Excellent, you’ve got a budget of $200 and you’re looking to get your first serious pair of ‘cans.’ Or, maybe you’ve enjoyed some higher end models and are curious to see if your favorite tracks will sound the same a step down in price.
While these headphones can’t compete with the most luxurious models, they still have amazing features and awesome sound quality.
You’ll also find some of the ‘big dog’ audio brands here, like Audio-Technica, Sennheiser, and Beyerdynamic. You might want to check out the Shure and Fischer Audio ones, too. They’re awesome headphones.
Interested to see how they all compare?
Here are the top 5 best closed back headphones you can buy for $200 – or less.
When you’re choosing the Audio-Technica brand, you’re going for one of the top rated audiophile favorites on the market. Audio-Technica is going to give you a professional sound with a heavy duty look. They’re well known for both their open back and closed back headphones – and this pair is no exception.
The design is one of the hallmarks of this brand. It’s professional and industrial, with a thick, wide, padded head band, very large over-the-ear cups, and stainless steel metal accents. The head band is also adjustable for a customized fit. Despite the appearance, these headphones are surprisingly light in weight.
40 – 20,000 Hz Frequency
Another noticeable and unique design feature is the included dynamic boom microphone. It can be positioned on the left or right hand side. It’s a cardioid dynamic mic that features a polar pattern.
The 40 – 20,000 Hz frequency response is custom tailored for a natural, yet highly intelligible vocal reproduction. It also rejects off-axis sounds, so you won’t hear those, and the impedance is 560 ohms.
Swivel the mic easily towards and away from your mouth. It’s perfect for on-air news, broadcasting, sports, announcing, or interviews. Some users have said it picks up the sound of your breathing too well!
Sound isolation is paramount, and these headphones give you that. The ear cups are closed-back and circumaural, helping to completely seal out all crowd noise and other background distractions.
3-pin XLRM Type Connector
These headphones come with a great array of accessories. You get a 3.3 meter (10.8 foot) cable that has an 8-pin connector on the headset end. The microphone has a 3-pin XLRM type connector and a 6.3 mm (1/4”) phone plug for the outputs. It also comes with three windscreens and a spare connector screw in case one of them breaks or is faulty.
This is an excellent headset, but it does have some drawbacks. Namely, that it doesn’t come with a case. The mic is delicate, and for storage you want to carefully fold it away so it doesn’t get damaged.
Also, some users have reported the ear padding is too thin, so they’ve had to purchase separate ear pads to prolong long-term comfort.
With German engineering at the core of Beyerdynamic’s headphone lines, you can rest assured there’s high quality in this closed back pair. This brand’s price range is not as high as some others, but you’re still getting a top model. You can choose either gray or black colors.
Probably the first thing you’ll notice about these headphones are the massive round ear cups. With soft velour ear pads, you can wear these for hours and not feel any aches or head strain. It’s like having a blanket against your ears. They can also be washed, which is good for cleanliness. The head band cushion is also softly padded and won’t squeeze your head.
96 dB Sound Pressure
There’s a 96 dB sound pressure level. They come with a 3.5 mm gold-plated stereo jack plug, plus a ¼” adapter. The cable is coiled, not straight.
These come with massive 250 ohm drivers that are great for referencing or mixing in addition to home and gaming use. It actually doesn’t produce as big a bass as lower ohm styles do, so the sound is much more balanced between the highs, midranges, and the lows. It gives you a high fidelity sound. They work best with a top quality pre-amp to plug them into. Otherwise, you’ll want a variety with lower ohms.
However, more than one user has complained of sound leak. Others around you would be able to hear what you’re listening to. Also, the higher the ohm, the less they are going to be good for lower power devices such as simple MP3 players. Again, you’ll want an amplifier. Check to see if your computer or laptop have amplifying capabilities.
Beyerdynamic headphones are durable, so they can be dropped or the wires tangled, and they’ll still work great. There’s a two year warranty option, too.
These are big headphones, so they’re not as portable as other brands. They come with a soft nylon case, but you’ll probably want to purchase a separate case that’s harder to protect them.
Sennheiser also features German engineering in their headphones, so they are also a great, professional quality. They were founded back in 1945, and their products have become really popular with the rise of personal audio devices.
Since they’re made to be professional DJ headphones, these headphones are excellent for mobile monitoring, creating tracks in a studio, or being out in a noisy, crowded environment. There’s a very high attenuation of background noise, and sensitivity is also high thanks to the aluminum voice coils. These are considered the ‘industry standard’ for disc jockeys everywhere, and the design has changed little in the past twenty years – because it works.
These headphones are lightweight, comfortable, and are built to handle high sound pressure levels. These are not over-ear headphones, but rather, the ear cups sit right on top of the ears. They do swivel for convenience. The ear cup material is a plush and soft velour, like wearing ‘pillows’ on your ears. Interestingly, you actually get the option of one-ear listening with these.
The frequency response is between 16 and 22,000 Hz, while the total harmonic distortion is less than 0.3%. The ear coupling is supra-aural, and the transducer is principal dynamic and closed. As a maximum active sound pressure, these can go up to 120 dB.
As for the cable, this pair of headphones actually includes two. You get a 10 foot straight cable and a 10 foot coiled cable. Both cables come with a 3.5 mm jack, as well as an additional 6.5 mm stereo jack. You also get a secondary set of velour ear pads to prolong the comfort and longevity of your headphone use.
What about the sound? There’s an excellent and articulate bass response, since they’re made for DJs, but they don’t shirk on the highs or lows, either. They’re so dynamic that you’ll want a good equalizer to adjust it for your preferences. You’ll definitely appreciate the sound isolation, too.
Many users have had their Sennheisers for years, so these come with a 2 year warranty. They come with a protective pouch, too.
There are a couple of quick negatives, though. They don’t fold for storage and don’t come with any type of very protective case, but you can buy one separately. Some users have also commented on the noticeable weight difference between cables, the coiled one being much heavier.
Shure offers all kinds of audio equipment, from microphones to mixers to their extensive headphone line. They’ve been around since 1925, and their brand motto is “sound is our business.”
These Shure SRH840 black headphones were actually designed for professional audio engineers and musicians. They’re excellent and optimized for studio recording, critical listening, and personal listening as well. In these closed back headphones are top quality 40 mm neodymium magnet dynamic drivers.
Engineered by RHA
The frequency response has been precisely tailored and goes from 10 Hz all the way up to 22 KHz. They have an impedance of 44 ohms, and the maximum input power is 500 mW per 1 KHz.
Due to such a great frequency response, the sound quality of these headphones is excellent and one of the best you can buy for $200 or less. You can get that rich bass, a clear and powerful midrange, and extended high sounds. Overall, these headphones will balance out the sound range for you.
You’ll also notice the large, comfortable ear cup size of these headphones. The closed-back, circumaural design is specifically for excellent noise isolation within crowded environments. You can also replace the ear cup pads to extend the life of this model, and it does come with one pair of replacement ear cushions.
Oh, and how do they get that noise isolation so many other in-ear headphones can’t?
This pair of T10 headphones comes with six sets of dual density ear tips. The tips have a soft outer layer and a firm core to give you that tight seal. Not just that, but you also get two sets of double flange tips and two sets of memory foam tips.
These RHA T10 headphones aren’t your average earbuds. Within your three-year warranty, you can try out the whole kit – headphones, tuning filters, and ear tips.
One possible drawback might be that they’re wired headphones. No wireless here. Also, there’s no color options. You just get the stainless-steel look.
The head band is also padded all the way around from one ear cup to the other. It’s collapsible for easy storage, and you can customize the fit with the adjustable section on the side.
These headphones come with a 3 meter (9.8 foot) coiled cable that’s actually detachable. At the end is a threaded 3.5 mm stereo jack, although it also comes with a threaded ¼” gold plated adapter, too. You also get a special carrying pouch that fits this pair of headphones.
With possible negatives, you don’t get a choice of cables. The ear pads are not as comfortable as some other brands, since they’re not made from velour or other soft material. Some users have said these have a tendency to ‘squeeze’ your head and be too tight a fit. Try breaking them in over a week or two. If you’re used to wearing larger headphones, though, you might really enjoy these ones.
These ‘cans’ are really large – the biggest on this list! The massive ear cups on these Fischer Audio headphones set this design apart and will give you superior sound isolation and noise-cancelling. It is basically like getting a pair of higher end Bose for a decent pocket price.
These also have larger drivers than the standard 40 mm. You’ll get a 42 mm driver in each ear cup, and they feature a composite mylar diaphragm that is strengthened by titanium coating. That improves accuracy and reduces distortion. These titanium drivers are a recent upgrade, and you’ll not find too many in headphones at this price range.
Due to the improved drivers, you’ll also notice it in the sound quality. These headphones give you a much more precise clarity, especially in midrange tones.
The dynamic range, from high down to a deep bass, has also been improved. These aren’t designed to be bass heavy, though, so keep that in mind. The overall spectrum is more balanced.
The head band is just as padded as the ear cups, and the padding stretches all the way around. It’s adjustable to fit, too. You won’t have much head ‘squeeze,’ but if you do, try fitting it over something slightly larger than your head. These headphones really are very comfortable.
Comfortable Ear Cups
But it’s the ear cup design that makes these some of the best. The big cushy ear pads feel like leather pillows, according to some users. They are over-ear headphones, so you won’t hear a thing while wearing these – and there won’t be any sound leak, either. So, passing eavesdroppers won’t be able to hear what you’re listening to. The comfort of these ear cups reduces fatigue for long-term headphone use. Wearing them is like being in a studio space!
You get a detachable 3 meter straight cable that comes with a 3.5 mm stereo jack, as well as a 6.3 mm adapter. While you don’t get a second cable, it does come with one excellent accessory: a hard shell case with soft foam inserts to protect your investment. The case has a nylon exterior and a webbed handle for carrying.
Besides the individual comfort factor, over-ear headphones do cause your ears to get warmer than on-ear. It causes your body temperature to rise, since your ears help release body heat and keep your head cool.