Best Headphones Under $200 Android Central 2019

Not all great headphones have to be super expensive. And not all cheap headphones have to be bad. Sometimes you have to find the middle ground. The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 is a really good example of this with superb sound quality, long battery life, and are super comfortable to use for long periods of time.

Best Overall: Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 are by far the best value when it comes to headphones in this price range. They have physical media controls that are super solid, long battery life with up to 30 hours on a single charge, and are ultra comfortable for long term use.

In terms of sound quality, the BackBeat Pro 2 offer a rather neutral mid-range and treble, with a modest bass boost to give it an overall warmer sound signature. Making it suitable for more bass-heavy genres such as EDM, hip-hop, or rap, but with the neutrality of the mid-range and treble, they're versatile enough to be good in all genres.

The only real downside is the lack of USB-C for charging as the these use Micro-USB. Not only do they use Micro-USB but there's no fast charging capability which means you're looking at around 3 hours to charge them from 0 to 100%.

Pros:

  • Battery life
  • Sound quality
  • Physical media controls

Cons:

  • Micro-USB for charging
  • Slow charging

Best Overall

Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

Great for all genres

With a modest bass boost and neutral mid-range and treble, these are great for all genres. And with 30 hours of battery, listening sessions can go for hours at a time.

Best Truly Wireless: Jabra Elite Active 65t

The biggest issue with a lot of truly wireless earbuds is that they don't seal very well. This leads to a ton of outside noise coming into the earbuds. Fortunately, the Jabra Elite Active 65t doesn't have this issue for the most part as it has a pretty good seal and will block out a good amount of noise.

The 65t get up to 5 hours of usage on a single charge, with the charging case giving users two additional charges netting a total of 15 hours of use. The charging case charges over Micro-USB and there's no wireless charging. The charging case isn't too large, either. You won't have a problem fitting these in your jean pockets.

In terms of sound, the bass is pretty flat and neutral, side from some low-bass which is expected with earbuds. The mid-range is neutral and natural. While the low- and mid-treble is neutral, the upper-treble gets a slight boost. This means you'll get a bit of sibilance from leading vocals and instrument.

Pros:

  • Battery life
  • Sound quality
  • Sound isolation
  • Portability

Cons:

  • Micro-USB for charging
  • No wireless charging case

Best Truly Wireless

Jabra Elite Active 65t

Long lasting truly wireless

The Jabra Elite Active 65t offer great sound, long battery life, and can be used independently to increase battery life.

Best Wired Buds: 1More Triple Driver

The 1More Triple Driver is the best wired earbud around for its price range. One of its best characteristics is its sound. The bass gets super low and will give you just the right amount of thump and rumble, the mid-bass is neutral so kick drums, bass guitars, etc. will be very smooth and even, and the upper bass is slightly overemphasized which can create the feeling of boominess and sometimes muddiness. The mid-range is fairly even and neutral here as well, and the treble is slightly recessed, making the 1More Triple Driver a slightly warmer sounding earbud.

Comfort wise, they're excellent. No issues with ear fatigue or the earbud feeling like they're adding too much weight to the ear. It comes with several sizes in the box which is great for those who need different sized tips. Being a wired set of earbuds, you'll also get the standard in-line controls to control volume, play/pause, and manually summon the digital assistant of your choice. And the best part of all? You don't have to worry about battery life or charging since they're not wireless.

The only real downside to these is that while the earbuds themselves feel premium, the cable leading up to the earbuds are a bit flimsy and seem prone to breaking really easily.

Pros:

  • Design
  • Sound quality
  • Comfort and fit

Cons:

  • Non-detachable/flimsy cable

Best Wired Buds

1More Triple Driver

No batteries required

Just because everyone else is going wireless doesn't mean you should. The 1More Triple Driver is an excellent pair of headphones that sound great, are comfortable, and doesn't require pairing or batteries.

If you're looking for comfortable on-ear headphones, look no further than the Bose SoundLink On-Ear. Due to it's on-ear design, you won't have issues such as your ears getting warm like some over-ear headphones. Though, as with most on-ear headphones, you'll have a good amount of sound leakage with the SoundLink. In louder environments, it probably won't be much of an issue. But, if you're in a quiet environment like a library, it's probably best to use the Soundlink at lower volumes.

For sound quality, the SoundLink offers a pretty neutral sound signature, as expected with most Bose products. The bass has a small bump throughout the entire region, giving you a slightly warmer sound overall. The mid-range is excellent and neutral. The treble is where the SoundLink falls apart. It's highly uneven and recessed. This means you'll lose some detail and brightness in lead vocals and instruments, snares, and hi-hats.

In terms of battery life, you'll get 15 hours of battery life which is decent for an on-ear headphone. Fortunately, the SoundLink has fast charging capability, giving you 2 hours of listening time in a 15 minute charge. Overall charging will still take 3 hours, though. The charging cable is Micro-USB as well.

Pros:

  • Quick charging
  • Comfortable
  • Sound quality

Cons:

  • Micro-USB for charging
  • Sound leakage at higher volumes

Best Wireless On-Ear

Bose SoundLink On-Ear

Comfortable on-ear tunes

The Bose Soundlink On-Ear headphones are super comfortable whether you're using them for 30 minutes at a time or several hours. Battery life and sound are decent.

Best Wireless In-Ear: Jaybird Tarah Pro Wireless

The Jaybird Tarah Pro are a solid all around pair of in-ear earbuds. They're not truly wireless so you don't have to worry about a charging case or two separate sets of batteries (the buds and the case). And, with a wire in between, you can easily let them dangle around your neck.

Sound quality wise, the Tarah Pro does really well. Bass is neutral and extends very deep. The mid-range is decent with a slight recess in the mid-mids, and the treble is for the most part neutral with a slight boost in the mid-treble giving the Tara Pros a slightly brighter sound.

In terms of battery life, the Tarah Pros last up to 13 hours on a single charge. Charging them from dead will take roughly 2 hours to charge. Unfortunately, they use a proprietary charging cable so you'll have to remember to have it when they die. For comfort, they are excellent. No issues with ear fatigue or heaviness from the earbuds.

Pros:

  • Superb sound quality
  • Battery life
  • Comfort

Cons:

  • Proprietary charging cable

Best Wireless In-Ear

Jaybird Tarah Pro

Superb sound quality

The Jaybird Tarah Pros sound awesome, have a great battery life, and are super comfortable for long listening sessions.

Best Open-Back (Wired): Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro

If you're looking for the best bang for your buck, at-home listening headphones, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro are the right pair of headphones for you. They are a set of over-ear open-back headphones which means they're staying at home. This is because open-back headphones don't try to isolate sound and will leak sound like crazy. However, they make up for it by being super comfortable. Since they don't have to try to isolate sound, the ear cups are made out of a very soft leather.

However, they sound fantastic. The DT 990 Pro have a very balanced sound. The bass response is really good for an open-back headphone. They don't get as deep as other closed-back headphones, but is well balanced. The mid-range is also neutral and free from imperfections. The treble is also relatively neutral with only an over-emphasis in the mid-treble region which adds quite a bit of brightness on certain tracks. Some people won't be a fan of that. And of course, being open-back they have excellent dynamic range and soundstage.

These are wired headphones so you'll need to make sure you have a device with a 3.5mm audio jack. Fortunately, unlike some other open-back headphones, you won't need an amp for these and most gadgets will be able to drive them without much issue. But an amp would definitely help.

Pros:

  • Open-back, natural sound
  • Comfortable for long-term use
  • No amp required

Cons:

  • Treble boost

Best Open-Back (Wired)

Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro

Open back goodness

While it's not for everyone, open-back headphones like the DT 990 Pro from Beyerdynamic offer great dynamic range and soundstage. While you're restricted to at home use, the sound quality is totally worth it.

Best Wireless Over-Ear: Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC have excellent sound quality. The bass and mid-range are superb and neutral all around. When it comes to the treble, they're a bit recessed but overall is evenly balanced given the 4.50 BTNC a darker sound signature overall. The ANC for the 4.50 BTNC is good but it effects the sound in a massive way. Unfortunately, we recommend leaving the ANC off if you want really good sound quality.

Battery life on the HD 4.50 BTNC is excellent. With ANC enabled, you get 19 hours, and with ANC disabled, you get whopping 25 hours. When it comes to recharging them, it'll take you a solid 2 hours to recharge them if they're completely dead.

An important part of any (closed-back) headphone is how much sound they leak. Fortunately, the HD 4.50 BTNC don't leak too much sound and are perfect for an office environment, even if the guy in the next cubicle is only a few feet away.

Pros:

  • Sound quality
  • Low sound leakage
  • Battery life

Cons:

  • ANC effects the sound tremendously

Best Wireless Over-Ear

Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC

Excellent sounding wireless headphones

The Mpow H10 Wireless deliver an overall great

Best Wireless Neckbud: Sennheiser HD1 In-Ear

The Sennheisher HD-1 In-Ear are a solid neckbud experience. They offer 10 hours of battery life which is plenty to get you through your day. It takes just under 2 hours to fully recharge them if you deplete the battery completely.

In terms of sound quality, the HD-1 In-Ear perform decent. The low- and mid-bass are neutral and flat, giving you the right amount of thump and rumble. The upper-bass however, is over-emphasized, making them slightly more boomy and sometimes muddy. The low-mids are also over-emphasized to compensate for the upper-bass boost. However, the mid-mid range and the upper-mids are slightly recessed, forcing most lead vocals to take a backseat. Treble is mediocre at best. The low-treble is recessed causing you to lack detail in the region, while the mid- and upper-treble are boosted giving you a slightly more sibilant and sometimes piercing sound. It's a slightly modified V-shaped sound that might take some time getting used to.

However, the HD-1 In-Ear are super comfortable. You won't have any issues with the buds falling out of your ear or have any sort of ear fatigue. The part that goes around your neck is also solid. It's made out of sheep skin and is fairly light. You'll have a hard time even noticing it's even ther.e

Pros:

  • Low sound leakage
  • Comfort
  • Battery Life

Cons:

  • Sound is bass heavy

Best Wireless Neckbud

Sennheiser HD-1 In-Ear

Neck tunes

The Sennheiser HD-1 In-Ear enables you to always have earbuds on your person.

Bottom line

Great headphones don't have to be expensive and cheap headphones don't have to sound awful. There are a ton of mid range options available that are really good and have solid features.

If you're looking for a great pair of over-ear portable headphones, the Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 are a no brained. But if you're wanting to take portability a step further and don't mind earbuds, give the Jabra Elite Active 65t a shot.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Peter Cao loves his headphones. Good luck trying to catch him without some sort of headphones on. His hobbies include listening to vinyl and playing video games.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.