This price range is for listeners who want to invest in a pair of above-average headphones that deliver a good and reliable listening experience. This means the headphones in this list are versatile, well-built and deliver a good sound quality. They also typically provide additional features like wireless Bluetooth and active noise canceling. Below are our recommendations for the best headphones under $200 we have tested so far.
Best Over-Ear Headphones under $200
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro are the best over ear headphones under $200 if sound quality is your main priority. They have excellently balanced audio reproduction with a spacious soundstage that immerses you in whatever you’re listening to. They’re also sufficiently sturdy and durable that you won’t worry if they accidentally fall a couple of times. However, like most open headphones they’re not practical to use outdoors, and they also feel a bit tight on the head which may be uncomfortable for some at first.
The DT 990 should be your first choice if you only care about sound quality and critical listening, but for almost everything else, get the Plantronics Backbeat Pro. They’re an amazingly versatile headset with great battery life and a reliable wireless connection. They’re also noise-canceling and do not leak much so they’re suitable for most environments. However, they’re pretty bulky headphones so they won’t be ideal for running and exercising.
Best On-Ear Headphones under $200
If you find the first two options a little too bulky, then the Samsung Level On Wireless may be a better alternative for you. They’re decently portable headphones that have an excellent set of active features. Their build quality feels a little flimsy, and the touch sensitive control scheme can be a bit frustrating at times. However, they have a long-lasting battery life and a reliably fast wireless connection. They’re also quite comfortable for an on-ear design.
Best In-Ear / Earbuds Headphones under $200
If you prefer earbuds/in-ear headphones, go for the Jaybird X2. They are not only great sports headphones, they’re also quite versatile if you want to use them as your everyday headphones. They have a simple and stable wireless design that will easily fit into your pockets. They have a decently well-balanced sound, but they lack the ambiance of full sized over-ear headphones which might not be ideal for critical listeners. They also isolate better than some noise canceling headphones despite only blocking noise passively. This makes them useful if you're often in noisy environments or commuting via public transit.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best headphones under $200 to buy for most people. We factor in the price (a cheaper headphone wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors and availability (no headphones that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
A few examples of headphones under $200 that didn't make the cut:
- Sennheiser HD 598. Very comfortable and great, open sound quality. A little weak at the hinges and not the most stable design. See our review
- Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. Excellent sound quality and durable, comfortable design. Not the best for all environments. See our review
- Parrot Zik 3.0. The newer model of the ZIk 2.0 with great active features and a customizable sound.However, they're a little pricey. See our review
If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our reviews for headphones under $200. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no ideal headphones. Personal tastes, preferences, and listening habits will matter more in your selection.