You don’t have to spend lots of money to get a great pair of wireless earbuds. While some of the best wireless earbuds may be out of reach for many, there are quite a few options that punch far above their weight. For $100 or less (sometimes far less), you can get the ideal pair of earbuds for yourself, even if that includes having one of those premium features like active noise cancellation (ANC).
Of course, there are so many cheap true wireless earbuds on the market that it’s easy to get overwhelmed by choices. To that end, you’ll find plenty of affordable options here. You might be surprised how good of a pair you can get for not much money.
You can use the Jabra Elite 3 for everything, whether on a commute, on an exercise bike, or at a desk. They’re incredibly versatile thanks to that IP55 rating, solid audio quality, and extended battery life. Plus, they come filled with features like Spotify Tap Playback, Alexa Assistant support, and, especially for Android users, Google Fast Pair. Like all Jabra models, these strike a fantastic balance between performance, price, and features.
Source: Cambridge Audio
Cambridge Audio Melomania 1+Premium pick$60 $140 Save $80
Cambridge Audio’s unique “bullet” shaped Melomania 1+ might not be the most secure earbuds out there — they don’t come with wings or fins — but they’re compact, come with an IPX5 rating and are lightweight at just 4.6g per earbud. More importantly, they offer the kind of sound quality you would expect from an established audio brand and an impressive nine hours of battery life.
JLab JBuds Air ANCBest value
The JLab Jbuds Air ANC prove you can get solid active noise cancellation without the exorbitant price tag. And, while there are some compromises for that ANC, such as mediocre call quality, limited comfort, and no app, they sound better than they have any right to be (don’t expect audiophile level) and come with a stellar 10-hour battery life. They also have an IP55 rating, making them ideal for workouts where you don’t want to run around with $200 earbuds.
JBL Endurance Peak 3 Wireless HeadphonesBest for workouts
Though the JBL Endurance Peak 3 are among the pricier options on this list, they’re quite affordable. These earbuds with wrap-around ear hooks and an IP68 rating can handle just about any workout you throw at them, whether rock climbing, skiing, or even jogging. They also come with a transparency mode so you can hear your surroundings. And, while those ear hooks can get a bit uncomfortable after long periods, these are as good as any earbuds for an active lifestyle.
The Sony WF-C500 are Sony’s stripped-down, more affordable version of their WF-1000XM4. You won’t find ANC or some of the more premium features on hand, but you will find fantastic sound quality, a long ten-hour battery life, and an IPX4 rating for use with light workouts. Plus, they often get discounted from their already affordable $100 price tag, making these an extremely attractive option.
Google Pixel Buds A-Series
You’re not going to find flagship features on the Google Pixel Buds A-Series. There’s no ANC or wireless charging, and the battery life is a bit shorter than other options. However, they have a comfortable fit, good audio quality, and some great first-party features for anyone using a Pixel phone, including Fast Pair and hands-free Google voice assistant support.
The Edifier W240TN earbuds offer impressive audio quality and long battery life at a low price. The buds only support the SBC codec (no AAC), but their dual-driver setup still delivers surprisingly strong sound, given the price of admission. They're also IP55 certified, so they can survive all the rain and sweat you might throw at them. ANC is middling at best on the W240TN, but considering the earbuds' impulse-buy price tag, that might be an acceptable compromise.
OnePlus Nord Buds
The OnePlus Nord Buds cost just $40, but they still manage to be decent true wireless earbuds. The sound out of the Nord Buds is crisp, clear, and a lot closer to what you'll get out of high-end earbuds than you might think. They also last seven hours on a charge, but that figure is without ANC — the Nord Buds don't have it. The bass could be a little stronger, too. Still, at this price, these are very minor complaints.
Finding the best earbuds for the right price
If you're looking for great all-around buds at a low price, check out the Jabra Elite 3. They don't have ANC, but the buds offer good audio quality and battery life, and you can often pick them up on sale for about 60 bucks. But if you don't mind paying a midrange price, you should consider the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1+. They cost around $100 and feature great audio quality and acceptable water resistance, making them versatile options to enjoy your tunes whenever you want, even at the gym.
If you're more mindful of the price tag but aren't ready to sacrifice audio quality, your go-to options should be the Sennheiser CX 400BT, Sony WF-C500, or Edifier W240TN. All three sound great and are reasonably priced. Of the three, only the Edifier buds offer ANC — and it's not great.
The JLab JBuds Air ANC and the OnePlus Nord Buds cost less than $50 and are decent products. If ANC is what you're after, consider the JLab JBuds Air ANC. The OnePlus Nord buds are another fine pick, offering good audio quality and IP55 water and dust resistance for just $40.