Whether it’s listening to your favorite tunes, blocking out noise on the commute home from work, or concentrating on your favorite video game, headphones are becoming more and more of a necessity in our contemporary, technology fuelled society.
There is so much that we need our headphones for, from relaxing, to working and beyond.
Headphones can be a pricey investment that can set you back significantly, especially if you are hoping on getting a pair that are durable and offer a fantastic sound quality.
They might be hard to come by, and there are definitely well-made, long-lasting headphones out there that offer a wide range of benefits and don’t completely break the bank.
With this in mind, we are going to be taking a look at some of the best headphones available that don’t crawl over the $300 mark. These can still be a sizable investment, but you can be sure that these choices will last you a good long while and provide everything that you are looking for in a set of headphones.
Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 250 Ohm Over-Ear Studio Headphones
The DT 770 Pro 250 OHM Over-Ear Studio Headphones are an excellent choice for professional work as well as for casual listening. The 250 OHM (OHM being the measurement of impedance in headphones) makes this a particularly professional choice, as does their reputation in general.
These headphones are a popular choice with those in the music business (such as sound technicians and music producers), thanks to the incredible sound volume, their spacious reproduction ability, and their bass referencing. That doesn’t mean that they are intended only for professionals. They are also easily able to be utilized by casual listeners and music lovers.
Known for their acoustic definition, the fine detail of these headphones allows for noise to well and truly be quietened while still allowing ambient noise to flow in and out freely.
These headphones are also incredibly comfortable, thanks to the spring steel headband that keeps everything firmly in place. The soft ear cups offer a great deal of comfort no matter how long you need to wear them and are also adjustable.
- An OHM of 250 making for a truly professional product that can also be used casually.
- A choice of headphones with less powerful OHM’s if you so choose.
- Strong sound quality with powerful treble, voluminous bass, and spacious reproduction.
- An accompanying 3-meter coiled cable.
- Soft, velour ear pads that offer continuous comfort.
- Durable and long-lasting
- Not collapsible
Also available at Beyerdynamic.com
Beats Studio 3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones
Beats are a well-known brand of headphones and for good reason. Not only are they a trendy and stylish choice, they also offer wireless, noise-canceling headphones with excellent quality when it comes to sound and technical performance.
Beats are a versatile option, compatible with Android and iOS devices and easily connected with Bluetooth technology. The sound of the Beats wireless headphones utilizes Pure ANC (Pure Adaptive Noise Canceling) to block out any noises and allow for complete isolation.
The headphones will also use audio calibration in real-time to increase the definition and the clarity of the sound.
You can also be certain that Beats are a comfortable experience too, with over-ear cushions that are ergonomically designed to pivot and adjust to any shape and size head! They also have venting technology and are designed to be long-lasting.
There is always the worry of charging when out and about with wireless headphones, but Beats makes this part simple, coming with a 2.0 USB charger cable, an easy-to-carry hard shell carrying case, and a RemoteTalk cable.
- Pure ANC for crisp, clear sound and noise cancellation.
- Stylish and attractive.
- Compatible with iPhone and Android.
- Real-time audio calibration.
- Ergonomic, collapsible design.
- Comfortable ear pads.
- Comes with two cables and a portable, sturdy shell carry case.
- Loses some functions if you do not have a compatible phone or MP3 player.
Also available on BeatsByDre.com
Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones
Anker offers a highly affordable take on high-end headphones that are practical and contemporary in design with the Soundcore Life Noise Cancelling Headphones. These headphones come with high-resolution audio that reduces the ambient noise of the outside world by up to 90%.
The noise-canceling mode has been fine-tuned by Anker and utilizes a digital noise-canceling algorithm – alongside four built-in noise-canceling microphones – to give you the best experience possible. When the headphones are in wireless noise-canceling mode, they can last up to 40 hours when used at 60% volume, which isn’t bad for a headphone set that is less than half the cost of that $300 mark.
When in standard mode, battery life increases to 60 hours, which is great to know if you have a long journey ahead of you, such as a plane ride.
There is also the option of turning the bass to extreme levels via the BassUp technology that the headphones implement. This tech analyzes low frequencies in real-time and will strengthen the output of the bass accordingly, simply by the press of a button.
This is particularly useful if you are a fan of bass-heavy music genres, such as hip-hop, or synth and electronica.
Bluetooth connection to connect to a range of items, from smartphones to tablets and laptops, and more. You’ll also be able to take your headphones with you easily on the go, thanks to the travel pouch that comes with it, alongside a Micro USB cable and a 3.5 mm AUX cable to plug in should your wireless battery start draining.
- High-quality and high-resolution audio.
- Noise Cancelling Mode.
- BassUp Mode.
- Accessories include a travel case, a charging cable, and an AUX cable.
- Bluetooth allows for compatibility with various devices.
- Available in three different colors.
- On the cheaper end of the scale.
- Not collapsible.
Also available on Anker.com
Audio Technica ATH-M40x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones
Another relatively cost-effective choice, these Audio Technica headphones are great, thanks to their accurate and crisp sound, durability, and the sound isolation that they offer.
The unique feature of these headphones is their design, with ear cups that turn ninety degrees to allow you to collapse them entirely or collapse just one ear cup and make it turn away from your head – should you need to tear yourself away from your tunes for a moment.
This is a clever way to increase the practicality of the headphones without losing any of the function or style.
The ear cups themselves are professional grade – as is the headband- to make for a highly comfortable choice of headphones. These Audio Technica headphones also come with several accessories, including a carrying pouch, two detachable cables, and a screw-on adapter.
- Great sound quality and sound isolation.
- Robust design.
- Comfortable and soft ear cups and headbands.
- Various accessories.
- The clever design of ear cups allows for one-ear monitoring.
- Though the design of the ear cups is well-thought-out, it could lead to some fiddling around if the cups keep swiveling against your will!
Also available on Audio-Technica.com
Now that we have looked at some of the best headphones available for under $300, let’s dive into the key factors that you need to consider when choosing the pair that is right for you.
If you are a stickler for high-quality sound, you need to consider what each pair of headphones offers in terms of sound before you make your choice. If you are in the market for noise-canceling headphones, look for a pair that offers sound isolation capabilities specifically.
If it is a buzzing bass line you are after, some headphones offer certain options for music that is more bass-heavy. Decide what it is you are looking for with the sound, and you should be able to find something to fit your needs.
Design and Ergonomics
The design of your headphones can be very important, seeing as if you select an inappropriate set, it could lead to a lot of head pain! Opt for a highly adjustable set if you can, so that you don’t have to worry about the headband being too loose or too tight, or the ear cups crushing your head.
The chances are that you are probably planning on taking your headphones out and about with you, but if this isn’t the case (you might work from home and are only planning on using them when you are there), then portability isn’t a feature you need to worry about.
If you are going to bring them with you outside, the portability of your headphones is essential to consider. Make sure that you are prepared to take them anywhere, at any time, and in any weather. Look for a pair of headphones that comes with a handy traveling case if portability is a significant factor for you.
This is another factor that depends entirely on how you intend to use your headphones. If you want to be able to use them wirelessly, having Bluetooth connectivity is essential. However, you need to make sure that you pick a pair of headphones that can connect to the appropriate devices.
If you don’t check, you could end up getting headphones that connect only to an iPhone when you have an Android, or vice versa!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Headphone Impedance?
Impedance is a term you will see a lot when shopping for headphones, but what does it mean? The term relates to how a pair of headphones react and resist electrical currents within them.
This means that if you have higher impedance headphones, you will need more power to get them to reach a louder volume than you would need with low impedance headphones.
What are the Different Kinds of Headphones?
We have only discussed over-ear headphones here, but if these aren’t suitable for you, there are tons of other options available, including the following:
- In-Ear Canal Headphones
- Behind the Neck Headphones
- Regular In-Ear Headphones
- Clip-On Headphones
- Earbud Headphones
No matter what your personal preference is with headphones, you are sure to find something that suits your needs.
What Headphones Sound the Best?
This is a matter of personal preference, of course, but headphones that are similar to the ones that we have discussed here (over-the-ear headphones), offer an amazing level of clarity as well as comfort, thanks to the soft ear pads.
They don’t put too much pressure on the ear – the outside and the inside – as they sit comfortably around them instead and can usually be adjusted to suit your needs. They are an all-rounder when it comes to headphones – particularly in sound quality – but have a proper search around and see if there is something more suited to you if it isn’t over-the-ear headphones that you are after.