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9 Best Headphones under $200 in 2022

Last updated: 3 months ago
9 min read

Here are the best headphones under $200 you can get in 2022. Including: wireless & true wireless earbuds.

Rating Price Connection Mic & Controls More info
AKG K371 Best wired
AKG K371
4.4
Under $150
Wired 3.5mm
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Jaybird Vista 2 Best true wireless
Jaybird Vista 2 small image
4.0
Under $200
Bluetooth 5.2
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Sennheiser HD 560 S Best neutral
Sennheiser HD 560 S
4.8
Under $200
Wired 3.5mm & 6.3mm
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4.4
Under $150
Bluetooth 5.0
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4.4
Under $200
Bluetooth 5.0
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Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Best all-around
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT wireless headphones
4.6
Under $180
Bluetooth 5.0
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Razer Opus Best gaming
Razer Opus wireless headphones
4.3
Under $150
Bluetooth 5.0
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Jabra Elite 7 Active Great for sports
Jabra Elite 7 Active
4.3
Under $180
Bluetooth 5.2
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Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO Best for studio
Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro wired headphones
4.7
Under $160
Wired 3.5mm
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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. And if you want to further improve your headphone’s performance, pick audio devices like amp and DACs instead.

  • Great value: In headphones under $200, you can expect excellent price to performance ratio. 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 under $200 have additional features like active noise cancellation and companion apps.
Table of Contents

    The Best Headphones Under $200

    1. AKG K371

    wired Best wired
    AKG K371 on a DJ table

    Excellent sounding over-ear headphones under $200 for everyday use with Harman target tuning. Others will have a hard time overtaking the top spot.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 50mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 5-40.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 32 Ohm | Weight: 8.9oz (255g) | Cable length: 1.2m & 3m | Features: Removable cable, mini-XLR connector, foldable
    • Great sound quality
    • Comfortable earpads
    • Foldable design
    • Good build quality
    • Detachable cable
    • … with proprietary connector
    • Might be too bassy/warm for audio purists

    Headphones very closely follow the Harman curve target, with a smidge of bass boost. As a result, they sound great and are a fine choice for most listeners. Due to the closed-back design, they’re suitable for outdoor use, as well.

    If you want more affordable headphones with a more neutral presentation, pick AKG K361 instead.

    The AKG K371 have a unique design with clean lines that looks very minimalistic. Thanks to foldable earcups, their portable design is suitable for commuting as well.

    They’re made mostly from metal, which adds to the quality feel. Comfortable ear pads are super plush and ready for extended listening sessions, even if you wear glasses.

    Like other PRO headphones in the AKG lineup, the K371 also uses a removable coiled cable with a mini-XLR port.

    For a slightly higher price, you can also pick the AKG K371-BT with Bluetooth connectivity.

    2. Jaybird Vista 2

    true-wireless Best true wireless
    Jaybird Vista 2 on the ground

    Impressive sports earbuds with a durable design and excellent stability.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 6mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 8h + 16h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 2h + quick charge – USB-C & Qi wireless charging | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IP68 (IP54 on case) | Features: Ambient mode, mono mode, EQ
    • Great out-of-the-box sound
    • Excellent comfort and stability
    • Extremely durable with water-resistant charging case
    • Good battery life
    • Feature-rich companion app
    • Decent active noise cancellation
    • Occasional connection stutters
    • Error messages during firmware updates

    Jaybird Vista 2 review

    Audio quality is great out of the box, and it gets even better once you tweak it in the mobile app. You can fiddle with the EQ settings to find your perfect balance of bass, mids, and highs.

    Jaybird Vista 2 true wireless earbuds provide excellent comfort and stability thanks to ear fins that latch onto your ears.

    Vista 2 are also the new standard of durability. They boast an IP68 rating, meaning you can completely submerge them. The case also holds an IP54 rating. They’re one of the best waterproof Bluetooth headphones.

    These are also the first true wireless earbuds that come with a MIL-STD-810G military standard, ensuring drop and shock protection.

    Playtime is more reliable this time around, with an 8-hour battery life that should be enough for a lengthy workout. Another 16 hours are waiting in the Qi wireless charging case. You can further extend it using only one bud with mono mode.

    Jaybird Vista 2 review

    Also check:

    Best sport headphones

    Best waterproof headphones for swimming

    3. Sennheiser HD 560 S

    trophy Best neutral
    Sennheiser HD 560 S

    Best headphones under $200 from Sennheiser, offering tons of value for people seeking a spacious and neutral option.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 6.3mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 6-38.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Back design: Open-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 120 Ohm | Weight: 8.46 oz (260g) | Cable length: n/a | Features: E.A.R. tech
    • Exceptional neutral sound
    • Comfortable
    • Big soundstage
    • Velour earpads
    • Detachable cable
    • Can get sibilant at times

    HD 560 S have a fairly neutral frequency response with a hint of warmness and a slightly brighter treble. They’re a great pick for studio use, too.

    While that can cause some sibilance, the detail retrieval and soundstage are excellent.

    They follow a similar form factor as other HD models below the $200 price point. These are mostly plastic headphones with metallic mesh to protect the drivers (headphones come in an open-back design).

    The most comfortable headphones on this list have earpads that go around your entire ears, providing superb comfort for long listening sessions.

    You get them in velour, which helps with breathability but can also leak some sound.

    The audio cable is quite long and of decent quality. If it ever breaks, you can quickly replace it with a new one.

    Find more excellent open-back headphones.

    4. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

    trophy Best Samsung
    Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

    The best headphones under $200 from Samsung. They offer superb sound quality and ergonomics for the price.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 11mm woofer & 6.5mm tweeter
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 5h (with ANC) + 13h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: Quick charge – USB-C & Qi wireless charging | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, SSC | Water resistance: IPX7 | Features: 6 mics, ANC, Ambient mode
    • Very balanced sound
    • Comfortable fit
    • Useful features inside the mobile app
    • Not the best noise cancelling performance
    • Only Bixby as smart assistant

    Earbuds closely follow the Harman curve with a slightly boosted bass and more energy in the treble. Overall, their tuning works wonderfully with most musical genres. They’re a good deal for everything from rock to hip hop.

    The design is modern and minimalistic, with a shiny exterior that will catch many eyes. That shiny surface doubles as touch controls, which can occasionally be too sensitive.

    To get the most out of Galaxy Buds Pro, you have to use them with a Samsung phone. From there, you can control 360° audio, ambient sound mode, and ANC.

    The latter isn’t amazing, but it will do its job pretty well. Apart from excellent ergonomics, earbuds are also fully waterproof (IPX7 rating).

    5. Jabra Elite 85h

    Jabra Elite 85h wireless headphones

    Wireless over-ears with good noise cancellation performance and nano-coating for sweat protection.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 40mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 41h (36h with ANC) | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 2.5h + quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: Nano coating | Features: ANC, HearThru, mobile app, 3.5mm port, auto play/pause, multipoint support
    • Excellent battery life
    • Bright, detailed sound
    • Nano-coated to resist water
    • ANC could be better at this price point

    Compared to the Sony WH-1000XM4, the Elite 85h to put more focus on midrange and treble. They’re overall brighter and more forward sounding, with less extension in the sub-bass end.

    Whereas the soundstage is a bit lacking, the imaging is quite precise.

    They might not have the best microphones, but these headphones offer good quality for phone calls or audio streaming and active noise cancellation for busy environments.

    Their super comfortable design is suitable for commuting, home listening, and gym. They also have nano-coating to deflect sweat during intense workouts.

    Elite 85h support some nifty features like a wear detection sensor, voice control smart assistant (Google Assistant), and multipoint so they can stay connected with two devices at the same time.

    Of course, you can connect them with the companion app the unlock many more useful tools (EQ, smart pause).

    6. Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2

    trophy Best all-around
    Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT wireless headphones

    Second-gen Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 now offer multipoint, cleaner call quality, and LDAC codec. They’re still one of the most popular over-ear headphones under $200.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 45mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 15-28.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 40h | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 3.5h – quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC | Water resistance: None | Features: Multipoint, foldable
    • Fun, V-shaped sound
    • Good build quality with foldable hinges
    • Multipoint support
    • Long battery life (40h)
    • Comfort could be better

    Audio-Technica included both AAC and LDAC among the Bluetooth codec support so that you can expect excellent audio on both Android and iOS.

    Speaking of audio, these headphones are V-shaped, with punchy low frequencies and crispy highs. They’re enjoyable to listen to while also packing a lot of details.

    The plastic build doesn’t scream rigidness, but it 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 wireless Bluetooth headphones support wireless connection and are more suitable for commuters and office workers who don’t like wires. The battery can hold up to 40 hours of playtime.

    More similar guides:

    Best open-back headphones

    Best audiophile headphones

    Best studio headphones

    Check the best bass headphones for more options.

    7. Razer Opus

    trophy Best for gaming
    Razer Opus wireless headphones

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

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth / 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 40mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 25h (with ANC) | Wireless range: n/a | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: Quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX | Water resistance: No | Features: Quick Attention Mode, THX certified, EQ
    • Balanced, detailed sound
    • THX certified for better in-game effects
    • Good ANC performance
    • No custom EQ

    Opus active noise-cancelling headphones have a surprisingly balanced sound signature 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.

    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.

    If you plan to commute with these, you can also enable Ambient Awareness to amplify your surroundings. You can connect the headphones wirelessly or wired.

    Also, the built-in microphone performs quite well for phone calls, even in louder environments. For easier transport, there’s an included carrying case in the box.

    For noise cancellation for a lower price, the best budget noise cancelling headphones are worth checking out.

    8. Jabra Elite 7 Active

    weights Great for sport
    Jabra Elite 7 Active

    Still one of the best headphones under $200 for sportspeople, with an ergonomic fit and a balanced sound signature.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.2
    Driver size icon Driver size: 6mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 8h + 22h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 2.5h + quick charge – USB-C + Qi wireless charging | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IP57 | Features: SAATI Acoustex mesh, PeakStop, app
    • Almost neutral sound
    • Comfortable fit
    • Decent ANC performance
    • Feature-rich app
    • Wind hurts the ANC
    • Not the most secure fit out there

    Unlike other sports earbuds, Elite 7 Active output a reasonably balanced response. That’s a welcome change compared to more bassy Jabra Elite Active 75t.

    Looking for something bassier instead? Check best bass earbuds.

    On top of the great sound, earbuds support better active noise cancellation and touch controls. They’re remappable by using the Jabra app.

    The latter also offers fully custom EQ and other cool options like finding your lost earbud.

    You can expect around 8 hours of battery life on a single charge, with another 22 hours inside the fast charging and Qi wireless charging case.

    Jabra Elite 7 Active still rely on ear tips and ergonomic design to stay in place during sports activities, and they do that comfortably.

    9. Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO

    wired 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.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm & 6.3mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 5-35.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Back design: Open-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 250 Ohm | Weight: 8.8 oz (250g) | Cable lenght: 118 inch (3m) | Features: /
    • Robust build, made in Germany
    • Very detailed sound
    • Non-detachable cable
    • Bright sound can get sibilant

    With this great pair of headphones, it’s all about detail and how to recognize flaws in the audio content. Their studio-quality sound is suitable for both casual and professional use.

    Thanks to the boosted treble, they have a wide stereo image. The latter does introduce some sibilance.

    Over-ear headphones are made of hard plastic earcups and a leather-padded steel-reinforced headband.

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

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

    Honorable Mentions

    Sennheiser HD 599: If you want the best headphones under $200 for music, HD 599 are the way to go. They’re perfect for diving into the audio world. Be aware that because of their open-back design, ambient background noises can quickly ruin the listening experience. (Check HD 599 price)

    Philips Fidelio X2HR: Philips Fidelio X2HR are incredibly successful open-back headphones under $200, with many users praising their excellent sound quality and comfort. The latter is due to their comfy velour earpads that ensure breathability. (Check Fidelio X2HR price)

    Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO: Excellent studio headphones under $200 with closed-back ear cups for increased passive noise isolation capability and velour pads for superb comfort. Dynamic drivers output a brighter sound signature with a good stereo image. They work great for studio use and music production. (Check DT 770 PRO price)

    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 of playback time on a single charge. Sadly, there is no active noise cancelling feature. Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus review

    V-Moda XS: Great over-ear 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. (Check XS price)

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

    Skullcandy Crusher Evo: Best headphones under $200 for emphasized bass response. There is even a physical slider to increase or decrease the low-end. Despite their all-plastic construction, headphones feel quite sturdy. (Check Crusher Evo price)

    Want more options for less money? Check the best cheap 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, headphones sound leakage is kept in check.
    • Active noise canceling 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 cancelation, or even passive 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 an ear cup. 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.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    What is a good price for headphones?

    Anything between $100-$500 is a worthwhile investment. After that point, you’re only paying for luxury materials and marginal improvements in sound quality.

    It depends on how good you want your headphones to sound and how many features you want them to have. For wireless headphones, there’s no need to go over $400.

    Should I spend $200 on headphones?

    Quality comes at a cost, especially if you also want extra features or great build quality. The $200 price tag is a great start when diving into an audiophile world.

    Of course, there are great sounding headphones for under $100, but the ones under $200 truly do sound better.

    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.

    Considering affordable earbuds?

    Best true wireless earbuds under $100

    Best true wireless earbuds under $50