This holiday season many of you may be tempted to put a shiny new pair of Apple Airpods under the tree, but you don’t have to pay a premium to get good true wireless headphones. As the headphone jack continues to disappear from today’s mobile devices, we’re seeing more true wireless earbuds than ever before. Fortunately, the increase in what was once a novel technology has opened the floodgates for cheap true wireless options, which we present to you today.
If you want more detail on each pick, visit the deep-dive article at SoundGuys which further breaks down each awardee and the testing methodology. With further ado, here are the best cheap true wireless earbuds for under $100.
Best all-around: JLab JBuds Air
Reasons to consider the JLab JBuds Air:
- IP55 dust- and water-resistance
- Good battery performance in addition to the 500mAh charging case
- Stable fit with the proprietary Cush-Fins
- Excellent value for sub-$50 truly wireless earbuds
Best sound: Monoprice True Wireless
Reasons to consider the Monoprice True Wireless:
- IPX4 water-resistance
- Good sound quality
- Chic earbud and case design
- Easy-to-operate playback controls
Best battery life: Rowkin Ascent Micro
Reasons to consider the Rowkin Ascent Micro:
- IPX5 water-resistance
- Comprehensive touch controls
- Portable design with AirPods-like charging case
- Effective isolation and noise-reduction performance
Best style: Soul Emotion
Reasons to consider the Soul Emotion:
- Sleek earbud design
- Compact charging case
Best connectivity: Jam Ultra
Reasons to consider the Jam Ultra:
- Unique cloth-wrap design makes the earbuds and case easy to grip
- Reliable connectivity
- Bass lovers will enjoy the exaggerated low-end in lieu of crystal clear reproduction
What you should know about the cheap true wireless earbuds
- None of these options afford high-quality Bluetooth codecs, but the validity of streaming quality may be suspect anyway.
- Standalone battery life with truly wireless earbuds is generally subpar, and the cheaper options are no exception.
- Water-resistance, while not as prevalent as with workout earbuds, is an occasional feature in cheap true wireless earbuds.
- Cheap true wireless earbuds won’t typically don’t outperform their more expensive counterparts when it comes to sound quality, but that can be mitigated by a good fit and with proper ear tips.