The Best Earbuds for Under $100
Are you looking for incredible sound without an incredible price?
So was I, so I did a lot of research looking for the best pair of headphones for the money. My story is I LOVE music and listen to a lot of it and I'm also obsessed with sound quality and fidelity. It's something that I pay a lot of attention to and sound that's just "good" and not great drives me crazy.
Top of the line headphones were too expensive for me, so when I needed the best sounding pair of earbud heaphones, a reasonable price was equally important. Thankfully, I found what I was looking for.
I've been using these for 3 years now and whenever they're misplaced, I always get another pair. I like them so much I wrote this lens! Ready to find out my choice?
Okay, so I tried these - even better! Update: It's 12/2013, I'm still using these and like them a lot! However, in the interest of full disclosure, I'm on my third pair with this warranty.
It's not hard to get a replacement pair under the warranty, but you will have to wait a few days with broken headphones. You may or may not be OK with that.
The Best Earbuds For Under $100:
This was my first pair - at the time, I wasn't looking for a microphone or iPhone/Android controls. Now I use the s4i and I love them.
Amazon has the best price on these I've found so far, sometimes below $60.00 and you'll always have access to your proof of purchase in the event you need to take advantage of the warranty.
Top 5 Features
I'm currently on my 5th pair of these headphones. I've thought of trying something else, but for this price there isn't anything that even comes close. Here are the 5 features that make the s4 series the best ear buds for under $100.
- Amazing sound. I'm really into sound quality and it's definitely the most important feature to me. The s4 series is a balanced pair of headphones with dynamic sound. They have amazing, warm mid-range. The treble is soft but detailed, never harsh. The bass is present and tight. It's never muddy or boomy.
I also listen to a lot of different kinds of music, from heavy metal, classical, electronic and everything else. It all sounds great. Podcasts and audiobooks too.
- 2 Year Warranty. 2 years is a long time, and if you're hard on your headphones the way I am, you will end up taking advantage of it and Klipsch is so easy to work with. They don't require you to jump through a ton of hoops - A few emails and you're done.
Their shipping is fast and I also like that I always get a brand new, boxed pair with all of the accessories so when I inevitably lose a flange, I have a backup.
- Comfortable. I wear mine for many hours at a time and once I found the correct flange size and position, I've never been bothered by the fit.
- Inexpensive. If I don't break them, I end up misplacing them, so I appreciate the reasonable price.
- Good microphone and mobile controls. The microphone on the s4i is great - it sounds much better than other headsets i've used. The controls are placed at just the right height and the buttons are good. They resist enough that I don't usually press them accidentally and they're evenly spaced. The center button is larger than the other two so it's easy to tell which one you're touching by feel.
Don't take my word for it:
"These are leaps and bound better than the stock earbuds that are tossed in with any portable media player these days, and we'd argue that these are superior to other 'buds in the $80 to $100 range. So, should you snap a pair of these up when they start shipping en masse this month? If you've already set aside $79 for a set of some kind, absolutely. "
Excerpted from Darren Murph from Endgadget's review from 2009.
Control your Android phone with this model.
The same features as the other models, but these can control Android OS smartphones.
How do I get the best fit?
The image above is made with the various Klipsch ear tips I had laying around - can you tell which size I like the best?
Two factors go into the best fit:
First is the flange - you get 4 different sizes and It's important that you try all of them. If there are two that feel similar, try each size out and go with the more comortable ones. You may even prefer a different size for each each ear! Make sure you're getting a good seal because without one you won't get good bass response and the sound will be sub-standard.
The other factor is how you wear them. These earphones are designed around the shape of the human ear canal, but everyone is different.
At first, mine were uncomfortable for long term wear until I tried the upward position. Huge improvement!
Over-the-ear or in-ear headphones - What's better for you?
Willing to go above $100?
If you're looking for something a little more high end, these are the best sounding earbuds for the money, based on my research,
Do you want to spend less than $50?
I bought a pair of S4's from eBay one time - It's really important to remember that if you buy on eBay, the warranty does not apply but you can get a really good price, especially on open box models.
Looking for over the ear headphones?
I don't have a pair yet, but here's my top choice under $100:
Test the response range of your headphones
Warning - check to make sure your volume is at a reasonable level first to avoid the possibility of hearing or speaker damage.