When it comes to affordable wireless headphones, people assume that cost is tantamount to quality. That's an unfair assumption, especially since the market offers a wide variety of wireless headphones capable of delivering across multiple verticals: including battery life, comfort and, most importantly, sound quality. And they get the job done without hurting your wallet.
We snatched up some of the top sellers from Amazon that fall under the $100 range and tested each one to find the best cheap wireless headphones. Looking for something a bit more premium, check out our recommendations for best headphones, best wireless headphones and best truly wireless earbuds.
Jaybird’s budget alternative to the flagship X4 wireless earphones shares similar performance hallmarks, at $30 less. The Tarah boasts a lively soundstage that can be personalized through different EQ settings and music profiles via Jaybird MySound app (Android, iOS). Bass-heavy records knock on your eardrums to maximize adrenaline. Bluetooth range is also in the same ballpark as most other models, maintaining connectivity up to 30 feet.
Whatever flaws exist on the Tarah are trite when taking overall performance into account. Battery life hovers around 6 hours, which is 2 hours less than what’s offered on the X4. However, quick-charge technology has you covered by juicing up these suckers in a matter of minutes for an hour of playtime. The cinch system could be sturdier, but it’s nothing to cry over. Simply put, these are the best cheap wireless headphones you can buy.
Anker’s aggressive pricing, along with good quality and service have kept the brand ahead of the competition. The Soundcore Spirit Pro is a prime example of that. These sports-centric wireless earbuds come stocked with several ear tips and wings that offer notable comfort and secure placement. Water resistance is another highlight with SweatGuard technology, protecting the device from excessive perspiration. Built-in magnets help to clip the earbuds together around the neck for portable convenience.
I thought finding affordably good (and not subpar) active noise-cancelling headphones for under a Benjamin seemed unrealistic. Then, these stumbled onto my radar. The TaoTronics BH040 headphones boast impressive noise-cancelling technology, effectively blocking out distant and nearby sounds. You won't walk through a construction site in complete silence, but you can get some good quiet time in less-chaotic settings. Sound-wise, the BH040 offers punchy bass and recognizable mids.
The headphones are on the chunky side, so traveling with them does add weight to your carry-on. Also, the ear cups exert a bit of pressure after about an hour of listening. I wouldn't use these headphones to make calls, as several of my friends noted I sounded far away during chats. On the plus side, the BH040's long battery life and ability to connect to multiple devices at once did serve me well.
The E18 is just as capable as another popular model in its product category, the Anker Zolo Liberty+, and it's priced at $100 less. Audio quality on these wireless earbuds is really crisp, with clear mids and highs. Bass response tends to be selective depending on the music genre but plays nice with alternative rock, hip-hop and jazz. The E18's standout features include the ability to control playback and manage calls on either earpiece, as well as digital assistant commands like Google Assistant and Siri.
Unfortunately, basic controls like volume must be executed directly through your paired device,. And similar to other wireless earbuds, the E18 also switches to mono when in call mode. Battery life is shorter than advertised, with only 3 hours of music playtime, but the bundled charging case earns you an extra 15 hours, while fast-charging tech gets you up and running at 80 percent on a 30-minute charge.
These wireless cans are the comfiest of the batch, as well as the blandest-looking. The H1 headphones rest snugly atop the head and on the ears and can be comfortably worn for long stretches. The flexible design means you can bend these headphones multiple ways without worrying about snapping them in half. Mpow advertises natural HD sound, and while I wouldn't exactly describe the sound profile that way, it is tuned to emphasize singular effects and reproduce high-pitched vocals. It's also much louder than it needs to be.
The design is uninspiring, with a two-tone palette that lacks any magnetism. These headphones' bulky form factor isn't flattering either. Call quality was OK, with conversations sounding clear on both ends. However, stepping to a distance within several feet of the maximum range (33 feet) did cause interference.
Wireless earbuds are an acquired taste, but the T1 delivers enough flavor to make ordering them a savory gamble. The soundstage is dominated by deep, rumbling bass, which is cool for those who favor hard-hitting lows, but it can also silence distinct sounds meant to be heard the way they were recorded. Each earpiece is powered by Bluetooth 5.0 and stabilizes connection even when slightly out of range.
These headphones do come digital-assistant-ready, with instant access to Google Assistant and Siri. The built-in mic does a nice job of picking up vocal commands, but I experienced some random dropout on the left earpiece, and being able to screen calls only in mono through one earbud was disappointing. Battery life was mediocre, at 3 hours, which is common for most wireless earbuds, but the charging case promises up to four extra charges, giving listeners an estimated 15 hours of battery life.