Best On Ear Headphones Under $100

Votes 1 1
Rating 5 5
Overall Audio features Comfort Control Wireless audio features Wireless connectivity Battery
GRADO SR325e 7 7 7 inapplicable inapplicable inapplicable inapplicable Check price
Marshall Major III 7 6 10 6 inapplicable inapplicable inapplicable Check price
GRADO SR60e 6.5 6 7 inapplicable inapplicable inapplicable inapplicable Check price
GRADO SR80e 6.5 6 7 inapplicable inapplicable inapplicable inapplicable Check price
Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500 5.6 7 7 6 0 6 7 Check price
Skullcandy Grind 5.3 7 6 8 0 5 6 Check price
Plantronics BackBeat 500 5 5 7 6 0 5 7 Check price

In this review, I'd like to introduce you to a couple of affordable headphones that I've personally tested and which will be a bargain. If you have been looking for the best on ear headphones under 100 this review won't leave you indifferent. I provided each product with an overall assessment, as well as sound characteristics and a list of detailed advantages and drawbacks.

Why did I choose on ear models? Well, besides they are my favorite ones they are also popular among users of any age today. I think many will agree that the comfort of those is better than in over-ear analogs and sound quality is higher than in earbuds or in ear headphones. That's why they suit both for amateurs, who like listening to music while walking, and for real experts, who may use headphones on a daily basis for their job. So, let's now switch right to the topic to help you find headphones with great sound, fit, and design.

Best On Ear Headphones Under $100

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AKG N60NC - best overall

Our rating
6/10

AKG N60NC

This revealing pair from AKG can truly be called the best cheap on ear headphones – for less than $100 you’ll get literally the perfect appliance to listen to wherever you want. They have all the coolest features of the latest models of this brand but also have a few unique improvements, such as new metal alloy housing with super-low resonance. As a result, you get stable control of all levels of the frequency spectrum along with the well-known midrange of their predecessors. In other words, if you want to actually feel music nicely flowing through your ears – then the set of the semi-open AKG N60NC is exactly what you need.

The design of this wonderful pair is worth mentioning, too. Style of them reminds me of authentic studio headphones – the black leather headband with sliders to adjust your size and glossy aluminum on the edges of solid mesh grills. Build quality is sturdy and robust, ear pads are constructed to hang over your ears so that they keep them full of air and prevent sweating.

The headphones can’t be described as large, they fit nice on the head. The backlight of the NC button is made neatly, it turns green when turned on. There are no problems with wearing, the cups cover the ears almost completely, alas, there is no passive noise isolation here.

Technical characteristics include an impedance of 32 Ohm, the frequency response of 10 - 22 000 Hz, sensitivity about 111 dB, and a weight of 5.3 oz (150 g) without a cord.

Sound

This model can boast a wide natural soundstage, which allows you to hear separate music layers distinctly. I agree with other experienced listeners, who say that on N60NC they heard aspects of audios they had never heard before. The headphones provide you with real punchy bass, letting you feel the actual sound of electric guitar or drums. Mids sound just as smooth as possible and treble is perhaps the cleanest among all the previous series. And a big advantage is the possibility to hear all instruments separately and lively, so just enjoy the life-like depth of sound every time you put these premium-quality cushioned pads on!

AKG N60NC

Key specs

  • Enclosure: semi-open
  • Impedance, Ohm: 16
  • Frequency response: 10Hz-22KHz
  • Sensitivity, dB: 111
  • Weight, g/oz: 150/5.3
  • Battery life, hrs: 30
  • aptX: no
  • aptX HD: no
  • Official website
  • Full specs

Pros

  • Warm sound with realistic texture, perfect for rock, jazz and all kinds of instrumental music
  • Pads that can rotate up to 360 degrees, unbreakable metal construction
  • New cable design which reduces a transient distortion
  • Aesthetic plain packaging

Cons

  • Old 2.5/0.04 inch mm connector
  • Ear cups aren’t suitable for long listening sessions, foam might feel too rough at first
  • Low-mids lack depth

Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500

Our rating
5.6/10

Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500

Finally, these are a perfect solution if you were looking for budget headphones with good performance. In my opinion, they deserve to be among the top Bluetooth on ear headphones under $100. Both well-built and designed they will catch the eye immediately. The packaging is minimalistic, however, you still get everything essential - a 3.5mm cable, a micro-USB charging cable, and the headphones themselves. The model is available in black, white, gray, and lime colors. The headband and moisture-resistant earpads are covered with memory foam so that long listening sessions won't bring you discomfort. The headband is equipped with retainers, that help you to adjust the fit from ear to ear. On the external side of the right cup, you'll find all necessary control buttons such as the button for Bluetooth pairing, answering and finishing the call, navigation through the playlist. The separate volume rocker is positioned on the left. I should admit that Plantronics managed to create quite a simple and convenient setup, which truly is a rarity. Overall, design makes them look not only stylish but secure and appropriate for any workout routines.

The headphones come with a closed back enclosure, have 32 Ohm impedance, 5-20000 Hz frequency response, 92 dB sensitivity, and weigh only 5.46 ounces (155 g). They support the 4.1 version of Bluetooth but don't support aptX or aptX HD. One of the most important features is their listening time – this model can keep playing through 18 hours, so you can spend all day listening to your favorite tracks or talking and not being worried about the battery. Plus it takes only 90 minutes to make 0% battery full and there's a possibility of connecting two devices simultaneously.

Now let’s sort out everything about the sound.

Sound

Lows showed up to be quite pounding, but not enough for training listening – beats are muffled every time you hit the floor, so you won't get a habitual hyped rhythm. Mids are a little bit less than perfect. Voice of vocalists can't be heard properly because of the instrumental roar. Highs are good, let you hear all ranges of treble and even some refined pickings. And still, they can lack the depth and width of sound for true music lovers.

Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500

Key specs

  • Enclosure: closed back
  • Impedance, Ohm: 32
  • Frequency response: 5Hz-20KHz
  • Sensitivity, dB: 92
  • Weight, g/oz: 155/5.4
  • Battery life, hrs: 18
  • aptX: no
  • aptX HD: no
  • Official website
  • Full specs

Pros

  • Modern design with cool color options
  • Easy control built-in buttons on ear cups
  • Surprisingly good sound, with nice bass handling for their price
  • Ample padding on the inner side of cups makes them very comfortable to wear
  • Compact and completely wireless

Cons

  • Battery time turns out to be less than promised – about 15 hours of actual durability
  • Not meant for some training, such as high-intensity or water workouts

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