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 the external 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.
- COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones
- Sony ZX Series Stereo Headphones
- iJoy Matte Finish Premium Rechargeable Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
- Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones
- Mpow 059 Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones
- LETSCOM Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones
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? We Recommend These
|Sony ZX Series Extra Bass Headset with Mic - Minimalist||Prime||Check on Amazon|
|iJoy Matte Finish Premium Rechargeable Wireless Headphones Bluetooth Over Ear Headphones - Best Value||Prime||Check on Amazon|
|Top||COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones Bluetooth Headphones - Best Seller||Prime||Check on Amazon|
|Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones - Sleek Design||Prime||Check on Amazon|
|Mpow 059 Bluetooth Headphones Over Ear, Hi-Fi Stereo Wireless Headset - Most Versatile||Prime||Check on Amazon|
|LETSCOM Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones - Long-Lasting||Prime||Check on Amazon|
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
What We Don’t
- Primarily cancels low-end noise
Sony ZX Series Stereo Headphones – Minimalist
The Sony MDRZX110AP ZX Headphones are simple and effective. They are cheap headphones are available in three different colors and you can purchase this product with or without a microphone.
Don’t let the look of kid’s headphones 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 them 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
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 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
Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones – Sleek Design
The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones are professional affordable noise canceling headphones perfect for the frequent user. This pair of headphones is built with incredibly effective active noise cancellation and-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
- The earmuff area can get warm after continued use
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 good sound quality. Equipped with a 40mm driver and a lightweight CSR chip for Bluetooth, these affordable 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 headphones. With wired mode and 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
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 on ear design, 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 phone 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
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 audio quality will be worth it in the long run.
Some cheap 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 affordable price too. 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 true 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?
When shopping for your best noise-canceling headphones, consider the following areas.
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.
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
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 decent sound 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 best anc headphones.
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.
There are two main types of headphones: wired and wireless/Bluetooth. For travel, it is most convenient to go with a wireless headphone Bluetooth set, but it’s up to your personal preference as well. Some cheaper headphones, like the Mpow 059 Bluetooth Headphones from our list, can function as wired or wireless.
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.
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 ambient sound out. Noise-canceling earphones are most effective at reducing background noise and drowning out constant ambient noise or low Hertz frequencies, but the higher you go, the more difficult it is to block out all the ambient sound.
Some of the best earphones out there are not noise-canceling ear cups, but instead noise-isolating ear cups. These types of earphones don’t block out any outside 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 background noise, distracting sounds 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 ear pads (ANC) blocks out the sound by consistently emitting another sound. This soundwave blocks out three sound modes, 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 cheap noise canceling 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.
- …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 of perfect headphones 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.
Tips for traveling with headphones
As someone who has traveled extensively, I can tell you that having a good pair of headphones can make all the difference in the world.
- Make sure you invest in a good quality pair of noise-cancelling headphones. These will block out not only the noise of the airplane but also the crying babies and chatty passengers around you. Trust me. It’s worth the investment.
- Bring a headphone splitter. This nifty little device allows you to share your music or movie with a travel companion without awkwardly sharing one earbud. Plus, it’s a great way to make a new friend on a long flight.
- Bring a small pouch or case to store your headphones in. This will protect them from getting tangled or damaged in your luggage. Plus, it’s a great way to keep them organized and easily accessible when you need them.
- Don’t forget to bring a backup pair of headphones. You never know when your primary pair might break or malfunction; being stuck on a long flight without music or entertainment can be a real drag.
So there you have it, some tips for traveling with headphones. I hope you find them helpful on your next adventure. Safe travels!