Best Audiophile Headphones Under 200

Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO best neutral headphonesIf you are the type that loves good music while on the go, then you know how rewarding good headphones can be. They bring a sense of depth to your favorite tracks by delivering ear soothing clarity and a strong bass thump that is neither fatiguing nor too much to overpower a song’s details.

Sadly, high-quality headphones either come at a premium price or are hard to chance upon especially if you are on a tight budget. Do not despair. After thorough research, I have come across some great sounding audiophile headphones with friendlier price tags. You can have any of these at under 200 dollars and still get a similar experience to their expensive counterparts.

If you are in a hurry, you can use our comparison table to check out the best audiophile headphones you can buy this year without spending more than 200 bucks.

Top Headphones Under $200 Comparison Table

  • Best With Wireless Connectivity
  • Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BT
  • Sound Type: Rich sound with slight bias on the highs
  • Build: Solid plastic with a premium look and feel
  • Run Time: Up to 40 hours on single charge
  • Dependability: Well built can take a lot of mishandling
  • Highlight: Bluetooth and corded design, balanced sound for music, egornomic design, solid package that will withstand long heavy use
  • Price:$$$
  • Best In-ear Headphones Under 200
  • 1More Quad Driver
  • Sound Type: Tight punchy bass, agile mids and controlled highs
  • Build: Compact build with tough tangle resistant cable
  • Run Time: N/A. They are cable headphones
  • Dependability: Well built can take a lot of mishandling
  • Highlight: All round sound for music, movie & game, compact and easy to carry, tough tangle free cable, remote control with mic
  • Price:$$$
  • Best for Movies and Gaming
  • Monoprice Monolith M565
  • Sound Type: Impressive clear bass, detailed mids and smooth highs with an impressive soundstage
  • Build: Rather fragile build. Will need extra care when handling
  • Run Time: N/A. They are cable headphones
  • Dependability: Will keep on sounding great as long as you don't mishandle
  • Highlight: All round sound for music, movie & game, elegant classy design, open back design, comfortable for long use, flimsy cable
  • Price:$$$$$
  • Best Neutral Headphones
  • Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro
  • Sound Type: Very neutral sound. No emphasis on any frequency. Give accurate sound replication
  • Build: Fragile open back design
  • Run Time: N/A. They are cable headphones
  • Dependability: Will keep on sounding great as long as you don't mishandle
  • Highlight: Neutral sound perfect for mixing, very light and comfortable. Can be used for long hours without fatigue
  • Price:$$$$
  • Best for Smartphone Use
  • V-MODA Zn In-Ear
  • Sound Type: Amazing bass and matching clarity on midrange and the highs
  • Build: Resilient design, compact and easy to carry, tough cable will resist multiple tangles
  • Run Time: N/A. They are cable headphones
  • Dependability: Tough and resilient
  • Highlight: Powerful bass and detailed mids with smooth highs, microphone and remote control, perfect for smartphone use, noise canceling
  • Price:$$$


Best Audiophile Headphones Under 200 Dollars Review

Here is a review of some of the best audiophile headphones under 200 dollars that you can buy in the current market.

Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BT – (Best With Wireless Connectivity)

best headphones under 200 with bluetoothMany audiophiles would sooner get a pair of wired headphones over their Bluetooth counterparts. Wired headphones have always had superior sound quality compared to their Bluetooth counterparts. This, however, has been changing as high-quality BT components become affordable.  Audiophiles can now easily find a wireless pair of headphones that meet their needs. The Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BT is one of such headphones. If you are still skeptical about the wireless option, these headphones also allow you to use a wired mode that will keep the music flowing even when the Technica’s battery runs out of juice.

The Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BT headphones do a great job at playing any music genre thanks to their almost flat response curve. They are also engineered well to ensure comfort even if you use them for extended periods. Speaking of extended periods – the battery should last you for up to 40 hours of on a single charge. They, however, lack additional features, such as multi-device pairing and noise canceling but these are features you can easily forgo without any regrets.


  • Bluetooth and wired option
  • Extended battery life
  • Balanced sound

  • Maybe too energetic on the highs

Bottom Line: The freedom to choose between wired and unwired mode is a definite winner. The Bluetooth connection delivers impressive clarity but using the cable will give you even better performance and you won’t have to worry about the battery life. This coupled with their premium build and solid performance across music genres makes them my favorites in this price range.

Average Price:$$$
Average Rating: 

1More Quad Driver – Best In-ear Headphones Under 200

1more best in ear headphones under 200This pair of wired earbuds is a great choice if you are not into the bigger over the ear headphones. The 1More Quad Driver headphones deliver quality on almost all if not all fronts. They sound immersive and complete thanks to the tight and punchy bass and agility in the midrange frequencies. The trebles are, however, a bit of wanting but this is something you will barely notice after some time. They are also comfortable on the ear through their hefty build may pose a challenge for users with small ears.

The headphones themselves are clean with a titanium matte finish giving you that premium feels and look. You also get a leather carrying case and eight pairs of replacement ear tips of varying sizes to cater for most ear sizes.


  • Elegant design
  • Eartip replacements
  • Remote control with microphone
  • Tangle resistant cable design

  • They will keep falling off if you have small ears

Bottom Line: The 1More Quad Driver earbuds are mind blowing as long as you can perfectly fit them. The controlled bass will never be boomy (might sometimes not go as low as you want) and the highs will always feel controlled. The result is fatigue-free listening and utter comfort meaning that you can have these on for hours on end without any side effects.

Average Price:$$$
Average Rating: 

Monoprice Monolith M565 (Best for Movies and Gaming)

best headphones unnder 200 for moviesThe Monoprice Monolith is in the list thanks to its planar magnetic drivers that makes each bass note easily distinguishable from the other. It achieves this without impeding midrange frequencies and still managing to give smooth emphasis to the highs, the Monoprice will suit you well if you are a power listener who loves their music lively and wants to get every detail in a movie or a game.

Couple this with an open-back design geared towards widening the soundstage and you get one of the best headphones for movies and gaming. The exterior of the Monoprice Monolith M565 comprises ear cups with a wooden finish and metal grills making it feel worth every cent you spend on them. The open design isn’t so good at sound isolation. For the best listening experience, it would be prudent to use these headphones in indoor or environments with minimal noise paired with a big screen or a decent projector.


  • Throws an impressive wide stage
  • Comfortable
  • Elegant design

  • Open back design offers little noise isolation
  • Cable damages easily if mishandled

Bottom Line: If you are looking for comfortable headphones that can easily replace your home theater for silent listening or gaming, the Monoprice Monolith M565 would be a great choice. You will get a wide soundstage, good bass, and clarity in a comfortable package that is gentle on your ears.

Average Price:$$$$$
Average Rating: 

Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro (Best Neutral Headphones)

Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO best neutral headphonesBeyerdynamic designers clearly had comfort on their mind when coming up with the DT990 Pro headphones. Although it is not as appealing to the eye as other headphones on our list, this pair is quite comfortable thanks to the velour wrapped memory foam padding and earpieces designed to comfortably fit over your ears. You would not feel any kind of discomfort even if you move it around your head making them perfect for long hours of endless use.

Made of almost entirely plastic, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro feels a bit cheap but it compensates for this shortcoming with great sound quality. I would not promise out of this world sound quality but at its budget price point, this pair of headphones does pretty well for an under $200 unit. They do not put emphasis on a specific sound range meaning that you can use them for virtually any type of music. Like any open-back headphones you need to use them indoors or in quiet environments.


  • Extra comfort
  • Great neutral & original sound
  • Carrying case included

  • The plastic material feels cheap and flimsy
  • Open back design offers little noise isolation

Bottom Line: The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro headphones are one of the best neutral headphones on our list so far. They will work perfectly with any type of music as long as you tune your DSP or equalizer well and are a perfect pair for upcoming producers, mix makers (DJs) who want to hear music without any hardware exaggeration.

Average Price:$$$$
Average Rating: 

V-MODA Zn In-Ear Modern Audiophile Headphones (Best for Smartphone Use)

V-MODA Zn In-Ear best for smartphoneThe V-Moda Zn in-ear headphones emphasize on looks making it as much of an accessory as it is of an impressive music driver. The Zn promises loud sounds balanced along various tonal frequencies that would make any audiophile fall in love at first sound. You also get a rich bass with great depth and detail, something that is not common among in-ear headphones that cost less than 200 dollars. Noise isolation is great and is complemented by a broad soundstage. Lastly, the Zn’s fit is good to ensure comfort over extended listening periods in cases where you can’t go with over the ear headphones.


It comes with a metallic y-splitter, a remote with a microphone, and replacement ear tips. The cables are strong enough to survive most accidental and sudden pulls to ensure longevity.


  • Tough cable
  • Rich bass
  • Will always look good on you

  • They sit in the ear canal and will definitely take some getting used to

Bottom Line: The V-Moda Z are a testimony to the fact that good sound needn’t come in big packages. They will look great on you especially if you are the type that always walks around with earphones plugged into your phone. The microphone and remote make them very practical for people looking for idea smartphone earphones.

Average Price:


Average Rating: 

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What to Consider Before Making a Headphone Purchase

Before I present some of the best audiophile headphones under 200 dollars, below are some of the factors to consider before buying a pair of headphones.

Over the Ear Headphones or Earbuds

Make a decision on whether you want headphones or earbuds. You will most likely go for headphones if you are comfortable with carrying them around your neck and do not mind the space they take due to their bulky nature. Earbuds would be perfect if you are into working out and jogging.

Always Put Quality First

Go for quality first and let the price come in second. You always get what you pay for. Pricier models are likely to be made of high standard material. An 80 dollar model will definitely sound much better than a 50 dollar model. This doesn’t mean that you should always blow your money on a pricey model without first weighting your budget options. You can always find amazing deals as long as you are in the right price range. Personally, I believe the $100 to $300 max is ideal for impressive headphones.

Sound Isolation Matters

Assess headphones’ sound isolation capabilities. This feature allows the headphones to block out outside noise while keeping in as much of the music as possible. You would not want to have a pair of headphones that would need you to constantly turn up the volume to keep the surrounding noise away. In-ear headphones and earbuds usually serve best on this front.

Look at the Headphone’s Frequency Range

Look out for wider frequency ranges because they allow you to hear more of the music. Anything between 20 Hz and 25,000 Hz would be good.

Avoid Noise Cancelling Unless You Are Willing to Pay More

Avoid noise-canceling features unless you have no problem with pay lots of money. These features may in most cases even cancel out some of your music prompting you to have to increase the volume. Go for headphones with spongy earplugs instead as these tend to be sufficient for daily use.

Consider a Return Policy

A good return policy will give you the freedom to immediately return your new headphones if you don’t like how they sound. At the end of the day, your ears are the final judge. You should have the freedom to return a pair of headphones that doesn’t sound right to you. Of cause, you can count on our roundup to ensure that you don’t waste time sending back multiple headphones as you search for the best on your own

There are countless other great headphones out there to pick from but I took it upon myself to make the selection process much easier by narrowing down the list for you. I have indicated what each headphone would be best for meaning that you can jump to a specific model by just reading a subtitle. You might be surprised that some of these sound even better than some headphones that come in at double the price. I hope you were able to find one that fits your taste from the above. Happy listening!


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