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By the beginning of the 20th century, music lovers used earpieces for listening to non-amplified music reproductions. The audio devices meant music lovers no longer had to contend with the noises that surrounded them.
Inventor Nathaniel Baldwin took the concept of the earpiece and made a few changes to create the first set of headphones. Initially used by military personnel for monitoring enemy movements, headphones eventually became mainstream audio components that allowed users to enjoy soothing
As we head into the 21st century, headphones continue to evolve technically, with many headphones manufacturers providing high-quality audio at affordable prices.
Before we review the 5 best headphones under $200, let’s see what makes the best headphones in this price category click.
Key Features: Defining the 5 Best Headphones Under 200 Dollars
Audiophiles often differ on myriad technical issues that concern audio equipment and components. However, unanimity rules the day when it comes to defining the features that define the 5 best headphones under $200.
Nothing ruins listening to music more than uncomfortable headphones. Some of the cheaper headphones include unyielding plastic headbands that place immense pressure on the head. Earcups that do not contain soft materials to pad the ear create rashes and even bruises along with the ear and within the eardrum. The 5 best headphones under $200 all provide users with more than enough comfort for listening to multiple LPs during the same session.
Many consumers have low expectations of headphones that cost under $200. They believe inexpensive headphones possess short product lives, which accounts for their lower than average costs. Yet, all of the 5 best headphones under $200 provide above-average durability for the expected life spans of every headphone. In fact, each of the five headphones listed below produces pristine audio longer than headphones that cost more than double the amount priced by the headphones that fall under $200.
The proliferation of audio devices makes headphone flexibility a prominent purchasing feature. Audiophiles want affordable headphones that attach to large audio components, such as stereo receivers and flat-screen televisions. The headphone must also secure to smaller electronic devices, including smartphones, iPads, and laptop computers. Each of the 5 best headphones under $200 provides users with the flexibility to attach the headphones to multiple electronic devices.
Sealed headphones do the best job of isolating noise. The level of outside sound isolation exhibited by the best 5 headphones under $200 exceeds the level of isolation provided by models that cost $200 more. Consumers should buy sealed headphones for private listening, as well as to prevent other people from hearing their music. Sealed headphones typically cost less than open headphones due to design and construction issues.
5) Price Range
Obviously, with a $200 price range in mind, budget is important. In general, the more you spend the better you get. HOWEVER, within a certain price range, this isn’t always true. Some headphones represent a better value for the money than others.
6) Sound Quality
Last – but perhaps most importantly – the sound quality has to be there. A good bass, and crisp sound no matter the volume or type of music you are listening to, is key. You can find cheap headphones at your local convenience store, so my goal was to find the best-sounding headphones which still didn’t exceed my 200 dollar budget.
The Top 5 Headphones for a $200 Budget
Consumers can find a wealth of information about headphones that fall under $100 and $300. The Internet is awash with myriad review sites that rank headphones that fall within those price points. What about the headphones that cost under $200?
Consumers can find headphones under $200 that produce pristine audio and provide long-lasting durability. The headphone that tops this list of the best 5 headphones under $200 represent our favorites after personally testing many of the “top” lists from around the internet.
At a Glance: Best Headphones Under 200 Comparison Table
|Model||Impedance||Frequency Response||Sensitivity||Price Range|
|Audio-Technica ATH-M50x||38 ohms||15 – 28,000 Hz||99 dB||$140-199|
|V-MODA Crossfade LP||32 ohms||5 – 30,000 Hz||105 dB||$110-159|
|Sennheiser RS120||24 ohms||22 – 19500 Hz||95 dB||$70-130|
|Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7B||300 ohms||10 – 25,000 Hz||109 dB||$112-189|
|Meze 66 Classics||30 ohms||16 – 24,000 Hz||109 dB||$149-200|
You can read the full analysis for each of these recommended headphones below:
Audio Technica ATH-M50S Headphone
Ranked in several top 10 best headphones lists, the Audio Technica ATH-M50S headphone is a $500 studio recording quality headphone that costs barely $150 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here).
Every genre of music, from hip-hop to soft rock to classical, sounds fantastic when you wear the ATH-M50S headphone. Soft ear-cups conform to the shape of your head to relieve pressure on sensitive eardrums. The soothing feel of this headphone around your ears allows you to listen to music comfortably for hours on end.
Audio Technica created an exceptionally designed headphone that provides a natural response for professionals to mix and monitor record tracks. A unique straight cable located at the left earpiece runs into a gold-plated mini-plug that stays firmly entrenched in the earpiece. The ATH-M50S headphone includes 44-millimeter neodymium drivers to project pristine audio quality.
Audio Technica has developed the best headphone that delivers the best power handling of any headphone available, as well as possesses very high SPL capabilities that maintain audio clarity over a wide range of signals.
V-Moda Crossfade LP Headphones
Although the V-Moda Crossfade LP headphones do not deliver the type of audio detail that the Audio Technica ATH-M50S delivers, the headphones still produce high-quality audio that befits most musical genres. Many audiophiles believe the V-Moda Crossfade LP headphones perform well when used for listening to dance, rhythm and blues, and rock.
The headphones are also highly compatible with most smartphone models, giving the headphones a versatility edge over the ATH-M50S headphones. A built-in microphone allows you to take calls, which provides a nice feature for commuters who need to communicate with the office. The sleek design is especially popular among young professionals.
Comfortable to wear, V-Moda Crossfade LP headphones include 50-millimeter diaphragm drivers that produce resonant bass and high-end pitch clarity. The pliant memory foam used to construct the earpieces prevents extraneous sounds from interfering with audio quality.
Many reviewers praise the Crossfade LP headphone for their lightweight construction and rugged steel frame. Kevlar constructed cable provides users with above-average durability for one of the 5 best headphones under $200 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here).
Sennheiser RS120 Wireless Headphones
Sennheiser manufactures the RS120 wireless headphone to use radio frequency (RF) transmission, but users of the affordable headphones do not recognize they are listening to audio transmitted by RF. These headphones sound at least as good as any Bluetooth headphones.
Users benefit from an incredibly long wireless range that exceeds 300 feet, which is a higher range than most television headphones. The clear signal ensures audio devoid of irritating background noise, although some reviewers have heard soft hissing sounds in between songs.
With detailed sound reproduction and strong bass response, Sennheiser RS120 headphones sit firmly entrenched in the 5 best headphones under $200 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here). Consumers benefit from a wireless headphone that receives clear reception through thick interior walls, as well as through ceilings that are over 20 feet from the floor.
The transmitter doubles as a charging unit and users simply place the headphones on the metal cradle for automatic charges. Sennheiser uses lightweight materials to create headphones that weigh just over 8 ounces.
Many reviewers applaud the RS120 headphones for firmly gripping on the ears, without causing undue irritation.
Audio Technica ATH-ANC7 Headphones
Audio Technica makes the 5 best headphones under $200 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here) for the second time by introducing the active noise canceling ATH-ANC7 headphones. Most noise-canceling headphones exceed $200, which makes the ATH-ANC7 headphones a real steal.
Many audiophiles post online reviews that rate this headphone close in quality to the king of noise-canceling headphones, the Bose QC15. The relatively large 40-millimeter driver produces excellent mid-range detail for projecting high-quality audio for virtually every type of musical genre.
Audiophiles may not enjoy using Audio Technica ATH-ANC7 headphones for listening to classic and contemporary jazz.
These QuietPoint noise-cancellation headphones include circuitry that expunges background ambient noises by as much as 90 percent. Neodymium magnet systems within the drivers deliver powerful bass lines and extend treble lines higher than normal.
Audio Technica designs the flat-fold headphones to provide superior portability. Users can listen to music while cycling on a city bike trail and then pack the headphones up for use with the home
Cushioned padding around the ear cups not only prevents eardrum damage, but the materials also expel moisture into the surrounding air.
Meze 66 Classics
Many consumers have not heard of the audio component manufacturer Meze, but they should remember the name after using the company’s highly versatile 66 Classics headphones. Meze designs the 66 Classic headphones to work with iPhones, Blackberries, iPods, and MP3 players. No other headphone attaches to such a diverse group of audio listening devices.
Stylish wood cups produce natural, balanced audio reproductions that handle a wide range of musical pitches. Reviewers love the lightweight headband for ensuring comfort for long stints listening to the stereo system. Meze 66 Classics are very portable and easy to store at home and in the car.
Meze constructed the 66 Classics to include a detachable cable artistically designed 66-millimeter ear cups. Constructed with ebony wood, the ear cups fully enclose the ear to ensure rich audio uninterrupted by extraneous ambient noise. Use can manipulate the headphones to create passive noise isolation, which makes the 66 classics an ideal choice for mixing sounds in a recording studio.
The only downside of one of the 5 best headphones under $200 is the inability of the Meze 66 Classic to reproduce sounds from the two extreme ends of the audio spectrum.
You do not need to cash in your retirement plan to afford high-quality headphones. Each of the 5 best headphones under $200 provides supreme comfort, long-lasting durability, and the flexibility to use with virtually every type of electronic device.