Nothing screams convenience more than a new pair of wireless headphones. We’ve always been huge audiophiles and have analyzed pretty much every pair of studio headphones out there, but most of those are wired (and for good reason). But what wireless headphones models in this day and age? Are they even worth the money? To our avail, there are some high quality pairs of cans out there without wires, especially if you’re working with a below $100 budget. We found the best to take into consideration when shopping.
The benefits of wireless headphones
Well, we’re probably stating the obvious, but to review, you’re acquiring the ability to cut out the most annoying part of any electronic device: the wires. Wireless headphones have been criticized for the “lag” aka “latency”, which is true in some way. However, the only time lag or latency is an issue is if you need immediate playback, which in most cases are in a studio or for gaming. In that case, we recommend reading our best studio headphones or best headphones for gaming articles if you want a pair of headphones that will be more proper for those activities.
Aside from that, wireless headphones are great for pretty much all other activities since it really doesn’t matter in essence the amount of lag or latency you have. They’re great for traveling (the more convenience the better, especially if you’re flying), podcasts, exercise, watching movies and TV, and general leisure music listening. You can’t go wrong with a wireless pair of headphones in these cases and we highly recommend you go the wireless route if you can.
How to choose your wireless headphones
- Your budget. Although we’re focusing on under $100 budget in this article, there is still a relatively large difference between a $20 and $99 pair of wireless headphones. If you’re able to save up just a bit more, we always recommend going higher if you can.
- Headphone design. We focus mainly on over-ear, closed-back designed wireless headphones here since they’re the most popular. You won’t find any open-back, but perhaps the only other popular design is earbuds, which will be for a later date.
- Connectivity? Most are Bluetooth as we all know, but we have some radio frequency (RF) headphones in the market, too. Some of these are rated extremely high, so just because it isn’t Bluetooth doesn’t mean it’s bad. It all depends on your use.
- Additional accessories. Some come with charging cables, traveling cases, and others with absolutely nothing. If you do need some accessories along with it, you can buy them separately, or some come with bundles that may deter your choice.
- Color choices? Last but not least, and it may be higher up in the list for some, is color and overall aesthetic choices. If you’ll be wearing these out in public or merely care how they look inside your home, this will be a decently large factor for you. Some come with colors of a huge variety, while others just black. We tried to get the best of both worlds in our choices.
The best wireless headphones under $100
The following are a few of our favorite models of headphones without wires priced at under $100. There actually aren’t many solid models out there worth noting within this price range; however, the headphones we found have quite a lot of positive reviews. If you have any other recommendations, please feel free to let us know in the comment section! If you do think you may have some extra cash, there are some even better models in our top 10 best wireless headphones if you want to check it out, albeit more expensive.
This is our pick for the best over-ear Bluetooth headphones under $100. They’re over ear, provide Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, a built-in mic for calls, and a 12-hour listening time (a lot more than most models out there). Easy to pair with any smart device out there, just hold down the button and your device will detect it quickly. The drivers are 40mm with a relatively flat tune in all frequency levels, it isn’t going to give you a studio headphone quality sound but it’s going be satisfactory for a wireless pair. It also comes with a hard travel, which to us makes this pair even better at the top of our list. The Photive BTH3 is one of the best packages we’ve seen when it comes to a wireless pair of headphones under $100. We highly recommend it.
Bluedio HT Shooting Brake
This list is in no particular order after the Photive due to some having differences that will only pertain to your own needs. However, this model is rated quite highly on sites around the net so we wanted it towards the top. The H-Turbine is a budget-friendly pair of headphones that gives you quite a lot of color choices, not to mention Bluetooth connectivity, a slight bass boost, ability to use a cable if you want when you run out of battery, and a whopping 57mm drivers (size isn’t always what matters, but it won’t hurt). You’ve also got an attached microphone so you can answer phone calls and talk however you’d like. If you grab the Bluetooth 4.1 version, you get 40 hours of playing and 45 hours of talk time. It just has a nice build for the price and gives us some nice audio quality. The Bluedio HT Shooting Brake is one of our favorites if you’re looking for a solid over-ear wireless pair of headphones that come in a variety of color choices.
This pair of headphones has too many reviews to count, and they’re 99% positive with that being said. The RS120 by Sennheiser are first and foremost RF (radio frequency), which means you need a transmitter to use them. The transmitter acts as a dock to charge the headphones (it’s powered by two batteries), and in order to remain wireless you need to stay in the range of the transmitter. This particular headphone gives you plenty of breathing room as compared to others with 300 feet. So the con some would say is that it isn’t Bluetooth, but if you aren’t leaving your house, these are extremely solid because of their overall quality. Lastly, there’s control on the headphone itself, allowing you to tweak the volume, turn the on\off, and control the tuning. The Sennheiser RS120 are great if it’s what you’re looking for. Perfect for those who need wireless connectivity at home for movies and TV (those with kids perhaps, need privacy, or their friend\partner want it quiet in the house). Just read the reviews yourself. CNet’s Sennheiser RS120 review rated them highly as well.
Here’s one of our best choices for budget-friendly headphones to travel or exercise with. The only reason we were hesitant at first for traveling is the fact that they don’t fold to easily store them, but if you can get around that they’re great because of the low cost. The sound quality is pretty clear for the price point, and they give you up to 6 hours of listening time. There’s a built-in speakerphone to talk on the phone as well, and you can go to about 30 feet with the Bluetooth connectivity. Like the others, you have some track and volume control on the unit itself. Just another option here for a pair of headphones without wires for a hundred bucks or less with a few color choices to boot. The JAM Transit is an easy solution without giving you much to think about — just the essentials.
MEElectronics Air-Fi Matrix2
We stuck this one in last because the price may differ depending on where you look, but we’ve seen it within our targeted price point more often than not. These are super nice and comfortable, as you can tell by just looking at the price. MEElectronics has a lot of positive reviews on the net. This pair has Bluetooth 4.0 support, AAC support for higher quality file playing, wired audio mode, a built-in mic on the headphone unit, 22 hours of battery life (for both talk and audio), and an overall nice quality of sound. The battery really makes this one stand out as we have basically an entire day of use, but the comfort is also up there since the pads are made of a nice carbon fiber. You also get a storage zipper case to boot. Check the price on the MEElectronics Air-Fi Matrix2, it may be worth your cash or saving a few extra dollars to get a high-quality pair of wireless headphones under $100.