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13 Best Headphones under $200 in 2024

Last updated: 3 months ago
9 min read

We’ve tested 184 headphones. Here are the best headphones under $200 you can get today.

We included different types: wireless, wired, and true wireless headphones.

We test and evaluate headphones using a standardized 9-point methodology. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Quick Overview

More Info Price Connection Mic & Controls Noise Cancelling
Edifier WH950NB Best noise reduction
Edifier WH950NB
Under $180
Bluetooth 5.3
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Google Pixel Buds Pro Best true wireless
Google Pixel Buds Pro small image
Under $200
Bluetooth 5.0
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Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 Best wireless audiophile
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT wireless headphones
Under $180
Bluetooth 5.0
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TOZO Golden X1 Best TWS features
TOZO Golden X1 small
Under $150
Bluetooth 5.3
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Under $160
Wired 3.5mm
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AKG K371 Best wired
AKG K371
Under $150
Wired 3.5mm
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Headphones on our list are evaluated based on 9 key factors (Sonic9Score). The main criteria we looked at to pick the best models is performance across the board. But mainly focused on best for daily use, commuting, removing noise, and studio work. See our testing and ranking methodology.

CONTENTS (show more)

    Best Headphones Under $200 for Reducing Noise

    1. Edifier WH950NB

    trophy Best ANC Headphones Under $200
    Edifier WH950NB headphones with a laptop

    Edifier WH950NB are the best headphones under $200 for removing noise we’ve tested. These wireless over-ear headphones have amazing noise cancellation and superb microphone performance that compares to premium models – Edifier WH950NB review.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.3
    Driver size icon Driver size: 40mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-40.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 34h (with ANC) | Wireless range: 45 feet (13.7 meters) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 1.5h – quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC | Water resistance: None | Features: Multipoint, ANC, app, custom EQ, Google Pair
    • Clear sound quality with natural bass response
    • Comfortable design with memory foam earpads
    • Great active noise cancellation that rivals the best
    • Fairly durable build quality with hard-shell carrying case
    • Overwhelming number of features
    • Limiting custom EQ settings
    • Ineffective Game Mode

    Hear the Edifier WH950NB A/B Sound Test:

    Edifier WH950NB Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    Edifier WH950NB output a clear, balanced sound with some peaks and dips along the way. The latter will only matter to audio purists, whereas casual listeners will enjoy headphones’ ability to play all music genres equally well.

    These over-ear headphones are an excellent overall package. They have above-average active noise cancellation and good ambient sound mode. It doesn’t end there. When you turn it on, the background noise disappears. It’s a bit like magic.

    You can activate LDAC for high-res audio support, Bluetooth 5.3 ensures robust connection, and with multipoint, they can connect to two devices simultaneously.

    Furthermore, their microphone quality outshines even the best Bluetooth headphones, and they can also charge really fast with up to 7 extra hours after just 10 minutes.

    If you’re looking for superb noise cancelling headphones under $200, get Edifier WH950NB.

    Best True Wireless Headphones Under $200

    2. Google Pixel Buds Pro

    true-wireless Best True Wireless Headphones Under $200
    Google Pixel Buds Pro earbuds

    Google Pixel Buds Pro earbuds offer solid performance across the board but mainly shine for comfort, almost 8-hour battery life, and above-average ANC. – Google Pixel Buds Pro review.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 11mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 7.5h + 13h in case | Wireless range: 40 feet (or 12.2 meters) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: Quick charge – USB-C & Qi wireless charging | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IPX4 (buds) & IPX2 (case) | Features: App, EQ, Volume EQ, Spatial Audio
    • Great sound, but only after using custom EQ settings
    • Long-lasting comfort without pressure sensation
    • High battery life of almost 8 hours per charge (with ANC)
    • Pretty good active noise cancelling & ambient mode performance
    • Sweat resistance on earbuds and charging case
    • Mediocre call quality with a noticeable distortion
    • No Game mode means distracting latency during gaming
    • Inadequate stability makes them unsuitable for sports

    Hear the Google Pixel Buds Pro A/B Sound Test:

    Google Pixel Buds Pro Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    To get the best sound, you must disable ANC and make some tweaks in the app’s custom EQ section. After that, you get a very natural sound that’s unfortunately not the most detailed.

    Pixel Buds Pro have a unique bean-shaped design that fits comfortably into your ears despite looking rather bulky. They have decent stability but don’t expect them to withstand intense workouts.

    However, Google clearly thought about the latter. Earbuds have an IPX4 rating, whereas the case itself is rated for an IPX2, which is enough to survive very light sprays of water.

    Moreover, the Buds Pro can play your music for almost 8 hours per charge (7h 52 min in our test) and block a decent chunk of background noise thanks to good active noise canceling performance.

    For versatile performance, Google Pixel Buds Pro are the best true wireless headphones under $200.

    Best Wireless Audiophile Headphones Under $200

    3. Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2

    trophy Best Bluetooth Audiophile Headphones
    Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT wireless headphones

    Second-gen Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 offer multipoint, clean call quality, and LDAC codec. For these reasons, they’re the best wireless headphones for audiophiles 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, the over-ear 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 options:

    Best Features in TWS Headphones Under $200

    4. TOZO Golden X1

    weights Best Features in TWS Headphones under $200
    TOZO Golden X1 earbuds

    If you want a custom equalizer, adjustable controls, and different ANC modes, the TOZO Golden X1 are the best true wireless headphones under $200 we’ve tested – TOZO Golden X1 review.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.3
    Driver size icon Driver size: 12mm dynamic & BA
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 12-41.100Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 5h + 24h (with ANC) | Wireless range: 40 feet (12.2m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 2h – USB-C & Qi wireless | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC | Water resistance: IPX6 | Features: Custom EQ, multipoint
    • Excellent sound quality for the price, with smooth, natural tuning
    • Comfortable fit despite their extra weight
    • Bluetooth multipoint for connecting to 2 devices simultaneously
    • Good ambient sound mode performance
    • … but it randomly stops working
    • ANC only works effectively with lower frequencies
    • Battery life below 5 hours per charge (with ANC)

    Hear the TOZO Golden X1 A/B Sound Test:

    TOZO Golden X1 Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    TOZO Golden X1 have a U-shaped sound that’s still pretty faithful to the original. By lowering the bass and treble, you get a very balanced sound that any audio lover will enjoy.

    Inside the app, you can customize controls, sound, and even ANC. The latter is overall decent and works best with lower frequencies. Even ambient sound mode isn’t mindblowing, but it does the job.

    Earbuds have an IPX6 rating, which means you can theoretically take them under the shower. While they have some weight, which makes them a poor pick for stability, they remain comfy during longer listening sessions.

    Battery life is about average as it can only endure around 5 hours on a single charge and have an extra 24 hours inside the Qi wireless and fast charging case.

    To ensure the best fit, earbuds come with 6 different sizes of ear tips.

    Best Studio Headphones Under $200

    5. Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO

    wired Best Studio Headphones Under $200
    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: 45 mm
    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.

    The 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.

    Best Wired Headphones Under $200

    6. AKG K371

    wired Best Wired Headphones Under $200
    AKG K371 on a DJ table

    The Harman Target tuning offers excellent audio quality that fits all music genres. For this reason, these are the best wired over-ear headphones under $200.

    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

    The over-ear headphones 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.

    Runner-Ups: Other Models Worth Considering

    7. Jabra Elite 7 Pro

    Jabra Elite 7 Pro out of case

    Still one of the best headphones under $200 for commuters and students, with an ergonomic fit and a balanced sound signature. They can endure over 8 hours on a single charge and have an extra 22 hours inside the Qi wireless and fast charging case.

    Jabra Elite 7 Pro review

    8. Sennheiser HD 599

    Sennheiser HD 599 wired headphones

    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

    9. Philips Fidelio X2HR

    Philips Fidelio X2HR wired headphones

    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

    10. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO

    Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 250ohm

    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

    11. Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro

    Samsung Galaxy Buds 2

    The Buds2 Pro earbuds closely follow the Harman curve with a slightly boosted bass and treble. Their tuning works wonderfully with most musical genres. The design is modern and minimalistic, with an understated matte exterior. But you have to use them with a Samsung phone. Only then can you control 360° audio, ambient sound mode, and ANC. A solid choice if you have a Samsung phone.

    Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus review

    12. Sennheiser HD 560 S

    Sennheiser HD 560 S

    HD 560 S have a neutral frequency response with a hint of warmness and a slightly brighter treble. They’re a great pick for studio use. These are mostly plastic open-back headphones with metallic mesh to protect the drivers. The velour earpads go around your entire ears, providing superb comfort for long listening sessions. The audio cable is quite long, so if it ever breaks, you can replace it. If you want neutral sound quality, check these.

    Check Sennheiser HD 560 S price

    Find more top open-back headphones.

    13. Jaybird Vista 2

    Jaybird Vista 2 on the ground

    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.

    Jaybird Vista 2 review

    How Do We Test?

    We test and score headphones on 9 key points:

    1. Sound
    2. Comfort & Fit
    3. Durability
    4. Battery
    5. Features
    6. Noise Isolation
    7. Noise Cancelling
    8. Bluetooth
    9. Value

    For example, to objectively test sound quality, we measure frequency response (see graphs in full reviews). The charts show the headphone sound profile and tell us what music these headphones are best for.

    Frequency response chart
    Frequency response charts show bass, midrange, and treble sound profiles.

    See our testing and scoring methodology for explanations of other tests. This helps us compare and pick the best-performing headphones that we can confidently recommend.

    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 amps and DACs instead.

    • Great value: Headphones under $200 offer an excellent price-to-performance ratio. You will find many popular headphones on the market. Some models are so good they use them in professional studios.
    • Improved sound quality: If you’re new to high-end audio, you’ll dive 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 love your new headphones so much that they might be your last. Or, (more likely) they will become a reason for discovering other 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 Bluetooth headphones under $200 have additional features like active noise cancellation and companion apps.

    Here, we compare headphones under $200 with cheaper and pricier alternatives.

    Should I get wireless or wired?

    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 bit rate speeds that excel the ones from audio codecs like mp3.
    • They’re perfect for commuting since you don’t have to bother with wires. Too often, the cable gets stuck on a door handle or armrest, violently pulling headphones off your ears. Those worries are gone if there are no cables to begin with.

    Wired

    • On the other hand, wired headphones are foolproof and work every time.
    • Their performance highly depends on the source. By upgrading the source quality, you can also upgrade the audio quality.

    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:

    • A bigger soundstage results from 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.

    FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

    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.

    Should I spend $200 on headphones?

    Quality comes at a cost, especially if you want extra features or great build quality. The $200 price tag is a great start when diving into the audiophile world. Of course, there are great-sounding headphones for under $100, but the ones under $200 truly do sound better.

    Are wireless Bluetooth 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.

    Are you considering spending less?

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