Headphones allow us to listen to our favorite music without imposing them to our neighbors. It also enables us to embrace the privacy of owning our own space, creating our own little bubble. It lets us ignore the annoying people around us and immerse ourselves in our chosen activity.
Our Top Choice
- Our Top Choice
- Best Headphones Under $200
- Best Over Ear Headphones Under $200
- Best Headphones Under $150
- Best Noise Cancelling Headphones Under $200
- Headphone Buying Guide
Audio Technica ATH-M50x Headphones
Why we picked this:
- Reputed to provide sonic performance
- Outstanding clarity even on extended frequency range
- Fitted with an amazing 90° swiveling earcups
Choosing the right headphones can be crucial to the purpose we buy them for. We download and stream a lot of media over the internet and we talk over cyberspace via skype or other social media, listen to our favorite vlogger, and sometimes, the quality of our headphones matter in enhancing these experiences.
You would want a headphone that would be able to duplicate almost near-perfect sound reproduction as they were first recorded (although of course, this will depend how you downloaded your music, bootlegs don’t sound as great as if it were legally acquired.)
You may also want to consider how they would look at you. Some people prefer Over-Ear headphones, covering their head like some helmet or play gear, when you wear one of these, you are sending a definite “I am busy” vibe wherever you go. If you still want to show off a cool “don’t bother me” sign, On-Ear headphones are not as huge but cover a lot of your ears.
One thing I do not like about on-ear headphones is that they have the tendency to fall off your head. Finally, for discreet music lovers, and those who would like to get away with enjoying their favorite music without being caught, in-ear headphones would be best for you. The downside is that it’s pretty invasive and very unhygienic for sharing.
Here are top 10 headphones for under $200 that are guaranteed to bring you the same amount of quality as these more expensive headphones in the market.
Best Headphones Under $200
Best Over Ear Headphones Under $200
|Sennheiser HD558||Audiophile-grade over-ear, open-back, Internal Sound Reflector, Highly optimized, field-strengthened neodymium ferrous magnet system||Very Good||Low||4.6 / 5|
|Audio Technica ATH-M50x||Exceptional clarity, FiiO E6 Headphone Amplifier, Proprietary 45 mm large-aperture drivers||Excellent||Medium||4.9 / 5|
|AKG Q 701 Quincy Jones Signature Headphones||Hi Performance Neodynium magnets, Patented Varimotion Diaphragm, minimum distortion High-performance||Very good||Medium||4.5 / 5|
|V-Moda Crossfade LP2||Two 50mm dual-diaphragm drivers for extended supernatural sound, Detachable Kevlar reinforced universal 1-button audio & Mic cable + pro audio/DJ cable, exoskeleton case||Very good||Low||4.5 / 5|
|RHA MA750 Noise Isolating In-Ear||Reinforced, 1.35m oxygen-free cable, 303F grade stainless steel construction, Handmade dynamic driver for clear, natural sound reproduction||Good||Low||4 / 5|
|Beyerdynamic DT-880 Pro||Semi-open, diffuse-field studio headphone, soft padded headband construction, all parts replaceable||Very good||Medium||4.4 / 5|
|Shure SRH840 Professional Monitoring Headphones||Precisely tailored frequency response with 40mm neodymium dynamic drivers, Adjustable, padded, and moisture-wicking headband, Collapsible design||Very good||Medium||4.5 / 5|
|Audio Technica ATH-ANC7||Lightweight & compact design, Closed-back headphones, QuietPoint active noise-cancelling||Good||Low||4 / 5|
|Sony MDR10RNCIP Noise-Cancelling Wired||Ambient noise cancelling, broad frequency response, Swivel function for improved portability||Very good||Low||4.5 / 5|
|Jabra REVO Wireless Bluetooth Stereo||High Definition Dolby® Digital Plus enhanced sound, easy music and phone call management, bend tested||Very good||High||4.5 / 5|
Our top pick….
10. Sennheiser HD558 Headphones
The Sennheiser HD558 is an example of an Over-Ear Headphone. It has comfortable earpieces with soft fabric that fits around your ears, and not on top pf them. Because of this good fit, you can avoid sound bleeding. Sound bleeding is when you have your earphone at either medium to full blast, and the person right next to you can hear what you’re listening to. Pretty annoying when you’re in an elevator with a couple of people.
Best Headphones Under $150
Our top pick…
9. Audio Technica ATH-M50x Headphones
If you’re a music lover on a budget, the Audio Technica ATH-M50x headphones is the best pick for you. It is less pricey without sacrificing quality. For a price of $150, you get a quality of music that is close to perfect. It is also very comfortable, giving you a snug fit that doesn’t bind, paired with soft ear cups, allowing you hours of music without any hassle.
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8. AKG Q 701 Quincy Jones Signature Headphones
You wouldn’t lend your name to a substandard product. Of course, the name suggests Quincy Jones was wow-ed over the sound quality of this pair of headsets. The earpiece cups also use 3D foam ear pads providing comfort and wearability for hours.
7. V-Moda Crossfade LP2 Headphones
Amazing sound quality is the key to playing Rock, R&B, Dance and other types of music that are best enjoyed with passion. The sleek design also lets you stand out with style. There is a microphone function and connects to most smartphones in the market. It also comes with it’s own carrying case.
6. RHA MA750 Noise Isolating In-Ear Headphones
Earbuds as they are commonly called, this pair of earphones are classy with its stainless steel design. Normally, I wouldn’t call earbud headphones classy, but I wouldn’t mind being noticed in accessories like these. Being in-ear phones, it isolates sound very well, directing all that good music into your ears and no one else’s.
5. Beyerdynamic DT-880 Pro Headphones
One of the 3 most comfortable headphones on our list, the Beyerdynamic DT-880 Pro Headphones provide a comfortable fit over the ears. It also boasts clarity over all its qualities, providing you with the most faithful reproduction of sound you will ever find.
4. Shure SRH840 Professional Monitoring Headphones
Studio quality sound under $200, what else would you look for? Because Shure SRH840 Professional Monitoring Headphones are built for studio use, you can expect long hours of comfort, as they are built for long hours of editing within a studio environment. The moisture wicking headband is designed to keep your head cool while in use.
3. Audio Technica ATH-ANC7 Headphones
Noise cancellation on headphones provides you with a clean music experience.The best in the market is currently the Bose QC25, but that headpiece costs about $300. This is the cheaper alternative. Without sacrificing the quality comparable to Bose QC25. The truth of the matter was that this headset was priced at $300, and in the same league as the Bose headphones, but couldn’t compete with the hot shots on the market like Bose and Sennheiser, so they lowered its price. Noise cancellation at 90% and the stylish design makes it suitable for traveling.
Best Noise Cancelling Headphones Under $200
Our top pick…
2. Sony MDR10RNCIP Noise-Canceling Wired Headphones
Also vying for title of best On-Ear Headphones under $200, with Amazing ambient noise canceling and built for comfort, the Sony MDR10RNCIP Wired Headphones provide you hours of music enjoyment. Passive listening mode allows you to still listen to music even after the batteries die. Includes its own carrying case.
1. Jabra REVO Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Headphones
This very sturdy pair of headphones had been bend tested and rated best for certain activities. You can be skating, or biking and not worry about cables catching on to anything. NFC-enabled, you tap your headset to the device you’re pairing it to.
Although the primary feature is its wireless connectivity, you also have the option of connecting it wired. Takes in a standard 3.5mm jack. Jabra Sound app provides High Definition Dolby® Digital Plus enhanced sound.
With all of these different features explained, along with the built of the headphones, whether in-ear, over-ear or on-ear, you can now choose the best headphones to provide you the best music experience. And don’t forget comfort especially if you’re planning to use these devices over extended periods of time.
Headphone Buying Guide
Headphones are a great companion when it comes to sound tripping without disturbing the people around you. There is a lot to consider when looking for the right pair of headphones, and the search can be difficult, especially for those new to the technology. In this buying guide, you will find the things that you should note to help you make the best headphones for your audio needs.
Types and Uses
The first part of this guide will talk about the three main types of headphones: in-ear, on-ear, and over-ear. You have probably heard of these three, but may not be familiar with their differences and benefits. Read on to help you understand which type will best suit you.
This is the smallest type of headphones. Often referred to as earbuds or in-ears, these headphones normally come with your mobile phone or mp3 player. Its weight and size make it the most portable among the three. In-ears tend to have impressive noise isolation as they are placed directly inside your ears. One issue you might encounter is its wires that tend to get tangled most of the time, while another setback is its average sound quality.
On-ear headphones, unlike the earbuds, do not go in your ear canal. They sit on top of them. You can either place the band behind or over your head, whichever you prefer, but the drivers are always on the right ear. While they are not as easy to carry along like the in-ears, on-ears are fairly portable.
Its slightly bulky size also makes it able to fit bigger batteries, which mean more sound tripping hours for you. In terms of sound quality, this type is more preferrable than the in-ears, thanks to the larger drivers used on them. The only thing you need to watch out is its tendency to let minimal outside noise to enter.
Over-ear headphones are the largest among the three. Generally, these headphones produce the best audio because they have the biggest drivers. The batteries are bigger, as well, so they will last for a longer time than the other two. One problem would be its bulky size that makes it hard for you to carry. Another possible issue would be its price, since it offers better sound quality.
Factors to Consider
There are plenty of technical jargons that you will encounter when looking for headphones. They are worth knowing when you want to make the most out of your money. Below are some of the most common terms that you will hear whenever you inquire about headphones:
- Active Noise Cancellation have tiny microphones that absorb outside sounds. The headphones will then produce the opposite sound wave to cancel out the outside noise. This is all wave properties and physics, but all you need to know is that the effectiveness varies from each model.
- Noise Isolation means the unit sits between your ears and the outside noise, blocking the latter from entering the ear. You can think of it like the earbuds, which are placed inside your ears to block the noise by simply being there.
- Frequency Response tells you the sound range that the unit is capable of giving, which is normally measured in Hertz or Hz. This figure is normally found on the box of any audio unit, ranging between 20 and 20,000 Hz. The number will vary based on the unit, but humans are only capable of hearing up to 20,000Hz, which is why all audio products fall between that range.
- Closed-back headphones have drivers enclosed in the ear cup to make the sound bounce around, making them a great choice when you do not want to hear any outside noise and cause any audio leakage.
- Sound Stage is the ability of the headphones to recreate the spatial cues inside a room. It tricks your brain into believing that there are different sounds coming from various directions.
- Neutral or Flat Sounds mean that the unit reproduces a signal that it receives from the player with minimal deviation. Manufacturers normally give a slight boost to make the sound more appealing as a flat sound is not exciting to listen to. This is a necessary feature when you plan to produce or mix audio.
Features to Look For
You should have an idea what kind of headphones to buy by now. Your purchasing decision can be further polished by keeping these features in mind:
- Bluetooth – this feature will give you the option to ditch the wires and go wireless.
- Noise Cancellation – as mentioned earlier, this feature works by blocking the outside noise to keep you focused on your sound tripping session. Do not expect every single outside sound to disappear, but you will be surprised at how much of that noise will be removed with this one.
- Battery life – the larger headphones often have the longest battery life. If you want to enjoy the noise cancelling and bluetooth features, then you will want to have a pair of headphones with batteries that last longer.
- Collapsible ear cups – it is always better to pay attention to the headphones’ capability to fold. This will make the unit easier to store when not in use.
- Water-resistant – this applies to workout earbuds, which gym-goers and fitness enthusiasts look forward to. Their sweat will not damage the unit because water-resistant materials are used.
- Built-in microphone or control module – manby headphones have control modules and microphones on the wire or into the headphones for added convenience. You can choose to answer calls, control your music, or access Siri. Check if the controls match your preferences.
With so many options to consider, finding the best headphones can be a difficult task. This buying guide is enough to give you an idea which type of headphone and what features will match your audio needs. You will want to look for as many product reviews as you can to polish your preferences.
While the best ones are normally more expensive, there are affordable ones that can provide quality sounds and the basic features, so make sure to assess your needs before making a purchase.