Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Best Headphones Under $200

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With so many options on the market it’s hard to know which ones will meet your needs and expectations. We’ve done some research into some of the top picks in this price range, and we hope these reviews will help you make an informed decision when purchasing your next set of headphones!

We are took the following into consideration when comparing our top headphones under $200 list.

  • Sound
  • Gaming
  • Value
  • Best Noise Cancelling
  • Comfort
  • Portability

Frim this list of criteria, we came up with the following four categories.

Best All Around Headhone – for this we chose the headphones that offered a great value, had exceptional sound and were lightweight and durable.

Best Gaming Headphone – we selected what we felt offered a gamer the best value. The headphones needed to feature good sound and have a great microphone. In addition they need to be durable and offer a comfortable fit.

Best Sound and Comfort – We took mobility out of the equation and selected the best sounding and most comfortable headphones we could find for under $200. These are for those of you looking for a great headphone for long listening sessions.

Best Noise Canceling – we looked for a wireless solution offering excellent noise cancelling technology while being easy to use and offering a long battery life.

Before we get started, there are a few things that every pair of headphones should have (within reason). They are most important when you’re making your decision, though, so it’s definitely worth mentioning them. Let’s take a look at what they are.-

  • Durability It doesn’t matter how good the sound quality is or how long it takes to charge up if they break easily or have lots of wires that are easy to rip out. Your headphones need to be tough.
  • Comfort Most people can’t stand wearing uncomfortable headphones, so if they aren’t comfortable you’ll never use them. So make sure the ear pads or headband fit your head well enough – especially when you’re using them for an extended period of time!
  • Sound You need to find a pair of headphones that sound good to You. Everyone has different preferences and once you identify what type of sound signature appeals to your listening you can thoroughly research headphones that match that sound signature.

Best All Around Headphone Under $200

For the first category we are considering sound quality along with using the headphone for everyday use. We expect an all around headphone to not only sound fantastic but also hold up well to daily commutes, provide good sound isolation and of course be comfortable.

For this category we chose one of the best sounding headphones in our list. In addition to sounding great, our winner in this category needed to be comfortable, durable and portable. We wanted a headphone that was going to handle the wear and tear of daily use and that could be used in a variety of situations for our readers. For us, in this price range, the pair that knocked it out of the park is the AKG K371.

beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 ohm Over-Ear Studio Headphones For Mixing, Mastering, and Editing
as of July 1, 2024 4:15 pm

The AKG K371 headphones are closed-back and offer great isolation while being out and about. They offer a close to neutral sound sound curve but still are ‘fun to listen to. These no gimmick cans are designed to be great sounding and comfortable. For me, this is one of the most comfortable headphones in our shootout.

They do have some great features like ear cups that rotate upwards. This allows you to hear your surroundings. In addition, there is a mini-XLR input available on the left ear cup that is not usually found in headphones in this price range. Finally the AKG K371 features a detachable cable.

Note that these are closed-back headphones. We did not look into open-back headphones as we wanted an all around headphone that makes a good travel companion. The nature of closed-back headphones provides some sound isolation and keeps most of your music from leaking but at the expense of soundstage.

Coming in a close second were the Sony MDR-7506 but the sound and features of the AKG K371 edged them out as far as an all rounder headphone with great sound.

Best Gaming Headphone Under $200

We will be offering an in-depth review of gaming headphone options in this price range as there are a lot of worthy considerations. The right headphones can add so much to the gaming experience. In order to be immersed in a world of your own, there’s nothing quite like a screaming pack of zombies breathing down your neck.

For our pick for best gaming headphones we considered sound quality, wide and accurate soundstage, microphone quality and of course comfort and durability (had to make sure it holds up when I throw them across the room after getting killed for the uptempth time by the same kid in COD).

For our pick as the best all around gaming headset today under $200 we went with the Corsair Virtuoso Wireless SE.

The Corsair Virtuoso Wireless SE is a great option for people who are looking for affordable headphones with all the bells and whistles. This headset includes Dolby 7.1 surround sound, which really comes in handy when you’re immersed in your favorite game or trying to enjoy an action-packed movie. It also features legendary audio quality and is made for ears of all shapes and sizes with its comfort-oriented design.

This headset provides up to 20 hours of battery life per charge, so you won’t have to worry about batteries dying in the middle of your day. Included is a 2.4Ghz dongle for wireless connectivity and it also offers the option to use wired connectivity through a 3.5mm jack. The microUSB microphone is detachable and works great for gaming and general speech recording.

The construction is aluminum with metal accents which gives a great look and premium feel to go along with the comfortable fit.

The sound of the Corsair RGB Virtuoso Wireless SE headphones were great for gaming. I will say I would not want to do a lot of critical music listening with them but that is not what they are designed for. The microphone worked great for gaming and I would be comfortable using it for general speech recording but do not feel it could take the place of an actual broadcast mic.

Most Comfortable and Best Sounding Headphones Under $200

When making a recommendation for the best sounding headphones under $200 there are a lot of personal variables to consider. We all have different preferred sound profiles, maybe you love sparkling highs or maybe thundering bass is what you are looking for. Taking this in consideration our recommendation is based on the headphone we felt were closest to neutral while still offering some ‘fun’ pop and not sounding over analytical.

Comfort is one of the top priorities for any headphone you plan to use during long sessions. Luckily our top pick for most comfortable headphone under $200 is also one of the best sounding, the Byerdynamic DT 990 Pro.

The Byerdynamic DT 990 Pro features a mostly plastic case and velour-wrapped, memory phone ear pads. They are open back with a great sound and open soundstage. The memory foam ear pads come in the traditional grey or black.

These are definitely not travel headphones as they are large and do not fold. The one complaint we have with the Byerdynamic DT 990 Pro is the fixed cable. I would have these rated a lot higher in our reviews if they featured a removable cable. Unfortunately with the fixed cable if it breaks you are out of luck.

Although not a good travel companion, the Byerdymics DT 990 were designed and excel at long listening sessions and can be invaluable in long editing sessions.

Best Noise Canceling Headphones Under $200

One of the best headphones in its price range and with noise cancelling, is the Sennheiser PXC 550-II. The features that make this headphone great are its noise cancelling abilities, which help to cancel out all background noises. It also has a dual microphone system that cancels out vocal frequencies. This helps to ensure that ambient noises are cancelled by 99%. Another feature is that it offers total immersion in music, because the ear cup seals tightly around the ear. You’ll be able to enjoy your music without any distractions at all.

The battery life is superb and lasts close to 30 hours on a charge. Overall, the Sennheiser PXC 550-II offers a great value if you are looking for great sound quality in a noise cancelling headphone.

We hope you enjoyed our review of some of the best headphones available for under $200. Stay tuned as we bring you more great recommendations.

If you would like to checkout other great headphones, checkout our list of the Best Headphones Under $500.

Hi, I am Quinn. I am an experienced audio engineer who has worked in the audio field for the past 20 years. I enjoy most genres of music and enjoy home recording and learning about new recording techniques. In my free time I enjoy reviewing the latest audio gear and gaming.

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