Top 5 Best Moving-Coil/Dynamic Headphones Under $200 Of 2021


Moving-coil/dynamic headphones are the typical headphones with transducers made of a magnetic motor; voice coil and diaphragm. This headphone type is very popular because it sounds rather good (especially with proper tuning); it’s durable, and it’s affordable.

Because it’s so popular and relatively inexpensive, there are plenty of options below the $200 USD mark. Let’s discuss the best in this price range.

The top 5 best moving-coil/dynamic headphones under $200 are:

You can snag yourself an awesome pair of moving-coil headphones for this price. Any of the headphones listed above would make a fantastic and durable choice.

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 Moving-Coil/Dynamic Headphone?

Though the term “best” is subjective, we should still list out the criteria used for determining what makes a great pair of dynamic 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.
  • Impedance/device compatibility: compatibility with mobile and consumer audio devices is important. This means that the impedance should be low to avoid required a portable headphone amplifier. The sensitivity rating should also be considered in this discussion.
  • 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.

To learn more about moving-coil dynamic headphones, be sure to check out my article: The Complete Illustrated Guide To Moving-Coil Dynamic Headphones.

With that, let’s get into our top 5 best moving-coil dynamic headphones under $200!


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Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

First up on the list is the popular Audio-Technica ATH-M50x (link to check the price on Amazon) from the Japanese brand Audio-Technica.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

The Audio-Technica ATH-M40x is a closed-back circumaural dynamic headphone with a wired connection. It’s the flagship and best-selling model from Audio-Technica’s popular M-Series line of headphones.

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x 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

The M50x design features proprietary 45mm moving-coil drivers with rare earth magnets and copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils. Its circumaural earcups have professional-grade earpads and contour around the ears for superb comfort and passive noise isolation.

The result of such a design offer listeners an exceptional sound across the entire audible frequency range (and beyond). The ATH-M50x has a frequency response of 15 Hz – 28,000 Hz with a deep, accurate bass response and accurate mids and highs.

For more info on frequency response, check out my article What Is Headphone Frequency Response & What Is A Good Range?

The rated impedance of these headphones is relatively low at 38 ohms. This means the ATH-M50x will work well with both professional and consumer-grade recording equipment and playback.

In other words, there’s no need for a dedicated headphone amp, though the headphones could potentially sound better if you choose to use one.

This headphone comes with 3 detachable cables, each with 3.5mm connectors at each end: a 1.2m – 3.0m coiled cable, 3.0m straight cable and 1.2m straight cable. Use the included 3.5mm to 6.35mm adapter when necessary to plug into 6.35mm (1/4″) jacks.

To learn more about 3.5mm and 6.35mm headphone plugs/jacks, check out my article The Differences Between 2.5mm, 3.5mm & 6.35mm Headphone Jacks.

The earcups swivel 90º and the headband is easily adjustable, allowing each user to fit the headphones to their specific dimensions. The earcups have soft replaceable earpads for additional comfort and even fold inward for easy storage and portability.

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: 45 mm with rare earth magnets and copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils
  • Impedance: 38 Ω
  • Frequency Response: 15 Hz – 28,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 99 dB
  • IP Rating: no info
  • Open/Closed-Back: Circumaural/Closed-back
  • Weight: 285 g (10 oz), without cable and connector
  • Wireless/Wired: Wired

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

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

The Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X (link to check the price on Amazon) is another A-T headphone worth checking out at this price range. It’s an open-back circumaural dynamic headphone.


Sennheiser HD 300 Pro

Second on this list is the Sennheiser HD 300 Pro (link to check the price on Amazon) from the world-renowned audio equipment manufacturer Sennheiser.

Sennheiser HD 300 Pro

The HD 300 Pro features a closed-back over-ear design and great sound, giving it a certain spot on this list.

The Sennheiser HD 300 is also featured in My New Microphone’s Top Best Headphones For Podcasting Under $200.

The proprietary 38mm dynamic drivers are expertly-tuned to deliver a neutral, high-resolution working sound across the audible frequency spectrum (and beyond). Audio is reproduced with great detail in the bass, mid and high-frequency bands.

To learn more about what driver size can tell use about a headphone, check out my article What Is A Good Driver Size For Headphones?

The nominal impedance of the HD 300 Pro is rater at 64 ohms. In the world of headphone impedance ratings, this is the point at which we begin to get into high-end headphone territory. Note that these headphones will likely benefit from a headphone amp but will work perfectly fine with regular consumer-grade and mobile audio devices as well.

The headphones come with a detachable 1.5m cable (with 3.5mm jacks) and a 1/4″ (6.35mm) adapter for easy connecting to the vast majority of headphone jacks.

The comfortable viscoelastic earpads are designed to barely be noticeable even after several hours of listening. Because the circumaural pads fit so well and are part of a closed-back design, the HD 300 Pro provides an impressive amount of passive noise isolation. The ergonomic headband is both durable and adjustable to improve the fit even further.

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: Dynamic
  • Impedance: 64 Ω
  • Frequency Response: 6 Hz – 25,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 108 dBSPL (1kHz/1Vrms)
  • IP Rating: no info
  • Open/Closed-Back: Circumaural/Closed-back
  • Weight: 297 g (without cable)
  • Wireless/Wired: Wired

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


AKG K612

Third up is the AKG K612 (link to check the price on Amazon) from Austria’s AKG.

AKG K612

The AKG K612 is a wired dynamic headphone with an open-back circumaural design. These reference studio headphones are well worth the money, coming in at under $200.

The AKG K612 is also featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top Best Open-Back Headphones Under $200

Top Best Circumaural (Over-Ear) Headphones Under $200

This headphone offer superb sound reproduction with a natural soundstage due to its expertly-crafted dynamic drivers and sophisticated open technology. As a reference headphone, this pair of moving-coil dynamic cans is an excellent choice.

AKG’s K612 has a fixed 3-meter cable with a stereo 3.5mm plug. The headphones come with a 3.5mm to 6.35mm screw-on adapter to accommodate the two most common headphone jack types.

With an impedance of 120 Ω, it’s best to use the AKG K612’s with a dedicated headphone amplifier or a professional audio interface with headphone outputs that will work with the relatively high impedance.

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

Of course, we can plug these headphones into mobile and other consumer-grade audio devices. I’m simply stating that the full potential of these superb headphones can be reached with a proper headphone amp!

The K612 feature a self-adjusting headband made of genuine leather for an automatic best fit. Breathable velour ear pads cradle the ears while enhancing bass response. In addition to these factors, the open-back design keeps the ears cool during longer listening sessions, which can be an issue with closed-back designs.

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: Dynamic
  • Impedance: 120 Ω
  • Frequency Response: 12 Hz – 39,500 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 101 dB SPL/V @ 1 kHz
  • IP Rating: no info
  • Open/Closed-Back: Circumaural/Open-back
  • Weight: 8.4 oz (238g)
  • Wireless/Wired: Wired

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

Readers can also check out the AKG K 240 Studio MKII (link to check the price on Amazon) as another option from AKG under $200.


Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro

The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro (link to check the price on Amazon) is a great choice and gets the fourth mention on this list.

Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro

The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro is a comfortable over-ear closed-back dynamic headphone with four variants when it comes to impedance. Regardless of your setup, there’s a superb DT 770 Pro option for you.

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

The DT 770 Pro utilizes 45mm dynamic drivers with neodymium magnets to reproduce audio with incredible precision. The bass sounds incredible with help from the innovative bass reflex system. 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. 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.

Each new purchase of a DT 770 Pro headphone will come with a detachable cable and a 3.5mm to 6.35mm adapter. The cable will be different depending on the 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.

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

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

The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO (link to check the price at Sweetwater) is another great moving-coil dynamic headphone option for under $200. It has an open-back circumaural design.


Bose QuietComfort 35 II

Let’s wrap things up with something different in 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 that features active noise-cancellation technology. It’s designed with over-ear closed-back earcups and even has built-in mics for telephony.

The Bose Quietcomfort 35 II is also featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top Best Wireless Headphones Under $200
Top Best Closed-Back Headphones Under $200
Top Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones Under $200

The dynamic drivers of the QC 35 II aren’t the major selling points of the headphones. They are designed to produce a natural response across the frequency spectrum and are subject to the headphone’s internal processing. This processing can control a volume-optimized EQ that delivers clear, balanced audio performance at any volume.

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II uses Bluetooth 5.0 to transmit audio wirelessly with a compatible device. Bluetooth 5.0 offers a wireless range of 10 m (33 ft.) and a solid and secure connection. These headphones will also automatically pair to the last paired device as they’re turned on

To learn more about wireless headphones before we jump into the best models under $500, 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

The included 47.2″ 3.5mm audio cable allows users to switch to a wired connection if need be.

In addition to superb wireless connectivity, the Bose QC 35 II is designed with Bose’s renowned ANC tech. This adjustable noise-cancellation circuit continuously monitors outside noise and cancels it by sending an opposite waveform signal to the drivers. This is how typical ANC works. Bose takes it a step further by providing three levels of ANC to best fit your environment.

The Alcantara cushioning on the headband and plush synthetic protein leather earpads make the durable, impact-resistant frame of the QC 35 II comfortable for extended wear. Once adjusted to the proper fit, the noise cancellation can really take place.

In addition to the mics used for active noise-cancellation, the QC 35 II has a noise-rejecting dual-microphone system for telephony, making calls and voice assistant direction clear and easy.

Download the Bose Connect app on the paired device to unlock the QC 35 II’s full potential. Personalize your listening experience and level of active noise cancellation. Connect to two Bose headphones at once so you and a friend can listen to the same thing at the same time.

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.

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