Best Headphones Under $200

Tight on budget? Don’t fret. Read our list of the best wired/wireless headphones under $200.

Niya Andrew • August 18, 2023

Top Pick

Immersive Audio

AKG K 240 MK II

AKG K 240 MK II
  • Lightweight and comfortable to wear
  • Excellent audio production
  • Spare parts are easily available
  • Reasonable pricing
  • Sturdy and durable headphones
  • Low bass
  • High sound leakage
  • Poor noise isolation

All-Rounder

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
  • Foldable and sturdy design
  • Rotating ear-cups
  • Accurate bass intensity with high frequency
  • Comfortable and snug fit
  • Three removable cables in the box
  • Excellent sound production
  • Proprietary cable connection can be annoying
  • Bulky plastic design
  • Little sound leakage
  • Poor noise isolation
  • Not comfortable to wear with glasses

Sleek Style

Philips Fidelio X2HR

Philips Fidelio X2HR
  • Sleek and durable design
  • Balanced audio production
  • Comfortable and snug-fit headband
  • Offers deep bass
  • Sturdy built structure
  • Bulky design is difficult to wear for long hours
  • Poor noise isolation
  • Sound leakage due to open-back design
  • Poor mids and treble

Detailed Sound

Sennheiser HD 560S

Sennheiser HD 560S
  • Good sound quality
  • Detachable cable
  • Affordable price range
  • Balanced sound production
  • Stable and comfortable fit
  • Sturdy, plastic built structure
  • Requires dongle for connection
  • Proprietary cable can be difficult to replace
  • Poor mids and treble
  • No built-in microphone
  • Limited control features

Value for Money

Austrian Audio Hi-X15

Austrian Audio Hi-X15
  • Extremely comfortable ear plush
  • Amazing built structure with metallic details
  • Transparent sound quality
  • Well-balanced bass
  • Comfortable and durable design
  • Not compatible with every device
  • Short analogue cables
  • Require extensive settling in

Innovative Features

Røde NTH-100

Røde NTH-100
  • Very comfortable to wear
  • Smart and sturdy design
  • Impressive sound performance
  • Adjustable headband provide snug-fit
  • Convenient built-in features
  • Ear Cups may heat up after some time
  • Still lacks in features
  • No hard protective case
  • Wired configuration may not appeal to all

Convenient Use

Philips SHP9600

Philips SHP9600
  • Wide soundstage
  • Overall impressive sound production
  • Lightweight and comfortable design
  • Good bass performance
  • Controls are user-friendly
  • Built quality could be better
  • Inconsistent treble
  • Poor noise isolation
  • Does not offer snug-fit or portability
  • High sound leakage

Waterproof Rating

Jaybird Vista 2

Jaybird Vista 2
  • Provides comfortable and secure fit
  • Certified IP68 and MIL-STD-810G
  • Amazing noise isolation
  • Wireless and quick charging
  • User-friendly app, packed with features
  • ANC could be better
  • Adequate battery life
  • Does not provide value for price
  • Require better EQ feature

Good Overall

Razer Opus

Razer Opus
  • Amazing ANC performance
  • Impressive battery life
  • Comfortable and innovative design
  • Provides value for money
  • Built quality is sturdy and durable
  • Offers snug-fit
  • Microphone has poor noise isolation
  • No customizable EQ
  • Limited volume range
  • Can’t tune sound manually

For Daily Commute

Beats Studio3 Wireless

Beats Studio3 Wireless
  • Sleek built design with matte finish
  • Impressive battery life
  • Minimum audio leakage
  • Impressive ANC performance
  • Amazing sound performance
  • Does not provide value for money
  • Built quality could be better
  • microUSB charging is difficult to replace
  • Below average mic performance
  • Uncomfortable with glasses

Believe us when we tell you that you don’t have to spend a dubious amount to grab a perfect pair of headphones. We have carefully listed the top ten recommended wired and wireless headphones for under $200. You may even check out our top suggestions for headphones under $100 and $50.


The Best Headphone Under $200 for 2024

AKG K 240 MK II

AKG K 240 MK II
Type: Over-ear
Driver type: 30 mm
Impedance: 55 Ohm
Sensitivity: 104 dB SPL/V @ 1 kHz
Frequency Response: 15 - 25000 Hz
Active Noise Cancellation: .
Weight: 240g
Cable length (m): 3 & 5
Detachable Cable: Yes
Foldable: No
Replaceable Earpads: Yes

The original AKG K240 took the headphones industry by the wind when it dropped into the market decades ago. Now, its new operational variant of the AKG K240 MKII reveals a significantly more pared-down look updated according to the modern era, reflecting the design priorities of a studio headset. More robust mechanisms have replaced the previous models’ delicate filigree.

The AKG K240 MKII is based on the same metal bracket construction as the original, and it also features the same automatic headband adjustment that any user of the original model will find immediately familiar.

In contrast to the faux leather that was once the norm, plastic is now the material of choice. Since the fit is decent and the materials chosen provide a comfortable level of skin contact, this shouldn’t be an issue in practice, either. The two partially closed earbuds use the latest Varimotion-XXL converters and are very comfortable to wear for long periods. Because of its half-open design and high-quality materials, the AKG K240 MKII does not irritate or cause fatigue after using it for a long time.
Furthermore, unlike many other closed models, the AKG K240 MKII pair will not make you feel enclosed or clamped.

Regarding aesthetics, the AKG K240 MKII hardly sets any new standards, with only minor tweaks to the tried-and-true design. It’s undeniable that the headphones prioritize performance over aesthetics, but that’s how it should be for a studio-ready set of cans.


1. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
Type: Closed-back dynamic
Driver type: 45mm Neodymium Drivers
Impedance: 38 Ohms
Sensitivity: 99 dB
Frequency Response: 15 - 28,000 Hz
Removable Cable: Yes
Weight: 285g

For someone who wants to enjoy Bluetooth and a cable to connect their headphones, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is the go-to choice. The headset offers both BT and wired cable for non-stop fun. However, if ANC is yet another priority you can’t ignore, you might have to go for an alternative to Audio-Technica ATH-M50x.

Audio-Technica has earned its reputation as a manufacturer of high-quality headphones that are also easy on the ears. The Audio-Technica ATH-M50X are professional studio headphones that faithfully reproduce your music as the artist or producer intended. Switching from consumer to studio headphones may cause the bass to be slightly muted; nonetheless, this is intended and not a defect.

Swiveling ear cups and detachable cables make Audio-Technica ATH-M50X headphones surprisingly sturdy and transportable. While we did sweat a bit, that is to be expected with these more giant over-ear headphones. With Audio-Technica ATH-M50X headphones, you don’t have to turn your wallet upside down for outstanding quality.


2. Philips Fidelio X2HR

Philips Fidelio X2HR
Type: Over-Ear (Circumaural), Open-Back
Driver type: Dynamic, 50 mm
Impedance: 30 Ohms
Sensitivity: 100 dB/mW
Frequency Response: 5 Hz to 40 kHz
Removable Cable: Yes
Source Jack: 3.5 mm
Weight: 380 g

Many people have praised the excellent sound quality and comfort of the Philips Fidelio X2HR, a pair of open-back headphones that can be purchased for less than $200. The prominent difference between Philips Fidelio X2HR and X2 is the egg-like shape of the headband, enhanced padding, and hi-res certification with the HR version.

The Philips Fidelio X2HR, unlike the closed-back Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, helps them produce a broad, deep, and natural passive soundstage for a more encompassing listening experience. The Philips Fidelio X2HR are well-made over-ears and offer a very neutral sound profile, so vocalists and lead instruments are reproduced faithfully, but they miss a bit of low bass due to this design.

The headphones’ wide, well-padded ear cups and adjustable headband make them suitable for extended listening sessions. However, their open-back design limits their usefulness compared to closed-back wired headphones like the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. The Philips Fidelio X2HR won’t effectively block out ambient noise but performs best in quiet settings. Their excessive sound leakage makes them inappropriate for usage in public places like offices. After this review, it’s safe to say that the Philips Fidelio X2HR sounds pretty cool for its price.


3. Sennheiser HD 560S

Sennheiser HD 560S
Type: Open-backed, over-ear
Driver type: Dynamic
Impedance: 120-ohm
Sensitivity: 110 dB
Frequency Response: 6 Hz – 38 KHz
Removable Cable: Yes
Source Jack: 6.35mm
Weight: 240g

The Sennheiser HD 560S is a high-quality headphone worth adding to your studio gear. These open-ear headsets allow sound to travel more freely, providing the linear performance demanded by analytical audio fans, letting them dissect every nuance of their favorite tunes. The Sennheiser HD 560S provides a virtually invisible experience. All contact points, including the velour earpads, have been designed to be comfortable for prolonged listening, recording, or editing sessions. The Sennheiser HD 560S is an excellent and affordable option for any listener. These headphones are top-notch because they let users leap from low-quality consumer audio to professional-grade sound, all under $200.

So, who is it for? The Sennheiser HD 560S is a pair of open-back headphones that exemplifies the type of product one would expect to find in a mid-range pricing range. So, if you’re looking for a high-end pair of headphones that hits the mark with their decent bass and sound quality, Sennheiser HD 560S is the one for you. You may consider other options of Sennheiser’s S-series, but don’t expect each pair to offer some significant variation to Sennheiser HD 560S.


4. Austrian Audio Hi-X15

Austrian Audio Hi-X15
Driver: 44mm Hi-X
Frequency range: 12Hz–24kHz
Sensitivity: 113 dB SPL/V
Impedance: 25Ω
Input Power: 150mW
Cable (detachable): 1.4m
Connector: 3.5mm
Weight (without cable) 255g

If you assume that wired headphones are no longer trending, you are in for a surprise with the Austrian Audio Hi-X15.

Hi-X is Austrian Audio’s first line of wired headphones, and former AKG employees founded it.

The Austrian Audio Hi-X15 is an analytical pair of headphones that make music far more enjoyable by highlighting a wealth of detail while preserving the song’s essential tones. These headphones provide excellent detail and dynamics over the whole audible spectrum. The Austrian Audio Hi-X15 headphones remove every trace of fat from your music. You don’t feel like missing out on anything since low frequencies have sufficient weight and substance.

So, as our final verdict, we’d say the Austrian Audio Hi-X15 has hit the mark with its exceptional quality and performance for its price. Do they completely replace its rather expensive versions? Well, not that it misses capturing each nuance and every tiny detail in the sound, but the Austrian Audio Hi-X15 offers quite impressive ANC for its price.
Moreover, despite having plastic built, the structure does not feel flimsy. The plastic is good quality, and the comfortable and beautifully designed earpads are the cherry on top.

For anyone wanting to grab stylish, comfortable, and affordable headphones with outstanding sound production and performance, Austrian Audio Hi-X15 are the best headphones to get under $200.


5. Røde NTH-100

Røde NTH-100
Type: Over-Ear (Circumaural), Closed-Back
Driver type: Dynamic, 40 mm
Impedance: 32 Ohms
Sensitivity: 110 dB
Frequency Response: 5 Hz to 35 kHz
Removable Cable: Yes
Source Jack: 3.5 mm Male
Weight: 350 g

The Australian company, Røde, has established its reputation as a high-quality, affordable headphones manufacturer. As soon as you open the box of Røde NTH-100, you’ll see how the brand lived up to its reputation. It beautifully designed its earcups, adapting the shape of the human ears.

Another impressive quality that justifies the Røde’s reputation is its ‘CoolTech’ feature. As the name suggests, the ‘CoolTech’ would release a refreshing minty feel around your ears to keep your ear from warming up and sweating after hours-long sessions in your studio.
The second awe-inspiring feature is the FitLock feature. With Røde NTH-100, you won’t struggle with fitting and adjusting the headband whenever you wear your headset. The FitLock feature in the Røde NTH-100 allows the users to adjust the fitting once, lock it in, and move on.

Apart from its intriguing features, we were not disappointed when we tested its sound performance. Røde NTH-100 undoubtedly delivers what you would expect from the brand. The meticulous planning behind designing the pair is all worth it, as it provides a perfectly balanced soundstage with no noise distortion or discomfort at higher volumes.

Røde NTH-100 is for anyone looking for surprisingly affordable headphones under $200 for monitoring, mixing, and mastering or simply an addition to your studio equipment. It has a well-thought-out design, keeping customers’ pain points in mind.


6. Philips SHP9600

Philips SHP9600
Type: Open-back design
Driver type: 50 mm neodymium, Dynamic drivers
Impedance: 32 Ohm
Sensitivity: 102 dB (1K Hz)
Frequency Response: 6 - 35,000 Hz
Detachable cable: Yes
Weight: N/A

The Philips SHP9600 is the long-awaited successor to the SHP9500, which was praised by many as a great option because of its high quality and low price.

As a relatively new product, the Philips SHP9600 has a list price of $129.99 and has not yet seen significant discounts. That’s about twice as much as the going rate for its predecessor, and while I wouldn’t say it’s “double” the headphones in terms of sheer performance, it is superior in every regard.
In another reality where the two preceding models never existed, the Philips SHP9600 would be considered competitively priced.

Nonetheless, the clarity, while noticeably better than most closed-back cans, could still use a touch more refinement, and the build quality of these affordable over-ears is slightly less durable than we’d like to see in a pair of open-back cans. The Philips SHP9600 is an affordable option with more bass than other open-back headphones and far more clarity than your closed-back headphones.

The Philips SHP9600’s detailed and expansive sound is what you’d hope for from a pair of open-back headphones. Since the SHP9500, the bass has been slightly boosted, but it is still subtle and understated.
Similarly, the mids and highs have sufficient presence and clarity for our ears, albeit there may be some roll-off compared to the SHP9500.

So, who’s the pair for? If you’re a novice listener looking for a pair of headphones to enjoy your soothing music during your errands and chores, Philips SHP9600 is the ideal affordable headphones we’d recommend.


7. Jaybird Vista 2

Jaybird Vista 2
Type: Recharge Time 2 Hours
Driver type: 6 mm, Dynamic
Impedance: 23 Ohms
Sensitivity: -38 dB at 1 kHz / 1 mV/Pa
Frequency Response: Bluetooth: 2.4 GHz
Battery Life: 8 hours (24 with case)
Noise Cancellation: Yes
Bluetooth: Yes
Microphones: Digital MEMS, Omni directional
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Active Noise Cancellation: Yes
IP rating: IP68
Supported codecs: SBC & AAC
Charging: USB-C & Wireless charging
Weight: 6.7g

The Jaybird Vista 2 Truly Wireless is the second generation of Jaybird’s popular wireless headphones. They’re built for people who are constantly on the go yet still need reliable headphones. Even though we don’t currently test for it, the manufacturer has upgraded the buds’ dust and water resistance rating to IP68 with this update. They’ve also added an ANC system to the Jaybird Vista 2 Truly Wireless, eliminating background noise. However, the total performance is nothing extraordinary. However, the neutral sound profile of these Jaybird Vista 2 can be adjusted using parametric EQ and presets in the software that comes with them. The fit is incredibly secure and comfy.

The Jaybird Vista 2 headphones are convenient for daily use and trips. These earphones are compact and lightweight, making them convenient for travel. The headphones have a battery life of over 5 hours, which may not be sufficient for extended travel days, but the carrying case includes two extra batteries. While the Jaybird Vista 2 does have ANC, it isn’t very effective at blocking out loud sounds like bus or airplane engines, and their passive isolation qualities aren’t any better than they would be without it.

The Jaybird Vista 2 are excellent headphones for working out and sports. You may take them to the gym or go hiking without worrying about them breaking or getting heavy. The snug and secure fit in the Jaybird Vista 2 allows you to work out without worrying about them falling out of your ears.


8. Razer Opus

Razer Opus
Type: Circumaural
Driver type: Dynamic Driver
Impedance: 12 Ohms
Sensitivity: 105 dB (1 kHz)
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Battery Life: 32 hours with ANC, 40 hours with ANC off
Noise Cancellation: Yes
Microphones: Omni-directional
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Active Noise Cancellation: Yes
Cable Length: 1.3m length 3.5mm analog cable, 0.5m length USB-A to USB-C charging cable
Weight: 270g

The Razer Opus is a treat for any professional gamer looking for headphones with incredible ANC, comfort, and other unique features. With Razer Opus, you get all of that without overburdening your pockets.

Compared to Bose QC35 II, the Razer Opus gives tough competition with its ANC performance, which is surprisingly impressive considering the gap between the two prices. However, unlike Bose, the Razer Opus may not feel less comfortable and snuggly, especially if you have large ears, which may be a deal-breaker for some.

Apart from its performance, the Razer Opus aesthetics also seem elegant. The overall outlook of the headphones is sophisticated; even the logo added on the earcups adds to the aesthetic instead of looking flashy.

But none of the features matter if the headphones perform poorly with sound and audio quality. Luckily, the Razer Opus performs exceptionally well in this area. Razer has brought THX certification to its Opus, which was worth it. Unlike its predecessors, Razer Opus delivers a well-balanced sound with heavy bass, which is perfect for gaming.


9. Beats Studio3 Wireless

Beats Studio3 Wireless
Type: Over-Ear (Circumaural)
Driver type: 3.5mm
Battery Life: 22 Hours (BT+ANC), 40 Hours (BT)
Recharge Time: .
Noise Cancellation: Yes
Connectivity: Not Specified by Manufacturer
Quick Charge: 10-minute charge gives up to 4 hours
Active Noise Cancellation: Yes
Weight: 260.8g

Even though Bose and Sony encapsulate the market for wireless ANC headphones, Apple has made its attempts to compete with its Beats Studio3 Wireless.
When you first look at it, you’ll see an elegantly designed matte plastic built with plush ear pads that feel comfortable even after having them on for long hours. Their compact structure makes them perfect for travel. Some users may find the structure a little stiff and may even stain with slight contortion. Luckily, the Beats Studio3 Wireless headphones have a rock-hard shell to protect your headphones and keep them intact during travel.

The deep, weighty bass is what you hear when listening to the Beats Studio3 Wireless. Compared to rivals, they put less emphasis on the midrange of the audio spectrum. The beat difference was especially noticeable given that the Focal Listen Wireless headphones we tested above tended to do the opposite, elevating high-frequency sounds.

While for many, the deep bass of Beats Studio3 Wireless may not appeal to everyone, we appreciate the warmth and woof they add to many tunes after quickly becoming accustomed to them. If you’re looking for affordable headphones that look and feel great, don’t go beyond the Beats Studio 3 Wireless. They sound better than their other siblings, who don’t necessarily provide adequate sound quality despite their flashy design. They didn’t sound great for the price, and the bass was overpowering.

Now, the ANC, the feature for getting the headphones, is nothing extraordinary. The ANC feature in Beats Studio3 Wireless is always on by default; you can turn it off manually. We thought the headphones do a fine job at cumulative noise canceling with plushy earpads wrapped around your ears, naturally blocking ambient noises.


Sivga SV021:

This is one of the few headphones available under $200 with their wooden structure. These look surprisingly elegant with their wooden finish, and their structure makes them a viable option for portability. 

Grado SR80x:

The SR80x is an exceptionally potent set of headphones for the money. Its engrossing low-end, and even more potent midrange will inject your music with much energy.

Final Audio UX3000:

The UX3000 meets their criteria, as it produces high-quality audio and is quite comfortable.

Strauss & Wagner BT501:

The BT501 produces an entertaining and informative bass-heavy sound—an affordable pair of wireless headphones that don’t skimp on comfort or features.

Beyerdynamic DT 880:

Compared to the 990, the 880 has a noticeably different tone and frequency response. 

FAQs:

Is 200 too much for headphones?

Any headphones costing less than $100 will suffice if you’re OK with bare-bones audio quality but are willing to sacrifice longevity. The mid-range alternatives, typically cost between $100 and $200, offer acceptable sound quality and a few extra features that can modestly enhance your listening experience.

What are the headphones that are most used in the USA?

According to our survey of American customers’ “Most Used Headphones by Brand,” Apple is at the top, while Sennheiser is at the bottom. These data were collected from 5,802 American customers in a representative online poll performed in 2023.

How much does a decent pair of headphones cost?

An affordable set of headphones under $100-$200 is usually what a decent pair of cans must cost you for home or gaming purposes. 

If you’re looking to invest in a luxe pair, that can cost you around $200-$500, while audiophile headphones can push your cost above $500.

What are the popular TikTok headphones?

Apple’s AirPods have morphed from a simple pair of headphones into the most popular accessory on TikTok. The headphones, released by Apple for the first time last year, are a costly initial attempt at an over-the-head design.

What headset does Post Malone use?

Post Malone wears HyperX headsets whenever he plays video games, including while broadcasting on Mixer and destroying his opponents in PUBG or Call of Duty.

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