In-Ear Monitors or in short, IEM are basically professional-grade earbuds or earphones that are mainly used by audiophiles, musicians, sound engineers, etc. They work really well regarding listening to music, hearing a mix of vocals for mixing of recording, or hearing stage instrumentation. Except for just using them for personal and domestic usage, they are also used in many professional aspects, like by stage singers and others. So IEMs are of very high demand, and if you can get the best IEM under 100 dollars, it surely can be the best deal without any doubt.
There are many factors that should be considered for buying the best IEM for under 100 dollars. There are IEM of many price ranges, and IEMs under 100 are one of the most sought after.
In-ear monitors under 100 can serve you a great deal, as any IEM under 100 brings many great features to the table including providing a great listening experience. And for buying the best IEM under 100 you should know what to look for in IEMs under 100 or IEMs in general.
So now we will see the important things that you need to know and look for before buying the best IEM under $100.
The Buying Guide for Best IEM under 100
So, there are many things to care about before choosing the best sound IEM under 100 for you. There are things to consider like how much you are willing to spend, the correct driver type for the IEM you should go for, the right specifications for you, getting to use the right-sized tip, the right sound signature, and noise isolation, etc.
There are also things like the right design type and fit type. So let’s discuss the things you need to consider before choosing the best IEM earphone for you.
How Much Do I want to spend?
This is an important question that you must ask yourself before attempting to buy an IEM earphone. As there is a wide range of IEM earphones available in the market that cost differently too, you can choose from any price range.
You can easily find an IEM earphone of your choice if you are willing to as much money as needed. But as most of us are not willing to spend more than USD 100, we should look for the best IEM under 100 dollars.
And you can easily get the best brand IEMs under 100, as there is a lot of great quality in-ear monitor earphones out there that are sold under 100. So if you are willing to spend no more than 100, you have to go for the best cheap IEM under 100.
Choosing the Correct Driver Type
While choosing an IEM earphone for yourself, drivers are the first feature to consider as sound drivers have a direct impact on the sound frequencies and price. Just like other headphones, IEMs also use drivers to reproduce sound.
But the drivers used in IEMs are smaller. There are a number of variations in the drivers that are used in IEM earphones. The drivers that are mainly used in IEM earphones are listed below-
- Dynamic Drivers
- Balanced Armature Drivers
- Planar Magnetic
- Electrostatic Drivers
- Hybrid Drivers
These are also known as moving coil drivers and they are the most commonly found drivers in consumer headphones as reproducing them is cheap. The dynamic drivers of headphones consist of a magnet that’s called neodymium, a voice coil, and a diaphragm that is attached to the voice coil.
A static magnetic field is created by the magnet and when it is introduced to an audio current, the coil gets forced to move towards or away from the magnet. And the coil’s movement moves the diaphragm also and thus sound waves are created.
These drivers are good at reproducing lower frequencies. But they have some problems too like audio distortion, which degrades audio quality. But they are easier to power up than other drivers and also more affordable than them.
Balanced Armature Drivers
These drivers are the smallest of all the headphone drivers and they are used only in “in-ear headphones”. The things that are included in this driver are an arm called the ‘balanced armature’, a coil, a driver rod, magnets, and the diaphragm.
If an audio signal is introduced, it then flows through the coils and the armature gets magnetized. Then the balanced armature is forced to either move up or move down. This movement gets transferred to the drive rod and then to the diaphragm and then it moves to reproduce sound.
Planar Magnetic Drivers
These drivers come in different names such as Orthodynamic, isodynamic, or Magneplanar drivers. Two magnets and a diaphragm with embedded wires are used in them.
If an audio current is introduced, it moves in the diaphragm through the wires and it creates an electromagnetic force, which moves the diaphragm up and down towards the magnets and reproduces sound.
These drivers are mostly used in over-ear headphones, as a result, they are not much used in IEM earphones. Audeze, RHA, etc manufacture some of the planar IEM earphones.
These drivers work through the use of static electricity. Between two perforated stators, a diaphragm is set like a sandwich. The static electricity is created when the audio current is introduced and then the diaphragm is drawn and repelled.
While moving, the diaphragm displaces air through the stator perforations and reproduces sound. These drivers cause less distortion and create more accurate and detailed sound than others, but they cost too much and as a result, these drivers are incredibly rare in headphones.
These drivers are mainly a hybrid of balanced armature drivers and dynamic drivers. Even though balanced armature drivers produce a good quality sound, they fail to produce superior bass sound.
And to tackle this problem, manufacturers use dynamic drivers with balanced armature drivers as dynamic drivers are well known for producing bass sound.
And apart from dynamic drivers, the hybrid drivers are best for IEM earphones. So while you are trying to choose an IEM earphone for yourself, you should choose one with a hybrid driver or dynamic driver.
So apart from serving you well, they won’t cost you much so you can easily get an IEM under 100 dollars.
The first thing you should look into when you are choosing the best IEM for you is durable cables or removable cables. Some In-ear monitors will come with detachable or removable cables that let you upgrade the cables, replace them to fit your specifications, or change them in case of any problems.
The two main benefits I will like to say about removable cables are they can help when the current cables fail and they offer the users upgrade options to offer more features like Bluetooth, mics, and much more.
And the build quality and material of most IEM models under 100 dollars are sturdy and durable. You can choose the style, color, and design of the IEMs based on your preferences.
Straight or Over-Ear?
There are two kinds of in-ear monitors, they can either be straight or over the ear IEMs. While the straight IEMs are the ones that have cables hanging straight down, the over-ear IEMs have cables that wrap over the back of the ears.
Among these two which one you will choose ultimately comes down to your taste and preferences. People that perform on stages prefer the over-ear IEMs more as these IEMs offer a secure fit and the cables also remain hidden.
So for professional usage, over-ear IEMs are a better option than straight IEMs. However, if you are only going for personal use, then you can choose either of them according to your taste and preference.
Some examples of straight and over-ear IEMs are-
Which Ear Tips Are Right?
Different tips can affect the sound signature. It is always better and more affordable to experiment with different tips than to buy new IEMs. In-ear monitors mainly come equipped with either foam ear tips or silicone ear tips.
While they both have their differences, they both perform well reasonably in blocking out the ambiance and staying in place.
Silicone ear tips work comparatively better at staying in position without exerting force, and they are also relatively light in weight. On the other hand, foam ear tips might feel a bit uncomfortable as they have added pressure in the air canal and also for being comparatively heavier in weight.
But for blocking external noise foam ear tips are better. So for finding the right tip for yourself, you should know which kind of tip does what better. And then you can choose the perfect one for you according to your needs and preferences.
Sound Signature and Noise Isolation
Bass centric, mid centric, treble centric, V-Shaped, and Balanced are the common sound signatures. It depends on the track you like to choose the earphones with a regular sound signature.
If you are going to be a new user of IEMs, you are recommended to go after neutral IEMs which will do their job for every genre of music. The thing here is that anyone’s music taste can change over time. So, even your taste changes with time, an IEM with a neutral or balanced sound signature will do the job for you.
When it comes to In-Ear Monitors, the term “noise isolation” should be more preferred than the term “noise cancellation”. They go into the ear canal and their silicone or foam tip will provide quite decent noise isolation.
Also, if you are using custom-molded IEM earphones, they will block the surrounding noise much better and they will be much more comfortable at the same time.
Universal Fit or Custom IEMs?
Among all the IEMs, universal fitting ones are the most available type as they can fit most users. Different ear impressions are analyzed before making universal fitting IEMs and by this, they are made in a way that can be comfortable for most people. Almost all the IEMs you can get under 100 are of universal fit.
There are IEMs that can be molded according to your ear impressions, and these IEMs are called Custom IEMs or CIEMs for short. Compared to the universal fitting IEMs, they offer way more isolation and comfort. But they are way more expensive than universal fitting ones.
Since you are looking for the best IEMs under 100 dollars, you should go for universal fit ones since they also do a great job anyway.
Some examples of universal fit and custom-fit in-ear monitors are-
IEM vs Headphones vs Earbuds
If you are going to buy an audio device with enhanced audio quality, the options before you are In-Ear Monitors, Headphones, and Earbuds. Now a question may arise that which one is better than the others. Now let’s see which one can be the best option for you.
Now if we want to directly compare IEMs and earbuds, we should say IEMs are better than earbuds because they can deliver loud volumes of music safely. But on the other hand, even the high-end models of earbuds provide sub-par quality for audio.
Moreover, just like IEMs, they sit close to the eardrums in the ear canal. But unlike the IEMs, in the long run, the sound reproduced by earbuds can damage your hearing abilities.
And now, if we compare In-Ear Monitors to headphones, then IEMs win in terms of noise isolation and portability. Although high-end headphones do provide audio quality similar to that of IEMs, they do not have similar noise isolation capabilities.
That’s because they fail to seal the ear canal completely. And, sometimes, their design leads them to leak sound. Plus, they’re huge, bulkier, and often uncollapsible, making it difficult to store and carry them around.
So, given the facts above, an IEM is a perfect pick for you if you travel a lot and need a top-notch and immersive listening experience. And also IEMs can help you in so many professional aspects.
7 Best IEMs under 100 USD
Now in this segment, we have listed down the 7 best in-ear monitors that will cost you under 100 dollars. They are all of the great quality and can serve you really well. So, for your convenience in choosing the perfect IEM for you, the list is mentioned below.
- Has Detachable Cable
- Connector Type MMCX
- Dynamic Driver Type
- Sensitivity level 107 dB
- Impedance 20 ohms
- Changeable and durable reinforced cable
- Comes with 3 sizes of black foam sleeves
- Comes in three colors
- Has a good build quality and integrated design
- Provides strong noise isolation
- Provides smooth and excellent sound quality
- Balanced and clear sound
- The bass sound is very detailed and not at all overpowering
- Has extensive compatibility
- Has wide frequency response
- Versatile headphone jack
- Has 6 different size of ear tips
- Durable and high-quality cable
- The sound stage is wide-ranging
- Treble quality is not much fulfilling as other sectors
- Some users might prefer the Bluetooth variant
- Can be uncomfortable for some people
Among the SE in-ear series of Shure, the Shure SE215 is a good introduction. In fact, it is one of the best in-ear monitors out there that will cost under 100 dollars. This can easily be called the best on this list.
This IEM sure gives you what you pay for and probably more based on its performance. They are good for all kind of audiophiles, beginners and veteran audiophiles alike. They bring a powerful combo of exceptional audio quality and user-friendliness to the table for the users.
Along with many other advantages, they provide strong noise isolation and a balanced soundstage. The bass sound is also powerful and detailed. So, overall Shure SE 215 can be top of your choice list.
MEE Audio M6 Pro
- Has detachable or removable cable
- The IEM comes with a carry case, memory foam ear tips, etc
- Also comes with stereo cable headset, cable with mic and remote and ¼ adapter
- 6 sets of silicone ear tips are included too
- Dynamic Driver Type
- Universal Fit
- Connector type 2mm DC
- The sensitivity level is 100±3 dB
- Impedance 16 ohms
- 1-year warranty
- Has a convertible design
- Has waterproof features
- Provides a strong connection with the device
- Provides excellent and upgraded sound quality
- Lightweight and durable build quality
- Lots of useful accessories are provided
- Solid bass response and dynamics
- The Bluetooth quality of the in-ear monitor needs improvement
- The sound stage is not balanced
The MEE Audio M6 Pro 2nd generation should get rated as one of the best IEM that got released in 2020. These special in-ear monitors offer an innovative convertible design, that helps you to convert to wired from wireless design.
So you can basically enjoy the advantages of both kinds of features. And the IEM comes with a whole package that offers a lot of external things. Along with durable build quality and solid bass response, this in-ear monitor also offers excellent sound quality. It also has a waterproof feature that makes it an extraordinary one on the list.
1MORE Triple Driver In-Ear Earphones
- Doesn’t have a removable or detachable cable
- Hybrid Driver Type
- The sensitivity level is 111 dB
- Impedance is 24 ohms
- stylish silver or gold highlights in color
- Provides a really dynamic and premium quality sound
- Has a sleek and ergonomic design
- The in-ear monitor is compatible with a wide variety of devices
- It comes with many accessories, including foam tips
- Has an intelligent control technology
- Provides a great value for the money
- Uses comparatively cheaper plastic buttons
- The cords aren’t removable and they get tangled easily
- Some iPhone users might need a 3 5mm 90° attachment for better use if the 3 5mm port is at the bottom
- Sensitivity can be problematic at times
An excellent user experience and high-quality sound, both are brought to the table by the 1MORE Triple Driver In-Ear Earphones. These in-ear monitors perform consistently well in all the respective fields, as these IEMs offer a hybrid sound driver.
A balanced armature driver coupled with a dynamic driver to provide more power that brings out amazing clarity and deep bass. But the most fascinating thing offered by this IEM under 100 dollars is an intelligent control technology.
This control system helps with many things including song selection, volume control, exercise mode, phone control, etc.
Sennheiser IE 40 Pro
- Has removable or detachable cables
- Dynamic Driver Type
- Sensitivity Level 115 dB
- Dynamic 10mm broadband transducer
- Impedance is 20 ohms
- Comes with a cleaning tool & carry case
- Tightly fitting and ergonomic ear mold design
- The cable is easily removable
- The single driver helps to deliver cool coherent sound
- Provides a wide soundstage
- Light in weight so easily portable
- Comfortable to use
- Bass sound is powerful
- Offers average treble sound
- Has slight seal issues
The Sennheiser IE 40 Pro is another great pair of in-ear monitors that will cost you below 100 dollars. Sennheiser is a well-known brand in the audio industry and they always manufacture decent quality audio equipment.
The Sennheiser IE 40 Pro is no different, as they have done a good job on this one. A very clear and crisp sound quality is provided by this IEM. Not only does it have a decent bass response, punchy mids, and the highs cut through the mix nicely.
However, it lacks a bit in the treble area. This IEM provides excellent noise isolation and it is also really comfortable to wear. The sound also hits directly inside the ear canal. Overall, this can be a great choice for you as an IEM under 100.
LINSOUL TIN Audio T2
- Has detachable cable
- The connector type is MMCX
- Dynamic Driver Type
- The sensitivity level is 102 dB
- Impedance is 16 ohms
- Provides neutral sound signature, which is great for in-ear monitors
- Has a hypoallergenic metallic body
- Good and lightweight build
- Different ear tips are included
- Offers excellent sound quality
- Has great noise isolation
- Offers one of the best frequency ranges
- Very reasonable price
- Doesn’t work very well for voice calls
- Doesn’t have water resistance
- Bass sound is not good enough
The Tin Audio is a comparatively new brand in the audio industry, but with its few products it has already caught the eye of audiophiles. And especially this in-ear monitor, the LINSOUL Tin Audio T2 has especially gained much popularity among audio device users communities.
It is especially known for its beautiful metallic design. It is also really comfortable to use. It provides good sound quality, with nice details in the treble range. However, the bass sound isn’t as good.
But the neutral sound signature is a really good touch being an in-ear monitor. Overall, this IEM is one of the best ones that will cost you under 100.
LYPERTEK TEVI TWS
- Doesn’t have a detachable cable
- Qualcomm Bluetooth 5.0 for a stable connection
- IPX7 waterproof
- High Performance 6mm Graphene Drive
- Features Music & Volume Control, Phone Call & Voice Assistant Calls
- Comes with charging case, silicone and foam tips
- Crisp and clear sound quality
- Has a long battery life
- Fits nicely
- The Bass sound is nice
- Has a wide and balanced soundstage
- Strong Bluetooth Connection
- Has a lightweight build
- Slight hissing noise in a quiet environment
- Buttons are a bit stiff
Lypertek TEVI is among one of the best in-ear monitors that cost under 100 dollars. And it is actually one of the best truly earbuds currently available in the market. It has a great balance between innovative technology and fashion.
It also provides great sound quality along with strong bass. It provides a long battery life and also a strong Bluetooth connection, not to mention the comfort it provides for its users. Overall, it can be a great pick for you.
KZ ZSX In-Ear Monitor
- Has detachable cable
- Connector type 2-pin
- Hybrid Driver Type
- The sensitivity level is 111 dB
- Impedance level is 24 ohms
- Made of 304 stainless steel metal
- Reduces outside noise up to 26dB
- Really fun and enjoyable to use
- Offers dynamic and punchy bass sound
- Has best KZ tuning
- Does not come with a carrying case
- Design is not top-notch
- Might get uncomfortable fit after a while
Possible one of the best customer reviewed and highest rated IEM earbuds under $100 is the KZ ZSX. It has an affordable price and it can a superb choice for you. This pair of IEM provides stunning sound quality and a wide range of good frequency response.
It has a strong build quality and also provides strong noise isolation. Bass lovers will find these extra enjoyable to use. It is also comfortable to use, but you can get extra tips to add comfort. It can be a great pick for you.
In-ear monitors come in really handy for audiophiles, both in case of personal and professional usage. So as a user, you should perfectly look into all the aspects of the IEMs to buy the best one under 100 dollars.
You can easily follow the buyer’s guide and choose one from the list provided here, as all the IEMs in this list are of really great quality. All of these items can be of great service to you without any doubt. Whenever you think of buying an IEM, this guide and list can be of great help to you.