Whoever said you must spend big to get premium wireless audio hasn’t kept tabs on the headphone market. All you have to do is Google the best cheap wireless headphones and a plethora of high-quality options will pop up on your screen.
Sure, some of these bargain entries won’t match the superior sound quality or active noise cancellation (ANC) of category leaders like the Bose 700 or Sony WH-1000XM5. A few may even lack modern features like touch controls and wear detection. That doesn’t make these headphones any less valuable, especially when their pros outweigh their cons by a ratio of 2 to 1.
To save you time and money, we’ve ranked the top selections under $100. Expect to find consumer favorites like Anker, Jabra, and Sennheiser on this list, along with new Amazon darlings such as 1More and Monoprice.
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The best cheap wireless headphones you can buy today
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Several models make a strong case for best cheap wireless headphones under $100, but the Jabra Elite 45h remains the clear-cut winner based on performance. The 40-millimeter audio drivers deliver entertaining sound that can also be customized by manually adjusting the EQ or selecting from a handful of music presets. It’s the only available feature at the moment, but with the headphones supporting firmware updates, we’re expecting more to come in the following months. Bluetooth 5.0 operates superbly to offer stable connectivity across all devices, while 50 hours of playtime ensures you have enough juice to enjoy music and movies for nearly two weeks before recharging.
We can look past the plastic construction, especially when factoring in how light and comfortable these headphones feel. Our biggest complaint is the lack of noise isolation, which, due to the on-ear design, leaks a lot of sound. However, it’s no big deal if you’re listening at mid-level volume.
Read our full Jabra Elite 45h review.
There aren’t many cheap noise-cancelling headphones that can get you 50 hours of ANC use. The SonoFlow is one of the few. A full charge keeps these cans operating for weeks. Turning off ANC extends battery life to 70 hours. An aux cable comes bundled with the purchase, if ever you forget to recharge, but you’ll want to leave it in the carrying case since it hinders audio performance. When in wireless mode, you can expect the SonoFlow to pump out engaging sound and powerful bass, thanks to 1More’s 40mm dynamic driver with DLC (diamond-like-carbon) composite diaphragm. LDAC codec support also improves connection quality and lets you hear details clearly when jamming out to tracks on lossless streaming services (e.g., Tidal, Qobuz).
Noise cancellation is fine for the price, blocking out low frequencies very well, though the transparency mode is disappointing and doesn’t let in much incidental noise.
If money is tight and you want something that can fulfill your audio needs for cheap, we highly recommend these budget wireless cans. The Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT is one of the best cheap wireless headphone deals under $100 you’ll find, delivering full, energetic sound highlighted by its monstrous low end and well-tuned midrange.
Despite being an older model, these headphones provide you a generous amount of playtime (24 hours) and Bluetooth range (30 feet). The bundled aux cable is also clutch for listening in passive mode, granted it’s pretty fragile and has no buttons to manage playback or volume. Still, those are small compromises to live with for the asking price.
Bigger sound, noise cancellation, and bonus features: Anker blessed this set of cans with the works. The Life Q30 comes equipped with 40mm silk drivers that generate thumping lows and crisp mids to enjoy music across multiple genres. Anker also made these headphones compatible with the Soundcore app, so you can personalize the soundstage to your liking by manually adjusting the EQ or by picking any of the 22 presets available. You don’t see that on many noise-cancellers priced under $100. Noise neutralization is improved from the previous model, so you’ll be able to block out a higher level of external sounds. The three ANC modes (Transport, Indoor, and Outdoor) are engineered to cancel out noises found in different settings too.
We applaud Anker for giving the Life Q30 a more premium look and better aesthetics, though this is still one big, heavy pair of ‘phones to lug around.
Read our full Anker Soundcore Life Q30 review.
Sol Republic’s noise-cancelling headphones are a plausible entry in the category that packs powerful battery life and sound into a robust, professional-looking design. The 500mAh battery built into these cans generates up to 30+ hours of playtime, which, when listening in moderation, equates to about a month of use. Listening to orchestral songs demonstrates the Soundtrack Pro’s wide frequency range, as lows and highs are well-defined to distinguish sonic elements. You can also snag a pair in three stylish finishes: Glossy Black, Gray, and Champagne.
Active noise cancellation won’t blow you away. It’s adequate to silence office rumblings, though you’re bound to hear street noises when sporting these hefty suckers around town. Something else we noticed is that enabling the feature scales back the bass response, while listening in aux mode produces a fuzzy noise in the background.
If you want noise-cancelling headphones with an upscale design and soundstage, the N700NC is a suitable option. It’s not only a handsome noise-canceller, but also upholds the elite sound performance we’ve come to expect from the pro-audio heritage brand. Frequencies are well balanced to deliver clean, detailed sound. Toying with the AKG Headphones app also grants access to personalize sound by tweaking the different EQ settings. AKG’s noise-cancelling technology is effective as well at blocking out ambient chatter. Battery life seems pretty average at 23 hours with ANC on, but playtime is still higher than what the Bose 700 offers.
Where the headphones lose points are in the listening modes (Smart Ambient and TalkThru), which perform poorly in comparison to other models, and the alarmingly high sound leakage that will draw unwanted attention when blasting music in public spaces.
Samsung is currently selling the N7000NC for $99.
An audio brand known for selling some of the best computer speakers under $100, Monoprice has jumped into the cheap wireless headphones market and given us the noteworthy BT-600ANC. These inexpensive noise-cancellers reduce ambient sound at a high level, keeping the soundscape clear of disruptions, while also dishing out strong bass. Having longer playtimes than any Bose headphone adds to the product’s credibility, along with cool features like aptX support for hi-res audio streaming and multipoint technology.
These headphones do not come with a companion app or wear detection, but then again, not many sub-$70 models do.
Panasonic might be more known for its home appliances and grooming devices, but creations like the RB-M700B show the brand can create a quality pair of cans. Bass performance is monstrous, thanks to proprietary XBS (Extreme Bass System) DEEP technology and 40mm Neodymium drivers with built-in Bass Reactor. Pressing play will feel like you’re at a concert or nightclub. A 15-minute quick charge produces 1.5 hours of listening.
Be wary of listening to music in ANC mode because it can affect bass performance and produce distortion on certain tracks. Something else to keep in mind is that the controls are a little difficult to access since Panasonic inconveniently placed them at the bottom of the right earcup.
Read our full Panasonic RB-M700B review.
The team behind some of the most popular (and affordable) smart home devices assembled these minimalist ANC headphones, and the results are impressive to say the least. Noise cancellation is a lot better than one would expect for the price, reducing low frequencies significantly, while also producing solid sound quality backed by impactful bass. The ability to use the headphones in passive mode via aux cable is a sweet bonus. Built-in Alexa, powerful quick charging (10 minutes = 4 hours), wear detection, and EQ customization through the Wyze app round out the highlights.
These are not recommended for voice or video calls and the tight clamp force makes wearing them unbearable after two hours of use.
How to choose the best cheap wireless headphones for you
The same criteria for selecting the best wireless headphones will apply here. That means prioritizing wireless functionality. Search for headphones operating on the latest Bluetooth version (Bluetooth 5.0 or higher). There are older models running on Bluetooth 4.2, which is still effective, but only when maintaining a strong signal during calls and streaming sessions. It doesn’t hurt to seek out cool wireless features either (e.g., Google Fast Pair, multipoint technology, NFC).
Sound is the next hallmark you should check off. Several of the brands featured on this list have legitimate audio backgrounds, while others are new to the game. Check for driver size because the bigger they are, the more powerful your headphones will sound. Some models have customizable settings to personalize audio. There are a select few that come with hi-res codec support (e.g., aptX, LDAC) to play lossless audio on compatible devices. Some even have a latency mode to reduce lag when mobile gaming or watching videos.
Going wireless means relying on portable power, which is why you’ll want something with long battery life. The standard for wireless headphones is around 20 hours or higher, though we’ve seen newer models nearly triple that amount, which is excellent. Quick charging support is another feature to keep in mind.
Lastly, look at the design. Any headphones that offer the right balance of form, function, and fashion is worth the purchase. Don’t overlook accessories either, specifically a carrying case to protect and transport your headphones.
How we test the best cheap wireless headphones
Laptop Magazine thoroughly tests the best cheap wireless headphones by evaluating several factors, including design, comfort, sound, and value. Our team then compares these selections to similar products in the category in terms of features, fit, and pricing.
Wireless headphones are worn over the course of a week for 2 to 3 hours daily. We assess comfort, ease of use, noise cancellation, and audio quality. In addition, sample tracks across several music genres are tested, including hip-hop, rock, jazz, EDM, and classical. Reviewers analyze clarity, depth, imaging, and volume. Audiobooks, games, podcasts, and videos are accounted for too.
Any headphones featuring the latest audio codecs (e.g., aptX, LDAC) and spatial audio are tested using compatible hi-res streaming services (e.g., Apple Music, Deezer, Tidal). You can learn more about how these services that improve sound quality by checking out this expert audio codec FAQ, which breaks down all you need to know about FLAC files, MP3s, and other audio file codecs.
After completing the testing phase, we rate every model based on our five-point system, (1 = worst, 5 = best). Any product that is truly exemplary is awarded an Editor’s Choice.