March 13, 2022The 8 Best Headphones Under $500 in 2022 [High-End Quality]

Our Choice

SENNHEISER HD 660 S - HiRes Audiophile Open Back Headphone

SENNHEISER HD 660 S – HiRes Audiophile Open Back Headphone

  • Open back, dynamic headphone 
  • Para aramid-reinforced
  • 150 ohm nominal impedance
  • Two connection cables

Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO

Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO

  • Closed over-ear design
  • Soft, circumaural and replaceable velour ear pads
  • Practical single-sided cable

Philips Audio Philips SHP9500

Philips Audio Philips SHP9500

  • 50mm neodymium drivers
  • Double layered headband cushion

Audio-Technica ATH-M30x

Audio-Technica ATH-M30x

  • 40-millimeter drivers
  • Rare earth magnets and copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils
  • Circumaural design
  • Convenient single-side cable exit

Wireless Headphones

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

  • Powerful noise-cancelling
  • Deep, full bass
  • Easy access to voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Stainless steel
  • 20 hours of wireless battery life
  • Pair with Bose soundbar
  • Alexa to Alexa calling



  • Bluetooth 5. 0 technology
  • AAC and AptX Low Latency codec support
  • Active noise cancellation
  • 30-hour battery life
  • Virtual Assistant button for Siri and Google Assistant 

Bowers & Wilkins PX7

Bowers & Wilkins PX7

  • 43mm drivers
  • adaptive noise-cancelling headphones
  • Up to 30 hours of battery life

New Bose QuietComfort 45 

New Bose QuietComfort 45 

  • Noise-cancelling wireless headphones
  • High-fidelity audio
  • Quiet and Aware Modes
  • Over ear headphones
  • Up to 24 hours battery life
  • Bose Music app

Top 4 Best Wired Headphones


Our Choice
9.9/10 Our Score
  • Comfortable open-back design
  • Durable and well-built
  • Good audio
  • Isolation isn’t great (due to design)
  • Audio leakage (due to design)

Product Description

  • Reference class open back, dynamic headphone employing new and improved transducers delivering low harmonic distortion
  • Transducers are hand-selected for precise (1 dB) left / right matching tolerance ensure exceptional accuracy and presentation of stereo spatial characteristics
  • 150-ohm nominal impedance allows direct connection to home and mobile Hires audio devices. Contact pressure: 6.0 N – 1 N
  • Para-aramid reinforced, detachable cables employ high conductive OFC copper to insure signal integrity with very low handling noise
  • Supplied with two connection cables: One with a 6.35-millimeter stereo plug, the other a 4.4-millimeter Pentaconn balanced stereo plug. Also included is a 6.35 millimeter to 3.5-millimeter adaptor. Connectivity Technology: Wired 6.35 millimeter / 4.4-millimeter Pentaconn
  • Frequency response 10 to 41,000 Hz ( 10 dB), Impedance 150 ohm

The  SENNHEISER HD 660 S may not be the cheapest headphones on our list but it is indeed one of the best wired headphones on the market. The HD 660S features a sleek all-matte-black design like any of the classic HD 600-series chassis. The HD 660S’ body is almost entirely made of plastic, excluding the outside grills and inner headband. Despite the fact that it is made of plastic, it is among the most robust and reliable headphone designs.

These are exceptionally light due to their mostly-plastic structure. The pads are made of a solid foam that is covered in velour and is quite gentle on the skin.

The HD 660S has a consistent frequency response. These headphones produce fairly close to perfect bass consistency thanks to their open-back and earpad design. Furthermore, the bass on this headphone is also quite good.

2. Philips Audio Philips SHP9500

2. Philips Audio Philips SHP9500
9.5/10 Our Score
  • Great audio
  • Comfortable open-back design
  • Minimalist design
  • Audio leaks out
  • No noise cancellation feature

Product Description

  • 50mm neodymium drivers deliver a full spectrum of sound
  • 1.5m cable gives you freedom of movement for indoor use
  • Comfortable double layered headband cushion, breathable ear cushion for longer wearing comfort
  • Finishing of connector: gold-plated, acoustic system: open, Magnet type: neodymium
  • Impedance: 32 ohms, maximum power input: 200Mw, sensitivity: 101 dB, speaker diameter: 50mm, Frequency response: 12-35 000Hz


The  Philips SHP9500 is a wired headphone that won’t break the bank. It has an over-ear and an open-back design which offers you a neutral sound profile with great flat mids. These ensure that the headphones are able to reproduce accurate vocals and instrumentals when you use the SHP9500 for listening to music.

Its open-back design offers users a comfortable fit with its spacious ear cups. In line with that, the open-back design also allows the headphones to create a passive soundstage that feels open and spacious to allow you to immerse yourself in whatever you’re listening to.


The SHP9500 was built with swiveling earcups which is both a pro and a con. The open-back design of these headphones can cause your audio to leak out and it won’t be able to block out any background noise. 


These headphones are great for quieter places like recording booths where there is less noise. But if you’re planning to use these headphones to block out noise, then the SHP9500 isn’t a great choice since its audio leaks out and it does not block out noise. However, for over-ear headphones for under $500, then this is our top pick.


3. Audio-Technica ATH-M30x

3. Audio-Technica ATH-M30x
9.3/10 Our Score
  • Comfortable
  • Great value for your money
  • Clean sound profile
  • Portable
  • Might be too tight on larger heads

Product Description

  • Advanced build quality and engineering
  • 40-millimeter drivers with rare earth magnets and copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils
  • Tuned for enhanced detail, with excellent mid-range definition
  • Circumaural design contours around the ears for excellent sound isolation in loud environments
  • Convenient single-side cable exit


The Audio-Technica ATH-M30x is a great pair of affordable headphones, especially for DJs, musicians, or just anyone who needs a cheap set of headphones. These headphones have a clean and minimalist design that gives a sense of professionalism. 


One of the best features of the ATH-M30x is its superb sound quality. It has a clear and accurate tonal range across all frequencies and its clarity is high. With its 40-millimeter drivers with rare earth magnets and copper-clad aluminum voice coils, you’ll appreciate the bass that these drivers offer. The frequency response of 15Hz-22kHz is comparable to that of more expensive headphones. With flat sound delivery, these headphones are ideal for mixing, mastering, and listening.


The earpads that surround your ears are called circumaural earpads. They have barely ample space to sit comfortably inside. There is some heat build-up due to the closed-back design. Extended periods may cause slight irritation as a result of this. However, this is the issue with the majority of closed-back headphones. The general degree of comfort is really great, but keep in mind that everyone’s head and ears are different.


Another great feature of the ATH-M30x is its collapsible design which allows you to bring them along your travels. It is also very durable despite its all-plastic build. Its leather padding is also high-quality so you won’t have to worry.


Audio-Technica has produced an excellent affordable pair of headphones that features great sound quality, durable, and minimalist build at this price point.

4. beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO

4. beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO
9.6/10 Our Score
  • Features decent noise isolation
  • Very durable
  • Decent audio
  • Great bass

  • Bulky
  • Tight on the head
  • Not travel-friendly

Product Description

  • Closed over-ear headphones for professional mixing in the studio
  • Perfect for studio recordings thanks to their pure and high-resolution sound
  • The soft, circumaural and replaceable velour ear pads ensure high wearing comfort
  • Hard-wearing, durable and robust workmanship Made in Germany
  • Practical single-sided cable (3.0m coiled cable)


Are you an aspiring musician? Producer? Then the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO is the headphones for you! The Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO is a great budget headphone under $500. It’s great for regular use and can be used for studio recordings!


This headphone is perfect for any music lover, musician, or studio producer. The Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO is built to be a high-quality and durable headphone — great for any recording booth since you’ll trust that it won’t break easily when used roughly. It has a strong metal frame with a removable cushion strap and circular ear cups. Despite being slightly bulky, the DT 770 has a minimalist aesthetic that may not stick out yet it still looks nice to wear outside.


The DT 770 is also decently comfortable when worn for short periods, however, it is quite tight on the head which can be annoying when you’ve worn it for a long period. Nonetheless, the ear cups are wrapped in a silky microfiber fabric that feels good against the skin and fits comfortably around the ears of most listeners.


The DT 770 is a closed-back headphone that can deliver well-balanced audio. With its near-perfect mid-range and great bass that won’t drown out any instrumentals or vocals, you’ll definitely love these headphones even for casual listening. Its bass is of greater quality since the design of the DT 770 is a closed-back design.


Lastly, the DT 770 has decent noise isolation. The closed-back ear cups of the Beyerdynamic 770 Pro isolate passively. Overall, given its price tag, the Dt 770 is a decent headphone that is equipped with most beginner musicians or casual listeners’ needs.



Top 4 Best Wireless Headphones

1. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Our Choice
1. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
9.8/10 Our Score
  • Top-notch noise cancellation
  • Great audio quality
  • Clear and precise audio
  • Minimalist design
  • Battery life isn’t great
  • Expensive

Product Description

  • Powerful noise-cancelling headphones: 11 levels of active noise canceling let you enjoy music, podcasts, videos & calls without distractions
  • Unrivaled voice pickup: A revolutionary microphone system adapts to noisy and windy environments so your voice always sounds crystal clear on calls
  • Keep your head up and hands-free: With easy access to voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant for music, navigation, weather, and more, and intuitive touch control on the earcups — you can stay connected without reaching for your phone
  • Premium design and comfort: With a lightweight stainless steel headband and earcups tilted for the perfect fit, you can comfortably wear these Bluetooth headphones for hours
  • Up to 20 hours of non-stop music: Get up to 20 hours of wireless battery life on a single charge.
  • Pair with Bose soundbar: Use Bose SimpleSync technology to pair these wireless Bluetooth headphones to the Bose smart soundbar 300, 500, or 700 for a personal listening experience
  • Alexa to Alexa calling: Use these wireless noise-cancelling headphones to place a call to a Bose smart device or Amazon Echo device with the Alexa mobile app


The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are the predecessor of the QuietComfort 35 II models, meaning, we have high expectations from these headphones. The QuietComfort line has been around for almost two decades and is considered the standard for active noise-canceling headphones. They’re a well-liked pair of headphones. So, can the new Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 match up to the QuietComfort series?


It features a cleaner look with fewer sharp lines, intersections, and gaps. Even the ear pads’ bunching has been straightened out. The headband of these headphones is made of stainless steel. The headphones can be adjusted by simply shifting the earcups vertically and horizontally which avoids breaking the design’s elegant lines with bulky sliders.


These, unlike the previous line, do not fold in half. Rather, the ear cups rotate and fit into a wedge-shaped casing. The earpads are thinner and the ear cups feel more breathable, which helps keep the users’ ears cool, but they may grasp the head sides much firmer.


Bose has improved the adaptability of its noise-cancelling system. You may now pick from 11 noise-cancelling settings to entirely open, allowing ambient noises from your surroundings to be piped into the headphones via the microphones on their surface.


The Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 provide a lot of clarity and depth. The Headphones 700 are capable of handling a wide range of musical genres, with an easy-to-listen-to, open sound that is considerably wider than the QC35. Overall, they’re among the most reliable and well-sounding noise-cancelling headphones available.



9.6/10 Our Score
  • Excellent audio performance
  • User-adjustable EQ
  • Great noise cancellation for its price
  • Great value for its price
  • Long battery life
  • Feels flimsy
  • Noise cancellation is decent but can be better

Product Description

  • Bluetooth 5. 0 technology for effortlessly reliable connectivity including AAC and AptX Low Latency codec support
  • Active noise cancellation for uninterrupted listening pleasure
  • 30-hour battery life with USB-C fast charging
  • Intuitive controls including Virtual Assistant button for Siri and Google Assistant
  • Sennheiser App support providing an equalizer, Podcast Mode and Firmware updates
  • Included components: HD 450BT wireless headphones, audio cable USB-C charging cable, carry case, quick guide, and safety guide


Like the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, the SENNHEISER HD 450BT is another great noise cancellation headphones that are half the price of the Bose Headphones 700. Sennheiser is known for producing excellent noise-cancelling headphones at a lower cost than rival noise-cancelling headphones.


The design is pretty simple, but it looks very elegant and professional. It has a fully foldable design that makes it very portable. They take up very little space in your backpack thanks to their collapsible form, making them excellent for travel.


The new headphones’ structure isn’t as solid or quality as the previous models and the plastic build may feel fragile. But on the good side, the HD 450BTs feels quite light and comfortable to wear over extended listening sessions, thanks to their plastic build. The earcups are thickly cushioned and do not cause a clamping feeling.


The Sennheiser HD 450BT headphones integrate with the Sennheiser Smart Control app, which allows us to control the equalizer settings, which is a nice touch for individuals who prefer to customize the sound of their headphones.


The sound quality of the HD 450BT is accurate and clear, without being too dry or dull. These headphones deliver a superb balance of high fidelity sound with pleasant, enjoyable bass frequencies.


It can also work for up to 30 hours with active noise cancellation set on, so you won’t have to worry about it dying on you while traveling.


Overall, the Sennheiser HD 450BT has left an impression, notably in terms of sound quality. Despite these headphones being under $500, the battery life and connectivity are excellent, and the noise-cancelling technology is adequate.

3. Bowers & Wilkins PX7

3. Bowers & Wilkins PX7
9.5/10 Our Score
  • Great noise cancellation
  • Elegant design
  • Excellent audio
  • Comfortable fit
  • Light
  • Not travel-friendly
  • Earcups don’t collapse

Product Description

  • Built from Legend drivers that push the sound forward The 43mm drivers in the Px7 are the largest in our headphone collection built and tuned by the same engineers behind the Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series diamond speakers used in Abbey road studios
  • Cancels noise clean out adaptive noise cancelling that automatically Responds to your environment to keep the outside world out of the music
  • 30 hours of possibility you can do a lot in 30 hours You could fly from California to London and back with some time to spare You could also Start a band or see every stage At The festival twice Listen uninterrupted on a single battery charge And if that’s not enough a 15 minute quick charge gets you 6 more hours
  • Follow your lead the Px7 obeys your every move Lift an ear cup to hear what’s happening around you and the music automatically stops Put it back and the music plays on
  • Inspired by race cars The carbon fiber composite arms of the Px7 mimic the strength and agility of the fastest vehicles in the world channeling pure sound to you and holding up against everyday wear and tear So Throw them in your overnight bag or your work bag and get ready to plunge into sound


The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 is an impressive Bluetooth, noise cancellation headphones. The PX7s’ drivers are the largest in B&W’s headphone lineup, at 43mm. With a robust, clear, and tonally balanced tone that emphasizes rhythmic precision and conveys music in a fun way. The PX7s give the harp a more dynamic expression while also revealing other layers. Everything about these headphones is balanced.


The B&W also features a partner app that allows you to configure noise cancellation, connections, and voice prompts for the Amazon and Google speech assistants that are enabled.


B&W has managed to build a unique pair of headphones that can compete with any high-end competitor. The brushed metal finish where the headband meets the cups is a simple but effective method to give the PX7s a premium look. In fact, among the high-end headphones, they’re perhaps the smartest-looking.


The fit is secure without being oppressively tight, providing effective passive noise cancellation while being light and comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. The carbon fiber composite body also helps to reduce weight, so the PX7s are pretty light on the neck even after extended use.


One minor issue is that the ear cups do not collapse into the headband, resulting in the headphones taking up significantly more space so it’s not very travel-friendly.


The battery has a 30-hour battery life, making it one of the most battery-friendly big guys on the market, with a 15-minute quick charge extending your listening period by 5 hours. 


Overall, the PX7 may offer any of the headphones on this list a run for their money, thanks to advanced noise cancellation, improved sound quality, and a refined appearance.

4. Bose QuietComfort 45 

4.  Bose QuietComfort 45 
9.4/10 Our Score
  • Comfortable
  • Excellent audio
  • Great bass and highs
  • High-quality noise cancellation
  • Non-adjustable ANC 

Product Description

  • Noise-cancelling wireless headphones – The perfect balance of quiet, comfort, and sound. Bose uses tiny mics to measure, compare, and react to outside noise-cancelling it with opposite signals.
  • Quiet and Aware Modes – Choose Quiet Mode for full noise-cancelling, or Aware Mode to bring the outside into the around-ear headphones and hear your environment and your music at the same time.
  • Up to 24 hours battery life – Enjoy 24 hours of battery life from a single charge. A quick 15-minute charge offers 3 hours when you’re on the go, or plug in the included audio cable to listen for even longer in wired mode.
  • Charge via USB-C – Headphones charge via the included USB-C cable.
  • Bluetooth wireless noise-cancelling headphones – These headphones are optimized for a strong, reliable Bluetooth connection within 30 feet of the paired device.
  • Bose Music app – The app walks you through the guided setup of your over-ear headphones, making it easy to get started. Plus, access adjustable noise cancellation settings, manage your Bluetooth connections, enable shortcuts, and more.


The Bose QuietComfort 45 is another great Bose headphone that will offer you top-notch noise-cancelling features.


The Bose QuietComfort 45 now has genuine multi-point pairing thanks to Bluetooth 5.1. The Bose QC45 only supports the AAC Bluetooth codec, neither aptX nor aptX HD, which allows for higher-resolution audio streaming from compatible sources.


In regards to its call quality, the additional exterior mics offer you a superior voice pickup that separates and concentrates on your voice, supported by Bose’s noise-rejecting technology that filters out background noise. 


The acoustic construction of the TriPort provides depth and richness. Level-optimized Active EQ provides balanced performance at any volume, ensuring that bass remains steady even when the volume is dialed down and the music remains clear even when the volume is raised up.


The QuietComfort 45 headphones have a simple, functional design that clearly shows the Bose logo on the sides, similar to the QuietComfort 35 II. These headphones have an over-ear design that makes them quite comfortable to wear all day. They’re as comfortable as they are durable, made of velvety synthetic leather and impact-resistant nylon, and built with little clamping force.


The QuietComfort 45 headphones solidify Bose’s position as the market leader in active noise cancellation, outperforming competing for noise-cancelling headphones. And for headphones under $500, the QC 45 is definitely a catch.

What is an Audiophile?

Someone interested in high-fidelity sound is referred to as an audiophile. An audiophile is someone who enjoys all aspects of music, including recording, production, and listening. 


Fidelity is a term that refers to the quality of audio transmission. To put it another way, an audiophile is someone who enjoys music and wants to hear it reproduced as accurately as possible with the least amount of distortion. 

What are Audiophile Headphones?

Audiophile headphones are high-fidelity headphones that are handcrafted from only the best materials. These are high-end audio equipment that replicates sound signals as accurately as possible. Most audiophile headphones are over-the-ear headphones with either a closed or open back. Using only the most advanced technology and high-grade materials such as aluminum and titanium are used to create audiophile headphones.


Due to the higher audio quality and the high-grade materials used to make audiophile headphones, audiophile headphones are substantially more expensive than headsets. The majority of audiophile headphones may differ in materials, build, design, but all of the audiophile headphones have that high-quality audio that is much superior to that of a headset. 


Brands including Sennheiser, Focal, Final, and Audeze make audiophile headphones

How to Choose The Best Headphones — Factors to Consider

Wired VS Wireless Headphones

Choosing between the two can be quite a difficult decision, most especially if you’re a newbie to this kind of thing. But honestly, it really depends on your preferences since both have their pros and cons. 


A wired headphone will offer you better sound quality since wired headphones have an analog signal which can handle more data compared to digital signals. They also cost less, are easier to repair, and are much easier to use (you can just plug and use) compared to wireless headphones. One of the biggest pros of a wired headphone is its unlimited playtime since it doesn’t need to be charged. But the cons of wired headphones is that it restricts your usage and clutter your desk space with wires and wires can also be fragile.


Meanwhile, wireless headphones will allow you to move freely, plus, they’re also much more portable. They are also compatible with the majority of modern devices. You won’t have to worry about destroying or cluttered wires. But using wireless headphones means you’ll have to charge it and they’re more expensive than wired headphones. They’re also harder to repair and you might experience pairing or connecting issues.


So, determine for what purpose you’re using your headphone so that you can decide which one suits you better.

Audio Quality

Audio quality is quite an obvious factor you should consider since you’re looking for a headphone. But sometimes, the audio quality can be overlooked too. Headphones, especially audiophile headphones can be the pricier in the price range since it allows you to have better audio. Since you’re already investing in somewhat pricier headphones, then you should make it a point that you look for higher-quality audio because not every headphone has that. So, be cautious and if you can, we highly recommend that you try out the headphones before you fully commit to purchasing them.

Noise Cancelation

There are two kinds of noise cancellations: Active and Passive. So, what’s the difference between the two? 


Active noise cancellation is a new approach to eliminating unwanted sounds by creating new sounds that are designed to cancel them out. Passive noise-cancelling is more affordable, requires no electricity, and prevents unwanted noise via insulating approaches.


Overall, noise-cancelling headphones are more expensive, but they’re well worth it in the end, especially if you want to focus and be in your own world in a bustling place

Type of Headphones

There are various headphone types you have to choose from since each of them will offer you different audio experiences.


The over-ear type of headphones is the largest and heaviest type and will surround your whole ear. Over-ear headphones have two types which are closed and open. A closed type will keep your audio in and will prevent it from “leaking” out. While an open type will have an opening that will allow outside sounds in and your audio out. 


On-ear headphones are smaller and much lighter compared to over-ear headphones. You can think of on-ear headphones like earmuffs. On-ear headphones also come with a closed or open-back variation. These types of headphones stay on your head giving pressure directly to your ears.


In-ear headphones are typically called earphones are earbuds and are the smallest and lightest type of headphones among the three. They will fit inside your ear canal.

Closed VS Open-Back

Closed-Back Headphones

Closed-back headphones have no openings or vents in the exterior casing, and the entire structure is designed to cup your ear. The piece that meets your face and seals the gap between your ears and the rest of the world is made of pleasant, cushiony material. The drivers are also positioned in the ear cup in such a way that all sound is directed entirely to your ears. This is the most common style found in all of the above-mentioned varieties of headphones.


What’s great about closed-back headphones is that you’re able to be in your own world and just hear your audio since the majority of closed-back headphones are noise-cancelling headphones.

Open-Back Headphones

Sound gets through and air may move in and out of the ear with the drivers exposed to the outside world. This gives the impression of a conventional stereo and generates a rather more broad sound. Some argue that this is a more realistic, less artificial method to listen to music. 


People will be able to hear the music or audio coming out of your headphones, thus this sort of headphones isn’t good for public areas.

Add-ons and Accessories

Not all headphones have this and it’s not really necessary but it is a great catch if it does have those extra add-ons or accessories that can help enhance your headphone experience.


Headphones usually have their own casing to prevent dust and dirt to damage them. However, if you use your headphones frequently, you might want to consider a headphone stand to place on your desk or work area for easy use. You can also use a headphone stand to show off your cool headphones.


A good headphone amplifier will improve the sound quality of your headphones. A headphone amp, among other things, will access delicate low-level digital data that is often suppressed during recording. You get increased clarity, a wider dynamic range, and stunning detail when you use a headphone amp.

Final Thoughts

Headphones are a very high-demand product, especially for producers, musicians, and even casual listeners. Thus, we’ve put up a list of some excellent wired and wireless headphones for you to consider.


Now all you have to do is figure out where you’ll use them to help you figure out what kind of headphone set you’ll need and what features it should have. Since every headphone is distinct and offers different characteristics, this will ensure that you receive the ideal pair of headphones for you.

But if you’re looking for a pair of headsets, that won’t break the bank, then we highly recommend that you check out our budget-friendly headsets article!