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The Best Sound-Isolating Earphones Under $100
Enjoy your tunes in peace without emptying your wallet.

by Meghan McDonough on Friday, May 08, 2009

Want to upgrade from your flimsy and uncomfortable iPod earbuds, but not looking for something as massive and expensive as noise-canceling cans? Cheap and portable sound-isolating earphones may be the perfect fit. Although they’re not as effective as larger active-noise-canceling headphones for blocking out ambient sounds, these buds do an admirable job of sealing off your ear canals. That’s why fit is so important: too loose and the earphones will sound tinny; too tight and they’ll be uncomfortable. We tested the latest models for less than $100 that included at least three sets of small, medium, and large eartips to see which one was best.

The Best Sound-Isolating Earphones Under $100


Altec Lansing BackBeat Titanium 326

Price: 79.95

With its gold design, the $79.95 Altec Lansing BackBeat Titanium 326 earphones do more than add a little bling to your ears.
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Audio-Technica ATH-CK6A

Price: 99.95

With its new ATH-CK6A, Audio-Technica continues its gradual turn toward budget-conscious consumers who want better sound out of their phones and media players.
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iLuv iEP505

Price: 49.99

Although bass-heads won’t enjoy these earphones, for $49.99 they’re a good budget-friendly upgrade for your daily commute.
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Shure SE115 Sound Isolating Earphones

Price: 99.99

A unique design and solid performance make these earphones a winner, but we wish they weren’t so heavy.
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Ultimate Ears MetroFi 220

Price: 79.99

These earphones offer a comfy fit and solid sound quality for a reasonable price, but the bass could be better.
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