Ear Buds, In-canal Earphones, Over-Ear and On-Ear headsets both wired and wireless, there are just so many different profiles to choose from. To top if of there are now features like voice control, touch panel, clever sensors and active noise cancellation among other things. Which of these are the best? We explore five best headphones for under $200.
With the good number of choices you have in the market today, finding the best ones can be a chore. They seem to offer the same features and aesthetics. How do we identify the best ones out there?
Ambient noise in the subway or on the streets make it hard to enjoy your playlist. If you want to have a truly immersive, visceral audio experience, investing in a pair of noise canceling or isolating headphones is the best way to go.
Everyone is after value for our money, and if we have a good pair that serves us well and lasts a long time, then all the better. There is no need to stock up on headphones if we can get a pair that gives us everything we need and meet our specific requirements.
Great audio quality, awesome bass, mid, and high sounds, as well as good volume are some of the basic things to look for. Extensive battery life (if it is a wireless pair), comfort, and durability are essential too. All these can only come from premium headphones, so a $130 – $200 price range is just reasonable.
Top 5 Best Headphones Under $200 in Different Profiles
Let’s have a look at the best noise canceling headphones under $200.
1. Philips Fidelio X2HR – OVER-EAR, WIRED
First off, these headphones aren’t just sleek and stylish, but they are a joy to wear because they are so comfortable. The fine leather and aluminum design is a definite eyecatcher. The hammock under the headband, tilting headphones, and memory foam earpads all ensure a comfortable snug fit. The weighty 50mm neodynium are not heavy.
Apart from offering audiophiles a comfortable pair that they can wear all day, the Philips Fidelio X2 preserves sound quality and clarity through its semi open construction that blocks out ambient noise. The tilting earcups perfectly match the natural angle of our ears, further blocking out noise.
If you like your music neutral and warm, that is exactly what you get from the Fidelio X2. The highs are not ear-piercing. In fact, the high, mids, and mid-highs are so smooth and detailed. The sub-bass region doesn’t disappoint either. You get a balance of bass and treble, although the highs and mids seem more detailed than the bass territory.
It offers sound separation, so you’re able to enjoy those binaural beats. It provides better soundstage depth, as well.
Philips definitely knew what they were doing when they decided to break into the high end market and offered the Fidelio X2. It can certainly hold its own amidst the other cutting edge models from the other top brands.
2. Samsung Icon X – EAR-BUDS, WIRELESS, ACTIVITY TRACKER, ONBOARD STORAGE
If you want great sound sans the extra bulk and weight, or if you prefer something a little more inconspicuous, you might want to check out the pocket rocket Samsung Icon X. The pair is small, stylish, lightweight, and very handy. It can fit in your bag or pocket. Priced at $130, it also fits the budget.
Even without the screaming details, these tiny powerhouses still look pretty stylish. They come in 3 colors: pink, grey, and black. Plus, you get a carry case where you can charge them while in storage. In addition to that, the headphone is shipped with accessories like wing tip and soft gel elements to ensure a secure and snug fit.
Secondly, they make perfect workout companions, as they fit so snugly. They won’t budge no matter how much you move. They are also sweat proof while offering great quality sound.
Thirdly the sound quality. It’s amazing how something so tiny can produce sound so crisp and clean. The highs and mids are pretty decent, and the bass is not bad either. While their bass power may not be as dominant as those offered by the larger headphones, the Icon X offers balanced sound, depth, and fullness for all genres.
The Icon X is really big on convenience. You can connect this to an Android or an iPhone. If you don’t want to use this Bluetooth feature, you can also save the audio files on your device because these earbuds sport a 4GB storage.
These earbuds have sensitive and intuitive touch controls. What’s more important is that they have a 6-hour battery life, enough for an entire day of sound-tripping. If they battery dies, you can fast charge them in their case for 10 minutes to power them up for an hour.
The downside some people find in these earbuds is the constant need to charge and the slight discomfort they feel upon prolonged use.
3. Bose SoundTrue – OVER-EAR, WIRED
Any audiophile’s list of top headphones will not be complete without any entries from Bose. At $130, Bose SoundTrue fits the price range and the needs, so let’s take a closer look at why you should buy a Boss SoundTrue.
This model is slimmer than its predecessors. Its lightweight material makes it very comfortable to wear. The ear-cups fit perfectly, so you can listen to music all day and not feel any sort of discomfort.
The SoundTrue headphones are a no-nonsense pair, purely delivering high quality audio and comfort without all the frills.
If you prefer crisp highs, rich bass, and a little sculpting, these headphones will make you a happy camper. Their boosted bass will not disappoint bass fans because the low-end tones do not sound unnatural at all; the bass is not too powerful or overwhelming. These headphones can also handle high tones remarkably well even at high or max volume.
This pair may not impress sound purists who do not want sculpted beats, although, aside from that, there is plenty to like here, such as its ability to produce high quality audio without distortions.
Another standout feature here is that it is outstanding in delivering vocals. The singer’s voice comes out crisp and clear and is not overpowered by his or her background. Available in four colours, it comes with a carry case and can fold flat for ease of storage.
4. Audio Technica ATH M50X – OVER-EAR, WIRED
If you are a fan of lively music with additional bass boost, you will love the Audio Technica ATH M50X. This model is constantly praised by audio engineers for good reason. Let’s take a look at some highlighted features of this critically acclaimed model.
This beast has 45 mm large-aperture drivers. It uses rare earth magnets and copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils to deliver phenomenal clarity throughout the frequency range spectrum.
There is a lot left to be desired from Audio Technica’s attempt at noise isolation in this model. However, the powerful bass sound that these headphones deliver is unparalleled.
The ATH M50X is durable and appears hip with its heavyset and industrial look. Audio-Technica markets this as a professional studio monitor headphones. You can swivel the earcups to 90° for one-ear monitoring. They look like those pairs worn by your favourite professional DJs; however, the ATH M50X don’t offer Bluetooth connectivity and noise cancelation. You can get this monster for less than $170.
5. Sennheiser HD 4.50 – OVER-EAR, WIRELESS, ANC
The list won’t be complete without the Sennheiser HD 4.50. Albeit a little more pricey than most headsets, your $155 goes a long way because the sound delivered by the HD 4.50 is nothing short of incredible.
Sound purists will appreciate how these headphones allow music to sound most natural and vibrant. It gives plenty of presence on vocals and offers a very tight, dynamic bass. The mids and highs remain neutral. It has a full and balanced sonic profile and is as straightforward as it actually looks.
You can find the volume control and multifunction track button under the right earcup. You can connect this to your phone or other devices via the audio jack it comes with or go wireless through its Bluetooth 4.0 technology. After all, its battery lasts for a whopping 25 hours. Most users just really charge these once a week.
The HD 4.50 has noise canceling features, so you can listen to your favorite tracks or enjoy your movie or games in peace.
I hope the list helps you narrow down your choices. To pick the best one for you, you just need to know the features you primarily want. Do you want something inconspicuous? Do you want a wireless model? Are you planning to use them in busy or noisy places? Do you want the least expensive headphones in this list? Are you planning to make a one-time big purchase?
You can buy any of the listed headphones in full confidence because they all give you excellent sound quality and they are all durable. They also come from reliable global brands that millions have come to trust over the years.
Hayk Saakian specialises in the design and implementation of technologies, businesses and strategies. His expertise in online marketing and lead generation has helped businesses get more traffic, gain more visits, and increase transactions on their sites. He also writes about the latest gadgets, tech updates, and consumer electronic product reviews.
Edited by Samuel Tan