Credit: The New York Times
Wireless headphones are a great option for listening to the audio on the go. They allow us to move about freely without being tied to the audio source and do away with any wires that all too often become tangled. These types of headphones have become quite popular, partly due to their ease of use and partly due to manufacturers phasing out headphone jacks.
If you’re in the market for a solid pair of wireless headphones but don’t want to break the bank, then this article is for you! We’ll look at the best wireless headphones under 100. Also, you can see the best noise cancelling earbuds
What Makes A Great Wireless Headphone?
Though the term best is subjective, we should still list out the criteria used for determining what makes a great pair of wireless headphones:
This is perhaps the simplest yet most important criterion of any headphone. Though highly subjective, specifications such as weight; contact pressure; earpad shape/material; stiffness, and the overall dimension play a role in comfort. We should also consider the amount of heat that could get trapped around the ears during longer listening sessions.
- Battery life:
The wireless headphones require, the amount of time it takes for the battery to drain from fully charged is an important factor to consider, because wireless transmission requires power.
- Wireless specifications:
Are your headphones use the Bluetooth protocol or some other type of wireless transmission? Will, they are compatible with your current setup? These are questions that have to be in your mind before buying a wireless headphone.
- Frequency response:
A great pair of headphones should be able to reproduce the full audible spectrum from 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz with clarity.
Top 5 wireless headphones under $100 in May 2022
1. Urbanista Miami
- Outstanding battery life
- ANC and transparency modes
- High audio quality
- Tight fit
- Weak wind resistance
The Urbanista Miami is one of the more expensive pairs of headphones on this list, but it’s still both affordable and great value for what you get. The aluminum builds excludes quality, and the padded earcups deliver an exciting, upbeat sound signature. There’s plenty of basses, but not to the extent it overpowers the mids and treble.
There’s also some pretty effective active noise-canceling, which is rare to see on cheap over-headphones, and Urbanista has paired that with a handy transparency mode so that you can hear ambient noise when you need to. The best part of all is battery life: we got over 40 hours of ANC-enabled music playback, just as advertised.
2. Mixcder E9
- Great, balanced sound
- Superb comfort
- ANC support
- Long battery life
- Fast charging
- Slightly heavy
- Micro-USB for charging
For what you pay, the Mixcder E9 can play for up to 30 hours at their default volume, making them among the best you can get at this level. That’s enough to listen to music for days before having to charge them up again. The only downside is that they use Micro-USB to do it, rather than the more efficient USB-C common now. At least you get some fast charging with two hours of playback when plugging in for five minutes.
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 more of the mids and lows. Not unusual for headphones in this range, and the intent seems made to appeal to a broader taste. ANC works well enough here, particularly with low frequencies.
The E9 is also comfortable to wear. Mixcder made them with larger ear cups that ran a little deeper, allowing most ears to fit snuggly inside. The headband is made out of nice leather and reinforced with steel. They are a bit on the heavier side compared to others like them but do have some durability to them, too.
3. Jabra Elite 45h
- Best-in-class battery life
- Personalized sound via Jabra Sound+ app
- Small and sophisticated on-ear design
- Excellent connectivity
- Lots of leakages
Look at the Jabra Elite 45 has a cheaper and more scale-backed version of the popular Elite 85h headphones, and that’s no knock whatsoever. These sleek-looking cans have the best battery life in the category, generating 50 hours of continuous playtime to enjoy optimized audio performance that can be tweaked in the Jabra Sound+ app. Jabra also programmed the Elite 45h with the most advanced fast-charging technology we’ve seen yet; a 15-minute charge gets you 10 hours of use.
Jabra’s has Bluetooth 5.0 operates perfectly on the Elite 45h, offering great connectivity between devices and a long listening range. However, with this design, comes a vast amount of sound leakage, something that’s very common with on-ear headphones.
4. Anker Soundcore Life Q30
- Impactful bass response
- Comfy, secure fit
- Personalized sound via the companion app
- Huge and heavy
The all-new Anker Soundcore Life Q30 is a noteworthy upgrade to the popular Life Q20 that offers great performance at a relatively affordable price point. Nothing tops its battery life, generating up to 40 hours of playtime with ANC on. This crushes top-selling models like the Bose 700 and Sony WH-1000xM4. Noise cancellation has been improved too, with Anker engineering three different ANC modes specifically to cancel out noises found in different environments. Loud, warm sound comes out of the 40mm drivers and can also be personalized through the Soundcore app by selecting from 22 different presets or manually tweaking the EQ.
Some of the design changes that Anker implemented are appreciated and give the headphones a luxe appearance. However, the company’s use of more premium materials also adds extra heft to what are already big-sized cans.
5. Anker Life Q20
- More battery life than most luxury ANC headphones
- Strong sonics
- Clean, minimalist design
- Reliable noise cancelation
- Aux cable muddles sound
- Lets in high-frequency noises
Anker’s latest noise-canceling headphones, and that’s just based on sound quality alone. The Life Q20 distributes some hard-hitting lows that don’t drown out the midrange, depending on your music of choice; you’ll hear distinct instruments in the background of orchestral-centric recordings.
You’ll want to leave the aux cable at home since it hinders audio performance. Active noise cancellation isn’t Anker’s specialty, but at least these over-ears do a decent job of filtering out external noises. Up to 40 hours of playtime on a full charge and strong connectivity via Bluetooth 5.0 are two other premiums that justify the purchase.