Best cheap wireless earbuds under $100

Best cheap wireless earbuds under $100 Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best cheap wireless earbuds under $100 you can buy in 2022.

Wireless earbuds have been game-changers when it comes to personal audio. Freed from the shackles of a smartphone, users can hit the gym, go running or simply go about their daily lives without fear of snagging an arm on a dangling cable.

The good news is that even the best wireless earbuds (from in-ear wireless headphones to everything else) don't have to cost an arm and a leg, and you can find great wireless earphones for under $100. To help make life easy and get you the best deal possible with the least amount of effort, we've compiled a list of the very best cheap wireless earbuds around that you can get for under $100. 

How to choose the best cheap wireless earbuds for you

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The most important thing to realize when choosing wireless (or true wireless) earbuds is that inevitably everyone's ears are going to be different, so a perfect fit for you may not be a perfect fit for someone else. When looking at the best wireless earbuds for under $100, you're generally going to have fewer tips you can swap between on your earbuds than you get with more expensive offerings, too.

Outside of fit, you're going to want to think about what kind of battery life you will need, if your wireless earbuds need to be water-resistant or sports-friendly, and if you want features like Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), touch controls or virtual assistant support. With cheaper earbuds, there are generally fewer features on offer so you'll usually have to pick and choose to an extent, though ANC is increasingly trickling down from a premium to a more mid-price level.

Wireless earbuds routinely go on sale, too, so make sure you keep an eye on our best wireless earbuds deals page to see if you can snag a pair that usually go for over $100 for under it instead. There are lots of earbuds out there, so it's easy to feel overwhelmed, especially if you're looking for a good deal too, but we've got a list of the very best wireless earbuds under $100 for you to check out below...

Best cheap wireless earbuds under $100: Sony WF-C500

These Award-winners prove that Sony can dominate the budget end of the market as well as the high end. (Image credit: Sony)
Award winner 2022. Genuine contenders that don't cut too many corners.

Specifications

Bluetooth version: 5.0
Noise-cancelling: No
Total battery life: 30hrs (buds: 10hrs; case: 20hrs)
Charging: USB-C
Built-in mic and controls: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Compact and comfortable design
+
Spirited, well-balanced sound
+
Fine control app

Reasons to avoid

-
Ordinary battery life
-
Slightly small-scale sound
-
Numerous serious rivals

When it comes to wireless earbuds, Sony has sewn up the high end with the WF-1000XM4. But can it do the same at the budget end of the market with the WF-C500?

These won a 2022 What Hi-Fi? Award, so we would have to say the answer is yes. The C500 handle the basics very well, with Bluetooth 5.0, and compatibility with SBC and AAC codecs. Battery life is a healthy 10 hours from the earbuds themselves, and another 10 from the charging case, making a total of 20.

They pair with Sony's consummate Headphones Connect app for sublime controls, and numerous extra features (like the Digital Sound Enhancement Engine, which upscales audio files to something approaching ‘hi-res’ quality). Voice controls come via Google Assistant and Siri, and the IPX4 rating means they're resistant to water splashes. 

Sonically, they're even-handed and nicely balanced, with well-shaped bass notes. In short, they offer a lot of what makes Sony's high-end buds so compelling, without cutting too many corners. Definitely one for the shortlist.

Read the full Sony WF-C500 review

Best cheap wireless earbuds under $100: Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus

The affordable Melomania 1 Plus won't break the bank, but these buds have excellent clarity and dynamics. (Image credit: Cambridge Audio)
Another great pair of budget wireless earbuds from Cambridge

Specifications

Noise-cancelling: No
Bluetooth: AAC, aptX, SBC
Battery life: 9hrs (+36hrs from charging case)
Wireless charging: No
Waterproof: Water resistant
Finishes: Black, White

Reasons to buy

+
Extra dynamic expression
+
Great clarity
+
Slick app support

Reasons to avoid

-
No noise cancelling

These affordable wireless earbuds hit the spot. They boast app support, customisable EQ settings and the British audio firm's innovative High-Performance Audio Mode. Your colour options are white and black.

The real selling point here (besides sound quality) is battery life. The 1 Plus provide a whopping nine hours from one charge, and you get an additional four charges from the carry case. That makes 45 hours of total run time. The fact there's no noise-cancelling onboard helps to explain the marathon battery life, as the tech can be a real drain.

The Melomanias deliver an impactful and expansive musical performance. They sound clear and more dynamic than their predecessors and there's a smidgen more detail too. If you want an affordable and accomplished pair of wireless earbuds the Cambridge definitely warrant a closer look.

Read the full Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus review

Best cheap wireless earbuds under $100: Skullcandy Smokin' Buds 2

Don't let the name or the brand fool you, the Skullcandy Smokin' Buds 2 have got a full, exciting sound at a great price.
One of the best pairs of budget wireless earbuds around

Specifications

Connector: N/A
Cable length: N/A
In-line remote and mic: Yes
OS support: Android/iOS
Bluetooth: Yes
Noise-cancelling: No
Battery life: 7 hours

Reasons to buy

+
Full, fun sound
+
Great price

Reasons to avoid

-
No aptX Bluetooth or NFC
-
Bass is a bit slow

These Skullcandys are some of the most affordable wireless earbuds on the market and represent serious value. Sound is full and fun, and while it won't trouble a more premium pair, it's very impressive given the price.

As you might expect, features are thin on the ground. The cable can be removed from the flexible neckband and the battery life is a decent 6-7 hours. You get a basic three-button remote just below the left earpiece and a little plastic fastener that lets you loop the cable together when you're wearing – but not using – them.  

There are no frills here, so aptX, fast charging and NFC are all absent from the spec list. But if you're looking for cheap wireless earbuds, these offer a dynamic and fun sound for the money, with a relatively wide and well-separated soundstage.

They lack a little audio finesse – but they come in well under $100. And for that reason, they come highly recommended.

Read the full Skullcandy Smokin' Buds 2 Wireless review

Best cheap wireless earbuds under $100: Pixel Buds A-Series

The Pixel Buds are a great way to have an AirPods experience on Android, offering up a well-balanced sound and comfy fit. (Image credit: Google)
The latest Pixel Buds wireless earbuds get an A-grade from us

Specifications

Noise-cancelling: No
Bluetooth: AAC, SBC
Battery life: 5hrs (+20hrs from charging case)
Wireless charging: No
Waterproof: Water resistant
Finishes: Clearly White, Dark Olive

Reasons to buy

+
Well-rounded, clean sound
+
Comfortable
+
Reliable connection

Reasons to avoid

-
No volume touch control on buds
-
No noise-cancelling

Google's latest wireless earbuds are packed with features and come in at a very low price which is an attractive package in itself. But how do they sound?

They're light and comfortable, and while they don't offer noise cancelling, they do a good job of isolating you and are aided by rubber fins that keep them secure. They are vented, though, so some background noise inevitably creeps in, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Your colour choices are either white or 'Dark Olive'.

Battery life is okay at around five hours, plus another 20 or so from the carry case in four charges. The Pixel Buds A-Series pair with your device very easily indeed, too, especially if you're using an Android smartphone or tablet that boasts the Fast Pair feature. IPX4 water resistance means they should be ok for exercise too.

These wireless earbuds put in an admirable performance come music time, with a clean, balanced sound that doesn't lean too far into any part of the sonic spectrum. This is a great pair of wireless earbuds at a great price.

Read the full Google Pixel Buds A-Series review

Best cheap wireless earbuds under $100: Earfun Air

If you don't need noise cancelling, the Earfun Air buds are cheap but still manage to provide a punchy sound, lots of features, and a classy build. (Image credit: Earfun)
Wallet-friendly and feature-packed wireless earbuds

Specifications

Connector: N/A
Cable length: N/A
In-line remote and mic: N/A
OS support: Android/iOS
Bluetooth: Yes
Noise-cancelling: No
Battery life: 7 hours (35 hours with charging case)

Reasons to buy

+
Punchy, expansive sound
+
Great feature set
+
Classy build and finish

Reasons to avoid

-
Treble needs more refinement

These cheap wireless buds are packed with features. You don't get noise-cancelling (that's reserved for their more expensive siblings mentioned above), but the Earfun Air do provide excellent noise isolation and they feel comfy in situ too. They're also waterproof to IPX7 standards (submersible in one metre of water for up to 30 mins), support virtual assistants and include Qi wireless charging if you've got a suitable charger to hand.

Battery life is seven hours from the buds and a further 28 hours from the charging case. Amazingly it all feels fairly premium too. The Bluetooth 5.0 connection is solid and stable, calls sound clear and for the money, the wireless earbuds offer an energetic and spacious sound.

If you’re after a pair of affordable and entertaining in-ear headphones under $100, the Earfun Air are definitely worth investigating.

Read the full Earfun Air review

Best cheap wireless earbuds under $100: Sennheiser CX 400BT

The Sennheiser CX 400BT's come with Sennheiser's legacy of premium, lively sound without a premium pricetag. (Image credit: Sennheiser)
Sennheiser throws its hat in the ring with these excellent cheap wireless earbuds

Specifications

Bluetooth: Yes
Noise-cancelling: No
Battery life: 7hr (+13hr from case)
Charging: USB-C
Built-in mic and controls: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Lively, detailed sound
+
Lightweight fit
+
Excellent value for money

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery life below the best
-
Not waterproof

The CX 400BT are more sonically gifted than most at this price (a price that fluctuates above and below $100, so do keep an eye out).

They're not water- or sweat-resistant but they do boast Bluetooth 5.1 support and a mobile app, neither of which is a given at this level. The former promises high-quality, far-reaching Bluetooth transmission, while the latter opens doors to EQ adjustment and control customisation.

The controls are simple for voice calls, too. Just tap the right earbud once to activate your phone’s voice assistant or accept incoming calls, twice to jump forward a track or rejects calls, or hold it down to increase volume. Battery life is seven hours, which is decent but can be bettered in this company.

Sound quality is where the Sennheisers excel, though. They produce a detailed and lively sound with bags of energy and enthusiasm. For the money, it's hugely appealing and earbuds of this standard aren't to be sniffed at.

Read the full Sennheiser CX 400BT review

Best cheap wireless earbuds under $100: RHA TrueConnect

The RHA TrueConnects come with a massive 20 hours of battery life and a neutral sound profile for less than $50.
Talented sub-$100 wireless earbuds with impressive battery life

Specifications

Connector: N/A
Cable length: N/A
In-line remote and mic: N/A
OS support: Android/iOS
Bluetooth: Yes
Noise-cancelling: No
Battery life: 5 hours (+20 with case)

Reasons to buy

+
Neutral, balanced sound
+
Good detail
+
Impressive battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Occasional wireless blips
-
Slightly awkward case

RHA has got in on the true wireless act with the talented TrueConnects, which sound good and cost roughly the same as a pair of AirPods. Unfortunately, unlike Apple, RHA has not quite managed to nail the connectivity. As a result, we experienced the odd Bluetooth blip. 

Everything else about the TrueConnects is well-considered though. The battery lasts around five hours between charges and the supplied charging case can recharge the buds up to four times, prolonging the battery life for an extra 20 hours. Comfort is excellent, with surprisingly effective passive isolation when used with the supplied Comply foam tips (you also get several sets of standard silicone tips in the box).

Sonically, the RHA angle towards a neutral tonal balance, with crisp treble and plenty of satisfying, subtle bass. And, some slight connectivity niggles aside, their ease-of-use and insightful sound make them a good cheap alternative to the likes of the Apple AirPods

Read the full RHA TrueConnect review

Best cheap wireless earbuds under $100: JBL Reflect Flow

The JBL Reflect Flows are perfect for your gym trips or outdoor adventures; plus, they're IPX7 waterproof, too. (Image credit: JBL)
If you’re sporty and looking for the best cheap wireless earbuds, look no further.

Specifications

Bluetooth version: 5.0
Noise-cancelling: No
Total battery life: 30hrs (buds: 10hrs; case: 20hrs)
Charging: MicroUSB
Built-in mic and controls: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Good detail
+
Strong bass depth
+
Long battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Can be beaten for dynamics
-
Carrying case is a bit big

JBL is a heavy hitter when it comes to sporty earphones and the JBL Reflect Flow is one of the best options out there under £100.

Aimed at active lifestyles and gym-goers, they're IPX7 waterproof and provide 10 hours of playback (or 30 hours with the charging case) – that should outlast multiple workout sessions. Pop them in the case and they go from empty to fully charged in two hours.

Whether pumping iron or beavering away in an office, the 'Ambient Aware' and 'TalkThru' modes could come in useful. By short-pressing the left bud, you’ll scroll through to a slightly quieter sound (Ambient Aware) or very low volume playback (TalkThru) so you can chat to someone without taking the earbuds out.

Sound quality is solid, with a good level of detail and a pleasing amount of precision. Overall, the JBL Reflect Flow are impressive cheap wireless earbuds, perfect for the gym and other forms of exercise on a shoestring.

Read the full JBL Reflect Flow review

Best cheap wireless earbuds under $100: Jabra Elite 3

The light, comfortable Jabra Elite 3s pack in 28 hours of battery life, all in, with a balanced, engaging sound, too. (Image credit: Jabra)
Not exactly flawless, but the Jabra Elite 3 are nevertheless an engaging listen.

Specifications

Bluetooth version: 5.2
Noise-cancelling: No
Total battery life: 28 hours (buds: 7hrs; case: 21hrs)
Charging: USB-C
Built-in mic and controls: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Expressive and detailed sound
+
Lightweight, ergonomic and comfy

Reasons to avoid

-
Detached bass, lack of dynamics
-
Not the highest perceived value
-
Push-controls can affect fit

Light, comfortable and well-specified, the Jabra Elite 3 have plenty going for them. Wireless connectivity, for example, is via Bluetooth 5.2 – and there’s support for Qualcomm’s aptX codec too.

The Jabra can keep the music coming for a very competitive 28 hours, all-in – that’s seven hours in the earbuds themselves plus another three full charges in the tidy little case. A ten minute quick-charge will buy you an hour of playback.

When it comes to sound quality, the Elite 3 are an uncomplicatedly engaging listen. Timing is good, and there’s a good level of insight and detail across the board. Call-quality is perfectly acceptable, as is the amount of passive noise-isolation provided by the snug and comfortable fit. 

The Jabra Sound+ control app is good-looking but not a great deal of use. Still, if you are on the hunt for the best cheap wireless earbuds under £100, the Elite 3 are well worth considering.

Read the full Jabra Elite 3 review

How we test wireless earbuds

At What Hi-Fi? we review tons of wireless earbuds every year, and while we use our dedicated testing facilities in Bath, Reading and London for the majority of our reviewing, we of course undertake wireless earbud testing outside our facilities to get a feel for using them out in the world. Our team reviews products together, ensuring no voice goes unheard, and we fill our ranks with experts in the audio world complete with decades of experience.

To gauge how a pair of earbuds' sound quality fares against the current competition, we always compare against similarly priced class leaders to get a good sense of a product's value. Performance-per-pound (or indeed dollar) is an incredibly important metric for us at What Hi-Fi? so we always keep plenty of pairs on-site for when we require them.

Of course, outside of audio quality, we also test how effective noise-cancellation is (if they have them), how clear call quality is from both ends, and generally how good they and their companion apps are to use. Cheap wireless earbuds are everyday items so you'll want a pair that's easy to live with from all aspects.

As a rule, no input from PR companies or sales teams when it comes to verdicts is ever allowed, with What Hi-Fi? enjoying a pristine reputation of delivering honest, unbiased feedback for decades.

MORE:

Feel the burn: best wireless headphones for running and the gym

Shut out the world: best wireless noise-cancelling headphones

Our pick of the best Sony headphones from budget to premium

Go in peace: best noise-cancelling earbuds

Ruben Circelli
Staff Writer

Ruben is a Staff Writer at What Hi-Fi? and longtime consumer technology and gaming journalist. Since 2014, Ruben has written news, reviews, features, guides, and everything in-between at a huge variety of outlets that include Lifewire, PCGamesN, GamesRadar+, TheGamer, Twinfinite, and many more. Ruben's a dedicated gamer, tech nerd, and the kind of person who misses physical media. In his spare time, you can find Ruben cooking something delicious or, more likely, lying in bed consuming content.

With contributions from
  • Steveyjm
    Hi guys, great write up.
    How do the B&O beoplay e8 v1 stack up in this list now that they are available for under £100?
    Im not too fussed about wireless charging or battery life.
    Cheers :)
    Reply