Gearstd / Shutterstock.com Headphones are a great way to listen to music at a loud volume while not disturbing anyone else . A really good set of earphones can easily cost $ 300 or more, but you may not want to spend that much or even spend that much. However, cheap does not necessarily mean cheap.
Here are four headphones, on the ear or on the ear, that sound great and don't break the bank or your heart if lost or broken.
What to Look for in $ 1
00 or Less Headphones
You might wonder why you should even consider a $ 300 earbud if you can get something that sounds good for a third of the price or less. Here is a short checklist.
- Active Noise Canceling (ANC): Not every headset under $ 100 offers the ability to reduce ambient noise. But if you plan to use the headset in an environment where the ambient noise would significantly reduce your enjoyment of the music experience, that's a nice feature.
- Bluetooth: Sometimes you don't mind connecting an audio cable, but wireless control is a big plus. Unless you're specifically looking for a wired-only headset, you want Bluetooth capabilities. Bluetooth 5 is the latest version and offers the longest range and better reliability.
- On-ear / over-ear: This is largely a problem with comfort. Depending on the size of your head and ears (no offense intended), you might find over-ear headphones more comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
- Audio Cable: If you often spend time at home listening to your music, you may want to use a direct audio cable connection instead of wireless Bluetooth. It's less convenient, but with a direct connection, you're not limited by battery life. The downside is that when connected directly via an audio cable, ANC rarely works because the headphones are not turned on.
Best headphones for sharing music: URBANEARS Plattan 2 Bluetooth
The $ 55 Plattan 2 Bluetooth has no ANC. But it has something that none of the others offer – something URBANEARS calls a Zoundplug. It's a 3.5mm audio jack in the left speaker that lets you plug in a second set of wired headphones or earphones and share the music you're listening to with a friend. It's a cool feature.
And while these headphones are cheap, they still manage to provide 40mm drivers, a foldable / foldable design that comes in handy when you want to pack them in a carry-on or backpack, and Bluetooth connectivity. If you don't need Bluetooth, comparable headphones without wireless functionality, the Plattan 2 only cost about $ 33.
The Plattan 2 Bluetooth phones are on the ear instead of the ear. This form factor often tends to squeeze your head after a short listening period, so if you have a big head (no offense intended) you may want to choose headphones that fit over your ears rather than resting on them.  At this price you don't get a single carrying case, and these headphones charge via micro-USB instead of the now common USB-C. They also lack an audio cable, but if you want to use it in wired mode, a cable with 3.5mm plugs on either end will only cost a few dollars from Amazon.
However, it is what you do that makes the Plattan 2 Bluetooth an attractive consideration. It goes without saying that you get Bluetooth wireless connectivity and a battery life of 30 hours. With simple one-stick operation on the right earpiece, you can skip songs, pause music and answer calls. A microphone in the right earphone records your voice when you answer a call, and if you're using an iPhone or Mac, you can control things with voice using Siri.
Best long-playing program Headphones: Edifier W828NB
At $ 90, the Edifier W828NB is over-ear headphones the second most expensive set in this collection. But if you're listening to music for a long time without the ANC turned on, you might want them at the top of your list. Edifier claims an incredible 80 hours of play time with ANC disabled and 25 hours with enabled. When the battery is low, a four-hour charge will extend your listening time .
In other respects, they are comparable to most headphones in this price range. With a comfortable headband and earcups, these over-ear headphones have 40mm drivers and easy-to-use controls that both include earcups with most functions on the right earcup and the ANC buttons on the left.
If you use this at home or in the office and don't want to drain the battery, Edifier includes a 3.5mm audio cable and a standard micro USB charging cable. There is no hard shell carrying case, but the box does include a fabric carrying case and the earphones can be folded, minimizing the amount of space required to pack the W828NB phones.
Not so common in many Bluetooth headphones, Active Noise Canceling (ANC) is still usable when the headset is connected via the supplied audio cable and when used in Bluetooth mode. The Edifier W828NB is available in both white and standard black. The disadvantage of the W828NB is that it does not have a microphone, so unfortunately you cannot make or receive calls while wearing it.
Best cheap headphones: Monoprice BT500ANC
At about the same price as the URBANEARS Plattan 2, offers the over- ear Monoprice BT500ANC good sound and comfortable listening with up to 25 hours of listening pleasure. playtime or 28 hours of talk time when using them with your phone, costing you just $ 60. They have 40mm drivers, which is a bit standard in all headphones in this collection, and fold nicely for easy storage in your laptop bag or carry-on to grab. And if you are going to travel with them, you will appreciate the hard carrying case, something rare at this price. Also included is a micro USB charging cable and an audio cable with 3.5mm plugs on each end for when you don't want to use Bluetooth.
The comfortable earmuffs with earmuffs make the BT500ANC easy to wear for an extended period of time, and the Qualcomm CVC noise reduction offers improved sound quality and noise reduction.
The controls are located above both ear cups with the ANC on / off switch clearly marked with a small LED indicator light that illuminates when ANC is active. The micro USB port is also located on the same ear cup. The other earcup contains a 3.5mm audio jack for those times when you'd rather not use Bluetooth, as well as track controls to switch back and forth between tracks and increase or decrease the volume. A button between the track / volume buttons allows you to turn Bluetooth on and off and accept or reject an incoming call.
Best Overall Headphones: IFROGZ AIRTIME VIBE
The AIRTIME VIBE are the most expensive headphones in this collection, but for $ 99 you still get a pair pennies back from your $ 100 bill.
Most headphones in the $ 100 or less category look pretty similar, and the AIRTIME VIBE doesn't raise a much higher bar. The phones feature ANC with a 20db reduction in ambient noise, which is important if you're listening in a noisy environment like an airplane. As with all phones described here, Bluetooth 5 gives you excellent wireless reception up to 30 feet from the source, allowing you to roam your room or home without your music dropping out.
Where the AIRTIME VIBE is their slightly higher price in comfort. These are over-ear phones, so they don't feel like you put your head in a vise after listening. With the softly padded ear cups, you can listen for hours on end and the long battery life ensures 25 hours of listening pleasure with the ANC switched on and 30 hours with the switched off ANC. The track's forward and reverse controls are located on the right earcup, as are the micro USB and audio jacks. The right earcup also houses the built-in microphone that allows you to answer incoming calls. The top button on the right ear cup turns the headphones on and off and is also used to connect the phones with Bluetooth.
The AIRTIME VIBE headphones fold nicely for easy carrying in your carry-on or laptop bag and feature a micro USB charging cable and 3.5mm audio cable, so you don't run out of battery when you can connect it directly to the music source.
And if you're looking for a little variety, the AIRTIME VIBE are available in black, white or blue.