For those of us who are constantly on the go, there’s nothing like a good pair of earphones to keep you going. I live in New York City and basically a little piece of me dies when I have to endure a 40-plus minute commute to work without my earbuds. But, what’s just as bad, or maybe even worse, is enduring that same 40-plus minute commute with a shitty pair that sounds like everything is somehow over-modulated. Since I’m a great person and don’t want you suffering from the same horrible fate as I, I’ll leave you with this list of the “2017 Best Earbuds Under $100.”
2017 Best Earbuds Under $100
Sennheiser HD 1
This little light of mine, surely shines! I seriously heart the Sennheiser HD 1 aka Momentum In-Ears. Firstly, the housings are angled for a comfortable fit and better delivery of sound through your ear canal to your ear drum. This should keep you from turning up the volume to damaging levels. The cable is flat to deter tangling and there’s also a little elevated loop that lifts the cable away from the housing just enough to keep stress from being applied on the connection between the two. Also, the end of the cable features an angled jack for the same reason. The cable features an in-line remote and mic with models available for both iOS and Android devices. HD 1s ship inside a case in which you can wrap your headphones in a square to better store them – a great means of preserving your $100 earbuds. The HD 1s deliver the signature Sennheiser sound in a small and portable chassis. If you’re a lover of balanced sound with just a bit of warmth in the bass, the HD 1s are probably for you. There’s a great deal of clarity and depth across the lows, mids, and highs. They are able to blend together, creating a very pleasing listening experience. Honestly, how could these not land a spot on our list of “2017 Best Earbuds Under $100” list? These in-ears reach a frequency response of 15 to 22,000 Hertz on an impedance of 18 ohms. Sennheiser HD 1 In-Ears can be purchased at Audio 46 Sennheiser Shop and Amazon for $99.99.
Surely, you could also go for Shure 215 in-ear headphones. Shure never really disappoints and as such deserves a spot on our “207 Best Headphones Under $100” list. These buds are fashioned to nestle themselves inside the conch of your ears with the cable looping over your ears and down your neck. The over-ear portion of the cable is reinforced with additional material at the top to create a sturdier hook. The ear tips are made of memory foam and provide a solid seal against your ear canal since the foam heats up, expands, and takes the form of your canal. To note, Shure 215s are sold with a standard cable. But, each earbud housing features a MMCX connection so you have the ability to purchase a cable with an in-line remote and mic whenever you’d like. There’s also a special cable made by Westone that can make these babies wireless, if interested, for a mere $150. When it comes to sound, Shure provides detailed sound with some oomph in the bass as this bud is designed with a single dynamic microdriver emphasizing the bass line over a frequency response range between 22 to 17,500 Hertz on an impedance of 17 ohms. Shure 215 are at Audio 46 Shure Store and Amazon for $99.
Fitness buffs this one is for you. Bose is a popular and premium brand. Though, I personally feel their recognition is earned more by name than quality, I’ll admit these are a recent pair of buds – especially if you’re a Bose fan and want a product of theirs for under $100. There aren’t very many. Let me clarify what I meant about the sound of Bose. They deliver pretty good sounding products with some bump in the bass. While there’s clarity in the mids and highs, I feel the bass can be a little thundering and drown a bit of the mids. Not something I prefer, but hey, everyone has their preferences. The buds on the SoundSport are angled for better projection of sound into the ear canal. The earbud housing is actually designed to sit loosely in your ear to keep from ear aches, but Bose’s StayHear tips (soft silicone sport fins) keep the housings locked into your ears. SoundSports also feature small openings in the back to allow users to safely remain tuned into their environment while still enjoying their music. The entire frame is sweat resistant so that’s nice. Pump that iron as much a you want boo! Also, there are two which cater the in-line mic and remote for iOS and LG users. The Bose SoundSport iOS version is currently available for $99.95 on Bose’s website and Amazon in charcoal, energy green, and power red colorways. The SoundSport Android version is available only in charcoal at the same price point on Bose’s website and Amazon.
Those looking for a reference in-ear headphone at an affordable price can look towards Klipsch. Their R6 earphones are modeled with a slimmer frame than most of the earbuds we’ve all become accustomed to. That frame designed with patented contoured silicone ear tips for a more accurate fit and seal inside the ear canal. When it comes to sound expect to hear a premium low-end with depth and clarity. The mids and highs are also pretty clear, though, the high end could be a tad bit more pronounced. But seeing as these buds reach a frequency response of 10 to 19,000 Hertz. The R6 is available both with and without a controller. The R6 (w/out single button remote) is $59 and the R6M (with single button remote) is $79 at Audio 46’s Klipsch Store.
These in-ear buds offer that audiophile sound many of you are probably looking for at an low rate. The RE-400 is built with machined-aluminum parts for an ultra lightweight pair of in-ear buds. They also feature an oxygen-free copper cable that is covered in cloth to tangling and premature wear and tear. But be advised, this cable does not feature an in-line remote and microphone. Like the company’s bigger, over-ear, open back signature headphones, the RE-400s provide sound quality that is accurate and clear without the added emphasis in the bass and subsequently snagging a spot on our “2017 Best Earbuds Under $100” list. The HiFiMan RE-400 will run you $79 and is available on Amazon.
Focal, known for their audiophile-grade headphones Utopia and Elear, have created an in-ear headphone that creates sound almost as realistically as those open-back gems thus earning a spot on our “2017 Best Earbuds Under $100” list. Though, the Focal Sphear was designed to provide a little more bass resonance thanks to a bass-reflex system. This literally provides more of an immersive and realistic bass line while drawing out the same life-like audio across the mids and highs. These buds are round and rather sleek looking with their stainless steel housings. The cable consists of an in-line remote and mic, through you might find the remote hard to find. It is actually the round Focal pendant in the center that connects the two earbuds. Focal Sphear normally costs $129.99 but it is currently marked down to $99. It is available at Audio 46’s Focal Store.
Do yo know of a pair of in-ear monitors that should be on our “2017 Best Earbuds Under $100” article? Tell us in the comments section below.