Best IEM under $100
Oh, IEMs how I love you so. The feeling of isolation and amazing audio you get when you put the foam tips in your ear and experience the bass kicking in. Just awesome.
If you don’t have have a huge budget then check out these IEM which all come in under $100.
In the beginning, music was communal, meant to be heard by groups big and small all at once, with no mention of “ambient sound” or “sound leakage” or “sound cancelling.” Eventually, we invented the gramophone, then the record player, then boom box and stereo speakers to share that music with others.
Of course, once we were able to play whatever song we wanted whenever we wanted, people started to realize that just because they wanted to blast their favorite songs on repeat didn’t mean that their friends, family members, roommates, and random people out in the world wanted to hear them, too. So, we invented Walkmen, CD players, iPods and iPhones, and of course, all manner of headphones and earphones to keep that portable music to ourselves.
Just as audio technology evolved for those listening to the music, it evolved for the performers, so it only makes sense that at a certain point these paths would converge.
Enter the in-ear monitor, or IEM. Used by performers and audiophiles alike, these earphones are among the most advanced music-listening and playback options on the market. They deliver a level of clarity and sound quality for performers that is second to none, and can be an invaluable piece of equipment for amateurs and professionals alike.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at different IEMs and see which is the best IEM under $100 for you.
What to Look for in IEM
Two basic qualities that govern the selection of IEMs for most people are the sound quality and comfort it provides. If you’re reading this, you’re probably looking for an IEM under $100 (that is our topic, after all!) so I’ll add affordability as a third major factor to that list.
If you have performed for any period of time, there is a fair chance that you might be wondering why you can’t just stick some earbuds in your ear instead. After all, earbuds are far less expensive on average. Even setting aside the fact you can buy inexpensive earbuds for music listening purposes at any pharmacy or store, there are plenty of earbuds designed for performance use that are also quite inexpensive.
However, earbuds of any kind do not have the same sound quality as IEMs. This is partly due to the fact that they are not able to lock in the sound emitted by the speaker buds to the same degree as an IEM as a result of their design. IEMs close off the ear canal much more efficiently than earbuds, trapping the sound so it doesn’t leak out and disturb neighbors while simultaneously keeping outside sound from filtering in.
Top Eight IEM for Under $100
So, let’s take a look at best in ear monitors under $100, which makes each of them resonate with me, and what they can do for you.
This model boasts 20 ohms and a sensitivity of 107 dB, but those technical elements only begin to tell the story of what makes it worthwhile. Shure is a very reliable model, and “Shure enough” this model offers good, solid sound, complete with bass performance that is deep without becoming overbearing.
In addition, it does a good job of isolating the sound. Wine connoisseurs “roll it over” in their mouth whilse tasting so they can appreciate all the wine-making “notes,” and this IEM allows you to do the musical equivalent, appreciating each note and sound in good clarity.
The treble can be a bit much, but otherwise, this model does a good job of isolating the sound while retaining its original integrity. The ear tips are made from foam and silicone and offer a good balance of sturdiness and form-fitting comfort.
At just around $99, it’s right up against the budget limit here, but I think it’s well worth the extra dollar or two if you want an all-around solid IEM.
2. BLON BL 03 IEM
This model, which has 32 ohms and sensitivity of 102 dB, offers good sound imaging, which is one of the most important things to consider when looking at different IEMs. In addition, it offers good bass control, giving you a good deep sound without having to worry about being overpowered by a booming bassline. At the same time, they also offer a good, airy sound, making them a great value for their low price of around $40.
It’s a 10mm dynamic driver which gives some good punch.
There are a few downsides, notably that the nozzle and tip are a bit shallow, and that it doesn’t isolate sound as well as other models.
That said, this is still a sturdily-built, functionally-sound option.
3. KZ ZSX in-ear Monitors
This is another affordable model under $40 which offers a nice, warm bassline and a dynamic design. This is one of the most accessible models on this list, making it a good option for amateurs. It’s another solid unit performance-wise, with 24 ohms and a sensitivity of 111 dB.
Unfortunately, this model can start to get a bit uncomfortable during long performances, though that may subside as you break it in. What’s more, while the design is very accessible, it is also highly streamlined and simplistic.
Still, for what it is, this is a nice starter set and KZ have such a great reputation for building IEM for less.
Designed by Grammy-winning sound designer Luca Bignardi, these IEMs feature three drivers that provide balanced armatures, combining to create a listening experience that’s incredibly accurate to studio quality and 1 dynamic driver. If you are looking for a less expensive IEM model that can bring the quality of more expensive models to your amateur performance and sound recording sessions, you can’t do much better than this.
In addition, this model is quite comfortable to wear. They feature OBLIQUE-style ear fittings (nine in total), which allows you to customize your set for the most comfortable setup possible while simultaneously ensuring that they won’t fall out of your ears during a performance or while you’re on the go.
This model also allows you to switch between songs, control the volume, and even answer calls with ease, all while eliminating background static. With 32 ohms and an overall sensitivity of 99 dB, this is by far one of the most well-rounded sets on this list.
This is a very affordable hybrid IEM.
This is another example of a very simple model, though it may be a bit too streamlined for its own good. In terms of features, it cannot compete with the higher-level options on this list. Still, if you’re strapped for cash and just want a simple model that can get the job done reliably while also offering good sound isolation, this is a decent choice, offering 28 ohms and a total sensitivity of 106 dB.
FiiO have such a strong reputation for building amazing DAC and DAP players they have also played in the IEM market. Like the 1MORE this is a hybrid
This model pairs 16 ohms with 102 dB to deliver clear, compelling sound and some of the best all-around sound cancelling on this list. It does a spectacular job of delivering a neutral sound signature without outside interference. It’s also quite affordable at just around $50.
One minor complaint about this model is that – apologies, Meghan Trainor – it isn’t “All About That Bass,” so if you are, you’ll want to choose one of the others on this list with stronger bass performance.
That aside, however, this model does indeed have “all the right junk in all the right places” with its sturdy, lightweight, stylish body.
The Linsoul TinHiFi T2 are a crowd favorite and have been for a while so it’s easy to include them in this list.
Technically the Final Audio E2000 don’t meet our normal criteria for an IEM but the price and value for money make them worth adding to the list.
This durable black IEM boasts an aluminum build that is surprisingly durable. In addition, it comes with a portable carrying case, which makes it that much easier to take with you to gigs. This is a little thing, but on lists such as this it’s the accumulation of little things that make a big difference. If you’re going to invest in an IEM, you want to make sure that it does not break while transporting it, so the portable case is a very welcome touch here.
In terms of the technical side of things, this model features 16 ohms and 102 dB of sensitivity, both respectable levels for a unit at this level.
We needed an earphone than was close to an IEM but wireless. The LYPERTEK TEVI TWS met the brief for that. Not too expensive at all but with all the features and sound performance you want in a Bluetooth earphone.
Still, it provides a very strong bass. Even better, it’s waterproof, so if that’s important for you, this might be the dark horse candidate on this list for you. Add to that a long battery life and good comfort, and it isn’t hard to see the appeal of this model.
The buttons are a bit stiff, but can be broken in with use.
For those looking to take their favorite music with them wherever they go (including under the water) these are an interesting pair to consider.
Buying an IEM does not have to be an expensive venture. On the contrary, when you’re first starting out, you ideally want to get something affordable so you can see what works for you. Each of the models on this list have their own pros and cons, so consider them carefully and decide which next-gen IEM is in tune with your needs.
If you have any questions or can think of IEM models under 100 that you like, comment below.
This post was last updated on 2021-10-25 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.