Whether you are an audiophile, or just someone looking for a good set of cans, not everyone has the cash to go all out on headphones. As it turns out though, there are still many options to choose from if you’re on a budget. You can find everything from open-back to Bluetooth for less than $200, but you might not know where to start looking. Here is a list of what I think are great closed-back, open-back, and wireless headphones for that price range.
This brand might not be on your radar yet, but they’ve shown to be one to look out for with everything they put out. With the SV021, Sivga has one of the best options for closed-back headphones that don’t have a big name attached to them. What makes them special outside of their excellent sound quality is their design. The SV021 is one of the few wooden headphones you can get for this price, making it stand out predominantly against every other closed-back headphone on this list. With its construction, the SV021 is the easiest to wear portably.
You have probably seen the DT 770 Pro on many other lists, and not just ones like this. The DT 770 is a fantastic headphone no matter what kind of experience you’re looking for. With these headphones, you know you’re getting great accuracy and clarity with your music. It is a staple for sound recordists, but can also be enjoyed as a great headphone for everyday use.
If it is a list about headphones, you’re bound to see Sennheiser pop up in some form. The HD 569 is one of the few closed-back headphones that you can get in this price range that isn’t wireless from Sennheiser. Thankfully, they give you a good option. Like the DT 770, the HD 569 concentrates on presenting an accurate representation of your tracks. It is an articulate headphone that won’t lack impact. You also get a remote/mic with the HD 569, which is a nice added bonus.
Another big staple of studio headphones that you can use every day is the Sony MDR-7506. It may have the flattest response out of the ones selected here, but still a great option for a clean-sounding headphone.
One of the first open-back headphones that I always recommend no matter what the budget is, is the DT 990 Pro. There is also the premium edition, which is also a great option too. With the 990 Pro, you have a great set of open-back reference headphones that can be used for casual listening and also for gaming. Its soundstage is wide and combines strong bass with crispness throughout.
While similar to the DT 990, the DT 880 is still its own headphone entirely. It is considered semi-open, but still includes many great qualities of open-back headphones, including a wide soundstage and dimensional spatial imaging. What separates the 880 most from the 990 is its specific tone to its frequency response. The 880 still has that crispness, but its timbre is much smoother in the low end. You can still use the 880 as a reference too.
One of the absolute best options for on-ear open-back headphones in this price bracket. Grado has been making headphones like this for a while, and the SR80x is their best options for budget audiophiles. For its price, the SR80x is a powerhouse of a headphone. Its got a gripping bass, and an even more powerful midrange, bringing a ton of energy to your music.
Another reference headphone from Sennheiser is never a bad thing. The HD 560s is a solid option for critical listening and can work as your casual listening headphone too. It has a flat sound signature that is a little deeper than some reference headphones you’ll see at this price. Its scope feels different from the Beyerdynamic options but is still similarly transparent.
While the HD 560s is a great option, it sits on the edge of $200 at its usual market price. Those looking for something more budget-friendly and open-back might want to go with the HD 599. It has a similar level of clarity to the 560s, but its midrange has a bit more color to it.
Sennheiser’s budget ANC headphones are more than worth your while. Not only does it possess a nice big bass, but the ANC is quite strong for the price.
One of the most famous reference headphones from Audio Technica has a Bluetooth version that is everything you’d expect from a wireless translation of its sound. There is also the M20xBT, which is a good option for even less. If you can spend the cash for it though, the M50xBT is a noticeable upgrade, and it still doesn’t go past $200.
There are few brands as consistent as Final Audio. They’ve been coming out with great products for a long time, including IEMs, headphones, and wireless products. The UX3000 is in line with their standard, providing clear sound and good comfort.
Strauss and Wagner mainly make budget audio products, but they certainly don’t sound like it. With the BT501, you can expect a fun bass-centric sound with plenty of clarity too. A comfortable set of simple wireless headphones that is more than satisfying for the price.
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