Top 6+ BEST Headphones Under $300 To Buy in [2020]


There’s a popular belief that expensive equals better, and it comes as no surprise that this notion has spread to the headphone world.

However, you’ll be surprised to find that many headphones out there are overpriced and can be replaced with much more affordable counterparts that do better in many ways.

Yet, finding the affordable pair that suits you and doesn’t feel “cheap” is challenging, which is why I’ve created a list of the best headphones under $300 on the market.

Top 3 Best Headphones Under $300

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS Check price
Best Overall Best Overall ATH-M50x
  • Excellent Sound Quality, Foldable Design
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Best Cheap Best Cheap Bose SoundLink
  • Excellent Battery Life, Lightweight
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Best Cable Budget Pick  Beyerdynamic DT 990
  • Open-Back Design,
    Carrying Case
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6 Best Headphones Under $300 in 2020

1. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x HeadphonesBest Overall

If you need proof that you don’t need to splurge for a professional-grade pair of headphones, look no further. The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Headphones has it all in terms of price, design, and sound quality.

Let’s start with their design and construction, which tells us everything we need to know about a pair of headphones. Their look means business, and their frame is sturdy despite being under $150. While no one goes out with the intention to subject their headphones to damage, it’s always nice to have a durable pair.

In addition, the closed-back acoustic design envelopes the ears and offers the best sound isolation that’s ideal for studio use similar to a bone conduction headset.

Also, these affordable headphones have a foldable design, removable cables, and carrying case, which conveniently enables you to take them on the go.

Plus, the 90° swiveling ear cups are perfect for one-ear monitoring, which is a feature that professional DJs will highly appreciate. Also, the headband and ear cups are pretty comfortable for long hours of mixing and DJing.

Moreover, our top pick comes in 4 different colors so that it can match your environment or what you’re wearing. You can keep it safe with black or stand out with purple.

The Audio-Technica headphones have an impressive sound detail and clarity. Also, the bass isn’t too overpowering like many cheap headphones that I personally dislike, which makes the headphones the best choice for audio monitoring. In fact, it is critically acclaimed for its excellent sonic performance.

All that being said, these headphones have a disadvantage: the closed-back design envelops the ear in a way that’s bound to make it sweat. So, give your ears a tiny break every once in a while during your session to let them breathe.

Pros

  • Many color options
  • Excellent sound clarity
  • Sound isolation
  • 90° swiveling ear cups
  • Foldable
  • Removable cables
  • Carrying case

Cons

  • Padding makes you sweat

2. Bose SoundLink Around-ear Headphones IIBest Wireless

The convenience of wireless headphones is unmatchable, but they can be pretty pricey. So, I’ve looked everywhere and found the best wireless headphones that are still under $300. Let me introduce you to the Bose SoundLink Around-ear Headphones II.

Bose is known for making best $200 headphones that just look amazing, and these headphones are no exception. Plus, they come in two sleek color options so that they don’t cramp your fashion sense.

Besides looking attractive, they’re made from impact-resistant materials, glass-filled nylon, and corrosion-resistant stainless steel. So, it is safe to say that these over-ear headphones are durable, and you’ll notice the different feel immediately.

Furthermore, they’re not durable in a way that would make them too stiff or uncomfortable. In fact, these closed-back headphones have a headband with micro suede Alcantara cushioning that keeps things comfortable and stable. The ear cups are pretty soft on the ears, as well.

Also, these headphones are pretty lightweight and come with a carrying case because no one should have to wonder how they’ll carry their headphones when they go out.

We can’t talk about our favorite wireless headphones without mentioning battery life. You can get 15 hours of playtime on a single charge. So, you won’t have to worry about running out of battery life mid-run. Also, it charges fully in only three hours.

One of the best features in this pair is how they allow you to switch effortlessly between two Bluetooth devices so that you can multitask like a pro. They can also be paired with any NFC-enabled devices by tapping the device to the side of the right ear cup. Also, the built-in touch controls make taking calls or switching between songs hassle-free.

Also, the Bose connect application puts you in control and offers personalized settings in a seamless experience.

Regarding how they sound, Bose didn’t disappoint. The sound is deep, immersive, and consistent at any volume, thanks to the combination of TriPort technology and Active EQ.

However, although these headphones are supposed to have excellent call qualities, the calls are mediocre at best and completely unreliable outside. Also, the Bose headphones are the most expensive on our list, so avoid them if your budget is too tight. Plus, these headphones leak sound, and the experience isn’t private at all, despite the closed-back design.

Pros

    • Great battery life
    • Lightweight
    • Impact-resistant materials
    • Built-in controls
    • Carrying case
    • Comfortable
    • Bose Connect app

Cons

  • Poor call quality
  • Relatively expensive
  • High sound leakage for over-ear headphones 

3. Beyerdynamic DT 990 Over-Ear-StereoBest For Audiophiles

Besides arguing with each other about what certain words mean and how much one needs to pay for an authentic listening experience, audiophiles have high standards and don’t settle for anything. However, audiophiles on a budget will appreciate the Hi-Fi Beyerdynamic Over-Ear-Stereo Headphones, which are far from a compromise.

The build quality is impressive, to say the least. These hand-crafted German headphones are solid and sturdy. You know they trust their quality when they’re backed by a 2-year warranty.

Also, the heavily padded headband and ear cups are silky-smooth and flexible, so you’ll feel comfortable even after long listening sessions. They come in 2 different colors, and both look nice. Also, they come with a carrying case for portability.

The open-back design offers three-dimensional acoustics and a spacious sound similar to these best bass bluetooth headphones. Also, I love the detailed instrument separation and how uncolored the sound is. These Hi-Fi headphones are excellent for studio monitoring and sound engineering, where you want to listen to the track as it was intended to be heard.

As you can imagine, these headphones have their flaws. Like many over-ear headphones, your ears will sweat after long listening sessions. Also, these headphones aren’t the loudest on their own; you may need an amplifier if you’re looking for a loud sound.

Pros

  • 2-year warranty
  • Open-back design
  • Sturdy
  • Comfortable
  • Carrying case
  • Neutral sound

Cons

  • Padding makes you sweat
  • Not the loudest

4. Boltune Bluetooth V5.1 EarbudsFavourite Earbuds

Many people keep going back to earbuds. What’s not to like? They give you all the freedom that you want without having to worry about storage. Our favorite earbuds are the Boltune Bluetooth V5.1 Earbuds because they offer a lot for a very affordable price.

While these earbuds are no Apple AirPods, they still have a very similar design and look pretty sleek. They’re black with gray accents, so the headphones will stand out but without trying too hard.

Moreover, these earbuds come with three pairs of ergonomically designed ear tips that provide an individualized fit, security, and comfort, even if you wear them all day. Also, they have an IPX8 rating, which means that they resist water, sweat, and rain. You can even rinse them clean if they get dirty. So, they’re the best companion on your next workout.

Speaking of workouts and being active, you don’t need me to tell you about how portable this pair is when they’re wireless earbuds with a case that’s small enough to fit in your pocket when you’re on the go.

In terms of battery life, you can get up to 7 hours on a single charge; however, you can turn it up by charging with the case, which gives you a total of 42 hours of playtime. You’ll need to do some serious listening to run out of charge. Thanks to their strong Bluetooth connection and role switching technology, you can use each earbud independently if you want.

One of the best qualities of this pair is its hassle-free controls. The earbuds’ high-sensitivity touch controls can detect your every touch, making the process of skipping songs, adjusting volumes, and taking calls effortless. Also, automatic in-ear detection is a dream for lazy users.

Since you get earbuds to listen to music, we should talk about what you’ll listen to. The bass is powerful, and the sound quality is top-notch. If you’re a fan of high-fidelity music, you’ll enjoy these earbuds more than its competitors.

Moreover, these headphones adopt CVC 8.0 noise reduction technology for premium clarity during calls. Even if your environment is extremely noisy, your voice will be enhanced and clear on the other end.

Of course, these earbuds have a downside, which is that they’re not durable. They have amazing features that you’ll definitely enjoy, but only while they last.

Pros

  • Most affordable
  • 42-hour playtime with charging case
  • Waterproof
  • Three sizes of ear tips
  • cVc 8th noise cancellation technology
  • Hassle-free controls

Cons

  • Not durable

5. Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear

Nobody hasn’t heard of Apple’s Beats by now. Every millennial has owned a pair at some point, and for good reasons. The award-winning Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones offer an iconic design, excellent connectivity, super battery life, and more.

The first thing that comes to the mind once we hear the word “Beats” is how stylish and memorable they look. Their colors range from bold, like the Beats Color Collection, to classier options like satin gold and rose gold.

They’re made from plastic, which makes them lightweight, while the headband and ear cups are synthetic leather, a good choice for vegans. In addition, these headphones are foldable, which makes carrying them in their carrying case a breeze. 

Also, the on-ear design surprisingly achieves passive noise cancellation that makes your listening experience more personal even when you’re outside with a lot of ambient noise.

The Beats Solo3 headphones have excellent battery life, with up to 40 hours of playtime. So, you will enjoy your listening sessions way more than you even have to think about charging your headphones. Speaking of charging, these headphones have the Beats’ Fast Fuel feature, which gets you 3 hours of playtime every 5 minutes of charging.

Connectivity is excellent with these headphones, thanks to the Class 1 Bluetooth. Also, the inclusion of the Apple W1 chip ensures hassle-free setups and switching between different Apple devices.

In terms of controls, they couldn’t be more intuitive. You can take calls, adjust volume, control music playback, and activate Siri with controls on the left ear cup.

The Beats headphones cater to bass lovers with their accentuated yet not overpowering bass. The sound is lively and crisp, which makes you understand the headphones’ popularity immediately.

With all of these advantages, they’re still pretty far from perfect. Firstly, the headphones aren’t that comfortable, and will be a pain to wear after long listening sessions; we don’t recommend them to glass wearers at all.

Secondly, we don’t recommend them to audiophiles, either, because the emphasis on the bass led to a flat midrange, and the highs are still less detailed than the lows. So, if you’re not a bass fan, these headphones aren’t for you.

Lastly, while they’re still under $300, their price seems a bit too much compared to what they offer, especially when they’re not a huge upgrade from their similarly-priced predecessors.

Pros

  • Excellent battery life and Beats’ Fast Fuel feature
  • Foldable with carrying case
  • Many color options
  • Award-winning sound and design
  • Siri
  • Multifunction on-ear controls
  • W1 chip
  • Passive noise cancellation

Cons

  • Not the most comfortable, especially for glasses wearers
  • Not for audiophiles
  • Considered overpriced by many

6. Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Bluetooth

If you’re really on a tight budget, we’ve got you. The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Bluetooth Headphones are affordable, portable, and have mind-blowingly long battery life.

The headphones look good, but nothing fancy. Their material is pretty comfortable, with a padded headband and memory foam cushions on the ear cups. They come in black and silver.

Also, the headphones are portable, with 90° swiveling ear cups and a hardshell travel case.

The battery life is impressive, with up to 40 hours of playtime in wireless ANC mode and 60 in standard mode. Also, 5 minutes of charging can get you 4 hours of playtime.

Plus, the sound is excellent, thanks to the ANC that blocks ambient noise and exclusive BassUp technology that intensifies the lows for powerful beats. The details are rich and clear, which is impressive for such affordable headphones.

However, they don’t last very long, although they’re pretty great while they last. So, these headphones won’t be a long-term investment.

Pros

  • Noise cancellation
  • Affordable
  • Excellent battery life
  • 90° swiveling ear cups
  • Exclusive BassUp technology
  • Hardshell travel case
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Not durable

What to Expect from Headphones Under $300

Affordable headphones can offer good sound quality and comfortable builds. However, they won’t be as good as their $900 counterparts, and that’s okay.

As long as you get your headphones from trusted manufacturers and don’t skimp too much-$20 headphones are no good-you’ll enjoy the outcome.

How to Pick Headphones

Type

In-ear

In-ear headphones are the most affordable. Also, they’re pretty portable and lightweight. Plus, many in-ear models are waterproof and sweatproof, which means that they cater to active lifestyles better than other headphones.

If you don’t have much storage space, you can just stuff them in pockets or put them in your drawers. Also, they offer impressive sound isolation and privacy since they’re inserted inside the ears.

On-ear

On-ear headphones lie in the middle between in-ear and over-ear headphones. They’re not as tiny as in-ear headphones, but they’re not as bulky as over-ear headphones either.

The smaller ear cups make them portable and ideal for active lifestyles. Plus, they’re lightweight, and their headbands offer excellent stability. Thanks to their relatively open design, they won’t make you sweat that way enclosed headphones do. Also, they beat earbuds in terms of sound quality.

Over-ear

Over-ear headphones have giant ear cups that are plush and soft to the touch; they make your listening experience comfortable.

Thanks to their design that covers your ears entirely, they offer the highest level of sound isolation. There’s nothing better than this fit and its passive noise isolation. 

Also, the sound quality that an over-ear pair offers you is superior to other types of headphones. So, if sound quality is a top priority for you, look no further.

Wireless or Wired

Wireless

In the year 2020, there’s nothing more commonly used than wireless headphones, mainly Bluetooth ones. Life has become so fast-paced that no one wants to deal with untangling wires anymore, especially when they’re outside.

People still like to use wireless headphones at home, whether they’re dancing alone in their room at 2 A.M. or making some snacks in the kitchen. Wireless headphones are the perfect companions for you to take everywhere.

It’s worth mentioning, however, that you can’t purchase wireless headphones without checking their battery life first. A long battery is what stands between you and the inconvenience of running out of charge in the middle of a call or during your running session.

However, you need to realize that battery life is a variable thing, and your headphones can last longer or shorter, depending on your usage.

Wired

Wired headphones are the reliable kind that we’ve been using since headphones were invented and never let us down.

Their excellent sound quality makes them the top choice for musicians, and they can be connected to any device with a headphone jack, which makes them incredibly versatile.

Plus, they tend to be much more affordable than their wireless counterparts, despite the top-notch quality that they provide. Moreover, wired headphones aren’t limited to battery life; you can use them all day, every day.

Noise Cancellation

People who value noise cancellation don’t want to hear external noises that may disturb their listening experience. Whether you’re a sound engineer or passenger on a plane where a baby just won’t stop crying, noise cancellation will definitely improve your experience.

If your headphones have active noise cancellation, it means that they have built-in technology that counteracts outside noise. On the other hand, passive noise cancellation happens with the physical fit and acoustic design of the headphones; some designs seem to reduce external noise more than others.

Controls

Controls are essential to think about because they’re what determines whether your headphones will be a pain to use or not.

There’s no reason that you shouldn’t look for headphones with built-in volume controls. Check if these controls are responsive or laggy. Also, make sure that their placement is comfortable for you.

People who want to take their headphones jogging need in-mic controls to take calls or play some jams. Get headphones with high-quality microphones to make the life of your caller easier.

 

Comfort

Every one of us has experienced discomfort, headaches, sweatiness, and irritation due to the use of the wrong pair of headphones. So, pick a pair that won’t cause you harm in the long run.

There are headphones with ear cups that are so comfortable that they feel like pillows. Also, headphones need to be lightweight, or they will put a strain on your head and neck. Plus, waterproof and sweatproof headphones are essential for exercise junkies and hiking lovers.

Final Thoughts

Our top pick is the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Headphones. They’re under 150, yet they’re sturdy, private, portable, clear, and overall excellent for professional use.

Next, there’s the Bose SoundLink Around-ear Headphones II. They’re stylish, durable, comfortable, and multi-tasking with great battery life and sound quality.

Finally, I love the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Over-Ear-Stereo Headphones and its durable build and uncolored sound.

Evan Grant

A Ukulele player, musician, boyfriend and also the lead Editor of ElectricFieldsFestival, Evan Grant is the guy who runs this site. He's a great Roger Federer fan and is always up for a game of Tennis.

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