Best Budget Closed Back Headphones

Votes 1 1
Rating 5 5
Overall Audio features Comfort Control Wireless audio features Wireless connectivity Battery
Audio-Technica ATH-M40x 8.2 7 10 inapplicable inapplicable inapplicable inapplicable Check price
SteelSeries Arctis 3 Bluetooth 7.4 6 7 8 inapplicable 8 8 Check price
Audio-Technica ATH-M20x 7 6 10 inapplicable inapplicable inapplicable inapplicable Check price
Marshall Major III 7 6 10 6 inapplicable inapplicable inapplicable Check price
Shure SRH440 7 7 7 inapplicable inapplicable inapplicable inapplicable Check price
Status Audio CB-1 7 7 10 inapplicable inapplicable inapplicable inapplicable Check price
Audio-Technica ATH-M30x 7 6 10 inapplicable inapplicable inapplicable inapplicable Check price
Sennheiser HD 200 Pro 7 7 7 inapplicable inapplicable inapplicable inapplicable Check price

Saving money and loving music are two things difficult to combine since good-sounding headphones usually cost a lot. Moreover, every year plenty of improved models appear on the market and their prices are even higher. But here I am going to tell you how to choose the best open back headphones under 100. Actually, it is much easier than it seems to be. Pretty famous manufacturers offer to buy decent appliances that will not disappoint the listener.

If you do care about a spacious sound and want to hear every little detail of a song, then you should definitely get an open back unit. When listening to music with such a device, it feels like the sound is emanating from all around you – the audio is wider and deeper. Buy one of the models represented here and you will get exactly this quality sound. I think that getting a pair of open back headphones is a sign which means that you are advancing from a neutral listener to someone who thinks a bit harder about music. So, take a look at the list below and join the audiophile club!

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Philips SHP9500 - best overall

Our rating
7/10

Philips SHP9500

These are truly the best budget open back headphones that you could find. Everything about them seems to be perfect, from a detachable 300 cm/9.8 ft long audio cable to a wide frequency response which is 12 Hz - 35 kHz. An adaptor is also included with the cable. It is also worth to be noted that their sensitivity is 101 dB and the impedance level is 32 Ohm.

You do not have to worry that the over ear pair of headphones can be too heavy as this device has only 320 g/11.2 oz. The build is sturdy which makes it a durable headphone. The headband is reinforced with a quite thin metal frame that must be able to handle a lot of physical stress. The depth of the ear cups is a bit shallow, so your ears may gently touch the insides of them. Their open back design guarantees decent ventilation. Double layered headband cushion provides great comfort. The clamping force is just enough to feel good with Philips SHP9500. But these headphones are mainly made for home listening and if you try using them while performing any activity like running or exercising, they will most likely pull off.

Sound

The mentioned headphones offer a spacious and transparent sound with a bright and forward treble response. The soundstage is extensive and decent due to the open back structure. Their sound is breathy, airy, and without fatigue at all. They are meant to pass very stable and be precise and clear in all frequencies. Their bass is enunciated and textured, it sounds accurate and not muddy. I have discovered them to work incredibly well for home instrument work, including the piano and drums. Philips SHP9500

Key specs

Pros

  • Well-padded, and looks significantly more premium than other headphones above this price range
  • You get a soft fabric-like material surrounding ear cups and the headband
  • 50 mm neodymium speaker drivers deliver superior Hi-Fi sound
  • Its suspension design should hug the contours of your head even if you have hair in the way
  • The ear cups can swivel
  • Steel headband for strength and durability

Cons

  • Extremely sensitive to ambient noise, by design
  • Pretty big and does not fold into a more compact format
  • Non-replaceable earpads

Audio-Technica ATH-AD500X

Our rating
7/10

Audio-Technica ATH-AD500X

This is another great pair of cans for those who are looking for the best cheap open back headphones. They are over ear and have 100 dB of sensitivity. You get the considered device with a 300 cm/9.8 ft long cable since open headphones cannot be wireless. The cable is detachable and normally does not get tangled.

Although the ATH-AD500X does not cost much, their frequency response is pretty decent, as they work in a range of 5 Hz - 25 kHz. When it comes to impedance, its level is 48 Ohm. You will be amazed by how lightweight this pair of headphones is despite their huge size. Audio-Technica ATH-AD500X has only 235 g/8.2 oz and feels great on the head. It is constructed of 4 materials: the earpads are produced of fabric, the frame structure is magnesium, the casing is aluminium and the rest is plastic. The appliance comes with a 1/4 adapter (6,35 mm). The 53 mm drivers with CCAW voice coils, which are an improvement compared to the previous model, reproduce incredibly natural sound, with impactful bass and fantastic vocal projection.

Sound

In terms of sound, the 53 mm drivers reproduce crystal clear audio with just the right amount of bass. The sound signature overall is rather neutral and slightly bright giving more space for vocals and instruments in the midrange. Sound separation is great, but the vocals and instruments never detach from each other, the music keeps flowing together. Audio-Technica ATH-AD500X

Key specs

Pros

  • The manufacturer offers self-adjusting 3D Wing Support Housing that provides great support for a truly enjoyable listening experience
  • Has a single-sided audio cable with elastic TPE sheath that helps prevent tangles
  • Flexible raised-fabric earpads offer incredible wearing comfort and pretty good durability

Cons

  • Being open, there is quite a lot of leakage and little isolation

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