So, what are the Best Over Ear Headphones Under $200/£200?
I don’t know about you, but unless you’re deaf, sound is likely a significant and important part of your life. Sometimes we take it for granted. However, whether you’re a gamer, an audiophile or even a musician, you know that having the best possible headphones is essential. The quality of entertainment that we receive from the activities we love can be greatly heightened by improved audio.
There are so many different headphone brands out there, both big and small brands which you may or may-not have heard of. That’s before we even go into the realm of discussing the different types of headphones you can purchase.
In this “Top 10” list, I will be focusing on the very best over-ear headphones that your money can buy for under $200 (or £200 for those in the UK).
As with all of my Top 10 lists, I will include a feature and product comparison chart just below this introduction, and then below that you will be able to read a more in-depth breakdown of each of the products I have chosen to include in this list. On top of that, I have also made some specific choices at the bottom of this page for some more niche areas. For example, I’ve made a choice for the best over ear headset for gamers, musicians and a general overall winner (a jack of all trades).
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The Audio Technica ATH-M50x is a critically acclaimed headphone. However, that is to be expected coming from a company like Audio Technica.
This headphone is most likely to be used in a studio scenario, and is actually what I use mostly for tracking guitar recording tracks in my home studio. This is mostly because of the removable and interchangeable cable. This means I can easily change between short and long cables when the need arises.
The Audio Technica ATH-M50x is an ‘all-rounder’ in this list. Everything is pretty balanced, and it performs well in all areas. However, you could also argue that this means it isn’t a stand-out contender. But, if you’re looking for a reliable over-ear headphone which will tick all the boxes, then this is going to be the headset for you! The simple fact is that these headphones are good no matter the requirement. Admittedly, you’re not going to use these if you’re looking for some Gaming Headphones. However, if that’s what you’re looking for, then scroll down.
Admittedly, what you plug these guys into will impact the output sound and the quality. For example, you will clearly notice the difference between listening on an iPhone, and listening through a PC with a monster sound card in it. Saying that, you won’t be disappointed when you listen through an iPhone (or similar phone), and it still performs well. Areas lacking here are down to the hardware of the product you’re listening from, not the headphones themselves. You can’t polish a turd as they say!
Grado Prestige Series SR225e
Now, I admit these aren’t technically over ear headphones. However, I thought I would include them anyway, as they are a sort of hybrid in-between, and you can’t really complain about the comfort on these headphones.
The SR225 is widely regarded as the best value for money headphone in the Grado lineup. They’ve obviously had to make some sacrifices on materials and components used in order to drag their normally quite high prices down, but they’ve manager to do it without going too far, and the Grado SR225 is still an incredibly well built machine. Despite this cost cutting, this is still the most expensive option on this list, which is arguably why I refrained from giving in the full five stars.
Like the aforementioned Audio Technica, the Grado has quite an even response through the frequencies. Which is quite strange for Grado, as they normally have an emphasis towards one area. Usually treble.
There is no doubt that despite the Grado SR225 being the most expensive set of headphones on this list, it is still great bang for your buck, as you’re getting incredibly high quality for your money.
The main downside I would give to the Grado SR225 is the fact that it has a strangely heavy cable. I know this may sound like a strange complaint. However, when you’re sat at a computer desk and you accidentally knock the cable around, it can quickly become a bit of an irritant.
AKG K550 Closed-Back Reference Class
Oh my lord, these headphones are comfy! Maybe only rivaled and beaten by the Beyerdynamic headphones which I mention later on. They have a great even response across the board. Perhaps they maybe have a little too much bass for some users. However, others may love the extra bass. I know that these are great when I’m doing single player gaming and don’t need a microphone.
I would have to even go as far as to say that these may be the best headphones on this list for gaming, which aren’t actually made with gaming in mind. The slightly extra bass response is great for games such as Call of Duty, and I’ve also been using it to play Elder Scrolls Online recently, and I’m quite happy playing for hours with these headphones on.
Philips Fidelio L2 Audio
I’ve chosen these Phillips headphones as an option as they are great for those who will be mostly using them with a mobile phone. They include a microphone on the cable, as well as a button to accept incoming calls. I imagine these would be great if you travel a lot. These would be great if you regularly travel on the tube in London to get to work.
Phillips aren’t always associated with creating great sounding headphones. You normally look to Sennheiser, Bose etc when you think of quality audio. However, they’ve really knocked it out of the park with this headset. Admittedly, they are not the cheapest product on this list, but they are, in my opinion, one of the most attractively made.
They are quite bass heavy once again. Therefore, if you don’t like too much bass, I would avoid these. However, they’re not ridiculously heavy on the bass-scale. If you’re coming from something like a Beats headphone, which has purposefully accentuated bass, then you may not notice it as much. However, if you’re used to quite a neutral audio spectrum, it will be quite noticeable.
At the end of the day ‘sound’ is very personal. Some people like certain sounds, while others may hate it. Therefore there are some who will think that these headphones are fantastic, and others who will think they’re pretty average. I would recommend trying them in a store!
Sennheiser HD 598 Over-Ear
This is arguably the best Sennheiser on the market for the average consumer. Usually high end audiophile level Sennheiser’s are out of the budget of your average person looking for a headphone, however, they’ve pulled it out the bag with this one.
These headphones are incredibly comfortable, and I was able to wear them for a few hours with relatively little discomfort. I also liked the fact it came with a microphone, which I tested over Discord while playing some games online, and it worked well. No complaints in that area anyway.
I don’t really have any specific issues with the Sennheisers. It is a very good purchase, and is an incredibly priced pair of headphones. However, there are products on this list which are better. But, if you want to spend a little less, then this may be your choice. If you want a big of an improvement, and willing to spend up to $50 more, then look elsewhere on this list.
Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro
My only complaint with the Beyerdynamic DT 770 is the fact that the cable is not detachable. However, this headphone is also specifically made for studio use, so you could argue that removing the cable is never going to really be a requirement.
I would say these are the most comfortable over ear headphones on this list. You really can’t go wrong with these, unless you’re looking for a pair which you want to wear out and about regularly. I probably would not wear the Beyerdynamic DT770 outside of the house. I keep them in my home-studio.
The noise isolation on these is great. Something I enjoyed doing was watching movies late at night (Lord of the Rings!), and it literally just felt like I was in my own little cinema.
I would say the BeyerDynamic DT770 is in my top three on this list. I really do quite enjoy them, and have no complaints so far.
Sennheiser HD 380 PRO
This is one of the cheaper options on this list. As usual, they’re quite neutral sounding, and provide great isolation from the sounds around you.
These don’t leak a lot (if any) sound outwards. Therefore they’re a favorite for individuals who are tracking vocals. However, I would also recommend them to people who may listen to music in bed and don’t want to wake up their significant other.
These are a fantastic choice for those of you who may not be audiophiles. At the end of the day, if you’re a true audiophile, you’re likely looking to spend more than $200. However, in this price bracket, you can do better. But, this is definitely lower in the $200 range, so may be better for those of you who are on a budget.
This is my budget choice on this list, and by far the cheapest option.
Firstly, they are quite bulky headphones, which may put some off. In addition to that, they’re definitely far from the best looking headphones on this list. However, if you’re just going to be sitting at your computer using them, then what they look like is hardly relevant.
The ear pieces are very large, but still very comfortable. I could imagine that these are great headphones for those of you with larger heads or ears. Also, do to the larger size of the ear cups, there are some large drivers fitted in the JVC
The cable is a bit excessively long, which is my main gripe with this JVC headphone. However, this may be a benefit for some of you.
Sennheiser GAME ONE
The main thing I look for in a pair of headphones which I will be using for gaming, is comfort. Arguably, I don’t actually care that much about the sound quality. When you’re spending this much, the sound quality is always going to be at least ‘good’.
The Sennheiser Game One comes with velvet like ear cups, which are very comfortable. They could be slightly softer, however, they really are quite comfortable headphones. Comparing them to the Beyerdyanamic, they’re nowhere near as comfortable. However, they also have nowhere near as much padding.
This is definitely the best overall over-ear headset for gaming on this list.
Ah, the classic Sure SRH440. A fantastic pair of headphones, no matter what the use.
I remember having a myriad of these headphones in the music department of my school, so regularly would use them when recording music. They’re incredibly sturdy, and do the job very well.
I’d say they’re not exactly ‘up there’ when it comes to comfort compared to other headphones. So, if you’re looking for a pair of headphones which you can wear for hours, perhaps avoid these.
They are on the cheaper end of the scale of this list, so the lack of comfort may be something you’re willing to give up in exchange for Sure’s sterling reputation.
Best Over Ear Headphones for Gaming
Best Over Ear Headphones for Music
Best Overall Over Ear Headphones
Conclusion on the Best Over Ear Headphones