While the flagship of most headphone brands can cost up to $300, you can still get one of the best headphones under $200. For less than $200, you can get a wide range of headphones, from Bluetooth over-ears to truly wireless in-ears, and a range of features like Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), IPX ratings for water resistance, or special accompanying apps with EQ adjustments. The headphones in this list are well built, have good sound reproduction, and offer good value for money.
Best Headphones Under $200
At first, the investment may be difficult to justify, but if you do, you will be satisfied for years to come. Instead of sending you on a wild goose chase, we saved you from grunting and compiled a list of the best headphones under $200.
1. Razer Opus Wireless
The best headphones under $200 with an over-ear design we’ve tested so far are the Razer Opus, offering excellent value for money, with an audio profile comparable to more expensive headphones such as the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless and the Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018. Externally, they have fairly intuitive physical control and subdued, high-quality design that feels fairly durable. The relatively lightweight design and generous ear cups also make them comfortable enough to wear all day long.
They have a very well-balanced sound profile, with excellent bass and mid-range accuracy. While EDM or hip-hop fans may not be able to punch their bass properly, this can be easily adjusted via a graphical EQ or presets in the dedicated Razer Opus app. These headphones also feature a very impressive ANC system that effectively blocks everything from the low rumble of a bus motor to the high-pitched wail of an AC unit. Combined with the nearly 33 hours of battery life of a single charge, they’re capable of multiple long, loud shuttles without you having to worry about the hassle of plugging in.
2. Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2
The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 has been on the market for a couple of years but retains the pole position for its great value. The onboard media control is very reliable and the battery life is still long by current standards, up to 30 hours on a single charge. In addition, it can’t hurt that they are more comfortable to wear. One thing that Plantronics has achieved with the BackBeat Pro 2 is a significant reduction in size compared to the previous model, making them more comfortable on more heads. One drawback is that larger heads maybe a little too tight over time, requiring them to pause at short intervals during longer listening sessions.
Plantronics likes to use a neutral sound image in its headphones, and the BackBeat Pro 2 is a standard-bearer for the company in that respect. The bass is modest, yet audible enough to make them suitable for genres that demand more at the bottom of the spectrum, such as EDM and hip-hop. In fact, they’re not so overwhelming that they alienate other musical tastes, which shows they really shine in their versatility. Overall, this is one of the best headphones under $200.
3. Jabra Elite 75t
When it comes to true wireless earbuds, this pair of Jabra earphones deserves its namesake. The Elite 75t has a few important advantages over others, and it starts with their excellent comfort. The slimmer and lighter design ensures a lack of ear fatigue after prolonged wearing of the earbuds. The variable earbuds in the box can help create the tighter seal needed to get the most out of the sound quality. The standard sound profile is good, but you can always tilt it the way you want.
Jabra’s Sound+ app has an equalizer for such a purpose. It is limited in size, yet reasonably effective when you tinker with it. Out of the box, the sound is a little tilted towards the low end – probably to compensate for any loss of fit in your ears. It’s not exaggerated, no way, and many genres will sound good. Without active noise cancellation, passive noise cancellation is second best, and it’s pretty good here. Overall, this is one of the best headphones under $200.
4. Marshall Major III
On-ear headphones don’t always get a lot of love, but they are there, and if that’s your preference, the Marshall Major III might be worthy. They don’t give you the noise reduction of over-ear mating, but they may win in comfort because your ears are still largely exposed. Your ears can get some relief from the pressure, but they can also leak some sound to the audience. The Major III goes with a sound signature that favors highs and mids at the expense of lows.
The bass is not really strong, but these headphones do very well with stringed instruments. Rock and other guitar-heavy songs come to life with impressive details. There’s a balance here, but it’s a bit tilted, so it will depend on how much bass you’re willing to give up. After all, these are not specifically tuned for hip-hop. That may not be surprising if you look at Marshall’s rock heritage, which dates back a long time. Overall, this is one of the best headphones under $200.
5. Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro
Want over-ear headphones with an open back? The Beyerdynamic DT 990 is the ticket in. Headphones like these are great for home use because they don’t try to isolate the sound. They actually leak considerably, and that’s one reason they’re designed a little differently for comfort and fit. The ear cups are a very soft leather that breathes more than you’d normally find in other over-ear headphones.
They also sound great, thanks to a balanced sound driven by the solid bass response that fits an open back, even if they don’t match a pair of closed-back cans. You get a balanced midrange that complements both ends of the spectrum, including the trebles, which are warm and clear in a way that may see some sibilance creep in. It’s rare, but it can happen. For an open-backed headset, the sound image here is fantastic and should deliver the promised results. Overall, this is one of the best headphones under $200.
6. Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC
The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC has a few years on them, but they are still available because they have proven to be so good. Now that they’re getting cheaper, the excellent sound quality that the brand is known for is also cheaper. With a beautifully balanced bass and mid-range, the treble only lags slightly behind. It gives the HD 4.50 BTNC a more bass-centric sound signature, which is great for anyone who wants it.
It’s great that ANC is included, except that it works a little too well on both sides. When the effect is on, it not only drowns out the background noise but also messes with the audio profile, leaving a more muted and distant sound. It is best to use it sparingly. That also helps to make them play longer. When ANC is turned on, battery life reaches a peak of 19 hours, while it is up to 25 hours without battery. Overall, this is one of the best headphones under $200.
7. V-MODA XS Metal
V-MODA XS noise-isolated metal headphones are tuned by V-MODA golden ears, editors, audiophiles, producers, and DJs from all over the world. The 40 mm M-Class loudspeakers offer vibrant bass, vibrant mid-tones, and clear treble without any overlap. Besides, the headphones have passive acoustic isolation, which eliminates unnecessary background noise. Also, five years of research and development have prompted the V-MODA team to create a wind tunnel model that matches the shape of your head.
The stylish, patented design reduces the mutual deviations, allowing for a perfect fit without the risk of falling. Besides, they are built to last with an almost indestructible SteelFlex headband, making them one of the best headphones under $200. It has been tested that the earphone protrudes above the military level, so a possible fall cannot hurt. Also, the cable is made of high-quality materials, and the 45-degree plug can bend more than a million times, 100 times more than the average in the sector. Overall, this is one of the best headphones under $200.
8. Audio-Technica ATH-M50X
The ATH-M50X, from Audio-Technica, is a great unit for those looking for an average price combined with fantastic sound quality. This unit is particularly suitable for use with digital mixing and music production, as opposed to live recordings with an emphasis on bass. The drivers are made of earth magnets and copper-clad aluminum voice coils, making it perfect for DJ mixing using vocal samples or even for personal listening. The sound quality is not as precise when it comes to the more technical elements of music production, so this device is definitely a more specialized product.
The focus on the bass is what really characterizes this unit. When you create tracks focused on the bass, this is a great tool that will enhance your experience. If not, you might want to miss it. Audio-Technica emphasizes personal comfort and style. The earpieces have full 90-degree twist functionality for easy removal, coupled with the contours of the circumferential design that fits snugly around your ears for maximum comfort. Overall, this is one of the best headphones under $200.
9. Sony WH-CH700N
Now, we have a nice example from Sony for those looking for some quality noise cancellation. It is a well manufactured over-ear set that is flat and foldable to store. The ear shells are well cushioned to keep them comfortable and they also adjust quite a bit. They feature AI technology that helps them digitally block out distractions in the background at the touch of a button, giving users a better-listening experience. They have a decent built-in microphone for calls and access to the voice wizard.
They’re easy to pair up, have a good working distance, and are capable of working up to 35 hours. They benefit from a quick charge function that charges the battery in just 10 minutes. They can be connected to the Sony headphone app for Android/iOS to access preset audio modes and fully customize your own preferred sound. They also feature DSEE (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine) which helps to digitally restore the quality of your tracks while they are playing. Overall, this is one of the best headphones under $200.
10. AKG Pro Audio K271 MKII
AKG is known for its great sound quality, and the MKII is no exception. The device has a frequency range from 16Hz to 28kHz. With this range you have full control over your music, nothing remains unheard of. This is coupled with an impedance of 55 ohms, you can listen at any volume without loss of sound quality.
The MKII comes with an active mute switch built into the speakers that automatically mutes the sound the moment you take it out of your head. This is perfect to prevent the sound from accidentally dropping out during recording sessions. The unit has a closed-back design that creates a baseline of noise reduction and avoids any bleeding during listening. A system is a wired unit, with a 3m long cable. But the cable unit is detachable, which means the unit is extremely portable, which is a huge plus for us.