Music is the one thing that unites everyone across the globe. Language barriers, cultural differences. These all fall down when it comes to an infectious beat. Music is so ingrained into our collective mindset that entire cultures are built around its power.
And we are lucky to live in an age where we have an abundance of fantastic music available at the press of a button. Music streaming platforms, our phones, CD’s, and iPod. Most people can’t go for a walk these days without some music blasting in their ear. And to do that you need some good earbuds.
So we are going to try to narrow down the earbud selection for you and see if we can’t find the best earbuds under 200 dollars. We are going to be looking at a varied selection of products, but most of these aren’t your typical 10-dollar quick pair of earbuds. They are products designed with power in mind and made to last. To that end, we have made a small Buyers Guide to give you some tips on what to consider before you buy.
Buyers Guide: How to Choose a High Quality Pair of Earbuds for Less than $200
Earbuds Vs Headphones
Before we go any further, we should clarify these reviews are for earbuds under $200, NOT Headphones (Or Headsets if you like.) So if you really want a powerful, flashy headset, this isn’t the place to be. You can instead look at our other reviews of the best overall headphones(all types) under $200, or if you want to spend more, then these great headphones for less than $500 will be ideal for you.
If you are unsure if you want earbuds or Headphones, let’s look at some of the advantages to earbuds.
Firstly, earbuds are far more convenient in terms of storage, transport, and ease of use. With the use of a simple case, earbuds can fit stealthily into your pocket and stay out of your way as you go about your day to day activities. Not to mention they are lighter when worn. If you are more concerned with tech and sound quality, this might not be an issue for you. But if style and discretion are for you, earbuds are the way to go.
Second, earbuds are the perfect choice for anyone with an active and fast-paced lifestyle. Lots of modern earbuds are designed with sports in mind. So while you are running, exercising, or jumping about, they stay secure.
As tech improves, the amount of features that are available within products also increases. This can be confusing as more products throw lots of words at you. So here are a few of the things you might want to look out for, and what they mean.
The most common phrase you will see. This simply means the earbuds connect to your device remotely, via Bluetooth or an app. This means you can move freely without the restriction of wires going from your phone.
Some earbuds will offer one, or both, of these boosting options. Bass and Treble are parts of the actual music. Boosting them creating variations in the vibrations and creates a different listening experience. If you are really technical about your sound, look out for this.
This term is not a fixed one. A lot of good earbuds will have a small control unit along the wire that allows you to increase/decrease volume, Pause/Play music, or even access voice commands. If you are interested in controlling your music without using your phone, look out for this.
Continuing from the Control Panel, some of the best earbuds will have a small microphone attached somewhere, meaning you can use it to access voice control commands, or even make phone calls without having to hold your phone to your ear. If communication is a priority in your life, definitely lookout for this.
We don’t mean car drivers. Drivers are the devices that create the music. Until the signal hits a driver, it is nothing more than electrical patterns. A driver converts it into an audible sound. High end earbuds will advertise quality drivers as a selling point, some offering Dual Drivers. The better the drivers, the better the audio quality. So if a pristine sound is important to you, this is a vital factor.
How We Select the Best Earbuds Under $200
Our selections are made based on a varied criteria listing. We did not simply grab the most expensive, top of the line products. Instead, we looked at a lot of factors such as:
- Price Vs Features
- Variation in Style
- Great Battery Life Vs Price
- Personal Preference
- High Build Quality
You can trust we have assembled this list with you, the customer, in mind. We want to help you find the best product for your needs. So, without further ado, let us dive in!
1. RHA T20 Wireless in-ear monitors
Our list kicks off with one of the more expensive earbuds under $200. But the price tag reflects the build quality and great sound of the product and the features list, and they are of course still less than $200.
The RHA T20 is one of the best choices for anyone looking for customization and control over their music and listening method. It comes with both Bass and Treble boosting controls, meaning audio-heads will be able to listen to music with great sound and a bass heavy experience.
This pair of earbuds is unique because it offers both wireless AND wired options, within the same purchase. Making use of MMCX housing units, the RHA T20 lets you decide if you want to manually connect it to your phone or use the Bluetooth connection for more flexibility in your movement.
Speaking of Bluetooth, it boasts a 12-Hour battery life. So you are guaranteed to be good for long trips, heavy workout sessions, or just a casual listening session. Customer feedback for the product has confirmed that the Bluetooth connection is strong, with a very low chance of echo, random disconnecting, or stuttering.
The product comes with a small carry case, but it could be worth investing in a stronger one, as it isn’t a top-quality protective case. But this is at your discretion.
The look of this product is one that I, personally, love. The sleek stainless-steel housing pairs well with any outfit and the subtle cables are easily hidden away around your neck. If you are concerned with wires dangling from your ear though, that is unavoidable with this product.
For those looking for more in-depth technical knowledge, it comes with Dual-core Drivers. This creates a greater vocal sound for your music and a sharper sound overall. If your choice of music is anything with a lot of vocal work, this product is well suited.
- Wireless and Wired capability
- 12-Hour Bluetooth with a strong connection
- Dual-Core Drivers with an emphasis on Vocal sound
- Stainless steel housing unit for the speakers
- Small Carry case included
2. Apple AirPods 2 with charging case
No product list looking at the best earbuds under $200 is complete without mentioning the pinnacle of Earbud style, at least as far as the public eye is concerned. Apple’s signature AirPods stepped onto the scene and quickly made a name for themselves.
Before we say anything, this product will ONLY work with Apple products. So if you are an android user, move right along.
That being said if you want the most seamless integration with your Apple device, and perfect compatibility with Siri, AirPods might be for you. The product makes use of the new Apple H1 chip, which creates a strong, consistent wireless connection with your device. There is very little chance of it dropping.
The product comes with a handy charging case, custom-designed to fit the Pods snuggly. The case can hold two charges, meaning you can have three charges worth of listening time before you need to plug it all back in.
If you aren’t one to make use of Siri and the voice control functions, the AirPods have manual controls on them, allowing you to pause/play/skip and adjust the volume without uttering a word or getting your phone out.
As always, Apple puts a time of time and effort into making products that produce a crisp, high-quality sound. AirPods are no exception. If you are an audio-head, these will not disappoint.
- Charging Case – Holds 2 Full Charges
- Fully Wireless
- Complete Siri Integration
- Manual playback control
- Crisp, Strong Audio
- H1 Chip creates Strong Wireless Connection
The only downside to a product like this is the price tag, but you can find it renewed for less than $200. Also, they only come in one color so anyone looking for a non-white product, you will be disappointed.
3. Bowers & Wilkins PI3 in-Ear Wireless Headphones
The small package good things come in. Bowers and Wilkins PI3 Earbuds are a compact powerhouse that will appeal to any active music lover.
Bowers and Wilkins have put a lot of time and effort into making their speakers as compact and comfortable as possible, without sacrificing quality. These earbuds feature both an armature drive and a dynamic driver, encompassing a large range of musical qualities, styles, and sounds. This is backed up by separate amps, meaning the audio levels are consistent and loud enough to meet your preference.
They are fully wireless, with no option for wired connection. They boast 8 Hours of battery life, which is solid enough. It isn’t the best battery life for the price, but the size of the speakers and the sound quality is where this unit shines. But, it is fast charging compatible so you won’t have to wait long before you can get them on again.
The wires are soft-coated silicone and rubber, which makes them a comfortable wear. And the whole look of these earbuds is superb. The sleekness of the speaker units is given a big boost by the compact size. The neat-black color scheme will complement any look.
The system comes with a control unit on the wire with an inbuilt microphone to allow for phone calls and voice control functions to be utilized. And, of course, you can control music playback and volume here as well.
- Armature and Dynamic Drivers
- Full Wireless connectivity
- Very Comfortable Fit
- Fast Charging compatible
- Inbuilt Microphone
The downsides to this product, in our opinion, is the price against battery life. It is on the expensive side. The price is more than fair for anyone looking for top-quality audio. But if longevity is your desire, this might not be for you.
4. Bose SoundSport Free, True Wireless Earbuds
Bose is a household for quality speakers and headphones. And their earbuds are no exception to this stamp of quality.
This product is one of my favorites due to the practicality it presents. This product is aimed at athletes engaging in fast-paced or movement centric sports. And to highlight this, we can see the “Ture Wireless” feature. These pods sit snugly in your ear and have no cables attached anywhere. They are discreet, comfortable, and secure. If mobility is your need, these earbuds rain supreme.
They are water-resistant allowing them to be used in the rain, and they are also immune to sweat. The battery life is only 5 hours, but they are designed for use during sports so that is understandable.
They boast a good audio quality. They aren’t the best on the market for it, but unless you are a real stickler for audio technicalities, you will be more than satisfied.
These earbuds also come with a handy charging and storage case. Plus, Bose has a tracker app that allows you to find them if you happen to lose them. A small feature that speaks volumes to the care that has gone into this product.
- Fully Wireless and Well Balanced
- 5-Hour Battery life
- Comes with a charging case
- Companion tracking app to Find Lost Earbuds
- Water and Sweat resistant
- Comfortable in-ear fit
- Phone Call support for Right Earbud
The downside is the price. If athletics are a big part of your routine, these are a sound investment that will improve your workouts ten-fold. But if sports aren’t your thing, these aren’t the earbuds for you.
5. V-MODA BassFit in-ear Wireless Sport Headphones
If you are looking for a pair of great earbuds to take out running, but don’t want to sacrifice audio quality, this is the product for you.
The V-MODA BassFit boasts an 11 Hour battery life, with fast charging support, and complete water resistance, to deal with any sweat or sudden rain. It also has a control unit attached to the wire, allowing you to control your music on the go.
But those features, combined with the 10mm Dynamic Drivers, are what stand these earbuds aside from other sports products. With an emphasis on bass boosting and control, any music lover with a lust for running will be right at home with these good earbuds.
- Easy to Use Wireless Connectivity
- 11-Hour Battery Life with Fast Charging
- Water and Sweat Resistant
- 10mm Dynamic Drivers
- Control Unit
The downside is these are missing a couple of features, such as treble control or a built-in mic, which is always a welcome feature. But for the price, these are a fantastic choice for any runner.
6. Sennheiser IE60 headphone
Sennheiser products have a philosophy of bringing top-quality audio and making the music the start feature. And the IE60 Earbuds keep to this.
These great earbuds make use of specialized magnets within the speakers to create a crisp, unbeatable sound quality. And this is backed up by a strong noise-canceling feature that will let you immerse yourself into your music.
They are not wireless, which can be a pain if you have one of the newer, no aux, phones. But for everyone else, the input system means they produce top-quality sound and never need charging, which is always a plus.
To top it all off, they are unbelievably sleek. Black goes with everything and the subtle casing units mean they will compliment your look, rather than dominate it. Resting at the midrange for pricing, these earbuds are a fantastic choice for anyone concerned with top-quality audio at the best price.
- Dynamic Speakers using neodymium magnets
- Wired Connection
- Noise Cancellation
- Fantastically Priced for Audio Quality Provided
The downside is, of course, the lack of more modern features such as wireless or a control unit. But this is all easy to overlook if you are simply concerned with the best sound.
7. Shure SE215-cl Sound Isolating Earphones
The words ‘Sound Isolating’ immediately put any of the best earbuds higher up in my personal regard. The SE215 Earbuds are, at a glance, your standard wired earbuds. But these are geared more towards the professional musician than anyone else.
The sturdy wire and compact design makes them very portable and durable, for any backstage handling or battering they might encounter. And if you are in the editing suite, trying to find the perfect sound, they are fitted with bass enhancers to help you find the perfect sound.
Noise Isolation is where this product really shines. If you need to get work done in a noisy environment, or working backstage during a show, these will make things easier without a doubt.
- Wired Connection
- Bass Boosting gives a great bass response
- Strong, durable cable – Well designed noise isolation earbuds
- 32db Noise Cancellation
- Comes with a carry case for every day use
The downside to these is the lack of more modern features. No wireless connectivity or control unit. But the pricing is solid and, when the noise cancellation is taken into consideration, they are an excellent deal.
8. 1MORE Quad Driver in-Ear Earphones
If you are looking for a product that matches top-notch sound quality with elegant style and is bundled with accessories, the 1MORE is for you.
This product takes its sound quality to the next level, boasting FOUR drivers. Three of these are your usual, yet powerful, balanced armature drivers. But the fourth is a Diamond-Like Carbon Dynamic Driver. If you are someone who doesn’t know how to fiddle with bass and treble settings, but still wants a professional sound, this product has it all done for you. No need to change a thing. Just plug in and listen.
The control console unit has a built-in microphone, which is a huge boost, and full control options. This is paired with a complimentary travel case, multiple different fitting options and a seamless aluminium finish in a sleek black colour.
This is my pick for the best earbud under $200 allrounder option in the wired earbuds category.
- Four Drivers for Top Quality Audio
- Wired Connection
- Case included as standard
- Control console with Inbuilt mic
The downside to this product is the lack of wireless and options for manual bass/treble control.
9. Pioneer Rayz Pro Active Noise Cancelling Earphones
Last on our list, but certainly not least, the Pioneer Rayz Pro is a excellent utility pair of earbuds that can meet the demands of its user, all while looking stylish as hell.
These earbuds are rocking good sound. But by no means the best quality audio out there. But it makes up for this with its reasonable price tag and its list of features.
The control console attached is extremely versatile, being fully compatible with both Android and Apple voice control functions. So you can call on Siri with ease. This is backed up by a very snazzy changeable connector port, allowing you to connect to both apple and android products. Making this product a perfect gift.
One feature it has that sets it apart from a lot of other the other best earbuds under $200 is the smart charge feature. Aimed at Apple devices, it allows you to charge your phone while still using the ear headphones. So if this has been an issue for you as an Apple user, this is the product for you. And to top it all off, they are noise cancelling as well. A big plus in our books.
- Wired Connection
- Good Audio
- Multiple Connectors for both Android and Apple
- Full Voice Control integration
- Control unit attached
- Smart Charge feature
The only downside is the lack of wireless. Other than that, these are a fantastic deal given the price tag and features list.
Last update on 2020-09-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API