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In 2021, if you have a budget of $200 or more, buying a pair of the best headphones under $200 will be much easier for you than if you have a lower budget and you’ll be able to find much better products in terms of quality.
If you do have a budget up to $200, you’ll find plenty of options for headphones that are in this lower to mid price range that produce high quality audio and are also durable enough for you to wear throughout the day.
Different types of headphones sold on the market at this price point include closed-back headphones, open-back headphones, earbuds, in-ear headphones, and wireless Bluetooth headphones. If you like more non-traditional headphone styles, there are also some cool wildcard headphones available that you’ll find under $200.
Keep reading to find out what headphones made the list for Consordini’s pick of the best headphones in 2021 under $200.
Here are the best headphones under $200:
1. Monoprice Monolith M565C
The best closed-back headphones for audiophiles under $200
Overall, the Monolith M565C is a top-rated over-ear style audiophile headphone that I’d recommend to any audiophile or music enthusiast. Music producers and DJs will also love these headphones. They are some of the best over-ear headphones under $200 and rival more expensive models due to the soundstage and quality they have as well as how well balanced they are in terms of sound.
|Image credit: Monoprice Check Amazon||
Monoprice is a brand that has some increasingly popular headphones that are meant for a variety of audiences. The Monolith M565C is easily one of the best closed-back, over-ear headphones for audiophiles on the market under $200.
The M565Cs are planar magnetic headphones, which means that they use magnetic drivers that provide an even sound across the soundstage without the use of a headphone amplifier (although you can still use one with them). Updated from the previous model, the M565, the Monolith M565C has updated magnet structures that allow the planar drivers to be more efficient in the enclosed space of the headphones. This in turn helps with reducing distortion and results in better stereo imaging.
As far as the sound goes, these are audiophile headphones, so it’s very high quality. The sound is highly detailed and well balanced across the board with some natural warmth, and you can hear audio the way the artist intended very easily.
With the design, it lends a hand in some sound isolation and noise cancellation thanks to the closed-back style. The ear cups are well padded and seal over the ear so that the only thing you can hear is your music – not your surroundings.
The Monolith M565C also has an adjustable headband of the double strap style, so there’s not any padding there unfortunately, but it helps you forget that they’re on your head since there’s no bulk or heavy pressure there. They’re especially easy to wear all day and even fit bigger heads without a problem, so if you struggle to find headphones that are big enough for your head, you should try these Monolith M565Cs.
Unfortunately, if you don’t like bulky headphones, these ones might not be ones you end up liking, but I still insist you try them out; you might be surprised.
2. Jabra Elite 45h
The best on-ear headphones under $200
The Jabra Elite 45h headphones are some of the best Bluetooth headphones under $200 if you like the on-ear style as opposed to over ear style or the in-ear or earbud style. If you want extra customizability with your headphones, you should get these because of their dedicated MySound app.
|Image credit: Jabra Check Amazon||
Jabra is a newer headphone manufacturing company that has increased in popularity pretty quickly. The Jabra Elite 45h is a wireless model well worthy of the title of best on-ear headphones. Since the Elite 45h headphones are an on-ear model, they simply rest on the ear rather than enclosing it.
They feature large 40 mm drivers that provide crystal clear audio. The battery life of the Elite 45h is fantastic, easily the longest battery life I’ve seen on Bluetooth headphones, 50 hours of playback time on a full charge, and you can get 10 hours with a 15 minute charge, so you’ll definitely be able to take these headphones with you on a weekend trip and only have to charge them for a little bit.
Featured on the headphones are volume and track controls and a button for activating your phone’s voice assistant. Also featured is a microphone so you can make calls. The mic uses two microphones to cancel out background noise, ensuring the call is clean.
Another nice feature about the Elite 45h is that there’s an app you can use with it called MySound that allows you to customize how your headphones sound. This is useful if you’re hard of hearing in one ear or if you like boosted bass or a certain sound profile.
The sound of the 45h is flat and natural sounding, leaving room for you to employ the MySound EQ, and if you don’t want to use the EQ, audio still sounds pretty well balanced with the 45h.
As for the headphones’ design, they’re really comfortable and not super tight to the ear, so there is a little bit of passive noise cancellation, but not much. Audio can leak out of the ear cups and noise can get in, but it’s not as much leakage as it would be with open-back headphones. The ear cups are pretty slim, but they’re well padded with memory foam for a comfortable fit.
3. Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro
The best open-back headphones under $200
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro is ideal for mixing and mastering, so I would recommend these headphones to music producers or audio engineers. I’ve used them in a live sound environment and was very pleased with the results I got, but they will absolutely fit in with producers in a studio setting. Mixing and mastering engineers will definitely appreciate the transparency and the wide soundstage these headphones provide. They are a joy to use.
|Image credit: Beyerdynamic Check Amazon||
The DT line from Beyerdynamic has been a favorite among professionals in the music industry for many years thanks to the transparent sound and high-quality audio that are characteristics of this product line. The DT 990 Pro is the best pair of over-ear, open-back headphones that you can get for under $200.
Because they have open-backed ear cups, the DT 990 Pro are best for use in the studio or by audiophiles for some analytical listening. Audio is free to escape here from the ear cups of the 990 PRO so they’re not great for use in the workplace or on the public transit system.
Featured in the DT 990 Pros are dynamic transducers that allow for plenty of detail to be captured and reproduced very accurately. As far as sound goes, the DT 990 Pro is very transparent, revealing errors in mixes very quickly to the skilled audio engineer. It does have a slight boost in bass and high frequencies, but the bass remains very tight and focused, and the high boost adds presence and doesn’t make things sound too thin or sharp. The frequency response range is a really nice 5 Hz to 35 kHz.
With the design, the DT 990 Pros are pretty bulky, but overall extremely comfortable. The padded headband is adjustable and is more firm than the DT 990 model, making the Pro model a bit heavy but not too bad. The ear cups are big but not too thick, and the velour ear cushions are really what are thick, which makes the DT 990 Pros super comfortable to wear for long hours in the studio and also helps to keep a bit of background noise away from your ears despite the open-back design.
4. 1More E1001 Triple Driver
The best in-ear headphones under $200
The 1More E1001 Triple Driver in-ear headphones are one of the best sounding pairs of in-ear headphones under $200 considering their design and multiple drivers. I would recommend them to those who listen to music while exercising because of their snug, secure fit and high-quality audio.
|Image credit: 1More Check Amazon||
1More has become a top contender in headphone manufacturing, especially with their E1001 Triple Driver headphones. The E1001 Triple Driver headphones are in-ear styled so they sit in the ear canal rather than resting along the outer ridge of the ear like earbuds do. They are THX certified, which means they have especially low distortion, have a flat frequency response, and audio will be balanced and accurate.
Based on the name, you might have guessed that these in-ear headphones have three drivers. They do have two balanced drivers and a separate dynamic driver, allowing for a super accurate reproduction of audio dynamics and sound signature.
Also featured on the headphones’ cable is a 3 button remote control with a built-in microphone for changing tracks, playing and pausing music, and answering calls.
The E1001 Triple Drivers were tuned by Luca Bignardi, an internationally acclaimed producer and sound engineer, which ensures that they are flat and allow you to hear music as the artist intended. The three drivers result in deep bass, soaring highs, and lots of clarity in audio. There are plenty of dynamics and nuances that you can hear with the speakers being so close to your eardrums and the audio being so clear and detailed.
1More really aimed to create a pair of in-ear headphones that have a flat response, and they definitely achieved that with this great sounding product. The frequency response range of the Triple Drivers is 20 Hz to 40 kHz.
As for the design, the cable on these headphones isn’t braided so it’s less durable than a braided cable, but it comes with a carrying case for safe storage and transport. The headphones fit snugly in the ear and come with 9 different sized pairs of rubber ear tips to help find the best, most comfortable fit for you.
5. Razer Opus
The best noise-cancelling headphones under $200
The Razer Opus headphones are a great pair of wireless noise cancelling headphones that will fit in on your daily commute, at the office, and at home. I would recommend the Opus for anyone who listens to music in busy surroundings due to the handy active noise cancelling function.
|Image credit: Razer Check Amazon||
Razer is a manufacturer of gaming gear, everything from PCs to gaming chairs to headphones. While Razer is primarily a gaming gear manufacturer, right now one of the best-selling noise-cancelling headphones under $200 are the Razer Opus headphones.
The Opus are a closed-back, over-ear model that are THX certified, which means that they hold a certain audio standard and have been tested by the audio experts from THX Ltd. Headphones with a THX certification are optimized to have a balanced soundstage and ultra high-fidelity audio.
The Opus headphones are wireless and use Bluetooth to pair with your devices. They feature a power button, volume up and down controls, and a multi function button built into the ear cups. A microphone is also built in for making calls. There is also a button to activate active noise cancellation (ANC) and Ambient Mode. Battery life will last up to 25 hours with active noise cancelling turned on, which is pretty good.
A cool feature of the Opus is the auto pause and auto play feature that pauses the music automatically when you put the headphones around your neck and plays them when they’re on your head again. Four tiny microphones are used for the active noise cancellation while two other mics are used for calling, ensuring that the calls you make are crystal clear.
The sound of the Opus is tailored more for music and movies, so bass and treble frequencies are boosted slightly while mids still remain rich and full. The frequency response of the Opus is 20 Hz to 20 kHz.
The design of the Opus is very comfortable and it was made for long hours of wear. While the ear cups are pretty big, they’re not as bulky as others on this list. The ear cushions are memory foam with plush leather material, which will soak up a bit of sweat while keeping your head comfortable. The adjustable headband is also padded with memory foam.
6. Tranya H10
One of the best wireless headphones under $200
The Tranya H10 headphones are a great choice for those who want a cheaper wireless headphone model under $200. They are very portable and allow for easy transport which makes them the perfect choice for those who like to travel a lot, whether it’s long journeys or short trips. It would also be great for the workplace. The H10 is easily the best wireless headphone overall due to its active noise cancellation paired with its audio codec.
|Image credit: Tranya Check Amazon||
Tranya is a Chinese headphones manufacturer that is slowly starting to gain popularity in the US and other countries. Right now their H10 headphones are some of the best wireless headphones under $200 on the market right now. The H10s are a closed-back, over-ear style model and have a simple layout with a lot going on under the hood.
As far as controls go, there is a volume up button, a volume down button, and a multi function button that allows you to make and answer calls and switch between Active Noise Cancellation mode, that cancels out all background noise, and Ambient mode, that allows you to hear important loud background noises like cars. One microphone is built in for calls and four other microphones are built into the ear cups for active noise cancellation.
Digital hybrid active noise cancellation is used with the H10 headphones to reduce background noise while the aptX HD codec minimizes distortion of audio and helps details stick out better. As far as the sound goes, this translates into the H10 headphones providing you with a powerful bass, rich and detailed mids, and clear high frequencies. The battery life of the H10 is pretty impressive considering its price too, lasting for 24 hours of audio playback on a full 60 minute charge.
The design of the Tranya H10 is nicer than the Razer Opus in my opinion because it is more sleek and slim in the ear cup area and not as bulky. The hard plastic construction is durable but also lightweight and allows the headphones to fold with ease, so they’re perfect for traveling with. The ear cups and adjustable headband are padded very well with synthetic leather, making them comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time.
7. Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro
The best headphones under $200 for the studio
The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro are the most ideal headphones under $200 to use in the studio. They are high quality without being overly expensive, and they are perfect for music producers, mastering engineers, singers, musicians, and audio engineers. Since these headphones need an audio interface or another bigger amp type power source in order to operate properly, I don’t recommend the DT 770 Pros for use with mobile devices.
|Image credit: Beyerdynamic Check Amazon||
Beyerdynamic is one of the most popular brands that makes headphones, and their DT line was made with the music studio in mind. The DT 770 Pro is a pair of closed-back, over-ear headphones. The DT 770 Pro offers a large amount of flexibility in the studio due to being the closed-back model of the DT line. The 770 Pro is great for doing everything in the studio, from composing and recording, to editing, to mixing and mastering.
The DT 770 Pro headphones were made for critical listening, so they have a very good amount of sound isolation and passive background noise reduction if there is any.
The DT 770 Pro has an impressive sound quality that is very reliable. Low frequencies have plenty of punch and bass is defined, while mids are rich and full. Highs are crisp and detailed. Overall, the general sound signature is neutral but the different frequency bands stand out in their own ways. The frequency response range of the headphones is 5 Hz to 35 kHz, which is a very nice amount for a price like this.
As far as the design goes, the DT 770 Pro is super cushy and almost luxurious in a way, with velour ear pads and a thick, velour padded headband. The ear cups are pretty thick and bulky, and the headphones aren’t light by any means, so be prepared for a bit of pressure on the top of your head after a while. The headphones fit snugly even on small heads, but can also irritate your skin if you wear glasses. I would suggest taking breaks in the studio while wearing headphones that are heavier like these ones are. All of the parts used for the DT 770 Pro are very durable, but they are replaceable if necessary.
8. Sennheiser CX 400BT True Wireless
The best sounding true wireless earbuds under $200
The Sennheiser CX 400BT True Wireless is a perfect multi use headphone, and is great for anyone, from music producers and audiophiles to students and athletes. They are perfect for everyday use at work, but can also be great to exercise with, or use to game with. I would recommend them to everyone who has a smartphone.
|Image credit: Sennheiser Check Amazon||
Sennheiser’s variety of headphones has increased over the years and their quality has increased along with the various models. For those who are interested in true wireless earbuds that come with a charging case, similar to Apple’s AirPods, there is an excellent option in the CX 400BT True Wireless. These true wireless earbuds can also be called in-ear headphones, as the speaker sits in the ear canal, closer to the eardrum.
The CX 400BT True Wireless features 7 mm drivers that provide great sounding audio and has intuitive touch controls that allow you to control your music, voice assistant, and calls. The touch controls can be customized to your preferences in the Sennheiser Smart Control app on your phone. A microphone is built into the headphones to allow you to make calls. As far as battery life goes, the headphones can hold a single 7 hour charge, and if you have the charging case charged you can get 13 more hours of battery life from it, totaling 20 hours of battery life.
The sound of the CX 400BT True Wireless is definitely high quality, and the bass is deep, mids are natural, and highs are clear and detailed. The frequency response range is 5 Hz to 21 kHz. The microphone sounds very clear and isn’t muddy or overly bright when making calls. If you wish to have a different sound (boosted bass, etc), there are built in equalizers that can be controlled from the Smart Control app on your phone to change the sound.
The design is an in-ear design in a compact bud form. The headphones are very stylish and come with different adapters to help them fit securely in your ears. Unfortunately they are not waterproof, but they are durable enough to withstand strain from bumps from daily travel, although I would not recommend that they be out of their storage case unless they’re being used.
If you are in need of new headphones and have a budget that will fit some of the best pairs of $200 headphones, I’d definitely recommend checking some out before looking into cheaper models of headphones. At the $200 price point, you can get some very nice headphones that both feel and sound great.
This list of the top 8 best headphones under $200 will give you a good idea as far as pricing and features go for what you might be looking for, and you may even end up liking one of the models reviewed here enough to buy it.
For more information on the best, newest music production gear on the market, make sure to check back with Consordini soon!