Holiday Gift Guide 2016 – 2017: Top 10 Headphones Under $100

Sennheiser HD558

Sennheiser is a brand that many will know and love, and for good reason. The German brand has been creating headphones for the best part of a century now, and there's a reason they're hailed as some of the best. The HD558 is a pair that is perhaps better suited to the home, but will work just fine from your smartphone. Will a great warm tone, and tons of clarity and detail to go along with it, Sennheiser's HD558 are a real treat for the ear, as well as a great gift without breaking the bank.

MEE Audio M6 PRO

If value is one of your main priorities when it comes to gifting or purchasing a pair of earphones, then MEE Audio is a brand that should be on your radar. The M6 PRO have been available for some time now, and at $50, there are few other pairs out there that offer the same value as these. Not only do they sound great, with an excellent balanced tone to them, but they have a wide array of ear tips as well as two detachable cables included in the box, all packaged within a hard carrying case. A great gift for the audiophile on a budget, as well as those that appreciate add-ins, the M6 PRO are well worth considering.

Rock Jaw Alfa Genus V2

Rock Jaw Audio is a British brand from across the pond that hopes to deliver excellent sound without the price tag. As we found out in our review earlier last year, that's just what they've done. The Alfa Genus V2 are a pair that sound like they're much more expensive, and with a trio of sound tuning filters that offer different sounds for different tastes, these are well worth considering. With metal ear buds as well as a range of different ear tips including foam and other comfy choices, Rock Jaw have created a long-lasting (thanks to the strong cable) and great-sound product that won't disappoint.

Symphonized Wraith 2.0

Symphonized has become known for their unique, wooden look and feel and these, the Wraith 2.0, are a pair that is no exception to that. With a variety of different wood finishes on offer, these are headphones that will look great no matter what. Comfortable with a modern twist, these mix metal and wood together to create something you won't find elsewhere. They might not sound the best, but they certainly look great, and will no doubt be a great gift for someone looking for a new pair with something unique about them.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50X

If you've shopped around for headphones before, you'll no doubt have heard of the Audio-Technica ATH-M50X set of headphones. For those that can't stretch that much, there's the M30X, a model that's a lot cheaper, that still shares a lot of common DNA with the bigger brother pair. These are comfortable, sound great and have excellent customer reviews throughout Amazon. Their plastic build and look might not be to everyone's tastes, but to make them sound as good as they do, Audio-Technica had to make sacrifices somewhere.

Audiofly AF56

Audiofly is a firm that's usually producing in-ear monitor systems and such for performers, but they recently got inot the consumer game in a big way, and the AF56 is a pair that offer some great overall sound, without breaking the bank. With a stylish cable, as well as sort of retro feel to the whole package, the AF56 is a pair that certainly appeals to those looking for something a little special. They sound great, look good and don't even cost that much, which makes these a standout pair, and it's always nice to give something that isn't from the usual brands everyone has heard of.

Sony MDR-EX650AP

A standout pair for a few years now, Sony's MDR-EX650AP have been praised for their excellent value for money. Sony might be content to use a cold, and unmemorable name for these earbuds, but that shouldn't put you off. Available with or without a microphone and featuring a metal build and feel, the MDR-EX650AP look good and have a lot to offer the everyday listener, as well as those who fancy themselves as something of an audiophile, too. For a pair from a big brand that sound like they should retail for a lot more, Sony have something really great to offer people.

LSTN Avalon

LSTN is a firm that has been trying their best for the past few years to make sure that their headphones are not only good for the listener, but also good for the planet. Despite their good-natured business model however, they still make products that look good as well as sound good, too. With oodles of great reviews, as well as hassle-free returns, LSTEN make a product that a lot of people should give a look. These Avalon earbuds are made from real bamboo, and are a simple, no-hassle pair of earphones no matter what you're into. They're fairly affordable, and will make a great gift regardless.

Marshall Monitor

Many of you will know Marshall for their great guitar amps, featured in many a music video and used by musicians throughout history. They do however, also make headphones, and yes, they're styled like a Marshall amp would have been. With some excellent looks and nice touches, such as the headphone cable that looks like a guitar lead, these are a pair of headphones that will appeal to any sort of rock and roll fan out there. They sound really warm and laid back as well, just what a rocker wants in a pair of headphones, They fold up and have a carrying pouch as well, making them the smallest Marshall you can take with you on the road.

House of Marley Riddim

These House of Marleys are a pair for those on the move a lot, and those that want to show off their taste in music in style. They are available in a range of different colors, they're light on the head and they also have a lot of branding to go with them, too. The Riddim is a very affordable pair of headphones, and they're lightweight and comfortable. They might have the best outright sonic performance, but for an inexpensive gift that is bound to please friends and family, this is well worth looking into.

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About the Author
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Tom Dawson

Former Editor-in-Chief
For years now I've had a heavy interest in technology, growing up with 8-bit computers and gaming consoles has fed into an addiction to everything that beeps. Android saved me from the boredom of iOS years ago and I love watching the platform grow. As an avid reader and writer nothing pleases me more than to write about the exciting world of Android, Google and mobile technology as a whole.
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