Best Headphones Under $300 in 2022

by Alex.   Last Updated On August 30th, 2022.
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There are a variety of choices when you are searching for headphones under $300, but you may have a list of specific features you hope to find in a specific headset. This could be something as simple as a specific design aesthetic, or could be the depth of sound quality from that particular pair of headphones.

Regardless of your needs, we have taken the time to get a closer look at a variety of wired and Bluetooth headphones under $300 and have narrowed it down to a handful of headphone options which can work for a variety of needs and provide great sound quality for all types of listeners.

From serious audiophiles to studio professionals, there is sure to be a wired or wireless headset here that will fit your needs. We put an emphasis on checking out the overall sound performance of the best Bluetooth headphones as well as high quality wired headphones, with and without sound isolation technology, to bring you solid reviews on a handful of options.

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Comparison of the Best Headphones Under $300

Best Premium Headphones Under $300See On Amazon
photo of the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 WirelessBowers & Wilkins
PX7 Wireless
Best Overall Headphones Under $300See On Amazon
photo of the Audeze PenroseAudeze
Penrose
Best Budget Headphones Under $300See On Amazon
photo of the Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018Bose
QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018
Also Recommended Headphones Under $300See On Amazon
photo of the HIFIMAN Sundara 2020HIFIMAN
Sundara 2020
Best Quality and Comfort Headphones Under $300See On Amazon
photo of the HIFIMAN HE-400i HIFIMAN
HE-400i

Reviews of the Best Headphones Under $300

Offering massive 40mm drivers and adaptive noise cancelling technology to create a robust and distortion-free soundstage.

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Created to be a pair of headphones you can use on a busy bus or train while commuting, these headphones offer massive 40mm drivers with highly adaptive noise cancelling technology. You’ll never struggle to hear the music or other audio coming through your sound isolation headphones regardless of the noise and commotion in the background as these are protected from sound leakage.

The composite exterior is extremely durable and made from carbon fiber to be both lightweight and built to last unlike other headphones made from lesser materials. If you find yourself a bit rough on your wireless or wired headphone set, these stereo headphones can take the abuse and come out no worse for the wear making them great for taking on trips or other adventures.

When used wirelessly, these headphones offer up to 20 hours of battery life at maximum volume with noise cancelling modes turned on. When connected with a 3.5mm cable to a device such as your smartphone, you can extend the usable lifespan to around 30 hours if not more which is better than most Bluetooth headphones can offer.

Additionally, these on-ear headphones can be fully charged while they are in use reducing or even eliminating the potential downtime you may face when they need charged. Overall, these headphones offer a better sound quality than some other studio headphones in the same price range, with minimal sound leakage and a crisp sound overall.

What We Like

Very long 30 hour lifespan on the battery

Highly adaptive noise cancellation technology

Can be connected via Bluetooth or 3.5mm jack

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Huge 40mm drivers over each ear for pristine sound

Can be used in loud environments such as busses

Can be charged during use via USB port

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Made with true gamers in mind, these gaming headphones provide fast response and extremely high levels of sound performance.

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Perfect for gamers that need excellent sound performance with a rapid response, these Bluetooth 5.0 could potentially be the best wireless headphones for you. They are great for all types of gaming, casual listening, or voice chatting with friends, family, or co-workers while providing high levels of noise cancelling for listening in busy environments.

The included planar magnetic drivers measure 4 inches and provide the same high quality audio reproduction as much more expensive closed back headphones. If you’ve struggled to find a nice pair of gaming headphones with noise isolation technology that can also make a suitable headset for audiophiles, look no further than these noise canceling headphones from Audeze Penrose.

In addition, you can set up different sound profiles for different applications to get the best balance of sound performance and active noise cancelling. Such as cinematic response when you’re watching movies, or a high speed response when you’re in high action gaming. These headphones can also feel very well balanced when casually listening to music or watching a video online with a deep bass response and well balanced treble.

What We Like

Extremely thin diaphragm made from space age materials

Offers extremely fast response and very low distortion

Specifically designed for true gamers to enjoy

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Includes Bluetooth 5.0 connection options

Provides a very lively soundstage with high energy

Offers a detachable high quality microphone

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From a well known name in the industry, these active noise cancelling headphones deliver ultimate sound quality and include a high quality microphone.

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As one of the biggest names in the headphone and speaker industry, Bose left no stops when creating these noise cancelling headphones. First, they are extremely comfortable which makes them an excellent choice for long hours of wear. If you are a hardcore gamer or a studio professional that spends a lot of time wearing headphones, these will not cause fatigue around your ears or on top of your head like other headsets may.

Secondly, the sound quality is outstanding for the price. In fact, this is the same audio quality and noise cancellation technology you would find in headsets nearly twice the price. This sound comes from a large magnetic and thin diaphragm to give a quick response for every sound. Additionally, the desktop controller allows quick and easy access to volume control without having to search for it on the headset itself.

The noise cancelling microphone is also another perk for this headset. If you need to speak with your team on the other end of the line, but are in a busy room or office, the superior noise cancellation technology can provide premium audio for anyone you are speaking to without drowning out your voice.

What We Like

Includes a very responsive built-in microphone

Allows one-touch access to voice assistants

Wireless battery life of up to 40 hours

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Excellent gaming headset with directional audio

High level of noise cancellation technology

From a well known name in headphones

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Extremely thin and lightweight compared to similar sized headphones, this headset is perfect for audiophiles to really enjoy.

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Made to be highly stylish to look at, as well as very comfortable to wear, these HiFi headphones with noise cancellation are an excellent option for audiophiles to kick back and enjoy their favorite music through. Made with an extremely thin and lightweight diaphragm, these headphones can deliver extremely fast, crisp, and clear audio no matter what you may be listening to.

Highs are extremely clear, and lows are free from distortion while also providing deep rumbling vibrations giving you a unique listening experience for both music and movies. These headphones can also be suitable for gaming, though they do not include a built-in microphone.

The gold plated 3.5mm connector provides a high quality connection to your device which leads to better stability and audio quality. Whether you are connecting to a computer, a tablet, or a stereo system, you’ll be able to enjoy your music in clear detail from the highs to the lows and everything in between.

What We Like

Very lightweight compared to similar size headphones

Provides a huge soundstage for active listening

Makes use of an extremely thin diaphragm

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Thinner than most average size ear cups

Includes 3.5mm jack connection option

Aesthetic is done in a two-tone style

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A perfect set of headphones for studio professionals as well as casual listeners, these headphones offer high quality sound and comfort.

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Weighing in at 30% lighter than the same-sized competition, these headphones are extremely comfortable even after long hours of continuous wear. You won’t notice ear fatigue or a sore head from these 12 ounce headphones, which makes them great for studio professionals that spend a lot of time in the booth wearing a headset.

Excellent sound quality is provided through this powerhouse of headphones thanks to the active noise cancellation and planar magnetic technology that can offer extremely low distortion even at high volumes, as well as an excellent transient response. Additionally, the treble is extremely smooth and the midrange is very well balanced making these headphones perfect for critical listening.

The high quality exterior is bold yet stylish with a gloss charcoal finish over ABS polymer housing. If you are not only looking for a pair of headphones that not only provide a great listening experience but also look amazing, we can highly recommend the HE-400 for your consideration.

What We Like

Stylish and striking contemporary appearance

Comfortable across several hours of continuous wear

Made with high grade materials and components

Know Before Buying

Extremely quick response times due to lightweight diaphragm

Very low distortion noticed, even by serious audiophiles

Great depth of sound from giant planar magnetics

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How to Choose the Best Headphones Under $300

Sound Quality

One of the most important considerations when choosing the best headphones is the overall sound quality. For casual listeners, sound quality may not be extremely important as long as you can hear your music well enough. But for audiophiles, studio professionals, recording professionals, and musicians being able to hear every tone and nuance of each note is highly important.

Different headphones can produce different sound quality levels. Some can’t handle extreme highs or lows from bass and treble or soprano vocals or musical notes, while others can offer crisp and clear audio across the board. Headphones that are better made for high quality sound reproduction will normally carry a higher price tag as well, so be aware of this when searching for the best headphones to purchase.

Sound quality will depend on the style of headphones as well. For example, closed back over the ear headphones will produce a better soundstage than earbuds or most open back headphones can provide. This is due to the more enclosed ear cups which help contain sound around your ear while isolating background noise from leaking in.

In addition, most over ear headphones have active noise cancellation technology. When you purchase a wired or wireless headphone that has noise cancellation, you can still enjoy listening to your favorite music or podcast even in busy and noisy environments. These headphones are great for offices, commuting on a bus, train, or plane, as well as in quiet locations where critical listening is important.

Comfort Level

Comfort will come into play for everyone, whether you are a casual listener or a serious audiophile. Headphones can be comfortable when worn for a short time, but may turn uncomfortable or even painful over time. This is due to different pressure points around your ears and scalp of the head.

Padding on the ear cups is normally foam, but silicone, neoprene, and gel pads are also found in some bands and models. Foam is the most common by far, and will normally be the style of padding you get when purchasing a new headset. However, all foam is not created equal.

Memory foam is extremely soft and will form itself to the shape of your ears and scalp leading to long term comfort. High density foam is firm and can be comfortable over short periods of time, but may cause fatigue and pressure pain after more than an hour or two.

Earbuds also come with their own levels of comfort, though this is usually due to the material used on the ear tips. Silicone and foam are normally the tip styles you will find. Foam is great for both short term comfort and keeping the earbud snug in your ear, but can become uncomfortable over time.

Silicone earbud tips can be extremely comfortable over the long term, and are also excellent for reducing the amount of moisture and swear in and around your ear when the buds are being worn. Silicone earbuds come in multiple sizes and a few different shapes so you can find one that fits your ear perfectly.

Design Quality

Design and build quality is more linked to aesthetics than anything, though it can have some minimal effect on detailed sound quality as well. For the most part, design quality can make a headphone look sleek and stylish or large and bulky. Many headphones are made to be heavy duty and durable, but also heavy in weight.

Differences in designs can make even bulky over-ear headsets extremely lightweight, or sleek over-ear headsets may be made from dense materials which add some weight to their exterior housing. Lightweight over-ear headsets are normally more comfortable over long term listening, but some audiophiles say the lightweight feel reduces the depth of booming bass and can reduce the overall sound quality.

Casual listeners have not expressed this opinion in general and seem relatively happy with lightweight over-ear headsets. In the end, the design quality and weight of the headset itself will be personal preference and should not normally be tied to sound quality. If given the chance, try to test the headphones in advance before making your final decision.

Battery Life

For wired headphones, battery life will not be a concern as you’ll be getting your power needs from the device the headset is connected to. This can be a stereo system, MIDI system, desktop PC, laptop, tablet, or any number of other audio devices.

For wireless headphones however, battery life plays a huge role and can make or break wireless headphones for professional use. Obviously if you are using wireless headphones, especially for long hours throughout the day, you don’t want the battery life to run out in the middle of an important project.

A majority of factors can affect the battery life in wireless headphones including the brand and type of battery, the temperature the battery reaches, and how often the battery is left on the charger. Some batteries do better with partial charging, while others will have better battery life overall with full charging and even some overcharging.

Connection Options

Most modern wired headphones in today’s market will be connected to your devices via USB connection. Certain stereo systems can be connected via 6mm jack, and tablets and other devices can be connected via 3.5mm jack depending on the frequency response you are hoping to get through your audio cable from your wired or wireless audio devices.

Wireless headphones are connected to your device via Bluetooth. In most cases, Bluetooth headphones can be connected to almost any device with a USB dongle. This dongle plugs into laptop computers, desktop computers, and various other devices to provide a strong Bluetooth connection point for your headphones.

Additionally, some headphones can sync with Bluetooth devices independently. Smartphones for example can sync with some wireless headphones without needing a dongle or other connected source. This gives you the option of having two Bluetooth devices connected to the same device for shared audio monitoring between individuals during professional mixing sessions.

Extra Features

Whether you are looking for wired headphones or wireless headphones, you can find a variety of extra features that focus on design elements, comfort, aesthetics, and more. These extra features normally won’t affect the sound quality in any way, though can affect your comfort levels due to changes in weight and padding around the ears and on the top of the head.

In addition, you can find certain extra features that differ between manufacturers and models. Some manufacturers will have specific features you can order as upgrades or extras, such as different material for the ear padding or stylish external accents in titanium or silver plating.

Others may offer connection options including brass or copper connections, gold plated connections, woven cords, and more. These extra features may not improve the sound quality of the headphones, but can improve comfort and aesthetics of that model.

Some Bluetooth headsets have a few features or built-in options for voice assistant programs such as Siri or Alexa, giving you the freedom of using your voice or a simple touch pad to access these advanced features easily. In most cases, however, accessing these features on headphones under $300 is done through on-device apps.

Price Range

The price of your headphones can differ depending on a range of different factors. One of the biggest factors can be the brand name of the manufacturer. Big names in the industry, such as Sennheiser, Sony, and Bose, can command higher prices for their products simply due to their reputation, warranty guarantees, and other factors a large and well known entity can provide.

Other price differences can be due to the overall style and aesthetic of the headphones, the internal components used in construction, whether they are wired or wireless, and if there are any special features such as voice control or touchpad controls for volume and balance.

When purchasing your first pair of headphones, take some time to compare both well known and lesser known brands. Sometimes you can find headphones which offer similar or better results from lesser known brands at a more reasonable price. They may not carry the same warranty guarantees as headphones from larger companies, however, so keep this in mind for higher value and investment quality headphones.

Frequently Asked Questions

What defines an audiophile?

Audiophiles are people that absolutely love their music. They put an emphasis on hearing and enjoying every nuance of the tones used in the creation of their music, including the extreme highs and the rumbling lows.

Audiophiles can be more demanding on the type of sound quality they get back from headphones. Average listening is simply not good enough for someone that is passionate about music. Instead, they will search out headphones and other speakers that can reproduce high definition, clear and crisp audio with zero distortions.

These individuals will put an emphasis on having a well balanced and large soundstage for their music, regardless of the genre. In many cases, audiophiles will gravitate towards higher end and professional level headphones as these are the only ones that can provide such a balanced and great sounding musical ambience.

How important is frequency range?

For casual listeners, frequency range and response may not be as important as it would be for studio professionals and audiophiles. A frequency response range can cover a large spectrum from 5 to 50 Hz, however much of this range is inaudible to human ears and can be considered wasted frequency.

The average and accepted range of around 20 to 20,000 Hz, also written as 20Hz to 20 kHz. This is the most commonly found range in most headphones and will cover lows and highs very well for average and semi-professional listening.

Higher frequencies are seen on professional headphones, but that does not mean these headphones are better. In fact, anything over 33kHz is normally wasted, and even treble frequencies that go over 20kHz are not heard by the average listener.

Lower frequencies, such as 20Hz or less are normally felt as vibrations more than they are heard as actual sound. For deep bass music, this can add to the overall listening experience and be highly sought after by audiophiles and audio professionals.

Why are similar over-ear headphones different prices?

Price in headphones, and many other electronics, is determined by a wide range of factors including brand name, construction components both inside and out, and reputation. Headphones that offer special features that others may not, or those that come from extremely well known companies can be priced higher than similar headphones that lack these features.

If you are in the market for a new pair of headphones, don’t be afraid to compare features, frequency ranges, and aesthetics of the headphones between different companies. In many cases you may find similar headphones that are priced drastically different from another pair simply due to the brand name or warranty guarantees they offer.

How do I know what I need in over-ear headphones?

There are many factors that come into play with choosing the right pair of headphones. First and foremost, you need to think about your needs.

For studio professionals, musicians, vocalists, and other audio experts that might be moving around the studio often, a wireless pair of headphones may be extremely important. If you will be sitting at a computer sampling and editing music, not doing much moving around, wired headphones may be perfectly fine for you.

Are you concerned about repping a certain brand? If so, consider big names in the industry such as Sony, Sennheiser, Bose, and others. These are very well known brands which can offer a range of specific features, solid warranties, and excellent internal components to ensure you get the best possible headphones available.

Don’t forget about comfort too. If you will be wearing your headphones for short amounts of time on periodic occasions, ear pad and headband material may not be important. For others that plan on wearing their headphones throughout the day for casual listening or professional work, the quality and type of foam used in the ear cups and head harness may be extremely important.

Uncomfortable headphones can cause bruises and other fatigue pain to your ears and head, as well as potentially leading to headaches and just general discomfort every time you wear the headphones. Ensuring you purchase the most comfortable headset possible can help reduce or even eliminate these risks.

Conclusion

Best Premium Headphones Under $300
Best Overall Headphones Under $300

After taking a closer look at these five excellent headphones under $300, we have decided that the Audeze Penrose Wireless Gaming Headset offers the best combination of features, sound quality, and price. Not only are these over-ear headphones from an up and coming brand name in the industry, but they are also built using second generation components which means they have been tried, tested, and improved upon from the first iteration.

If you’re looking for a highly comfortable, stylish and lightweight headset for your serious gaming, studio work, music listening enjoyment, podcast recording or listening, or any other audio work, we think you will love the Audeze Penrose wireless headphones with active noise cancellation.