The 6 Best Headphones Under $200 - Fall 2021 Reviews

Updated
Best Headphones Under $200
636 Headphones Tested
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While most company's flagship headphones can cost upwards of $300, you can still get a great, well-rounded pair for less. For under $200, you can get a wide range of headphones, from Bluetooth over-ears to truly wireless in-ears, and an assortment of features like active noise cancelling (ANC), IP ratings for water resistance, or dedicated companion apps with EQ adjustments. The headphones in this list are well-built, have good audio reproduction, and provide good value for their price.

We've tested over 615 pairs of headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best headphones under $200 you can buy. See our picks for the best wireless headphones, the best noise cancelling headphones under $200, and the best headphones.


  1. Best Over-Ear Headphones Under $200: Razer Opus Wireless

    8.0
    Neutral Sound
    8.2
    Commute/Travel
    7.4
    Sports/Fitness
    7.9
    Office
    6.1
    Wireless Gaming
    7.7
    Wired Gaming
    7.0
    Phone Calls
    Type Over-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Yes
    Noise Cancelling Yes
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    The Razer Opus Wireless are the best headphones under $200 with an over-ear design that we've tested. These headphones have an active noise cancelling (ANC) system that offers an outstanding noise isolation performance. They can block out a lot of bus and plane engine noise as well as ambient chatter and the high-pitched hum of an AC unit.

    Their default sound profile is very neutral and accurate, which makes them well-suited for a variety of audio genres. If you prefer a different sound, their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets so you can tweak them to your liking. They very feel well-built and have a comfortable as well as stable fit. They also have over 32 hours of continuous playback time and an auto-off timer to help conserve battery life when not in use.

    However, their integrated mic has a hard time separating your voice from moderate ambient noise, so you may not be heard clearly if you're making a call in a noisy environment. They also lack multi-device pairing, so you can't connect them to more than one device at a time. Still, these headphones offer a well-rounded and versatile performance with powerful ANC at this price point.

    See our review

  2. Audiophile Alternative: Philips SHP9500

    Type Over-ear
    Enclosure Open-Back
    Wireless No
    Noise Cancelling No
    Mic No
    Transducer Dynamic

    If audio quality is very important to you, consider the Philips SHP9500 instead. While these wired-only over-ears aren't as versatile as the Razer Opus Wireless, they have a very well-balanced and neutral audio reproduction that makes them ideal for critical listening. They're more comfortable, and they also deliver more consistent performance across different listeners. As they're open-back headphones, they encourage acoustic interaction with the objects and walls in your environment, enhancing sound quality and making it seem like sound is coming from all around you instead of in your head. Unfortunately, their open-back design means that they don't do a great job isolating background noise or preventing leakage, so they aren't as practical for use as everyday headphones.

    If you want a more versatile pair with lots of features, go with the Razer, but if you want a pair of open-back critical listening headphones, go with the Philips.

    See our review

  3. Best Earbuds Under $200: JBL CLUB PRO+ TWS True Wireless

    7.6
    Neutral Sound
    7.9
    Commute/Travel
    8.3
    Sports/Fitness
    7.5
    Office
    6.1
    Wireless Gaming
    5.9
    Wired Gaming
    7.1
    Phone Calls
    Type In-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Truly Wireless
    Noise Cancelling Yes
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    The JBL CLUB PRO+ TWS True Wireless are the best earbuds under $200 that we've tested. These earbuds have a comfortable, stable design, so you can wear them during workouts without much risk of them falling out of your ears. They're made of plastic that feels very sturdy and durable.

    Their default sound profile is very neutral, meaning it's suitable for all kinds of content and genres. If you prefer a different sound, the JBL Headphones app gives you access to a parametric EQ and presets, so you can easily customize it to suit your tastes. Their ANC feature does a good job of isolating you from ambient sound. They also have a good battery life of about 7.4 continuous hours and come with a solid case that stores about three extra charges.

    Unfortunately, their Βluetooth latency with computers and Android phones is on the high side, so you may notice a delay if you use them to stream video from those devices. Ηowever, they have a better performance with iOS devices. Overall, these earbuds are versatile and offer a customizable listening experience. They're even among the best headphones for music that we've tested.

    See our review

  4. Alternative With Βetter Noise Isolation: Anker SoundCore Life P3 Truly Wireless

    Type In-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Truly Wireless
    Noise Cancelling Yes
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    If you're looking for earbuds under $200 with a better noise isolation performance, you may prefer the Anker SoundCore Life P3 Truly Wireless. These Βluetooth earbuds have a shorter continuous battery life than the JBL CLUB PRO+ TWS True Wireless, but their ANC feature has a significantly better noise isolation performance. You can set the ANC feature to three different settings in the headphones' companion app, and when set to 'Transport' mode, it does an amazing job of isolating you from a wide range of noise. They're also comfortable and have a good build quality. Their default sound profile is less neutral and more bass-heavy, which fans of genres like EDM and hip-hop may appreciate, and if you prefer a different sound, you can also customize it with a graphic EQ in the app.

    If you want earbuds with a more neutral default sound profile or a longer continuous profile, go for the JBL, but consider the Anker instead if noise isolation is a priority. 

    See our review

  5. Best On-Ear Headphones Under $200: JBL Live 460NC Wireless

    7.2
    Mixed Usage
    7.3
    Neutral Sound
    7.4
    Commute/Travel
    7.3
    Sports/Fitness
    7.2
    Office
    5.8
    Wireless Gaming
    7.4
    Wired Gaming
    6.7
    Phone Calls
    Type On-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Yes
    Noise Cancelling Yes
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    The JBL Live 460NC Wireless are the best on-ear headphones under $200 that we've tested. These headphones have a fairly comfortable fit and feel well-built. Their continuous battery life of over 29 hours should last through long days on the go without an issue.

    Out of the box, they have a very neutral sound profile, which makes them suitable for a variety of audio content. That said, if you prefer a different sound, their companion app offers a parametric EQ and presets so you can adjust them to your liking. These headphones have an ANC system that delivers an overall decent noise isolation performance, though it's best at cutting down mid to treble-range noise like ambient chatter. You can pair them with up to two devices at a time, which is handy if you want to stay connected to your laptop and smartphone.

    Unfortunately, they can fall off your head during moderate physical activity. Their mic also struggles to separate your voice from ambient noise around you, which could be frustrating if you're talking in a noisy environment like a busy street. However, their neutral yet customizable sound profile, decent noise isolation performance, and long-lasting battery life make them some of the best Bluetooth headphones under $200 with an on-ear design that we've tested.

    See our review

  6. Better-Built Alternative: Beats Solo Pro Wireless

    Type On-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Yes
    Noise Cancelling Yes
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    If you want on-ear headphones with better build quality, you may prefer the Beats Solo Pro Wireless. Unlike the JBL Live 400BT Wireless, they don't come with sound customization options like an EQ or presets, but they have a much better build quality and feel like premium, high-end headphones. They also have a reasonably comfortable fit, and their ANC feature also does a much better job isolating you from ambient noise. They have a well-balanced, slightly excited sound profile suitable for a variety of types of genres and deliver sound quite consistently. They're also easy to pair with Apple devices, thanks to their H1 chip. Unfortunately, you can't use them wired if you run out of battery life, but they are among the best wireless headphones under $200 that we've tested.

    If you want to customize your headphones' sound profile, go for the JBL, but try the Beats if you're looking for on-ear headphones that feel better built.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • JBL E65BTNC Wireless: The JBL E65BTNC Wireless are a good-sounding alternative to the Razer Opus Wireless but aren't as comfortable and have worse battery performance. See our review
  • Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Wireless 2016: The Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 Wireless 2016 are cheaper than the Razer Opus Wireless but deliver a less-balanced sound profile and feature a far less impressive ANC system. See our review
  • JBL CLUB 950NC Wireless: The JBL CLUB 950NC Wireless are decent Bluetooth over-ear headphones with ANC, but their noise isolation performance is just okay. See our review
  • Audio-Technica ATH-M50x: The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x have great sound quality and a durable design. They're a great closed-back alternative to the Philips SHP9500. See our review
  • Jaybird Tarah Pro Wireless: The Jaybird Tarah Pro Wireless are great in-ears for sports. They have a sturdy build and a stable in-ear fit. However, some users may find their proprietary charging cable a little limiting. See our review
  • Philips Fidelio X2HR: The Philips Fidelio X2HR are open-back headphones that are better built than the Philips SHP9500, but they aren't as comfortable. See our review
  • Jabra Elite 85t Truly Wireless: The Jabra Elite 85t are semi-open, truly wireless headphones with a neutral sound profile and lots of sound customization, but their ANC feature is just okay. See our review
  • Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless : The Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless come with an ANC feature and a graphic EQ in their companion app to help you customize their sound, but they aren't as comfortable as the Galaxy Buds+. See our review
  • Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless: The Beats Powerbeats Pro are a truly wireless alternative to the Jaybird Tarah Pro, but they aren't as versatile. See our review
  • JBL Live 400BT Wireless: The JBL Live 400BT Wireless are on-ear headphones that are a viable alternative to the JBL Live 460NC Wireless if you don't need ANC. However, they're not as comfortable or well-built. See our review
  • Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless: The Samsung Galaxy Βuds+ Truly Wireless are comfortable earbuds with a very neutral sound profile and a long continuous battery life of about 13 hours, but they've been discontinued by the manufacturer and may be hard to find available. See our review
  • EarFun Air Pro True Wireless: The EarFun Air Pro True Wireless are budget-friendly earbuds with a slightly v-shaped sound profile and an impressive ANC performance. Ηowever, unlike the JBL CLUB PRO+ TWS True Wireless, they lack app support and sound customization features. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Oct 28, 2021: Removed the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless and the EarFun Air Pro True Wireless because they may be hard to find available. Replaced the Samsung with the JBL CLUB PRO+ TWS True Wireless as the 'Best Earbuds Under $200' and the EarFun with the Anker SoundCore Life P3 Truly Wireless as the 'Alternative With Βetter Noise Isolation'.

  2. Aug 31, 2021: We've checked our picks for product availability and text accuracy. There hasn't been a change in our recommendations.

  3. Jul 02, 2021: Replaced the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless with the EarFun Air Pro True Wireless as they're no longer found within this price range. Also replaced the JBL Live 400BT Wireless with the JBL Live 460NC Wireless, since the 460NC offer more value to most users.

  4. May 04, 2021: Replaced the Jaybird Tarah Pro with the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless as the Apple represent a better value to most users. Also renamed the 'Alternative With ANC' to 'Better-Built ANC'.

  5. Mar 05, 2021: Verified that all picks are still in stock and represent the best choice for their given category. Added JBL CLUB PRO+ TWS True Wireless to Notable Mentions.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best headphones under $200 to buy for most people. We factor in the price (cheaper headphones win over pricier ones if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no headphones that are difficult to find in the US or almost out of stock everywhere).

If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our reviews for headphones. 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.

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