Before you spend your cash on something, you must know the details 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 for under 200 bucks.
Speaking of Open back headphones, what makes them different? Well, as the name suggests, they have an open back headphones design. However, why should you get one, when millions of people are using closed headphones. 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 and you can listen to more clear sound. So this is the advantage of buying open back headphones.
Also, if you want to check out the buying guide of the open back headphones, you can find it below the listing. Now, let's move on to the article and check out the best open back headphones under 200, which you can bag today.
AKG Pro Audio
10 BEST OPEN BACK HEADPHONES UNDER 200 REVIEW
1) BEYERDYNAMIC DT 990 PRO OVER-EAR STUDIO MONITOR HEADPHONES
Beyerdynamic GmbH & Co, often stylized as Beyerdynamic, is a German company that has been manufacturing microphones, headphones and wireless audio systems since 1924. Their robust workmanship promises highly durable headphones at an affordable price with zero compromises on the features.
So I chose it to be the first entry on our list of best open back headphones under 200. It is an oldy, and the design of it is simple, as we know, looks are very subjective. As mentioned above, the fact that the 990 Pro is an open back headphone that has been around for so long is a testament to how versatile it is.
I felt that 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, 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. While wearing them, I felt it like pillows for my ears which means that they 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 open back headphone design and have a natural sound with a very balanced tone.
I found that more attention is given towards the 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 a beat open back headphone.
2) AKG Pro Audio K240 STUDIO headphones
AKG company was founded in Vienna, Austria, in 1947, so I guess you got the hint that these headphones have a legendary reputation of about 55 years.
This AKG K 24 studio is an updated version of the classic model of the AKG K 240 monitor headphones. When compared to its predecessor, this headphone has higher sensitivity and a wider dynamic range.
The K240 offers you great quality for a very affordable price. Made with quality materials, this headphone is durable. The self-adjusting and non-twisting headband gives you the exact fit as per your convenience. Also, the over-ear pads envelop your ears perfectly, so you can wear it for a long time hassle-free.
A big thanks to its semi-open design, the mids and highs of this headphone sound beautiful. As they are mainly designed for studio recording, you get a flat sound that doesn't give importance to any particular frequency.
Naturally, I found that these headphone allows you to hear the exact sound without any modifications. So you can recollect the accurate details of the sound, and this feature is ideal for studio recording purposes. It is an audio interface type that comes with a stereo plug - 3.5 mm with 6.3 mm using which you can connect external devices.
The AKG Pro is a professional studio headphone which got a place in this list of best open back headphones under 200 for the amazing features it offers.
3) SAMSON TECHNOLOGIES SR850 - BEST STUDIO REFERENCE HEADPHONES
The semi-open Samson SR850 is a pair of the best open back studio headphones under 200 that have earned the Amazon’s Choice badge. The SR850, being a semi-open headphone, is extremely lightweight.
It has an over-ear design with self-adjusting ear bands and earcups plush with velour. This makes it a very comfortable pair of headphones to wear for those overnight mixing sessions.
You can bend the ear bands anyway you want, so it will let you adjust them till you find that comfortable spot. Having a big head, this feature seemed impressive to me. These headphones has a excellent build and it would last for a long time,
The proprietary 50mm drivers on these headphones ensure excellent mid-range, with 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. Samson headphones have 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 with these headphones on mixing and jaming would be completely fun and pose no problems.
4) SUPERLUX HD668B - BEST OPEN BACK HEADPHONES FOR MIXING
Superlux is a Tawain company that mainly focuses on manufacturing electronic audio products. This Superlux HD668B, 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 making it the best open back headphone. Speaking of which, you cannot adjust the length of the headband, but as this thing has a split, cushioned headband design, there is no need for that.
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, bass heads, probably not the best one out there for you. But if you are okay with that, this headphones delivers great sound and detail.
Its semi-open design offers the natural sound of the 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
Philips is a Dutch company mainly known for manufacturing household products, but it has also tipped its toe into the audio world. Seventy percent of the company's audio products are made in China. This brand has been a good player in making headphones and won't break your bank unless you are provided with ultra-premium features.
That being said, if you were looking for affordable open back headphones, then try the Philips Audio SHP9500, which is an unbelievably comfortable pair of affordable. 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. I noticed the headband itself is made with cold-rolled steel that 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 best open back headphones should). All of it combined makes wearing these for a longer duration a piece of cake. At this low budget, as far as I compared with other products, this is easily one of the most comfortable headphones out there.
Now, coming to the sound. It has does a fair job. You can experience a balanced and natural tone thanks to its large 50mm driver.
These kinds of open back headphones focus 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 that 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 AUDIO FIDELIO 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) HIFIMAN HE-400I OVER EAR MAGNETIC HEADPHONES
The HIFIMAN HE-400I Headphones look absolutely gorgeous, in my opinion. The ravishing black color just gives it a very sci-fi yet old-school vibe. These best open back headphones under 200 are specially designed for accurate listening that is suitable for home or studio. I was pretty impressed by how lightweight these headphones are. They are comfortable to wear that you won't mind wearing them for long hours.
Talking about sounds, these planar magnetic headphones offers increased sensitivity, extremely low distortion and high signal input along with the superior transient response. The low distortion made been made possible with the help of evenly distributed magnetic force.
Overall, this well-designed headphone is lightweight, gives you good comfort while wearing it and the planar magnetic technology delivers superior quality sound.
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.
BUYING GUIDE FOR BEST OPEN BACK HEADPHONES UNDER 200
Here, we have given you the factors to determine while buying the best open back headphones under 200.
Most of the open back headphones are over-ear headphones, but the size differs. Some have supra-aural size, which covers your ears completely, and some have circumaural covers the ears partially. Though size doesn't have anything to do with sound and vocals, it might affect your comfort level and overall experience. That being said, extra stuffed padding is not always recommended as it can increase weight.
Prices mainly depend on the brands you choose. The open back headphones are mostly available at all budget prices, and it is determined based on the premium features it offers. Luckily, you can find good quality open-back headphones below the 100 price range.
On the other hand, these headphones with good spectrum can cost from 500$ to more than 1000$. If you are professional, then you might need high-end headphones. But if you are just a beginner or at an intermediate level, then the headphones listed above can do the job.
Drivers in headphones play the crucial role of producing the required sound signals within the headphones. So ensure that your headphones drivers you decide to grab have excellent quality. As open back headphones aren't sealed at the back, your drivers must be sturdy and durable enough to face any wear and tear.
For authentic and accurate sound production, I suggest you get a headphone with planar or magnetic drivers. The size of the driver must not be overlooked as they determine how much the frequencies can be reproduced. For effective low frequencies, a driver size of 40mm or above is required.
Cords and adapters
Considering the other parts of the headphones is also important. The cords and adapters are like cherry on top. All headphones come with various types of adapters and connectors that allow you to connect different audio devices. The most common types of adapters are a quarter-inch and 1/8 inch.
As you already know, the open back headphones are mostly used for studio recording working. You will need a long cord to connect devices that present a long distance in a studio. So look for cords that have a length of at least 3 feet.
WHAT IS THE ADVANTAGE OF BUYING AN OPEN BACK?
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 durations, that makes your ears hurt.
This non-sound isolating quality of open-back headphones allows soundwaves 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 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 check to make sure that you can make your peace with the following are drawbacks. 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 a bit more delicate because of their design, and as we mentioned, they don’t block the surrounding noises; they aren’t great for commuting.
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 🙂
Gibson is a blogger and reviewer, whose passion is helping people with all the aspects of music through the blog he provides. Also, he is an artist and loves to create his own tunes by purchasing good quality musical tools. With his own experience, he has provided a great list of tools for you in this blog. Seeking the best quality musical tools? Read this blog and end your music thirst!