Top 5 Best Closed-Back Headphones Under $200


Closed-back headphones are designed with sealed earcups, a design characteristic that offers several advantages including passive noise cancellation; less sound bleed; improved comfort, and an accentuated bass response. Various transducer principled can be used in “closed-back headphones”, making this “type” of headphone very diverse.

Though determining the “best” of a certain audio equipment type is highly subjective, some closed-back headphones are objectively better than others. In this article, we’ll discuss the best closed-back headphones that fit within a $200 USD budget.

The top 5 best closed-back headphones under $200 are:

The headphones listed above are comfortable and at the top of their price class in terms of sonic performance. To make things even better, each model costs under $200 USD!

Since we’re having a discussion within the context of a price cap, I figure I should leave a link to a related My New Microphone article: Are Expensive Headphones (Or Cheap Headphones) Worth It?


What Makes A Great Closed-Back Headphone?

Though the term “best” is subjective, we should still list out the criteria used for determining what makes a great pair of closed-back headphones.

  • Comfort: this is perhaps the simplest yet most important criterion of any headphone. Though highly subjective, specifications such as weight; contact pressure; earpad shape/material; stiffness, and the overall dimension play a role in comfort. We should also consider the amount of heat that could get trapped around the ears during longer listening sessions.
  • Impedance/device compatibility: compatibility with different audio devices is important. Choose a pair of high-end circumaural headphones that will be easily incorporated into your set up whether that’s a mobile device or a professional studio. Impedance and sensitivity ratings come into play when determining compatibility.
  • Frequency response: a great pair of headphones should be able to reproduce the full audible spectrum from 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz with clarity.

Wireless (especially Bluetooth) capabilities are also seen as a benefit since they further improve the functionality and general comfort of the headphones.

Noise cancelling, both passive and active, is also an important thing to consider when choosing a closed-back headphone. The passive noise cancelling ties into the fit of the headphones. look into the active noise cancelling reduction; the battery life, and how it affects the sound when engaged (if applicable).

To learn more about closed-back headphones, be sure to check out my article: The Complete Guide To Open-Back & Closed-Back Headphones.

With that, let’s get into our top 5 best closed-back headphones under $200!


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Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro

First up is the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro (link to check the price on Amazon) from the well-respected German manufacturer Beyerdynamic.

Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro

The DT 770 Pro from Beyerdynamic is an excellent closed-back headphone with a circumaural fit and moving-coil dynamic transducers. It actually has 4 variants, defined largely by the difference in rated impedance.

The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro is also featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top Best Headphones For Podcasting Under $200
Top Best Circumaural (Over-Ear) Headphones Under $200
Top Best Moving-Coil/Dynamic Headphones Under $200

Beyerdynamic’s DT 770 Pro is built around 45mm dynamic drivers with neodymium magnets. These high-quality transducers reproduce audio with incredible precision, putting the headphone well above many of its competitors in terms of sonic performance.

The innovative bass reflex system enhances the bass response for a full bottom end. Mid-frequencies are well-articulated and the highs are surprisingly airy and present without being fatiguing.

The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro comes in 4 different impedance variants:

  • 16 Ω nominal (Mobile Devices)
  • 32 Ω nominal (Mobile Devices)
  • 80 Ω nominal (Universal Studio)
  • 250 Ω nominal (Professional Devices)

For most people, I would recommend the 32-ohm version since it will work well with most devices (mobile, consumer-grade, dedicated amps, etc.). For those of us who either have studio equipment or are planning on acquiring some pro equipment, the 80-ohm version is a great in-between option.

The 16-ohm set is great for mobile and regular computer cards while the 250-ohm pair will deliver the best results so long as it’s connected to a studio/audiophile-grade amlifier.

To learn more about headphone impedance, check out my article The Complete Guide To Understanding Headphone Impedance.

The detachable cable is different from model to model:

  • 16 Ω version: 3m straight cable
  • 32 Ω version: 1.6m straight cable
  • 80 Ω version: 3m straight cable
  • 250 Ω version: 3m coiled cable

To learn more about headphone cables, check out my article An In-Depth Look Into How Headphone Cables Carry Audio.

Each variant comes with a 3.5mm to 6.35mm adapter to accommodate for 1/4″ (6.35mm) headphone jacks.

These closed-back headphones have exceptional passive noise isolation to reduce bleed. This is made possible with a secure fit.

The headband and circumaural earcups are extremely comfortable and the steel spring headband offers impressive durability. For longer recording sessions, these headphones are a fantastic choice.

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: Dynamic
  • Impedance:
    • 16 Ω (Mobile Devices)
    • 32 Ω (Mobile Devices)
    • 80 Ω (Universal Studio)
    • 250 Ω (Professional Devices)
  • Frequency Response: 5 Hz – 35,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 96 dB nominal SPL
  • IP Rating: no info
  • Open/Closed-Back: Circumaural/Closed-back
  • Weight: 270 g without cable
  • Wireless/Wired: Wired

To learn more about headphone specifications, be sure to read my article Full List: Headphone/Earphone Specifications w/ Examples.

Beyerdynamic is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 13 Best Headphone Brands In The World.


Shure SRH840

The American brand Shure gets a spot on this list with the Shure SRH840 (link to check the price on Amazon).

Shure SRH840

The Shure SRH840 comes in well below the $200 limit but still gets a spot as one of the best closed-back models. It, too, is built with dynamic transducers and an over-ear fit.

The Shure SRH840 is also featured in My New Microphone’s Top Best Headphones For Podcasting Under $200.

The 40 mm dynamic drivers (with neodymium magnets) are built into closed-back earcups for awesome sound and great sound isolation. The headphone is tuned and tailored to offer big bass, accurate mids and extended highs.

The headphone will work perfectly with the majority of audio devices due to its easy-to-drive 44-ohm drivers.

Connecting the Shure SRH840 to these devices is made possible with a detachable locking cable that securely locks into the ear cup and enables easy replacement. A 3.5mm to 6.35mm adapter is also included.

For more info on 3.5mm and 6.35mm headphone plugs and jacks, check out my article The Differences Between 2.5mm, 3.5mm & 6.35mm Headphone Jacks.

For the price, these headphones fit nicely and are comfortable. A premium, padded headband and an extra pair of earpads give the headphones superior comfort.

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: 40 mm Dynamic with Neodymium magnets
  • Impedance: 44 Ω
  • Frequency Response: 5 Hz – 25,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 102 dB/mW
  • IP Rating: no info
  • Open/Closed-Back: Circumaural/Closed-back
  • Weight: 365g (12.88 oz)
  • Wireless/Wired: Wired

Shure is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 14 Best Earphone/Earbud Brands In The World and Top 13 Best Headphone Brands In The World.


AKG K553 MKII

Next up is AKG K553 (link to check the price on Amazon) studio headphone.

AKG K553 MKII

AKG’s K553 MKII is a superb closed-back over-ear studio headphone. Designed for monitoring, mixing and mastering, the K553 MKII offers reference-quality neutral sound for users to hear audio as it was intended.

The headphone is built around 2” (50mm) low-impedance dynamic drivers that deliver a strong, accurate bass response to match the presence and clarity of the mid and high frequencies.

To learn more about dynamic drivers and driver size, check out my articles The Complete Illustrated Guide To Moving-Coil Dynamic Headphones and What Is A Good Driver Size For Headphones? respectively.

Though the headphone has a closed-back design, it offers the spacious, dimensional sound of an open-back system. The stereo imaging is naturally wide and the music seems to breath, even with the closed earcups.

Note that the headphones will certainly provide the passive noise isolation we’d expect from a closed-back design.

With a nominal impedance of 32 ohms, the K553 MKII can be successfully driven by low-power mobile and consumer-grade headphone jack DACs and amplifiers. That being said, the headphones could certainly be used with a dedicated amplifier in order to reach their full sonic potential.

To learn more about headphone amplifiers, check out my article What Is A Headphone Amplifier & Are Headphone Amps Worth It?

The K553 MKII comes with a 1.83m (6 ft) detachable cable for wired connectivity. The cable ends with a 3.5mm stereo plug and the headphone comes with a 1/4″ adapter to accommodate for the common 1/4″ headphone jacks.

Extra-large soft ear pads ensure stress-free listening over long sessions. These cans are a joy to use when working professionally or when sitting back a relaxing to some great music. When it comes time to wrap things up, the 2D-axis mechanism enables flat folding for easy storage or handling on the road.

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: 50 mm Dynamic
  • Impedance: 32 Ω
  • Frequency Response: 12 Hz – 28,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 114 dB SPL/V @ 1 kHz
  • IP Rating: no info
  • Open/Closed-Back: Circumaural/Closed-back
  • Weight: 10.75 oz. (305g)
  • Wireless/Wired: Wired

Bose QuietComfort 35 II

The fourth headphone we’ll be discussing is the Bose QuietComfort 35 II (link to check the price on Amazon).

Bose QuietComfort 35 II

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II is a Bluetooth wireless headphone with a closed-back design and features active noise cancelling technology.

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II is also featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top Best Wireless Headphones Under $200
Top Best Moving-Coil/Dynamic Headphones Under $200
Top Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones Under $200

Bose does things right with the QC 35 II. The headphone’s sound is designed around expertly-crafted moving-coil dynamic drivers and a carefully-designed closed housing.

The real magic comes with volume-optimized EQ technology that delivers clear, balanced audio performance at any volume. While many headphones will lose bass and high-end when turned down due to our psychoacoustic makeup (see the Fletcher-Munson curves), the QC 35 II accommodates with this superb technology.

What we get, then, is a great sound regardless of the volume.

The QuietComfort 35 II, as previously mentioned, also had active noise cancelling (ANC) and Bluetooth technology.

Starting with Bluetooth, the headphones are fully compatible with Bluetooth devices. Pairing is easy to set up and the headphones will automatically pair to the last paired device as they are turned back on. The operating range of the solid BT connection is 10 metres (33 feet).

To learn more about wireless headphones, please consider reading the following My New Microphone articles:
• How Bluetooth Headphones Work & How To Pair Them To Devices
• How Do Wireless Headphones Work? + Bluetooth & True Wireless

If Bluetooth isn’t your thing, the Bose headphone comes with a 47.2″ 3.5mm audio cable for wired connectivity. The QC 35 II has a low impedance and can be driven easily by the vast majority of audio devices.

Bose’s renowned ANC technology is included in this headphone. This hybrid noise cancellation uses feedforward and feedback circuits to continuously monitors outside noise and inside noise, respectively. Anti-noise signals are consistently updated for superior noise cancelling.

Bose takes ANC a step further by providing three levels of ANC to best fit your environment. Change up the ANC mode within the Bose Connect app.

With music playback via Bluetooth with ANC activated, the QC 35 II’s lithium-ion battery has 20 hours of operation time. Charging is made possible via USB.

The Alcantara cushioning on the headband and plush synthetic protein leather earpads make these headphones super comfortable. A durable, impact-resistant frame makes the headphone durable.

In addition to the mics used for ANC, the QC 35 II has a noise-rejecting dual-microphone system to pick up the user’s voice, making calls and voice assistant direction clear and easy.

These headphones feature the typical controls such as volume up/down, on/off, pairing, and multi-function (for calls, voice assistant and ANC level).

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: Dynamic
  • Impedance: no info
  • Frequency Response: no info
  • Sensitivity: no info
  • IP Rating: no info
  • Open/Closed-Back: Circumaural/Closed-back
  • Weight: 8.3 oz / 235.31 g
  • Wireless/Wired: both

Bose is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 13 Best Headphone Brands In The World, Top 13 Best Headset Brands (Gaming, Aviation, Communication) and Top 14 Best Earphone/Earbud Brands In The World.


Pioneer HRM-7

Last but not least, let’s discuss the Pioneer HRM-7 (link to check the price on Amazon).

Pioneer HRM-7

The Pioneer HRM-7 are designed to offer a clean, neutral sound and are marketed toward dance music producers who want a precise representation of their music.

The HRM-7 features unique 40 mm HD dynamic drivers that faithfully reproduce frequencies from 5 Hz up to 40 kHz, ensuring crystal clear, high-resolution sound in the audible frequency range.

To learn more about headphone frequency response, check out my article What Is Headphone Frequency Response & What Is A Good Range?

The closed-back earcups are designed with dual airflow chambers and a 3-layer damping structure to enhance the headphone’s bass response and drastically reduce resonance for superior monitoring.

The large space within the acoustic housing allows for a wider soundstage than is usually possible with a closed-back design without missing out on noise isolation.

With a nominal impedance of 45 ohms, the HRM-7 can be successfully driven by low-power mobile and consumer-grade headphone jack DACs and amplifiers. That being said, the headphones could certainly be used with a dedicated amplifier in order to reach their full sonic potential.

Use one of the two cables (the 3.0m/1.2 coiled or 3.0m straight) to connect the HRM-7 to a headphone jack. Both cables end with a 3.5mm stereo plug and the headphone comes with a 1/4″ adapter.

And, thanks to the headband’s freely adjustable headband and flexible, ergonomic design, you won’t even notice wearing them, even during long recording sessions.

The large ear pads of the circumaural cups are made with hybrid memory foam and covered with soft velour fabric. These pads make for a snug fit while also allowing enough airflow for precision monitoring.

The freely adjustable headband will shape the phones to the listener’s head, assuring comfortable wear over long sessions in the studio.

A pair of replacement velour pads come with the headphones if and when it comes time to swap them out.

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: 40 mm Dynamic
  • Impedance: 45 Ω
  • Frequency Response: 5 Hz – 40,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 97 dB
  • IP Rating: no info
  • Open/Closed-Back: Circumaural/Closed-back
  • Weight: 330 g without cable
  • Wireless/Wired: Wired

Honourable Mentions

There are plenty of excellent closed-back headphones under $200 that didn’t make the top 5. Here are another 5 superb headphones worth mentioning:

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