The Best 5 Closed-Back Headphones under $200 – Quality Gear Shouldn’t Cost a Fortune

Closed-back headphones offer a more intimate sound experience with less environmental noise, meaning they’re perfect for commuting, recording, listening to music at home, gaming without annoying outside noise. Instead of just buying trendy headphones or a set of expensive speakers, go with these instead and get quality sound at an affordable price. For that matter, they’re we have compiled a list of the best closed-back headphones under $200 that you can buy.

The Difference Between Active and Passive Noise Reduction

  • Active Noise Cancelling – The difference between ANC headphones and normal headphones is that the ANC headphones are powered by a battery and reduce noises in the low and mid frequencies via digital sound processing to provide an antiphase (inverted signal). Some closed-back headphones with ANC make a noticeable noise, while others are barely audible. Often, the noise-canceling affects the sound response by making bass notes accentuated and muffled.
  • Passive Noise Reduction – Headphones with good passive noise reduction use dense foam padding and provide an airtight seal to block sound from entering from the outside. They don’t interfere with your listening experience, as is often the case with ANC headphones, and offer more noise-reduction in the higher end of the audio spectrum (highs). The better the seal, the more sound is blocked out.

Best 5 Closed-back Headphones under $200

1. Audio-Technica ATH-M50X

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is easily one of the best closed-back headphones under $200. It is ideal for recording studios and any other professional use where you need to listen to sound without any interference from outside sources. The ATH-M50x headphones are comfortable and feature a low impedance of 38 ohms, making them great for all sorts of music and podcasts.

The 45mm drivers produce high fidelity sound with excellent mid-range and high response and clarity. They are a bit more expensive than others on this list but offer better quality. The headphones have three detachable cables to allow a replacement if the original one gets damaged. They also feature a 3.5mm mini jack cable, a 6.35mm adapter, and an extension cord.

What makes ATH-M50x special is their excellent build quality and sound for the $200 budget category. They are versatile enough for multiple applications, comfortable, and have convenient power, studio-grade sound quality, and low distortion over the entire frequency range. The sound is clear and crisp, with a good amount of separation. We don't like their lack of customization, bass, and lack of mic. They might be a little too expensive for some, but for the level of comfort and quality, they're the best.

The headphones are partly made from plastic but are strong enough to avoid any damage from everyday use. The headband is comfortable, and the earcups rotate flat to carry around the neck. They look simple and sleek without any complicated designs that may fall apart with wear and tear. The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones offer great value for money and are some of the best closed-back headphones under $200.

Read full review of Audio-Technica ATH-M50X

Pros

  • Comfortable fit and adjustable headband
  • Great sound quality – studio-grade
  • Includes multiple detachable cables
  • Stylish and sturdy design

Cons

  • Slightly pricey
  • Doesn’t fold
  • Overemphasized bass

Verdict: The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones offer excellent sound quality, great comfort and are among the best closed-back headphones under $200. They’re a bit pricey, but they’re worth it for their sound quality. If you want a pair of studio-grade headphones, these are a perfect choice.

2. Sony WH-1000XM2

The Sony WH-1000XM2 are noise-canceling headphones that feature the most powerful active noise-cancellation technology. They work by blocking out ambient noise while the music plays, and they offer on average 27-30 dB of noise reduction, which is incredibly good. The Sony WH-1000XM2 headphones are designed with an interesting design that is very comfortable to wear although not elegant. They also feature a detachable cable and a gold-plated connector that tears harder.

They feature 30 hours battery life and come with DSEE HX technology to upscale recordings and LDAC Bluetooth codec for better audio quality via Bluetooth when listening to music or playing games on modern smart devices. It also has an NFC connection and easy-to-use physical and touch controls that help you manage audio and headphones settings like NC or Ambient Mode. Although it doesn't impress much through its build quality, Sony WH-1000XM2 offers great ANC for their price, versatility, and comfort quality, making them the perfect commuting or traveling closed-back headphones for under $200.

Surprisingly, these closed-back headphones deliver balanced sound that’s perfect for genres like classical and jazz, but not so much when it comes to rock and metal without being too bass-heavy or overpowering. You can also expect a relaxed and warm bass with extended highs with the right listening levels. The Sony WH-1000XM2 headphones are well worth their price and are a great example of why more and more people are shifting to wireless headphones in the older generations, which offer a better bang for your buck.

If you’re looking for the best headphones with active noise cancellation under $200 that can be used on the go, the Sony WH-1000XM2 is a perfect choice. The low weight of 275 grams makes them comfortable to wear even for a long time. They have a decent sound reproduction, good passive noise isolation, and excellent active noise reduction function that excels at blocking high-frequencies.

Pros

  • Comfortable to wear with well-padded earpads and headband
  • Excellent active noise cancellation technology
  • Very handy touch controls that allow you to easily manage settings and customize the sound
  • Neat wireless features: NFC, Sony DSEE HX proprietary technology and LDAC

Cons

  • Cheap build quality with a lack of finesse
  • High latency for gamers or movie watchers
  • Occasional background noise when ANC is enabled

Verdict: The Sony WH-1000XM2 headphones are an excellent long-term acquisition, especially if you plan on using them on the go since they deliver exceptional ANC performance. Although they’re not the most versatile closed-back headphones under $200, if you’re looking for a highly affordable wireless headphone with active noise cancellation, the Sony WH-1000XM2 is your best bet. However, you can also consider its newer version: the Sony MDR 1000X3.

3. Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro 80 Ohm

The Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro 80 Ohm is an excellent closed-back headphone for more advanced audio recording and mastering for home use and a great option for anyone looking to save some cash by purchasing a pair of studio headphones. It’s got a good audio tuning for a closed-back $200 studio headphone to help its users deliver professional audio recordings but may require some good sound card processing and equalization software like SonarWorks to get the best out of it.

Unlike the ATH-M50, it doesn’t have a foldable design or detachable cables that make it perfect for various studio applications. A longer or shorter cord is necessary, and you want to ensure the most comfortable listening position. On the other hand, the Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro 80 Ohm offers a sound quality much closer to how the sound is recorded by the engineers and producers in professional studios with a more complete reproduction of the audio spectrum.

Ultimately, the Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro 80 Ohm headphones feature a neutral frequency response with a slight treble emphasis, excellent sound reproduction, lightweight construction and can be used for studio work such as voice recording or YouTube video editing at home. The closed-back design allows you to hear the fullest soundstage without any external noise when listening to music or watching movies at home. Plus, it delivers studio-grade sound, comfort, and convenience, making it ideal for professional use and for most music lovers and students.

Pros

  • Studio-grade sound quality with a fantastic audio tuning
  • Great soundstage with a wide and deep bass
  • Very comfortable to wear, especially for longer listening sessions
  • Great build quality with minimal sound leakage and velour ear pads

Cons

  • The sound signature is rather bright, and high frequencies may sound piercing to some
  • Highs lose their detail and clarity when using leather or leatherette ear pads

Verdict: The Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro 80 Ohm closed-back studio headphones are one of the best studio headphones for audio recording, professional monitoring, and mixing under $200 with a long-lasting build and comfortable design. Thanks to the generous velour pads, they’re very comfortable to wear and provide excellent sound quality at a much more reasonable price than their competitors.

4. Logitech G Pro X Wireless Lightspeed Gaming Headset

The Logitech G Pro X Wireless Lightspeed gaming headset is a great choice for any gamer who wants to enjoy a natural audio gaming experience with good positional accuracy and get the most out of their games. Its above-average sound performance, top-of-the-line recording quality from Blue Vo!ce detachable mic, and excellent wireless latency and connection quality make it perfect for use while playing competitively or just listening to music.

The Logitech G Pro X Lightspeed Gaming Headset offers virtualized 7.1 surround sound via DTS Headphone: X 2.0 and a good acoustic punch across all frequencies thanks to the 50mm drivers.

The sound quality isn’t the best overall, especially since it’s a wireless gaming headset and has no analog connection, but it does offer outstanding audio performance compared to other wireless closed-back gaming headsets under $200, such as the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 or SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless.

The sound is crisp and clear, allowing you to immerse yourself in the game and hear everything from footsteps to the sound of a person reloading their gun. The Logitech G Pro X Wireless Lightspeed headset has limited compatibility and only works on PS4, PS5, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

It doesn’t have Bluetooth, but it does have Lightspeed USB Wireless technology that offers low latency and a stable connection up to 50 feet (about 15 meters). Battery life is also good, allowing you to play games or music for up to 20 hours.

The DTS Headphone: X 2.0 with 7.1 surround sound virtualization delivers a decent audio performance, but it’s not great in comparison to our top surround sound gaming headset. Nevertheless, for a closed-back gaming headset that costs around $200, the Logitech G Pro X Wireless Lightspeed offers the best value. Its latency is extremely low, the sound quality is adequate for pro players, and the passive sound insulation is minimal but sufficient for quiet gaming sessions.

Pros

  • Stable Bluetooth connection with low-latency
  • The outstanding sound quality in comparison to other wireless gaming headphones under $200
  • Lightweight design and comfortable
  • Uses latest DTS Headphone :X 2.0 for virtual surround sound

Cons

  • Lacks environmental noise isolation, so high volumes may still leak outside of your gaming environment
  • The fit is loose on people with small heads
  • Earpads aren’t very breathable and are prone to sweating with long gaming sessions

Verdict: The Logitech G Pro X Wireless Lightspeed headset is a great value gaming headset that delivers good sound quality and comfort. For the average gamer with a tight budget, it’s an outstanding choice. Sound virtualization and Lightspeed USB wireless technology provide a fantastic gaming experience. Still, no sound quality can compensate for its lack of environmental noise isolation and breathability for gamers in hot climates.

5. Sennheiser EPOS Game Zero

The Sennheiser EPOS Game Zero gaming headset is one of the best closed-back gaming headsets under $200 and is excellent for FPS games as its audio reproduction is very well balanced, it offers a nice roll-off in the highs, the lows are balanced, and the overall sound signature is comparable to the Sennheiser GSP 600 but without the heavy bass.

The EPOS Game Zero Gaming headset’s closed design provides decent passive isolation while you’re playing with friends or playing alone, but that’s not their best feature. They’re lightweight, weigh 310 grams, and offer great comfort that you won’t realize you’re wearing. The build quality is also very solid and high, with a good headband padding that’s easy to adjust and helps to feel it won’t break after an hour of use.

Compared to the GSP 600, the EPOS Game Zero Gaming headset appears luxurious. The rounded and angled ear cups are very well padded, and they're also foldable. It's similar to PC37X in terms of design and performance, but the Game Zero headphones are closed-back, and the earpads are cushioned with leatherette instead of velour. This reduces the audio leak significantly but reduces breathability.

Audio reproduction is well balanced, mids are smooth, pleasant, and well-articulated, highs are crisp but not overly so, and bass is punchy but not as accurate and well-rounded as the GSP 600. The Sennheiser Game Zero is incredibly good for gaming. Sound-wise, the GSP 600 is preferable, but for comfort and overall performance, the Game Zero is a better choice. Needless to say, both are equipped with top-notch microphones and work with multiple gaming consoles.

Pros

  • Very good sound quality (especially for FPS, unlike the GSP 600, which has darker tones)
  • The leatherette earpads are comfortable and provide adequate sound insulation
  • Lightweight and foldable for easy transportation
  • Good for long gaming sessions or watching movies/music videos

Cons

  • The build quality isn’t very durable, unlike GSP 600 Fixed microphone

Verdict: If you’re not a fan of bass and prefer a closed-back headset with clear, articulate mids, the Sennheiser EPOS Game Zero is a great headset for competitive FPS games because it lets you hear gunfire, footsteps, and dialogue. It is extremely comfortable, lightweight, and easy to carry. It doesn’t have the audio performance of the Sennheiser GSP 600 and can’t take a beating. Still, it offers more comfort than other gaming headsets in the $200 price range and superior performance for first-person shooter games.

Closed-Back Headphones FAQ

What are some good closed-back headphones?

Within a $200 budget, some of the best closed-back headphones are the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro, Audio-Technica ATH-M50X, Sennheiser HD280 Pro, and Logitech G Pro X Wireless. Each of them meets specific needs. The DT 770 Pro and M50X are great for recording, home studio recording, and music listening, while the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro is good for DJ-ing and monitoring. As for the Logitech G Pro X Wireless, it’s a fantastic wireless gaming headset for PS4 and PS5, with low lag and decent sound isolation.

How do I choose my next pair of closed-back headphones?

When choosing your next pair of closed back headphones, think about what sound signature you want to achieve when listening to music. This aspect of your decision will be determined by the kind of music you listen to, how loud you want it to be, and how accurate/natural you want it to sound. If you’re a fan of classical music, then a pair of open-back performance headphones might suit your needs; alternatively, if you like pop music, the overall bass response is more important, and closed headphones offer just that.

Do closed-back headphones leak sound?

Closed-back headphones do leak sound; however, the amount of sound leakage is dependent on how good the ear pads are at sealing and their sound insulation properties. The headphones won’t leak too much sound if the sound insulation is good. Therefore, look for headphones that have a high level of sound insulation.

Do all closed-back headphones provide a similar level of sound insulation?

Not at all; while there are two types of closed-back headphones efficient in blocking external noises: ANC headphones and Insulating Headphones, closed-back headphones don’t attenuate the same amount of sound. Different factors come into play, such as earcup and earpad material, earpad thickness, density, and seal tightness.

Are closed-back headphones good for college students?

Yes, closed-back headphones are perfect for college students who want to focus on their studies in a library or slightly noisier room. Since closed-back headphones keep out the surrounding noises, you are offered the peace and quiet you need to focus on your homework/studies. However, headphones with passive sound insulation aren’t as good as active noise-canceling headphones as they focus more on reducing the volume of high frequencies. Thus, ANC headphones are the best for studying since ANC technology attenuates more efficiently low and mid-range frequencies.

Spoiler: Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless is the best studying headphones for college students as they provide high noise reduction on the whole audio spectrum with an overall attenuation of -25 dB. They’re well within the $200 budget as they cost less than $100, are good-sounding, and provide exemplary sound insulation.

What ear pads are best for closed-back headphones?

Most closed-back headphones use leather or synthetic leather earpads. Even though velour earpads are also popular because they are less expensive, breathable, and more comfortable than leather, they don’t help reduce noise very well and only block a relatively small amount of ambient sounds.

Which pair of closed-back headphones have the most comfortable ear cups and sound isolation?

For the most comfortable ear cups and sound isolation, we recommend Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO. It has a closed, circumaural design with sizeable round ear cups that completely cover your ears. They’re by far the best-sounding and most comfortable closed-back headphones under $200. In terms of sound insulation, they’re not the best, offering an average of -15 dB of noise reduction, but for that, there’s Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless which offers up to -25 dB of noise reduction via active and passive means. Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless is the best closed-back headphone for sound insulation and comfort under $100.

Conclusion

We hope that this article helped you in your search for the perfect closed-back headphones under $200. These are all good headphones for their price range and can provide an excellent listening experience.

If you prefer a more comfortable, lightweight, and stylish design, then we recommend you take a look at JBL Tune 600 BTNC, an excellent on-ear headphone from JBL. For more information on choosing the right closed-back headphones, read this article. LINK HERE

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