Best Over Ear Headphones Under 100 Dollars | 2019 Reviews

While I do have some really high end audiophile headphones in my collection after years of reviewing headphones, I also have several affordable, quality over-ear headphones that cost me around $100 or less. I’ve owned a number of full-size, over-the-ear headphones including these wireless SkullCandy Hesh and Sennheiser HD 280 PRO.

While I’m at the gym or out and about I usually wear earbuds, I do prefer wearing these larger headphones at home. Over ear headphones are less portable and for me personally seem too bulky for traveling on flight or commuting. On the positive side, these full-size headphones sound more realistic and natural, and they provide great noise isolation.

Here are our top picks for under $100. We based our ratings on superior sound, comfort and style.

Best Over-the-ear Headphones for Under $100

Sennheiser HD 280 PRO Over-Ear Headphones

Sennheiser HD280PRO Headphone (new model) in black
Sennheiser HD280PRO

The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro is not the most stylish over-ear headphone set in this category. They are simple and black, but this doesn’t keep audiophiles from picking them among a plenty of other competitors. With an entirely plastic build they weigh only 300 grams.

Unfortunately they have an overly bulky look since both the headband and the earcups are covered in padded material. This padding can reduce noise of up to 32dB from seeping in and allows you to listen to TV, music or podcasts without any interference or any chance of others around you hearing what you are listening to.

Additionally, the headphones can be folded up, making them easy to store or travel with. The audio sounds good and clean in all frequencies. These headphones are ideal for studio use.

The quality of these headphones is what makes them among the best over-the-ear headphones under $100. Their comfort and audio quality come together to make an excellent listening experience, especially for in-studio pros, but also for people who simply want to enjoy great music.

These headphones have a flat response. Details in all types of music, including rock-and-roll, come across clearly. They also play refined sound in a somewhat well-balanced manner. Click here to see our reviews of other top Sennheiser headphones.

Pros

  • Attachable cable
  • Good noise isolation

Cons

  • Not very stylish
  • No mic or inline control

Sony MDR-7506 Over-Ear Headphone Reveiw

Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphones in Black
Sony MDR-7506

Sony MDR-7506 headphones are legendary and I think the best full-size headphones you could buy under $100.

Even if you look for headphones in the $150 range, we think these are still one of the best picks for you. Not only do these sound amazing, but if you are a treble lover, they are just fabulous! The treble is clear, energetic and bright.

The Sony MDR-7506 headphones are revered for their high sound quality, including excellent bass, mid-range and treble. These headphones are also durable and comfortable at the same time. They are great for casual listeners, but they’re also a top choice among professionals, including radio DJs.

You’ll be able to hear depth and nuances in music that you would likely miss with other headphones. They’re equally great if you’re listening to dialogue, such as from a podcast or an audio book. They come standard with an adapter so that you can use them with your home theater.

These headphones are built great and you won’t need to replace them in a few years, even if you use them often. The ear cups are replaceable in case they deteriorate over time and all of the parts have a one-year warranty. The headphones will also fold so that you can store them or travel with them.


Marshall Major II Bluetooth On-Ear Headphone

Marshall Major II Bluetooth On-Ear Headphones, Black (4091378)For those familiar with the original Marshall Major II I’m glad to say that the Bluetooth version delivers the same level of quality performance while doing away with the cord. The Marshall Major II BT version headphone pretty much looks the same as the corded version with the exception of having a micro-USB port located at the bottom of the right earpiece.

Pairing the device is simple, you only need to tap the Power/Pairing button twice to connect to a Bluetooth device. I did find locating the button a little difficult at first if you are wearing the headphones but got used to it quickly.

The headphone utilizes 40mm drivers that deliver 10Hz to 20kHz frequency response. This is quite similar to what the original Marshal Major II has under the hood but with a few upgrades. Bluetooth range is exceptional and goes above the 33 range. It even managed to maintain a stable connection as I moved around a couple of hallways.

It also features aptX technology which allows for clear and crisp sound quality comparable to CD players. The battery life is also quite impressive as it can be used for 30-hours straight on a single full charge. That battery life is something few can boast at this price range.

When it comes to audio quality the Marshall Major II Bluetooth certainly delivers in spades. It excels in producing music from genres that use powerful bass tracks and drum-heavy music. Bass heavy music will definitely have teeth-rattling experience which might overtake other elements of the song like the vocals.

Key Features:

  • Bluetooth aptX technology.
  • Built-in microphone.
  • 40mm dynamic drivers.
  • 30-hour battery life.

Our Rating:

  • Sound Quality: 9.5/10
  • Bass: 10/10
  • Build Quality/Design: 9.5/10
  • Fit/Comfort: 9/10
  • Battery Life: 10/10
  • Connectivity (Bluetooth stability): 10/10

Who would this be good for?

The Marshall Major II Bluetooth Headphone offers that quality you expect from Marshall and incorporating wireless technology for an even more convenient and portable experience. This headphone excels in delivering pulse-pounding heavy beats and is a good choice for audiophiles who enjoy modern electro and rock music.

Pros:

  • Highly detailed sound quality at a reasonable price tag.
  • Impressive Bluetooth range and stability.
  • Comfortable design.
  • Extremely long battery life.

Cons:

  • Powerful bass can overtake other tones

Plantronics BackBeat Fit 500 Headphone Review

Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500 On-Ear Sport Headphones, Wireless Headphones with Sweat-Resistant Nano-Coating Technology by P2i, Black

Plantronics BackBeat Fit 500 is an on-ear (supra-aural) headphone that offers quite an impressive feat in terms of overall performance and price range. Design-wise, it definitely delivers in terms of comfort with its headband that uses memory foam material. Ear pads are also well-made and comfortable, I found myself wearing this headphone for close to 4-hours straight without straining my ears.

The headphone casing is moisture-resistant and is covered with matte rubber. While this helps in preventing damage due to moisture, it does make the headphone quite susceptible to dust and I found myself regularly wiping it clean after using it outdoors for the day. Thankfully, the P2i Nano-coated casing can be easily cleaned with a piece of cloth.

Underneath the hood of each earpiece is powerful 40mm dynamic drivers which help deliver thick bass and clear sound. The buttons are located on the right earcup and are quite easy to operate even when you are wearing the headphone. It also features a helpful LED status light that tells you whether the headphone is paired or if its battery is low.

The microphone is somewhat average but I still managed to hold a conversation without much problem. As for battery life, the manual says the Plantronics has an 18-hour lifespan on a single charge. Of course, this depends on volume levels.

Sound quality is impressive with powerful bass and deep lows which makes this an ideal choice for fans of rock music. I tried using this at max volume and found that the bass does not distort at all. At recommended listening levels the tones are all well-balanced and crystal clear.

Key Features:

  • Moisture-resistant P2i Nano-coated earpiece.
  • 40mm dynamic drivers with advanced acoustic technology for optimum sound quality.
  • 18-hours battery life.
  • Bluetooth range of up to 33 feet.

Our Rating:

  • Sound Quality: 9.5/10
  • Bass: 9.5/10
  • Build Quality/Design: 9.5/10
  • Fit/Comfort: 9/10
  • Battery Life: 9/10
  • Connectivity (Bluetooth stability): 10/10

Who would this be good for?

While the Plantronics Fit 500 lacks in terms of accuracy, it does deliver the goods when it comes to impressive bass. The earpad is comfortable and as this uses the moisture proof material, it is a good companion to bring when working out as well. This is a solid high-quality wireless headphone that will not break the bank.

Pros:

  • Moisture-resistant coating.
  • 18-hour battery life.
  • Lightweight and comfortable.
  • Powerful bass.

Cons:

  • Lacks in noise cancellation.
  • Tends to slide off a bit if you tilt your head back.

Skullcandy Hesh 2 Bluetooth Headphone Review

Skullcandy Hesh 2 Bluetooth Wireless Over-Ear Headphones with Microphone, Supreme Sound and Powerful Bass, 15-Hour Rechargeable Battery, Soft Synthetic Leather Ear Cushions, Black

Skullcandy always manages to produce some eye-catching headphones and the Skullycandy Hesh 2 is no different. Their modern minimalist approach is quite popular with today’s consumers and the quality of their headphones are nothing to overlook either.

It features a three-button layout that is located on the right earpiece and also has a built-in microphone installed. I did find the location of the USB charging port to be a little cumbersome as you need to pull the headband back to access the port. While not a terrible design and having the port hidden has its merits, it was little awkward.

The sound quality is quite balanced, surprisingly so, based on the price. The bass is powerful and has a tendency to overtake the overall audio quality but nothing too jarring. The sound quality leans on the warmer side of the sound spectrum but it still manages to produce some sharp sounds.

Connecting the cord does affect the sound quality as it gives the treble and bass a little more punch. Some people prefer a little edge to their bass while some do not. It has a decent battery life at 15 hours on a single charge. Your smartphone will display the battery percentage of the Hesh 2 which is convenient, to say the least.

Key Features:

  • Supreme Sound Technology delivers powerful bass.
  • Soft synthetic earpad.
  • 15-hour battery life.
  • Back up AUX cable.

Our Rating:

  • Sound Quality: 9/10
  • Bass: 9.5/10
  • Build Quality/Design: 9/10
  • Fit/Comfort: 9/10
  • Battery Life: 9/10
  • Connectivity (Bluetooth stability): 9.5/10

Who would this be good for?

The Skullcandy Hesh 2 may not offer the best sound quality on this list but for its price tag, it definitely offers the best value for money. Well-designed, durable, and reliable, the Hesh 2 is a good choice for those looking for a quality wireless headphone that is well within a reasonable budget.

Pros:

  • Solid battery life of 15 hours.
  • Three-button configuration is easy to operate.
  • Comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
  • Decent sound quality.

Cons:

  • The minimalist design might be a turn off for some.
  • Not the most accurate, sound-wise.

Photive BTH3 Bluetooth Headphone Review

Photive BTH3 Over-The-Ear Wireless Bluetooth Headphones with Built-in Mic and 12 Hour Battery. Includes Hard Travel Case. Probably one of the most affordable qualities Bluetooth headphone you will find in the market, the Photive BTH3 may not have the overall power and clarity that high-end models have, but what it has is a balance between price and performance. The earpads are slimmer and do not offer too much in the way of cushioning your ears but it doesn’t necessarily mean this headphone is uncomfortable to wear.

The headphone is not foldable but does come with its own protective case for people who are often on the go. Pairing the headphone is as easy as you would expect. The blinking LED light will help you determine whether the device is connected or not.

Button controls are located on both the left and right earcups. The left earpiece holds the playback buttons while the right earpiece has the volume controls. When it comes to the control options, I always favor the ones that offer the most flexibility which the BTH3 delivers with its multiple button layout.

The built-in microphone is somewhat underwhelming though. I would suggest you not use the BHT3 when answering incoming calls as I have received feedbacks stating that my voice sounded a bit distant. The Bluetooth capability of the BTH3 is pretty good with a range of 33 feet.

In terms of battery life, the Photive BTH3 offers around 12 hours of play time when used at moderate volume levels. The headphone can be fully charged within 2 hours. As for sound quality, the BTH3 utilizes 40mm dynamic drivers but do not offer the same level of powerful bass expected of a headphone that uses 40mm dynamic driver. In fact, it seems that the BHT3 is designed for producing clear and crisp mid and high-frequencies.

Key Features:

  • 12-hour battery life.
  • Bluetooth CSR 4.0
  • Multiple onboard control configuration.
  • 40 mm dynamic driver.

Our Rating:

  • Sound Quality: 9/10
  • Bass:8.5/10
  • Build Quality/Design: 8.5/10
  • Fit/Comfort: 8.5/10
  • Battery Life: 8/10
  • Connectivity (Bluetooth stability): 9/10

Who would this be good for?

The Photive BTH3 is an affordable wireless headphone that offers great overall performance for the low price tag. While not as bass heavy as some of its competition, it does make up for it with a more balanced sound quality and better mid to high range frequency deliverance. Are there headphones out there that blow the BTH3 out of the water? Definitely. But with the quality performance it manages to deliver at the price range, it is at, few can match up to this cost-effective headphone within its price bracket. 

Pros:

  • Extremely affordable quality wireless headphone.
  • Lightweight and portable design.
  • Well-balanced sound.

Cons:

  • Bass is ho-hum.
  • The headband is not foldable.

Photive is a lesser known brand than many of the household names in this list but they do make some highly rated affordable headphones, mostly sold on Amazon. 


Best Open-Back Headphones:

Audio Technica ATH-AD700X 

If you like open-back, over-ear headphones which deliver bigger, wider and deeper sound than the closed-back type, look into the Audio Technica ATH-AD700X. Listeners find that the sound finds a way to escape and expand due to the opening at the back of the headphones. However, they don’t isolate noise well and their sound is significantly different from close-back.

Audio Technica ATH-AD700X Audiophile Headphones in Black
Audio Technica ATH-AD700X

Some people think this style can make music sound more realistic. If you have ever heard the sound of open-back headphones you would probably agree. It sounds dynamic, airy and full of details. However, high-ends are crisp but a bit edgy with this model. If you are very picky about the design and style, these won’t be for you. The earcups are large and bulky, but comfortable, and the flexible headband doesn’t seem to put much pressure on your ears.

When spending more money you would assume you will get richer sound and enjoy a more realistic music experience. This is true. Along with improvements in design and build quality you get the chance to explore more about the sound. These Audio Technica headphones bring out more details, and a lot of things emerge that you may have never heard before when listening to cheap headphones.

 


Plugged Crown Series Headphones

Plugged Crown Series Headphones in White
Plugged Crown Series Headphones

The Plugged Crown Series headphones don’t sacrifice style for the sake of being comfortable – they do both equally well. The finish is scratch-resistant, so you never have to worry about where you take them. Noise is isolated so that you can block out everything that’s going on around you.

The sound is solid and lively, and particularly impressive for a pair of headphones at such a low price. Music is detailed, delivering well on everything from vocals to bass.

One of the only drawbacks of these headphones is that they can be a bit heavier than the competition’s. That’s also part of what makes them so durable, though, so you can use them when you’re at the gym, running outdoors, working, etc. Their design is sleek and modern, similar to what you’d get with higher priced headphones.

Even the packaging is modern, akin to something you’d get from Apple or Bose instead of a bargain priced company. The band is lightly padded but the headphone cups fit so well around the ears that the band doesn’t put extra pressure on the head.


Skullcandy Hesh 2.0 Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless

Skullcandy Hesh 2 Bluetooth Wireless Over-Ear Headphones in Black
Skullcandy Hesh 2.0

Apple officially has removed headphone jack in their iPhone 7, and the audio world is slowly following suit. If you want a great, affordable set of wireless headphones look no further than the Skullcandy Hesh 2.0 Bluetooth wireless headphones.

The Skullcandy Hesh 2.0 headphones have a couple of especially good perks, namely the battery life and the remote control. The battery can last for up to 15 hours before needing to be charged again.

A the three-button remote control is easy to operate without looking at it and it works well. There’s also a microphone so you can talk to people on the phone through the headphones. Click here to see our full review of Skullcandy Headphones.

These headphones are somewhat comfortable to wear, but not as comfortable as others on this list. The noise isolation is better than average and the headphones hug the head only a bit snugly – some people may find that the fit is perfectly fine.

The sound isn’t ideal, either, but they sound okay for people who don’t care too much about high end quality, especially considering the price is this low you can’t really expect audiophile sound. Low sound quality is also a common issue with Bluetooth headphones. Unwired headphones don’t always sound as good as their wired counterparts. The headphones do come with a cord so that you can use them as standard wired headphones if you want to.


Audio-Technica ATH-M40x

Audio-Technica ATH-M40x Professional Monitor Headphones in Black
Audio-Technica ATH-M40x

The Audio-Technica ATH-M40x headphones have fantastic sound quality and are comfortable to wear, but the main drawback is that there is no microphone or remote. The headphones come in matte black with some gray details, and there aren’t other color choices available. If style isn’t your main concern, though, it won’t matter that the only option is the sleek black color.

The headphones are quite big, larger than many competitor’s headphones, but they’re still very comfortable even for long-term wear. The ear cups don’t overheat, either, even when the weather is warm. The headphones are comfortable and made well, and even though there’s minimal padding on the headband, you won’t feel pressure on your head over time.

The primary aim for these headphones is sound quality, which is why they don’t have a Bluetooth option. Two cables are included with these headphones: a straight cable and a coiled cable. The bass isn’t incredibly strong with these headphones, but it isn’t weak, either. If you like the bass to be toned down a bit, you won’t even notice. The vocals and guitars sound great and clear.


It seems that everyone is in the market for headphones these days, likely because there are so many more affordable models hitting shelves. Whether you want wired or Bluetooth headphones, We’ve rounded up the low-cost options above with for people with a budget of $100. It’s obviously a arbitrary amount but is a round number than many people look at when limiting their purchase. While you won’t get studio quality sound at this price there are plenty of options that will give you a comfortable over-ear fit with good enough sound quality for most listeners. When searching for headphones, you want to pay attention to things like build, sound quality and comfort. These over-ear or full-size headphones mimic the real experience of music better than other type of headphone.

 

Related posts:

Top 5 Best Over Ear Headphones Under $50 To Buy In 2018

 

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