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The Best Earbuds for Under $100

Updated on August 16, 2014

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?

photo: Some rights reserved by photosteve101


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.

  1. 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. 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.

  3. 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.
  4. Inexpensive. If I don't break them, I end up misplacing them, so I appreciate the reasonable price.
  5. 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.

Let me know what you thought of my lens!

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    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 4 years ago

      Very informative!

    • koolclipz profile image

      koolclipz 4 years ago

      Love the lens! Gonna check out the Klipsch for Android. My product will work great with these

    • Joebeducci profile image

      Joebeducci 4 years ago

      Awesome, I'm looking for some new ones, so great tips! Greets, Joebeducci

    • janey126 profile image

      janey126 4 years ago

      Wow what a great info and lens! Just awesome!

    • janey126 profile image

      janey126 4 years ago

      Wow what a great info and lens! Just awesome!

    • Tom Maybrier profile image

      Tom Maybrier 4 years ago

      @triathlontraini1: These are really great, I'm using them right now! I still stand by my selection, highly recommended.

    • triathlontraini1 profile image

      triathlontraini1 4 years ago

      Such quality. Not.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

      Thanks for the info. My husband uses his often while he is working on the computer, but they aren't that great. I'll pass the info on to him.

    • garagerob profile image

      garagerob 4 years ago

      I just bought the Klipsch Image S4 Version 2 and it is terrific. The comfort, the sound quality... wonderful!

    • JessCa LM profile image

      JessCa LM 4 years ago

      I think over the ear headphones feel more comfortable on the ear and also in some models could reduce the environment noise which is a great feature. And in ear types are compact and portable. So deciding which one is better depends on our use.

      Thanks for your lens!

    • GupteComputer profile image

      GupteComputer 4 years ago

      Klipsch is much better than both Beats and Bose.

    • profile image

      bdkz 4 years ago

      This lens is really helpful!

    • profile image

      topbuilderlist 4 years ago

      This is great as we open people's curiosity on the right headphones to use.

    • Tom Maybrier profile image

      Tom Maybrier 5 years ago

      @LadyFlashman: Ah, if only! But yes, they are really great, I use mine almost daily.

    • LadyFlashman profile image

      LadyFlashman 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      I wish I had found this lens a couple of weeks ago when I was searching for a new pair of headphones! I found a good pair eventually but if I had read this, well I would have been sold immediately. Klipsch seem like a great brand - I shall have to remember them for next time I need a new pair.

    • GregoryMoore profile image

      Gregory Moore 5 years ago from Louisville, KY

      I like Klipsch. The make some decent audio.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I never heard of the Klipsch brand. Thank you for the information. Great lens.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      Your lens is dangerous. LOL My kids would love these!

    • Board-Game-Brooke profile image

      C A Chancellor 5 years ago from US/TN

      This is a good topic! I received a pair of expensive earbuds as a gift and they were so uncomfortable I never used them. I have another pair I like, but I know they're going to wear out sooner or later, and they aren't getting good reviews now (apparently the quality has suffered). I'll keep these in mind.

    • Stacy Fordham profile image

      Stacy Fordham 5 years ago

      My most recent lenses are about headphones. I never knew there were so many different types and styles of headphones, earphones and earbuds available until I started making lenses about them.