Headphones are a tricky item to purchase. There are so many different aspects to take into consideration – the fit, the style, wired or wireless, noise canceling, sport or regular, the list goes on. Not to mention, the fit is highly personal and it can be difficult to find a pair that fits the majority of people. On top of all that, there are hundreds of different brands! Should you shell out the money for a top name brand or will a more inexpensive pair do the job?
You’ve come to the right place. Gone are the days where you have to pay hundreds of dollars for a great pair of headphones, you can easily get a high-quality, professional-grade pair of head phones for under $200. And that’s exactly what we’ve found. We’ve compiled a list of nine of the best headphones under $200. We got some of the best of each category as well – in ear, over ear, noise canceling, sport, professional, casual, you name it. Take a look!
Best Headphones Under $200 – Compared
Alright, let’s start off by taking a look at a general overview of the best headphones under $200.
Perfect! Now let’s get into each individual product review to figure out which ones are the best.
Crowin E-7 - Sleek and Wireless
Alright let’s get straight into it! We’re starting off the list with one of the top contenders, the Crown E-7. And how could the not be? Just look at them – they’re beautiful. But beauty isn’t everything, of course, so how do they perform and how do they stack up compared to the rest on our list? Let’s find out.
First we want to note that these are noise canceling headphones! It’s become a major trend in headphones over the past few years and for good reason. Primarily used by people who fly, the feature is also useful if you just enjoy a more peaceful listening experience. The noise canceling can be turned on and off with the switch of a button. These are also wireless and extremely lightweight. They connect to your phone via bluetooth extremely easily and you can get 30 hours of playtime! That’s a lot for a pair of bluetooth headphones. And even if the battery does die, it comes with a cord for you to be able to plug it in like a normal pair of headphones! Amazing.
As far as comfort, we already mentioned that they’re extremely lightweight so you’ll be able to wear them on your head for extended periods. They also feature very soft fabric around the ears for even more comfort. There’s an on-board microphone that allows you to take calls as well as a pulse remote that allows you to control things like volume and which song you’re listening to. The listening experience is also divine. They feature an extended frequency range and you experience a lot of subtle details in the music that a lot of other headphones don’t bring out. They also have a really deep bass for bluetooth headphones.
These headphones will be hard to beat. They’re sleek, wireless (or wired if you prefer), comfortable, lightweight, and they just sound amazing. They’re at a completely reasonable price and another bonus – they come with an 18 month warranty so you know Crowin really stands behind its products. We can say with the utmost confidence that you won’t be disappointed with the Crown E-7.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 10 years or just have never considered purchasing a pair of headphones in your life, you’ve most definitely heard of Bose. They’re considered one of the leaders in the audio industry and make not only a wide range of headphones, but speakers and home theater systems as well. A lot of people just write off Bose as being too expensive to even consider but as of late, that’s not the case at all! They actually have a few options for those looking to jump on board the train that aren’t too expensive at all. So how does the first pair of two Bose headphones on our list stack up?
You’re probably first wondering about price so let’s put your mind at ease – these headphones come in at around $100 and while this specific pair isn’t necessarily noise canceling, they still manage to block out a good amount of sound. They’re also very slim for over ear headphones and don’t feel bulky whatsoever. They’re also very sturdy and won’t move around a lot while you’re moving which makes them great for commuting or even working out. The headband is very softly padded making these great for long listening sessions. You can tell from the photo that these aren’t wireless, but the cable is actually detachable making it much easier to store and making it so your cable won’t get tangled. Which brings up another great point, they actually come with a carrying case, making them especially easy to travel with!
The Bose SoundTrue does have a microphone as well as a remote to control volume and what song you’re listening to. These headphones are really great at bringing out the mid-tones but the bass isn’t necessarily extraordinary. They’re extremely well-rounded but if you listen to a lot of bass-heavy music, you might be disappointed.
Essentially what you’re paying for is reliability. For about $100 you’re purchasing a pair of headphones that are well-rounded, you know will sound great, are comfortable, and come with the backing of a very trusted name brand. And if black isn’t your thing, they also come in a very nice blue for a pop of color. You just can’t go wrong with Bose, especially at this price.
T-Toper Noise Isolating Stereo - Stylish, Great Quality, Great Price
Okay, we totally get that over the ear headphones aren’t for everybody and can feel a bit bulky at times. Plus they’re not the most convenient for working out or just being able to throw them in your pocket as you rush out the door. Thankfully we have in ear headphones! Some people argue that you can’t get the same audio quality from smaller headphones that you can get from the larger pairs. That’s where we’ll have to disagree and the T-Toper Noise Isolating Stereo headphones definitely help to prove our point.
These headphones aren’t noise canceling but they do an amazing job at blocking out a lot of the noise for being in ear headphones. They’re very comfortable to wear, and the rubber that goes around the ear to keep them in place is very flexible and you can barely notice it’s there. Another great point is that these actually come with multiple sized earbuds! This will ensure that these will fit anybody no matter who buys them.
Where these headphones really shine is in showcasing vocals. These are another good all around pair as far as bass, bids, and highs but vocals sound especially crystal clear and truly stand out. The cable is a semi-transparent wire made with kevlar fiber so it’s extremely sturdy and will last you a long time. Speaking of the cable, it’s also a hifi lossless cable meaning that it does a great job at maintaining sound quality as it’s transmitted. These also do come with a microphone and because of the cable, will have your voice sounding crystal clear coming out of the other end. Their ergonomic design also make them very easy to use while being active, indoors or outdoors in whatever weather.
Overall, these are ergonomic, high-quality headphones that are sleekly designed, comfortable, and really do an amazing job at showcasing vocals in songs. The sound is easily able to compete with much higher priced headphones. Another added bonus is that these headphones are made from eco-friendly materials and are totally environmentally friendly! They also come with multiple earbud tips in various different sizes ensuring an individual, comfortable listening experience to whoever purchases them. You will not be disappointed.
BÖHM Bluetooth Headphones - Great Design and Great Bass
Alright, back to over ear headphones – well at least for now. Up next we have another very sleek, very modern-looking pair of headphones from BÖHM. So how do they compare to the rest of the over ear headphones on our list?
The BÖHM Bluetooth Headphones are, as the name suggests, wireless! They feature an advanced Bluetooth 4.0 technology and is much more reliable and much higher quality than previous Bluetooth technologies. They have a 33 foot range so you can be across the room from your phone or computer and these will still work perfectly. As you can tell from the photo, they have a very sleek design and look great on anybody. A couple of things to note, however. These are over ear headphones and don’t go all the way around the ear. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just a personal preference really. It’s also worth noting that the headband is a bit weak so you just have to be very careful when you’re taking them off/on and also adjusting the size. However, it’s also worth noting that BÖHM has great customer service and are sure to help you out should anything actually go wrong.
Set up is very easy on these as well so you’ll be able to get going quickly straight out of the box. They feature a battery life up to 18 hours of talk time and 16 hours of music listening, which is pretty decent for a pair of bluetooth headphones. They take about three hours to fully recharge. As far as the music, these headphones are very good with bass especially seeing as they’re not wired. You’re able to answer calls right on the headphones as well. You might not be able to readily see it, but we promise you there is a microphone.
These headphones look great and are sure to impress while you’re wearing them. They do come with a carrying case which is always a nice addition as you always need somewhere to put larger headphones when you’re done listening. The battery life is good and so is the fact that they’re noise canceling. They’re also under $100 which is a great price considering all the features. As long as you’re careful with the headband, we think these are a solid purchase. We’re in love with the design as well as the sound – there’s no way to go wrong with these BÖHM Bluetooth Headphones.
Halfway through the list with the Mpow Jaws V4.1 headphones! These introduce a new type of design to our list and also a new type of design to headphones in general that’s only emerged fairly recently. They’re wireless in ear headphones but also provide a level of security and stability with the around-the-head clip they’re actually attached to. This design is very sleek and there are actually a lot of benefits to it.
Firstly, these will definitely stay around your neck and you don’t have to worry about a loose cable getting caught anywhere. Also something that you can’t tell from just looking at the photo is that at each end of the band, there are actually magnets! So as soon as you’re done listening, you’re able to pop the actual headphones into the magnets so they stay secure and aren’t left to just dangle around. The magnet is also very strong so you won’t have to worry about them coming out. These headphones are in fact noise canceling as well, which you don’t see all the time with in ear headphones. They feature Bluetooth 4.1 technology so they’re extremely easy to pair, they’re very stable once they are paired, and as a result the sound is also crystal clear.
The Mpow Jaws V4.1 are also very lightweight – actually about 60% lighter than any other neckband design on the market. That’s pretty insane. With the battery you’re able to get 13 hours of continuous music/talk time with 350 hours of standby time with a single charge. They do have a built-in microphone and also easy-to-control buttons on the side of the neckband so you don’t have to take these off to control the volume or music. The one minor annoyance with these is that it’s difficult to tell when they are dying, so they might die unexpectedly. But as long as you charge them consistently every day, you won’t have to worry about that.
We really like this new design and these headphones in particular utilize this design to its fullest, and perform very well while doing it. The magnets make them sturdy, the Bluetooth 4.1 technology make them stable, and they have a great battery life for noise canceling headphones. We also didn’t mention the price – at under $30, you get a lot of bang for your buck. These headphones quickly rose to the top of our list.
Bose SoundSport - Extreme Comfort and Great for Working Out
The second pair of Bose headphones to make it onto our list! While Bose is more known for their over ear headphones, they actually make very high-quality in ear headphones as well, and the Bose SoundSport are no exception. While these are definitely on the higher end of the price spectrum compared to other headphones on our list, we believe that they are worth every penny.
You can notice from the photo that these aren’t quite the typical in ear headphones. They feature an extremely comfortable rubber that are made to fit and conform perfectly to your ear. If you usually struggle with in ear headphones because you don’t like the way they feel, this design might be the pair to change your mind. The StayHeart+ tips also keep them in place during workouts. The sound quality is also impeccable and exactly what you would expect from Bose. The noise is consistently balanced by a proprietary Bose EQ system. It’s very easy to pair these right out of the box and can actually do it via voice prompts.
The battery life admittedly isn’t amazing – you can get up to six hours of battery life per charge but on the flip side, you can get one hour of play with only 15 minutes on the charger. They’re sweat and weather resistant and also come in multiple different colors. They’re extremely lightweight as well so you’ll barely notice that you’re wearing them.
These are definitely expensive but they’re also potentially the most comfortable pair of in ear headphones that you’ll ever be able to find. The Bose proprietary StayHeart+ tips headphones are not only extremely comfortable, but they also stay in place under virtually any conditions. It’s also very easy to control on the wire – answering calls, changing the volume, and changing songs is a breeze. The main selling point of these headphones: comfort and quality. You won’t find a more comfortable pair with these high of quality on the market. They are a little pricey, but we think you’ll be very pleased.
Bang & Olufsen is another brand known for their quality and extensive research spent on sound. Like Bose, they are very trusted in the industry and make a wide range of audio products including speakers, TVs, and home theater systems. In addition to their audio quality, they’re also known for making beautiful, luxurious products that look very high end. The B&O Play H3 headphones are no exception to this rule.
These headphones are crafted from solid block aluminum and are some of the lightest headphones featured on our list. These aren’t wireless headphones, but for the design and quality, we don’t think that poses an issue. They produce a very full tone sound and are able to reproduce the originally intended sound as authentically as possible. They have great performance in the lower frequencies and the bass is impeccable. They are specifically engineered to curve to the human ear and Bang and Olufsen has spent decades researching to make sure these are perfectly ergonomically designed. They are also very durable headphones considering how lightweight these are.
They do feature a microphone as well as the standard buttons for controlling the music. Since they are so comfortable, they’re able to easily and comfortably be worn for longer listening sessions. They also come in four different very sleek, very well-designed colors that are sure to look good no matter where you go. They will also stay in place so you won’t have to worry about them falling out frequently, or at all while you’re exercising or on the go.
Overall these are at the higher end of the spectrum ($135 – $192 depending on the color) but we easily think they’re worth the price. They come with a two year warranty, which is a long time for a pair of headphones so you know Bang & Olufsen is standing behind their product. They come with a carrying case, which is always a nice bonus and usually not standard for in ear headphones. If you care about design aesthetic as much as you do about sound quality, we highly recommend going for the B&O Play H3. They sound great, they look great, and they come from a brand that you know you can trust and that stands behind their product.
Sennheiser HD 558 - Affordable Professional-Grade Headphones
The next pair of headphones to make it onto our list comes from Sennheiser, another very trusted and reliable brand in the audio world. They’re another pair that provide a very well-rounded listening experience. They also provide a user-friendly, affordable entry into the world of audiophiles. They make it easy to learn about what to look for in bass, mids, and highs and also affordable to do so. They’re headphones are of professional grade so if you’re looking for a slightly elevated, more technical listening experience – these could be for you.
At just over $100, they come in at a great price. They aren’t wireless, as most audiophiles feel that degrades audio quality. The cable is single sided however so it doesn’t get tangled easily. The jack is actually 1/4mm (while the standard is 1/8mm) but it does come with an adapter and the jack is also gold-plated! It may sound excessive and like Sennheiser is just trying to be fancy, but it actually aids in sound quality. They also feature velour ear pads so they’re extremely comfortable for long listening sessions. The cable is also very long at nine feet so you’re able to listen from anywhere. These aren’t necessarily noise canceling headphones, but they do block out external sound very well.
These headphones from the cable, to the actual headphones, to the gold-plated jack are specifically meant to reduce distortion of all kinds. You can clearly hear highs, mids, and bass accurately and authentically. You can also easily remove the cable that comes with so it’s much easier to store. These are great for watching movies in addition to listening to music as they capture a lot of details and voices that other headphones don’t pick up.
Overall if you’re looking for professional grade headphones that aren’t intimidating in technicality or price, we highly recommend the Sennheiser HD 558. They provide rich sound, replicate the sound authentically, and are comfortable for long listening sessions. And for the price, you’ll have difficulty finding a more sound technical pair of headphones. These come highly recommended.
Up next we have another pair of professional grade headphones at a consumer friendly price (under $100). Sony is, of course a very trusted name when it comes to electronics and especially audio. They’ve been around for a long time and make speakers, phones, headphones, home theatre systems – the list goes on. As far as these professional quality headphones, do they really stack up? Yes.
While these headphones are definitely geared towards more professional uses, if you prefer a listening experience with technical aspects taken into consideration then these are the headphones for you. Some basics – these come with a 10 foot cord and the jack is gold plated at 1/8 mm and also comes with a 1/4 mm adapter. They also come with a soft carrying case and the headphones fold up easily to fit right in for convenient transport.
The Sony MDR7506 have an extremely wide frequency sound range that produce crystal clear highs, great mids, and extended lows for an accurate sound. They’re great for listening to music in professional settings, casual settings, and they’re also good for movies as they pick up a lot of details that you might not get from regular headphones. There’s also very little leakage and they do a great job at isolating the sound. At this price, these headphones are as close to sounding like a live performance as you can possibly get.
Again, these might be more professional grade headphones but if you’re an audiophile or just prefer a more technical listening experience, then we highly recommend the Sony MDR7506. What they lack in sleek design, they have in audio quality. They emphasize highs, mids, and lows for an impeccable overall sound that’s very hard to beat. If you don’t mind the slightly clunky look to these headphones, or need them for a professional setting, then give these headphones a try. We can guarantee that you won’t be disappointed.
What you’ll take into consideration when purchasing headphones will ultimately depend on your needs. Do you need/want professional grade headphones or are you more concerned with the look? Do you want over the ear headphones or in ear headphones that are more convenient to carry? There are many many things that you have to take into consideration but let’s take a look at the main things that you should always consider when making your purchase.
In ear/Over the ear
The main decision that you’ll have to make is whether you want in ear headphones or over the ear headphones. There are a few pros and cons to each. In ear headphones offer a more convenient listening experience. They’re easy to throw in your bag or pocket and you can barely tell that you have them in. However, they’re usually not as comfortable as over the ear headphones and don’t produce as authentic sound quality as over the ear headphones. However, a lot of bigger name brands have been able to produce in ear headphones that are able to compete with some of the higher quality over the ear headphones.
This is a small point but look out for this! Especially if you’re purchasing over the ear headphones – you’ll most likely want them to come with a carrying case. If you’ll be using them to commute or travel, you’ll definitely want to make sure they come with a case.
This is mainly a personal preference although there are a few key differences to note. There can be some sound quality loss with wireless headphones. You also have to worry about the battery life when it comes to wireless headphones. Although many are able to last as long as you’ll practically need, it can still be stressful to worry about your battery dying. You generally get better sound quality with wired, but of course they’re not as mobile or sleek. However, with iPhones and potentially other phones coming out that don’t have a headphone jack, it may be advantageous to be ahead of the curve and purchase some wireless headphones.
This may go without saying but consider how they look! You’ll mostly likely be wearing these out in public for a good portion of the time so you’ll want something that looks good, but also sounds good. Most companies now put in considerable effort to make sure their headphones look as good as they sound.
High, Mids, and Bass
If you listen to music with a lot of bass, make sure that the headphones you’re looking at support heavy bass! There are some that are much better than others. There are also some headphones that pick up smaller details and have clearer highs, therefore making them better for jazz, movies, and other music that has more instruments incorporated into it.
We looked at a wide variety of headphones on this list. We had some over ear, in the ear, some professional quality, some much more casual. Some are geared more for sports, some are better with bass, and some are just great overall headphones. However, there are a few that definitely stand out as being best overall and best for most people. Which are the best headphones under $200 however? We think we found the answer to this question.
We have go with the Bose SoundSport in ear headphones. These are some of the pricier headphones on our list, but combine a lot of aspects of all the other headphones that we really like. Firstly, they produce some of the best, most authentic audio quality that really competes with over the ear headphones. They’re sleek, and even more rare for in ear headphones – they’re extremely comfortable. They stay in place, are easy to control, and just produce the most authentic sound overall. While they may not be able to compete with the professional grade over the ear headphones, for everyday listening purposes these headphones easily take the cake over the other pairs and will not disappoint. Like we said, if you struggle with finding in ear headphones that are comfortable for you and don’t feel like they’re going inside of your head, try out the Bose SoundSport. They’re extremely comfortable and easily the best headphones under $200 that we’ve seen in 2017. So go out and buy them and give them a shot! You will not be disappointed!