Update 05/06/2021 – The ranking remains the same in May after the arrival there are few two references below the 100 € mark, the BackBeat 500 and Marshall Monitor. Also note that the next helmet on our test list is the Sennheiser HD250 BT, with a very promising technical sheet for the price. Finally, cThose who wish to have advice on how to choose their helmet are invited to go to the bottom of the page where they will find our FAQ explaining the most important aspects in choosing a helmet.
1. Marshall Major III Bluetooth, the best headphones for all criteria
The third version of the Marshall Major displays beautiful physical evolutions, making it more ergonomic and comfortable, it is also much more comfortable than the other products of the brand, even more expensive. The Bluetooth connection is of an excellent level and AptX compatible, just like the sound rendering which is really very satisfactory despite the bias to offer a very strong signature, perfect for Rock but a little less for certain other styles. Otherwise, its design is still very stylish with a look reminiscent of the brand’s guitar amps, its 30-hour battery life is very much above average and its price still very low. A beautiful product.
2. Jabra Elite 45h, the most “High Tech” Bluetooth headset
In line with the very good Jabra Move, the Elite 45h offers very good performance for a reasonable price. Equipped with a solid Bluetooth 5 connection and a monstrous battery life of 50 hours, this small on-ear headphones also delivers satisfying and customizable sound via the excellent Jabra Sound + application. In addition, like the other products in the Elite range, it is possible to record a sound setting directly in the headphones. We only regret its somewhat basic, non-foldable side with a little weak passive isolation, a total lack of IP certification and a somewhat tight output power. But for less than 100 €, the Jabra Elite 45h remains an excellent proposition.
3. Plantronics BackBeat 500, the best value for money headset
Notwithstanding a few shortcomings, the Plantronics BackBeat 500 sets the bar high in the entry-level on-ear Bluetooth headset category. Its design is attractive and it is comfortable, its audio quality allows it to compete with headphones sold twice as expensive and its autonomy of 18 hours as its hands-free mode remain correct, especially in view of the price, less than 100 €. If your budget is limited, this helmet should be considered as a priority.
4. Marshall Monitor, the best circum-aural headphones under 100 €
The Marshall Monitor Bluetooth is a wireless version of the brand’s eponymous headphones in circum-aural format and with a design inspired by the famous Marshall guitar amps. Closed type, the device delivers a frequency response between 20Hz and 20kHz, with an increased representation of low and high frequencies via its signature “V” well known to rockers around the world. The sensitivity of the Bluetooth Monitor is 92dB and the impedance is 28 Ohm. A little old now but still in the game, the headset supports the Bluetooth 4.0 standard but also Qualcomm’s AptX, a codec much more powerful than the classic SBC that we find on most competitors at the same price. On the other hand, you should know that the headband of this device is quite tight and the pressure of the headphones on the ears is quite high. Not super comfortable but sold for around 100 € today, the Monitor Bluetooth remains a very good deal despite this flaw.
We talk to you a lot about the Sony WH-1000XM3 and 4, Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless and others, but they may be excellent, they are also very expensive. However, you don’t need to break your PEL to get a good Bluetooth headset. Of course, for less than 100 € you will have a hard time getting your hands on a headset with advanced features such as active noise reduction, and the sound will necessarily be worse than with a product over 300 €, but there are still has some very interesting devices.
Our advice for choosing the right one
Before, when you bought a nomadic headset, the choice was easier, you had two big questions to ask yourself: is it comfortable? Does it sound good? But helmets have evolved so much that it is now much more difficult to choose. Over time, many nomadic headphones got rid of their cables in favor of a Bluetooth connection, they began to integrate control systems and many increasingly advanced features. So, to make your life easier, we have put together a little FAQ. Do not hesitate to read our dedicated article:
What functions can you expect from a headset under 100 €?
First, know that all modern wireless headphones must offer a sound control system via buttons on the ear cups, whatever the price. Small tip: to know the extent of its possibilities, do not hesitate to download online the instructions for the helmet that interests you. With less than 100 € of budget, we will not lie to you, you will not be able to claim the same functions and performances as 300 €. In general, avoid too good low-cost promises, like touch controls or active noise reduction, some brands claim to offer this feature on inexpensive headsets, but in fact, there’s a good chance you are. disappointed.
What performance can you expect from a helmet under 100 €?
Of course, the sound will also be less refined than with high-end headphones, but there are still some very good models. On the other hand, do not be fooled by the brands that sell you cheap Hi-Res, this certification absolutely does not guarantee the quality of the sound, just a wider frequency response range in the treble. In addition, there is no need to have Hi-Res certification to deliver good sound. Likewise, having a cheap Apt-X compatible headset is good, but if the overall sound reproduction of the headset is bad, it doesn’t help much. Finally, inexpensive headphones often carry a less powerful battery promising less listening hours. But even at less than 100 €, you are entitled to demand more than 10 hours of autonomy.
Circus-aural format on Supra-aural?
This is undoubtedly the first question to ask yourself when you are in a store. The circum-aural headphones, that is to say with large ear cups surrounding the entire ear, insulate well and are often more comfortable than the on-aural, but they are large and less easy to carry. The supra-aural, that is, the headset whose ear cups rest on the ears themselves, is more compact, generally easy to carry, but often less comfortable.
What is the audio signature?
It’s simple, each headset has its own sound reproduction, with more or less treble, medium or bass, this is what we call its signature, or its color. You will notice for example that some models exaggerate the bass, or on the contrary neutralize it. If you like R&B, Hip Hop, then you will probably prefer headphones with deep bass. For classical music, you might be looking for more balanced headphones. Of course, good sound is not just a matter of taste. The headphones must have a precise, rich rendering, with little distortion and good spatialization.
Are all Bluetooth connections the same?
Not at all ! So pay attention to the standard or the transmission codecs used by the headset you want. A good Bluetooth connection will guarantee low latency and good signal stability, favor at least Bluetooth 4 and, if possible, Bluetooth 5. This is an important parameter, especially when watching a movie or a series. Supported audio codecs are also important. An Apt-X compatible headset, for example, will produce less compressed sound, as the most standard Bluetooth codec, the SBC, will tend to degrade the sound slightly. However, it only matters if you are using FLAC files or in other lossless formats, you most certainly will not know the difference if you are playing MP3.
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