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Best Headphones Under $500 In 2021 (Open Back & Closed Back)

What are the best headphones under $500? This is a tough question to answer, as it really depends on what you are looking for. If you want good sound quality without any ambient noise, then you’re going to need an expensive pair of noise-canceling headphones.

And if you don’t care about sound quality and just want something that’s affordable, there are many affordable options for headphones that will suit your needs.

So without further ado, let’s review the headphones under 500 dollars.

Buying Guide

There are a few things you should look for when choosing headphones under $500.

Sound Quality:

If you’re looking for the best sound quality, then an audiophile-grade set of cans will be your best bet. The problem is that audiophile-grade headphones are usually rather expensive, and while the best headphones under $500 will sound good, they won’t sound like audiophile grade.

Weight:

The weight of a headphone is important too because it determines how comfortable it is to wear and whether or not you’ll want to carry it around with you constantly. Thankfully, many of the $500 headphones we’ll talk about below are very light and won’t weigh down your neck.

Type:

The type of headphones you choose is entirely up to you. If you want something that isolates you from the outside world as much as possible, then a pair of noise-canceling headphones would be a good choice.

5 Best Headphones Under $500 In 2021 (Open Back & Closed Back)

AKG Pro Audio K553 MKII Over-Ear, Closed-Back, Foldable Studio Headphones,Black
AKG Pro Audio K553 MKII Over-Ear, Closed-Back, Foldable Studio Headphones,Black
Lightweight over-ear design for maximum wearing comfort; Advanced closed-back technology for high noise insulation
$209.00
GRADO SR80e Prestige Series Wired Open Back Stereo Headphones
GRADO SR80e Prestige Series Wired Open Back Stereo Headphones
"The Grado SR80e's are special, buy them and love them" - What HiFi; Mini plug termination, incudes a 1/4 inch adapter
Philips Audio Fidelio X2HR Over-Ear Open-Air Headphone 50mm Drivers- Black
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
$148.99
Sale
Sennheiser HD 600 Open Dynamic Hi-Fi Professional Stereo Headphones (Black)
Sennheiser HD 600 Open Dynamic Hi-Fi Professional Stereo Headphones (Black)
Lightweight aluminum voice coils ensure excellent transient response; Neodymium ferrous magnets maintain optimum sensitivity and excellent dynamics
$324.99

Last update on 2021-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1. AKG Pro Audio K553 MKII Over-Ear, Closed-Back, Foldable Studio Headphones,Black

AKG Pro Audio K553 MKII Over-Ear, Closed-Back, Foldable Studio Headphones,Black
  • Lightweight over-ear design for maximum wearing comfort
  • Advanced closed-back technology for high noise insulation
  • 2" (50mm) transducers for precise sound reproduction
  • Low impedance for impressive performance on any portable device
  • 2D-axis fold-flat mechanism for easy storage and transportation

Last update on 2021-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The AKG Pro Audio K553 MKII is like the K550 with a few improvements, including better ear pads for long-term comfort. The headphones also fold up to make them easier to bring along in your backpack or laptop bag. They’re designed to withstand high levels of audio pressure and are resistant to moisture, dust, and other elements that can ruin your music. The mic picks up sound perfectly.

Pros:

  • The K553 MKII are studio quality headphones. They are great for music, gaming, and watching movies.
  • The sound is smooth and clear with powerful lows. The bass is also very impressive without being too overwhelming.
  • The sound and build quality of these headphones is definitely worth the price you’re paying.

Cons:

  • The folding mechanism for the headphones isn’t very sturdy and the plastic frame clips you might break.

2. GRADO SR80e Prestige Series Wired Open Back Stereo Headphones

GRADO SR80e Prestige Series Wired Open Back Stereo Headphones
  • Grado's award winning headphone - open back design offer a larger sound stage with greater detail and clarity
  • "The Grado SR80e's are special, buy them and love them" - What HiFi
  • Mini plug termination, incudes a 1/4 inch adapter
  • Lightweight, comfortable design
  • 4OurEars is the only Grado Authorized Amazon Reseller - 1 Year US Warranty

Last update on 2021-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Grado SR80e are one of the best headphones under $500. They’ve got a lightweight, low-resistance voice coil that delivers detailed, accurate sound that audiophiles will love. The headphones also feature an open back design that allows ambient noise to seep into the minds to create a more realistic listening experience.

Pros:

  • The open back design of these headphones means you’ll hear ambient noise, which makes for a more realistic listening experience.
  • The sound is crisp and clear with a deep bass response.
  • The headphones fold up and bring pretty well.

Cons:

  • The plastic around the headband feels cheap and flimsy.

3. Philips Audio Fidelio X2HR Over-Ear Open-Air Headphone 50mm Drivers- Black

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

Last update on 2021-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Philips Audio Fidelio X2HR are some of the best headphones under $500. They offer fantastic sound quality and an amazing open-air feel that helps you hear every last bit of ambience in your music. The headphones also feature a noise cancelling mic that cuts out ambient noise and is great for Skype calls and phone calls.

Pros:

  • The headphones provide crisp and clear sound.
  • The open-air design blocks out ambient noise for an immersive listening experience.
  • The headphones fold up pretty easily so you can fit them in your carry-on. They also fold flat on their own when you need to pack them away.

Cons:

  • The plastic used to hold the back of the headband feels flimsy and might break during normal wear. This doesn’t affect the sound quality, though. It just feels like it could break at any time.

4. Sennheiser HD 600 Open Dynamic Hi-Fi Professional Stereo Headphones (Black)

Sale
Sennheiser HD 600 Open Dynamic Hi-Fi Professional Stereo Headphones (Black)
  • Lightweight aluminum voice coils ensure excellent transient response
  • Neodymium ferrous magnets maintain optimum sensitivity and excellent dynamics
  • Sophisticated design, elegantly finished in black and gray
  • High quality open metal mesh earpiece covers
  • Detachable, Kevlar reinforced oxygen free copper cable with very low handling noise

Last update on 2021-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Sennheiser HD 600 are some of the best headphones under $500. They’re open-air and feature an unbelievable amount of detail and clarity. The headphones also deliver a very smooth sound that doesn’t get distorted at high volume levels.

Pros:

  • The sound is very easy to listen to. There isn’t much noise isolation, so keep that in mind if you’re looking for something like that.
  • The headphones are very lightweight and easy to carry around.
  • They also fold flat when you don’t need them. They take up very little space in transit, which is good because they’re not very portable.

Cons:

  • They aren’t very easy to wear for extended periods of time because they don’t actually fit on your head. The headphones are meant to be worn over the ears, but they’re not designed to give you any stability.

5. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 — Over Ear, Wireless Bluetooth Headphones with Built-In Microphone for Clear Calls & Alexa Voice Control, Black

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, Bluetooth, Over-Ear Wireless Headphones with Built-In...
19,802 Reviews
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, Bluetooth, Over-Ear Wireless Headphones with Built-In...
  • Powerful noise cancelling headphones: 11 levels of active noise cancelling let you enjoy music, podcasts, videos & calls without...
  • Astonishing sound: Crisp, clear details. Deep, full bass. These wireless headphones produce exciting, lifelike sound that’s full...
  • Unrivaled voice pickup: A revolutionary microphone system adapts to noisy and windy environments so your voice always sounds...
  • Keep your head up and hands free: With easy access to voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant for music, navigation,...
  • Premium design and comfort: With a lightweight stainless steel headband and earcups tilted for the perfect fit, you can...

Last update on 2021-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

These Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones are some of the best headphones under $500. The noise cancellation is fantastic and makes it possible to focus on your music without having to listen to a lot of ambient noise.

Pros:

  • The sound is clear with a strong bass response and a good amount of volume without being too loud or distorted.
  • The noise cancellation means you can listen to your music or play games without having to worry about all the ambient noise.
  • The headphones fold up for easier storage and travel. This also makes it possible to pack them in your carry-on bag.

Cons:

  • The headphones are too large. They’re not very portable, which is why they’re not among the best headphones under $200. They are, however, some of the best picks for high quality audiophile listening.

Conclusion:

If you’re looking for some of the best headphones under $500, then one of these pairs should easily fit your needs. They’re all designed to fit into different niches and each one has its own pros and cons.

We mentioned our top picks for each type of headphone, which should make it easier to decide which ones are right for you.

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