Best IEMs Under $100 in 2021 (In-Ear Monitor Reviews)

The 100 USD price point serves as the middle ground in entry-level IEMs.  If you want to upgrade your budget IEMs without breaking the bank, then you have come to the right place. In this list, we will be looking at some of the best IEMs that you can buy at this price point. There are plenty of choices here with a variety of different driver configurations. 

Our top picks are the KBear Diamond and the iBasso IT00 but there are many interesting options here, so make sure to keep on scrolling to find out more. 

Please note: At the time of publishing, all recommended products were selling for $100 or less but prices fluctuate.


Best IEMs Under $100

KBear Diamond – Best All-Rounder 

ddhifi tc35b with kbear diamond 2
KBear Diamond with ddHiFi TC35B (Image: Stephen Menor)

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Driver Config: 1 Dynamic Driver 

Cable: Detachable (2 Pin 0.78 mm)

The KBear Diamond is our top pick in the sub 100 USD price point due to how much value it gives for its price. It has an excellent build quality, lots of accessories, and a sound signature that works with various genres. 

The KBear Diamond truly lives up to its namesake when it comes to its build quality. The shells are made of metal and have a good amount of heft in them. Of course, they are not as good as higher-end models such as the BQEYZ Spring 2, but they are good enough as daily drivers. 

The nozzles are also made of metal, which means they won’t just suddenly snap when you change your ear tips. And the overall aesthetics are on point with its sage green color scheme and carbon fiber faceplate.

The KBear Diamond’s stock cable is just as well built as the shells. It is a silver-plated copper cable that is very soft and easy to manage.

There are plenty of things to like with the stock cable, such as aesthetics. The color scheme that KBear chose for the stock cable perfectly matches the shells. Other brands tend to include a cable with a random color that ends up being replaced by the user.  

Some design elements help the cable stand out. There is a logo on the Y-splitter and the plug. It is these little things that indicate that a company isn’t just throwing random parts together with the IEM. 

The build of the cable is also on point. The 3.5 mm and 2-pin connectors are reinforced by metal. The whole cable feels solid and should not easily break during daily use. 

One minor complaint that I have with the stock cable is in the ear guides. The plastic on the ear guides makes a squeaking noise that is most noticeable when placing the IEMs inside my ear. This can be an isolated issue with my unit, but it is still something worth mentioning. 

The Diamond only comes in a 2-pin variant, which is a good choice due to its stability. I’ve had mine for a few weeks now, and the sockets don’t seem to be loose despite having the cable detached a number of times now. Overall, the Diamond’s stock cable is great, and you shouldn’t need to purchase any upgrade cables unless you want to use a balanced cable. 

KBear has nailed everything up to this point. But the most important aspect of any IEM is, of course, the sound quality. And this is where the KBear Diamond needs to prove itself.  The KBear Diamond is powered by a single dynamic driver, which is very refreshing considering all the multi-driver budget IEMs that companies are trying to make. It has a V-shaped sound signature and is leaning towards the warmer side of the spectrum.

The bass is prominent in the Diamond while the mids and highs are slightly recessed. This fun-sounding signature is relatively safe and works with a lot of different genres. The KBear Diamond’s signature is perfect for a relaxing listening session. 

Overall, the KBear Diamond checks all of the boxes of a good budget IEM. It has solid build quality both on the shells and the cables, it has great aesthetics, and a great sound quality that fits a variety of different genres. If you want to learn more, you can head on to our Head full review for a more detailed look. 

iBasso IT00 – Best Value

iBasso IT00 Audiophile in-Ear Monitor/Earbuds
iBasso IT00 (Image: Amazon)

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Driver Config: 1 Dynamic Driver 

Cable: Detachable (MMCX)

iBasso is a well-known brand in the audiophile industry. A lot of their products, such as their DAPs and IEMs, have been well received in the community. However, they are not necessarily a brand that you would associate with budget products. 

However, iBasso has managed to catch everyone off guard with the release of the iBasso IT00. This IEM replaces the IT01 and serves as the new entry-level model with its lower price point. However, its price does not reflect its value as this IEM has somehow managed to become one of the best sounding IEMs in the sub 100 USD price point. 

On the outside, the IT00 has a clean-looking design that utilizes a safe shape known to work well with most ear shapes. It is rocking a white color scheme with the iBasso branding on the faceplate. The shells are also lightweight, which greatly increases comfort. 

Its build quality is as good as it looks. It is using MMCX sockets for its removable cables. It has worked well with the rest of iBasso’s products, so this should not be a point of concern. 

The real star of the show here is its amazing sound performance and technicalities. The IT00 is only utilizing one dynamic driver. However, at this point, we already know that one driver is enough to give an outstanding performance if utilized properly. 

The IT00 manages to deliver a balanced and coherent sound leaning towards the warmer side of the spectrum. It manages to bring a natural sound that is expected from a dynamic driver. The tonal balance is also quite excellent with good extension on the lows and the highs. 

Each frequency is well executed on the IT00. The bass is done well and manages to sound big without overpowering the mids. The treble is well extended, airy, and natural without being too harsh or fatiguing to listen to. And the mids are warm but maintains its detail and clarity even on busy tracks. 

The only con here is the driver flex. While it does not indicate poor build quality and reliability, it is still quite annoying inside the ears. This is an issue that was seen on older iBasso units, particularly the IT01s

Overall, the iBasso IT00 nearly has everything that you would want on an IEM. It has solid looks, good build quality, and stellar sound quality. If you are looking for a great performing IEM that fits well in most genres, then the IT00 should be high on your list. 

Moondrop Starfield – Best Performer 

Moondrop Starfield Carbon Nanotube Diaphragm Dynamic Earphone
Moondrop Starfield (Image: Amazon)

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Driver Config: 1 Dynamic Driver 

Cable: Detachable (2 Pin 0.78 mm)

Our next IEM is slightly over the 100 USD price point, but we will include it due to how much value you get out of these. This IEM is no other than the Moondrop Starfield

Despite having a lower price tag, the Moondrop Starfield has many similarities with the more expensive Moondrop KXXS. Some reviewers have even claimed that apart from the small differences, the Starfield and the KXXS are functionally the same IEMs

The Moondrop Starfield is rocking an original design that has not been previously done in Moondrop’s IEM lineup. The Starfield has a look that is heavily based on its name. It has a striking blue finish with subtle glitters of stars. 

The driver is a modified version of the driver used in the KXXS. The diaphragm used in the Starfield has a different design, but the overall tuning is similar between the two. Aside from a few subtle differences, the Starfield manages to get close to the sound quality of the KXXS. 

The Moondrop Starfield shares that same neutral Harman sound signature that the KXXS is well known for. Highs are well controlled and have plenty of detail. It manages to avoid the peaky frequencies. Bass is not too forward but is adequate to add body to songs. The mids are once again slightly recessed but manage to keep that same satisfying detail found in the KXXS. 

When compared to the KXXS, there are a few differences apart from the build quality and packaging. The upper midrange of the KXXS is a bit more forward and emphasized compared to the Starfield. This forward upper midrange also gives the illusion of more detail in the mids. 

However, apart from these minor differences in sound, both of these IEMs are nearly identical. If you do not have enough budget for the KXXS, then the Starfield is an excellent alternative. It beats most IEMs under 100 USD and remains competitive in the 100-200 USD price range. 


BGVP Zero Electrostatic Dynamic Metal Headphones HiFi Music Monitor Earphones DJ Bass MP3 Sports in Ear Earbuds Detachable MMCX Cable (3.5mm Black with mic)
BGVP Zero (Image: Amazon)

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Driver Config: Hybrid Dual Driver (1 DD + 1 Electrostatic) 

Cable: Removable (MMCX)

BGVP is a relatively young company in the audiophile scene, but they have already established themselves as one of the major players in the market. They got so much attention thanks to successful and innovative releases such as the BGVP DM6 and DM7

Now, BGVP is looking to dominate the sub 100 USD price market with its new BGVP Zero. This IEM is unique thanks to its driver configuration. It is equipped with a dynamic driver and an electrostatic driver. 

The Zero is one of the most affordable electrostatic IEM, which is still quite rare in the current IEM market. This unique configuration immediately makes the Zero stand out on this list since the electrostatic driver will be able to sound different from the dynamic and balanced armature offerings on this list. 

Before we delve deeper into the sound quality, let us first tackle the build quality, aesthetics, and form factor of the IEM. The BGVP Zero’s shells are made entirely of aluminum. We highly prefer the metal build that is starting to pop off on most of these budget IEMs since it adds to the premium feel of the IEM and guarantees good reliability. 

The shape may seem odd at first. However, BGVP is well experienced in crafting IEM shapes, so this should not be a cause for concern. 

In terms of its sound signature, the BGVP Zero is warm with an emphasis on the lows, particularly the mid-bass. They are punchy and impactful. However, they roll off quite early. 

The highs take a backseat on these IEMs. They are still present and have a fair amount of detail. However, it is fairly noticeable that the emphasis is not on the highs. Listeners who are sensitive to treble spikes will like how the highs are tuned. Those who like brighter sounding IEMs, on the other hand, may not like this.  

The mids are where the Zero excels at. They are fairly clean and detailed. They are also smooth and non-offensive. You won’t find any signs of sibilance or harshness here. They also reproduce most of the instruments on the midrange quite well. 

For its price point, the Zero is one of the best in reproducing vocals, pianos, guitars, etc. The imaging and separation of the instruments are also quite nice as it is easy to tell them apart. 

Overall, if you are a fan of mids and want a punch but not exaggerated bass, then you should give the Zero a try. It has its fair share of weaknesses, such as the early roll-off on the lows and highs. However, that is part of the experience of having a non-traditional driver configuration.

Sennheiser IE40 Pro – Reference Pair 

Sennheiser IE 40 PRO, molded in ear dynamic monitors (Clear)
Sennheiser IE40 Pro (Image: Amazon)

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Driver Config: 1 DD 

Cable: Detachable (MMCX)

Sennheiser is a household name when it comes to professional audio. They are known for creating some of the most well-known headphones such as the Sennheiser HD600 series and Sennheiser HD800s. Their IEMs were also well received in the past and were among the best of their generation. Now, Sennheiser has revamped its IE series to cater to the needs of professionals and enthusiasts. 

The IE40 Pro serves as the entry-level model of Sennheiser’s new IEM lineup. Unlike older models in the IE series, the IE40 Pro now comes in an over-the-ear design with a shape similar to Custom IEMs and modern Universal IEMs. 

Being a professional IEM, the sound signature of the IE40 Pro is very neutral. This gives it a lot of room for EQing to adapt to different instruments. It also makes sure that the sound it produces will be as close to its source as possible. 

The bass is not muddy or boomy, and the highs are not sharp or fatiguing. Some may find this kind of sound signature boring since there are no specific frequencies that are being highlighted. However, 

The Sennheiser IE40 Pro has a rugged build quality to complement its professional sound. The cables are detachable and are replaceable with aftermarket MMCX cables. It is worth noting that the stock cable is not braided and looks fairly plain and basic, unlike the other IEMs on this list. 

Overall, if you are a musician or a professional in the creative industry and you need a reliable IEM in the sub 100 USD price range, then your best bet is the Sennheiser IE40 Pro. It has the reliability and sound quality that is coming from a renowned brand. 

Fiio FH1S

FiiO FH1s HiFi 1BA(Knowles)+1Dynamic Hybrid Earphone IEM Stereo Bass Earphone with 0.78 2pins High Purity monocrystalline Cables(Without Mic,Black)
Fiio FH1s (Image: Amazon)

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Driver Config: Hybrid Dual Driver (1 BA + 1 DD) 

Cable: Removable (MMCX) 

Fiio is a well-known name in the audio industry. They have been making DAPs ever since their inception in 2007. Today, they are one of the most successful brands and can now challenge bigger brands such as Astell & Kern and Campfire Audio

However, Fiio is not only known for their DAPs, DACs, and sources. They have been making back-to-back hits with their IEMs. One of their latest creations, the Fiio FH7, has been praised by the community and has even been compared with more expensive units such as the Campfire Audio Andromeda

Now, Fiio is looking to transfer the success of their higher-end IEMs to the sub 100 USD price point with the Fiio FH1s. Fiio has ventured with budget IEMs in the past. However, those used various shapes, designs, and driver configurations. The FH1s is more similar to Fiio’s more recent offerings, which feature an over-the-ear Custom IEM style design. 

The aesthetics of the FH1s are on point. Unlike the other IEMs on this list, the FH1s come in a variety of different colors. It comes in yellow, purple, green, white, and yellow. 

Its looks are accompanied by solid build quality. The shells are made of transparent acrylic, which is similar to the higher-end UIEMS and CIEMs. The materials used look and feel premium and will help the IEMs survive almost any kind of citation. The acrylic material is also known to be reliable as there are very few cases of cracks developing under normal circumstances. 

The FH1s also comes with a hard case that is similar to Pelican’s hard cases. This is a nice touch and is possibly the best included hard case on this list, which is surprising since most brands tend to just give out a free small pouch. 

In terms of the sound, the Fiio FH1s manages to bring a fairly balanced sound signature. The bass, mids, and highs are well done on this unit since it utilizes two different drivers that specialize in different areas. The dynamic driver performs well in the lows while the balanced armature driver handles the mids and high well. 

Extension on both ends are well done. The bass goes deep without being muddy, while the highs can have more air without being too harsh. The mids are smooth and manage to give an outstanding performance for this price range. They are full-bodied and manage to fully convey vocal-centric tracks. 

Overall, the Fiio FH1s is a compelling package for its asking price. It has great build quality, lots of aesthetic options to choose from, great sound quality, and even a solid carrying case. If you are looking for your next all-rounder IEM, then you should give the FH1s a try. 

Shozy Form 1.1 

Linsoul Shozy Form1.1 1BA+1DD Dual Driver Hybrid in-Ear Earphones, Beryllium Dynamic Driver, Detachable 0.78 2Pin Cable for Audiophile Musician
Shozy Form 1.1 (Image: Amazon)

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Driver Config: Hybrid Dual Driver (1 BA + 1 DD) 

Cable: Detachable (2 Pin 0.78 mm)

Rounding off this list is the Shozy Form 1.1. The Form 1.1 is the latest budget offering from Shozy, a Hong Kong-based company that is well known for DACs and IEMs such as the Shozy Alien and Shozy Hibiki Mk2

In terms of its design, the Shozy Form 1.1 is quite stylish. It is built with 3D Printed Resin Shells that are similar to CIEMs. And similar to most 3D Printed Shells, you can expect very few imperfections with the Form 1.1’s shells. 

The glittery gold finish on the shells is also quite eye-catching. It resembles a starry sky or a galaxy type of finish. The nozzles are made of metal, so you can be sure that changing ear tips will not be a problem. 

The build quality and the style of the IEMs already made this an interesting IEM. But of course, the Form 1.1 needs to perform at a similar or greater level than those on this list to be a recommended purchase. Luckily, the Form 1.1 sounds as good as it looks. 

In terms of its sound signature, the Shozy Form 1.1 has a U-shaped sound signature. There is a slight emphasis on the bass and the treble but is fairly balanced overall. 

Just like with the other BA + DD IEMs on this list, the bass frequencies are handled by the dynamic driver. The bass punches hard and is very satisfying for energetic tracks. As mentioned earlier, the bass is slightly accentuated but not enough to bleed into the mids. 

The mids have a touch of warmth and is fairly smooth. It is quite inoffensive with no signs of harshness or sibilance. Vocals, in particular, are quite engaging on these IEMs despite not being too forward or highlighted in the mix. 

The treble manages to add enough brightness to prevent the IEM from sounding too dark. It isn’t overdone as the treble area is not overemphasized. Like other IEMs in this price range, they mostly take a backseat and let the mids and lows handle the overall sound. 

Overall, there are no major issues in the Shozy Form 1.1’s tuning. It is a relatively safe tuning that others may find a bit boring. But if you are looking for a fairly balanced sounding IEM with great looks, then the Form 1.1 is worth a try. 

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