Best Over Ear Headphones Under $100
Alright bargain hunters, we're playing your song!
If you're on a budget, but want then best quality over ear headphones for less than one hundred dollars we've done bit of digging to help you out!
But before you make the choice to buy, please read why we chose these headphones specifically. That way you'll be empowered with the knowledge to make educated buying decisions yourselves! Do your best to learn from the mistakes that I, and a few of my friends have made when investing in a great set of cans.
Features to look for
With budget at the forefront of the deciding factor, we can't have all the features that make over ear cans truly amazing. So there are a few things you need to focus on when making this purchase.
The first place most companies are going to try to cut corners is with the comfort of the listening products, unfortunately. So look for a pair of headphones that has more than enough padding on the headband and earcups. And make sure there's no seams running vertically on your new cans, this can be a sign of REALLY cheap effort.
And if you're a glasses wearer that's buying online, don't be afraid to buy multiple pairs to find the ones that work best with your glasses. After all, you probably paid more for those specs than you're going to pay for these headphones, so make sure they play well together.
Actually let me suggest that if you're buying truly the best cans for comfort then you should buy multiple pairs every time. Because what I've found is that most of these companies have more than lenient return policies. So take advantage of that mess!
Wired or Wireless?
You need to go wired if you're wanting to keep quality intact with headsets that are less than $100.
Even with headphones that are upwards of $300 there is some loss of quality somewhere, so there's really no question that you should go with a wired option for these. Especially because most wired devices will come with a mic that's attached to the cable along with the music controls.
Unless you just like 'phones that have terrible sound and little to no redeeming features...
Open Back Or Closed Back?
This follows the same line of thinking as wired or wireless. An open back pair of headphones, that performs well, is like a fine wine that comes with an acquired taste. And an open back pair of headphones for under $100 is like a bottle of wine you can buy at the gas station. You really don't want to make that decision, my friend.
So stick with closed back headphones for the best over ear headphones under $100.
Again you'll wind up getting more features because they will have more room to fit all the good stuff in, the same way that you got the added bonus of the mic and volume controls by choosing a wired option instead of wireless.
Features to sacrifice to preserve sound quality
Ok, we've gone over the good, and now let's look at what you don't NEED. You might decide that some of these things are must haves, and that's your choice. This is completely subjective.
Active Noise Cancelation
This is a feature that would probably cost and additional $100 to do well at all. So rather than wasting your time with a sub par product that does a few things halfway well, just toss this out for a product that does sound and other things REALLY well!
And most people who have been listening to above average headphones know that the passive noise canceling you get from just having the devices over your ears is of better quality than active noise canceling.
Look, if you want bass blasting cans that are affordable, just get a pair of beats. Just kidding, but seriously a bass booster feature on a pair of headphones under one hundred dollars is almost seen as a crutch.
If the headphones can't perform well enough on their own to deliver a quality bass frequency, then why should you have to pay extra for this feature?
Best Over Ear Headphones Under $100
If you've dabbled at all in audio, you probably have a memory or two of sitting hunched over on a Marshall amp, listening to your friends jam for hours. Well Marshall has brought that nostalgia to the headphone industry, keeping all of the visual elements of their iconic amps. These cans are laden with polished brass, thick genuine leather, and that ever-clean Marshall sound!
And for less than a hundred bucks, these pieces of history can be yours.
The distortion free sound that Marshall is famous for has carried into their stunning headphones. Remember, Marshall wasn't coasting on their stylish looks or superstar endorsements for so many decades, this company knows how to produce GREAT sound! The overall sound of these headphones is full bodied with some pretty bright mids and trembling lows. It brings back the nostalgia of plugging in a bass guitar and jamming to some KISS. Heaven.
Of course these aren't the end all be all of headphones. The highs get a bit too bright for our taste. And the treble switch that comes pre installed isn't really worth paying the extra money for. If you want a piece of history though, these are the cans to go with!
Thankfully Marshall did a great job of staying true to their roots of being a purely sound oriented piece of equipment. The inline mic with a single button isn't favored by many, but to us, if you're really getting these to listen to music and not trying to do business from these headphones, it works just fine.
One of the other great features is the removable filters inside the ear cups! These filters couldn't be easier to replace, all you have to do is remove the magnetic ear cups and lift the filter off...done! Once the filters are removed you get a whole new sound signature! The vocals get brighter, the mids kick just a bit more, and the bass stays about the same.
The genuine leather padding on the headband and ear cups makes these cans incredibly comfortable. It's not like you're wearing a cloud, there's a noticeable weight on your ears, but it's like a hug more than anything. That sounds a bit...off, but that's just the way it is folks!
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Audio Technica ATH-M40x
It's no secret that ATH is one of our favorite brands on this site. They've done such an amazing job with studio quality headphones like these, and made them affordable for the average person. The ATH-M40x is no exception! If you're looking to get a quality pair of studio headphones on a bootstrap budget, look no further my friend.
The ATH-M40x are studio quality headphones with an emphasis on deeper sound genres like hip hop or heavy metal; therefore, it makes them an ideal fit for DJs or legit audio professionals. The highs in these headphones come out a bit too bright and distorted, but the mids in to the lows offer a fantastic sound quality that's hard to beat at the less then $100 price point!
These cans offer considerably more features than the Marshall headphones for sure! Including wireless capabilities with the extra adapter, 98 db sensitivity, and 1600mW input power. What this translates to is some SERIOUS audio power for those who need it. You will need a driver to fully realize the power of these cans, just playing from your iphone won't quite unlock their TRUE potential.
While these aren't as comfortable as the Marshall headphones, in our opinion, they are some of the most comfortable headphones around. The feaux leather padding on the ear cups and headband allow for a little bit of breathing, but for long listening sessions in warm conditions, you'll definitely need a break every now and then.
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The Avantree brand burst onto the audiophile scene a few years ago, boasting their superior wireless listening quality with optional aux cord, they've been a decent pair of cans. At a price of less than a hundred dollars though, they're promising a lot that most companies can't squeeze into that tight of a budget. You might be pleasantly surprised though 😉
Let's all bear in mind that what we're going to be judging this particular pair of headphones on is their WIRELESS sound capabilities. Just for those who aren't aware, wireless headphones are notorious for an underwhelming amount of quality...but here's to hoping!
Thankfully there's no distortion that comes through when listening wirelessly, but you still end up feeling like there needs to be a bit more. And the fact that we're working with a smaller pair of over the ears means that there's not really room for a 40mm driver in there. So don't expect face melting bass or crystal clear highs. This set of cans is a step above others in the wireless over the ear headphone category, but still leaves you wanting just a bit more.
If sound quality isn't your thing though, and you're ok with having stylish wireless headphones, then these are the cans for you!
The bluetooth range, battery life, and almost overly sensitive mic seem to do a fantastic job of making up for the lack of sound quality (in the opinions of audiophiles)! With a 40 hour play time, you're not going to kill these headphones very easily. The bluetooth "touch to connect" capability and 30 foot range is just as impressive.
Their also some of the lightest pairs of headphones we've ever held!
These earned a solid 7 out of 10. They're really light, but at the same time feel a bit rigid on your head. The ear cups swivel a bit to track with your head, but not enough to make them feel like they're a part of your head like other headphones for this price.
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