A good pair of earbuds can make all the difference when it comes to a fun, fast-paced workout and the kind where you’re just going through the motions. But buying earbuds for working out comes with very different considerations than when shopping for more basic use-cases like listening to music for leisure.
Indeed, qualities like waterproofing, durability, in-ear security and even situational awareness become very important to look out for. But squeezing all that into the sub-$100 range can be quite the task.
Best Earbuds for Working Out Under $100
Down below is our handpicked list of the best earbuds for working out under $100. All of the earbuds on this list present at least some of the qualities you’ll be looking for in a decent, exercise-friendly earbud. That said, true audiophiles should definitely check their expectations at the door when it comes to jaw-dropping sound — the goal here is to be both a capable earbud for working out and be as affordable as possible.
- Price: $79.99
- Brand: 1More
The 1More True Wireless Earbuds are, anecdotally and statistically, considered one of the best earbuds for working out under $100 in terms of both sound and build quality. Tuned by a grammy award-winning sound engineer, the 1More True Wireless earbuds sport serious sound for the price point and are built with a Qualcomm chip with aptX and AAC compatibility to prevent any skips or drops while engaged in high-speed activities like running or cycling.
The only drawback to the True Wireless earbuds for working out is their lack of an IPX rating for waterproofing. Otherwise, these appear to be one of the best earbuds in terms of sound quality in the sub $100 range.
- Price: $79.99
- Brand: Beats by Dre
Tailor-made for exercise, the Powerbeats cater extremely well to athletes and gym rats looking for both quality and security. With 15 hours of playtime and lightning-fast connectivity through its Apple H1 chip alongside high sound quality, as far as earbuds go the Powerbeats are as competitive as any other at the price point.
What makes them especially useful earbuds for working out is the secure-fit earhooks and tether and the IPX4 water-resistant rating that makes it generally sweat-proof. Just don’t submerge them.
- Price: $54.94
- Brand: Jlab
The Jbuds Air Icons offer an almost shocking level of versatility and durability for the price range. With an IP55 rating, the earbuds are resistant to both sweat/water as well as dust and other physical debris and boast the added distinction of customizable EQ3 sound modes that can be switched between on the go.
Many users report them as being comparable, if not better, than the standard Airpods when it comes to sound quality — even if the Bluetooth range is lesser and the iOS connectivity understandably superior. The headphones do however support 18+ hours of playtime and a sleek, lightweight case that makes it handy for in-pocket travel.
- Price: $79.95
- Brand: Aftershokz
Okay, so they’re not technically earbuds — but, in this case, the best earbuds for working out under $100 might not be earbuds. The Aftershokz don’t actually play through your ears — they play through your skull. That’s because they use bone conduction sound transmission, sending sound frequencies straight to your inner ear via your cheekbones.
They wrap around your head and might look to some like a Cyberpunk 2077 accessory but, by leaving your ears open, provide some salient benefits in terms of overall situational awareness and the ability to use your phone/hold conversations. The sound isn’t 100% comparable to in-ear earbuds — but still good — but it’ll let you hear that car coming up on you from behind and possibly save your life.
- Price: $44.99
- Brand: Taotronics
The Taotronics are essentially waterproof, offer a ridiculous 50-hour playtime, and sport an extra-small carrying case that lends itself extremely well to in-pocket carrying and for use in rugged conditions. Sound-wise, the Taotronics won’t knock your socks off and are likely outperformed by other earbuds on this list, so keep that in mind if you’re purchasing a general-purpose set of earbuds.
That said, with the waterproof IPX8 rating and extra small case that fits snugly in a pair of gym shorts, the Taotronics just might be one of the best earbuds for working out under $100 for those looking for durability and mobility.
6. Tozo NC9
- Price: $59.99
- Brand: Tozo
For $59.99, the Tozo NC9 offers some pretty wild all-around specs and features. With three-layered hybrid noise-canceling, IPX6 water-resistance, and — perhaps most importantly — impressive sound quality with extra-large drivers. The earbuds provide 8 hours of playtime with a single charge and over 24 hours through the reportedly sturdy and efficient charging case.
The only drawback to the Tozo NC9 is an apparently questionable call quality — though something that the comparatively higher sound quality might make up for with some people.
7. Vankyo S400
- Price: $59.99
- Brand: Tozo
The Vankyo S400 Sports earbuds are the most durable earbuds for working out under $100, sporting a top-tier IPX8 waterproof rating. You can even swim for short durations with these earbuds on. On top of that, the Vankyo S400 comes with ear-hooks to keep them secure in your ears, together making them a great pair for serious athletes who are constantly on the move and spend a lot of time drenched.
One of the neater features of the Vankyo is its reversible charging case that can even be used as a power bank in an emergency.
- Price: $49.99
- Brand: Mpow
The Mpow Flame Solo is a highly secure, IPX7 water-resistant pair of headphones that lend themselves extremely well to explosive movement. Design-wise, the moldable ear-hooks are superior to hardened plastic alternatives, remaining comfortable for longer periods of time than stiffer counterparts.
Design-wise, the Mpow excels but gives ground in the sound department with reportedly decent sound, but nothing that will blow Airpods out of the water. Overall, however, the Mpow Flame Solo stands confidently at the intersection of respectable sound quality but excellent build quality.
Still haven’t found the earbuds you’re looking for? Don’t sweat it. Let us know the kind of specs, features you want and the use-cases you’re looking to cater to and we’ll get back to you with a few tailor-made recommendations.