Headphones have become an essential product in our lives; some people can’t stand three hours without listening to some nice music. Some workplaces hugely rely on headphones as well, like call centers. So, it’s only natural to look for the best-performing headphones to enjoy your music or work with.
However, high-quality headphones can be costly. But don’t panic! A budget of $200 can provide you with a vast selection of high-yield headsets that support the features you’re looking for!
Still, choosing from the countless options provided can be perplexing, as there are many features and brands to explore. You also don’t want to get tricked into choosing a low-quality headset made out of weak materials.
So, I’m here with a list of the 7 best headphones under $200 to help you choose your musical companion. Also, I’ll assist you in understanding the most important features of headphones to enable you to choose your own headset!
Top 3 Best Headphones Under $200
|Best Overall||Best Overall||Sennheiser HD 599||
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|Runner-Up||Runner Up||PreSonus Eris HD10BT||
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|Best Cable||Best Value||Audio-Technica ATH-M50x||
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7 Best Headphones Under $200
1. Sennheiser HD 599 – Best Overall
The Sennheiser HD 599 is one of the best critical listening open-back headphones in the market, offering exceptional sound quality and a balanced audio reproduction. Not to mention, the frequency response on these headphones provides extended treble and punchy bass response.
Also, they’re lightweight compared to other critical listening headphones. But, that doesn’t make them highly portable, as they aren’t foldable.
As for comfort, they present velour-coated ear pads and a thick leather headband. You can wear these for long hours without feeling any pressure. On the note of long hours, the headphones offer 16 hours of battery life, which is quite long, considering the number of features they offer.
On the downside, they leak too much sound, which is something commonly found in open-back headphones but generally well covered in these wireless bone conduction headphones. Moreover, I wouldn’t recommend going to the gym with them because they aren’t sweat-resistant.
However, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t durable. Even though they’re made of plastic, these headphones are quite durable. The high impedance found in these headphones is quite beneficial, as it helps protect the headphones from overloading.
Other than that, they offer a clear, spacious soundstage, which makes a great pair of open-back headphones, in addition to their extraordinary audio reproduction and comfortable design.
- Extended treble
- Long battery life
- Good bass performance
- Thick leather headband and velour ear pads
- Leaks sound
- Not gym-friendly
The Sennheiser HD 599 is a great choice for open-back headphones audiophiles, granting amazing sound quality and high comfort velour ear pads. It’s the obvious choice for people who do critical listening tasks.
2. PreSonus Eris HD10BT– Runner Up
Do you dislike the open-back design and prefer an immersive feeling? The PreSonus Eris HD10BT will take care of all your needs! These headphones offer active noise cancellation in addition to excellent noise isolation, which will help you block all of the ambient noises around you!
In addition, they’re foldable and easily carried around. You don’t have to worry about connectivity either, because they support Bluetooth 5.0. When it comes to comfort, the padding is great, and they feel comfortable. But, I wish the clamping force was a little stronger; sometimes, I feel like the headphones will slip off my head.
Furthermore, the sound quality on these headphones gives the more expensive ones a run for their money. They offer an extended bass response and great audio quality. However, if you turn the active noise cancellation off, you might notice that the sound quality diminishes. Other than that, the bass response is punchy, mids are clear, and the treble end is great similar to these best trucker bluetooth headset.
I recommend these headphones if you’re someone who prefers a world without disturbances. They offer wonderful sound quality and magnificent noise isolation and cancellation.
- Great noise cancellation
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Extended bass response
- Sound quality decreases when noise canceling is off
- Lack of clamping force
The PreSonus Eris HD10BT is an excellent choice for headphones in this price range because it grants active noise cancellation, Bluetooth 5.0, and great sound quality. They’re also foldable and easily carried around.
3. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x– Best For Studio
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is the ideal studio partner. If you’re dedicated to sound engineering or spend most of your time in a studio, these headphones are for you.
For starters, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x offers a sturdy, professional design, which contributes to the headphones’ durability and high noise isolation capability.
They’re specifically made for music production, so Audio-Technica paid close attention to this pair’s sound quality. The bass is punchy, and the trebles are fresh. When you’re making music, you’ll be able to tell the details of your beats easily.
If you’re someone who moves from a studio to another, then don’t worry, because they’re also foldable like some of these best bass wireless headphones! Oh, and the earpads and headband are very comfortable, and they fit just right. The clamping force is perfect for making the headphones stay in place without applying pressure on the head, too.
On the downside, these would be a perfect pair if they supported active noise cancellation. But, they tried making up for that by providing superb noise isolation. If you aren’t a fan of wired headphones, you can get the Bluetooth alternative. However, it doesn’t sound as good as the wired version.
- Great for music production
- Perfect noise isolation
- Comfortable ear cups and headband
- High durability
- Absence of noise cancellation
- Bluetooth alternative doesn’t sound the same
4. Marshall MID A.N.C.– Best On Ear
If you aren’t a fan of the immersive feeling the over-ear headphones offer, then the on-ear Marshall MID A.N.C. is your obvious choice. These headphones boast a metal and leather retro-style look, which many people love. They also support high-efficiency active noise cancellation.
It’s not limited to that; they also support aptX technology, enhancing audio quality to the maximum. Besides, they provide an extremely long-lasting battery life of 20 hours or 30 hours if you have noise cancellation off. Also, they present a battery life indicator. On the downside, it takes a lot of time to recharge, since it doesn’t support USB Type-C charging.
Regarding comfort, they’re smooth on the ears for a pair of on-ear headphones. You won’t get the burning sensation usually found in this type. However, the clamping force is rather vicious. You might not be able to keep them on for a very long time. Yet, they’re one of the most lightweight on-ear headphones in the industry.
Still, I believe these headphones are the best in the on-ear category, due to their excellent sound quality and unique active noise cancellation.
- Great noise cancellation
- Amazing battery life
- Stylish look
- Supports aptX technology
- Easy-to-use controls
- Doesn’t support quick charging
- Vicious clamping force
The Marshall MID A.N.C. is the best choice for people who love the causal on-ear design. It delivers impressive active noise cancellation and very long-lasting battery life. Not to mention, they boast a fashionable retro-style look!
5. SoundMAGIC TWS50– Best True Wireless Earbuds
SoundMAGIC TWS50 True Wireless earbuds are the best option for people who prefer something feather light and don’t like the traditional headphones look with the clamping force. These earbuds come in three different ear cup sizes to ensure a secure fit for your ears, in addition to astonishing sound quality, natural mids, and clear treble.
As for durability, you can take these earbuds to the gym or the beach, as they’re IPX7 waterproof. However, the materials used are a little flimsy. Yet, they should be fine as long as you don’t throw them at a wall.
SoundMAGIC didn’t miss the Bluetooth 5.0 checkpoint in its wireless products. You can enjoy all the amazing features that come with this Bluetooth version, such as extended range and energy saving. These earbuds don’t support active noise canceling, however.
Additionally, they have a rather high sensitivity for a pair of earbuds. A sensitivity of 107 dB can guarantee a louder volume than most earbuds.
On another note, the battery life is extraordinary. These earbuds come packed with a long-lasting battery life of 30 hours, with each earbud having 6 hours of charge each.
- Extraordinary sound quality
- Long battery life
- IPX7 Waterproof
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Slightly low durability
- Poor noise isolation
The SoundMAGIC TWS50 is the best choice for True Wireless earbuds. The long-lasting battery life, high sensitivity, IPX7 waterproof rating, and extraordinary sound quality all contribute to this product being the best of its kind.
6. Sony WH-CH700N– Best Budget
Sony has been engaging in the active noise-canceling headphones industry viciously. One of their successful products is the Sony WH-CH700N, which is your route to a noise-free world with a small budget.
The sound quality is far from lacking, and the bass end is quite punchy as well. The headphones’ also support Sony’s DSEE, a digital sound enhancement system, and aptX HD technology, which helps provide better sound. Furthermore, you can make your own audio profiles using the Sony connect mobile app.
On the downside, the noise canceling feature performance is what you’d expect to get at this price point; it’s somewhat lacking. However, the noise isolation is good enough to block most disturbances around you.
Additionally, they’re really comfortable and easy on the ears, thanks to their lightweight build and over-ear design.
Moreover, the quality of the built-in mic is great. You won’t have to worry about your voice being scratchy or unclear when making phone calls. A drawback is that they’re mostly made of plastic, which makes them feel a little flimsy, however.
Lastly, the Sony WH-CH700N boasts an impressive battery life of 35 hours. It takes 5 hours to charge it fully.
- Great sound quality
- Punchy bass
- Long-lasting battery
- Good mic quality
- Supports aptX technology
- Mediocre noise cancellation
- Low durability
The Sony WH-CH700N brings many outstanding features to the table, even though they cost way less. It’s a good choice for people looking for active noise cancellation at a very low price.
7. Logitech G933– Best For Gaming
Are you tired of hearing your enemy’s footsteps but not being able to tell which direction they’re coming from? Rest assured because the Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum is your hero. Logitech is renowned for providing gamers with the high-grade equipment they need for gaming.
These headphones offer an immersive design that allows you to live inside the game! The noise isolation is terrific so that you won’t hear any disturbances around you. Even though they’re wireless, there’s absolutely no delay in sound. The mic quality is on par with the most expensive headphones in the industry, too.
Also, these headphones have a high sensitivity, which ensures a higher volume than average headphones. Have fun blasting your music while gaming!
As for looks, they don’t fall behind. They offer a stylish, bulky look with programmable RGB lighting. However, I wish the battery life could last longer, as it only lasts for 8-10 hours without RGB on.
Although they’re heavy and bulky, these headphones are really comfortable. Their over-ear pads are covered with a soft fabric, so you don’t have to worry about wearing them for a long time. The clamping force is great and doesn’t apply much pressure on the head.
- Immersive design
- Stylish and programmable RGB lighting
- Extraordinary mic quality
- Superb sound quality
- Extremely low latency
- Low battery life
- Heavy and bulky
The Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum is the best gaming headphones you can obtain. These headphones offer fantastic sound quality, low latency, splendid isolation, and beautiful RGB lighting.
How to Pick the Best Headphones
Now that you know about our top 7 picks for the best headphones under $200, I’ll pave the way for you to become an expert in headphone specifications, so that you can choose your own headphones.
The design of the headphones can tell you a lot about its features. There are two main headphone designs: closed-back and open-back. These two types are almost exact opposites.
Closed-back headphones are designed so that the ear cups’ outer shell is completely covered, helping envelope the sound and provide you with an immersive feeling. From that, we can conclude that closed-back headphones are outstanding at noise isolation.
If you’re someone who works in a studio setting or uses their headphones to play games, I recommend getting this design due to its noise isolation capability and charming feel.
Open-back headphones allow air and sound to pass freely through the grills found on the earcups. They aren’t as good as the closed-back type regarding noise-isolation, but that’s what’s good about it. Open-back helps you feel like the music surrounds you, which is the opposite of the closed-back feature.
If you like listening to music during your picnics, I recommend getting this type of headphone model design.
Comfort is an essential factor that you need to consider when selecting your headphones because you don’t want to get ones that hurt your ear or give you a burning feeling.
Many factors contribute to comfort. You don’t want a hostile clamping force that’ll squeeze your head tightly, but you also don’t want a fragile one that’ll leave your headphones vulnerable to falling. You also should make sure the padding is made of smooth material that’ll help your ears relax.
On the other hand, some factors are bound to people’s preferences, like ear cup design. There are three types: over-ear, on-ear, and in-ear.
Over-ear cups are usually found in headphones used in a professional setting, like studios. They have large ear pads that fit your whole ear. I prefer this type, and the reason is that they contribute to noise isolation and provide me with an immersive feeling.
Some people don’t like the looks of huge over-ear cups, so they opt for the on-ear design. Most casual wireless headphones offer the on-ear cup design with the small earpads that sit on top of your ears.
If you prefer not to have anything applying pressure on your ear, you should go for the in-ear design! It provides a lot of comfort, but it sometimes falls back when it comes to noise-isolation. Also, I would suggest you to check out our guide on how to keep ear plugs from falling out
Portability and Connectivity
If you’re someone looking for headphones to carry around, then portability is something you should pay attention to. Some headphones offer a collapsible design that supports portability, and others come with a carry case in their package.
You should also decide if you want your headphones to be wired or wireless. Wired headphones offer better performance than their wireless counterpart. However, the wireless ones are mostly collapsible and easily carried around, but low battery life is the limitation.
If you’re opting for the wireless type, you must pay attention to the Bluetooth version. I recommend going for Bluetooth 5.0 at all times. Bluetooth 5.0 supplies the headphones with extended range, lower latency, and BLE, helping preserve the battery life.
Frequency response represents the range of sound that the headphones can produce. It affects the sound quality significantly.
The first number of the frequency range represents the performance of the bass end. As for the second number, it indicates the capability of the treble end. Most headphones provide a frequency range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, which is symmetrical to the human’s hearing range.
Some headphones provide a bass end lower than 20 Hz, which can guarantee you a stronger feel of bass, but it’s hard to hear.
Noise Isolation vs. Noise Cancellation
Noise isolation is the passive type of noise cancellation. It utilizes the exterior design of the headphones to block out the surrounding ambient noise. Over-ear headphones are an excellent example of noise isolation.
On the other hand, active noise cancellation is implemented inside the driver software of the headphones. It produces sound waves to counter the ones made by the surrounding noise.
The active type is superior to its passive adversary. However, both can provide you with a peaceful environment without disturbances.
No one wants to see their new expensive headphones broken two days after buying them, and that’s why you should pay close attention to the materials used in making the headphones. Some headphones are made of impact-resistant materials, which is what you should opt for.
If you’re going to carry your headphones around with you, make sure they’re water-resistant since you can’t tell when it’s going to rain.
Now that you’ve reached the end of the article, I’ll provide you with a quick run-through of almost everything I’ve mentioned.
Searching for the best headphones under $200 can be baffling and tiring, as you have too many options to choose from. However, you can find the item you were looking for on the list I’ve mentioned.
If you’re a fan of open-back headphones and looking for extraordinary performance, the Sennheiser HD 990 is your go-to. Do you prefer the closed-back noise-isolating type? Then, the PreSonus Eris HD108BT is your right choice. Lastly, if you work in a studio and have your time dedicated to making music, then the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is your best bet.
However, if you couldn’t find your match on the list I’ve provided, then you should make sure you follow the aspects I’ve mentioned to guarantee durable high-caliber headphones!