Best Open Back Headphones under $200

Open Back Headphones Buying Guide

With the availability of music in today’s world, everyone has their listening preferences. No matter your beat, whether rock-n-roll or blues, everyone can agree on one thing: you want good sound! Selecting a good pair of headphones is essential in hearing the music you love the way it’s meant to be heard and there are a few things to look out for before you pick out your listening gear.

Finding your comfort zone

You have to find your comfort zone. Since you tend to listen to music for extended periods of time, comfort is probably the most important thing to consider when picking out a pair of earphones. For example, if your ears are large, you might find that headphones that are meant to cover the whole ear might not fit yours exactly right. If your ears are sensitive or you’re prone to ear infections, ear buds might not be a great fit for you.

Main types of headphones

The three main types of headphone styles to consider for your comfort preference are over-ear, complete ear coverage where your ear is completely surrounded, on-ear, where the headphone rests against your ear, and in-ear, which are ear buds that sit in your ear. There are pros and cons of sound quality for each type but it’s a personal choice on whether or not it’s comfortable.


Another thing to consider is the portability of your gear. If you spend all day in an office listening to Pandora on your desktop, you might find that you need a pair of headphones that fit easily in your desk drawer and have a long enough cord to allow you free movement around your desk.

Likewise, if you tend to listen to tunes while completing your jog around the neighborhood, you might want to consider a pair that is able to be breathable, since ear sweat is ridiculously uncomfortable, and something that is noise canceling since you’ll be dealing with outside noise.


Last, but certainly not least, you’ll want to consider the durability of your headphones. While you can certainly go out and get a really cheap pair of ear buds if you have to, it’s not what you want to do after spending hours researching the perfect set. Unfortunately, the more durable anything is, the bulkier it tends to be, but there are compromises and new innovations that allow for less bulk nowadays. Make sure to read reviews and ask around before you get to the picking-out-stage of purchasing.

Once you’ve figured out the style, portability, and durability you’re going to need from a pair of earphones, it’s time to explore the different brands available. You’ll hear a few in particular that are known for turning out quality listening-gear. Bose, Monster, Audio-Technica, Beats, AKG, Sony, Pioneer, and JVC are some of the top-selling brands in the industry and each has products that get a fair share of encouraging praise from critics.

Depending on what you’re looking for and where you are when you’re looking for it, you’ll likely find yourself gravitating toward specific brands. To help you along, here is a list of our top quality headphones under two hundred bucks.

Top Open Back Headphones under $200

1. Bose SoundTrue Around-ear Headphones II

The Bose SoundTrue is one of the better mid-priced headphones on the market. With superb noise-cancelling features, a lightweight frame, detachable cord, multiple colors to choose from, and soft foam for ear comfort, this product is sure to be one that you won’t regret purchasing.

A lot of audiophiles give Bose a hard time but it’s clear from the quality products they produce time and time again that Bose is still the brand to beat when it comes to music quality. If durability and noise cancellation are your primary desires, this is the set to beat.

2. Sennheiser HD598

This set is entirely too easy to wear and will allow for hours of easy listening without the dreaded headphone headache that you might develop with other types of earphones. This over-ear, open back headset allows your ears to stay cool while not compromising on the quality of sound. In addition, the makers basically wrap your head in a pillow by adding a padded leatherette headband and velour-covered ear pads.

While other people will be able to hear what you’re listening to thanks to the open backs, it’s definitely worth it for the sheer level of comfort these puppies allow for. In addition, you’ll have the option of two cable options, three meters, and 1.2 meters, so you can decide exactly how much wiggle room you want to have without having to take them off. For hours of comfortable listening, this might be the set for you.

3. Beyerdynamic DT-770-PRO-32

Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro is the monster truck of the headphones on our list. At 9.6 ounces, these puppies are not lightweight in the least, but they are built to last and customers are definitely in love with the quality of sound and the durability of the machinery.

The makers of the DT-770 Pro did give a nod to the comfort seekers of the audio world by adding a padded headband to this beast but the real joy of this set is the bass reflex technology that allows you to be enveloped in the crystal clear bass of any song you’re listening to and complete noise cancellation which allows you to get completely lost in the sound. If you are a true audiophile and it’s all about the music quality, this is the set for you.

4. Monoprice 108323

This one has crept onto several lists that agree that this is by far the greatest bang for your buck that you’re going to get. Not nearly as durable as some of our other contenders, the Monoprice still has excellent quality sound for a fraction of the price. What you pay for the bundle, which includes two different length cables, a case, and an adapter plug in addition to the headphones themselves, will only set you back the cost of most replacement cables.

The Monoprice also has a comfortable headband and a noise-dampening feature that will thrill most casual listeners. By far, the most affordable set on our list.

5. Koss PortaPro

If you are looking for style in addition to awesome audio quality, this is certainly the set for you. The Koss PortaPro has a really interesting design that features a multi-pivoting plate and adjustable temporal comfort zone pads. In simpler terms, there are more adjustable what-not’s so you can be comfortable while wearing them for longer periods of time. It’s also the most portable design you’ll come across because it collapses completely and can be stored just about anywhere.

With glowing blue lights and extra switches on the exterior, this might look like you’re the captain of some sort of really hip spaceship. This is your set if you want next gen technology and crystal audio quality for an affordable price.

No matter what your audio preference, you can find your fit with just a little research and some help from fellow audiophiles. Good luck!

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