So, you’ve got some money to spend on an awesome new pair of in-ear headphones, but you’re still looking to cap it at $200
Which Pair Do You Go For?
The noise isolating and cancelling ones that block out the rest of the world and give you nothing but a completely immersive experience?
The ones that give you an amazing, high end audio quality, with multiple armatures and tweeters?
How about ones that act similar to open-back headphones and let in ambient sound so you can hear your bandmates jamming around you?
Or, maybe you’re through with tangled wires on your morning jogs and are looking for wireless sport earbuds?
For in-ear and earbud enthusiasts, these are just some of the features offered on this list of the best headphones under $200! We’ve picked our top five faves and give you an in-depth look at each one.
So, here are the Top 5 Best Rated and Reviewed Headphones for less than $200!
Did you know that noise isolating in-ear headphones were even an available option? Not many brands carry them, but RHA Audio does.
These T10 models are quite interesting in design, with a distinct curved egg-like shape, and a brushed metal exterior. The design includes moldable over-ear hooks that fit smoothly and comfortably, adjusting to your particular ear design.
They are made from stainless steel, so they’re easy to wipe down and keep clean. Not to mention how durable they are! These headphones will last you for years. That steel has been injection molded, so it’s the correct density for high quality.
Engineered by RHA
Inside the patented construction, you’ll find a handmade dynamic driver, which is model 770.1. It’s been engineered by RHA to give you that high level of accuracy and detail in your music, no matter what the genre.
There’s also a unique tuning filter system you won’t find on cheaper in-ear headphone models. You can customize your frequency response, and you can also adjust your sound signature – perhaps to place more emphasis on either the bass or the treble?
These tuning filters are also easy to switch out. Simply screw them in or screw them out. Tweak your sound reproduction, since 18th century classical is going to want to sound different from 21st century pop.
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.
“Hear more” is the 1MORE brand’s motto, and you certainly can hear more with these quad driver in-ear headphones. This model is the top-of-the-line offered by 1MORE. If you thought the triple driver was too clunky, then give this quad driver a shot.
There’s a lot going on mechanically inside these in-ear headphones, much more than meets the eye. It’s an entire sound system, from highs to midrange, to bass. The three armatures, or tweeters, are going to give you crystal clear highs.
Just behind them, the dynamic driver speaker delivers the excellent midrange and bass sounds. The overall music effect is one of perfect balance, and many report hearing parts of the music they’ve never heard before.
The dynamic driver is made from diamond-like carbon, so it’s like having ‘sound jewelry’ for your ears. These mini speakers give you dynamic power and definition. A high frequency range extends up to 40,000Hz, enhancing the music experience.
Fit is so important with in-ear headphones, since they’re traditionally not as comfortable as over-ear headphones.
These from 1MORE were designed with an ergonomic fit. The ear tip is tilted at a 45 degree angle to ensure a natural fit in your ear canals. It also forms a tight seal, giving you a complete soundstage type of immersion.
Whether you have an Apple or Android device, these headphones are compatible.
Durable & Resistant
They’re not just for music, too. You can take calls, control the volume, or adjust tracks right on the cord, because a built-in chip automatically detects the connected device.
Travel frequently? These in-ear headphones have cables featuring a Kevlar core, the same stuff used to make bulletproof vests. They’re extremely durable and resistant to tangles. You can throw them in a cramped bag or step on them and they’re built to last.
These are wired in-ear headphones, so they’re not wireless models. Also, you only get one color choice: black with red highlights. They come with two cases, a luxurious gift box and a leather traveling case, as well as nine ear tip sizes, two different adapters, and a matching shirt clip.
The technology that makes wireless in-ear headphones possible is being perfected by the Sennheiser brand. They offer all kinds of top quality headphones, and this HD1 model is one of the best under $200.
These in-ear headphones are made very well. There is soft sheepskin nappa leather stitched onto the neckband for comfort. The earpieces feature a mirrored chrome finish, while the in-ear sound tunnels are precision milled stainless steel. A high quality dynamic speaker system gives you the powerful bass response and detailed vocal projection that the HD1 line is known for.
Without cables to tangle or get in the way, these Sennheiser headphones don’t disappoint on sound quality. You get a high fidelity sound with the latest in Bluetooth technology, AAC codec support, and compatibility with the Qualcomm APT-X. To connect, there’s NFC one-touch pairing. The Bluetooth range is best within 50 feet.
All the controls are right on the left-hand edge of the neckband. There’s a three button remote and a mic, so you can take phone calls between music tracks. It also supports USB audio and charging.
Durable & Resistant
What about the earbud design? It comes with four different silicone tip sizes, from x-small to small, medium, and large, but if you want more cushioning or a different material like memory foam, those are sold separately. The cables connecting the earbuds to the neckband are rubbery and not braided.
The sound on these is balanced, so it’s not bass heavy. You get a great range from low up to high. These are not noise isolating or cancelling, so there is the sound leak factor. That’s not necessarily a breaking point, since some users like being able to ‘hear’ some background noise, like family members or traffic.
Battery life is always important when considering wireless in-ear headphones, and these take 1.5 hours to give you about 10 hours, although some have reported they can get closer to a 15 hour charge. It charges via USB and can be charged on your computer or laptop, too.
With a 48” braided cable and ergonomic design, these Westone in-ear headphones have a single driver and are designed for performing artists. You can wear them all day or out to long gigs and they won’t give you ear fatigue. These are monitors, which are similar to headphones, but have their own distinguishing features.
No longer will you have to choose between an in-ear monitor mix or an ambient experience. You can have both in this Westone 78536 model. They’re great for musicians to be able to hear others play as you’re playing, too.
Westone is actually best known for their custom earpieces for the hearing healthcare market, so it’s no surprise they’ve turned to designing headphones, too. Their specialty is designing perfectly fit devices, so if you’ve had problems with uncomfortable earbuds in the past, give these a shot.
The armature driver design of these in-ear headphones is micro balanced and has a high fidelity filter to help you hear your entire ambient environment. You’ll also get acoustic symmetry, since both sides are balanced and matched to either a plus or minus three decibel tolerance. There’s enhanced sonic detail, with quite a huge frequency range you won’t find in other earbuds.
Keep in mind these are open vent headphones, so they’re not noise isolating or noise canceling. The SLED filter technology enables the ambiance of your surroundings to be picked up and combined with the original audio source, without too much compromising on the frequency response.
Color Coded Silicone
You do get three color choices for the highlights – red, blue, or green. The color depends on the type of filter, and the red AM Pro 10 are the least expensive at under $200. The majority color of these headphones is black, with a smoky matte finish.
What about accessories? You get five pairs of color-coded Star silicone tips that are designed with multiple flex zones for comfort. Each pair is a different length, shape, or size. You also get five pairs of matching True-Fit foam tips, and they have a medium density. These in-ear monitors also come with their own cleaning tool and a bright orange storage case.
While the clear plastic earbud design is kind of cool so you can see the mechanical parts, it not as durable as stainless steel, aluminum, or chrome. Also, these allow you to hear outside sounds and so they don’t work the same way as regular earbud headphones.
No other pair of in-ear headphones on this list would be complete without not just a Bose pair, but a Bose wireless pair designed for fitness, exercise, and athletics. These SoundSport in-ear headphones are resistant to both sweat and the weather, so you can take them outside. Each headphone is only about 1” in size, so they’re small and lightweight.
The actual earbud design on these is pretty unique, with gentle ear tips, an interestingly shaped outside seal against the ear canal, and curved outside ‘wing’ pieces that keep them in place for stability. They come with three sizes of both StayHear and Sport Tips to change them out and find the best fit for you. They’re soft silicone to sit comfortably in your ear. These earbuds are connected by a single thin rubbery cable that also contains a small piece with the controls on it.
Use the included NFC technology to quickly touch these in-ear headphones to any device to pick up the quick Bluetooth signal. Bose offers a free Connect App to make connecting and switching between devices even easier. They’re great with Apple or Android systems. You recharge them with the included USB cable. You also get a case that goes with them.
The sound coming through is very clear and balanced between highs and lows, so the bass isn’t that overpowering. They are not designed to sit and exclusively listen to music for hours, although you certainly can. The audio quality could be better.
Also, they do not come with a microphone, so you can’t take calls through them. If a call on a smartphone does come through, the music will stop so that you can remove them and take a call. This is not a convenient feature, as most wireless headphones also can take phone calls.
Supreme Noise Cancelling
While Bose is known for their supreme noise-cancelling headphones, this pair is not like that and there will be some sound leak. That might be good, since you’d want to hear traffic as you’re jogging outside. Also, the battery life is pretty short, only six hours, compared to other models, and it takes two hours to charge.
In essence, these are awesome if you’re willing to go for a high-end pair of sport in-ear headphones, and those users who have them enjoy them – but you can get better features and longer battery life elsewhere.