The past years have seen Bluetooth transition from a luxury to an expectation in a huge variety of different gadgets. If you could think of a device that could benefit from connecting wirelessly to your phone, chances are that there’s a Bluetooth model available. And that rapid adoption of the technology means that Bluetooth technology is cheaper than it’s ever been before.
Wireless headphones are now as standard as wired models, and you can easily get a quality pair for less than a hundred bucks. But it’s easier to find cheap headphones than it is to find good headphones. That’s why we’re here. Our guide to the best Bluetooth headphones under 100 dollars covers 10 of the best models in 2020 and provides some savvy shopping advice.
- The Best Bluetooth Headphones under $100
- 1. TaoTronics Bluetooth Headphones
- 2. Jabra Move Style Bluetooth Headphones
- 3. LETSCOM Bluetooth Waterproof Headphones
- 4. Sony WH-XB700 Bluetooth Headphones
- 5. Skullcandy Hesh 3 Over-Ear Headphones
- 6. Mpow Noise Cancelling Headphones
- 7. Edifier W830BT Bluetooth Headphones
- 8. COWIN E7 Wireless Headphones
- 9. Soundcore Wireless Headphones
- 10. Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500
- Budget Bluetooth Headphones Buying Guide
The Best Bluetooth Headphones under $100
1. TaoTronics Bluetooth Headphones
While Bluetooth may not be overly expensive these days, noise cancellation is still typically one of the more costly features you'll find in headphones. That' what makes the TaoTronics TT-BH060 so incredible. They offer high-quality noise cancellation for right around $70, and they even support Bluetooth 5 for faster and more reliable connectivity with your music source. And while these may not be the most attractive looking over the ear Bluetooth headphones under 100 bucks around, they look better than budget Bluetooth headphones normally do.
And while the combination of active noise cancellation and a low price tag could suggest headphones that are a one trick pony, the sound quality is actually pretty strong. While the soundstage may be a bit lackluster, the bass especially stands out, and there's a nice bit of distinction across the whole frequency response range. That's only enhanced by the high-quality noise cancellation built in.
2. Jabra Move Style Bluetooth Headphones
While earbuds have become arguably the most popular style of headphones for music lovers on the go, they aren't the only choice out there. The Jabra Move model sports a modest profile, lightweight design, and comfortable fit that makes them ideal Bluetooth for your daily commute, and the wireless functionality is obvious a huge advantage for when you're out and about. Just keep in mind that they probably aren't designed for high intensity exercise. They also sport a battery with a respectably long life that will keep you going throughout your entire day.
And there are a decent amount of features here as well. A number of different voice assistants are featured through a multi-function button on the left ear cup, and the omnidirectional mic delivers conversations clearly and crisply through your phone. The sound quality is decent around the board but excels particularly in terms of bass performance.
3. LETSCOM Bluetooth Waterproof Headphones
If you're looking for Bluetooth headphones for running, this Letgo model may be more your speed. These are some quality Bluetooth earbuds under 100 dollars that are durable, comfortable, and designed for use in high intensity situations. They're also waterproof Bluetooth headphones, so you don't have to worry about them getting damaged due to a little sweat or rainfall. And with a price tag of just about $20, it's hard to fault them for not being able to keep up with their more advanced siblings in terms of sound quality.
That's not to say that the sound quality is bad. The design actually offers some decent sound isolation, and the bass quality particularly shines. You won't want to use these earbuds for careful listening, but they're more than up to the task for workout music. The fit is great, and the sound reproduction is generally high fidelity.
4. Sony WH-XB700 Bluetooth Headphones
The ability to customize your listening experience isn't something you expect to see prominently featured in wireless Bluetooth headphones under 100 dollars, but Sony proves that it can be done with the WH-XB700. These are headphones that market "extra bass" right in the name, and they don't disappoint there. The bass is powerful without being too crazy, making it an ideal choice for club kids or hip-hop heads. But if it's not to your liking, you can adjust the bass levels and pick from a number of different soundstage profiles.
The navigation interface is clean and built into the ear cup with just a few buttons, but if you prefer to operate things with just your voice, it also comes with support for both Google Assistant and Alexa. The cups themselves are well padded, if a little on the smaller end, offering a layer of comfort and decent sound isolation.
5. Skullcandy Hesh 3 Over-Ear Headphones
Skullcandy headphones aren't exactly a prestige brand. Between their plastic-heavy builds and their preference towards more flamboyant prints, they don't produce products tailored towards the audiophile crowd, but they've done good work in the budget market, and the Hesh 3 is one of the best top Bluetooth headphones under 100 dollars for overall balance. The band and cups are a little on the smaller side, but they can collapse into themselves to sport a very compact profile. And while they're a little smaller and a little tighter than normal, that allows these Bluetooth headphones under 100 dollars to provide great noise isolation.
Unlike many of their contemporaries, the Hesh 3 don't make use of outsized bass. If anything, they lean more heavily into the treble, but they offer a more balanced sound that makes them an appropriate choice if you're seeking out Bluetooth headphones for TV and for music.
6. Mpow Noise Cancelling Headphones
Active noise cancelling headphones under 100 dollars may not be especially common, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. The Mpow H10 is a decent choice for critical listening, but they also include technology that makes them a good choices for use in public places like your crowded office or the public train during a busy morning commute. And the fact that they offer a much lower latency rating than the average pair of headphones mean that they're especially well suited if you're looking for headphones to wear when watching TV or movies.
The bass performance is just about perfect on these headphones without being overly present, and the mids and highs present themselves decently as well. Thile the mids may be just decent, the treble performance is distinctly above average. And strong imaging ensures that all the different elements stand apart clearly and distinctly from one another.
7. Edifier W830BT Bluetooth Headphones
There's a good chance you've never heard of headphone manufacturer Edifier, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be paying attention to them. The W830BT model is arguably a record breaker in the field of Bluetooth headphones, offering a whopping 95 hour battery life that goes well beyond what you can expect from even high-end headphones. That alone isn't enough to sell them, but it's a promising start if you're looking for good Bluetooth headphones under 100 bucks that you can take with you on long trips.
Fortunately, that's not all these headphones get right. That travel readiness is further complemented by their small profile and ability to fold into themselves, and the fit is great regardless of the size or shape of your head. The sound quality is more balanced than many other headphones in this price range, offering decent quality around the board without any exceptionally standout performance.
8. COWIN E7 Wireless Headphones
The Cowin E7s aren't going to win any awards in any particular category, but if you need noise canceling technology and you're working on a budget, they're a sensible choice that offer pretty respectable specs in all the key categories. The noise canceling tech isn't the best you'll find anywhere, but it performs well enough for the price tag, and the cups are big and tight enough to really create an isolated experience. They also sport a sleek black matte look that you won't be embarrassed to wear out in public. The band is large enough to suit even large heads, and the cups also swivel.
The sound quality here is pretty well balanced. You'll get a decent level of clarity regardless of the genre you prefer. And while the bass is a little heavier than average, that reliable sound reproduction extends through the whole frequency response range.
9. Soundcore Wireless Headphones
Popular phone accessory manufacturer Anker has been aggressively moving deeper into the consumer electronics space in recent years, and their recent output has been surprisingly good. The SoundCore NC is just another confident notch in their belt. These wireless headphones under 100 dollars have active noise cancellation built in, and despite being their first attempt at wireless headphones, they knock it out of the park. They're both collapsible for easier transport and eminently comfortable even when worn for longer periods of time. One of the neatest features here is the swiping control interface built into the ear cup.
That noise cancellation tech is actually some of the best in this price range, and that's especially good given how quality the musical performance here is. The bass isn't exactly front and center, but the treble and mids offer a significant amount of clarity, and they sound even better with ANC deactivated.
10. Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500
While earbuds may be the most popular option for workout headphones, they aren't the only choice available to you. The FIT 500 is a pair of on ear headphones designed specifically for use in the gym or on the track. They're comfortable but firm and provide P2i military grade nano-coating that can protect them not just against sweat but against spills and rain as well. Combine that with the slick mint green and black design and they certainly stand apart from the competition both visually and in terms of build.
The controls are similarly streamlined for active users, making everything easily accessible so that you can focus on your breathing and exercise instead of having to fiddle with cumbersome buttons. The 40 mm drivers provide pretty powerful performance, although the bass performance is a little lighter than one would expect from some energizing workout cans.
Budget Bluetooth Headphones Buying Guide
Buying Bluetooth headphones isn’t that fundamentally different from buying any set of headphones. If you’re looking for some more information on the fundamentals of headphone shopping, you may want to check out our guide to the best earbuds under $50 or our guide to the best closed back earphones. We’ll focus here on shopping tips best applicable to Bluetooth wireless headphones.
Any modern wireless headphones are going to come with Bluetooth capabilities built in. Bluetooth allows you to connect directly to your phone by tethering to it. 33 feet is the typical distance that two devices can stay tethered together, but that can vary depending on the model and the version of Bluetooth used. But many headphones also advertise their support for NFC. So how is that advantageous to you, and is it worth making a purchasing decision over?
NFC stands for near field communication, and while the fact that it works at a much shorter distance than Bluetooth (it needs to touch a device to connect) means it can’t work as an alternative to Bluetooth, it makes a great complementary connection method. NFC is a huge boon if you plan on connecting your headphones to multiple devices. Pairing can be a pain, and falling out of connection with a Bluetooth device means that you may have to go through the process all over again. NFC allows you to reconnect to a device with a single tap of your phone.
NFC makes the initial step of setting up Bluetooth simple, and it often comes accompanied by voice activation support. If you have multiple devices or want to share your headphones with multiple family members, it’s a major convenience. Otherwise, it probably won’t be a worthwhile enough feature to influence your purchase.
Closed Back vs. Earbuds
There are three main types of headphones: closed back, open back, and earbuds. Open back earphones are great for discriminating listening, but they also offer poor noise isolation and leakage. Since the main advantage of Bluetooth headphones is their mobility, we opted to not include any open back models on our list.
That leaves earbuds and closed back models. So which is right for you? The main advantage of earbuds is how portable they are. They won’t take up much space in your bag, and they feel barely there when they’re attached into your ears. And while some people find the format of stuffing a plug directly into their ear canal uncomfortable, they don’t tend to gather heat and smother your ears as much as closed back headphones do. If you’re fine with the feel of earbuds and you want to forget that they’re there, wireless earbuds under 100 bucks could be the right option.
But earbuds can rarely match the sound quality that closed back headphones do. The inside of the ear cups create a soundstage, and while it’s not as meaningful as what open back earphones offer, it really gives the music room to breathe. And since they create a full seal around your ear, they also tend to offer superior noise isolation. They’re also the only type of headphones that can reliably take advantage of active noise cancellation technology.
Headphones connect directly to your phone, and that makes a Bluetooth headset under 100 bucks an ideal choice if you’re looking to take phone calls in crowded spaces. You get the advantages of noise cancellation and noise isolation along with the ability to stream your phone conversation directly through your phone. Most of the closed back models we feature come with microphones, so you should carefully evaluate the quality of those mics if you plan on using your headphones as a dedicated device for fielding phone conversations.
Active Noise Cancellation
ANC used to be one of those features that could really drive up the price of a pair of headphones. Now you can get wireless headphones with ANC for around $50. Is it worth it? If you’re planning on listening to music in crowded spaces, then probably so. ANC makes use of advanced microphones that listen to the noise outside your headphones and then creates a counter signal to block them out.
You’ll generally pay a little extra for NFC, and you can expect your headphone batteries to wear out a little quicker when the tech is enabled. That said, the barrier to entry isn’t especially high on either count, so you should seriously consider evaluating some of the Bluetooth headphones reviews highlighting NFC technology.
The barrier for Bluetooth is lower than it’s ever been. While wireless headphones were once seen as an extravagance, the technology is now sophisticated and popularized enough to be picked up for cheap. If you want the advantages of private listening without having to worry about a burdensome cable, there’s no reason to not invest in Bluetooth options ( See these Bluetooth Receivers if you have cable headphones already ), and our reviews and guide are the perfect way to learn the best models of 2020 and make a wise purchase. Happy shopping!