Best Cheap Headphones for 2024: Top 10 Under $100 Compared

Finding top-quality budget headphones isn’t easy. They often feel cheap, and fears about their durability can make picking a pair tough. To help, we’ve sourced 10 budget headphones that offer a similar level of audio quality and design to higher-end models without the hefty price tags.

In this article, we review and compare the best budget headphones based on a number of aspects, including sound quality, price, and noise cancelation, to help you make the right pick.

The 10 Best Inexpensive Headphones You Can Buy

We’ve determined that the SteelSeries Arctis 1 is the best cheap headset. Priced at $99.99, it comes with a removable Bluetooth dongle that you can plug into your mobile device for convenient connectivity without the cables. This makes it one of the best budget Bluetooth headphones. Let’s see how it compares to the rest:

  1. SteelSeries Arctis 1 — The best budget headset overall as it uses the same high-quality speaker drivers as premium options and has an intuitive companion app that allows you to easily adjust the audio.
  2. Razer Kraken — Offers custom-tuned drivers and rich surround sound with comfortable and immersive gel-infused cushions.
  3. Soundcore Anker Life Q20 — Boasting around 60 hours of battery life, this wireless set is one of the longest-lasting good cheap headphones.
  4. Philips SHP9500 — Experience a wider sound stage with its open-back design and unparalleled clarity with its gold-plated acoustic system.
  5. HyperX Cloud Stinger — A true budget headset option at only $49.99 with noise-canceling features and an impressive boom microphone that offers superb chat quality.
  6. Srhythn NC25 — Comes equipped with active noise cancelation that blocks up to 90% of the ambient noise. It’s also wireless and boasts 50 hours of playtime.
  7. JBL Tune 510 BT — This on-ear set is budget-friendly and features JBL’s Pure Bass Sound for optimal bass levels and an enhanced low range for deeper bass without distortion.
  8. Turtle Beach Recon 70 — A fantastic budget option from a leading brand that’s compatible with any device. This set offers superior microphone recording quality at a low price of just $39.95.
  9. Phoinikas H-1 — Top pick for comfort as it has extra-padded memory foam earcups. The bold design makes this set perfect for gamers and one of the best budget over-ear headphone options.
  10. Bengoo G9000 — Has bright LEDs, memory foam earmuffs for extra comfort during extended use, and noise-canceling technology for a mere $45.99.

Reviewing the Best Budget Headphones on the Market

With so many cheap headphones on the market, finding one that will fit your needs could prove a challenge. Here’s a look at the market’s top 10 budget headphones so you can make an informed purchase.

1. SteelSeries Arctis 1 — Overall Best Budget Headphones

If you’re looking for the best inexpensive headphones, look no further than the SteelSeries Arctis 1. You can use them with almost anything, from consoles to mobile devices. The Bluetooth dongle is easy to use and boasts a range of about 30 feet or 9 meters, making them the best budget wireless headphones on the list.

With award-winning drivers that emphasize subtle yet critical sounds, these budget over-ear headphones are sure to give you a great experience for up to 20 hours. What’s nice is that you can get them for just $58 if you go for the wired option.

SteelSeries Arctis 1 - Best Budget Headphones

Price Type Compatibility Drivers Frequency Range Connectivity Battery Life Mic Noise Canceling
Starting at $99.99 Over-ear Console, PC, and Mobile 40mm 20Hz to 20kHz Wireless/wired Up to 20 hours Yes Yes

Featuring ultra-low latency at 2.4GHz, you can be sure that the audio will be accurate and true. Plus, the set only weighs 1.32lb, making for easy portability, and it has an on-ear control system for simple and convenient control.

These headphones are durable and long-lasting thanks to the steel-reinforced headband, unlike other flimsy budget models.

This standout headset is perfect for both gaming or on the go, and there’s a 6-band equalizer available in the companion app, which allows you to adjust the audio precisely to your liking. Plus, it’s received the internationally recognized and prestigious Red Dot Award for good design and innovation in addition to top-notch quality.

Pros

  • Long-lasting 20-hour battery life
  • Microphone is detachable
  • USB dongle is compatible with Android devices
  • Superior build quality

Cons

  • No surround sound effect

2. Razer Kraken — With Custom-Tuned Drivers and Software-Enabled Surround Sound

Boasting 7.1 surround sound in a lightweight aluminum frame, the Razor Kraken offers immersion and all-day comfort and is one of the best-wired headphone sets on the market.

The improved cardioid microphone is noise-isolating and retractable, offering crystal clear sound and convenience, while the gel-infused cushions have little-to-no pressure build-up on your ears, meaning they keep cool.

Razer Kraken

Price Type Compatibility Drivers Frequency Range Connectivity Battery Life Mic Noise Canceling
Starting at $79.99 Over-ear Console, PC, and Mobile 50mm 12Hz to 28kHz Wired N/A Yes Yes

The Razor Kraken is compatible with everything from consoles to mobile devices, although the software-enabled surround sound is only available on a 64-bit Windows 10 machine.

Once you’ve registered your headphones on Razor ID using a serial code, you can download the 7.1 surround sound package. This enhances the positional audio to provide a lifelike audio experience.

This wired set also comes in various colors and boasts quality that professionals love, and with its built-in volume control, setting the volume couldn’t be any more effortless. It’s easy to see why this is one of the best budget gaming headphones.

Pros

  • Superior sound quality
  • Comfortable design
  • Clear microphone

Cons

  • Earcups don’t rotate

3. Soundcore Anker Life Q20 — Offering up to 60 Hours of Listening Time

The Soundcore Anker Life Q20 is a no-fuss set with basic features like a micro-USB and straightforward active noise cancelation. It might be missing the more advanced features, like a companion app, but that’s no surprise seeing that it costs just $59.99.

Finding budget-friendly noise-canceling headphones can be challenging. However, with this set, the noise-canceling algorithm has been fine-tuned to reduce ambient noise by an impressive 90%, making it easily among the best budget noise-canceling headphones.

Soundcore Anker Life Headphones

Price Type Compatibility Drivers Frequency Range Connectivity Battery Life Mic Noise Canceling
Starting at $59.99 Over-ear Console, PC, and Mobile 40mm 20Hz to 20kHz Wired and Bluetooth Up to 60 hours Yes Yes

The headphones offer treble up to 40kHz for optimal clarity and exceptional detail. If you like added bass, double-tap the play button – this enhances the low notes and will add depth to anything you listen to.

The set’s battery life is superb, as it offers up to 40 hours of noise-canceling play time and an even longer 60 hours if the volume is kept at 60% in the standard music mode. It also boasts a fast charge feature that offers 4 hours of listening with just 5 minutes of charging.

Even though it’s one of the best wireless headphone sets, it does have some drawbacks you should consider. The headband is on the large side, even at the smallest setting, for example. If you happen to have a small head, you might find it difficult to get a tight fit.

Pros

  • Intuitive controls
  • Excellent battery life
  • Bluetooth connectivity

Cons

  • Headband is quite large

4. Philips Performance Audio — Premium Sound Quality at an Affordable Price

With many years in the sound industry, this Philips headset is one of the best budget options. They offer long-term comfort and durability thanks to their double-layered headband cushion.

The open-back design offers a wider soundstage, greatly improving the audio quality, though it’s said that this design isn’t great for audio recording as the sound may leak.

Philips Performance Audio Headphones

Price Type Compatibility Drivers Frequency Range Connectivity Battery Life Mic Noise Canceling
Starting at $69.99 Over-ear Console, PC, and Mobile 50mm 12Hz to 35kHz Wired N/A No No 

This set provides full-spectrum sound through its 50mm neodymium drivers and comes with a detachable 1.5-meter cable. This allows for greater freedom of movement and the ability to switch to a longer cable if desired, which makes it a great choice for both gamers and music enthusiasts.

The gold-plated acoustic system also delivers clarity and improves signal quality, making it an optimum pick for professionals.

However, if you have a slightly smaller head, you might find the clamping force weak, and the lack of noise-isolating technology means it’s not ideal for outdoor use.

Pros

  • Premium sound quality
  • Detachable cable
  • Gold-plated acoustic system

Cons

  • The cable included could be better
  • Open back design isn’t great for audio recording

5. HyperX Cloud Stinger — Equipped With a Superb Boom Microphone for Excellent Chat Quality

Here we have a wired headset that’s strictly plug-and-play and offers everything you’d expect to get. It’s lightweight at only 0.6lb and comes equipped with 90-degree rotating earcups.

The signature memory foam ear-pads offer comfort for extended periods, and it comes equipped with adjustable steel sliders that make it feel nice and sturdy and offer a tight fit.

HyperX Cloud Stinger

Price Type Compatibility Drivers Frequency Range Connectivity Battery Life Mic Noise Canceling
$49.99 Over-ear Console, PC, and mobile 50mm 50Hz – 18kHz Wired N/A Yes No

The HyperX Cloud Stinger is a highly rated option, and it’s compatible with almost anything, from consoles to PCs and mobile devices. The intuitive design comes equipped with volume control on the earcup, and the noise-canceling microphone mutes when you flip it up.

Even though the microphone has some noise-canceling features, the headset itself lacks any active noise-canceling algorithms. Plus, the bass can be slightly overwhelming, and the lack of any companion app means you can’t change it – but for only $49.99, there really isn’t much to complain about.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Impressive boom microphone
  • Convenient flip-up mic

Cons

  • Slightly too much bass
  • Lacks active noise canceling (ANC)

6. Srhythn NC25 — Block up to 90% of Ambient Noise for Unparalleled Immersion

The Srhythn NC25 headphones come in various colors, and both wired and wireless sets are available. The wireless option offers up to 50 hours of playtime. Once depleted, a 10-minute charge will give you an additional 3 hours of use, and 2.5 hours will take the battery to full charge. This undoubtedly makes it one of the best Bluetooth headphones.

The headphones boast digital active noise canceling (ANC), blocking out about 90% of ambient noise. The full dynamic range also gives you very rich bass in addition to crisp mids, making it a perfect fit for those who love listening to music.

Srhythn NC25

Price Type Compatibility Drivers Frequency Range Connectivity Battery Life Mic Noise Canceling
Starting at $59.99 Over-ear Console, PC, and Mobile 40mm 20Hz to 20kHz Wired and Bluetooth Up to 50 hours Yes  Yes 

The battery lasts for ages, and the whole set only weighs 0.24lb, so if you like to travel, these Srhythn headphones are a perfect companion.

The ear pads are replaceable, and you can rotate the ear cups 100 degrees for comfort. They can also fold in on each other, making the set easy to pack away. There’s an adjustable headpiece as well, so the Srhythn NC25 headphones can fit most people.

The set also has an unusual feature: the low latency mode. This drops the latency down to 50ms, rapidly relaying audio, which is perfect for gamers. Simply press the built-in multi-function button three times to activate it.

Pros

  • Great for traveling
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Noise-canceling feature
  • Offers low latency mode

Cons

  • Volume controls are inactive in wired mode
  • Lacks charging indicator

7. JBL Tune 510 BT — Experience Enhanced Low Ranges with JBL Pure Bass

This is a budget headset with a great pedigree. It offers Pure Bass Sound, which provides powerful bass and a significantly enhanced low range that is perfect for those who enjoy music with lower bass drops.

You can connect more than one device at a time, so you can listen to music and answer a call without any hassle. Plus, with a battery life of up to 40 hours, this is a great headset to take with you wherever you go.

JBL Tune 510 BT

Price Type Compatibility Drivers Frequency Range Connectivity Battery Life Mic Noise Canceling
$46.59  On-ear PC and Mobile 32mm 20Hz to 20kHz Bluetooth Up to 20 hours Yes No

A quick 5-minute charge gives you an additional 2 hours of playtime, and the battery can be fully charged in 2 hours via a USB-C cable. Unfortunately, linking to a gaming console via Bluetooth doesn’t work, as consoles don’t support Bluetooth audio.

However, it’s compatible with PC and mobile devices, and it comes with a multi-function button that activates your device’s voice assistant, whether it’s Siri or Google Assistant.

Both the multi-function button and the volume control can be found on the ear cups, but the buttons don’t work if you’re using the set with the cable. You’ll have to control the volume on the device you’re using it on.

It’s no surprise that it doesn’t have a noise-canceling feature when you consider the price, but it comes in different colors, including black, blue, white, and rose.

Pros

  • Comes with JBL Pure Bass Sound
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Fast charge feature

Cons

  • Buttons don’t work in wired mode
  • Lacks noise canceling feature

8. Turtle Beach Recon 70 — Fantastic, Budget-Friendly Option Designed for Nintendo

The Turtle Beach Recon has been designed for the Nintendo Switch, which means you can directly plug this headset into your controller. It can also be used with other consoles as well, and it’s perfect for all kinds of gaming.

The mic is well-known for its sensitivity and can be flipped up when not in use. The 40mm speakers are cushioned and lined with pleather, and the strap is adjustable, making the headset comfortable for long periods of use.

Turtle Beach recon 70 Headphones

Price Type Compatibility Drivers Frequency Range Connectivity Battery Life Mic Noise Canceling
$39.95 Over-ear Consoles, PC, and Mobile 40mm 20Hz to 20kHz Wired N/A Yes No

The headphones are lightweight at only 0.5lb, and the microphone audio quality is fantastic. What’s nice is that this budget headset also comes in eight different colors and it has a volume control wheel on the left cup.

These headphones don’t come with a companion app, so you can’t tweak the audio beyond what’s set. That being said, it has a very well-balanced sound profile.

Overall, the sound is decent, and it’ll be a great addition to any setup. And even though the headphones have been made using cheaper materials, they look fantastic.

Pros

  • Excellent mic audio
  • Works with any system
  • Decent gaming sound

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer the best bass
  • The cable is slightly short

9. Phoinikas H1 — Offering Premium Comfort With a Large Range of Colors

Here we have the best over-the-ear headphones. Starting at only $21.99, you can immerse yourself in a gaming experience or a movie or simply listen to your favorite music in style.

The accuracy of the Phoinikas H1 will definitely give you an edge in gaming. Relatively few low-priced headsets come with noise-canceling features, but that’s exactly what you get here.

Phoinikas H-1

Price Type Compatibility Drivers Frequency Range Connectivity Battery Life Mic Noise Canceling
Starting at $21.99 Over-Ear Console, PC, and Mobile 40mm 20Hz to 20kHz Wired N/A Yes Yes

You can pick it up in a range of colors, from blue, red, black, and even yellow, and it comes equipped with a flashy LED light. The omnidirectional microphone also has noise-isolating features, ensuring all communication is crystal clear.

The design comes with imitation leather over the earcups and memory foam-covered earpads that are ergonomic and reduce heat on your ears so you can wear them for long periods of time in comfort.

If you’re an Xbox player, you’ll require an adaptor so the headphones can plug into your controller. The set also doesn’t have a mute button, so you’ll need to unplug it to cut off the mic. Other than that, it’s very lightweight at only 0.57lb and is equipped with a volume control wheel under the earcups.

Pros

  • Heavily padded headband and ear cups
  • Long braided cable
  • Noise isolating microphone

Cons

  • Requires adaptor for Xbox users
  • Lacks mute button

10. Bengoo G9000 — Strong Option with Attractive LEDs

The Bengoo G9000 is a multi-platform headset capable of delivering high-quality surround sound and comfort for extended periods at a fraction of the price of a premium model. It boasts a noise-isolating, omnidirectional mic that transmits clear audio and can rotate a full 120 degrees.

The set is designed for comfort and comes with air permeability over the ear pads. You might even forget that you’re wearing them. What’s more, the ear cups are covered with bright LED lights that will transform the atmosphere of any gaming room.

Bengoo G9000

Price Type Compatibility Drivers Frequency Range Connectivity Battery Life Mic Noise Canceling
$45.99 Over-Ear Consoles, PC, and Mobile 40mm 15Hz to 20kHz Wired N/A Yes Yes

You can effortlessly change the volume using the inline volume control. The braided cable is anti-winding and has high-tensile strength, meanwhile – and the whole set only weighs 0.6lb.

Overall, the Bengoo G9000 is a decent budget headset that offers you all the features you’d expect – but improvements could be made in some areas. You’d need to get an adaptor for Xbox use, and even though it offers noise-canceling features, the extremely sensitive mic sometimes picks up sound from the headphones.

Pros

  • Strong build
  • Good audio quality
  • High tensile strength 49-inch cable

Cons

  • Adaptor needed for Xbox One controller
  • Mic is too sensitive

The Best Value Headphones Under $100 Compared

Here’s an easier way to view and compare our selection of the best headphones valued under $100:

Headphones Price Type Compatibility Drivers Frequency Range Connectivity Battery Life Mic Noise Canceling

SteelSeries Arctis 1

Starting at $99.99 Over-ear Console, PC, and Mobile 40mm 20Hz to 20kHz Wireless/wired Up to 20 hours Yes Yes

Razer Kraken

Starting at $79.99 Over-ear Console, PC, and Mobile 50mm 12Hz to 28kHz Wired N/A Yes Yes

Soundcore Anker Life Q20

Starting at $59.99 Over-ear Console, PC, and Mobile 40mm 20Hz to 20kHz Wired and Bluetooth Up to 60 hours Yes Yes

Philips Performance Audio

Starting at $69.99 Over-ear Console, PC, and Mobile 50mm 12Hz to 35kHz Wired N/A No No 

HyperX Cloud Stinger

$49.99 Over-ear Console, PC, and mobile 50mm 50Hz to 18kHz Wired N/A Yes No

Srhythn NC25

Starting at 59.99 Over-ear Console, PC, and Mobile 40mm 20Hz to 20kHz Wired and Bluetooth Up to 50 hours Yes  Yes 

JBL Tune 510 BT

$46.59  On-ear PC and Mobile 32mm 20Hz to 20kHz Bluetooth Up to 20 hours Yes No

Turtle Beach Recon 70

$39.95 Over-ear Consoles, PC, and Mobile 40mm 20Hz to 20kHz Wired N/A Yes No

Phoinikas H1

Starting at $21.99 Over-Ear Console, PC, and Mobile 40mm 20Hz to 20kHz Wired N/A Yes Yes
Bengoo G9000 $45.99 Over-Ear Consoles, PC, and Mobile 40mm 15Hz to 20kHz  Wired N/A Yes Yes

Should I Get Wired or Wireless Headphones?

Wired headphones are often a lot cheaper than wireless sets as they don’t need additional wireless technology, which means the hardware is focused on just delivering high-quality audio.

Wired sets are often a top choice if you’re after the best gaming headphones, as wired sets offer better sound quality and have lower latency.

However, if you travel often, a wireless set is perfect as there are no cables to worry about, and many sets come with impressively long-lasting battery life.

How We Ranked the Best Budget Headphones

We took several factors into account when putting together our list of the best affordable headsets. Here are the key aspects that we looked at:

  • Compatibility – We looked at the platforms that each headset is compatible with, from consoles and computers to tablets and mobile devices.
  • Driver size – The driver acts as the speaker in the headphones, so we picked options with decent driver sizes for their price. The size is important as it determines the quality of sound – the larger the drivers, the higher the quality.
  • Comfort – We looked at the different materials used – like soft fabrics and cooling gel-infused earcups, among others – to ensure long-lasting comfort is provided by the headphones.
  • Durability – At the same time, we considered the build quality of each pair of headphones. Some options have a solid plastic body, while others incorporate steel for added strength and durability, meaning the headphones will last longer and be more resistant to wear and tear.
  • Value for money – All of our picks are budget options that don’t sacrifice quality in terms of their design or the audio experience they deliver.

We’ve taken these same factors into consideration when ranking the best wireless earbuds on the market, so if headsets aren’t your cup of tea, we’d recommend checking them out as we review and compare some solid, affordable earbuds.

Conclusion – What Are the Best Budget Headphones to Buy in 2024?

There are lots of great headsets on the market today, and many of them offer excellent functionality and features but with a hefty price tag. If you’re in the market for a budget pair, then this list provides a number of strong options, whether you’re a gamer, using headphones on the go, or just looking for a little peace and quiet.

We’ve come to the conclusion that the SteelSeries Arctis 1 set isn’t just the top pick if you’re after a wired set, but it’s also the best wireless headset for those on a budget thanks to features like its Bluetooth dongle, which boasts a 9-meter range, and its companion app, which allows you to tweak the audio to your liking – all for just $99.99.

Cheap Headphone FAQs

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Are headphones better than earbuds?

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How long do cheap headphones last?

Justin Van Gent

As an experienced freelance writer for Techopedia.com, Justin strives to provide accurate, informative comparisons and reviews on both B2B and B2C tech solutions — ranging from product reviews to CRMs, security software, and beyond.