Closed-back headphones have become an essential accessory for audiophiles and music enthusiasts, offering exceptional sound isolation and immersive listening experiences. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the best closed-back headphones under $200, helping you decide on your next audio upgrade.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Closed-Back Headphones
When searching for the perfect closed-back headphones, several factors come into play. These include:
Sound Quality and Frequency Response
The heart of any headphone is its sound quality. Look for balanced frequency responses, clear highs, punchy mids, and rich lows to ensure an enjoyable listening experience.
Comfort and Ergonomic Design
Long listening sessions demand comfort. Plush ear cushions, adjustable headbands, and lightweight builds contribute to fatigue-free usage.
Durability and Build Quality
Sturdy materials and solid construction ensure longevity. Headphones built to withstand everyday wear and tear are ideal.
Cable Types and Connectivity Options
Consider detachable cables for convenience and easier replacement. Different connectors and lengths provide versatility.
Advanced noise-cancellation technology blocks out external noises, enhancing your auditory experience.
Top 5 Closed-Back Headphones Recommendations
1. Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro
The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro headphones are renowned for their exceptional studio-grade sound accuracy and detail. They offer three impedance options (32/80/250 ohms) for various listening preferences. The comfortable velour earpads make extended listening sessions a pleasure. While they excel in sound quality and comfort, their bulkier design might be less suitable for outdoor use. However, their durability and versatility make them a favorite among audio professionals.
|Aspect||Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro|
|Impedance Options||32/80/250 ohms|
|Sound Quality||Studio-grade accuracy and detail|
|Comfort||Comfortable velour earpads|
|Outdoor Use||Bulky design less ideal for outdoors|
|Durability||Sturdy build for extended lifespan|
- Three impedance options for tailored listening experiences (32/80/250 ohms)
- Remarkable studio-grade sound accuracy and detail
- Comfortable velour earpads for extended use
- A bulky design may not be ideal for outdoor use
- Limited portability due to lack of a folding mechanism
2. AKG K553 MKII
The AKG K553 MKII headphones are known for their precise tuning and balanced tonal representation. With an over-ear design, they provide excellent noise isolation. The detachable cables offer convenience and easy replacements. While slightly heavy, these headphones offer remarkable audio quality. For optimal performance, a dedicated headphone amplifier might be recommended.
|Aspect||AKG K553 MKII|
|Sound Tuning||Precise tuning, balanced tonal response|
|Noise Isolation||Excellent noise isolation with over-ear design|
|Detachable Cables||Convenience for cable replacement|
|Weight||Slightly heavy for extended use|
|Amplification||Might benefit from a dedicated amplifier|
- Precise tuning and balanced tonal representation
- Over-ear design provides excellent noise isolation
- Detachable cables for hassle-free replacements
- Slightly heavy, may cause discomfort during extended use
- It may require a dedicated headphone amplifier for optimal performance
3. Audio-Technica ATH-M50xDS
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xDS headphones are famous for their iconic sound signature with deep bass and detailed highs. They come with detachable cables and various audio accessories, enhancing their usability. The rotating ear cups allow for easy one-ear monitoring. While their clamping force might feel tight initially, and the ear cushions could get warm during prolonged use, their sound quality and versatility are impressive.
|Sound Signature||Iconic sound with deep bass and highs|
|Detachable Cables||Enhances convenience and customization|
|Monitoring Feature||Rotating ear cups for one-ear monitoring|
|Comfort||Initial clamping force, warm ear cushions|
|Sound Quality||Impressive sound quality and versatility|
- Iconic sound signature with deep bass and detailed highs
- Detachable cables and multiple audio accessories included
- Rotating ear cups for easy one-ear monitoring
- The clamping force might feel tight initially
- Ear cushions can get warm during prolonged use
4. Shure SRH840A
The Shure SRH840A headphones boast accurate and transparent sound reproduction. Their ergonomic design includes an adjustable headband and collapsible construction for enhanced portability. While the cable is not detachable, the replaceable ear cushions contribute to their long-term durability. Although the headband padding could be thicker for added comfort, these headphones offer exceptional sound clarity.
|Sound Clarity||Accurate and transparent sound reproduction|
|Ergonomic Design||Adjustable headband, collapsible structure|
|Durability||Replaceable ear cushions, sturdy build|
|Comfort||Thicker headband padding desired|
- Accurate and transparent sound reproduction
- Ergonomic design with adjustable headband and collapsible construction
- Replaceable ear cushions ensure extended durability
- The cable is not detachable, limiting customization options
- Headband padding could be thicker for enhanced comfort
5. SENNHEISER HD 569
The SENNHEISER HD 569 headphones are known for their Sennheiser signature sound clarity and dynamic bass. Their lightweight and comfortable design makes them suitable for extended listening sessions. The noise-isolating closed-back design enhances the immersion. However, the non-detachable cable might pose challenges for replacement. Overall, these headphones offer a balanced and immersive listening experience.
|Aspect||SENNHEISER HD 569|
|Sound Quality||Sennheiser signature clarity and dynamic bass|
|Comfort||Lightweight, comfortable design|
|Noise Isolation||Closed-back design enhances immersion|
|Balanced Sound||Offers a balanced and immersive experience|
- Sennheiser’s signature sound clarity and dynamic bass
- Comfortable and lightweight design suitable for long listening sessions
- Noise-isolating closed-back design enhances immersion
- Non-detachable cable might pose replacement challenges
- Bass might be overpowering for those seeking a neutral sound
6. Pioneer DJ HDJ-X5-S
The Pioneer DJ HDJ-X5-S headphones provide high-quality audio suitable for both casual listening and professional monitoring. Their flexible headband and swiveling ear cups cater to DJs. The robust build ensures durability. However, sound leakage might be noticeable at higher volumes, and the ear cushions might become uncomfortable during extended use.
|Aspect||Pioneer DJ HDJ-X5-S|
|Audio Quality||High-quality audio for various scenarios|
|DJ-Focused Design||Flexible headband, swiveling ear cups|
|Durability||Robust build designed for longevity|
|Sound Leakage||Noticeable at higher volumes|
|Comfort||Ear cushions might cause discomfort|
- High-quality audio suitable for both casual listening and professional monitoring
- Flexible headband and swiveling ear cups for DJ use
- Robust build designed for durability
- Sound leakage might be noticeable at higher volumes
- Ear cushions might become uncomfortable during extended use
Closed-back headphones offer exceptional noise isolation, making them suitable for private listening and on-the-go usage. In contrast, open-back headphones prioritize natural sound reproduction but lack noise isolation, making them ideal for quiet environments.
Evaluating the Value: Price-to-Performance Ratio
To determine value, calculate the price-to-performance ratio by dividing the headphone’s price by its overall performance rating. This helps you pinpoint headphones that offer the most bang for your buck.
Maintenance and Care for Closed-Back Headphones
Proper maintenance ensures your headphones remain in pristine condition. Regular cleaning, safe storage, and cable management contribute to their longevity.
Making an Informed Purchase Decision
Choosing the perfect closed-back headphones involves a balance between personal preferences and technical specifications. Prioritize the factors that matter most to you while considering the headphones’ intended use.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are closed-back headphones suitable for outdoor use?
Closed-back headphones are excellent for outdoor environments as they provide noise isolation, minimizing external distractions.
Can I use closed-back headphones for gaming?
Yes, closed-back headphones offer immersive gaming experiences by isolating you from external noise and enhancing in-game audio.
How does noise-cancellation technology work?
Noise-cancellation technology uses built-in microphones to capture external sounds and then generates sound waves that cancel out these noises.
What’s the difference between on-ear and over-ear closed-back headphones?
On-ear headphones rest on your ears, while over-ear headphones enclose your ears, providing better noise isolation and comfort.
Are expensive cables worth it for closed-back headphones?
High-quality cables can make a difference in audio quality, but the improvement might be marginal for most listeners.
As you embark on your journey to find the perfect closed-back headphones under $200, consider your unique preferences and requirements. The recommended models highlighted in this guide offer a range of features to suit various listening scenarios, ensuring an enriched auditory experience that fits your budget.