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Top 3 Best Headphones under $200

Updated on March 27, 2012

I admit, I'm a music junkie. If there's one thing that I love it's sitting around and listening to music. The best way to enjoy music, in my opinion, is with a great pair of headphones.

The price of high end headphones have been dropping over the years but I'm sure you're thinking: why spend $200 on a pair of headphones?!

Well, there is a difference in sound quality and for people that love music, such as myself, it's a no-brainer since they listen to music all day - headphones are a great choice to hear every detail of the music and drift off into your own world.

I wanted to share what I thought were the top 3 best headphones you can purchase for under $200 ...

Sennheiser HD555 (Top Pick)

The Sennheiser HD555's are, by far, my favorite pair of headphones because you can purchase them for a little over $100 and they have some of the best sound quality out of any pair that you're going to find under a budget.

I've owned two pairs of HD555 headphones over the years and I always come back to them because they incredible comfortable with the over-the-ear design, produce amazing sounds and can even be hacked and upgraded to HD595's with a little bit of tweaking.

The HD555's are incredible flexible and stand up the test of time; I've dropped my pair many times without leaving a scratch on them which is hard to say for some other pairs that snap upon impact.

Overall, I highly recommend you take a look (through the link on the right) at the reviews about the HD555's because these will be the only pair you'll ever need to buy, in my opinion.

Grado Prestige SR-60i

I've had the chance of trying out the Grado Prestige SR-60i's from a friend and they are extremely well built, have greaaaat sound and are incredibly comfortable. They don't completely wrap around your ears but sit on top with very light padding.

Despite that they aren't over-the-ear headphones, the sound is amazing. You do hear a bit of additional background noise since they don't block out all of the sound but these really are an amazing pair of headphones you can purchase for about $80 which puts it well under the $200 budget mark.

If you're first getting into a higher end headphones than I would recommend these because they're great for starters and still hold up against some of the others on this list. If you get the chance, try out some very intriguing music in FLAC which will show off the power of the Grado SR-60i headphones.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50

The Audio Technica ATH-M50's are top of the line which can be purchased for well under $200 despite the Amazon module (to the right) showing it currently listed at $199.

This pair of headphones are a great deal for those that want to experience some serious audio replication; the over-the-ear style is great for blocking out the ambient noise when you're listing and the foam padding keeps the headphones from feeling heavy while resting on your noggin.

These fall under 'studio monitor headphones' which are mainly used for music producers to listen to their mixes and tracks but what makes them amazing, for your purpose, is that they don't overload your music on treble or bass which causes distortion - you can hear music in a 'flat' manner that lets you pick up on all those small, little elements of music that you're probably missing out on with in-ear headphones you picked up when purchasing an MP3 player.

The Audio Technica ATH-M50's come at a great price, have great sound and perfectly fits into our criteria for great headphones under $200.

Which is best for you?

In all, I would recommend the HD555 headphones if you're purchasing your first mid-range pair of headphones. The sound quality you gain from them will literally blow your mind; you'll hear things in your favorite tunes you've never picked up on before which makes it like listening to the tracks for the first time.

The over-the-ear design is extremely comfortable for long periods of listening compared to in-ear headphones. All of the headphones on this list will bring incredible sound quality and comfort at a very decent price.

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    • dieter dust profile image

      dieter dust 

      6 years ago

      Very interesting hub, thanks for sharing. Do you have an opinion on the new Beats Audio headphones? I keep seeing them everywhere! I love my Sennheiser HD25's but do need to replace them sooner rather than later.

    • janikon profile image


      7 years ago from Canada

      truly interesting hub, i've been looking for a pair of new headphones for months. voted up!

    • Matthew Hotaling profile image

      Matthew Hotaling 

      7 years ago from Missouri

      I remember when headphones were cheap plastic headbands that cut into your earlobes and crackled like rice krispies in milk. With the snap of a snaredrum also came the snap of your eardrum. Thank the stars for technological breakthroughs in sound systems!


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