Before you spend your cash on something, you must know about it. That’s a bit random, unsolicited life advice from this random person making a list of the best open back headphones you can buy under 200 bucks.
Speaking of Open back headphones (nice segway, man), what makes them different? Well, the name suggests, they have an open back headphones design. However, other than the obvious, why should you get one over their counterpart, the more commonly used and traditional closed-back? Here is why:
Open-back headphones are built in such a way that they allow the flow of air through the earcups. Their outer surface is open either entirely or partially so the sound coming out of them isn’t trapped.
As air can pass through this open design, pressure does not build up in the earcups. It’s this pressure that builds up inside of them, as you must have noticed if you have used a pair of classic (closed-back) headphones for longer duration, that makes your ears hurt.
This non-sound isolating quality of best open back headphones allows for sound-waves to travel out the earcups (through vents), making them much more comfortable to wear and offer a natural and clear sound. Listening to your music, in a quiet room with an open back headphone, is a therapeutic experience as they offer higher accuracy and catch even the low-level sounds.
They make the music sound as if it’s coming out of a pair of speakers and you’re at some “open” concert rather than coming out of a gadget on top of your ears. They are lightweight, thanks to the open design and they look super cool but that’s rather subjective, I suppose.
Now, keep in mind, Open back headphones aren’t well suited for some situations and have some drawbacks. These are all things they lack. No equipment is perfect, but just check to make sure that the following are drawbacks that you can make your peace with. Here we go:
Open back headphones leak a lot of noise outside. So, whatever you are listening to, well, everyone is. (A bit of an exaggeration for humor, actually only the people right next to you will) They are bit more delicate because of their design and as I mentioned, they don’t block the surrounding noises, they aren’t great for commuting. Some of the headphones has a built-in mic features too.
Okay, now that you have an overall view of what open back headphones have to offer, let’s start the list:
10 Best Open Back Headphones Under 200 review
1) Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO Over-Ear Studio Monitor Headphones
The first entry on our list of best open back headphones under 200 is an oldy and the design of it shows that. That isn’t a bad thing though, as we know, looks are very subjective. The fact that the 990 Pro is a best open back headphone and has been around for so long is a testament to how versatile it is.
It is a fantastic piece of equipment that does not require you to take a loan from the bank to purchase. These open back headphones offer amazing sound quality at a fairly affordable price.
Putting it side by side with its competitors, This thing looks like a bargain! It has an overall plastic build except for the metal band that adjusts the position of the earcups. Speaking of earcups, they are padded with memory foam covered in velour, and yes, they are comfortable.
They feel like pillows for your ears and are amazing in terms of wearing comfort. The sound quality of this product is excellent! Especially, considering its price tag. They offer a detailed tonal depth thanks to their best open back headphone design and have a natural sound with a very balanced tone.
More attention is towards giving these a treble boost while the bass remains mild (sorry, metalheads). Mild bass can be a good thing or bad, it depends entirely upon your taste.
Overall, with this sound quality at this price range, one would not regret buying a pair of these. They are excellent for producers while also work just fine for music lovers that just prefer the sound of an beat open back headphone.
2) COWIN SE7 - best Noise Cancelling Headphone
The Cowin SE7 is an active noise cancelling headphones. It is the best open back headphones under 200 with Bluetooth. The “noise-cancelling” part should be a dead giveaway about the fact these aren’t based on the open back headphone design. Rather it is the traditional, closed-back design.
The SE7 offers you great quality for, honestly, a very affordable price. Made with quality materials, this thing is durable. The easily adjustable on it, plush with cushioned headband fits perfectly on your head and the earcups are filled with memory foam which makes wearing these for longer duration so much easier.
Speaking of longer duration, this bad boy has a massive 30-hour battery, so you can enjoy your music or podcast uninterrupted. It has APTX 5.0 Bluetooth, so paring is simply and connects automatically the second time.
As is in the name, the selling feature is the noise cancellation. It is decent. Nothing too impressive, With all these features at such a reasonable rate, sacrifices had to made somewhere. Unfortunately, it is in the sound department. This headphone has a built-in mic.
Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t bad. It’s actually very loud and has that meaty feel, but it lacks detail and does not sound natural. Nonetheless, this is an excellent choice for those wanting a Bluetooth headset for commutes.
3) Samson Technologies SR850 - best Studio Reference Headphones
The semi-open Samson SR850 is a pair of best open back studio headphones under 200 that have earned the Amazon’s Choice badge. The SR850, being a semi-open headphone, is extremely light-weight.
It has an over-ear design with self-adjusting ear bands and earcups plush with velour making it a very comfortable pair of headphones to wear for those over-night mixing sessions.
These ear bands can bend anyway you want, so it will let you adjust them till you find that comfortable spot and this also speaks volumes how well this thing is built and how long it would last. The proprietary 50mm drivers on this baby ensure excellent mid-range, wth deep and rich bass along with those clean highs.
It has a 10Hz–30kHz frequency response, so it will handle everything that the human ear can and cannot hear. This thing has an overall versatility and can do everything just fine.
This is one sturdy pair of headphones that offers excellent sound quality and great depth so mixing and recording with these on along with just overall listening to music should be fun and pose no problems.
4) Superlux HD668B - best open back headphones for mixing
Next up in my list comes the Superlux HD668B, which is an entry-level pair of semi open headphones for those that want something that is a good do-it-all. This is a fairly affordable piece of equipment that an average customer would be satisfied with.
The HD668B is mostly made up of plastic except for the headband which is metal makes it as a best open back headphone. Speaking of which, you cannot adjust the length of the headband, but as this thing has split, cushioned headband design, there is no need for that.
The build quality is fair, nothing too impressive or anything, you get what you pay for and it is fair for the price. The earpads on this headphone are fully circumaural, plush with thick and smooth velour.
They are not the most comfortable ones out there, but switching them out with velour earcups makes things many folds better but, again, that can be considered subjective and boils down to which material you prefer.
Housing a 50 mm dynamic driver, this thing offers a balanced sound. The bass is tight, the treble sounds good and the sound is crispy. It does not have that deep, rich bass so, again, bassheads, probably not the best one out there for you, but if you are okay with that, this thing delivers great sound and detail.
Its semi open design offers the natural sound of best open back headphones offers along with some isolation, so it can also play the role of your daily-driver. Overall, a solid choice of entry-level mixers or those wanting a cheap, all-rounder.
5) Philips Audio Philips SHP9500 - best open back headphones for gaming
If you were looking for an affordable open nack headphones, then try the Philips Audio Philips SHP9500, which is an unbelievably comfortable pair of affordable and best open back headphones under 200. Perhaps the best part about these headphones is the level of comfort they offer. Yes, let’s talk about that.
The SHP9500 has doubled layered headband, which is adjustable for that optimal fit, with cushions that feel very soft and offer much comfort. The headband itself is made with cold-rolled steel provides just the right amount of tension and ensures strength and durability.
The earcups are round and large which fit easily around one’s ears. The earpads inside are made to be breathable, they dissipate heat and do not build up pressure (as a best open back headphone should). All of it combined makes wearing these for longer duration a piece of cake.
Easily one of the most comfortable headphones out there. Now, coming to the sound. It has does a fair job. It offers a balanced and natural tone thanks to its large 50mm driver.
These kind of best open back headphones under 200 are more focused on being neutral rather than having a specialty that jumps out. To say they lack bass wouldn’t be correct but they are not up to the mark.
The treble sounds tight and bright and the mids sound decent. Overall, these are a fantastic pair of headphones on a budget offering great comfort and sound, the lack of bass is the only thing which is a strike against them.
6) Sennheiser HD 599 - best studio headphones under 200
Holder of the prestigious Diapason award, the Sennheiser HD 599 headphones are designed similar to their predecessor with only a few differences (logo is placed differently and silver equivalents) and it is best open back headphones under 200.
These are one of the most natural-sounding open back headphones that you can get. These are best suited for all you bass heads, finally something aye? The bass on these isn’t outrageous like it was its previous models rather Sennheiser has absolutely nailed it in the head with the HD 599 made it has best open back headphone.
It offers crispy clear sound and is able to pick up even the little details. No audiophile would be disappointed by this pair of headphones. On top of sounding excellent, HD 599 has a very comfortable design.
It has large ear cups with soft, plush replaceable earpads inside and a padded headband offering comfort for those long sessions. This thing is mostly made of plastic, but its durable plastic and the fit and finish is fantastic the build quality won’t be an issue for it’s rather sturdy.
Being a best open back heaphone, it obviously leaks out noise but offers natural soundstage and immersive listening experience. Metalheads, EDM lovers and bass heads, you all would love this.
7) Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X - best mixing headphones under 200
Audio-Technica is a big name in the world of sound equipment and expectation will always be high for their products, and more often than not, they meet them with flying colors.
Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X is a big boy! Literally the beat open back headphone, these are big! They are also very comfortable and fits on top of anyone’s head regardless of the size thanks to that bigness. These are lightweight headphones with a self-adjusting 3D Wing Support that help make these fit securely and snuggly on your head.
The over-ear design makes them fit perfectly on top of your ears (wow, thanks, captain obvious) and inside, the earpads are comfortable and cushioned which makes wearing these a non-fatiguing experience. The “Wing support” is not the most confidence-inducing features, but it does its job.
Now, let’s talk about sound. It has a massive 52mm driver which delivers meaty bass, rumble if you may, so headbang away. However, the mids and lows aren’t the best and miss out on a lot of detail. That massive driver that gives it that amazing bass kind of overshadows the rest.
Now, obviously, tinkering with EQ, it can be fixed but inherently, that’s something to note. Sound quality is amazing and has a natural tone thanks to the best open back headphone design, but obviously, again, sound will leak out. Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X is a great choice for audiophiles and metalheads wanting to listen to those crazy beats and basslines.
8) Philips X2HR
The X2HR is a beast! This thing over here, aside from being extremely durable and sturdy, sounds absolutely amazing! This best open back headphones with it’s 50 mm high definition neodymium drivers delivers extraordinary sound like the best of best open back headphone.
The best way to describe its performance would be to classify it as an All-rounder. They do it all well and offer a tremendous amount of detail. The treble seems to be a bit exaggerated, but it’s nothing that can’t be fixed. It has a premium fit and finish.
It is rather big but that’s much of a dealer breaker for most people. This thing is very comfortable, as expected from Philips. Having a Genuine leather outer headband, self-adjustable hammock with 3D Mesh and memory foam ear-pads with velour finishing,you know its a treat to put and keep these on.
As long as the price isn’t a major factor for you, you can pick these bad boys with your eyes closed.
9) Boltune Noise Cancelling Headphones
The Boltune Headphones look absolutely gorgeous in my opinion. The silver with the brown combination just gives it a very sci-fi yet old school vibe. These best open back headphones under 200 have Bluetooth 5.0, making the connection much more stable and up to a good range of 50ft (give or take).
With its noise cancellation and built-in CVC 6 0 microphones, talking on to go is a hand/hassle-free experience. It has a 680mAh battery delivers up to 30 hours of playtime. The sound on this thing is more focused on emphasizing the bass while the mids and lows seem to be about average.
This thing seems to be a mixture of aluminium and plastic. The earcups is padded with non-toxic & skin-friendly material while the headband is made of plastic and aluminum and is adjustable.
These are rather big and get uncomfortable after 1-2 hours but they are fairly suitable for commuting. One major drawback is that they lose almost all bass while ANC is activated. So keep that in mind.
10) Master and Dynamic MH40 - best recording headphones under 200
This thing is all metal, no piece of plastic is to be found on the outside. Making these perhaps the most durable and best open back headphones under 200 on our list. This thing is made up of premium materials like aluminum, stainless steel, cowhide, and lambskin leathers.
Spending money on it feels like a worthwhile investment, honestly. However, keep in mind, these are heavy. If that isn’t a deal-breaker, these are fairly comfortable. The lambskin ear pads and adjustable leather-wrapped headband makes wearing these feel like a luxury experience.
Aesthetics and materials aside, the main thing of best open back headphone should do is sound good… and these do. Inside. A 45mm driver produces an extremely detailed sound. The bass isn’t over-the-top like the rest but it is subtle and the right amount.
The vocals could be brighter and mid-range is where this falls behind a bit but overall, this offers an immersive listening experience. The buttons on the size are metal and feel satisfying to click. It has an inbuilt mic and cuts out a fair bit of noise.
These are perfectly suited for those that want a premium product, but there are better options for audiophiles that want the best sound.
And that’s it! You have reached the end of our list of best open back headphones under 200. Best open back headphones are an important investment as in today’s day and age, we are constantly listening to something.
Be it music from Porcupine Tree or Katy Perry. Even if you aren’t listening to music, rather a podcast or are on a call, having a pair of high-quality earphone is a game-changer. I hope you found the perfect ones for yourself on my list.
Also, sprinkle some words about this article in the comment section below 🙂