Best Budget Open Back Headphones 2020 : Buying Guide & Reviews

Expert Contributor

Rose Annemarie

Do you want a pair of high quality $200 open back headphones that have ear pads and are comfortable to wear? Maybe your looking for them to provide a luxury listening experience, and give you studio level sound quality? Well we have a simple solution for you – you need open back headphones!

This piece will take you through our best headphones with an open back design, providing key information of how to find the best devices in this department that pack a punch. Some headphones come with a hefty price tag, so we’ll help you find top open back headphones that help you get the best for your chosen price range.

First, we’ll answer all your key questions such as “what are open back headphone models”?, “how do I find the best budget open headphones for me?”, and “what is the difference between open backed headphones and closed back headphones?”

It couldn’t be easier to find the right pair of headphones for you, that provides an amazing build quality for the best budget price – so read on to find our picks for the best cheap open back headphones.

10 Best Open Headphones Under $200

Here is our top ten guide for the best open back headphones under $200. Each carefully selected product will consider the construction, material, weight, feel, and look of headphones – so we can help you find a brand of headphones that are tailored to your needs.

Use this article to peruse a pick from Amazon -an affiliate advertising program which works by minimising advertising fees. We’ll find the best match for you with our variety of options. Let us take care of the rest… have a read to make your selection!

1.AKG pro audio k712pro studio headphones

AKG Pro Audio Studio Headphones

Best Features:   High Frequency Response. Maximum Comfort.

Our first pick is from the brand AKG Pro Audio, and is the K702 Over-Ear Open akg k702 open back headphones. This set of headphones comes highly rated and reviewed by Amazon users, so they’re one of the best picks to start with.

Key Info

These sophisticated HIFI headphones meets all the criteria in your concern. We give it five stars in comparison to other makes, due to its sophisticated open technology for an airy sound without compromise.

The unique flat-wire voice coil gives you a high level of sensitivity and a better frequency response. What’s more, these have nothing on other makes when it comes to comfort – as the specially shaped 3D foam earcups provide optimum fit and ease of use. With durability, comfort, and a sleek black color, you should have no problem with these open back studio headphones… they’re truly great in our opinion, and definitely a top pick at the start of the line up.


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2.Beyerdynamic dt 990 pro open studio headphones 250 ohms

Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO Open Studio Headphones

Best Features:   Durable and Robust. Easy Use for Professional Audiophiles.

Our second pick is the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO Open Studio Headphones, which come in two color choices and is highly rated by most reviewers. They’re ideal for a range of functions and are a good mid-range pick that provide a balanced sound. For over ear headphones, you’ll be hard pressed to find a set with this good sound profile and frequency range.

Key Info

Amazing for professionals and DJ enthusiasts alike, these open back headphones have a brilliant build quality; the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO is therefore well suited for studio applications such as mixing, mastering, and editing due to their well balanced sound stage and fabulous bass and treble sound quality. There’s also replaceable soft earcups for maximum comfort. These HD headphones also come at an excellent value, as their construction and sturdy material provides durable listening at a low amount of money.

The padding of the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO will offer a truly comfortable listening experience, whilst the clarity, detail and accuracy of elements such as vocals, as well as the headphone amplifier system and frequency response range, will provide you with something special. It’s an option like no other- and for this reason we highly recommend the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO for home use!


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3.Hifiman he4xx planar headphones

HIFIMAN Planar Magnetic Open Back Headphones

Best Features:   Extended Warranties. Focus Pad Technology.

Our third lot of best budget open back headphones comes from HIFIMAN, with the Hifiman he4xx planar magnetic headphones. This make rests comfortably around the $200 mark, so it is one of the more expensive options.

Key Info

This brand has a brilliant deal on these balanced sound, over ear headphones. These planar magnetic open back headphones can have an extra three months added to the existing warranty if you register your product on HIFIMAN’s website. What a brilliant company deal.

What’s more, the earcups are FocusPads, which are new beveled ear pads made of pleather. These brilliant planar magnetic open back headphone makes are intended for high performance studio listening, or also at home. With well balanced sound quality, they are some of the best open back headphones on this list.

The way to comfort and happiness with over ear, open back headphones is through these planar magnetic headphones – which comes at a brilliantly low price! Big name brands such as Sony couldn’t even company to how many recommendations there are for this market favorite.


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4.Philips Fidelio bluetooth headphone m2btbk

Philips Fidelio Over-Ear Open Back Headphone

Best Features:   HD 50 mm Drivers. Open Air Architecture.

This next listing comes from Philips Audio, with the philips x2hr fidelio Open Back Headphones – which come with 50 mm drivers. These are some of the best open back headphones un $150. A bargain price and excellent sound quality – you need these budget headphones!

Key Info

The Philips Fidelio offers a lot of brilliant features for people who prefer over ear headphones, and they’re highly rated by customers – even above makes such as the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO, or other Philips designs such as the Philips SHP9500. Customer review comments from users all over the United States leave a glowing recommendation of the Philips Fidelio.

The Philips Fidelio also offers replaceable deluxe memory foam earcups, which are finished with a breathable material. The driver size of 50 mm and unique HD driver design makes these earphones well worth it for their price… you could do a lot with these. People agree that this model offers something for everyone – in accuracy and detail of vocals, the comfort of the earpads, and more. There’s always a reason to spend your money on these great studio headphones, which also come with a lightweight, self-adjustable hammock with 3D mesh. The fact of the matter is, the manufacturer is on your side for comfort, quality, and just about every other thing you could think of.


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5.DROP + HIFIMAN Headphones

DROP + HIFIMAN Planar Magnetic Over Ear, Open Back Headphones

Best Features:  Smooth Sound and Brilliant Voice Coils. Comfortable Audio Experience.

Another great addition within this category, our midway listing is the hifiman he-400i over ear full-size planar magnetic headphones, which have recommendations all over the market – from lots of different people. A great set of audiophile headphones under $200.

Key Info

These over ear open back headphones are said to give you audio performance at an entry level price – and this is true, by all means. These premium headphones come with one of the more agreeable prices, and leave you plenty of space for comfort to enjoy these headphones without an issue in your surroundings. The soft ear-fitting pads and breathable synthetic leather give you plenty of air and space.

What’s more, the 50 mm HD dynamic drivers have been developed specifically for these open ear headphones, being re-tuned for an improved frequency response. Soft to the touch, they do the job at one of the lower prices we’ve seen. With so many recommendations, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t enjoy these from the comfort of your bed room.


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6.Audio Technica Open Back Audiophile Headphones

Audio Technica Open Back Audiophile Headphones

Best Features:  Build Quality. Comfortable, Ergonomic Design.

Our sixth premium open back headphones option is the Audio Technica Open Back Audiophile Headphones in black. Wonderful for all frequencies and anything you use these for, in any place around the home, these headphones beat the others. Their balance is great for recording and mixing compared to other products.

Key Info

These Audio Technica headphones are sure to grab your attention more than products found elsewhere on the website – never mind earbuds, these have the whole package. With the clarity and detail on the natural vocals, and astounding instrument reproduction, these offer everything listeners could need with no sign of a downside. Set aside your doubts and take a further look…

The comfortable ear-fitting pads offer no sense of pressure, whilst the sleek black look means that both comfort and aesthetics are on your side – two key features. With the way the 3D Wing Support Housing works, you’re given a vibration-proof product worth the money… the padding, accuracy of vocals, and general noise quality is attested to in reviews. The sound of these best open back headphones is well balanced and a joy to experience. Better than rivals like the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO or Sennheiser HD 600.


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7.Audio Technica ATH-AD700X Open Back Headphones

Audio Technica ATH-AD700X Open Back Headphones

Best Features:  Strong Sound Profile and Balance. Light Weight with a Premium Range of Frequencies.

These open back headphones are only slightly different to the option before them. These Audio Technica headphones are the audio technica ath-ad700x audiophile headphones, compared to the previous Audio Technica AD900X model. Their build quality, sound profile, and treble profile is music to your ears…literally. The reviews boast that this thing is top for studio level clarity, and it’s clearly something special.

Key Info

This choice offers all the benefits of the over ear headphones at position 6, with sensitivity of 100 dB/mW. The full open-air type headphones offered by Audio Technica give you natural sensations with not one bit of head or ear pressure, and the lightweight aluminum honeycomb casing gives excellent acoustic qualities for many of your noise needs… whether gaming, music, whatever – you get studio quality at a not-so-studio price. They are well-balanced, impressive, and one of the best open back headphones on this list. Props to Audio Technica…something special here.

If we could offer you any advice, it would be to have a look at the potential afforded by this headphone set’s mechanism. For all environments and purposes, in effect these give a serious advantage. Your decision should be easy.


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8.Audio Technica ATH-AD500X Audiophile Over-Ear Headphones

Audio Technica ATH-AD500X Audiophile Over-Ear Headphones

Best Features:  Flexible Raised Fabric – No Question of Comfort. Great Head and Ear Support with Minimal Discomfort for the Listener.

It seems we can’t get enough of audio technica aud athad500x audiophile open-air headphones, Audio Technica here again… as our eighth choice comes from the same range again, only this time it’s the 500X model!

Key Info

With their sound profile, sleek design, and ear comfort, it’s no wonder we’ve chosen these again. Get the sound and fit you want on your terms with these pairs… anything you’re after, we guarantee they’ll give you at premium quality. The open air headphones offer great feel and performance for their type, no matter what room you’re in. Recording, listening, gaming – it’s perfect for all, and soft to the touch too.

These picture perfect headphones are great for any song, as the depth and fidelity of sounds offered is on par with some of the most expensive sounding headphones. They offer everything listeners look for at just a fraction of the price… so they’re bound to be light on your wallet if you give them a go. The ear cups give you a great sounding listen, so you can connect these to your phones and either play games or listen to music on the go, and the build quality is truly fantastic.

Order now, because we can’t see a downside… none- the feedback is positive.


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9.Samson Technologies Semi-Open Back Studio Headphones

Samson Technologies Semi-Open Back Studio Headphones

Best Features:  Large 50 mm Drivers. Premium Finish, with Easy Function.

Our penultimate choice provides not only some of the best over ear headphones under $150, but they’re some of the best open back headphones – or semi open back headphones – overall. Beating out rivals such as the Beyerdynamic BT in price and sound, samson sr850 semi-open-back studio reference headphones is a brilliant lot to opt for.

Key Info

Any fan of high quality audio products will know how important it is that the over ear headphones of choice provide quality sounds with premium comfort. So, for any audiophile, these are fabulous products.

The circumaural over ear headphones design gives a comfortable experience thanks to the velour cushioning. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve wanted a headset to be more comfortable – so with this little beauty you really have no issue! The materials used, as well as the frame and velvet effect cushions, make these an ideal case of the device made for any person with taste.

Don’t just take our word for it, use your common sense and look to the thousands of users who have had no issues or concern – on the whole, these deserve a presence in your room.


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10.Monoprice Modern Retro Over Ear Headphones

Monoprice Modern Retro Over Ear Headphones

Best Features:  Soft and Durable Materials- No Heads Hurt!. Sound Precision over a range of Songs and Genre.

Our final choice is, according to Amazon, ‘perfect for mobile devices and audio/ video production’. It’s the Monoprice Modern Retro headphones, which come with glowing reviews.

Key Info

The soft split leather cans of these headphones prevent fatigue of the ear and head and assure that there will be no clamping force as you listen. Better than most competitors such as the Beyerdynamic DT, these provide a professional sound from low-cost earphones, which are perfect on the go for mobile devices.

The 50 mm Drivers are larger than most headphone drivers, which helps to give you a set of over ear headphones with open back design that have rich bass, squeaky clean vocals, and a brilliant frequency response. Great noise quality, wonderful back cans with great performance. Thanks to Monoprice, look no further for great value products… any audiophile has to have these!


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Best Open Back Headphones Under $200

Our choice of the best open back headphones for this bargain price has to be the Fidelio Over-Ear Open Back Headphones from Philips. These headphones are great quality for an even greater price, and offer so much potential for audiophile-approved listening. No products match these!

Philips Audio Fidelio X2HR Over-Ear Open-Air Headphone 50mm Drivers- Black
  • Hi-res Audio Certified with extended response frequencies
  • Engineered double layered ear-shells with pre-tilted speaker plates
  • 50 mm high definition neodymium drivers with LMC diaphragm
  • Acoustic open-back architecture
  • Replaceable deluxe memory foam ear-pads with breathable velour finishing

Cheapest Product Available

Our cheapest product available, of all the ones we’ve shown you, are the Samson Technologies SR850 . You have to note how well these little dynamic headphones play sound, with their quality connectors perfect for any environment or distance. Do your research, take your notes, but these are number 1 for sure.

Samson Technologies SR850 Semi Open-Back Studio Reference Headphones, Black
  • Professional studio Reference semi-open headphones designed for tracking, mixing, mastering and playback.
  • Proprietary large 50mm drivers with rare earth magnets deliver an extended frequency response and great dynamic range
  • Circumaural, over-ear, design with velour cushioning provides outstanding comfort for long listening sessions
  • Self-adjusting headband for optimal fit
  • 1/4" Stereo Adapter included

Do You Need Open Back Headphones Under $100?

Many of the options we’ve given you, for starters, are under or around $100… so you should be able to find a result easily with minimal hands-on navigation. If you’re looking to approach a version of headphones under $100, we recommend the Monoprice Modern Retro headphones – as every review notes how brilliant the value is. Pop over to the Amazon page to have a look… no surprise here, there’s hundreds of reviews telling you positive points about these headphones with consistency. Their style is impeccable, they’re one of a kind – sheer perfection.

Monoprice - 116150 Modern Retro Over Ear Headphones with Ultra-Comfortable Ear Pads Perfect for Mobile Devices, HiFi, and Audio/Video Production Black
  • The soft split-leather ear pads help prevent fatigue and the large size will fit comfortably around almost any set of ears.
  • The 50mm drivers are 25% larger Than most headphone drivers which helps them produce a solid 15Hz 25kHz frequency response with Deep and rich bass clean and sparkly highs and expressive vocals.
  • Professional sound from everyday headphones. Looks great anywhere you go
  • Enjoy clean robust sound across the Audio spectrum. Sensitivity 94db ± 3db
  • Perfect for mobile devices hafiz and Audio/video production


What Are Open Back Headphones, Exactly?

When searching for your favorite headphones, open back or otherwise, you’ll want to know what the key terms and definitions are for the best budget headphones. So, an open back headphone model is a pair of headphones that have an open back: the ear cups of these headphones are unconcealed. This allows air to travel through ear cups to the speaker element of the headphones

This means that pressure can’t build up and affect the sound quality of the headphones. Gone are the days of echoes… open back headphones give you a sound profile and sound experience that is amazing for any of your listening sessions. The audio quality of open back headphones is greater than that of closed back headphones, so if you want a pair of comfortable headphones with great sound for all of your gaming sessions, you might want to look at these. However, there is a chance of sound leakage that is avoided with closed back headphones.


Open Back Headphones Buyer’s Guide 

Considerations When Choosing Open Back Headphones

Of course, before delving into the search for a pair of studio headphones with great sound quality, you’ll want to consider how to spot the best pair of headphones for your price point. There are some great budget, high end, and mid range picks – and here are our key tips for helping you find them:


You’ll need to consider first of all what you’re using your headphones for and what sort of listening experience you want to have. From your planar magnetic models to your Sennheiser HD 600 models, the key is to find a pair with quality sound for whatever your use, from studio use to gaming headsets.

Are you using your headphones with audio equipment or studio applications? Because some headphones will be more suited to this. Do you want to use your headphones on a commute? Keep in mind that open back headphones have a great noise isolation but are hard to cancel out background noise… so if you’re trying to block out your little brother and get some peace, it may be trickier with these headphones.

Sound Quality

You may also want to consider the type of quality or sound reproduction that your headphones’ design will give you. Anyone well acquainted with the headphone world, or considers themselves ‘audiophiles’, will know how each instrument sounds, and how different genres of music and each sound signature transmits through your ears at the required volume.

So, if you want premium audio performance and great sound output with minimal sound leaks, you need to consider this before you drop a hundred bucks. Bass headphones are great for hip hop listening or studio mixing.


Another key consideration before buying one of the best open back headphones you can buy, is considering the comfort and the fit. Do the ear cups look comfortable to wear – do the headphones maybe have plush padding? Yes, audio output is important, but build quality is just as important when it comes to quality headphones. You need to seek a good model that has comfy ear pads and a good headband design that will minimise ear fatigue.

Typical Cost of good Open Back Headphones

The best budget open back headphones are easy to find whatever your price range. But, it’s important to keep in mind that the price tag of headphones could differ depending on the features offered. If you’re after one of the best pairs of headphones for the comfort level, that have velour earpads to cushion your ears, then this may be pricier than your typical over ear pair.

Other features of open or semi-open back headphones, such as the sound isolation or ability to provide great sound or a decent bass response, can also affect the price point of some headphones. Make sure you read product reviews and have a look through a range of quality design headphones before you commit to a provider of your audio experience. Some offer velour padding, some planar magnetic systems, but all with a decent headphone design are worth your money.

Before you think that open back headphones are too pricey for you, and you type in the “best closed back headphones under $200” into your Google search bar, consider this key fact: you can find a pair of the best open back headphone models right here in this article!

Open back headphones typically cost between $100 and $150, while all of our headphones in this list provide you with best budget headphones with an open back design, whilst giving you a great listening experience.

About This Expert

Rose Annemarie
Full-time writer. Blogger. Dedicated wife. Mother of 3 amazing kids. I love learning about everything from the latest tech gadgets, innovative new home designs and can be found regularly reading up on parenting tips. There is always room to grow!