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Best Bluetooth headphones under $200

It's worth spending a decent amount of money on Bluetooth headphones, but no need to break the bank.
By
November 4, 2021
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2
By Audio-Technica
Product shot of Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2
7.9
Check price
Positives
Sound quality
Battery life
Bluetooth 5.0, SBC, AAC, LDAC, wired
Equalize
Negatives
Heat buildup
Tight fit
The Bottom Line.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 is the gold standard for no-nonsense Bluetooth headphones.
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Plantronics BackBeat FIT 6100
By Plantronics
The Plantronics BackBeat Fit 6100 in black against a white background.
8
Check price
Positives
Bluetooth 5.0
Lightweight
Water resistance
Battery life
Negatives
Imprecise touch controls
microUSB charging
The Bottom Line.
The Plantronics BackBeat Fit 6100 is among the most comfortable workout headphones out there, with a sound profile tailored to a session at the gym.
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Sennheiser PXC 550-II
By Sennheiser
Product render of the Sennheiser PXC 550-II noise cancelling over-ear headphones against a white background.
8
Check price
Positives
High-quality Bluetooth codecs
Noise cancelling
Portable and comfortable
Neutral frequency response
Negatives
microUSB
Battery life is just okay
The Bottom Line.
This is a solid set of premium headphones with plenty of connectivity options and a portable design.
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Sony WH-CH710N
By Sony
The Sony WH-CH710N in black against a white background.
7.7
Check price
Positives
Battery life
Comfortable
Reliable connection
Price
Negatives
Build quality
ANC just okay
No LDAC support
The Bottom Line.
Sony makes great noise cancelling headphones, and the WH-CH710N gets you more than halfway there for less than half the price.
Read full review...
Razer Opus
By Razer
The Razer Opus noise cancelling headphones in black against a white background.
8.1
Check price
Positives
Decent ANC
Build quality
Audio quality
Value
Negatives
Microphone is not great
Uncomfortable with glasses
The Bottom Line.
The Razer Opus does basically everything you want in headphones and pretty well.
Read full review...

The sound quality may not quite measure up, but when you’re out and about nothing quite beats the convenience of wireless headphones. The best wireless headphones work with everything, sound great, and are comfortable to wear for hours on end. However, while spending a decent chunk of change on a pair of headphones can definitely pay off, you don’t need to absolutely break the bank to find some that check all the boxes you want. Here are some of the best Bluetooth headphones under $200 on the market right now.

Editor’s note: this list was updated on November 4, 2021, to add Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2.

The Audio Technica ATH M50xBT2 is the best Bluetooth headphones under $200

Audiophiles and audio enthusiasts know Audio-Technica as a premium audio company that puts out high-quality affordable headphones time and again. Audio-Technica hit it out of the park with its wireless headphone debut.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2
7.9
A man wears the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 pressing the buttons on the left ear cup.Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 with pouch, USB cable, and headphone jack cable on a bench.Birdseye view of Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 with pouch, headphone jack, and USB cable on bench of leaves.Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 getting stowed away in a black bag.Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 slung over the back rest of a bench.Close up of the buttons and connections on Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 ear cup.Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 on a bench with leaves showing the cushions of the ear cups.Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 with one ear cup rotated laying flat on leaves.Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 packed away in included vinyl bag.Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 with headphone cable plugged in, held in a hand.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2
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If you liked the ATH-M50x, you’ll love the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2—this headset is almost identical to the wired version, which brings the same pros and cons. The company adds playback controls and retains the same synthetic padding, which is a bit thin. A sturdy metal band reinforces the headband and you can twist it every which way without breaking it. When you need to travel from one gig to the next, you can just compact the ear cups toward the band and place it in the carrying pouch. Listeners who want a bit more assurance may want to invest in a separate headphone case.

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 isn’t a flashy pair of headphones, instead the headset nails the audio quality the company is known for. It includes the necessities to keep pace with the best of them including Bluetooth 5.0 and LDAC support. Battery life is also excellent; this headset lasts a bit longer than 64 hours.

If you’re looking for Bluetooth headphones under $200 that can do it all, the ATH-M50xBT2 is your best bet.

What you should know about Bluetooth headphones

The Razer Opus sits in its carrying case on white shelf
The Razer Opus comes with a 3.5mm cord, along with a USB-C to USB-A adaptor, and the shortest USB-C charging cable we’ve ever seen.

There are all sorts of features to be on the lookout for when you’re shopping for Bluetooth headphones under $200. One of the most meaningful is active noise cancelling (ANC), but what is it? You can dive deeper if you really want to learn the science behind it, but if you don’t feel like dusting off your old textbook and want the TL;DR version, here it is.

Start here: Ultimate headphone buying guide

Tiny microphones built into the headphones pick up what’s going on around you and then play the opposite sound wave into your ear along with your music. Because the sound wave that’s produced by the headphones is basically the exact opposite of the one that’s outside of the headphones, it cancels out. Leaving you with just the blissful sound of your music. See? That wasn’t so bad. Science can be cool.

What is a Bluetooth codec? Which ones matter for your needs?

The next thing to really consider is Bluetooth codec support. Some of this depends on the device you use with your headphones, but what makes LDAC or aptX HD good? We’ve got a bit of technical jargon to go over, but we’ll try and keep it relatively short.

Best wireless headphones: A chart showing the AAC Bluetooth codec's performance on the Huawei P20 Pro, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, LG V30, and Apple iPhone 7.
The AAC codec performance varies greatly depending on what source device is being used.

LDAC is supposed to be better is because it has a higher bitrate than the standard SBC codec, but our testing reveals that LDAC falls short of hi-quality claims. aptX Adaptive, while impressive, didn’t make the splash that many hi-fi wireless audio fans hoped, but it’s still around for those interested.

AAC is a pervasive high-quality codec that performs far better on iOS than it does on Android. AAC can be good and reliable on Android but its performance greatly depends on the hardware. If you’re in the market for headphones to use with your Google Pixel phone, maybe avoid the AirPods.

For a great workout experience, check out the Plantronics BackBeat Fit 6100

The Plantronics BackBeat Fit 6100 checks all requirements for a great pair of Bluetooth headphones for working out. This headset is comfortable, lightweight, and water-resistant (IPX5 rating). The memory foam earpads evenly distribute weight, and they’re plush enough to be comfortable with glasses.

Plantronics BackBeat FIT 6100
8
The Plantronics BackBeat Fit 6100 workout headphones next to biking gear.A woman wears the Plantronics BackBeat Fit 6100 workout headphones against an off-white wall.The Plantronics BackBeat Fit 6100 workout headphones with the ear cups folded up toward the headband.The Plantronics BackBeat Fit 6100 workout headphones' ear cups slightly angled to show the 40mm dynamic drivers.The Plantronics BackBeat Fit 6100 workout headphones' headband adjustment mechanism.A chart depicts the Plantronics BackBeat Fit 6100 workout headphones' isolation performance.A chart depicts the Plantronics BackBeat Fit 6100 workout headphones' frequency response from the 40mm drivers.
Plantronics BackBeat FIT 6100
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Other great features include Bluetooth multipoint support, which lets you connect two devices to the headphones simultaneously, and it may remember up to eight devices for fast switching. Standalone battery life is great, too; you get ~27 hours of listening on a single charge. Once the battery dies, you only need to charge for 15 minutes to get six hours of playback. One of the greater annoyances is the microUSB, but it’s forgivable considering how much these headphones offer.

Sound quality isn’t the best because auditory masking rears its ugly head into nearly all media playback, but since the BackBeat Fit 6100 are explicitly billed as Bluetooth workout headphones, the emphatic bass response makes sense. In fact, many athletes prefer this type of sound to keep them pumped during their routines.

You might like: Where’s the best place to buy headphones?

On the whole, Plantronics’ Bluetooth headphones and earbuds are no stranger to success and the same goes for its latest over-ear model. Plus, the tension headband is a neat, yet functional trick for adjusting the headset according to your workout intensity.

The Sennheiser PXC 550-II sounds great and lets you EQ the sound

Sennheiser often drops the price of the PXC 550-II to just shy of $200 USD, which is great news for anyone who wants ANC bundled into a great-sounding headset. The frequency response is fairly neutral and will reproduce audio with minimal low and midrange frequency exaggeration. You’ll have to live with microUSB to charge, which can be annoying if you want one cable to rule them all.

Sennheiser PXC 550-II
8
The Sennheiser PXC 550-II noise cancelling headphones folded on the outside of a backpack.Product render of the Sennheiser PXC 550-II noise cancelling over-ear headphones against a white background.The Sennheiser PXC 550-II noise cancelling headphones hanging in front of a fence and plants.An isolation/ANC chart depicting the Sennheiser PXC 550-II noise cancelling performance overlaid atop the passive isolation performance; low-frequency sounds are heavily attenuated and sound 1/2 as loud as they sound sans-ANC.A chart depicts the Sennheiser PXC 550-II frequency response which is neutral-leaning across the bass and midrange spectrum.
Sennheiser PXC 550-II
Buy now
See review
See review

The PXC 550-II supports a great number of Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX, and aptX Low Latency. While the ANC is not on the same level as the venerated Sony WH-1000XM4 or the Bose QuietComfort 45, it’s at least $100 cheaper, and blocks out low droning noises competently. You get Bluetooth multipoint for easy device switching and the Sennheiser app lets you create custom EQ settings, making this a versatile companion.

The Sony WH-CH710N brings virtual assistant integration and noise cancelling for a low price

While Sony flagship headphones the WH-1000XM4 may be the current king of the audio market, you don’t need to spend so much to get a solid pair of noise cancelling headphones. The Sony WH-CH710N offers slightly stepped-down performance for a reduced price.

Sony WH-CH710N
7.7
Shot of the inside of the Sony WH-CH710N earcups on red book with brass pen.Shot of the Sony WH-CH710N on a wooden balance board and green jacketClose-up shot of the Sony WH-CH710N headband padding pictured on top of red book next to gold glasses and brass pen.Close-up shot of the inside of the earcup for the Sony WH-CH710N on a red bookMan holding Sony WH-CH710N in hand with focus on the inputs on the left earcup with a green jack in the backgroundShot of the Sony WH-CH710N flat on a green jacket with focus on the inputs and buttons.The Sony WH-CH710N on a green jacketShot of the NFC logo on the Sony WH-CH710N earcupSony WH-CH710N pictured on a orange book with a multitool and pen in the background.Isolation graph showing the active noise cancelling of the Sony WH-CH710N which do a good job cancelling sound under 300Hz.

These over-ear Bluetooth headphones feature a lightweight plastic build, which brings some durability concerns, but makes for a solid travel companion when paired with the rotating ear cups. The ANC feature isn’t as proficient at filtering out low-end noise as these headphones’ flagship sibling, but it still works reasonably well. And on top of that, the WH-CH710N features a very accurate audio output.

These headphones come with virtual assistant integration, so you’ll be able to get Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant reading your texts to you and answering your questions on the fly. These headphones also offer absolutely fantastic battery, clocking in at 41 hours, 35 minutes of playback on a single charge. When you finally do run the battery down, you’ll be able to get an hour of playback time after only 10 minutes of charging.

The best for commuters and movie buffs is the Razer Opus

Color us surprised when Razer’s foray into audio headphones was subdued compared to their other products. While the microphone is not our favorite, and the headphones are not recommended for those with glasses due to discomfort, it has a decently neutral frequency response. Razer teamed with THX—the film sound experts, owned by Razer—to create EQ settings, which likely will appease the movie and music fan. These are accessible through the companion app.

Razer Opus
8.1
A man wearing the Razer Opus walks across the Cambie Street Bridge in Vancouver, BC, Canada.The Razer Opus sits on wooden surface by a window with the blinds down.A frequency response chart for the Razer Opus, which shows some boosted bass and under-emphasized highsA chart depicting the noise cancelling abilities of the Razer Opus headphones, whereby midrange frequencies are rendered 1/2 as loud as they'd sound sans-headset.

The noise cancellation is okay, not industry-leading, but it’ll still help most people’s hearing by keeping the volume low on the bus or train. In our tests, the Opus lasted 27 hours, 41 minutes with ANC on, which is middling, but Razer thoughtfully provides a headphone jack should you need it. You get aptX and AAC which satisfies the majority of users out there. The Opus has a lot of good features, but one gets the sense it’s a product resulting from compromises and a lack of defined vision—could that be because you can’t wear glasses with it? Does that mean you should skip it? No, it’s a good all-around option worth your time.

The best Bluetooth headphones under $200: Notable mentions

The Sennheiser HD 350BT next to the Sennheiser HD 450BT Bluetooth headphones to illustrate how similar the two headphones are to one another.
The HD 350BT (left) looks nearly identical to the noise cancelling Sennheiser HD 450BT (right), but the former has a looser headband tension which makes it more comfortable.
  • Anker Soundcore Life Q35: With better battery life than pretty much any headphone on this list, the Life Q35 makes for a great travel companion.
  • Beats Solo3 Wireless: If you must get a pair of Beats headphones, the Solo3 Wireless is a pretty good pick with its portable design and W1 chip.
  • Bose QuietComfort 35 IIBose’s QC 35 II headset often goes on sale for less than $200 USD, and that’s currently the case. This headset performs very well against the newer QC 45 and pricier Apple AirPods Max.
  • Jabra Elite 45hThese on-ear headphones have stellar battery life, and a compact design. You can EQ the sound profile in Jabra’s mobile app, and it supports Bluetooth multipoint for increased productivity.
  • Jabra Elite 85h: This headset fluctuates around the $200 price, at the moment it is a bit dear, but it’s extremely comfortable with good ANC, around 34 hours battery power, great microphones, but surprisingly only AAC and SBC codec support.
  • Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X JubileeThis open-back headset costs just $170 USD and delivers great sound quality for desktop use.
  • Monoprice BT-600ANC: For only $100 these headphones have some of the best ANC out there and high-quality codec support. You’ll have to live with the inaccurate frequency response, however.
  • Philips 8000 Series Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones: The build quality seems a little dubious, which is a shame because owners seem happy with this sub-$150 headset’s ANC.
  • Sennheiser HD 350BTSennheiser’s over-ear headphones prove more comfortable than their noise cancelling counterpart, the Sennheiser HD 450BT. Sound quality is excellent, in typical Sennheiser fashion, as is the minimal design.

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