Getting a good in-ear monitor is not a very easy thing, especially if you are on a tight budget. Headphones have been getting more and more popular, which is why their price goes up all the time. The newer brands with latest features can sell for a couple of hundreds of bucks. So, if you cannot afford getting the high end models and you have to settle for a lower price, there are some IEMs that you can take into consideration. Keep reading for the best IEM under $100.
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Compared to the over-ear headphones that are bulky, IEMs are discreet and offer a stylish touch to your look. Also, because of their snug fit, some of them offer great noise isolation too. So, if you’ve made your mind about getting a budget friendly IEM, here is the list with few quality sound IEMs for you.
1. Sony MDR-XB41EX
If you are keen on high-quality bass, the Sony MDR-XB41EX is the pair of earbuds you can go with. All lists of best headphones for bass are including this pair, and on most of the reviews, it is the winner of the battle.
The Sony MDR-XB41EX IEMs comes with a shirt clip, user manual and few pairs of ear tips. The ear tips are of high quality ensuring a tight fit and a good noise isolation, preventing any external sound from interfering with your music.
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On the other hand, these earphones might not be the best choice for very active people. Especially if you plan to use them while working out. Still, the overall construction is very good and it is a highly durable pair of headphones, which is the reason they made it to our list of the best IEM under $100. There are no weak components and the glossy plastic case can withstand harsh treatment. Lastly, the cables are tangle free, made of quality materials and don’t break easily.
- Good passive noise cancelation
- Great for those who like a good bass
- Reputable brand
- No in-line control option
2. Shure SE215
This pair of earphones evolved from personal monitor technology used by professionals for many years, which is why the Shure SE215 is a pair of professional headphones with comfortable sound isolating sleeves. Thy are able to block up to 37 dB of ambient noise making them great when you are in crowded places.
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Comfort-wise, they are lightweight with a low-profile shape and optimized nozzle angle. Additionally, they come with high-quality, reinforced cable for more durability. The over the ear configuration makes sure that the cables aren’t in your way and don’t bother you. However, if you don’t want cables at all, there is a solution for that too. There is a wireless version available, model SE215, and can find them on Amazon following this link.
The gold plated MMCX Connector is impressive. It features a lock-snap technology which allows you to rotate it 360 degrees. Convenience-wise, the soft zip case is very helpful. Your headphones will never again get tangled. Regardless of where you go, you’ll be able to take one of the best IEM under $100 with you.
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- Very comfortable
- Balanced sound
- Noise isolation
- Wireless version available
- Weak low frequencies
3. HiFiMan RE-400
These IEMs are budget friendly and with reasonable performance. They have good sound quality and come in a silver matted finish. Also, they offer multiple silicone earbud tips to suit different sizes. They have a titanium diaphragm and a neodymium magnet. These, together with the OFC copper cabling are very effective in reducing stethoscope effects.
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It is easy to notice that HiFiMan keeps on improving the quality of their products, including the RE-400 model. This version ensures delivery of great sound with a more robust strain relief. We like the fact that these earbuds are very compact and the silicone ear tips (single flange and bi-flange) allow you to customize the way they fit. This also makes them great for long use for the times when you are traveling or taking a long walk. Definitely one of the best IEM under $100.
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They are well balanced and have the connectivity you need. With the L plug (3.5mm), you can easily connect them to your tablet or smartphone and enjoy some cool music. Also, you can wear the earphones with the wires over or under.
- Balanced frequency response
- Quality zipper pouch
- Compact aluminum housing
- Good ear tips
- Could sound weak for some users
4. Sennheiser Momentum IEMs
This Apple iOS model of Sennheiser Momentum IEMs features a well-designed, tangle free oval cable. It also has a 3 button in-line remote with an integrated microphone. This pair is custom machined and features stainless steel housing with low resonance characteristics for a better sound. In fact, the sound is amazing due to the high-quality dynamic transducers. They produce high output level with very low distortion.
These headphones offer a great ear canal design that minimizes ambient noise. You are also getting several differently sized ear tips included for a personalized fit.
As a pair of very affordable IEMs, these earphones are great for multiple-uses. I was most impressed by the powerful bass they offer, especially for such lightweight IEMs. But keep in mind, these earphones aren’t made to be used by those who want to work out with music. You would need to get a suitable type of earphones for your training sessions.
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- Very comfortable
- Quality output
- Punchy bass
- Lightweight and stylish design
- Quality build
- Mids can lack for certain types of music
5. Thinksound ms01 IEM
The Thinksound ms01 headphones feature a high-def driver and passive noise isolation. These in-ear monitors are great for those who value sound quality in a very stylish package. The design of these in-ear monitors comes from a collaboration between the CEO of Thinksound, who is also an Audio Engineer, and a lot of Grammy winning producers and musicians.
These headphones have won their place in the list with the best IEM under $100 offering great performance and most importantly high quality sound.
Unlike other types of budget IEMs, they offer great performance with a well detailed output, even on high volumes.
Comfort-wise, their design is ultra-lightweight with a reduced driver diameter for better ergonomics. Still, what keeps me impressed is the passive noise cancellation. Additionally, the Thinksound ms01 IEM features eco-friendly PVC free cables. The pair comes with a cotton carrying pouch and with active lifestyle ear hooks for the times when you are on the move.
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They feature a hand crafted, sustainable, wood housing. Although this wood housing is known for enhancing sound reproduction, it also looks incredibly cool and makes it one of the best IEM under $100.
- Great sound
- Stylish, wood-housing
- Carrying pouch
- Eco-friendly design with tangle free cables
- No Bluetooth option
Finding a great set of earbuds under $100 can be a challenge. Finding earbuds that are robust enough for everyday use is even harder. The IEMs listed here will deliver in both categories. And for less than $100, they are definitely worth considering.