You’re here probably because you have a lot to do with recording studio mixing, analyzing live music performances, or perhaps performing on stage? Maybe you’re an aspiring vocalist trying to get an understanding of professional audio gear, hesitant with your baby steps in the field?
In any case, we’re here to support your dreams, help you with your struggles, and bring the best of buying options out on the front for you. Given that, we understand how shopping for a premium-quality IEM on a budget can be a whole lot of struggle.
Despite the availability of practically a thousand different IEM models, you may find only a few being advertised repeatedly in the market. Consequently, you may end up making a compromise – settling for something that doesn’t even meet your needs, or is way too pricey!
For this very reason, we dug up all the hidden gems and compiled this all-embracing guide of the top IEMs, and that too at a pocket-friendly price! So, read on, and you shall find your next best IEM under 100 by the time you finish reading.
Audio Technica – ATH-E40
MEE audio M6 PRO
Sennheiser IE 40 PRO
DCMEKA In-Ear Monitors
BASN Bmaster Triple
KZ AS10 In-Ear Monitor
Yinyoo KZ ES4
- Top 10 Best IEM Under $100
- How to Choose the Best IEM Under 100?
- Things to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Words!
Top 10 Best IEM Under $100
One of the best in-ear monitors under 100, the Lypertek TEVI has the right balance between fashion and innovative technology. Its outlandish exteriors are a true replication of its feature-rich interiors. There is absolutely no compromise on design, sound, longevity, connection, or battery!
Lypertek TEVI is quite a small in-ear wireless monitor. At a glance, one would hardly believe the small plastic body houses batteries and audio components. On each IEM, there’s a metallic ring surrounding the only physical control button. Apart from high-grade plastic, the Lypertek TEVI has a waterproof body with an IPX7 rating. Hence, protecting the internal structure of the in-ear monitors from sweat and rain. You can use these Lypertek TEVI in-ear monitors anywhere.
Its frequency response is between 20 to 20kHz. Thus, the Lypertek TEVI IEM produces audio with cleaner bass, better soundstage, and more clarity. However, some users have reported a slight hiss in the background that can get irritating.
You will also find an integrated microphone in these in-ear monitors with noise and echo cancellation features. So, whenever you communicate via the microphone, the voice received and delivered is crisp. As these are wireless IEM, the Lypertek company has equipped them with the latest Qualcomm chipset, which supports Bluetooth 5.0. Thus, making the wireless transmission flawless.
For further feasibility, the Lypertek TEVI has a massive battery life that allows 10-hours of playtime on a single charge. It arrives in a fabric charging case that allows a 6-times charge. Hence, extending the full playtime to an amazing 70-hours.
If you are seeking in-ear monitors under 100 dollars that specialize in providing an exceptional bass, then these Audio Technica ATH-E40 are an ideal option! ATH-E40 belongs to the Audio Technical E-Series, which the company specifically designed for musicians and sound professionals. Let’s evaluate in detail!
The Audio Technica ATH-E40 has a small one-tone body. Its black matte aesthetics of the IEM makes it appear glamorous, and the small size makes this pair convenient to carry around. So, please, let this translate to you as: they’re a perfect pick for social events where you direly need the comfort of your soothing music. (You know what we mean!) They’ll look gorgeous, classy, and of course, super cool! Plus, the Audio Technica ATH-E40 has a lightweight construction, which allows one to use them for hours without any discomfort.
It comprises a high-grade plastic material, which offers immense durability. And so, you can rest assured that your ATH-E40 certainly won’t shatter on the slightest of falls. However, note that it does not have a waterproof design. So, be vigilant when wearing these in-ear monitors during rain.
Talking about comfort, these in-ear monitors include four different sizes of silicone ear tips in the package. Hence, the IEM fit in your ears efficiently. As these have an over-ear wired design, you will find that the memory cable can loop over your ears for convenience. The cable is also detachable. Hence, you can optimize the IEM design as per requirement.
Previously, we mentioned the Audio Technica-ATH-E40 is one of the best IEM for bass. Thus, it is natural to question what makes it specialize in it? Well, allow us to explain!
The Audio Technica-ATH-E40 features integrated housing and components. These enable it to offer exceptional noise cancellation and powerful bass. It delivers frequencies between 20 to 20kHz. Thus, each high and mid-frequency has a balanced nature. Plus, the presence of dual-phase push-pull drivers that boosts clarity and accuracy.
Perhaps, the MEE Audio M6 Pro 2nd Generation must get rated as the best IEM 2020. These cheap IEM have so much to offer to its users with an innovative convertible design. Yes, you heard that right. The MEE Audio M6 Pro has a wireless to wired convertible design!
Hence, you can benefit from the high audio quality of wired IEM as well as the portability of the wireless. The combo pack also features earpieces, a Bluetooth adaptor, a charging case, and a stereo audio cable. Plus, the manufacturer offers a 1-year warranty that allows easy part replacement and repair within the given time frame. Let’s dive into details!
Firstly, these M6 Pro are appropriately proportionate. Similar to others on the list, these in-ear monitors have a lightweight construction of 3.53-ounces.
Although the stylish body of the M6 Pro consists of high-quality plastic, the design has an IPX5 rating too. Hence, making the in-ear monitors durable and resistant to damage. You can easily wear them outdoors, regardless of the weather.
For easy conversion, the company has incorporated detachable and replaceable cables in the M6 Pro 2nd Generation. Using it, you can switch between wired and wireless modes smoothly. Moreover, the ergonomic earpiece comes with seven different ear tip sizes. Unlike other IEM, these have T-Series memory foam tips that offer comfort as well as better noise isolation. As for the audio quality, the MEE Audio M6 Pro 2nd Generation can deliver precise, clear, and full-range sounds. There are also bass boost and vocal boost modes for enhanced performance.
However, the mere drawback of M6 Pro is its inability to offer balanced sounds. While the frequency response is wider, some notes might sound pronounced and some suppressed.
Moreover, the M6 Pro unleashes the full potential of wireless transmission. The Bluetooth 5.0 and rechargeable batteries allow up to 9-hours of talk time and 8.5-hours of playback time.
IE 40 Pro is Sennheiser’s best contribution to the leading range of IEM collection. The latter features a lightweight construction with translucent earpieces and 1.3 meters long black-colored, removable cables. On the outside, these in-ear monitors may appear to have a cheap built, but user experience confirms that these are one of the most durable and sturdy IEMs of all.
In terms of sound performance, this phenomenal pair exhibits quite a versatile profile. They are suitable for both professional musicians and music enthusiasts who wish to enjoy their favorite tracks while exercising. These are particularly recommendable for drummers as they enhance the clarity and make cymbals more pronounced. Their micro yet dynamic 10 mm driver enables these IEMs to produce warm and soothing sounds. And this, of course, is 100% free of any distortion.
The single driver system ensures that the frequency range does not split and gets delivered as composed. The trebles and mids may sound a little average, but the richness of most of the sound spectrum, especially the bass frequencies, will leave you awestruck. The wide soundstage provides a super-immersive sound experience. We bet you’ll find yourself enjoying the music as if you’re in the midst of a concert!
Furthermore, these in-ear monitors come with 3-silicone ear tips in different sizes as well as one pair of memory foam ear molds. So, you can equip the Sennheiser IE 40 Pro with ear tips that best fit into your ears. And this, in turn, maximizes comfort and convenience.
The over-ear cables are also detachable. So, you can replace these with your preferred set of cables. Detachable cables do not promise wireless operation. However, they make these IEMs more portable.
Simgot EM2 is one of the most elegant-looking IEMs that you will find in the market. On the outside, they feature an aesthetic translucent plastic exterior with braided over-ear cable. The cable is detachable and soft. Thus, they’re comfortable in wearing and are foldable.
Their premium quality makes it possible for these wires to transfer audio signals efficiently and also stay immune to wire oxidation. Moreover, they come in five different colors, including transparent white, pink, green, purple, and translucent black.
In terms of sound, they will leave you amazing. The latter brings about clarity to every single music note. Additionally, their dual dynamic drivers ensure well-balanced and pure sound along with rich vocals.
The soundstage is a bit average. But the phenomenal noise isolation still maintains that immersive feel of the music. Furthermore, it is a safe purchase since you can return the product within 30-days of purchase and also lay claim upon any default within the first year of purchase, it is a safe buy.
The DCMEKA In-Ear Monitors feature the latest innovative hybrid technology that combines exceptional audio quality, aesthetic outlook, integrated components, and comfortable design. It excels at all the aspects of the best IEM monitors, though the presence of a microphone would have been a plus.
With a fairly broad structure, these black one-toned exterior of these in-ear monitors has got a visually-pleasing appearance. If you are an audiophile or musician with a preference for style, you would love the big, well-engineered body. For a comfortable fit, the product comes with three different ear tips sets. Hence, you can experiment and find the ideal match!
These DCMEKA IEMs feature a detachable cable and an MMCX connector. While this allows convenient replacement upon the damage, it also enables you to switch the cable with Bluetooth and microphone cables. So, you can convert these into wireless IEMs too!
Moreover, its lightweight build houses a diversity of components that collaboratively function to produce high-definition audio. It features a dual dynamic driver and frequency response of 10Hz to 23000Hz. Hence, the resultant audio has deep bass, crisp treble, balanced notes, and minimal distortion.
The in-ear design of the IEMs further blocks the ambient noises and offers better sound isolation. For portability, the DCMEKA in-ear monitors come with a sturdy, protective carry case. In case of damage, the company offers 12-months protection for replacement and refund.
One of the best IEMs, the B master Triple Drivers in Ear Monitor by BASN, has gained appreciation from audiophiles, musicians, and gamers alike. But, what is exceptional about these in-ear monitors? Let’s see for ourselves!
At a glance, the B master Triple Drivers IEMs will stun any onlooker. These have a visually-arresting and aesthetic design. It has a plastic one-toned body that has a translucent edge, which looks exquisite. There are three different colors available in these IEMs, including blue, white, and green.
The B master IEMs feature MMCX connectors and a detachable cable that augments both usabilities as well as durability. You will also find an integrated microphone, control panel, and a silver-plated audio cable. The cable has an extensive 4.2-feet length, allowing the user to stay mobile while listening. It’s 3.5mm jack makes it compatible with almost every playback device. However, with a weight of 8.8-ounces, these in-ear monitors have a heavyweight construction that can cause discomfort after hours of usage.
As for the performance, it won’t be inaccurate to conclude these IEMs as one of the best IEMs for gaming. These in-ear monitors house three drivers in its little body, which includes 2-dynamic drivers and 1-balanced armature. Altogether, these drivers offer excellent noise isolation and richer bass. You can literally wear these in-ear monitors while riding on a motorcycle and still listen to crisp audio!
Plus, the frequency range offered by the in-ear monitors is between 18Hz to 22kHz. Hence, the audio produced is clear, and the details are richer. So, when you use these IEMs for gaming, you can hear every movement and sound accurately, which augment your command.
While browsing the best IEMs on the internet, you must have come across these amazing Shure SE215-K. These belong to the S-series of the well-established brand Shure. Hence, bringing the right combo of user-friendliness and exceptional audio quality to its users.
Comparatively, the Shure SE215-K has a larger body and structure. At a glance, its dimensions might seem bulky to you, but the black-colored aesthetics complement the outlook. Consequently, balancing the build and preventing it from looking ugly when worn.
These wired in-ear monitors feature gold-plated MMCX connectors with a snap-lock mechanism. Hence, allowing a 360-degrees rotation for a better and comfortable fit. The IEMs come along with three different sizes of the black foam sleeves. So, you can experiment and find the ideal fit. There is also a soft, zippered, and compact carrying case included in the package for increased portability.
While these over-the-ear Shure SE215-K offer immense momentarily comfort, you cannot wear these for hours. The 5.6-ounces heavyweight construction can cause soreness after some time.
As for the performance, the Shure SE215-K excel at sound isolation. It is sound isolation technology blocks 37db of the ambient noises. These feature a dynamic driver that enables it to produce a richer bass and balanced audio. It has a frequency range of 22Hz to 17.5kHz that reproduces clearer sounds.
The Shure SE215-K in-ear monitors have a detachable cable that allows easy replacement as well as increased connectivity. You can connect four different types of cables, including Bluetooth, Lightning, USB-C, and a universal 3.5mm.
If you are hunting for the best IEMs under 50, then the KZ AS10 In-Ear Monitors is an idealistic option. Priced a few cents above 50, the KZ AS10 In-Ear Monitors offer the desired combination of exceptional audio quality, comfort, and style.
These wired monitors have a slightly bigger body than other IEMs on the list. While some do prefer bigger IEMs, a majority of people do not like bulky structures.
Apart from the dimensions, the green-colored aesthetics of the KZ AS10 In-Ear Monitors look exquisite on-stage. Plus, it has a lightweight construction that allows you to wear IEMs for hours without feelings of discomfort. Moreover, the silicone ear tips further smoothen the user experience.
Similar to other in-ear monitors, the KZ AS10 IEMs also feature a detachable OCC 2-pin cable. Perhaps, the benefit of detachable cables is a quick replacement in case of damage. Instead of the new IEMs, you only have to purchase the cable!
Despite the low cost, the KZ AS10 In-Ear Monitors possess 5 Armature drivers, including one for Lows, one for Mids, two for highs, and one for both mids as well as high. Hence, the resultant audio reproduction has deeper bass, accurate details, and balanced notes. The highs do not get much pronounced, and the Mids are warm. Its wide soundstage and precision enable you to locate the position of the instrument.
Concisely, at such a low price, the KZ AS10 In-Ear Monitors are feature-rich. The company also provides a 12-months protection warranty. Hence, in case of damage, you can get these IEMs easily repaired or refunded.
Yinyoo Audio considers it a right of every individual to gain access to the highest quality audio, regardless of the budget. And the Yinyoo KZ ES4 In-Ear Monitors are a practical example of the company’s beliefs. These cheap yet efficient in-ear monitors have so much to offer to its users.
The Yinyoo KZ ES4 In-Ear Monitors have an ergonomic design that enables the IEMs to rest around your ears without pulling down. They have a small body that easily fits into the ear and looks smart upon wearing.
It has a fashionable transparent-like shell that comprises bright-colored resins. Plus, it has a lightweight construction. Hence, you can wear for hours without earaches or soreness.
As for wired IEMs, these have a sturdy and flexible cable that enhances usability. Plus, the removable cable design allows the user to replace the damaged ones easily.
The Yinyoo KZ ES4 In-Ear Monitors feature two drivers, including one dynamic driver and one balanced hybrid armature. Hence, allowing the IEMs to produce a beautiful treble and full bass. All the Lows, Mids, and Highs have a crisp balance. The frequency range is between 20 – 40000 Hz, which augments clarity. Yinyoo has also incorporated silicone ear tips and an independent sound channel to each driver so that the audio has minimal distortion.
Perhaps, the mere drawback of the Yinyoo KZ ES4 In-Ear Monitors is the absence of a microphone. The IEMs could have become more versatile with a microphone.
How to Choose the Best IEM Under 100?
Choosing the best IEM under 100 can be a bit challenging and confusing if you came across the term only recently. Knowing that IEM stands for In-Ear Monitors and that it’s a separate device from earbuds may not be enough to help you select the best or even differentiate between various models. For this very reason, here’s a bunch of important facts, key differences, and fundamental features to look for when purchasing the best IEM.
What is an IEM?
The term IEM stands for In-Ear monitors. These compact hearing devices are fundamentally the professional version of earbuds and earphones. And hence, they usually form part of an audio engineer’s, musician’s, audiophile’s, or a DJ’s audio gear. The professional’s use it with the ear monitor systems, which comprises a transmitter, receiver, and the IEM themselves. For an idea of how the three work together, watch a singer perform live on stage and take note of their special looking earbuds (IEMs) and a belt-like device around their waist.
But does that mean you, being a beginner, cannot use the IEM? No, not really. You can use an IEM just as much as a professional would. It’s wiser that you begin with a cheap IEM, and so all the options mentioned in this list are good for you!
IEMs VS Earbuds VS Headphones
Before we have a look into the specs to consider when shopping for an IEM, let us ensure if purchasing an IEM is a wise decision or not.
Currently, you need an audio device to enhance audio quality. And for that, you have three options, i.e., IEM, earbuds, and headphones.
Now, IEMs are better than earbuds because they can deliver loud volumes of music safely. Contrary to that, even the high-end models of earbuds provide sub-par audio quality. Moreover, just like IEMs, they sit close to the eardrums in the ear canal. But unlike the IEMs, the sound reproduced by earbuds can damage your hearing abilities in the long run.
If we compare IEMs to headphones, then IEMs win in terms of portability and noise isolation. Although high-end headphones do provide audio quality similar to that of IEMs, they do not have similar noise isolation. That’s because they fail to seal the ear canal entirely. And, sometimes, their design leads them to leak sound. Plus, they’re huge, bulkier, and often uncollapsible, making storage and carrying-around difficult.
So, given the facts above, an IEM is a perfect pick for you if you travel a lot and need top-notch and immersive listening experience.
Things to Consider
Now, proceeding onwards, let’s have a look at a few fundamental aspects of IEMs that you must consider before buying them. Remember, only the features mentioned below will help you analyze and assess a pair of IEM truly. Without it, you may as well make a decision that you’re likely to regret. We don’t want that. Do we? So, let’s have a look at these for ourselves.
Types of IEM Drivers
Drivers are the first feature to consider because they have a direct impact on sound frequencies and the price. Technically, the sub-components are responsible for converting electrical signals into audio signals, making the job of an IEM executable.
There are five types of drivers, and these include:
- Dynamic Drivers
- Planar Magnetic Drivers
- Hybrid Drivers
- BA or Balanced Armature Drivers
- Electrostatic Drivers
Amongst these, dynamic drivers are the most common ones, especially when it comes to headphones. That’s because they best reproduce bass frequencies, they are power-efficient, and also cheaper to manufacture. Thus, they make IEMs affordable while also providing a good listening experience. But on the negative side, they may distort the audio a bit. Hence, degrading the audio quality by a slight degree.
Planar drivers comprise a magnetic mechanism. Consequently, you will find planar magnetic drivers only in high-end IEMs as they cost much more. Along the same lines, electrostatic drivers utilize static electricity to reproduce sound. And hence, you will only find them incorporated in pricey IEMs. Moreover, BA or Balanced Armature is the small-sized drivers that best reproduce the highs of a soundtrack.
Hybrid drivers happen to be the manufacturer’s favorite in IEMs. That’s because they combine the balanced armature driver as well as the dynamic driver. Hence, reproducing the entire audio spectrum just as is, and that too, on an affordable range. The BA drivers recreate highs while Dynamic drivers handle the low frequencies. And hence, we recommend models with hybrid drivers and dynamic drivers.
In this list of the best IEM under 100, the build quality and material of most models are sturdy and durable. The style, color, and design are matters of your preference.
However, another thing that you need to consider is the presence of detachable or removable cables. Most IEMs come with the feature of removable wires to allow the user to easily replace the cables if damaged or according to style preferences. It’s always better to go with detachable variants.
IEMs come equipped with either silicone ear tips or foam ear tips. Both perform reasonably well in blocking out the ambient and staying in place but still have their differences.
Silicone ear tips are relatively light in weight and are better at staying in position without exerting force. Foam tips, on the contrary, may feel a bit uncomfortable with their added pressure in the air canal and comparatively heavyweight. But foam tips do better at blocking out external noise.
So, there’s no definite recommendation for ear tips. It all depends on your comfort preferences.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are Headphone Amplifiers?
Headphone amplifiers are external devices that boost the performance of headphones and IEMs. Sometimes, they can even help to power 2-4 cans at once.
But if you’re reading this with the concern of buying a headphone amp for your IEM, then you should know that it’s not necessary to buy a headphone amp for a better listening experience. IEMs are already advanced gadgets. It depends on your will, but you probably will not feel the need.
2. Are IEMs and earbuds different from one another?
Most people confuse IEMs with earbuds due to the similar external structure. Both the devices resemble quite a lot in terms of their shape, but they have noteworthy differences in terms of performance.
IEMs seal the ear canal entirely while earbuds sit on the outer part of the ear canal. Hence, even the most basic versions of IEMs are capable of blocking out all the ambient noise, while only even the most high-end, advanced versions of earbuds may allow in some degree of surrounding noise into your ear canals.
3. Does an IEM offer noise cancellation?
Yes! But to put it more accurately, an IEM offers more noise isolation than noise cancellation. It blocks out the surrounding noise decently with its silicone and foam tips. Customized IEMs perform this function even better, along with ensuring comfort.
Undeniably, it is quite challenging to find the best hi-definition in-ear monitors that have an accurate balance between durability, audio quality, and feasibility. A compromise always lurks behind in the shadows with the drawback.
Above, for your ease, we have articulated the top-rated products in the market as well as an insightful guide. However, if you’re still doubtful, let us recommend the very best of bests, the Lypertek TEVI. These IEMs are truly phenomenal!
If you have any thoughts or recommendations, do not hesitate to share it with us. We will be glad to hear!
Last Updated on February 5, 2021