Getting a decent pair of headphones under 100 bucks may sound impossible, but here we show you how to do it – with style.
Our criteria are that not only must they look good on your ears, but feel and most importantly, sound good on your ears while being wallet-friendly.
The 5 Best Headphones Under $100 Reviews
AKG K240 Semi-Open Studio Headphones
AKG has been making headphones since forever for the professionals in the music industry, and any sound engineers or serious audiophiles look to AKG when they need a new set.
The AKG K 240 Semi-Open Studio Headphones have shown that you can be really great at the details with sensitivity from 15Hz – 24kHz, with the bass powerful yet accurate, and the mids and highs clear and responsive.
The k240 is not small, yet its weight is surprisingly light: a mere 240 grams or 8.5 ounces.
The K-240 Studio are the modern 55-ohm version, lower impedance, higher efficiency developed from the earlier K-240 models and that means almost anything except for pocket mp3 players have enough power to put them to full use.
The cable is made of 99.99% oxygen free copper, and the gold plated plugs at both ends of the Y cable ensure that maximum signal transfer is near perfect.
This model, despite being large and made for extended use, makes use of the semi-open design to ensure long lasting comfort free from hot sweaty ears.
Sennheiser HD-280 PRO Headphones
The Sennheiser HD-280 PRO is a heavyweight. This model is highly recommended for its overall great sound quality and comfort, and lastly, the very efficient noise isolation.
This model boasts a very clean sound reproduction with no high range tinny audio reproductions, and very accurate lows and bass.
The sensitivity from 5hz -25kHz and a relatively light weight of 10 ounces make it very portable, something not all models can boast of.
This model comes with a 10-foot coiled cable fitted with a 1/8-inch miniplug and a 1/4-inch adapter for use with a home stereo in case you need it.
The sound isolation features cut out the outside world’s noises of up to 32dB, and while that may not sound like much, fine tuning tracks to perfection requires as little distractions as possible.
This is made possible by the large caps, and headband that provide a sturdy construction and comfy fit, thanks in part to the very soft and plush leatherette pads. A great model for everyday usage.
Sony MDR7506 Professional
Sony is known for their quality, and innovation and this model is a prime example as to why.
The MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm really is a very simple yet reliable model.
The 40mm drivers use powerful neodymium magnets making them a workhorse. This gives near flat response when used, with all the details almost exactly as intended.
They also come with a gold plated Stereo Unimatch plug in 1/4″ and 1/8″ sizes, making them good to go for use in the studio and on the go.
Seeing that this model comes in light at 8.1 ounces, you can also take them out and they won’t feel heavy after extended use, and the numbered notched grooves make them adjustable and comfortable for any sizes. Due to this snug fit feature, it helps to cancel out sound to a certain extent, although not on purpose.
Not to mention – you could fold these and carry them on the go, an added plus. Great on comfort and quality, and worth every penny.
SOL REPUBLIC 1211-03 Headphones
Sol Republic has come up with this beauty, it’s hardy, along with giving you great sound quality; you can rest assured that this set won’t be spoilt anytime soon.
The sound quality of this model is vivid, it makes certain tracks sound livelier, and the tuning makes the mid-range and higher range vocals and sounds get more attention due to the V8 sound engine.
The matched cord with a 3.5mm jack also makes this model street-worthy, making it compatible with the iPad, iPod and iPhone.
The headband is made out of polymer it’s very tough, and is matched by the cable that has a 3 button microphone and volume control that that allows you to control the volume, skip the music, and answer or end calls as you like.
Bose SoundTrue Around-Ear II
Bose has long been in the headphones market known for noise cancellation and comfortable wear features.
This model punches above its weight class for a Bose product in terms of features and quality.
The Bose SoundTrue II model comes in sleek and light in black or navy blue, and the earpads are made of luxuriously soft leather, making it a comfort and breeze to wear.
On your head, it doesn’t squeeze your temples, giving you the pressure headaches that so often come about from over tight headbands.
This model of the Bose has only one cable running from one side of the headphones to your audio player, making it more convenient. The construction of the headband is made of neoprene reinforced with lightweight aluminium, which explains why this model felt so light and airy on our heads.
These provide the best quality that Bose has to offer, great sound and comfort, reliability, and at a lower cost than usual for Bose.
The Different Types of Headphones
Headphones come in a variety of styles. Each one offers a unique set of pros and cons depending on where you plan to use them.
Over-ear or Circum-aural
Over-ear headphones feature large cans that fit around your entire ear. The cushion rests against your head creating a nearly complete seal. That seal does a good keeping pretty much all ambient sound separated from what you’re listening to. It also keeps what you’re listening to from seeping outside.
That’s are a great choice if you expect to be in noisy environments such as a gym where you want to make sure no outside sound filters in. They’re also an excellent choice for use in super quiet places like the library because your music won’t be able to disturb your neighbors.
On-ear or Supra-aural
On-ear headphones, like their over-ear counterparts, have large cans and a thick cushion. These, though, fit a bit differently on your ear. The pads of on-ear headphones rest atop your outer ear instead of fully encapsulating them. This makes it possible for some sound to leak past the headphones.
We recommend using on-ear headphones when you need to be aware of your surroundings, like when running. Or when it’s okay for sound to leak through.
In-ear or Earbuds
Unlike the other choices, these small devices fit directly inside your ear canals. But like the over-ear style, these also do an excellent job of keeping sounds separated. Since everyone’s canals are different sizes brands offer several different tips so that you can find the one that creates agood seal. Loose earbuds will leak and alter the sound; tight earbuds will pinch and become painful.
Wireless earbuds style are a great choice when portability is crucial such as traveling. Once you find the right size ear tip there another option when you really need to keep noise outside.
Open-back versus Closed-back
Headphones are characterized as open-back or closed-back based on the housing of the earcups. Each type affects the way sound is heard through the device.
Open-back headphones have slits or holes in the outside of the cans. This means that sounds and air travel freely through the headphones. They’re not appropriate if you’re going to use them when near other people. The sound of open-back headphones is akin to having a stereo playing in the same room you are in. You can hear the music around you, but you also hear everything else.
Closed-back headphones are opposite of their open-back counterparts. They have no slits to allow the transfer of sound making them perfect for most environments. Sound feels like it’s in your head because these block out outside noise. Listening to music through closed-back headphones is like nothing exists except the music.