+
Plenty of bass
+
Good ANC performance for the price
+
Long battery life
+
Great comfort
+
Various color options

Reasons to avoid

-
Treble is subdued
-
Heavier than most over-ears

COWIN gave its E7 Pro the extra boost over the regular E7 model, courtesy of larger drivers and better ANC performance — all for under $100. With the extra power, the bass is more noticeable off the bat, though there was already plenty where that came from. The drivers do push the mid-range yet only do a marginal upgrade for the highs.

Improved ANC performance is always nice, though it's admittedly not a dramatic shift. It does a slightly better job blocking out low-frequency noises. Still, getting ANC at this price is a bonus, so at least it's useful. They do a decent job of passive noise isolation because of the overall size of the ear cups. Like the E7, the Pro version are a bit heavy, but they will fit comfortably in any case.

You won't get a bigger or more efficient battery in the E7 Pro. Not that it's easy to complain about going up to 30 hours per charge. It's plenty of time to keep the music playing. You can also do it with some style, given the colors it comes in — some of which are really bright.

Close up view of JLab Epic Air Sport ANC.

(Image credit: Ted Kritsonis / Android Central)
Best workout buds

Reasons to buy

+
Solid audio quality
+
IP66 sweat resistance
+
Various ear tips and sizes
+
Excellent app support
+
Long battery life for workouts
+
ANC and ambient modes

Reasons to avoid

-
Don't swim with them
-
Bulkier design may not be for everyone

JLab Audio has been making workout earbuds for some time now, and the Epic Air Sport ANC are the latest pair made to use routinely while breaking a sweat — something we noticed when we reviewed them, too. The IP66 rating gives them enough ruggedness to work out or go on a run in such scenarios. However, they're not made to be waterproof, so be careful around water.

The combination of ear hooks and six pairs of ear tips make these comfortable and stable enough to stay in your ears, provided you don't mind a little extra bulk in size. What's cool is that JLab also changes things up with the tips, so you get different sizes and lengths and materials, including foam. A good passive seal always helps, though you do have ANC support to block out background noise when you need to. If you need to hear your surroundings, you can also use the Be Aware mode.

The default soundstage is mostly balanced, with bass getting an extra boost, which is par for the course for a pair of JLab earbuds. If you're not feeling that, you can always change it in JLab's Air ANC app, which offers a nice mix of ANC controls and an equalizer to customize the sound.

JLab claims up to 15 hours of battery life per charge, which is really high, though that number is relative because it applies when ANC is off. Keep it on, and that number goes down to about 10 hours. Raise the volume, and it drops down further, but it's still a very respectable number. Interestingly, the USB cable is built into the case, though you can also charge wirelessly by placing the case onto a compatible Qi charger.

Jabra Elite 45h Lifestyle

Source: Jabra (Image credit: Source: Jabra)

Jabra Elite 45h Headphones

Best on-ear

Reasons to buy

+
Great sound quality
+
Lightweight build
+
Premium build materials
+
Outstanding battery life
+
Solid app support

Reasons to avoid

-
Call quality isn't good enough
-
Ho-hum aesthetics

On-ear headphones aren't as common or popular as over-ear cans, but they are lighter and easier to wear in most cases. On the other hand, they won't give you much in the way of passive noise isolation, letting you hear what's happening around you. Jabra didn't make the Elite 45h fancy on the outside, but it's what's on the inside that counts.

Though Jabra does play it safe by default with a balanced and neutral soundstage, the sound quality is superb. You can tweak that more to your liking through Jabra's Sound+ app and its equalizer, which gives you existing presets or the ability to create your own. Unfortunately, phone call quality doesn't follow suit, and that might be because the two-mic array needed a third one to amplify your voice. It's one of the trade-offs of being in this price range.

Battery life hits crazy levels if you listen at the default volume throughout the day. It's the only way you'll get to 50 hours, but even if you were to raise it, you'd still be north of 30 hours without blinking an eye. On top of that, Jabra adopted USB-C for these headphones, moving on from Micro-USB in its past on-ear models.

Sony WI-C400

(Image credit: Sony)
Best neckbuds

Reasons to buy

+
Good audio quality
+
Superb battery life
+
Vibration notifications
+
Comfortable fit
+
Multiple color options

Reasons to avoid

-
No ANC or ambient mode
-
Wires are delicate
-
Micro-USB charging
-
Can't tweak sound

Neckbuds are something of an acquired taste, but they can be super convenient when you want the earbuds' weight to fall on your neck rather than your ears. Sony has made a bunch of them over the years, and in our review of the WI-C400, the results largely spoke for themselves. They did so for a few reasons, not least of which is the excellent sound quality you get for the money. These are vibrant earbuds, with solid bass punctuating a surprisingly lively combination of mids and highs. Call quality is equally up to the task, with impressive clarity on both sides.

That does all come with some things missing, like a lack of ANC, and the lack of any compatibility with Sony's Headphones Connect app. What you hear is what you get, which is good, but it would've been great to be able to tweak them as well. Probably not your best choice if you want thicker bass, though you should be fine if you prefer a more balanced soundstage.

The fit is comfortable, and the company was nice enough to include both silicone and foam tips for the best possible seal. And when you're not using them, the two earbuds connect with magnets. With battery life hitting up to 20 hours, that's an important factor, though it would be nice if you didn't have to charge them via Micro-USB.

Lifestyle shot of Audio-Technica ATH-SR30BT

(Image credit: Audio-Technica)

Audio-Technica ATH-SR30BT

Best battery life

Reasons to buy

+
Great, balanced sound
+
Superb comfort
+
Folds flat
+
Incredible battery life
+
Fast charging

Reasons to avoid

-
No ANC support
-
Finicky controls
-
MIcro-USB charging

Audio-Technica makes good headphones most of the time, and for what you pay here, the ATH-SR30BT can play up to a whopping 70 hours at their default volume, making them among the best you can get at this level. That's enough to listen to music for weeks before having to charge them up again. The only downside is that they use micro-USB, rather than the more efficient USB-C common now. 

The good news is they also sound good for all that time you're listening to them. They have a balanced sound signature that sacrifices some of the highs to push the mids and lows. Not unusual for headphones in this range, and the intent seems to appeal to a broader taste. You won't be getting ANC to block out any ambient noises, though the excellent fit and comfort should help with decent passive isolation.

The comfort and fit come in large part from the larger ear cups that come with soft cushioning, allowing most ears to fit snuggly inside. While it's obvious these aren't premium headphones, the headband is fairly sturdy. They shouldn't feel too heavy compared to others like them, but don't expect too much durability. The good thing is they at least fold to make it easier to transport, despite no carrying case to keep them in.

Good sound doesn't have to cost you a fortune

There are plenty of worthy headphones out there that won't break the bank. As you can see from our list above, wireless headphones come in many different shapes and sizes. Our top pick is the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 for best wireless headphones under $100 because of their balance and performance. So if you're looking for wireless headphones that sound good and don't want to spend a fortune, they're an excellent place to start.

The timing couldn't be better, either. Headphones aren't just on the premium side, especially when there's plenty to like in the affordable category. They also come in different types, be they over-ear, on-ear, or wireless earbuds. With this list, there are many choices to consider.

Ted Kritsonis
Ted Kritsonis

Ted Kritsonis loves taking photos when the opportunity arises, be it on a camera or smartphone. Beyond sports and world history, you can find him tinkering with gadgets or enjoying a cigar. Often times, that will be with a pair of headphones or earbuds playing tunes. When he's not testing something, he's working on the next episode of his podcast, Tednologic.