Buying an affordable pair of headphones without compromising performance, comfort, or durability seems like a challenging task. There are tons of appealing devices on the market, so it’s easy to get confused while choosing.
At a very decent price range, you’ll find various top-notch devices, including wired and wireless ones. And because I know that picking the perfect one for you is challenging, I’ve decided to compile a list of the best headphones under $150 in this article.
I advise you to read the buying guide at the end of the article before reading the reviews to get enough information on the features you should be looking for.
Top 3 Best Headphones Under $150
|Best Overall||Best Overall||JBL LIVE 500BT||
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|Best Cheap||Best Cheap||Jabra Elite 45h||
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|Best Cable||Budget Pick||Sennheiser HD 280 PRO||
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5 Best Headphones Under $150 in 2021
1. JBL LIVE 500BT – Best Wireless Headphones
JBL LIVE 500BT are the best wireless headphones for some reasons, including their high sound quality. They produce exquisite deep bass at high and low volume alike. Plus, the low range is quite good, and the treble is balanced. Thanks to their wide frequency response range (18Hz – 20KHz), you will be able to hear various sounds.
They’re quite comfortable with their oval-shaped ear cushions, which are a bit suspended so that your ears enjoy the comfort of the leather padding. Sadly, the padding causes your ears to become hot to some extent, but it is within the accepted limits.
The padding and the tight fit block most of the ambient noises, allowing you to listen to your music and podcasts at low volume. This protects your ears from being subjected to extra loud volume. Yet, if you’re driving, you’ll want to hear some of the surrounding sounds, and that’s when the Ambient Aware function comes to the rescue as it allows you to listen to the noises produced by those around you.
Another option I find appealing is the TalkThru function, which allows you to talk with anyone without needing to lower the volume at which you’re listening to your music. With one touch of a button, it lowers the volume and amplifies the surrounding noises, allowing for successful communication. You can also check out our guide on how to make your headphones louder.
All of the above attractive features won’t be useful if the battery dies out quickly. But you don’t need to think about this because this baby’s battery lasts for 30 hours and can be fully charged in less than two hours. Moreover, the battery can give you six hours of playtime after being charged for 15 minutes only, and you have the quick charge feature to thank for this.
In case you want to use wires, you can as they come with a 3.5 mm audio input. But I guarantee that you won’t need to resort to this option because JBL LIVE 500BT support Bluetooth 4.2 that has a connectivity range of over 32 feet. Further, you can use them to make and take phone calls using the central remote button controls.
Plus, they automatically pair once switched on, and you can easily switch between two paired devices. This feature is specifically handy whenever you need to switch quickly from your tablet to your phone to catch a call just like it is found in these best portable headphones for classical music.
Besides, these headphones are compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, allowing you to finish lots of your tasks hands-free, which is excellent for drivers or people with a busy schedule.
- Powerful bass
- Comfortable design
- Compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa
- Allow for easy switching between two devices
- Permit phone calls
- Enjoy long battery life
JBL LIVE 500BT are an excellent option if you need wireless headphones with superb sound quality and various handy features like supporting Alexa and pairing with more than a device. If you have enough cash to buy them, what are you waiting for?
2. Jabra Elite 45h– Budget Pick
With less than $80, you can get one of the perfect wireless pair of headphones. Jabra Elite 45h produce excellent sound quality with their 40mm speakers. Also, thanks to their 20Hz – 20KHz frequency response rate, you will hear all possible sounds.
Besides, you can manually adjust and personalize the sound, thanks to MySound, which is the most recent Jabra technology that allows you to select one of the various music presets or adjust the EQ, generally found in these headphones for guitar amp.
Owing to their 13.1 ounces and foldable nature, Jabra Elite 45h are very lightweight for you to carry around and enjoy wherever you want. Further, the soft memory foam on their ear cushions provides maximum comfort even if you wear them for hours.
Another reason that makes them super for outdoor use is their wireless nature. This means that they have no cables so you will be free to run, cycle, commute or walk wearing them.
And if you’re worried that their batteries will run out of juice, you needn’t be because they can play songs for 50 hours straight! In case you need them for longer than this, they give you 10 hours playtime after charging them for 15 minutes only similar to these best headphones for transcription work.
Are you driving and can’t make or take calls? Jabra Elite 45h allow you to do this without risking your life or anyone else’s thanks to their two microphone call technology. Plus, they give you access to Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, so you can do whatever you want by touching one button.
- Long battery life
- Allow calls
- Compatible with Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant
- Might make your ears hot
- Leak sound
- No noise isolation
Jabra Elite 45h are the headphones to buy if you’re low on money but don’t want to sacrifice durability and sound quality. Besides, they are very comfortable and allow you to make phone calls.
3. Sennheiser HD 280 PRO– Best Tangle-Free Cable
Sennheiser HD 280 PRO are one of the various high quality wired headphones on the market. The thing I like most about them is that their cable is coiled and one-sided, which means that it’s tangle-free.
Plus, the cable is robust and has a UniMatch plug that supports 3.5 and 6.3mm use. Although it seems like the cable is undetachable, if you have the needed tools, you can detach it and use another one. Yet, this is a highly unlikely situation to face because the cable is robust enough to withstand misuse. You can safely store them in your bag, and they won’t suffer any damage.
The high sound quality of these headphones is pretty exquisite like these bone conducting headphones, given that the bass and mid notes are clear, detailed, and accurate. Also, the highs are very clear, making this pair suitable for monitoring. However, these are not the perfect headphones for bassheads because bass lacks the aggressiveness that they crave.
Moreover, you’ll enjoy a wide range of frequency response starting at 8Hz and ending at 25KHz. Also, you’ll feel like you’re at a concert, thanks to their perfect soundstage. Another reason why they give you the sense of being at a concert is their excellent sound isolation. You can wear them on the road or in a noisy restaurant without being interrupted by any of the ambient noises.
If you want fashionable-looking headphones, then these aren’t for you as they focus more on a sturdy design, and despite their plastic construction, Sennheiser HD 280 PRO are durable.
In addition to the tough build quality, there is enough padding to provide comfort. And there won’t be a hot spot in the center of your head, thanks to the two pads made of squishy memory foam, leaving enough room for air to come inside.
The foam-padded ear cups are comfortable and spacious, but they might cause your ears to become hot if you wear them for too long. Also, the clamping of these headphones might feel too strong for some people. However, these two issues are not significant drawbacks compared to the advantages of the headphones.
- Wide frequency response range
- High sound quality
- Nice sound isolation
- Not fashionable
- Results in hot ears
- Might be too tight for some users
Sennheiser HD 280 PRO are an excellent pick for users who need durable and comfortable headphones with high sound quality and fantastic sound isolation.
4. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x– Best For Classical Music
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are great for people who love listening to classical music because they produce excellent high frequencies, especially when the instruments move between the mids and highs with a range of 15Hz – 28KHz.
You can use them as monitor headphones because you can turn the cups around and enjoy one-ear monitoring. This is also a nice feature for DJs and those who work in professional audio production. Yet, this doesn’t mean that they aren’t suitable for personal use; however, they don’t look so fashionable as they’re chunk.
Moreover, the headphones are very sturdy and won’t suffer any damage like these good base headphones. Besides, the cups can swivel up to 90 degrees and fold into the headband. Their foldability gives them extra durability as it absorbs some of the impact if they fall or get hit.
The ear cups are quite comfortable but might cause your ears to get hot if you wear them for a long time. However, this isn’t a major drawback, especially if you live in countries where the weather is rarely hot.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x feature two cables, where one is coiled and long (9.8’), and the other is straight and short (3.9’). Both are detachable, so you can remove them and attach a 3.5mm cable that employs the twist-to-lock mechanism. Sadly, the shorter cable has no in-line controls.
They lack an active noise cancellation option, yet they block most of the ambient noise, thanks to the circular design that confines your ears.
- Have two cables
- Foldable design for easy portability
- Can be used for monitoring
- Swivelling cups
- No active noise cancellation
- Your ears will get hot
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are especially great for classical music lovers. Besides, they are comfortable and durable enough to withstand long-term use.
5. Sony MDR7506
Sony MDR7506 are the perfect pick for anyone who needs high-quality studio headphones without paying too much money. Their 40mm drivers produce clear audio, and they can produce all sounds in this frequency range (10Hz – 20KHz) at the same level of sound pressure.
These headphones put a bit of an emphasis on the lows and mids, but they don’t produce heavy bass as any basshead would want. Instead, their bass is clear.
They are nice for commuters as you can easily toss them in your bag, thanks to their foldability and lightness. And even though they are entirely made of plastic, the headphones are durable enough not to break. In the unlikely case that they do, you can easily replace them without paying a lot, given how inexpensive they are.
Sadly, the earpads don’t have any foam padding, which means that your ears might feel a bit uncomfortable if you wear these for many hours. However, you can easily replace their original padding with another from any store.
These are indeed made for music production, but you can still use them to listen to music while commuting, for example. I find their ability to clamp on your ear a bit hard suitable for commuting because they won’t fall off your ear.
The cable is not detachable so you must handle it with care. However, it’s sturdy and thick enough not to get damaged. The thing I don’t like about the cable is that it adds a bit of weight to the headphones, making them excellent if you’re sitting but a hassle if commuting.
- High sound quality
- Suitable for music production
- Uncomfortable ear pads
- Not very nice looking
Sony MDR7506 are an excellent pair of headphones for music production and personal listening as well. Besides, they produce high sound quality at a very affordable price.
What to Look for When Buying Affordable Headphones
Finding a perfect pair of headphones without having to pay too much money is a challenging task because there are certain factors you must check off your list before making a purchase. Below is a list of the most critical factors you shall consider.
Frequency Response Rate
A good pair of headphones should be able to produce frequencies between 20Hz to 20KHz. Some headphones produce a wider frequency range. But note that wider frequency ranges don’t mean better sound quality.
If you don’t want to hear the surrounding noises, make sure the pair you buy can block ambient noise. I highly recommend this because it spares you from having to raise the volume of the song and so protect your ears.
Wired vs. Wireless
Both types of headphones have their pros and cons. For example, wired headphones won’t run out of battery, and you’ll always have them at your service. However, they are not the best type to have on the rod as the cables might get tangled, and you might not be able to focus on the road.
On the other hand, wireless headphones allow you to answer phone calls using controls on the microphone. Also, most of them are waterproof so you can use them under the rain with no worries.
If you go for wireless headphones, you have to pay attention to their connectivity option. For example, some use Bluetooth and others rely on NFC. I prefer Bluetooth connectivity because it has a wider connectivity range that’s around 30 feet, while NFC has a 20-cm range.
The main drawback of Bluetooth is that it drains the battery, and that’s why you should pick a pair with long battery life. Otherwise, the headphones might run out of battery while you’re listening to music.
Hopefully, you now believe that picking the best headphones under $150 is not as challenging as you thought it is. It might still seem confusing, though, so allow me to highlight some of the above devices.
In case you’re searching for wireless headphones, go for JBL LIVE 500BT or Jabra Elite 45h, depending on how much money you want to spend. If you’re low on cash, go for the latter and enjoy their ability to run for 50 hours straight. In case you want to buy JBL LIVE 500BT, you’ll enjoy the Ambient Aware and TalkThru functions.
If you want to steer away from wireless devices, go for Sennheiser HD 280 PRO for their excellent sound quality, nice sound isolation, comfort, and tangle-free cable.