Still doubt that $200 can be enough for a pair of high-quality headphones? Then you are on the right track reading this article. We will prove that top-notch headphones can cost even less than two hundred-dollar bills put together. By the way, you can also check our lists of the best headphones under $100 and earbuds under $50 as well.
Last update on 2023-09-08 // The links above are affiliate // Images from Amazon
How to Choose the Best Headphones Under $200
Selecting the best headphones under $200 is not a difficult task, but only if you know how to do it and where to look for. As well as any item headphones include a range of options and characteristics the absence or the presence of which make them either the best or the worst product you can choose. Below you can find the main secrets of a successful purchase.
A verdict on any product is partially subjective. Every time we make a choice we take into account not only technical characteristics but also our own requirements. Thus, if you want to get the best headphones ever check whether the chosen item has not only all updated options but also meets your preferences.
Great performance means great sound quality. Before you purchase headphones always test them connecting to your smartphone or any other device. Listen to your favorite song. Does it sound the way you like it? Aren’t there any squeaking-creaking sounds that cut your ears?
The next thing is to check the quality of lows, mids and highs. And here comes the moment for your likes and dislikes. If headphones have everything well-balanced then we may consider them to be ideal. But what if you adore crisp highs most of all? In this case, headphones with outstanding highs will be the best choice namely for you.
Another important thing is to make sure that your future headphones have noise cancellation. This feature will prevent you from being distracted from music by any external noises. Still, remember that noise cancellation may be either active or passive. Both of them have pros and cons and differ in their work.
Passive Noise Cancellation
Passive noise cancellation is also called noise isolation. Its working principle is based upon the reduction of outer sound due to the perfect fit and seal around your ears.
Active noise cancellation
Unlike noise isolation, ANC includes digital signal processing (DSP) technology. Such headphones have a special audio processor, which cancels out the external sounds by producing the opposite ones.
When choosing ANC headphones make sure that this function can be turned off. This is important for your safety as when crossing the street you should be able to hear what is going on around you. Besides, check how it affects the general performance.
Note that active noise-cancelling headphones will be also beneficial for your health. You won’t need to turn the volume to maximum in order to drown out the outer sounds. Your ears will appreciate this.
All headphones can be divided into three types according to their form factor, the choice of which depends upon several things.
In-ear headphones are also called earbuds. Due to their small size and light construction, these headphones are great for those who like listening to music or any other stuff wherever they are. In-ear headphones won’t take much space either in your bag or jeans pocket. What is more, they are convenient in use when doing some physical activities.
On-ear headphones are also called supra-aural. They are somewhere in the middle between in-ear and over-ear headphones. Such form factor provides open sounding as it doesn’t isolate the environment around you completely.
Over-ear headphones have the largest form factor. As they completely cover ears, they can provide better passive noise cancellation. Over-ear headphones are known for their comfortable fit. Still, they aren’t highly-portable.
You can learn more about the difference between these form factors here.
Wireless vs. Wired
That’s the question of your personal comfort. If you hate cords because they get tangled up every time you put your earbuds into your pocket or bag then the choice is obvious. However, keep in mind that wireless headphones have a limited battery life which you should always keep under control.
That is why, when choosing wireless headphones always check their battery life and connectivity. Check whether headphones have the type of connection you need. By the by, nowadays there are plenty of headphones which support both NFC and Bluetooth connectivity.
Remember that you can also buy Bluetooth headphones with an extra cord. Such combination will give you the freedom of choice.
One of the most crucial factors which will help you decide whether the chosen item is worth recommending is comfort. It’s really important to select headphones which won’t make you tired after several hours of wearing.
Note that all types of headphones are suitable for different situations. Thus, if you like listening to music during your morning jog then in-ear headphones will be the best option while over-ear headphones will suit perfectly well for gaming.
In a word, you should know exactly what you will use your new headphones for and don’t forget to try them on before a purchase. Remember, that comfort is a part of your health care.
Always check the build quality of your future headphones and make sure the materials are durable enough. Some of the headphones can be also water-resistant or have universal weather-sealing.
11 Best Headphones Under $200
Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2
The Best Noise-cancelling Headphones Under $200
Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 are one of the best noise-cancelling headphones to choose from. They have a powerful battery life which reaches up to 24 hours of continuous performance. These Bluetooth headphones can perform within 330ft distance from the working device and have an option of instant NFC pairing.
Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 has a quite specific design which combines black, brown and silver tints. Still, it’s convenient in use as you can control all options offered by these headphones (playback, volume, active noise cancellation, power, pairing and phone calls) just lifting your hand to the left or right earcup and pushing a necessary button.
- 24-hour battery life
- great sound
- supports phone calls
- active noise cancellation
- instant NFC
- great Bluetooth connection
- bass could be better
Great Headphones Under $200 With Noise Isolation
Unlike Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 these headphones can be proud of deep bass. Having an extended frequency range Audio-Technica ATH-M50x provides accurate and clear sound. There is also high-grade noise isolation gained through design contours around ears which is especially noticeable in loud surroundings.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x has a convenient design which includes 90° swiveling earcups, top-notch earpad and qualitative headband material. These headphones are also equipped with a durable detachable cable.
- deep bass
- accurate sound
- durable cable
- comfortable in use
- bulky plastic body
- noise isolation could be more powerful
Marshall Major IV
Great Comfort and Performance in One
Marshall Major IV is a highly comfortable and well-made headset dedicated to true audiophiles. This headset provides a very good audio performance, with a roaring, enjoyable bass, and well-balanced sound. Its audio is rich and pleasant, while the soundstage is slightly on the narrow side.
Equally importantly, they are super-comfy to wear, due to the soft ear cushioning, and they allow for a long-hour use, without creating any discomfort. Moreover, they come with a solid 80-plus battery life and offer both wireless Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, as well as a 3.5 analog connection. In addition, they can be charged wirelessly, or with the help of the USB-C charging cable.
Marshall Major IV headset is lightweight (it weighs 165 grams) and features a collapsible design that is a nice addition to its portability. Similar to the other Marshall devices, this headset also brings some of the traditional Marshall elements, such as textured black vinyl, and more importantly, a multi-directional control knob. This part that allows you to play, stop, skip, power on or off your headset, as well as control their volume.
In other words, Marshall Major IV brings a very good combination of performance and ease of use that makes it super attractive to a wide variety of users. Therefore, if you are after the best headphones under $200, this headset is the right device to look for.
- Very good battery life
- Easy to use
- Strong bass
- A very good audio experience
- Wireless charging
- Not the most accurate audio
- Not the widest soundstage
- Noise isolation can be a bit better
AKG Pro Audio K371
Excellent Value for the Money
AKG Pro Audio K371 is a decent, well-built and engineered headset that offers great sound performance and much-needed comfort, for a reasonable price. With this headset, you are getting a well-balanced, clear sound, with detailed lows and mids, as well as a deep bass, which, when combined, positions these headphones neck and neck with the best headphones in the class.
At the same time, this headset brings much-needed comfort, thanks to the slow-retention foam pads, as well as multiple adjustment features. To be exact, there is an adjustable headband, as well as the earcups’ 90-degree swivel function that helps find the perfect fit. In addition, this headset is also highly portable, due to its foldable mechanism and lightweight design (it weighs only 250 grams) that makes it highly practical for carrying around.
AKG Pro Audio K371 is a sleek-looking headset, with excellent low-frequency response and more importantly, great audio performance and comfort, much appreciated by the true audiophiles. In other words, if you are seeking the best value for under $200, AKG Pro Audio K371 is a great catch.
- Very good audio quality
- Replaceable ear pads
- Foldable design
- Not the best audio isolation
- Not the widest soundstage
- Their performance isn’t as punchy
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live
True Wireless Sound & Secure Fit
The Galaxy Buds Live from Samsung are designed to be in your ear for as long as you need them. The secure fit and lightweight design mean you can have them on in the morning and take them off at night (if this is what you prefer).
The AKG-tuned 12mm speakers and the long battery life (up to 20h with the charging case) guarantee a pleasant experience, without interruptions. Also, the ANC mode is effective in blocking most environmental noises. In addition, it allows users to hear any announcements or traffic, which makes the Galaxy Buds perfect for life in the city.
Lastly, the buds are fitted with three mics – one for clear voice calls and conversations with Bixby (Samsung’s virtual assistant), and two for ANC settings. Not to mention that you can control your bud’s actions with gentle taps on the back of the cover.
- Stylish design fitted for the modern urban environment
- Secure fit & lightweight
- Charging case for easy storage
- Impressive sound quality
- Clear voice call
- Access to a virtual assistant and other voice commands
- Great range
- They are open buds so the ANC doesn’t cut you off from the world
- The sound quality is dependent on the way they fit in your ear
Stylish Headphones From Sony
Looking for headphones with amazing bass response? Sony XB950B1 will be a great choice. These headphones support not only Bluetooth but also NFC connectivity. There is also a good battery life of up to 18 hours. Besides, they charge very quickly. Sony XB950B1 headphones look stylish and offer 3 colors to choose from – black, blue and red. You can make calls using them as well.
- Bluetooth and NFC connectivity
- stylish look
- deep bass response
- wireless/wired modes
- long battery life
- if you are not a fan of deep bass then it may sound too heavy for you
- plastic construction
Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO
The Best Studio Headphones Under $200
Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO are great over-ear headphones under $200. They are perfect for studios as well as smartphones and tablets. Due to their closed-back construction these headphones produce clean and accurate sound.
These studio headphones come with a soft and replaceable velour ear pads that are not only comfortable but also durable in use. Besides, despite their bulky structure beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO headphones are light.
- immersive sound
- a bit recessed mids
Enjoy Freedom of Movement Everywhere you Go
Whether you’re at the gym or on the bus, trying to make it in time to work, the Sony WF earbuds are a great way to enjoy your time. Since they are wireless and fit nicely in your ear, you don’t have to worry about tangled wires or messed up hair. Also, the long battery life (up to 18h with the charging case) is perfect for long-time usage.
With a water-resistance rating of IP55, the headphones are perfect for working out or being out and about on a rainy day. Users also have the chance to forget about the noise due to digital noise cancelation that encourages focus and deep thought. There’s also a Quick Attention mode that allows users to reduce the volume and get out of ANC in order to have a conversation or listen to the environment.
While small in size, there is no quality issue when it comes to the sound. There’s even a bit of bass, which is not that common with earbuds. Of course, you can also use them for voice calls without having to stop and use your hands.
Lastly, we love these cute buds for their versatility. You can have them on and chat with Alexa about shopping lists, sending messages, organizing the music, or even performing web searches. And, when you’re not in the mood for talking, there are touch controls at your disposal.
- Compact design with a secure fit
- Easy hands-free calling
- Access to Alexa and other voice features
- Durable charging case
- Touch controls
- Decent ANC settings
- The bass is a bit less than expected
Bose Sport Earbuds
The Best Gear to Keep You Motivated
True to their name, the Bose Sport earbuds are designed for active people who like to sweat in the gym. Rated at IPX4 (weather and sweat resistance), these buds use special materials to ensure comfort and durability during strenuous exercises. So yes, you can wear them while jogging, boxing, and even when playing sports!
The sound quality is impressive due to the Bose lifelike sound technology and proprietary acoustic port. Also, you can take calls while working out – the earbuds are designed with a beamforming microphone array that isolates the voice from surrounding noise, so people at the other end of the line won’t hear the background.
We love the long battery life (up to 15h with the charging case) and the capacitive touch interface. This way, you can wear them all day long and only touch the phone when it’s an absolute must.
Lastly, the buds have a good BT range (up to 30ft/9m), so you don’t have to keep the phone (or another device) on you.
- Perfect fit for active people
- Good range & battery life
- Impressive audio quality
- Touch controls
- Solid charging case
- Amazing resistance to humidity and mild shocks
- No volume controls on the earbuds
- The case is a bit big
Jabra Elite 45h
The Perfect Companion for City Dwellers
Over-the-head build with on-ear cups and wireless design are the features that make the Jabra Elite 45h a must-have for anyone living in a big city! They look great on your head and make you feel great while cruising busy streets and fighting over the seat in a crowded bus.
The 40mm speakers deliver rich and fulfilling sound quality while the 50h battery life shows they are there for the long run. And, just in case you run out of battery juice, it only takes about 15 minutes to get an extra 10h!
Besides this, the 2-microphone call technology is perfect for hands-free calls and access to your favorite virtual assistants. Of course, the earcups are fitted with buttons, so you can control the way the music flows.
In addition, due to the latest Jabra technology (My Sound) users can adjust their music experience by creating a personal hearing profile. Not to mention that you can continue the customization by using the Jabra Sound+ App!
Overall, the Jabra Elite 45h is the perfect addition to any modern urbanite!
- Compact & lightweight build
- Impressive sound quality
- Voice and manual control
- Wide range of possibilities for customization
- Easy to customize to your liking
- Impressive battery life
- Manual buttons are a bit difficult to use
- The fit can feel a bit lose
Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE Gaming Headset
The Perfect Gaming Headset
If you are seeking an ideal headset for your gaming adventures, that can be successfully used for other purposes as well, Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE Gaming Headset is the device for you.
To begin with, this is a sleek and well-built device, with an amazingly rich and crystal clear sound. Moreover, there is 7. 1 surround sound, as well as excellent connectivity that includes USB Type-A connection, Wireless 2.4Ghz connection, and 3.5mm analog connection. Equally importantly, there is also an Omni-directional, detachable microphone that brings loud and clear audio, perfect for chatting with your gaming teammates.
Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE Gaming Headset comes with a 20-hour battery life and offers great compatibility. In other words, it can be used along with Xbox, PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch, and many other devices.
Equally importantly, its build is highly durable, due to the machined aluminum for it. On the other hand, its use is super comfortable, thanks to the memory foam cushioning, while the compatibility with Corsair’s iCUE software makes its customization a more straightforward process.
In other words, if you are after some of the best wireless headphones under $200, this one is a great choice.
- Great compatibility
- Excellent battery life
- Detachable microphone
- Very good build quality
- They tend to heat up
- Not the strongest bass
The variety of headphones under $200 is really great. Take into account your preferences and follow our guide to choose the best one.