Best Headphones Under $200
Great headphones don’t always come for a premium price tag, and cheap headphones aren’t always bad for putting them back in the box. Thankfully there is a middle ground to work with, where the Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 stands out as a great example due to its superb sound quality, long battery life and a comfortable fit over the long term.
1: Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2
The Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 has been out on the market for a few years now, but maintain the pole position on this list to offer a real price for a simple price. Onboard media controls are highly reliable, and the battery life is still long by 30 hours on a single charge today. Also, it doesn’t hurt that they are really comfortable to wear for a long time.
Plantronics likes to use a neutral soundstage in its headphones, and the Backbeat Pro 2 is a standard-bearer for the company in that regard. The bass is modest, yet very suitable for genres with more demanding than low end of the spectrum for audio, such as EDM, hip hip and R&B. The thing is, it doesn’t overpower the issue of differentiating other musical tastes, and that’s where their versatility really shines.
The Plantronics endowed with the Backbeat Pro 2 is a significant size reduction compared to the previous talk. By shaving a fair amount of ghee into the ears, it produced a very comfortable comfortable pair of over-ear cans that feel super soft without inducing discomfort or fatigue. For comfort, the Backbeat Pro 2 are decent. One caveat is that larger heads may fit over time as well as slightly, forcing smaller intercepts to occur during subsequent sessions.
Battery life is excellent, given how long they have been out, only their longevity means you have to have a micro-USB cable. Plantronics never updated them with a USB-C port, nor with fast charging capability. And for this reason, it can take a good three hours to empty them from full charge. If you need these in a pinch, you will need to make sure they have some juice left.
2: Jabra Elite 75t
When it comes to true wireless earbuds, this pair of Jabra earns its name. The Elite 75T holds some major advantages over the others, and it starts with their excellent comfort. The slimmer and lighter design pays dividends in other ways, the least of which is the lack of ear fatigue after prolonged wear. Variable ear tips in the box can help create the necessary hard seals to get the most out of audio quality.
The default sound profile is good, but you can always skew it to come to your liking. Jabra’s Sound + App has an equalizer for such purpose. If you tamper with it, it is limited in scope, but still reasonably effective. Out of the box, the sound is slightly annoyed towards the low-end – likely to compensate for any damage from the fit in your ears. It is not over the top by any means, and many styles will look good, as it is. Without active noise cancellation, passive noise isolation is the next best thing, and it is quite good here.
Jabra’s improvements expanded the Elite 75t to run longer. You can get up to 7.5 hours of battery life on a single charge. The included charging case takes an additional 20.5 hours for a total of 28 hours. It charges over USB-C, but does not support any type of wireless charging, which is one of the only drawbacks to this excellent option.
3: 1More Triple Driver
If wired earbuds are your priority, the 1More Triple Driver is a great option. The sound quality is aimed at those who want bass, but equally cares about the detail that comes from the mids and highs. Naturally, you can’t find audiophile-grade stuff here, but you’re getting a real bang for your buck, which is what this list is all about. What 1More tried to do with the triple driver is not from one part of the spectrum to the other. The Balancing Act pays off, although the higher parts are slightly sluggish at higher pitches.
As far as comfort is concerned, they are excellent. And there is a big reason why there is a cavalcade of ear tips coming into the box. There are no less than nine pairs of them to choose from, with different sizes, but also different materials. In addition to the six silicone tips, you also get a trio of foam tips that are excellent to suit the shape of your inner ear to create better passive noise isolation.
For cable only, you get standard in-line controls to control volume, play / pause and wake up your digital assistant. Battery life is not a concern because they are not wireless, and the cable itself is well built with Kevlar material for added durability. The only catch is that if your phone does not have a headphone jack then you will need an adapter.
4:Bose SoundLink On-Ear
On-ear headphones don’t always get a lot of love, but they are out there, and if you have a preference, the Bose Soundlink may be worthy of your ears. They lack the noise isolation of over-year couples, but they sure live comfortably as your ears are still largely exposed.
This will give some relief to your ears, but may allow some sound to be leaked to the public, which may not be an issue in fast environments, but can be annoying to those in quiet environments. The soundlink goes with a largely neutral sound signature that tries to balance things as much as possible. For this reason, they will not sound heavy on the bass, nor is there so much influence on the treble. This is a mid-range approach that can work well if it suits your taste.
They can go up to 15 hours per charge, which is not bad for a decent set of on-ear headphones. The good news is that you get fast charging capabilities, where a 15-minute charge can give you two hours. If you want to go from empty to full, however, give it a good three hours. A big reason is that they use MIcro-USB instead of USB-C for charging.
5: Jaybird Tarah Pro Wireless
The Jaybird Tarah Pro may not actually be wireless, but they succeed in covering two areas simultaneously. They are still wireless with a cable connecting the two earpieces, and are designed with durability in mind. In other words, you can use them while moving around, or while sweating. And it helps that they are comfortable to wear in any scenario.
The sound quality is mostly balanced with bass at a slight expense on the tray, which comes as a pretty solid, consumer-friendly default. Being sporty earbuds, it’s not surprising that they sound that way, but Jaybird has a secret sauce that is worth exploring. The Jaybird app has an equalizer, as well as a community of users who have created their own presets to further enhance the sound. This is really an excellent tool to use to change the kind of sound you make out of them.
They last up to 13 hours on a single charge. They take about two hours to fully charge, and unfortunately, Jaybird uses a proprietary cable, so if you plan to take them with you for extended periods, you should dissolve it with you Have to remember
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