Best Headphones Under $200

Who wouldn’t want to have the best pair of headphones on the market? Clear highs and mids, booming bass, and gorgeous sound representation are the main features supported by huge names in the music industry. Sadly, everything that offers best quality on the market comes with a price. Even more, with headphones, the price is usually higher than someone on a regular budget could afford.

Up until recently audio manufacturers didn’t seem to give a damn about us, regular folks. But, something seems to have changes lately. More and more big names start to release products that could fit in anyone’s pocket (budget wise). Companies started to realize that regular people like good quality sound too (go figure!) and they found a way to produce high quality products at a better price.

This is why today we have the possibility to discuss about the best headphones under $200. So, if your budget is wide enough to afford headphones that go around $200, you’ve landed on the right page!

6 Best Headphones Under $200 Comparison Chart

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xOver-Ear4.7
Sennheiser HD 598Over-Ear4.6
Beats Solo HDOn-Ear4.3
Bose SoundTrueOver-Ear4.3
Samsung LevelOn-Ear4.1
V-MODA Crossfade LPOver-Ear4.5

How to Choose the Right Headphones for You

Looking for the best headphones out there can be a bit confusing. The market is filled with lots of models and types and each comes with a series of great features. So, how do you choose the best headphones for you? Well, it’s quite easy: ask yourself why you need them. This way, you’ll know if you want headphones to wear in public (on the bus, while running) or indoors (for movies or gaming).

Over the Ear or On-Ear Headphones

Did you know that there is a huge difference between on-ear headphones and over the ear headphones? They all look the same on the surface, yes, but they also pack a different set of drivers and the ear cup creates a completely different experience.

Over the Ear

These models have large ear cups that completely surround the ear, creating an almost perfect passive noise cancellation. Because the cup is larger, the drivers are positioned further away from the ear and thus manage to create a better natural imaging of the sound. This means that you will be able to imagine how the instruments were positioned when the sound was recorded.

Over the ear models are bulkier and more comfortable which is why most users recommend them for indoor usage. Also, you can wear them for longer periods of time and not feel them.


On-ear models are designed for on-the-go users who move a lot or commute every day. They are smaller and the ear cup presses on the outer edge of the ear. That’s why they are less comfortable than over the ear models. Still, because they don’t cover the ear, you won’t have problems with overheating.

They are also better if you wear glasses because, with over the ear models, the seal and your comfort are hindered by the temples. This doesn’t happen with on-ear models.

However, because the driver is so close to the ear canal, the sound is delivered directly. This means that the imaging of the sound is not that accurate. Even more, the passive noise isolation is less effective and the bass is usually less powerful.

Closed-Back vs. Open-Back

Most headphones on the market today are a closed-back model. This means that the outer part of the ear cup is usually shielded and the sound can’t get out.


With closed-back models, you will be able to listen to your music in a public place, without bothering anyone else. The sound is stopped from escaping the ear cups by the outer shield. This also means that you’ll be alone with your music as the environmental sound is reduced to a minimum.


Open-back headphones have a perforated outer shell that allows the sound to escape. This opens the entire sound listening experience and creates a more spacious musical world. However, it also means you’ll hear most of the sounds around you.

Open-back models are recommended to use in the comfort of your own home, where no one can complain about your music.

Top 6 Best Headphones Under $200

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50 is one of those headphones models that have been tested by the best of the best. And they passed every time! Professional reviewers, audiophiles, and fans of the brand, all agree that the ATH-M50 manages to combine perfect audio traits with an amazing build quality. They fit our under $200 budget and you can wear them both in the studio or while on the move.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

The ear cups are padded with foam cushions covered with a soft material, amazing to touch. The cushions are specially designed to create a tight seal over your ears. This offers great passive sound isolation and no sound leakage. The build in general is solid and the headband and ear pads provide a very comfortable fit.

The sound quality is amazing as the highs are crisp, mids are clear and the bass is punchy without being overbearing in any way.

The best part is that the ATH-M50 model is durable and they will remain with you, in perfect functioning condition, for several years. Even though they may seem a bit of a stretch for the budget, they are worth the hassle. Both ear cups can be tucked inside the headband for more portability. Also, the package is delivered with a special pouch that you can use to store the headphones while on the go.

We liked the fact that they are equipped with three cables that differ in length. This way, if you use them with your smartphone, you don’t have to carry 3 feet of extra cable with you. On the other hand, if you want to use them with the TV from bed, you have a long cable and a coiled one.

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Sennheiser HD 598

We can honestly say that these are just as comfortable as they look. The soft leather like material that covers the headband is absolutely amazing to touch and the soft cushions used for ear cups and the inside of the headband, create an incredible level of comfort! You will be able to wear these for long hours without feeling any discomfort.

Sennheiser HD 598

After you go over their amazing design, you discover the natural, almost perfect sound quality. The open back design puts the ear cups in an optimal position that allows audio signal to be sent directly into your ear canal. This produces a spatial listening experience. That allows you to identify where instruments were placed when the song was registered. This is a feature rarely met on this price range. The Sennheiser HD 598 are the headphones that will offer amazing sound clarity and detailed tonal balance.

You must understand one important thing about these headphones: they won’t offer sound isolation and they don’t keep the sound in. No, this is not a flaw. Actually this openness is the main characteristic that allows them to offer this fantastic sound quality. This being said, they are not designed to be worn at work or on a crowded train. They are made to allow you to enjoy the amazing sound quality of a movie or a song in the privacy of your own house or studio.

It is recommended to pair these with a headphone amp in order to bring them to life and enjoy their true power. In the end, all we can say is that the Sennheiser HD 598 is a pair of headphones designed for audiophiles.

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Beats Solo HD

Beats is a name well-known in the sound industry and many artists vouch for their quality and ease of use. We loved the fact that they come in one color! They look amazing with any outfit and everyone sees them from a distance.

Beats Solo HD

So besides being stylish, are they as good as advertised? The answer will have to be yes on this one. The highs and mids are crystal-clear and the titanium-coated driver technology delivers amazing sound accuracy. The bass is deep and well defined creating a great listening experience without having to crack up the volume.

The Beats Solo HD model was designed to be comfortable for long time periods. They are lightweight and flexible and you won’t even feel them even after several hours of wearing. Even more, they are durable and portable with a unique folding design. You can simply put them in your pocket without worrying you’ll ruin their fabric or structure.

To prove these are the perfect companion for a long trip or drive, they are equipped with an in-line control and mic. This way, you can switch between songs and answer calls without even getting to your smartphone. Even more, the Beats Solo HD supports active noise cancellation for a better travel with noisy transportation. In conclusion, the Beats Solo HD model is among the best headphones under $200 to use for commute.

One downside is the fact that they don’t take care of the sound leakage. This means that everyone around you will be able to hear your music.

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Bose SoundTrue

Bose created these headphones thinking about you, the regular user. The SoundTrue model starts to amaze you with a gorgeous, stylish design. Bose tried to offer anyone the chance to purchase a pair of headphones in their favorite color so the SoundTrue model comes in a variety of 4 colors: black, white, mint and black & mint. To be honest, the black & mint version is our favorite!

Bose SoundTrue

The padded headband and the soft, memory foam ear cups deliver comfort and ease of use. You will simply put them on and forget about them. This also means they are lightweight and great for long drives in crowded environments like flights and train rides. Don’t let the slim design fool you! These headphones are durable and flexible so they will resist on long travels (many times). The cable can be detached when you’re not using them and the headband is collapsible. Even more, you have a carrying case included in the package for better protection.

The sound is amazing with the Bose SoundTrue model! You can let yourself go completely in the natural, clear sound that goes over the full spectrum. The highs and mids are always clear and sharp, easy to distinguish. Also the bass is punchy and rich.

These headphones are designed to be used with your Apple devices and the inline remote allows you to control the music and take calls. The Bose SoundTrue headphones are true to their promise and create an amazing sound experience regardless of your location. This is why we included them on our list with best headphones under $200.

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Samsung Level

Beautiful and stylish, the Samsung Level headphones are equipped with 40mm Dual Diaphragm audio. This helps them deliver natural and clear sound with amazing accuracy. We included them in our “best headphones under $200” top because they manage to create a complete balance between style and performance.

Samsung Level

They are easy to take everywhere you go as the earpieces are easily foldable. This way, you can easily put them in a pocket, a rucksack or a purse and forget about it until you want to listen some tunes. Samsung designed these as the official audio accessory for the Samsung Galaxy line of smartphones which is why you can be sure of their high level of quality. All the design details promote a comfortable fit.

The sound offers a complete experience with all the necessary tones for great bass, mids, and highs. The soft ear pads manage to offer very good noise isolation, making these perfect for long commutes. Some users even prefer these over the Beats which is a definite vote of confidence.

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V-MODA Crossfade LP

These headphones impressed us from the very first moment we saw them. Their rugged design with leather and metallic plates, suggests a whole new level of sound quality and comfort, and tests proved us right. The V-Moda Crossfade LP headphones are an impressive piece of audio technology that rarely is found in devices under $200.

V-MODA Crossfade LP

They are equipped with 50mm dual-diaphragm drivers that manage to deliver a deep bass that makes you feel every sound vibration. The mids and highs are crystal-clear and manage to enhance the overall audio experience to the maximum. Passive noise isolation is provided by the memory foam placed around the ear cups for extra support and comfort.

The build speaks about the highest levels of performance and increased durability. Because the entire body is designed using leather and metal, these headphones are resistant to shocks and other abuses. The audio cable is reinforced with Kevlar and they are delivered with a hard exoskeleton carry case for better portability and protection.

Even though they may seem sturdy, they are actually light weight and allow you to wear them for hours.

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In Conclusion

Our list of best headphones under $200 ends here, as you can see there are some great headphones on the market. Most of the products on our list support the same features: amazing sound, comfort, portability, and gorgeous design. Which one do you choose?

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