14 Best Over-Ear Headphones Under $100 In 2018

(Last Updated On: June 22, 2018)

Full-size headphones are becoming more and more popular every day. They maybe aren’t as popular as earbuds, but they certainly have very important place on the market. In this article, we will present to you 14 different models of over-ear headphones under $100.

As you will see, some of them are more expensive than the others, but we were trying to find the best products in every price range. The most expensive ones are there for a reason and we think they are really worth the price, while the cheapest ones also have a lot to offer in their own price range.

In addition, we will try to give you some basic information about over-ear headphones, point out their main advantages and show the best way to complete the purchase successfully.

Which Type of Over-Ear Headphones is Most Popular?  

As you probably already know, there are three basic types of over-ear headphones: open-back, semi-open and closed-back. Their names show you immediately the main difference between them – ear cup design.

Open-back headphones have open ear cups. Their front sides look like meshes and you can often even see the speakers inside the cups. They pick almost all ambient noise and leak enormous amount of sound.

Semi-open headphones have partially open cups. They do pick less background noises and leak less sound, but they definitely don’t solve those problems completely.

Closed-back headphones solve most of these problems. Although they aren’t perfect, most of closed-back models manages to isolate the biggest part of ambient noise, especially low ones and they do leak significantly less sound than other types of headphones.

The most popular type of these three is definitely closed-back model. Closed-back headphones are the most popular full-size headphones not only on the market, but also on our list of the best over-ear headphones under $100. They have deserved that thanks to their design, which allows you to preserve not only your own privacy but also the privacy of other people around you.

Semi-open and open-back headphones deliver some kind of surround sound that makes you feel like you’re listening to music in a room. The music is a bit distant and it does less harm to your ears. Some people like that, but these headphones can’t be used in crowded places as they leak too much sound and people around you really don’t want or need to know what are you listening to.

On the other hand, closed back headphones isolate you from your environment, but they also isolate your environment from you. In comparison to other headphones, they leak small amount of sound and they are more appropriate for commuting, traveling, working in an office, etc. It is better when they have active noise cancellation (ANC), but at this price point, you can’t get more than good passive noise isolation.

Best Over-Ear Headphones Under $100 – Comparison Table

Over-Ear HeadphonesRatingPriceReview
Mpow 0594.6Check PriceRead Review
Cowin E74.1Check PriceRead Review
Sony MDRV64.6Check PriceRead Review
Avantree4.4Check PriceRead Review
Audio-Technica ATH-M40x4.4Check PriceRead Review
Skullcandy Crusher4.4Check PriceRead Review
Symphonized Wraith 2.04.4Check PriceRead Review
Audio-Technica ATH-M30x4.4Check PriceRead Review
AKG K 2404.3Check PriceRead Review
Sennheiser HD 2024.2Check PriceRead Review
Skullcandy Hesh 24.2Check PriceRead Review
Sennheiser HD 2064.1Check PriceRead Review
JVC HARX3004.1Check PriceRead Review
Sennheiser HD2804.3Check PriceRead Review

When you click on “Check Price” you will be redirected to Amazon.com.


What are the Most Important Advantages of Wearing Over-Ear Headphones?

Over-ear headphones are very popular nowadays. The earbuds may still have leading position, but we can’t diminish the role that full-size headphones play in our lives and on the market. They have downsides like all other products (they are often bulky, they aren’t the most portable, they are heavier than smaller headphones), but they also have many advantages that make people buy them so often.

Comfort

Over-ear headphones are called full-sized headphones for a reason. They are the largest headphones on the market. Anyway, that doesn’t have to mean that they aren’t comfortable. Many people choose them mostly because they are.

While earbuds go inside your ear canal (which can be annoying and often very painful) and on-ear headphones can hurt edges of your ears (which also causes discomfort), over-ear headphones have ear cups with thick and spacious ear cushions/pads that go around your ears. That way, your whole ear will be inside the cushion and if you choose the model with the right shape and size of ear cups, there shouldn’t be any pressure or pain.

Sound quality

Although all types of headphones can have bad or amazing sound, people often say that nothing can compare to the sound of good over-ear headphones. That happens because these headphones are the largest and their large ear cups hide the biggest drivers that convert electrical signal into sound. The main rule is – the bigger the driver the better the sound. Because of that, these headphones have the widest frequency response and they can produce very deep bass as well as very clear and smooth highs.

However, not only the drivers help create such a great sound. The shape and design of their cups also contribute to the quality of the sound. As we have previously said, open-back, semi-open and closed-back headphones produce different kinds of sound. They can all be good and your choice depends mostly on your preferences and headphone purpose.

Noise isolation

ANC is something that all headphones can have, but that feature usually costs much more than passive noise isolation, which all closed-back headphones have thanks to their design and that’s something that other headphones can’t brag about.

Passive noise isolation (noise reduction) means that headphones physically isolate ambient noise because they seal around your ears preventing background noises to enter the cups. Thanks to that feature, you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to isolate yourself from the rest of the world.

The List of 14 Best Over-Ear Headphones Under $100 in 2018


1. Mpow 059 Bluetooth Headphones Over Ear

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Mpow 059 are affordable headphones that can be used as both wired and wireless. They offer many possibilities for a reasonable price and that makes them so popular among numerous satisfied customers.

 What’s in the box?

Mpow 059 come with one 4ft 3.5mm audio cable, one USB charging cable, soft carrying bag and user manual.

 Things we like

One of the things we like about these headphones is the variety of colors they are available in (black, red, blue, green, silver, grey and pink). The colors are nice and the design is very attractive.

The headphones are designed as Bluetooth headphones, but in case you run out of battery, you can always connect the audio cable to the plug on the left ear cup. On the right ear cup, you can find all the controls as well as built-in mic for hands-free call answering. The controls are very accessible and the buttons are quite big and nicely arranged. The bigger circle contains volume controls and separate buttons for skipping tracks. The inner and smaller circle contains one big button that is used to play/pause music, answer/end calls as well as pairing button. The two circles are separated with a ring that is actually status indicator and it shows you if the headphones are on or off, if they are in pairing mode or they are already paired with your device.

Mpow 059 weigh only 8.8 ounces. They have nicely padded adjustable headband and closed-back ear cups. The ear cushions are quite soft and they seal tightly around your ears in order to provide better noise isolation. In addition, the ear cups are adjustable and movable, and the headphones are completely foldable, which makes them not only comfortable, but also highly portable.

Sound quality is decent for the price. You won’t sense true, deep and strong bass, but there’s enough of it for casual listening. The mids and the highs are quite nice, as well. The headphones use 40mm drivers, their sensitivity is 122 dB, the impedance is 30 Ohms and frequency response range from 8Hz to 24 kHz. They also use Bluetooth 4.0 technology with 33ft signal range and passive noise isolation CVC 6.0 technology. They have very durable battery that offers up to 13 hours of listening to music and even 15 hours of talking on the phone.

 Things we don’t like

Starting from the design, we must say that we don’t like glossy finish on these headphones, as well their dimensions. All the headphones with glossy finish are always covered with fingerprints and that looks quite unhygienic. Also, the headphones are strangely shaped. They do look modern, but they can look rather bulky depending on the shape of user’s head.

Mpow 059 have big problem with microphone because it can be used only in Bluetooth mode. They also have problems with ear cushions. Although the headphones isolate up to 10dB of ambient noise, which is quite great for headphones without ANC, they manage to do that mostly because the ear cushions are relatively narrow and they can even be small and uncomfortable for people with bigger ears.

In addition, we have to say that the headphones work nicely with portable devices as well as PCs, but if you want to connect them to your TV, you’ll have to find a separate Bluetooth adapter. Also, they require incredible 4.5 hours to completely recharge, so don’t count on them when you need a quick charge.

Comparison Table


2. Cowin E7 Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones

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Cowin E7 aren’t cheap headphones, but they are quite a steal if you take into consideration what they offer. It really seems that they have covered all the areas. By buying these headphones, you get everything you might need or want from a pair of headphones. With their 40mm drivers, 32Ohm impedance, 75dB sensitivity and frequency response that ranges from 20Hz to 20KHz, E7 are great choice for any ordinary user.

 What’s in the box?

Cowin E7 come in rather elegant box. The headphones are nicely tucked in some kind of foam that protects them during transport. Besides them, you will get carrying case, 3.9ft audio cable, USB charging cable, user manual and warranty card.

 Things we like

There are many things we really love about these headphones. They have interesting design and they have made an improvement by introducing two more colors besides regular black, so you can get them in purple and blue, although you have to pay a few bucks more for those colorful versions.

E7 are primarily Bluetooth headphones, but the manufacturer provides you with an audio cable and you can use them as wired headphones in case you run out of battery. The 3.5mm port is on the right ear cup, as well as all the other controls (on/off button also used for answering calls, volume controls also used for skipping tracks, ANC button, Bluetooth button and built-in mic). On the left ear cup there is just micro USB charging port. The headphones also support NFC pairing.

Nice paddings on the adjustable and flexible headband and swiveling ear cups that can be rotated up to 90 degrees make these headphones so comfortable. The ear cushions are very thick and soft, the wholes are quite deep and your ears can lay there comfortably. Also, clamping force is negligible and they won’t put much pressure on your head.

E7 sound very decent for the price. They have nice and distinctive mids and highs. Nothing special really, but quite satisfying. The bass is very good and although it is present, E7 aren’t made for bass heads. The headphones use Bluetooth 4.0 with good signal range and the battery can last from 24 to 30 hours. They also support quick charging and you will get an hour of work for only 10 minutes of charging. The ANC works in both wired and wireless mode and does a great job cancelling background noise.

 Things we don’t like

It is really subjective feeling, but we prefer matte finish as it eliminates those ugly fingerprints all over the cups. Also, E7 are really big headphones that weigh 13 ounces and look a bit bulky on head.

When it comes to durability, we have some serious warnings. The headphones might seem quite strong and the headband might be made from metal, but the truth is that some customers had problems with it cracking, especially at hinges, so be careful with them.

Regarding sound quality, we have to mention that most of the problems causes ANC because it changes the quality of sound, making it slightly dry. In addition, these headphones do leak great amount of sound, which is surprising for a pair of closed-back headphones.

Comparison Table


3. Sony MDRV6 Studio Monitor Headphones with CCAW Voice Coil

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Sony is the company that has been one of the leaders on the market for many decades. Even some pieces of their audio equipment are on the market for decades, just like MDRV6, the headphones with 40mm drivers, frequency response that goes from 5Hz to 30KHz, with 106dB sensitivity and impedance of 63Ohms. These are probably the best professional headphones at this price range.

 What’s in the box?

Sony sends you only the basics – the headphones, 6.3mm plug adapter and one protective bag.

 Things we like

MDRV6 have retro style and we really love it. They really stand out in the pile of modern bulky headphones. Their simplicity and effectiveness make them so attractive for numerous buyers.

They come only in black color with blue and red marks above the cups. The blue side is left and the red is right. On the left side, you have non-detachable 10ft coiled audio cable. The ear cups swivel and the headphones are foldable, which makes them highly portable. The metal headband is very strong and it can be adjusted to the size of your head. The ear cups are closed-back and they have thick and incredibly soft ear cushions that are also easily replaceable. The headband doesn’t have too much padding, but as many satisfied customers say, it is enough.

The headphones weigh approximately 10 ounces, which makes them relatively lightweight. They are very comfortable and they can be worn for many hours straight without causing any pain or discomfort. They are also very durable. With occasional ear cushion replacements, you can use them for 10 or more years on a daily basis and they will still work perfectly.

When it comes to sound quality, we really don’t have to say anything but “excellent”. The sound is very clear and crisp, the mids and highs are very distinctive and the bass is excellent, although bass heads wouldn’t love it. If you are a musician or you just love natural sound, these headphones are a must-have equipment for you.

 Things we don’t like

We can’t really say that there is something we don’t like about these headphones. They are made to be professional studio headphones. From that point of view, you can’t really find any flaws, except that they aren’t the best professional headphones in the world.

However, from the point of view of an ordinary person looking for the “on the go” pair of headphones, the problem is their non-detachable and too long audio cable. Also, they don’t have ANC and they do leak certain amount of sound, which might not be too comfortable for frequent travelers or commuters.

All in all, they are more “stay at home” headphones.

Comparison Table


4. Avantree Audition Bluetooth Over-the-Ear Headphones

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Avantree is not as popular as Sony, but they definitely make exceptional products that you can get at very affordable prices. Avantree Audition are Bluetooth headphones with 40mm drivers, impedance of 32Ohms and frequency response that goes from 20Hz to 20KHz,

 What’s in the box?

These headphones come with USB charging cable, audio cable with 3.5mm connector, user manual and 2-year warranty card.

 Things we like

Avantree Audition look better than it could be expected from the headphones at this price point. They come in black color with a few red details. One of the things that we love is that perfect matte finish that gives these headphones the touch of elegance because they will never be stained with disgusting fingerprints that our fingers leave on headphones with glossy finish.

The controls are located on the left ear cup. There are power on/off button that is also used for pairing, volume controls, mini built-in mic, USB charging port and 3.5mm port for connecting audio cable in case you run out of battery or you simply don’t want to use Bluetooth.

As far as comfort is concerned, Avantree Audition are very light and relatively comfortable. They weigh only 6 ounces, they don’t have strong clamping force and the ear cushions are quite thick and soft, which enables you to wear these for hours without problems. Also, the cushions are replaceable, so you can buy different ones separately in case you find the original ones uncomfortable.

Sound quality is surprisingly good. They have great and strong bass and clear highs and mids. They are also quite loud and they also manage to isolate you from most of the ambient noise with only passive noise isolation technology. They support Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC technology. The signal will be great even at 33ft distance and the battery will last for amazing 40 hours per single charge.

 Things we don’t like

First of all, we have to say that it would be much better if the headphones were foldable, because it would be easier to transport them.

Second of all, we would like some extra padding. The headphones aren’t uncomfortable and the headband is adjustable and quite soft, but more padding would only make things better. Also, many customers have been complaining about the size of the cushions as they are apparently too small for some people. But that’s a minor problem because you can replace them with more comfortable and bigger cushions.

Last of all, we have to mention that Avantree Audition leak significant amount of sound although they are closed-back headphones, so be careful about the loudness of your music in public and crowded places.

Comparison Table


5. Audio-Technica ATH-M40x Professional Monitor Headphones

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Audio-Technica makes products that are very popular among different types of customers. With 40mm drivers, 98dB of sensitivity, 35Ohm impedance and frequency response from 15 Hz to 24KHz, ATH-M40x offer great quality for reasonable price, so it is no wonder that ordinary people love them as much as professionals do.

 What’s in the box?

ATH-M40x come in a nice cardboard box. The headphones come with a nice black soft carrying bag, user guide, one straight 3m long cable, one coiled 1.2m to 3m cable and one 6.3mm plug adapter because both cables end with 3.5mm connectors.

 Things we like

ATH-M40x are made from plastic and metal. They are quite durable, but they are also extremely comfortable. They weigh 6.7 ounces and besides from being so light, they have many other characteristics that enable you to wear them for many hours without any major problems or discomfort.

The headphones have metal headband. It can be extended and adjusted to the size of any head. It is also well padded, so it can’t hurt the top of your head or put any pressure on it. The ear cups can swivel and the headphones are foldable. That makes the transport quite easy, especially when you know that carrying bag comes with the headphones. The ear cushions are big and thick. They are covered with faux leather, very comfortable and big enough for all ear sizes.

Audio-Technica 40x are wired headphones and on the left ear cup, you will find 3.5mm port for detachable cable. It is really great that Audio-Technica sends two cables because you can use the straight one at home or outside, while the coiled one is better for studio usage. However, you will always have spare cable if one of them breaks.

When it comes to sound quality, ATH-M40x deliver exceptional sound just like all the headphones from M series. It is very natural and detailed with great lows, clear vocals and crisp highs. The cups are closed so the headphones manage to isolate great amount of ambient noise, even though they don’t use ANC cancellation.  

 Things we don’t like

We really love ATH-M40x headphones and, considering the fact that they are professional studio headphones, we can’t say that they have many flaws, but we have to mention some disadvantages that become obvious when you take them outside.

ATH-M40x have really unattractive design. They come in black color with some silver details (mostly concentrated on the front part of the cups where the AT logo is). There are so many consumer headphones out there that look much more attractive that these.

On the other hand, we have to mention that they are more “stay at home” headphones, which is confirmed by the presence of two long audio cables, which are not the most suitable for outdoor use.

In addition, although they have good build quality, ATH-M40x are plastic headphones and they can sometimes crack on the hinges.

Comparison Table


6. Skullcandy Crusher Headphones with Built-in Amplifier and Mic

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Skullcandy is one those companies that makes great job designing their headphones. As you can see, this specific model is available in many different colors (15 to be exact). The price varies depending on the design, but all of them cost less than $100. They have two types of drivers, 32Ohm impedance and frequency response that goes from 20Hz to 20KHz. They aren’t perfect but they do offer decent quality for the price.

 What’s in the box?

Skullcandy Crusher come in an interesting box with detachable audio cable with 3.5mm connector, large and quite thin carrying bag and one AA battery that you will need if you want more bass.

 Things we like

When it comes to Skullcandy products, you have to love their colors and these headphones aren’t exception. You get to choose between 15 colors and prints, from basic black and white to models with stripes, printed small flowers, military prints, etc.

The headphones are wired and the positive thing about that is that the AUX cable is detachable. Because of that, it will be quite easy to replace it in case it gets damaged. The cable is inserted into the left ear cup where the AA battery and bass control button are located.

10 ounces of weight is a bit too much for all-plastic headphones and the padding doesn’t look so soft, but the headphones are in general very comfortable. They feel light on your head and they don’t putt much pressure. The ear cushions are very thick and soft, and there is also enough space for ears to lay nicely and still be well isolated from ambient noise. The headphones are also foldable, which makes them highly portable.

These headphones are made for everyday use with portable devices such as phones and players, and that proves their 32 Ohm impedance. They use two types of drivers. One of them is REX40 and the other, Sensation 55, enables you to feel deep and strong bass, but it has to be powered with AA battery. The battery offers you up to 40 hours of playback and if you run out of it, you can still listen to music, although the sound won’t be so bassy.

Besides listening to music, you can also use these headphones to answer calls, as the mic is located on the control pad on the audio cable.

 Things we don’t like

Although the Crushers are very interesting headphones, you can’t forget that they are made from plastic and that you have to be careful with them if you want them to last. They are foldable, but they aren’t so flexible and the cups can’t swivel or rotate.

One thing that could be annoying is the shaking sound that comes from the left ear cup where you insert the battery. It appears any time you move and it gets worse if you are walking, so the only way to shut it out is to turn on bass control button and let the bass take over.

You should also be aware that these headphones don’t deliver amazing sound. Bass heads will love the bass, but the rest is even below the average. It is not as clear and natural as the sound of some other headphones, but these were in fact made to be bass headphones, not professional ones.

Comparison Table


7. Symphonized Wraith 2.0 Over-the-Ear Headphones

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What do you think of when name Symphonized is mentioned? Of course, headphones made from real wood that deliver great sound. You can find them in many shapes, made from different kinds of wood, but we have decided to present to you the model called Symphonized Wraith 2.0 that is available as both wired and wireless. The wireless version is slightly more expensive, but the price still remains below $100. They have 32Ohm impedance, 18Hz to 22KHz frequency response, their sensitivity is 107dB and they use 40mm drivers that produce great sound.

 What’s in the box?

The headphones come with one big carrying bag made from cotton and two Y-shaped 1.2m long braided nylon cables. One of them has inline mic that you can use to answer calls. The cables have 3.5mm angled connectors and jacks that are inserted into the cups are reinforced with wood.

 Things we like

There are so many things we like about these headphones. The looks, the way they sound, and the build quality really manage to surprise and excite you.

When the design is concerned, we have to admit that Symphonized makes unique headphones. Wraith are over-the-ears headphones with big swiveling ear cups. Marks L and R are printed on the inside of the left and right ear cushions. On the bottom of the headphones, you will find two plugs where the Y-shaped cable is inserted. The cups are closed-back and they manage to isolate great amount of low frequency noises. Their front side is made from wood that comes in different colors and the colors in fact depend on the type of wood used. You get to choose between maple, walnut and cherry.

The materials used for building these headphones are stunning. It is mostly wood and metal. Leather-like materials are used only for the ear cushions and the padding on the headband. The cups are made from different wood types and the hinges and the headband are completely metal, which creates amazing feeling that these headphones are so stable and strong that they can last a lifetime.

Symphonized Wraith deliver amazing sound. The bass is deep and powerful, the mids and highs are distinctive and you really get the surround sound feeling when using these headphones. Some users say that the sound gets even better after some time when you let the drivers break in. It may be because of the wood, but the fact is these headphones sound way better that you would expect.

 Things we don’t like

First of all, Symphonized Wraith 2.0 have cable-related issues that cause microphonics every time it touches your clothes or some object, which can really destroy the impression you get about their sound. Anyway, if you want to avoid that, you can always buy wireless version.

Second of all, we have to mention that some customers complained about slightly muffled sound, but some also said that it could be solved by removing the foam below the ear cushions.

Last of all, we have to warn you that these headphones, although quite comfortable and well-padded, weigh more than average full-size headphones, but if you buy headphones made from wood and metal, you should expect something like that. Also, the cups might be a bit small for people with bigger ears and they certainly won’t be comfortable if you are wearing glasses.

Comparison Table


8. Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Monitor Headphones

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One more product from M series of Audio-Technica, ATH-M30x is on our list of the best over-ear headphones under $100. Slightly heavier and more expensive than M-20x, they make an improvement and their performance manages to satisfy even some audiophiles. Being mostly made for studio work (mixing, tracking and recording), they might not be extremely popular among customers who want stylish headphones with bassy sound – they are made for those who appreciate natural sound and decent durability. They have 40mm drivers, 47Ohm impedance, their sensitivity is 95.5dB and frequency response goes from 15Hz to 20KHz.

 What’s in the box?

ATH-M30x come with non-detachable 3m long straight rounded cable, one 6.3mm plug adapter and one thin carrying bag made from some kind of faux leather.

 Things we like

ATH-M30x aren’t the best headphones made by Audio-Technica, but they do offer more than previous models. They are extremely comfortable headphones that you can wear for at least 4 or 5 hours straight without feeling any discomfort or pain and some people can wear them even longer. The manufacturer has reached that level of comfort by making light headphones that weigh less than 8 ounces and by adding thick paddings to the headband and ear cups. The headband is adjustable and you can extend it to provide better fit. The ear cups have thick and relatively soft ear cushions made from foam and covered with faux leather. They seal nicely around your ears isolating great part of ambient noise and leaving enough space for ears to lay there comfortably.

The headphones are mostly plastic, except from the metal headband, but they seem very durable and there were no major complaints about the build quality. In spite of the materials used, the headphones are very flexible, especially the headband. The cups can be rotated up to 15 degrees, they can swivel and the headphones can be folded by pushing them from the top, which makes their transport a lot easier as they occupy less space.

When it comes to sound quality, we have only positive things to say. If you love natural detailed sound, you will love these headphones, because these were made to show you how your favorite songs really sound. The bass is present, but not too emphasized. We can even say that they deliver the right amount of bass. The mids and highs are quite clear, as well as the vocals. In addition, the headphones manage to passively isolate most of ambient noise, while leaking minimum sound.

 Things we don’t like

Although we realize ATH-M30x are studio headphones, we must notice some things that could be improved to make them more appealing for other customers.

Starting from the design, we must say they are quite boring. They come in only one color, just like all the headphones from M series and the shape is really not attractive. They aren’t ugly, but it would be better if they were available in more colors.

The next problem is too long non-detachable cable that can really be annoying if you want to use these outside your house or studio. You can always find a way to shorten it by using a winder or something similar, but the fact that you can’t replace the cable in case it gets damaged, but you have to buy completely new headset, can be quite a problem.

Comparison Table


9. AKG K 240 Semi-Open Studio Headphones

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AKG is well-known brand among professionals. This specific model, K 240 Studio headphone, is an upgrade from the previous K 240 Monitor and it offers more than you could expect from affordable studio headphones. They definitely aren’t the best professional headphones, but you get decent looks, decent build quality and great sound for not so big amount of money. They manage to be so good because of 104dB sensitivity, 55Ohm impedance and frequency response that goes from 15Hz to 55KHz.

 What’s in the box?

The headphones come in a nice box with AKG logo and printed specifications in different languages. There are also 3m straight detachable cable with 3.5mm connector and one 6.3mm plug adapter.

 Things we like

AKG K 240 Studio headphones are good looking headphones. We like their shape, the matte black color and the big rounded ear cups. They have big ear cushions that are spacious even for bigger ears and it seems that the headphones are big enough for bigger heads, The headband is thin and self-adjustable. It might seem too thin and you might want to look for headphones with at least some padding, but these are pretty comfortable the way they are.

The audio cable is detachable, which is really great, especially because of the specific cable port on the left ear cup, which guarantees secure lock. The build quality is very good and the headphones seem quite durable, in spite of being completely plastic. They weigh 8.5 ounces and the clamping force is quite small, so the headphones won’t put too much pressure on your head and they will be comfortable for extended wearing.

The most surprising thing about these headphones is the sound they deliver. They aren’t the best or the clearest professional headphones, but they certainly offer a lot for the price. Although they have smaller 30mm drivers instead of the usual 40mm drivers, the sound is pleasant, balanced and, although the bass could be deeper and stronger, the mids and highs are clear and they generally sound very natural and detailed. The distortion is bigger than the distortion on some Sennheiser models, but it is nothing alarming really.

 Things we don’t like

There is just one flaw when the design is concerned. It is subjective feeling, but we must mention those golden details on the ear cups that look rather cheap and even ugly. They are too shiny and the impression would be much better if they were silver.

When it comes to sound department we don’t have real complaints. We just have to warn you that the bass might seem too flat to some people. Also, be aware that these are semi-open headphones and that they absorb almost the same amount of ambient noise as open-back models. They also leak significant amount of sound, so think twice before taking them to some bus. They also don’t have mic, so you can’t use them to answer calls.

In addition, we would like to suggest replacing the ear cushions with some velour models. The original ones are quite thin and a bit stiff. The velour pads are softer, they allow ears to breathe more and they can be bought for a few dollars.

Also, the headphones are quite big and they aren’t foldable. That also means they aren’t very portable, especially because they don’t even have their own carrying bag.

Comparison Table


10. Sennheiser HD 202 II Professional Headphones

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Sennheiser is one of the most popular audio companies in the world. Its name is synonym for quality and professionalism. We have chosen this model not because this is their best product, but because it offers great quality (32Ohm impedance, 108dB sensitivity, 18Hz to 18KHz frequency response) for quite a low price in comparison to other headphones with Sennheiser signature.

 What’s in the box?

The headphones come in a simple transparent box with the 6.3mm plug adapter and cable winder.

 Things we like

The headphones have very unusual and minimalistic design. They don’t have any details, but they do have the most important things that every decent pair of headphones should have – high comfort level and amazing sound quality. Of course, they have flaws, but it could be expected at this price point.

HD 202 II are quite thin and very light, as they weigh only 4.5 ounces. The headband is adjustable and it is enough to slide it along the cups in order to find the best fit for your head. The thick and soft padding will definitely make them even more comfortable. The ear cups are closed and they have thick soft cushions that manage to isolate ambient noise very well.

As far as sound quality is concerned, we must say that Sennheiser didn’t disappoint us. The headphones deliver very natural and clear sound. The sound is very detailed and enriched with deep powerful bass. Professional DJs love these headphones mostly because of the bass. However, they have low impedance and they will be excellent for using with everyday portable devices such as phones and players because they don’t require serious power supply.

 Things we don’t like

The headphones have Y-shaped 3m long straight cable that is not detachable, which might cause problems if it gets damaged. If so, you can’t replace the cable by yourself, but you have to look for professional help. Also, the cable is poorly made, so it is prone to damaging and it often causes one of the cups/speakers to stop working. It is also quite long for wearing in pockets. The cable winder might help, but it will still be annoying to wear something so long everywhere you go.

The size of the cups is specific and not everyone will like it. It is somewhere between on-ear and over-ear and, although they are advertised as over-ear headphones, it depends on the size of your ears how the pads will feel. The headphones aren’t foldable, the cups don’t swivel and the fact that they are made entirely from plastic makes HD 202 II relatively sensitive and difficult for transporting, especially because they don’t come with any carrying bag.

Comparison Table


11. Skullcandy Hesh 2 Bluetooth Wireless Over-Ear Headphones

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This is the second Skullcandy model on our list of 14 best over-ear headphones under $100. There are several reasons why we include Skullcandy so often in our lists. They have more available designs, colors and prints than any other company and they also manage to preserve good sound (35Ohm impedance, 105dB sensitivity, frequency response from 18Hz to 20KHz) and build quality as well as good prices. Hesh 2 are Bluetooth headphones, but there is also wired Hesh 2 version and it is available in more colors and color combinations (28 to be exact). Wired version is also cheaper.

 What’s in the box?

The headphones come in an interesting box with detachable AUX cable with 3.5mm connector, USB charging cable and one carrying bag.

 Things we like

The first thing that everyone notice about these headphones is their design. The wireless model is available currently in only three colors (black, blue and silver), but the wired version has much more to offer. The design is very appealing and modern, and the great thing is that the headphones can be used as both wireless and wired. That really means you can never run out of battery – you just plug in the audio cable and you are good to go. The USB charging port and the port for AUX audio cable are on the left ear cup, while the multifunctional button, the mic and volume controls are placed on the right ear cup.

The controls are highly accessible, especially volume controls that have the shape of one big + and one big -. The headband is flexible and its size is adjustable. It is made from plastic, but it behaves really well and it seems quite durable. There were no major complaints about the build quality. The cups can swivel and they have very thick and soft foam ear pads that are covered with synthetic leather. Being so thick, they manage to isolate great amount of ambient noise.

The sound is great for the price. It is not perfect and the bass could be stronger, but it is definitely there and the mids and highs are very clear and pleasant. The headphones are quite loud and they can be used for listening to all kinds of music, especially electronic music. You can also use them for answering calls as the built-in mic works very nice and it doesn’t muffle your voice. The battery will last from 12 to 15 hours, which is more than enough for most of regular activities.

 Things we don’t like

Skullcandy Hesh 2 are available in only three colors currently (black, grey and blue) and the number of colors should definitely be increased. Three basic colors don’t fit really well in the famous Skullcandy image.

On the other hand, we have to mention the size of the cups/pads. They are thick and relatively soft, but they are smaller than the average over-ear cups and some customers find them too small for their ears. They say that the headphones start hurting their ears after some time, so these aren’t the best choice if you want to wear them for many hours straight.

As far as sound is concerned, we have to notice only one flaw. Although they are very loud, we can’t deny that they leak great amount of sound for a pair of closed-back headphones.

Comparison Table


12. Sennheiser HD 206 Lightweight Over-Ear Headphones

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These headphones are very specific because they don’t have any particular purpose. They aren’t the best nor the worst, but they have quite affordable price. They can be used in studios as well as at home, by DJs or by any ordinary person. They aren’t very demanding and with the impedance of 24 Ohms, they are more than convenient for using with phones, players, tablets and even TVs. They also have sensitivity of 108 dB and their frequency response goes from 21Hz to 18KHz, which make Sennheiser HD 206 more than decent headphones.

 What’s in the box?

It seems that Sennheiser doesn’t pay much attention to the design or the following equipment when it comes to cheaper products. The headphones come in a really simple box with one 6.3mm plug adapter.

 Things we like

Sennheiser has made great improvement with HD 206 model in comparison to the HD 201. They sound and feel much better than some previous models. They weigh only 5.8 ounces without the cable. The headphones are made from quality plastic. The choice of materials makes them very durable, although not indestructible.

HD 206 are very comfortable and very thin in comparison to other full-size headphones that often look rather bulky on your head. The headband has very soft padding, it is quite flexible and its size can be adjusted to the size of your head. The cups have oval shape, they are rather big and the pads should be able to completely cover your ears isolating great amount of background noise. They are also very flexible and they can swivel, which makes them more adjustable.

As far as the sound quality is concerned, HD 206 are great. The sound is balanced, very clear, detailed and natural. The bass is very present, but not too emphasized, and the mids and highs are very distinctive. The headphones offer very good soundstage and we are sure that you will enjoy them if you like that kind of sound.

 Things we don’t like

In our opinion, these headphones don’t look really good. They aren’t ugly, but they are too simple and they come in only one color.

The ear cushions are rather thin in comparison to average ear cushions on over-ear headphones and they look rather cheap. Some customers have complained about the ear cushions being uncomfortable and that’s probably because they don’t have the necessary thickness, which would probably cause less pressure on your ears, especially if you are wearing glasses.

HD 206 do sound good, but they could be a bit louder. They could also leak less sound – it might be difficult to use these headphones when commuting as people around you would be able to hear your music. Also, the cable is too long (10 feet) and if you don’t have cable winder, it will be difficult to use these outside the house. In addition, it is very thin for this kind of headphones, it is not detachable and it doesn’t have inline mic.

Comparison Table


13. JVC HARX300 Full-Size Headphones

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JVC HARX300 are budget headphones that give you only as much as it could be expected from headphones that cost as these do. Nothing more and nothing less. These headphones have only some basic features and if you need them just for casual listening, you will be satisfied. They have 40mm drivers, their impedance is 32 Ohms, sensitivity is 100 dB, frequency response goes from 12 Hz to 22 KHz and, as you can see, they are quite decent headphones.

 What’s in the box?

As you could expect from relatively cheap headphones, you don’t really get any serious equipment. HARX300 come in a partially transparent plastic box with 6.3mm plug adapter.

 Things we like

Although it may surprise you, we like the design of JVC HARX300. They are simple and they come only in black color, but the shape and the finishing lines are very appealing. The headband is plastic and quite thin. The lack of padding might worry you, but many customers confirm that they are surprisingly comfortable, especially because they weigh less than 7 ounces and have normal clamping force. The ear cups are rounded and the pads are thick and soft. They are also very spacious, so be sure that there will be enough room for your ears. The headphones aren’t foldable but the cups can swivel and it makes their adjustment easier.

The headphones are made from plastic but many customers say that they are surprisingly durable. Some customers had problems with headphones cracking on hinges, but we think that HARX300 can last for a long time if used properly.

Sound quality is satisfying considering the price. HARX300 are advertised as “extra bass” headphones and they do offer a lot of bass, so bass heads will be very pleased.

 Things we don’t like

One of the things we would like to change about these headphones is the headband. It is kind of comfortable but some padding would look and feel nice, especially for bold people as this kind of headband might hurt their head.

The bad thing is that the bass overwhelms the mids and the highs. In fact, it sometimes feels that you get only the bass and nothing else. That’s fine if you love bass, but we would prefer more balanced and less distorted sound.

In addition, there is that 8ft long audio cable. It is not the longest on the market, but it can certainly be annoying if the headphones are used outdoors. It is also very thin and it doesn’t have mic, so you can’t use these headphones for answering calls.

Comparison Table


14. Sennheiser HD280 Pro Headphones

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The next pair of headphones on our list is also made by Sennheiser. They are called HD280 Pro. These headphones may not be the cheapest, but they are definitely worth every dollar. HD280 Pro come with frequency response that goes from 8 Hz to 25 KHz, their impedance is 64 Ohms, sensitivity is 102 dB and their THD is less than 0.1%, which indicates great sound quality.

 What’s in the box?

The headphones come in the simple, partially transparent box, with the 6.3mm plug adapter.

 Things we like

HD280 Pro are professional headphones made primarily for mixing and recording. They are great choice for DJs as well as any ordinary person who loves the kind of sound these headphones deliver.

HD280 look very comfortable and they really are. They have closed-back ear cups that manage to reduce up to 32dB of ambient noise and that’s mostly because of the very soft and thick ear cushions. They are very spacious, but at the same time they seal nicely around your ears. That way, they isolate background noise and prevent sound from leaking. The padding on the headband is also thick and comfortable and the good thing is that both padding and the cushions can be removed and replaced in case they wear out.

The headphones are entirely made from plastic, but they are quite durable and firm. They are quite light (7.8 ounces), the headband can be adjusted to the size of your head and it is also quite flexible. The cups can be rotated and folded, but they can also swivel, which makes their adjustment and transport much easier. They can even be worn on one ear only, which makes these headphones good choice for DJs.

When it comes to sound quality, we think that it is enough to mention the name Sennheiser and anybody will understand how good the sound is. If you’re looking for headphones that deliver extremely clear, natural, crisp and detailed sound, you should definitely buy these.

 Things we don’t like

Sennheiser HD280 Pro are great headphones and they really don’t have many flaws. The comfort level, sound and build quality are great. However, there are some problems that we should warn you about.

The main problem is the non-detachable cable. Although the manufacturer claims that the cable is replaceable just like the cushions and the padding, that’s not true. In case it gets damaged, you can order a new one, but you would be forced to go to some store and ask the professionals to replace the cable. It would be much better if the cable was detachable, as that would make the headphones more portable and the cable replacement would be easier.

On the other hand, the 3.3-9.8ft long coiled cable is a bit too long to be used outside as it is really difficult to put it in pocket and walk around with it.

In addition, we have to warn DJs that these headphones, although they deliver almost perfect sound, don’t have very strong bass, so that might be something to consider before purchase.

Comparison Table


Basic Steps of Over-Ear Headphone Purchase

In the end of our article about the best over-ear headphones under $100, we will give you some basic instructions and show you how the process of choosing perfect pair of headphones should look like. There are only three basic steps you should follow if you want to get the pair of headphones that suits best your needs and wishes at affordable price.

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Step No. 1: Define your price range

In our opinion, defining the lowest and the highest amount of money that you want or can spend on a pair of headphones is the most important thing that cuts the time spent on searching at least in half.

People often start reading adds without defining their budget. That way, they spend their precious time reading about many headphones they can’t afford. We wanted to point that out and help you find your perfect headphones faster.

When you define that your price range is, for example, 20 to 100 dollars, you filter your search and Amazon will show you only the models that fit into that budget. It’s easier, faster and it allows you to focus more on features of the offered headphones.

Step No. 2: Define the purpose

After you have defined your budget, you can take the next step and that would be defining the purpose of your headphones. That means you have to know what do you need them for and in which situations you want to use them. For example, we have different models of headphones on our list. Some of them are made to be used in studios, the others are better for casual use at home and some of them are good for both indoor and outdoor use. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you can’t sometimes take studio headphones and wear them while walking on the street or riding on a bus, but you should be aware that they often don’t offer as good sound isolation as some other headphones and that they often have those long annoying cables that are hard to put in pocket.

The important thing is to define how often you are going to use the headphones in specific situations and buy those that are most suitable for that specific circumstances.

Step No. 3: Analyze specifications and main features of the product

The next step is to read carefully the specifications of a certain product because the specifications reveal their nature and show you how the headphones can be used. Here are some of the most important features you have to pay attention to:

Impedance

Impedance defines the amount of power that your headphones need in order to work properly. The newest versions of headphones, even professional ones, don’t require serious power supply and they can work fine with phones, players, etc. However, be aware that impedance of 32Ohms or less is the best for portable devices. It could be bigger and your headphones will work nicely with your device, but not much bigger.

Frequency

Frequency response is very important because sound quality depends on it. Human ear can hear the sound that spans from 20Hz to 20KHz and almost all the headphones have the same frequency response. However, you will often see headphones, mostly professional headphones, with even wider frequency range, which often comes in handy for DJs.

Total harmonic distortion (THD)

When drivers convert electrical signal into sound, they always distort it. The important thing is how much the driver distorts the signal. Ideally, THD should be lower than 1%, but you can’t really expect something like that from budget headphones. You should be looking for the ones with the lowest THD.

Sensitivity

Sensitivity is the measure of sound pressure level for a certain wattage and it is measured in dB/mW. The loudness of your headphones depends on the sensitivity, so if you like loud music, you should be looking for headphones with high sensitivity.

Drivers

Drivers are speakers in the ear cups or ear buds and the sound quality partially depends on their size. The bigger the driver is, the better the sound will be. Over-ear headphones usually have 40mm drivers, but sometimes they can be smaller or even bigger (even 50mm large).

Materials the headphones are made of

It may seem to you that this is not such an important thing, but it really is. At this price point you can’t expect all-metal headphones, but you can at least look for some headphones with metal headband or those made from quality long-lasting plastic.

Not all models on our list of 14 best over-ear headphones under $100 complete all the previously mentioned conditions, but we were trying to form the list from different models of headphones and there is something for everyone. Some of them will come in handy as short-term replacement headphones, while the others are made to last and indulge all your needs.


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One Comment

  • Rebecca

    I found mixcder E7 anc headphone looks like cowin E7. and mixcder is cheaper than cowin. Don’t know which one to buy?

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