Most top of the line, studio-quality headphones cost upward of $400 (or more) these days, right? Well, if you’re like us, then you probably don’t want (or need) to drop a couple of weeks’ rent on the newest and shiniest headset getting around. At least not when you can snag a great set of the best headphones under $200!
- Best Headphones Under $200 Reviews
- 1 V-MODA XS – On-Ear Headphones – Most Comfortable Headphones Under $200
- 2 Beyerdynamic 459038 DT 990 Pro Headphones – Best Sounding Headphones Under $200
- 3 Jabra Elite 85h Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones – Best ANC Headphones Under $200
- 4 Philips L2BO Fidelio Headphones – Lightest Headphones Under $200
- 5 Monoprice Monolith M565 Headphones – Best Classic Looking Headphones Under $200
- 6 Bose Soundlink On-Ear Bluetooth Headphones – Best Value for Money Headphones Under $200
- 7 Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT – Best Passive Noise Isolation Headphones Under $200
- 8 Ultrasone PROi 780i Studio Headphones – Best Affordable Studio Headphones Under $200
- Looking for more Great-Sounding Headphone Options?
- So, what are the Best Headphones Under $200?
But what makes a Great Set of Headphones?
After a pretty heated discussion in the office this morning, we were able to whittle it down to a few important factors. These were Comfort, Sound Quality, Build Quality, Price, Noise isolation, and Size.
As there is a literal smorgasbord of sub $200 offerings available, we have included both wire-free and wired headsets in our review! But, with so many options for you to consider at this price point, making a final choice is not the easiest task. That’s where we come in! In this review, we have put together the definitive list of only the best headphones under $200!
So let’s go through them and find the perfect pair for you…
Best Headphones Under $200 Reviews
1 V-MODA XS – On-Ear Headphones – Most Comfortable Headphones Under $200
Founded in 2004, V Moda properly hit the scene in 2007 when they became the first company to produce an official third-party set of headphones for the iPhone. Lauded for their modern, sleek look, great build quality, and top-class sound – there is no change here, with the V-MODA XS fitting in perfectly with the rest of the line!
Comfort all the way…
The brand new XS model is V-MODAs on-ear solution. Built from high-grade aluminum covered in super-comfortable memory foam, the XS can withstand pretty much everything thrown at them.
One thing that stands out (in terms of design) is how snuggly the headband sits atop our head, giving an extra layer of comfort and security. We found them to be extremely comfortable over long listening sessions, with our ears never overheating.
Ok, but how do they sound?
Well, somehow the engineers over at V-MODA were able to squeeze in the same set of 40 mm drivers as they use in their over-ear counterparts, and boy oh boy does it show!
The V-MODA XS headphones sound fantastic. The neutral frequency response and balance mean the XS not only appeals to the masses but also sounds excellent with a wide range of genres of music, podcasts, and audiobooks. The bass end is fat and sticky, with a great balance of low and high mids being pushed to the forefront, and the top end caps it all off nicely.
Built to last…
If you are in the market for an almost indestructible set of on-ear headphones that can fold down to a very small size and deliver top-notch sound, then we think the V-MODA XS might just be the set for you!
- Bullet-proof build quality.
- Compact and travel friendly.
- Balanced soundscape.
- Extremely comfortable.
- On-ear design offers less noise isolation than other designs.
2 Beyerdynamic 459038 DT 990 Pro Headphones – Best Sounding Headphones Under $200
Next up in our review of the best headphones under $200, let’s consider that studio-quality sound usually means you are going to be paying a bit more than you might want to.
Not here, though!
That’s right! The all-new Beyerdynamic 459038 DT 990 PRO are not only nice to look at, but they also have possibly the most balanced soundscape in all the headsets we have reviewed in the under $200 market.
These are not necessarily designed to be everyone’s all-day/everyday pair of headphones. With their open-back, non-foldable, bulky design, the DT 990 PRO are firmly aimed towards users looking for studio-quality sound at home, than to travelers.
Speaking of the design, here we see a rugged metal frame with leatherette covering the foam inlays – all in all, a very sturdy looking and feeling set of headphones that provide long-lasting comfort.
Superb sound quality…
If your highest priority is top-quality sound, then stop searching right now! These bad boys are the first set of sub $200 cans we have ever tested that can truly stand up to the big dogs of the industry.
Sure, you are going to get better sound from the much, much higher priced offerings. But only the most stringent audiophiles are going to notice the difference. Take it from us; the Beyerdynamic 459038 DT 990 PRO are an absolute steal for what you get!
To find out more about these excellent headphones, check out our in-depth Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro review.
- Best in class soundstage.
- Very comfortable.
- Priced to sell.
- Extremely detailed mids and highs.
- Hard-wired 3.5mm audio cable.
3 Jabra Elite 85h Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones – Best ANC Headphones Under $200
There are only a handful of wire-free, noise-canceling headphones on the market right now that are actually worth your hard-earned cash. Balancing ANC capabilities with great sound for a reasonable price is not an easy task.
But, with the introduction of the Jabra Elite 85h, there is one more contender worthy of your time. Not only do they look and sound fantastic, but they also come with one of the best battery options currently available!
So, what sets them apart?
One simple thing. The price! Usually, you’d be looking at spending at least $350 on a wireless ANC set worth your money but not here!
Jabra jumped into the market a few years ago and shook up the sub $100 over-ear headphone space with the awesome “Move” line of cans. Many reviewers regard these as the best low range option available right now. And now they are back with the all-new Jabra Elite 85h.
Going against the grain…
This set of ANC headphones have set a new standard for mid-range headphones. In terms of design, Jabra have decided to go against the grain a little. The outer layer of both the headband and earcups is a fabric finish covering the plastic casing, which looks great and makes this set rain resistant.
The ANC works as well as much higher priced sets, and the 36-hour battery charge (with 2-hour USB-C fast charging) is the best in class. The soundstage is warm and generous, and the companion app (iOS and Android compatible) integrates seamlessly, giving access to a wide range of functionality.
- Best in class battery setup.
- Superb noise cancelation.
- Rain and water resistance.
- Super comfortable.
- Slightly heavier, but we had no issue with this.
4 Philips L2BO Fidelio Headphones – Lightest Headphones Under $200
The Philips L2BO Fidelio are a strong and sturdy pair of semi-open headphones with a unique and striking design.
The combination of a brushed gunmetal frame covered in high-quality leatherette and obvious red stitching makes for a standout looking and feeling pair of over-ear headphones. There is very little plastic on display here, and thanks to the anodized aluminum, they are super lightweight and stay comfortable over long sessions.
They don’t just look good, though!
They also sound great! The lower end is tight and punchy without overpowering, the mids have been boosted ever so slightly, which adds to the roomy feel (this is the norm these days), and the top end is controlled and balanced.
Overall the soundstage here truly leaves nothing to be desired, and 40mm drivers produce great results across the board. One note on the drivers is that Phillips have incorporated a tiny hole into each one that drastically helps to reduce pressure build-up issues.
Not for the commute…
However, these are not the best-suited headphones for all situations. If you are looking for a set to use where there is a lot of noise, then it would probably be best to look elsewhere. This is because the semi-open design is not amazing at passive noise isolation.
But, if you are on the hunt for a great looking and sounding set of headphones – and noise isolation isn’t an issue – then check out the best deals on these quality headphones right now!
- Great looking.
- Super comfortable.
- Impressive driver technology.
- No ANC and passive noise isolation is minimal.
5 Monoprice Monolith M565 Headphones – Best Classic Looking Headphones Under $200
Just like our last entry, the Monolith M565 may not be the best-suited headphones for use in high noise situations. The open-back design is better suited for home or studio use. But, if you are in need of a set of genuinely high-end cans for under $200, then we reckon you should take a minute and check out this fantastic option from Monoprice.
It’s common knowledge at this point that the larger the drivers are, the more detailed and crisp the sound reproduction is. 37mm – 40mm is a common size for this category. Not here, though! Inside the Monoprice Monolith M565 are a pair of 66mm “Planar” drivers.
But wait, what’s a planar driver?
Without getting too technical, a planar driver incorporates the use of a flat membrane that is surrounded by magnets. When current is delivered, the membrane produces sound that has less distortion, punchier bass, and a super tight response.
This tech is rarely found in your typical headphone driver, but with the results we see here, we wouldn’t be surprised if other companies start to also use this style of driver.
We love the look of this set. The bold, wooden ear cups feature a metal grille that acts as the opening. The headband is a two-piece affair, and a square-ish arch acts as a support for the leatherette band, which can be easily adjusted to fit any head size. The earpads are also interchangeable and are made of the same high comfort material as the headband.
Overall this is not a set to be dismissed and has some big plusses depending on your needs!
If you’re a fan of Monolith, you may also be interested in our comprehensive review of the Monolith M1060.
- 65mm planar drivers.
- Top-notch sound.
- Open-back may not suit everyone.
So you want a set of Bluetooth on-ear headphones for even less than $200? Closer to $100 even?
Well, look no further!
Yes, the Bose Soundlink on-ear Bluetooth headphones do have an RRP of above $200, but there are some great deals to be found online right now!
Bose have done a great job of making a super lightweight design constructed mostly of high-grade plastic somehow still feel very substantial in the hands – and while in use!
Supreme levels of comfort…
The sleek, modern aesthetic comes with the most comfortable ear pads and headband in this review of the best headphones under 200 Dollars. The headband has a canvas back covering with a plush inner, and the earcups have memory foam covered in faux leather.
Combine this with the secure fit, and the passive noise isolation capabilities of this set are up there with some of the best on the market right now.
In terms of sound, the Soundlink are a purist’s dream!
A warm and bold soundstage, which is controlled by the Bose Connect app, grants users total freedom to change EQ settings.
We found the microphone to be another true standout here, with close to best in class status being awarded!
The Bluetooth 5.0 system has a huge range, and there is multiple codec support provided. The 15-hour battery life is perfect for the users who need all-day connectivity, and Bose have been kind enough to provide a 3.5mm AUX cord to use in times of low battery.
Want to know more? No problem, everything you could possibly need to know can be found in our in-depth Bose Soundlink On Ear Wireless review.
- Highly comfortable.
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Great microphone setup.
- 15-hour battery.
- Top-class sound.
- Low price deals.
- No ANC.
7 Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT – Best Passive Noise Isolation Headphones Under $200
Since 2014, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50 over-ear headphones have been setting the standard for sound and build quality, selling more than 1.8 million units. And now, with the introduction of the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT, we finally have a wireless version in our hands!
We know what you are thinking…. how do they stack up?
Let’s just say that the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT do their older siblings proud, not only living up to expectations but also building on them!
Audio-Technica claims that the ATH-M50xBT have a battery life of over 40 hours, which would place them in the top spot for overall battery usage. But, in testing, we found this number to be a little inflated, with our tests showing an average of 32 hours 24 minutes. Still a great number, and not far off the best option out there!
Great for all genres…
But where this set of Bluetooth headphones really shines is the next level sound. From classical to EDM, Hip hop to gypsy jazz, and everything in between – the 45-millimeter large-aperture drivers tucked away in the earcups deliver exceptionally stunning clarity and bass response.
Designed to be folded down and tucked away in the high-quality carry case, these are great for anyone on the move. And don’t worry about the lack of ANC – the closed-back, over-ear design provides the best passive noise isolation on this list!
Well worth checking out…
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT are truly one of the big hitters on this list, and an option everyone should be considering!
For even more info on these superb headphones, take a look at our Audio Technica ATH M50XBT review.
- Collapsible and sturdy design.
- Top-notch Bluetooth range and connection stability.
- Amazing sound.
- Great battery life.
- Long-lasting comfort.
- No ANC (but great passive noise isolation).
8 Ultrasone PROi 780i Studio Headphones – Best Affordable Studio Headphones Under $200
If you want a set of headphones made with studio use in mind, but you don’t fancy the Beyerdynamic 459038 DT 990 PRO, then take a little look at what we have for you here. The Ultrasone PROi 780i continues the legacy of the ever-popular HFI 780 in offering a studio-quality soundstage at a more than reasonable price.
The sound is so roomy and clear that it has an almost 3D feel to it. This lends itself not just to music (especially music production) but is also perfect for home cinema use!
How does this set differ from the HFI 780?
There is not a huge list of updates, but what they have changed has definitely worked.
Our biggest complaint with the 780 was the level of comfort – they were just not suited to long listening sessions. Thankfully the engineers over at Ultrasone have heard the complaints and totally redesigned the earcups, giving the PROi 780i a much-needed comfort boost. Now you can keep these on for hours at a time with minimal heat build-up and almost zero pressure issues.
Again, like the Beyerdynamic 459038 DT 990 PRO, these headphones have been designed specifically with studio use in mind, meaning that while they may not be the best everyday option – especially if you are using these for your daily commute. However, they are perfect for anyone looking for a set of quality headphones for home or studio use!
- 40mm drivers.
- Designed with extended listening sessions in mind.
- Huge soundstage.
- Well constructed.
- Great for home or studio use.
- Not great for outdoor use.
Looking for more Great-Sounding Headphone Options?
So, what are the Best Headphones Under $200?
After all this, have we been able to find a clear winner?
Well, yes and no…
Of course, there are standouts. But really any of these headphones will do a great job at a great price! It really just comes down to your personal preferences and what you are going to be using them for….
Therefore, without further ado, we present our over-all, numero uno pick for the best headphones under $100, which is the…
Amazing value and overall, just a fantastic set of headphones that will appeal to the masses!
Thanks for tuning in, and happy listening!