Budget Travel headphones

If you’ve ever been on a plane, you know that the noise of the engine is quite loud. This can make it difficult to relax and sleep on long flights. That’s why you need to invest in a pair of good travel headphones. They are excellent at reducing and sometimes even eliminating noise to give you an enjoyable travel experience. You then can listen to music or movies without having to turn the volume up to dangerous levels.

And don’t forget about comfort too. We know that those international flights can be a long grind, but good headphones are built with premium soft materials that will be quite comfortable for the whole flight.

There are hundreds of headphones out there, so we’ve narrowed our list down to six of the best travel headphones under $100. These earphones are great for those on a budget, and they don’t compromise on quality.

  1. COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones
  2. Sony ZX Series Stereo Headphones
  3. iJoy Matte Finish Premium Rechargeable Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
  4. Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones
  5. Mpow 059 Bluetooth Headphones Over Ear, Hi-Fi Stereo Wireless Headset
  6. LETSCOM Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones

Stick around, because later in the article, we include a buyer’s guide to help you determine which of the six is best for you.

In A Hurry? Everything We Recommend

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

We’ll review each product in more detail now so that you have enough information to choose a pair of travel headphones that are right for you.

Our Pick – COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones – Best Seller

The COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones are sleek and durable. They feature active noise cancellation technology and professional sound quality.

You can use them anywhere: in your car, at work, on a plane, and for gaming, among other uses.

These over-ear headphones are padded, allowing for long periods of use without discomfort.  But, it’s recommended to take a break every few hours and give your ears some rest.

Of course, you can only wear the headphones for as long as they keep a charge, and the COWIN’s 30-hour playtime will give you a long and enjoyable listening experience.

What We Like

  • Padded earphones offer incredible comfort
  • Long-lasting 30-hour playtime per charge
  • Built with innovative noise-canceling technology – great for use on airplanes
    Lightweight

What We Don’t

  • Primarily cancels low-end noise
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Sony ZX Series Stereo Headphones – Minimalist 

The Sony MDRZX110AP ZX Headphones are simple and effective. They are available in three different colors and you can purchase this product with or without a microphone.

Don’t let the look fool you. These headphones produce incredible sound quality, equipped with a 30mm driver which produces between 12Hz and 22 kHz of sound.

This pair of headphones is ultra-lightweight and easy to pack; you can travel with it anywhere.

What We Like

  • Ultra-lightweight at just 4.2 ounces
  • High sound quality with a wide range of frequencies (12Hz-22 kHz)
  • Built-in microphone so you can make calls hands-free
  • Foldable design for easy storage and transport

What We Don’t

  • Headphones are wired which is not as convenient as wireless
  • Not noise canceling
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

iJoy Matte Finish Premium Rechargeable Wireless Bluetooth Headphones – Best Value

The iJoy Matte Finish Premium Rechargeable Wireless Bluetooth Headphones are one of the best value headphones under $100.

You will enjoy a sleek design, professional sound quality, a comfortable fit, and the ease of wireless use thanks to its Bluetooth compatibility.

What We Like

  • High-quality sound at great value
  • Adjustable with padded earmuffs for an incredibly comfortable fit
  • Easily adjustable
  • Crisp bass response
  • Compact size
  • Bluetooth compatible
  • Inline microphone included – allows you to make calls with ease
  • Foldable design

What We Don’t

  • Built-in mic isn’t great quality
  • Not effective at canceling noise
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones – Sleek Design

The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones are professional headphones perfect for the frequent user. This pair of headphones is built with incredibly effective noise-canceling technology to block out a wide range of low and high-frequency sounds. It will block out nearly all ambient noise.

These are one of the best wireless headphones on the market and the amazing 60-hour playtime is a big reason why. You can use them for up to 40 hours at 60% volume and 60 hours on standard volume, which makes this set incredibly versatile.

What We Like

  • Sleek look and feel
  • Impressive 60-hour playtime
  • Soft memory foam earmuffs for a comfortable fit
  • Powerful bass
  • Cuts up to 90% of ambient noise

What We Don’t

  • Can’t charge the headset and listen simultaneously
  • Earmuff area can get warm after continued use
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Mpow 059 Bluetooth Headphones Over Ear, Hi-Fi Stereo Wireless Headset – Most Versatile

The Mpow 059 Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones are reliable for headphones under $100. They feature a unique innovative look that is modern and beautiful. This pair of over-ear headphones is noise-isolating, not noise-canceling, but it makes up for that with the sound quality. Equipped with a 40mm driver and a lightweight CSR chip for Bluetooth, these headphones will deliver great professional-quality sound. Noise-isolating headphones are also ideal for use on an airplane.

The Mpow 059 Headphones are available as Bluetooth and wired. With the headset plugged in, you won’t have to worry about the charge depleting. For the wireless headset, a single charge gives you 20 hours of enjoyable hassle-free use.

What We Like

  • Professional sound quality
  • Can be used as both wireless and wired
  • Inline microphone
  • Foldable for easy storage
  • Comfortable on the ears

What We Don’t

  • Relatively low 20 hours of use per charge
  • Noise isolating, not noise canceling
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

LETSCOM Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones – Long-Lasting

The LETSCOM Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones offer several perks for headphones under $100. They look nice and fit comfortably, but their best quality is the battery life. Even at three hours a day, this set will last you over a month on just one charge! We can’t say that about any other one of our wireless headphones on this list.

These headphones offer a crisp Bluetooth connection that will deliver great audio on calls, video, music, and more. For the price range, you won’t find a better deal.

What We Like

  • Amazing 100-hour battery life
  • 40mm drivers to deliver great sound quality
  • Can listen wired or wireless
  • Advanced Bluetooth technology
  • Comfortable earmuffs that allow for long-lasting use
  • Comes with a headphone bag

What We Don’t

  • Not as durable as others
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Are expensive headphones worth it?

Expensive headphones are a worthwhile investment for people who use their headphones frequently. It’s also important to consider what you’re using your headphones for. Are you gaming, streaming, listening to music, sleeping on a plane, or using them for another purpose? Are you using these headphones for your profession? Maybe you record music and produce songs in your studio and you need a pair of headphones. Or maybe you’re a full-time streamer or YouTuber. If you’re going to be using your headphones for your job, higher quality will be worth it in the long run.

Some headphones may be overpriced, in which case the quality will be lower than normal. Do some research and look at some headphones under $100 and above $100 and compare the quality so you can get an idea for the features that come with each type of headphones.

Our article went over six of the best travel headphones under $100. This is a low budget but you can still find quality headphones at this price. If your budget dictates that you stay under $100, we have found the best ones for you.

Should I buy headphones or earbuds?

Earbuds and headphones have unique benefits and drawbacks, and they share a few key qualities as well. Most importantly, you can find wired and wireless headphones as well as wired and wireless earbuds.

Here are a few reasons why you might consider purchasing headphones instead of earbuds.

  • You want higher sound quality
  • You want an inline microphone for streaming, gaming, or another use
  • You want to use your headphones for multiple hours at a time
  • You want noise-canceling or noise-isolating functionality

And here are a few reasons why you may consider purchasing earbuds instead of headphones.

  • You want to listen to music while running
  • You will be moving around a lot when using your earbuds
  • You don’t require much functionality beyond listening to music
  • You want a product that’s easy to carry anywhere you go
  • You don’t require top-of-the-line sound quality or noise-canceling technology.

How do I choose noise-canceling headphones?

Bluetooth headphones for travel - Best travel headphones under $100

When shopping for your noise-canceling headphones, consider the following areas.

Price

We reviewed six of the best headphones under $100. Most of the headphones in this tier are noise-isolating, so if you want a true wireless pair of headphones that cancels noise, you may have to increase your budget.

Headphones range anywhere between just $10 to several hundred dollars, so you have a lot of flexibility when it comes to your budget.

Quality

When it comes to quality, there are several things to consider, but here are three of the most important areas:

  • Sound quality
  • Noise-canceling quality
  • Comfortability

Do you require headphones that produce professional sound? Or would you prefer that they cancel out most of the noise because you will be using them on a plane or in a loud area? How long will you be using your headphones for on a daily basis? If you are planning on using them for hours, comfortability will be vital for you.

These aren’t the only three areas that determine quality; we’ll also discuss battery life and foldability a little later, among other factors.

Noise Canceling vs. Noise Isolating

In general, the higher your price point, the more likely you will run into high-quality noise-canceling headphones. On the cheaper end, you’ll find that most pairs are noise isolating.

The best noise-canceling headphones block out a wide range of frequencies, from just a few Hertz to several thousand Hertz. This means that a wide spectrum of sounds from low (low Hertz) to high (high Hertz) will be muted efficiently.

Mobility

If you are using your headphones for travel, their mobility will be important. How easy are they to carry with you? Can they fold for easy storage? Foldable ones are quite popular today. Are you planning on using your earphones around your house? Then mobility won’t be as important for you.

Type

There are two main types of headphones: wired and wireless/Bluetooth. For travel, it is most convenient to go with a Bluetooth set, but it’s up to your personal preference as well. Some, like the Mpow 059 Bluetooth Headphones from our list, can function as wired or wireless.

Battery Life

Battery life is one of the most important factors to consider if you will be buying wireless headphones. If you are going to be using them for long periods of time, it will be worth getting some with a long battery life. The LETSCOM Bluetooth earphones from our list will give you fantastic long-term use on just one charge.

Style

The style is up to your personal preference. What color do you want your headphones? Do they need to be adjustable? What material do you like for the earmuffs? These are just a few questions to consider when it comes to style.

Is noise-canceling bad for you?

Noise-canceling headphones are not bad for your health, so long as you play your music at an appropriate volume. 90 decibels is considered to be the maximum safe threshold, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The best thing you can do is keep your headphones off of max volume and limit listening to music over long periods of time.

Tip: Periodically ask yourself if you can turn your volume down and still hear what you need to. If you can, do it. This also helps when just the right song comes along. Then you have audible room to turn it up for that track. Just remember to turn it back down afterward. Otherwise, you will do what I have done on so many occasions and just keep turning it up with every good song that comes along and do long term damage to your ears. 

Do noise-canceling headphones block all sound?

Just like any product, there are higher quality and lower quality noise-canceling headphones, and everything in between. Depending on the quality, noise-canceling earphones will block different ranges of sound. Noise-canceling earphones are most effective at drowning out constant ambient noise or low Hertz frequencies, but the higher you go, the more difficult it is to block out all the sound.

Some of the best earphones out there are not noise-canceling, but instead noise-isolating. These types of earphones don’t block out any noise entirely, but they reduce it to a softer, more manageable level.

Can you still hear with noise Cancelling headphones?

Noise-canceling headphones are best at blocking out low-frequency noise, like bass sounds. But higher frequency sound will not be canceled as effectively. Because of this, most noise-canceling headphones are great at eliminating ambient noise, but they are not as effective at reducing the sound of speech.

Is active noise canceling worth it?

Active noise canceling (ANC) blocks out the sound by consistently emitting another sound. This soundwave blocks out low-frequency and high-frequency noises but they are most effective at the low frequencies. These earphones can be great for travel on a plane to block out a lot of ambient noise. Passive noise-canceling earphones reduce the noise level using high-quality insulative materials, but they won’t always block out the sound completely.

However, I would test your ANC headphones before purchase, if you can. For some, the constant buzzing of the low-frequency sound wave can be quite irritating.

What is the best alternative to earplugs for sleeping?

The best alternative to earplugs for sleeping is noise-canceling headphones. They are a worthwhile long-term investment and will fit comfortably over your ears. While you have to replace many different types of earbuds, you can use the same pair of headphones for years.

Many people are easily bothered by soft sounds or low-frequency noises, including:

  • Ticking of a clock
  • Buzzing of insects
  • Muffled sounds from outside your home, such as dogs barking, fireworks, chatter, etc.
  • Fans
  • Typing
  • …and more

Because of this, it’s incredibly difficult to get a good night’s sleep. But noise-canceling headphones are exceptional at reducing these lower-frequency noises. Purchase a pair to try and improve your sleep quality. Of course, there are no guarantees since any number of things could be affecting your sleep, but high-quality noise-canceling headphones will do their part ensuring that all low-frequency noise is blocked out.

If you wear earphones for sleep, you’ll be wearing them for several hours a night, so it’s important that they are a comfortable fit. I recommend testing out your earphones before purchase if you can.

With that, we hope you find a pair of quality headphones under $100 that will suit your needs. There are many factors to consider when buying a pair of headphones and so many questions to answer. So hopefully our buyer’s guide will help move you in the right direction when it comes to shopping for the best headphones for travel under $100.

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