Top 15 Best Headphones under 200 in 2019 – Ultimate Guide

When you look for a pair of headphones, what do you want? Of course, audio performance and build quality are the Top 15 Best Headphones under 200 in 2019most sought-after features, but the budget is another factor. Unless you are an audiophile, no one wants to spend a small fortune on a pair of headphones, nor do they like to settle for the inexpensive junk products. In that case, headphones under $200 could be a great option.

There are a plethora of sub-$200 earphones out there. You might be skeptical of the quality at this price range, but you will get scores of decent products providing a satisfactory listening experience. In fact, the range and variety possible at less than $200 is quite fascinating. You will have wired, wireless, and noise-canceling types along with models designed for gaming and workout.

Read our latest guide about the best headphones under 30.

Types of High Quality Headphones under $200

A particular style is unlikely to suit everyone. Whether or not expensive, headphones come in a variety of styles and Top 15 Best Headphones under 200 in 2019you should know about the types to find your best fit.

Earbud or in-ear headphones

The most lightweight and ultra-compact solution. You can use them everywhere and tuck them inside the pocket when not in use. Most of the earbuds available under $200 offer moderate to excellent isolation from external noise.

The only downsides are sound quality and bass response. For their tiny size, their audio performance is low grade compared to that of the full-size models.

On-ear or earpad headphones

Smaller than full-size headphones, earpads are better for office environments where you need to hear external sounds. Their overall performance is inferior to over-ear headphones but they are more portable and don’t overheat ears.

Over-ear or full-size headphones

These models have full-size earcups that enclose the ears from all sides. They are the best option when you are seeking the best sound quality and noise-canceling feature. The earcups create a larger soundstage and you will experience complete acoustic isolation. The larger footprint is the only downside, and some people complain of experiencing heated ears.

Wireless headphones

People who are annoyed with the tangled headphone wires will welcome the wireless version that requires no wire between the headphones and the audio device. They use Bluetooth technology to connect to other Bluetooth-enabled devices.

Some brands manufacture ‘true wireless’ headphones that feature no headband or cable connecting the earpieces. The wireless models are portable, but limited battery life is a problem. In addition, wired models offer better audioTop 15 Best Headphones under 200 in 2019 performance.

Noise-Canceling Headphones

Some headphones feature a special design to muffle ambient noises. Some others have an active noise-canceling feature that cancels out the outside sound with the help of tiny microphones.

Read our complete guide about the best bluetooth headphones under 50.

Key Differences Between under $200 and low-cost Headphones

When you are buying something cheap, why not going for the cheapest one? After all, a pair of $20 headphones sound just fine, right? Well, headphones priced around $200 won’t have the quality similar to top-end models like B&W P9 Signature, Grado Labs RS1e, or Sennheiser HD 800 S. But, they produce meatier and more detailed sound than cans priced under $50.

Some cheap headphones sound simply crappy so the difference is obvious. But not all of them produce crap, making it difficult to recognize the differences. If your ears are not trained enough, look out for these distinctions:

Audio Output

A higher price point ensures a better sound quality. You don’t need to be an audiophile to pick out the differences. Headphones priced at nearly $200 will produce clearer, crisper sound with a better soundstage compared to those of $20 models. Cheap cans yield muddy bass and harsh highs. You cannot separate the sound of individual instruments. High-priced units make the listeners feel like enjoying a live performance.

Versatile Design

Most top-grade headphones come with some user-friendly features like fold-up design, coverings for the ear pads, adjustable headband, replaceable tips, and more. You won’t find these comfort design features in inexpensive units. Be aware of cosmetic add-ons accompanying sub-par drivers because these features are added only to increase the price.

Build Quality

Construction of a pair of $200 headphones will be much better than $20 headphones. The high-priced ones are Top 15 Best Headphones under 200 in 2019relatively heavier and sturdier because they are built with quality materials. Even if they have plastic parts, these don’t creak or groan with your every movement.

Characteristics of Best-Quality Headphones Under $200

The type, features, and audio output are critical when purchasing a pair of headphones. If you are looking for comfort, good looks, and a decent quality under $200, look for these important features:

Design & Features

The design of headphones determines the wearing comfortability. For example, a contoured collar that wraps around the back and neck is easier to handle as it remains tangle-free. The band may have a remote control for adjusting volume, changing tracks, and answering and disconnecting phone calls. Some models have these options on an earpiece.

Most stereo headphones come with a single cable attached to the left earpiece. However, a few models, including all earbuds, feature a double-sided (Y-shape) cable connected to both earpieces.

Good-quality headphones should be durable because unlike many other electronic products, they don’t become out of fashion after six months. With solid construction, headphones can last for several years. You should mainly check the earbuds and earpads because they have to endure extensive wear and tear throughout the gadget’s lifetime.

Considering the battery life is important if you want to purchase a wireless model. A few models can function without battery power by using a detachable audio cable. But many models become dead when run out of charge. Rechargeable battery units with a long life are the best option. There could be some inexpensive wireless headphones that draw power from alkaline batteries, which are not recommended because you have to replace batteries frequently.

Sound Quality

A good pair of headphones will change your experience of listening to music and podcasts. They create a balanced Top 15 Best Headphones under 200 in 2019soundstage across the frequency levels. If you are annoyed with the muddled sound of cheap cans, headphones under $200 will give you relief.

Headphones at this price range yield clear trebles and discernible mids but don’t expect them to produce mind-boggling bass. Except for the high-end models with an expensive price can offer that sort of pants-flapping lows. However, there are still several units under $200 that produce sound emphasizing on lower frequencies.

Always choose the open design if you are fond of open, natural sound. They don’t completely block outside noises, ideal for outdoor activities and office environment. Sealed design is more suitable for private listening within a closed environment like your home as it blocks out outside noises and does not let the sound of headphones go out.

For enjoying good sound, the headphones have to be comfortable too. Good fit is important too to make sure the headphones will be comfortable to wear. Whether you like on-ear or over-ear headphones, it has to fit like a glove. Avoid those that create pressure on the head crown and ears.

We’ve compiled a list of 15 headphones under $200 from a wide pool of products. Some of them produce exceptional sound while others have extra features and a combo of quality and comfort. A few of them are economic picks for those who are on a tight budget.

Top 15 Best Headphones under 200 in 2019

Picture
Name
Feature
Price
Rating
Picture
Name
Feature
Price
Rating
1. Audio-Technica ATH-SR50BT Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones
Active ambient noise reduction$$$ 4.7
2. Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Headphone
Lightweight, comfortable around ear$$$4.6
3. Sennheiser HD 599 SE Around Ear Open Back Headphone
Padded headband $$$4.6
4. Audio Technica ATH-WS1100iS Solid Bass Over-Ear Headphones
Exclusive dual-layer earpads$$$4.5
5. Sennheiser HD 4.50 SE Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones
Up to 19 hour battery life$$$4.4
6. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphone
Good bass and mids$$4.3
7. Skullcandy Venue Active Noise Cancelling Headphones
24-HOUR BATTERY WITH RAPID CHARGE$$$4.3
8. Sennheiser HD280PRO Headphone
up to 32 dB attenuation$$$4.3
9. Grado SR80e Prestige Series Headphones
Adjustable, soft vinyl headband$$$4.2
10. Sony WH-CH700N Bluetooth Noise Canceling Over-Ear Headphones
up to 35 hours of wireless playback$$$4.2
11. Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphone
W1 Bluetooth chip$$$4.1
12. AKG K240 Studio Professional Semi-Open Stereo Headphone
3 m replaceable cable $$4.1
13. Sony MDRV6 Studio Monitor Headphone
frequency response of 5 Hz – 30 kHz$$$4.0
14. Beats EP On-Ear Headphones
Adjustable vertical sliders$$4.0
15. Sony WH-XB700 Wireless Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphone
30 hours of battery life$$3.9

1. Audio-Technica ATH-SR50BT Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones

Blessed with a massive battery and premium look, the Audio-Technica ATH-SR50BT is one of the best over-ear Audio-Technica ATH-SR50BT Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphonesheadphones that you can get at less than $200. The Bluetooth design is highly portable. Audiophiles can rejoice too because the cable option ensures a high-res audio listening experience. ATH-SR50BT pushes the battery dial to 28 hours. Do the headphones hold up other than these impressive features? Let’s find out.

Design & Features

Audio-Technica has always been known for manufacturing headphones featuring a moderate style. Spotting the subtle details requires sharp eyes. The design consists of a cushioned memory foam headband, two earcups gracefully hiding control buttons and ports, and memory foam earpads housing 45mm drivers.

The Bluetooth headphones have a 3.5mm jack connector and a 1.2m cable for the wired connection. Even if the battery dies during a long journey, you can still enjoy your favorite music. A full charge keeps the headphones alive for 28 hours, and there is a convenient USB port for charging.

Control buttons are on the left earcup that also houses the slots for audio and USB cables. Built-in mic and touch-sensor controls make volume adjustment, playback, and call handling more convenient. But it takes time to get used to the touch controls. An interesting function is a hear-through feature that shuts the music off with the click of a button and allows you to listen to the outside noises.

Available in two colors, black and brown-gray, the headphones come with a carry case for easier portability.

Sound Quality

ATH-SR50BT does a great job in blocking the noise of car and plane engines because the noise-cancellation feature cancels only low-frequency echoes. Sound production works quite good across the soundstage, offering a balanced performance.

The audio output shows a bit of emphasis on the lows, which feels strong and not muddled at all. The midrange is much fuller while the trebles are a bit quieter but don’t lack clarity.

The headband is durable but does not hurt the head crown because of having cushy padding. Its foldable design makes the headphones super portable. The oval-shaped plastic earcups fit over the ears. Memory foam covered with a soft leatherette material on the earpads makes the listening experience highly comfortable.

Pros

  • Elegant design with subtle details
  • Padding on the headband and earpads
  • Both Bluetooth and cable options
  • Hear-through feature
  • Huge battery life

Cons

  • The charging is not USB-C
  • A bit complicated touch controls

2. Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Headphone

If you are looking for a set of truly noise-canceling headphones, Bose QuietComfort 25 is the one if you don’t mind a Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Headphonewired connection. For the wireless feature, QuietComfort 35 is the right choice, but the price is almost double. This QuietComfort 25 is the Apple-friendly version and an Android- and Samsung-friendly variant is also available. If you want an exceptional audio experience, this pair is worth the price.

Design & Features

The sporty headphones pack into a leather zip-up carrying case due to having a foldable design. The QC25 shares similarities with the QC15 but features many subtle enhancements.

The previous model was more sophisticated with a leathery headband material. But this one freshens the looks with a combo of cotton and felt. The new look is more modern and appeals to young users.

Oval over-the-ear cups are sealed with automotive-grade paint. The material is plastic but accents of black, blue, and charcoal create a nice palette.

The left cup houses the port for the 3.5mm cable with inline controls. It also accommodates an auxiliary port and controls for adjusting volume, pausing a track, or asking Siri something. The right one has the noise-cancellation button.

This pair is compatible with Apple devices including 4th gen iPod nano or later models, iPod classic, 2nd gen iPod touch, iPad, and iPhone 3GS and later versions. The inline remote and mic will work for these Apple devices.

Sound Quality

Complete zapping out the ambient noise is not a dream anymore. The QC25 keeps you distraction-free for hours. You just need an AAA battery to keep the feature running.

Bose has always been known for engineering exceptional sound-producing headphones. The QC25 is another product in its arsenal that does not disappoint. The pair produces crystal clear highs, mids, and lows that never get muddled with one another. Coupled with the noise-cancellation feature, the headphones will create a soundproof environment for listening to your favorite music or playing a video game.

Considering the noise cancellation function, the QC25 can outperform almost all other headphones in this price range. The sound quality does not degrade much even with the feature turned off.

The headphones are comfortable to wear and carry because of the padded earpads and headband and foldable design.

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Stunning noise-cancellation
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Compatible with Apple devices

Cons

  • Wired option only
  • Requires a battery for noise cancellation

3. Sennheiser HD 599 SE Around Ear Open Back Headphone

The Sennheiser HD 599 Special Edition (SE) is a premium listening device at an unbelievable price range. It pushes Sennheiser HD 599 SE Around Ear Open Back Headphoneperformance barriers with the stunning build quality, timeless design, and mind-blowing sound. With a few impressive advanced features, the HD 599 SE opens a world of audiophile level of sound replication.

Design & Features

Featuring an open-back design, the headphones boast a sophisticated look with a classic black palette and matte metallic silver accents. Crafted to impress, the model catches attention with its large earcups and comparatively shorter headband. For this design, these fit nicely around the head and ears without putting extra pressure on these areas.

With advanced features like Ergonomic Acoustic Refinement (EAR) and transducer technology using aluminum voice coils, the headphones offer an exceptionally clear and detailed sound reproduction with low distortion.

Two separate cables for plugging into different devices are another impressive feature of the HD 599 SE. The short 1.2m cable with a 3.5mm jack is for smaller devices like phones, laptops, and tablets, while the longer 3m cable with a 6.3mm jack is for the home entertainment system.

Sound Quality

The headphones pump out great audio performance with natural tonal and spatial balance. They produce more bass than the previous HD 598s model, but they are still not ideal for the bass heads. The lows can even distort the mids and highs for certain tracks. The distortion becomes more evident when the volume is cranked up to 50 to 60 percent.

Listening through the headphones creates a sense of virtual reality because the transducers inside the earcups project the sound directly onto your ears.

Large earcups with plush velour cushions fit on the ears like a glove. The padded headband further enhances the wearing comfort.

Pros

  • Nice, sophisticated design
  • Enhanced wearing comfort
  • Superior sound with EAR and transducer technology
  • Nice, clear sound
  • Two types of cables

Cons

  • Low-end distortion at high volumes
  • No noise cancellation

4. Audio Technica ATH-WS1100iS Solid Bass Over-Ear Headphones

What features make a pair of good headphones? These have to look good, have nice fidelity, and produce high-Audio Technica ATH-WS1100iS Solid Bass Over-Ear Headphonesquality ,well-rounded sound, right? Audio Technica ATH-WS1100iS comes with all these features. The company markets it as ‘solid bass’ headphones. Let’s discuss the features and find out the quality of the bass that the cans produce.

Design & Features

Packed inside a leatherette carrying pouch, the ATH-WS1100iS is delivered with a removable cable featuring inbuilt remote and mic.

With a classy design and cool color palette, the headphones suit the taste of customers of all ages. Build quality is good too with a solid headband and earcups. Plastic and a solid piece of aluminum go into the making of the earcups. The cups also have vents around the sides and on the back.

Ample leather padding on the earcups and headband keeps listening experience comfortable. The oversized cups and wadding also help with isolating distracting outside noises.

As expected for bass-centric headphones, the large cups accommodate large drivers, helping to produce energetic and revealing lows.

Sound Quality

The ATH-WS1100iS yields full and deep bass. The low-frequencies have an oomph that sometimes eclipses the mids and highs for certain tracks. However, the bass is clean rather than being overtly thumpy.

The trebles also sound complete despite missing subtle details. However, the mids are not highly impressive. These are not garbage but simply do not sound good when you are expecting high fidelity from such headphones.

You can discover a decent space and depth to the soundstage. The performance is nothing like that of open-back headphones, but you cannot deny the clarity and a sense of separation. The large cups and the vents further widen the soundstage.

The noise isolation of the ATH-WS1100iS is not the best, especially in this price range. But these headphones don’t have an active noise-cancellation feature. You can still bring it to a public place like a coffee shop but not in a more crowded place or somewhere like a library that needs to stay quiet.

Pros

  • Nice, classic design
  • Large drivers
  • Clear bass
  • Comfortable headband and earpads
  • Wide soundstage

Cons

  • Average mids
  • No active noise cancellation

5. Sennheiser HD 4.50 SE Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

What makes the Sennheiser HD 4.50 SE (special edition) headphones so special? Well, you can get them in a full-Sennheiser HD 4.50 SE Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphonesblack design, they are available only through Amazon, and the price is significantly less than the regular HD 4.50.

Design & Features

It is hard to resist for audiophiles when a bunch of features, including quality sound, wireless connectivity, wearing comfort, and noise isolation, come together in a portable package. The headphones are highly compatible with phones and computers because of having a low impedance and a decent frequency response.

The HD 4.50 SE is almost like the original HD 4.50, the only difference being the paint job. This model has an all-black palette with a silver-accented logo on both sides of the headband. The minimal design looks elegant despite having a plastic body construction.

The wireless design also supports a wired connection. A special 2.5mm to 3.5mm cable that is delivered with the headphones is required to plug into other devices. The battery provides backup for 19 hours and you can recharge it through a micro USB cable.

The control buttons are slightly difficult to navigate, especially the tiny joystick-type button for making calls and controlling the playback. The foldable design makes carrying the headphones highly convenient.

Sound Quality

How comfortable is the HD 4.50 SE? Well, you can wear them for a few hours with no trouble for the good amount of padding on the earcups. The headband could be cushier, though. The earcups may feel small and tight if you have giant ears.

The Special Edition brings forth an impressive sound profile, even in the wireless mode. Both bass and trebles are clearly recognizable. The sound is more balanced across the frequencies except for leaning on to a particular range. However, the quality drops significantly when you make voice calls. So, the headphones are not ideal to talk over the phone.

For the price, the NoiseGard noise cancellation is pretty on point. It reduces ambient noise and improves the listening experience.

Pros

  • Cool all-black design
  • Balanced sound
  • Both wireless and wired options
  • 19 hours of battery life
  • NoiseGard noise cancellation

Cons

  • The headband could be cushier
  • Earcups are small for big people
  • Voice call quality is poor

6. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphone

If you are fond of the good old-fashioned wired headphones, Audio-Technica presents you a high-quality product in Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphonethe name of ATH-M50x. The company markets the cans as ‘Professional Studio Monitor’. While the quality does not hit that level, the headphones surely offer some of the best audio performances you can find for around $200.

Design & Features

The big, chunky headphones fill the gap between professional-level studio cans and something petite to plug into your phone. Standing in the middle ground, the ATH-M50x does not have the most appealing look.

The bulky headband has thick hinges connecting to the earcups, which are also extra-large. The construction is built to handle rough use even if you drop them on the desk. Dense padding, sturdy plastic shelling, and few aluminum accents suck up plenty of impacts. However, leather pads are not great for hot weather.

You can turn the cups around as they swivel around by 90 degrees. They also fold up right into the headband. The flexible design is convenient for carrying and one-ear monitoring.

The headphones come with a shorter cable for outdoor listening and a longer cable for home use. The shorter cable does not have any in-line controls. The cans also don’t have an integrated DAC, Bluetooth, and noise-cancellation features.

Sound Quality

The ATH-M50x headphones are lively and fun, especially the extra hit of bass creates an exciting listening experience. The extra punchy bass does not sound boomy and the mids are exceptionally brighter. The trebles take a hit, though, as they are not striking and distinct.

There is little scope to complain about the headphones if you are a fan of electronic and other pulse-driven music genres.

One downside of the ATH-M50x is the absence of active noise cancellation. It offers only a little sound isolation that does not help much when you are in a crowded place.

Pros

  • Lively, engaging sound
  • Good bass and mids
  • Good for electronic music
  • Earcups swivel by 90 degrees
  • Dense padding

Cons

  • No wireless option
  • Trebles are less pronounced

7. Skullcandy Venue Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

Skullcandy’s Venue over-ear headphones are for those who want decent-quality, bass-heavy cans. The wireless Skullcandy Venue Active Noise Cancelling Headphonesmodel is fairly comfortable and offers a great battery life. An affordable price along with a combo of stylish design and decent performance is what plenty of budget shoppers look for.

Design & Features

If the minimalist design is your thing, the Venue headphones should be your favorite. They barely have any design detail or noticeable branding. The white one has a small crimson Skullcandy logo on the left side of the headband and two crimson stripes on the inside of the band. The black and red ones also have a similar logo mark and stripes in black and red color, respectively. The moderate-sized earcups don’t look out-of-place even in an office setting.

Build quality is a bit disappointing because the whole body is mostly plastic. The only saving grace is the imitation leather padding on the headband and the earpads. The joints creak a bit under movement and pressure and their locking mechanism does not seem sturdy enough.

The control buttons and ports are on both earcups. The headphones have a micro-USB port for recharging the battery, and there is a port for a 3.5mm jack for the wired connection.

A truly innovative feature integrated to the Skullcandy Venue is the Tile tracker. It sends an alert to your phone if you leave the headphones behind.

Sound Quality

The Venue headphones present an exciting sound that leans on to bass-heavy genres. However, the audio reproduction is mostly even across the frequencies. Despite that, choose another model from this list if you are a fan of more vocal-centric music like funk, rock, and jazz.

Active noise cancellation is rudimentary as it just dulls the surrounding noises, not blocks them. It creates a hissing sound that you can hear at lower volumes.

The battery life is good as it keeps the headphones alive for 22 to 24 hours with both the Bluetooth and ANC turned on. You can stretch it for more hours by turning off one feature. The charging is highly impressive, as only 10 minutes of recharge guarantee a few hours of listening time.

Pros

  • Minimalist design
  • Balanced sound
  • Tile integration
  • Great battery life

Cons

  • Poor build
  • Mediocre ANC

8. Sennheiser HD280PRO Headphone

Sennheiser HD280PRO is your answer to affordable recording/mastering-grade headphones. No-frills design is Sennheiser HD280PRO Headphoneexceptionally comfortable even if you wear them for a long time. The powerful cans are not only good for recording and mixing applications but also sound great on all kinds of music devices.

Design & Features

Designed for professionals, the HD280PRO has a rugged construction. Leatherette ear cushions and headband along with smooth plastic shelling lend the headphones a premium feel. The foldable design and lightweight 1.28 lbs build are great for compact storage and easy carrying.

The wired design features a strong, single-sided almost 10-foot coiled cable, which fits with a 1/8-inch mini-plug. You can use the cans with a home stereo system through a 1/4-inch adapter.

You might be wondering how the plastic and leather construction fare in extreme cold. Well, these headphones can withstand extreme cold and they don’t break down at zero degrees. The warm pair of earmuffs feel comfortable in such weather, although you won’t like them in hot conditions.

Sound Quality

If you like to produce and mix music in your home studio, the HD280PRO is the pair to rely on. But you should know that its audio reproduction is not exciting but surgical. High-quality drivers don’t allow sound distortion while the 64 ohms impedance does not let the sound get too loud, which is a good thing.

The HD280PRO packs a punch when it comes to bass. In fact, the audio performance is quite accurate and crystal clear across all frequency ranges. For this reason, you will thoroughly enjoy while listening to modern hip-hop, rock, and pop music. The headphones even beautifully catch the little bass thump that most remixed tracks feature these days.

The fitting is secure and comfy even for long sessions. Due to the closed-ear design, the pair does passive blocking of outside sound despite not having the noise-cancellation feature. The snug circumaural fitting does not let the sound escape or get in.

Pros

  • Balanced sound
  • Bass packs a punch
  • Clinical precision across the frequency ranges
  • Secure fit
  • Comfortable
  • Blocks ambient noise

Cons

  • No wireless option
  • The cable is not detachable

9. Grado SR80e Prestige Series Headphones

It is quite rare to find on-ear headphones with an open-back design. But Grado is known for making cans with an Grado SR80e Prestige Series Headphonesunusual design. The SR80e is one of the best sound-producing cans at less than $100. It is simply unimaginable to find such quality at that price range.

Design & Features

Grado has a penchant for making retro-looking cans. However, the headphones are not just about looking good, but the construction is sturdy enough to last for years.

Plastic earcups inlaid with grilles create a retro vibe while the antenna-like metal prongs joining the cup to the headband create the impression of headphones for radio operators. There are some metal accents, but the rest of the body is plastic, and the headband is synthetic leather.

Grado does not offer any carrying case for the SR80e and the design is not convenient for carrying along either. The cable is not detachable, and it does not have an in-line remote for receiving phone calls.

Sound Quality

The open-back design helps with creating a natural and more spacious stereo imaging, making the SR80e projecting an impressive audio reproduction at this price range.

Comparing to the previous model SR80i, SR80e produces clearer trebles and deeper bass. The clean and punchy lows don’t let the frequencies get muddled with one another. The drivers don’t put emphasis on any frequency range, but each of them is energetic and discernible. However, listening for long periods could be tiresome because of the lack of sophistication across the frequencies found in the brand’s more expensive models.

The open-back design lets surrounding noises in, so the SR80e Prestige is not the best candidate for noise environments. But you should definitely consider the pair for home use because of the exceptionally good sound they produce.

The headphones are not highly comfortable compared to the top entries in this list. The round slabs of earpads are rough and scratchy rather than comfy and soft.

Pros

  • Excellent sound at a low price
  • Clear bass and trebles
  • Retro design

Cons

  • No noise isolation
  • The cable is not detachable
  • No in-line remote

10. Sony WH-CH700N Bluetooth Noise Canceling Over-Ear Headphones

When you are eyeing for the WH-1000XM3 from Sony but don’t have the money for it, the WH-CH700N is the Sony WH-CH700N Bluetooth Noise Canceling Over-Ear Headphonesbudget-friendly alternative. Sure, they are not the epitome of noise-canceling wireless headphones but they are the one when you have just $100 to spare and don’t want to choose between sound quality and convenience.

Design & Features

The headset is made of lightweight plastic but that does not make it look cheap. In a true Sony fashion, the cans look stylish with a black color palette and silver accents. The rotating earcups help with folding and storage, making them convenient for carrying on a journey.

The headband does not have much cushioning and the earcups have moderate cushioning. For this reason, wearing them for a long time won’t be a comfortable experience.

Controlling the command buttons is easy due to their position on the earcups. There is a dedicated button for each function, which makes the operation simpler. You can reconfigure the noise-canceling button to access Amazon Alexa. To use this feature, you have to have Sony | Headphones Connect app and Alexa app installed on your phone. Then, follow the setup instructions on the Headphone Connect app to activate the function.

The wireless mode offers an amazing 35 hours of playback option. When the juice runs out, you can run again for an hour just after recharging for 10 minutes through the micro-USB port. There is also a wired option in case you need it.

Sound Quality

The two 40mm neodymium drivers produce a detailed and balanced music performance. The lows get a little emphasis but not on a large scale to make them overshadow the mids and trebles. The highs are quite tight that creates a clear, engaging sound.

The noise-cancellation is pretty basic. It blocks out some surrounding noises, but most of the outside sounds are pretty much audible unless you are cranking the cans really loud.

The microphone works fine, but an echo accompanies the voice transmission, which is annoying. It persists even if you make the call in a quiet place.

Pros

  • Detailed audio reproduction
  • Impressive battery life
  • Highly portable
  • Alexa integration
  • Separate buttons for each function

Cons

  • Basic noise-canceling
  • Padding is not comfortable

11. Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphone

Beats Solo3 is almost similar to the brand’s previous model Solo2. Beats has not updated the design for their new Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphoneproduct, but some impressive enhancements are hard to resist if you are thinking of upgrading your cans. This model is particularly compatible with Apple devices because of integrating Apple’s W1 custom Bluetooth chip.

Design & Features

Available in plenty of different colors, Solo3 design unmistakably carries the features of Apple and Beats—simple, minimal, but appealing.

Made of plastic, but the construction does not look or feel cheap. Rather, the plastic shelling keeps them lightweight. Faux leather material on the earpads and headband cushion does not make dense padding. However, the headphones are still comfortable unless you wear them for really long periods. The arms fold down to fit the headphones into a small carrying case.

The Solo3 works just fine with Apple, Android, and all Bluetooth devices. Integrating the W1 Bluetooth chip improves the battery life to a whopping 40 hours. Plus, only 5 minutes of charge will give it another 3 hours of life.

The cans come with just one 3.5mm audio cable for the wired connection. There is no lighting cable for charging, which means you have to use a micro-USB cable. Control buttons are on the left earcup for changing tracks, adjusting volume, and activating Siri.

Sound Quality

Beats has upgraded Solo3 with a monstrous battery life and some marvelous features. But the sound quality remains similar to the Solo2.

Solo3 does not sound bad, but it could definitely be better since Beats has introduced it as an upgraded version of Solo2. The overall sound range is exciting, but it lacks refinement. The bass is bolder than the rest of the frequency range. Overall, almost all types of music sound pretty good on these headphones, but they cannot dig below the surface if you listen carefully.

The headphones can become loud, but the sound leaks out due to lack of isolation. So, if you wish to crank up the volume, do it when you are at home.

Pros

  • Minimal but gorgeous look
  • Well-built construction
  • W1 Bluetooth chip
  • Suits better with Apple devices
  • Gigantic battery life

Cons

  • Sound lacks subtlety
  • No noise isolation

12. AKG K240 Studio Professional Semi-Open Stereo Headphone

If you are looking for great-sounding semi-open headphones at a cheap price, K240 from AKG is a good choice. At AKG K240 Studio Professional Semi-Open Stereo Headphoneless than $100, you will find a pair that produces a detailed sound and feels comfortable to wear.

Design & Features

Do you feel nostalgic about those old headphones designs that would have been considered somewhat weird these days? If yes, K240 should be the cans you have been looking for!

Every bit of its design, including the black and gold color combo, the tubes over the headband, and the perforated earcups, is retro. The plastic construction is not super durable, but it does not look cheap due to the nice finish.

The headband is a faux leather strap with no padding. The round earpads have some padding but not thick enough to provide comfy support. Cheap leather on the pads can get warm after a few hours. Fitting is not an issue since the headband and earpads nicely hug the head and ears.

The headphones come with a mini XLR to 3.5mm detachable cable and a 6.3mm adapter.

Sound Quality

The K240 semi-open studio headphones produce detailed sound through a pair of patented Varimotion speakers. Mids and trebles are clean. Bass is not booming but energetic with accuracy and a moderate amount of punch.

Vocals, guitars, and a few other instruments sound nice and detailed on the headphones. Sound imaging is airy and natural, and the soundstage covers a decent parameter. K240 is perfect for listening to country, classic rock, and some instrumental tracks. But if you are a fan of bassy music like hip hop and EDM, go for something else.

Due to the semi-open design, the headphones don’t block any ambient noise. They let in and out all types of sound.

Pros

  • Classic design
  • Clear mids and highs
  • Accurate lows
  • Natural sound imaging
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Not enough padding
  • No noise isolation

13. Sony MDRV6 Studio Monitor Headphone

The MDRV6 qualifies as classic headphones since they were launched in 1985. They have gone through a string of Sony MDRV6 Studio Monitor Headphoneimprovements since their release and have always been under the radar of music lovers. They definitely deserve a place in the list of best-sounding headphones under $200 and $100.

Design & Features

The MDRV6’s design looks like a throwback to the 80s because it belongs to that era. Construction is rugged despite having a mostly plastic build. The earcups accommodate two 40mm drivers.

The headband does not have thick padding, neither the earcups with racetrack-shaped pads. However, you won’t feel uncomfortable even after wearing them for hours.

The wired model has an undetachable 10-feet copper cord that ends in a 3.5mm plug. An extra 6.3mm adapter plug is included in the package too for pairing the cans up with home or studio gear. The headphones won’t be a good choice for portable music players like an iPod or smartphones because the cable does not have any mic or remote control.

Carrying the headphones is no hassle as they fold into a small bundle that fits into the black vinyl bag included in the box.

Sound Quality

MDRV6’s overall balance across the frequencies will definitely impress any audiophile. The reproduction of trebles, mids, and bass are smooth, and the soundstage is spacious. You can listen to for hours without feeling tired. It feels like you are listening to real instruments.

People accustomed with or fans of bassy sound signature will find the sound of MDRV6 a little too tilted toward the high frequencies. Otherwise, there is nothing to complain about audio reproduction.

The headphones have plenty of punchy basses but that does not overshadow other sounds. The mids and trebles are louder than the lows. The highs are clean and fulfilling but can turn screechy if you crank up the volume too high.

There is no ANC (active noise cancellation) feature, but the MDRV6 isolates most of the environmental noises. In fact, the combination of on-ear earcups and over-ear pads creates a seal between the ears and the center of the earpads. He thick padded outer part of the muffs further strengthen the seal. The noise isolation is good enough for a loud coffee shop.

Pros

  • Balanced sound
  • Spacious soundstage
  • Decent noise isolation
  • Suitable for long listening hours

Cons

  • No inline remote or mic
  • No ANC
  • Not ideal for bass heads

14. Beats EP On-Ear Headphones

The Beats EP headphones are for the mass people who want good sound at a reasonable price. The cans offer a more Beats EP On-Ear Headphonesbalanced audio performance and a lower price tag than their big brothers while still have the iconic logo that many people have their heart set on. If you don’t compare them with top-grade models, they are a solid offering at less than $100.

Design & Features

As expected from a pair of inexpensive headphones, the Beats EP is mostly plastic and the finish is decent. However, a set of stainless steel arms attaching the headband to the earcups is a pleasant surprise.

The steel arms jazz up the already cool look on the top of ensuring a secure fit. They help the headphones hug around your head and ears without putting any pressure. The fitting is enough to keep the cans stable for light jogging and walking.

However, these steel arms are not foldable, which means you cannot collapse the headphones to store it into a small case. These also take a fair chunk of space in your backpack.

Other than this design glitch, the headphones are comfortable with the padded headband, thickly cushioned earpads. You can even vertically slide the ear-cans to get the perfect fit for your ears. The sealing around the ear is fine but not full-proof. Some background noises can still slip in, but these won’t be too distracting. You can listen to for hours without feeling any fatigue.

The absence of on-ear touch controls is a clear setback. However, the in-line remote control allows for skipping/pausing tracks, answering calls, and accessing Siri. Beats EP is a wired unit, and the cable is permanently attached to the left earcup.

Sound Quality

High price tags and bass-heavy sounds are two things that define the Beats cans. This model does not follow that path but provides a well-rounded audio performance.

The sound signature is still skewed toward the low end, but the bass does not overshadow the mids and highs. The mid-range can get lost sometimes, but this does not affect the overall performance.

Pros

  • Cool, minimal design
  • Not overly bass-heavy
  • Secure fit
  • Overall balanced sound
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • No on-ear touch controls
  • The cable is not removable
  • No folding hinges

15. Sony WH-XB700 Wireless Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphone

Some renowned brands keep one or two decent headphones under the $100 price point for the mass consumers. Sony WH-XB700 Wireless Extra Bass Bluetooth HeadphoneAudio-Technica and Sennheiser have a few options, so Sony also joins the tradition with WH-XB700. Marketed as ‘extra bass’ headphones, this pair has the qualities to get the attention of a specific segment of music lovers.

Design & Features

The headphones are made of plastic, but the build quality is pretty sturdy. Thin headband padding is slightly uncomfortable for long listening sessions. However, the earcups have cushy pads to keep the ears stress free. The on-ear fit works for most people, although those who have large ears or big heads will struggle with the fitting. The padding blocks some surrounding noises, since the headphones don’t have the active noise-cancellation feature.

You cannot fold the headphones into a compact carrying unit. Swiveling earcups are a plus point, though, especially for the amateur mixer working in their home studio.

The Bluetooth headphones have an amazing 30-hour of battery life. Just 10 minutes of charging will provide another 90 minutes of playtime. But, if the battery runs out of juice and there is no power outlet nearby, you can keep the music running through a connection cable. Another plus point is the USB charging cable instead of the micro-USB cable.

One earcup has three control buttons for skipping tracks, playing/pausing, and answering/ending phone calls. You can also pair it up with Sony’s Headphones Connect app and access to Siri and Alexa. The app also has a feature to customize the bass levels and pick up one of the three soundstages available. All you have to do to turn on the feature is to push a button on the earcup and then pair the headphones to the phone.

The quality of call clarity is ordinary, which is fine for regular short calls. If you have the habit of getting into long conversations over the phone, you should choose a different model.

Sound Quality

Sony markets this pair as ‘extra bass’ headphones. But people who are expecting head-cracking bass will be disappointed. The lows are powerful and avoid being blurry for the most parts, but they won’t give you the feeling of being in a party.

Low frequencies dominate the lower spectrum of the ,but you can still detect the presence of mids. You may struggle to separate them in bass-heavy tracks yet the clarity is present for acoustic guitars and other string instruments in country and folk music. The trebles are easy on the ears because they sound smooth, yet the lucidity is somewhat underwhelming. The highs and mids sound blunted in some tracks, especially when the music genre is classical or jazz.

Overall, the sound quality is good but does not impress. Most people will expect something better at this price range.

Pros

  • Padded, swiveling earcups
  • Both wireless and wired options
  • Powerful bass sound
  • Customizable soundstage
  • 30 hours of battery life
  • Headphones Connect app
  • USB charging cable

Cons

  • Not foldable
  • Earcups could be bigger
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