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10 Best Headphones Under $200

Last updated: 7 days ago, Nov. 19. 2020
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    Here are the best headphones under $200 you can get in 2020.

    Comparison: The Best Headphones Under $200

      RatingPriceConnectionMic & Remote 

    Philips Fidelio X2HR
    best overall
    10 Best Headphones Under $2004.7$150Wired 3.5mm10 Best Headphones Under $200Review
    Jabra Elite Active 75t
    best true wireless
    10 Best Headphones Under $2004.2$150Bluetooth 5.010 Best Headphones Under $200Review
    Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT
    best all-around
    10 Best Headphones Under $2004.7$180Bluetooth 5.010 Best Headphones Under $200Review
    1MORE Quad Driver
    best in-ear
    10 Best Headphones Under $2004.3$130Wired 3.5mm10 Best Headphones Under $200Review
    Skullcandy Crusher Evo
    best bass
    10 Best Headphones Under $2004.7$200Bluetooth 5.010 Best Headphones Under $200Review
    Sennheiser HD 599
    best comfort
    10 Best Headphones Under $2004.7$200Wired 3.5mm
    & 6.3mm
    10 Best Headphones Under $200Review
    Grado SR125e
    best on-ear
    10 Best Headphones Under $2004.5$150Wired 3.5mm10 Best Headphones Under $200Review
    Razer Opus
    best gaming
    10 Best Headphones Under $2004.3$200Bluetooth 5.010 Best Headphones Under $200Review
    Jaybird Vista
    best for sports
    10 Best Headphones Under $2004.4$150Bluetooth 5.010 Best Headphones Under $200Review
    Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO
    best for studio
    10 Best Headphones Under $2004.7$160Wired 3.5mm10 Best Headphones Under $200Review


    Are Headphones Under $200 Worth It?

    To some, 200 dollars is a lot, and spending that amount can be hard to swallow. However, by buying a headphone at this price point, you get a reliable pair that will serve you for many years. It’s a good investment that you won’t regret.

    • Great value: In this price range, you can expect headphones with an excellent price to performance ratio. For under $200 you will find one of the most popular headphones on the market. Some models are even that good they use them in professional studios.
    • Improved sound quality: If you’re new to high-end audio, you’ll be diving into a whole new dimension of music.  This is where entry-level audiophile headphones start. Music sounds clearer and more detailed than before. You might end up loving your new headphone so much, they might be your last. Or, they could become a reason for discovering other, more expensive options.
    • You’re getting a noticeable boost in build quality: You start seeing premium materials like aluminum and stainless steel.
    • Useful technologies that make your life easier: Many wireless headphones in this price range have additional features like active noise cancellation and companion apps.
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      The Best Headphones Under $200

      1. Philips Fidelio X2HR – best overall

      Philips Fidelio X2HR wired headphones

      One of the best headphones under $200. They offer great bass despite their open-back design.

      Type: Open
      Noise-cancelling: No
      Connection: Wired

      Why Buy These?

      Philips Fidelio X2HR are incredibly successful open-back headphones, with many users praising their excellent sound quality and comfort. The latter is due to their comfy velour earpads that ensure breathability.

      Another highlight is the build quality. You won’t find much plastic on these. Instead, you get metal construction with a frame that is covered in pleather. The suspension headband is self-adjusting so that the fit is always perfect.

      Thanks to their low impedance, they’re very easy to drive. You can use them straight out from your smartphone. If the cable breaks, you can replace it with a new one.

      The Bad

      Velour earpads get dirty quite fast.

      Sound leakage due to the open design.

      The Sound

      Despite the open-back, their bass is still present in satisfying quantity. Thankfully, it stays away from the midrange, which is smooth and non-fatiguing. You can say the same thing about the treble. The soundstage is pleasingly spacious, making these headphones great for everything from music, gaming, and movies.

      If you’re looking for a pair of audiophile headphones to use at home, and $200 is your budget, these are the best pick right now.


      2. Jabra Elite Active 75t – best true wireless

      Jabra Elite Active 75t earbuds in box

      Still one of the best options for sportspeople under $200, with ergonomic fit and bassy sound signature.

      Read our full Jabra Elite Active 75t review

      Type: True wireless
      Noise-cancelling: No
      Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
      Battery life: 7h, with case 27h

      Why Buy These?

      These in-ear headphones don’t need any extra accessory to stay firmly in your ears. Because of their ergonomic design, they are comfortable to wear without causing pain even after long listening sessions. Ear tips reach quite deep, which ensures excellent passive noise isolation.

      Housing is very robust, with an IP57 (IPX7) rating of water and dust resistance. That means you can drench them in sweat or wash them under a tap without any problems.

      Elite Active 75t come with a useful mobile app where you can change your controls, play with sound equalizer, turn on the HearThrough awareness mode, and find a lost earbud.

      The Bad

      You can’t use both earbuds in mono.

      Smaller soundstage.

      The Sound

      Since they’re designed for sports, they lean towards the bass-heavy sound. However, you can tame it down using the app. Overall, it’s punchy and provides a good rumble. The mid-range is slightly recessed yet detailed enough to stand out, with the treble sharing similar characteristics.

      If you need the best wireless earbuds with reliable specs, these should be on top of your list.


      Also check:

      Best sport headphones

      Best waterproof headphones


      3. Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT – best all-around

      Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT wireless headphones

      Wireless version of Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, one of the most popular headphones of the past few years.

      Type: Closed
      Noise-cancelling: No
      Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
      Battery life: 40h

      Why Buy These?

      All-plastic construction doesn’t scream rigidness, but they can survive quite a bit of abuse. These closed-back headphones are made for the studio, where they get tossed around a lot.

      However, the new Bluetooth headphones support wireless connection and are more suitable for commuters and office workers who don’t like wires. Earcups rotate and collapse to save up space in the bag.

      You get a long battery life, with 40 hours per single charge, which should last at least a couple of days. If the battery runs out, you can still plug them via the included cable. It has built-in controls for convenience.

      The Bad

      They need around 7 hours to charge fully.

      The Sound

      Thankfully, Audio-Technica included both AAC and aptX among the Bluetooth codecs, so that you can expect excellent audio on both Android and iOS. Speaking of audio, these headphones are V-shaped, with punchy bass and crispy highs. They’re enjoyable to listen to while also packing a lot of details.

      Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT are still one of the best under $200 for a reason. They’re great for casual listening and offer user-friendly features like wireless connection and foldable design.


      More similar guides:

      Best open-back headphones

      Best audiophile headphones

      Best studio headphones


      4. 1MORE Quad Driver – best in-ear

      1MORE Quad Driver in-ear monitor

      Excellent in-ear monitors with a total of 4 drivers: 3 balanced armature and one dynamic.

      Type: Closed-back
      Noise-cancelling: No
      Connection: Wired

      Why Buy These?

      1MORE Quad Driver are beautifully made in-ear monitors with an aluminum housing that feels premium both in hands and ears. Even the cable looks cool with twisted wires and an aluminum inline remote control.

      To ensure optimal fit, you get 9 pairs of ear tips inside the box. You get silicone and memory-foam eartips in different sizes.

      Since we are talking about premium in-ear headphones, you also get:

      • A nice carrying pouch
      • 6.3mm adapter
      • A shirt clip
      • An airplane adapter

      As with many 1MORE products, these were also tuned by Grammy-winning sound engineer Luca Bignardi.

      The Bad

      Cables are non-detachable, which is a shame for a premium product like that.

      The Sound

      With up to 4 drivers, each handling their own frequency, you can expect excellent sound quality across the board. These can produce a punchy, rumbling bass with sparkly, detailed highs. Balanced armature drivers are known for very controlled sound, and you can hear it.

      If you don’t mind the wires and want fantastic build quality and sound, definitely consider 1MORE Quad Driverin-ear headphones.


      5. Skullcandy Crusher Evo – best bass

      Skullcandy Crusher Evo Wireless headphones

      With these headphones, the bass is the name of the game. There is even a physical slider to increase or decrease the low-end.

      Type: Closed
      Noise-cancelling: No
      Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
      Battery life: 41h

      Why Buy These?

      These are mostly plastic headphones with a pleather headband and earpads, which is quite common among wireless headphones. However, you don’t have to worry much about their durability since they feel sturdy and ready to meet the world.

      Thick earpads provide the necessary comfort during extended listening. If you want to take them on a trip, they fold up to save space in the backpack. Skullcandy also included a cool carrying pouch.

      Moreover, Crusher Evo come with a companion app where you personalize the sound and check the battery percentage. The latter should last you an impressive 41 hours per charge, meaning you don’t have to reach for a charger for many days.

      The Bad

      The headband might pull some hairs.

      The Sound

      Surprisingly balanced and clean if you slide the bass slider to a minimum. Otherwise, the headphones turn into a subwoofer, pleasing even the most demanding bassheads.

      If you’re a Skullcandy fan and need a cool pair of headphones to commute, Crusher Evo are the best thing you can get right now.


      6. Sennheiser HD 599 – best comfort

      Sennheiser HD 599 wired headphones

      The HD 599 are all about sound quality, soundstage, and comfort.

      Type: Open
      Noise-cancelling: No
      Connection: Wired

      Why Buy These?

      You might like or hate the design, but they’re comfortable to wear. Sharing similarly designed earcups as the rest of the HD family, the 599 come with massive over-ear earpads. The velour pads feel gentle on your skin, for hours of listening.

      Velour is also great for airflow since you don’t want your ears to become too hot and sweaty. Thanks to their open-back design, you don’t have to worry about breathability at all.

      Like with many HD series headphones, you can replace almost everything. If earpads get worn and hard, you can find genuine or third-party replacements online.

      The Bad

      Open-back design means sound leakage and poor noise isolation.

      The Sound

      As stated by Sennheiser, these are the first step into the audiophile world. They offer a warm, punchy sound, with a smooth, lush mid-range. Even a little bit of Sennheiser veil is present, which makes the music sound very relaxing, albeit slightly less engaging. Highs are airy and free of sibilance.

      If you want the best headphones for music, HD 599 are the way to go. They’re perfect for diving into the audiophile world.


      7. GRADO SR125e – best on-ear

      Grado Labs SR125e wired headphones

      Source: Gradolabs.com

      A more affordable model from Grado Labs, with a similar retro look and remarkable audio quality.

      Type: Open
      Noise-cancelling: No
      Connection: Wired

      Why Buy These?

      Their housing sports a unique retro look that distinguishes them from the pack. They’re extremely light and relatively small. Dense foam earpads rest on your ears without creating too much pressure.

      Also, the earcups are fully rotatable and connected with a non-removable wire. The cable is quite thick and durable, which is useful if you often run it over by a chair.

      Overall looks might no scream quality, but they are really sturdy and flexible. You will have a hard time breaking them. They come with a 3.5mm connector, with an included 6.3mm adapter in the box.

      The Bad

      They leak a lot of sound and let ambient noise in.

      The Sound

      The level of detail the headphones are capable of is impressive. The sound is very dynamic and airy, with good control across the frequency spectrum. They’re light on bass, but that is normal for open-back headphones. The soundstage is also one of the highlights here, making these great for listening to live recordings.

      Grado SR125e are unique looking headphones with astonishing sound quality.


      8. Razer Opus – best for gaming

      Razer Opus wireless headphones

      Source: Razer.com

      It’s not often that Razer surprises us with balanced, detailed noise cancelling headphones for gamers and commuters alike.

      Type: Closed
      Noise-cancelling: Yes
      Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
      Battery life: 25h

      Why Buy These?

      Razer wanted to make headphones for commuters who also like to play games at home. That’s why the Opus pack some exciting features. One of which is active noise cancelling, which works pretty well at blocking background noise.

      Razer also includes EQ presets that they made in collaboration with THX. These presets are geared toward gaming since they amplify specific sounds like speech, footsteps, and game effects.

      The battery life is great for a full-size headphone, measuring at 25 hours with ANC turned on. If you plan to commute with these, you can also enable Ambient Awareness to amplify your surroundings.

      The Bad

      No custom EQ.

      Noise cancellation struggles with higher frequencies.

      The Sound

      Opus noise-cancelling headphones are surprisingly balanced with a slight bump in the sub-bass to bring out the rumble. For better positional accuracy, you can activate the Enhanced Clarity sound profile, which boosts the highs and in-game details.

      Razer Opus wireless headphones are an excellent new addition to the gaming headset family, with cool features and a comfortable design.


      9. Jaybird Vista – best for sport

      Jaybird Vista true wireless earbuds on a wooden log

      An excellent alternative to Jabra Elite Active 75t, with even more durable design and better stability.

      Type: True wireless
      Noise-cancelling: No
      Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
      Battery life: 6h, with case 16h

      Why Buy These?

      Jaybird Vista true wireless earbuds provide excellent comfort and stability thanks to ear fins that latch onto your ears. Both the case and the buds have a rubbery exterior with a soft finish, making them feel premium.

      Vista aren’t joking when it comes to durability. They boast an IPX7 rating, meaning you can completely submerge them. These are also the first true wireless earbuds that come with a MIL-STD-810G military standard, ensuring drop and shock protection.

      Playtime isn’t impressive, but a 6-hour battery life should be enough for a lengthy workout. Another 10 hours are waiting in the charging case.

      The Bad

      Microphones are quite mediocre.

      The Sound

      Audio quality is truly impressive once you tweak it in the mobile app. You can fiddle with the equalizer to find your perfect balance of bass, mids, and highs. However, regardless of what you do, the low-end remains nice and punchy, with a good sparkle on top.

      Jaybird Vista are a worthy pick for an active user who doesn’t want to compromise on sound quality and durability.

      Read our full Jaybird Vista review


      10. Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO – best for studio

      Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro wired headphones

      These open-back headphones are the only tool you need in your studio. They’re great for both casual listening and mixing.

      Type: Open
      Noise-cancelling: No
      Connection: Wired

      Why Buy These?

      Beyerdynamic DT headphones are known to be robust, and DT 990 PRO are no different. They’re made of hard plastic earcups and a leather-padded metal headband. You can expect to use these for many years.

      To ensure optimal comfort for extended studio sessions, earpads have a thick layer of velour-covered foam. The latter also provides breathability, preventing any heat from staying trapped in the cup.

      If you plan to use these in the studio, you’ll be happy to know that while the cable is non-detachable, it’s thick and durable.

      The Bad

      However, the cable measures 3 meters, which is quite long if you want to use them at home.

      The Sound

      It’s all about detail and how to recognize flaws in the mix. These headphones are fabulous for that while also sounding excellent for casual use. Their soundstage is quite spacious and airy, thanks to the boosted treble. The latter does introduce some sibilance.

      A German-made headphone with robust construction and professional sound. Get the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO for mixing or home listening.


      Honorable Mentions

      Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO: Excellent studio headphones with closed-back ear cups for increased passive noise isolation and velour earpads for superb comfort. A brighter sound signature works great for picking up details in the music.

      Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus: True wireless earbuds with ergonomic and lightweight housing, accompanied by good audio reproduction. Their charging case even supports wireless charging. They come with an impressive 11 hours battery life on a single charge. Sadly, there is no active noise cancelling feature. Check our full review.

      V-Moda XS: Great headphones for listening to music, with extremely robust construction and comfy memory-foam ear pads. With them, you also get a durable hardshell travel case.

      Monoprice Monolith M565: There aren’t many planar magnetic headphones in this price range, but these are definitely the best. They offer a full, bass-forward audio performance that most people like.

      Are Wireless Headphones Better Than Wired?

      $200 is a price point where wired and wireless technology starts to matter less and less. Regardless of what your preferences are, both technologies can deliver equal audio performance.

      Wireless

      • Codecs don’t matter anymore. Some might argue that wireless headphones, using Bluetooth codecs, can’t play frequencies over 16kHz, therefore ruining the listening experience. While that is true for AAC, in reality, this isn’t as perceivable as you might think. Also, the majority of codecs support frequency ranges up to 20kHz and can offer high bitrate speeds that excel the ones from audio codecs like mp3.
      • They’re perfect for commuting since you don’t have to bother with dangling wires. Too often the cable gets stuck on a door handle or armrest, violently pulling headphones off your ears. That worries are gone if there are no cables to being with.

      Wired

      • On the other hand, wired ones are fool-proof and work every time.
      • Their performance highly depends on the source. By upgrading the source quality, you can also upgrade the audio quality, which is a real beauty of wired headphones.

      What Are The Best Headphones For Everyday Use?

      That highly depends on your preferences. In general, if you’re solely listening to music, anyone will do, as long as they’re closed-back. This type of headphones can offer:

      • Isolation is much better due to closed ear cups. There is much less ambient noise coming inside, which lets you fully concentrate on your music. Also, sound leakage is kept in check.
      • Active noise cancelling can’t work with open-back ear cups, meaning that this technology only makes sense on closed headphones.
      • Deeper bass is something that a specific user base looks for in headphones. The latter is easier to achieve when you have a closed space for frequencies to resonate.

      If you don’t mind the lack of noise cancellation, or even noise isolation itself, and just want to enjoy long listening sessions in the comfort of your home, open-back headphones might be a better idea. You get:

      • Bigger soundstage is a result of an open back that doesn’t trap the sound inside ear cups. It pushes the sound further away from your head to create a truly unique experience.
      • Better sound quality due to open design, which prevents distortion and makes the sound more airy and natural. there is a reason why the best headphones don’t have closed ear cups.
      • Mixing with open studio headphones is delightful, especially if you pick a truly neutral pair. The lack of distortion helps you to find small errors in the mix that would otherwise pass through.

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