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Best cheap workout earbuds under $100

Work it out without emptying your wallet.
By
January 2, 2024
The Best
JBL Endurance Peak 3
MSRP: $99.95
8
Check price
Positives
Good battery life
Stable fit
IP68 water and dust resistance
JBL Headphones companion app
Affordable
Negatives
Large earbuds and case
Bass-heavy sound
No ANC
Best for Android
Jabra Elite 4
MSRP: $99.00
8.2
Check price
Positives
Sound quality
aptX for Android users
Five band EQ
Fast Pair and Swift Pair
Lightweight case
Great isolation
Negatives
Active noise cancelling isn't amazing
No AAC for Apple users
Might not fit large ears
Controls have minimal customization
The Bottom Line.
The Jabra Elite 4 is a good midrange option with solid isolation and aptX codec for Android. It sounds consumer friendly from the box and the app has some EQ to adjust to taste. Some included luxuries include multipoint, sidetone, and Spotify Tap.Read full review...
Best active noise cancelling
JLab Epic Air Sport ANC
MSRP: $108.99
8.3
Check price
Positives
Good isolation and ANC
Comfortable
Affordable
Good software
EQ presets and option for custom EQ
Negatives
Mic is just okay
Touch controls can misfire
Bang for your buck
JLab JBuds Mini
MSRP: $39.00
8.3
Check price
Positives
Extremely portable
Price
IP55 rated
Good isolation
Good companion app
Negatives
Easily lost
May fall out of some ears
Best bass
Anker Soundcore Life A1
MSRP: $49.99
7.9
Check price
Positives
Comfortable and secure fit
Inexpensive
Stable connection
IPX7 rating
Wireless charging compatible
Mono mode
Negatives
Preset EQs are polarizing
Case feels flimsy
Microphone is not great
AAC and SBC codecs only

Look, life is expensive, and sometimes you just want something that does the job that you can grab, go, and not baby. That’s where cheap workout earbuds that sell for under $100 come in. We’ve rounded up the best budget earbuds for your gym, jog, or dance routine, so you can get back to counting reps or steps and stop readjusting your buds.

Editor’s note: this list was published on January 2, 2024, to include the JLab JBuds Mini in our Top Picks and adjust formatting to our current style.

The best cheap workout earbuds under $100 overall/for most people: JBL Endurance Peak 3

JBL Endurance Peak 3 earbuds, ear tips, and charging cable on table
The JBL Endurance Peak 3 tackles any workout you throw at it.

If ever there was a set of earbuds meant for working out, it’s the JBL Endurance Peak 3. Outfitted with comfortable over-ear hooks, the buds rotate into place to hold them still no matter what the activity.

Rated as IP68, the Endurance Peak 3 are extremely durable. There’s no active noise cancelation (ANC), and the isolation is just okay, so they’re meant more for keeping you aware rather than in silence. JBL provides a comprehensive app, complete with an equalizer to tweak the pretty bassy default frequency response. Topping it off, the Endurance Peak 3 battery lasts 8 hours and 47 minutes, according to our standardized battery test. In all, these are well-designed and purpose-built for athletes.

JBL Endurance Peak 3JBL Endurance Peak 3
SG recommended
JBL Endurance Peak 3
Good battery life • Stable fit • IP68 water and dust resistance
MSRP: $99.95
The JBL Endurance Peak 3 brings all of the essential features you need in workout earbuds. The secure and durable design makes these earbuds perfect for use in the gym or when running the trails. At an affordable price, these are the best bang-for-your-buck workout earbuds you can buy.

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Besides the exaggerated low-end response, the JBL Endurance Peak 3 follows a pretty consumer-friendly curve.

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The Endurance Peak 3 has okay isolation. This result is not on par with the best noise canceling earbuds, but that’s not really the goal for these buds.

Nevertheless, maybe you dislike hooks or want noise canceling in your affordable workout earbuds. Check out our other entries below if that’s what you need.

Best cheap workout earbuds under $100: Jabra Elite 4

The Jabra Elite 4 sits on a wood surface with the case open showcasing the buds.
Jasper Lastoria / SoundGuys
With its interesting approach to isolation and a neat price, the Jabra Elite 4 is a good set of earbuds, even if ANC could use work.

Jabra has a frankly confounding selection of similar but slightly different earbuds. The Elite 4 strikes the best balance for the price with Jabra’s ergonomic design and excellent isolation, owing to a good fit.

For Android users, you get the aptX codec. Apple users can still use the Elite 4 but will have to make do with the lesser SBC codec. Battery life with ANC on lasts 5 hours and 5 minutes, so it’s not winning a marathon, but it’ll probably last you running one. The sound is good by default, but there’s an equalizer if you need one as well. Topped off with an IP55 rating, they’ll stand up to most activities.

Jabra Elite 4Jabra Elite 4
SoundGuys Editors Choice
Jabra Elite 4
Multipoint connectivity • Noise-canceling • In-app custom EQ
MSRP: $99.00
Affordable Jabra earbuds with mighty features for the price
With a reasonable price for ANC true wireless earbuds, the Jabra Elite 4 offer solid battery life, a good fit, and great connectivity.

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Considering how closely the Jabra Elite 4 buds adhere to our headphone preference curve, it’s likely you will enjoy how they sound.

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Interestingly, the ANC on the Elite 4 is not particularly impressive, but the isolation is rather good, so you might not need to use ANC at all.

Best cheap workout earbuds under $100: JLab Epic Air Sport ANC

The JLab Epic Air Sport ANC on a wooden table ouside, with water droplets on the earbuds and table.
These buds range from $79-99 and include features like an IP66 rating, fast charging, app support, and more.

It’s a balancing act picking out earbuds with parameters such as price ceiling and durability, and the JLab Epic Air Sport ANC doesn’t make you choose to sacrifice much. These IP66-rated earbuds have hooks to hold the buds in place regardless of your activity.

The JLab buds last 15 hours and 31 minutes to a single charge cycle with active noise canceling (ANC) on. ANC itself is really impressive on the buds as well, especially for the price. You also get transparency mode and an app with an EQ. Transparency mode is useful for the times you go for an outdoor run and need some situational awareness. Chiefly, the main mark against the Epic Air Sport ANC buds is that sometimes the touchpad can misfire. Still, the controls do work.

JLab Epic Air Sport ANCJLab Epic Air Sport ANC
JLab Epic Air Sport ANC
Good isolation • Secure fit • Good sound quality
MSRP: $108.99
A good pair of earbuds for your next workout
Ultimate true wireless with active noise canceling and sport fit, up to 70+ hours playtime and customizable sound via the JLab Air ANC app.

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Overall, this is one of the more predictably good-sounding frequency responses you’ll find for affordable workout earbuds.

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You won’t get the very best ANC or isolation on these buds, but they are still comprehensive, from the lowest lows to the highest highs of noise.

Best cheap workout earbuds under $100: JLab JBuds Mini

A photo of the JLab JBuds Mini attached to a set of keys.
Christian Thomas / SoundGuys
If you attach the JBuds Mini to your keys, don’t forget to check your wall charger if you’re ever looking for your keyring.

The JLab JBuds Mini shines in the realm of fitness with their IP55 rating, ensuring they’re resistant to sweat and dust, allowing users to push through the most intense workouts without worry. Their ultra-portable design is a significant advantage as the buds can be conveniently attached to a keychain, ensuring they’re always within reach when it’s time to hit the gym or the trails.

They come with three different-sized ear tips to secure the perfect fit. Although they lack a secondary point of contact, their lightweight design minimizes the risk of them falling out. The default tuning leans towards a consumer-friendly profile with an emphasis on bass, perfect for powering through tough workouts.

Overall, the JLab JBuds Mini earbuds present a compelling option for fitness enthusiasts looking for reliable, budget-friendly workout earbuds under $50.

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This curve is totally fine for listening to music while at the gym.

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Because the JLab JBuds Mini can seal to your inner ear quite well, they can isolate a lot of outside noise, blocking out around 10dB down to 20Hz.

Best cheap workout earbuds under $100: Anker Soundcore Life A1

Zoomed in photo of Anker Soundcore Life A1 is sitting on a table.
If you like bass, the Anker Soundcore Life A1 is a great alternative.

For way under budget, the Anker Soundcore Life A1 provides a secure fit thanks to three different wing stabilizer sizes. You don’t get any app support here, but you can cycle through some EQ presets using the controls on the earbuds.

These buds boast a bassy tuning but not so much as to ruin your running playlist. They use touch controls, which work well. Of the compromises the A1 requires is that you don’t get noise canceling, and the case is a bit flimsy. Nevertheless, the IPX7 is virtually waterproof. Plus, the battery life is impressive, reaching 8 hours and 23 minutes. If you’re just dipping your toes in, the cost of entry is low enough that the A1 is a good choice.

Anker Soundcore Life A1Anker Soundcore Life A1
Anker Soundcore Life A1
IPX7 waterproof • Affordable • Stable connection
MSRP: $49.99
A pair of waterproof earbuds with good bass sound
The Anker Soundcore Life A1 offers a high IPX7 rating and a bass-focused sound at an affordable price.

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For that extra oomph the Anker Soundcore Life A1 delivers the bass without cutting much else.

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The Anker Soundcore Life A1 has okay isolation and zero ANC.

Who should buy the Skullcandy Push Active?

Skullcandy Push Active earbuds in case
Admittedly, that’s a big case.

While not the newest toy, the Skullcandy Push Active might have disappeared from your radar, but it’s worth a second look. Frequently found heavily discounted, these IP55-rated earbuds yield a good battery life (8 hours and 8 minutes) and a secure fit. Along the sides, you’ll find the control buttons, which is a feature that allows tactile feedback while avoiding painfully pushing the buds deeper into your ears. More companies using buttons should follow that formula. With the over-ear hooks, you do end up with a substantially sized charging case, which is a downside, as is the SBC-only Bluetooth codec. For the price, these sound good, and you even get an app with EQ.

Skullcandy Push ActiveSkullcandy Push Active
Skullcandy Push Active
Voice assistant • Customization EQ • 8 hours battery life
MSRP: $79.99
Athletes who want something that fits securely around the back of their ears should look into the reasonably priced Push Active. Skull-iQ lets you directly access your phone’s smart assistant, and the buds have an IP55 rating.

The best cheap workout earbuds under $100: Notable mentions

Sennheiser Sport True Wireless earbuds next to a basketball
If you can boost your budget, the Sennheiser Sport True Wireless Earbuds might suit you.
  • Jabra Elite 3: If you’ve got ears that fit most earbuds, the Elite 3 ($59 at Amazon) could work for your fitness routine. Like the Elite 4, it has a similar frequency response, and a lot of the same features. Basically, it’s even more pared down overall in terms of the app experience and zero ANC. Truly it all depends on which Jabra earbuds you find on sale.
  • Jabra Elite 4 Active: The workout-oriented Jabra buds (for $89.99 at Jabra) lack much in the way of effective noise canceling, but they do up the IP rating to IP57. They’re coated in a grippy material to help them stay in place too. These are a notable mention because the cheaper Elite 4 does most of the same things and isolates better. If you can find these on a deal, they’re worth a look.
  • Jaybird Vista 2: These waffle in price ($117 at Amazon) and sometimes get close to the $100 threshold, but usually are a bit more expensive. They are extremely durable, with an IP68 rating and certified MIL-STD 810G. Jaybird includes stabilizers as well to keep them in place.
  • Sennheiser Sport True Wireless Earbuds: Often selling for a hair over $100, these IP54-rated earbuds come with many different-sized stabilizers to keep them in your ears. You get a choice of aptX, AAC, and SBC codecs, and while there’s no noise canceling, the isolation is decent. It helps that the buds sound good, too for $99 at Amazon.
  • Skullcandy Mod XT: If you’re fortunate enough to have ears that seem to suit most true wireless earbud shapes, the Mod XT might work for your workout. The buds are rated IP55 and have a somewhat bass-boosted frequency response, but you can adjust that in the app too. They aren’t perfect, but they hit above the price ($48 at Amazon).

What you should know about the best cheap workout earbuds under $100

Every category of audio products has ideal uses in mind. Some on our list are purpose-built for exercise, while others are switch hitters that can handle the gym, but every pick needs to check off a few considerations to make the list.

Durable workout earbuds: IP ratings that can handle your sweat

The JBL ENDURANCE PEAK II true wireless workout earbuds hang out of a rock climbing chalk bag behind a pair of rock climbing shoes.
While waterproofing is probably the main concern for most, dustproofing can be more important if you rock climb.

In general, the majority of wireless earbuds these days boast an IPX4 rating, at the very least. IP stands for “Ingress Protection,” which basically explains the degree to which your earbuds are dustproof and waterproof. Usually, IPX4 is acceptable for most athletes, but if you see yourself running in the rain, you ought to consider a higher rating. The first number (or sometimes X to designate there’s no rating) is the dustproof rating, and the second number is the waterproof rating. The highest possible rating for dustproofing and waterproofing is IP68. Even so, you can’t expect IP68 earbuds to stay waterproof; the “8” in IP68 means these are designed to last 30 minutes submerged in 3 meters of water.

Alternately, if you like to rock climb with buds, for example, then you know it’s a dusty, chalky sport. Tapping a touchpad after doing a climb can easily introduce dust particles into your earbuds, so you’ll want some dust protection as well. The IP rating you need depends on your sport. Keep in mind that while plenty of earbuds can outperform their ratings, that doesn’t mean if they do bust that the manufacturer will honor the warranty if you get a bunch of dust in your IPX4 rated earbuds.

Frequency response is still important for workout earbuds

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The early years of Beats headphones, the continued existence of Sony’s XB (for extra bass) line, and the Skullcandy Crusher series all support the theory that people often want a lot of bass — arguably too much bass. For sitting at your desk doing office work, we recommend picking up earbuds that follow our headphone preference curve, and we still recommend that for most people working out as well. However, upping your bass volume slightly can offer benefits such as motivating your workout. Most of our picks approximate our headphone preference curve, but you’ll find a couple that exaggerate the bass. Some come with an equalizer, so you can do it yourself for the times you want added inertia.

With that said, we know some folks regularly work out while listening to podcasts or audiobooks. In that case, it matters less how much bass volume your buds have compared to other considerations like fit, ease of use, listening modes, or durability.

Fit matters the most for the best workout earbuds under $100

A close up of the LG TONE Free fit TF7 ear buds showing the inside angle of the housings.
Harley Maranan / SoundGuys
The stabilizers on the LG TONE Free Fit TF7 are soft enough to feel comfortable and stiff enough to stay still.

It doesn’t matter if your earbuds are the most durable, the best priced, sound the best, or have all the bells and whistles if the fit is wrong. This rings especially true if you need them to work out. Most folks can make do with a less-than-ideal in-ear fit if they’re not moving around much, and some people have the luck of possessing ears that seem to fit everything just fine (for example, the people on the treadmill you see wearing AirPods).

Isolation relies heavily on achieving a good in-ear fit as well.

For the rest of us when investing in workout earbuds, look for stabilizers that push against the anti-helix of your ears to hold the buds still. If you don’t mind over-ear hooks, they offer excellent security, but these buds tend to come in bigger charging cases. Choosing correctly sized ear tips will go a long way too. The last thing you want is an earbud falling out when you’re in a flow state.

How we test the best cheap workout earbuds under $100

A person wears the Shokz OpenRun Pro bone conduction headphones while sitting on a sidewalk.
Lily Katz / SoundGuys
When we review workout earbuds, we do more than just use the lab.

We subject all of our earbuds to the same measurement tests, and in addition, each reviewer takes them through the rounds for everyday use. If they’re exercise-oriented buds, they’ll see some sweat. We’ve thrown earbuds in pools and doused them in water from knocked-over water bottles. Only the earbuds that survive and live up to the jostling and careless handling of sweaty hands can make this list.

How we choose the best cheap workout earbuds under $100

At SoundGuys, we have a team of experienced reviewers, and this list of the best cheap workout earbuds under $100 represents the culmination of our collective efforts. This list is not representative of any one person’s individual opinion. Using criteria such as durability, stability, and sound quality are all important characteristics considered in compiling our selections.

Why you should trust SoundGuys

The writers at SoundGuys have many years of experience reviewing and reporting on the consumer audio market, testing audio products, and finding products that fit our readers best. Our team adheres to an ethics policy, and essentially no writer stands to gain any financial benefit by recommending any product over another. The company earns a portion through any sales made through affiliate links, but that’s about it. Nobody has any stake in pushing one product over another except that we genuinely believe the ones we place on this list of the best cheap workout earbuds under $100 are the ones that win out. We want you to come back to our site, and suggesting a low-quality product does not serve anybody’s best interest.

We pride ourselves on objective facts and measurements and consider the subjective experience to contextualize an audio product’s performance. When we make a mistake, we correct and own up to it.

Frequently asked questions

Unfortunately, this is a common complaint that runners encounter with earbuds. Your best bet is to pick up earbuds with over-ear hooks, such as the JBL Peak Endurance 3 or the JLab Epic Air Sport ANC. Most earbuds haven’t got designs prioritizing an absolutely secure in-ear fit, and instead prioritize other goals such as a smaller size. This means when you’re running and sweating, the jostling motion combined with increased moisture knocks the buds out.

Many people also have success using earbuds with wings that press against the anti-helix, instead of over-ear hooks, but even those cannot be guaranteed to stay put on absolutely everyone. If you have trouble finding a good fit ordinarily, stick to over-ear hooks.

Absolutely sweat can break earbuds. That’s why all of our picks have, at the very least, an IPX4 rating, but we encourage you to choose a durability level that makes the most sense for your workout activities. While it’s true that plenty of people have worn earbuds over the decades without any waterproofing and the buds have survived, there’s no guarantee if there’s no IP rating. Just like you don’t want to leave your phone in a puddle, you don’t want to drench your earbuds in sweat if there’s no IP rating. After all, moisture poses a real threat to the lithium batteries found in earbuds.