Best Headphones Under $600 in 2022

by Alex.   Last Updated On October 4th, 2022.
SoundGearLab is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission for purchases made after clicking on links on this page. Read our affiliate disclosure for more information.

Searching for the best headset within this price range might sound like a daunting task with consumer electronics prices on the rise, but we took the struggle out of it for you. Whether you are a serious gamer, an audio professional, a discerning audiophile, or just someone that casually likes listening to music, we have narrowed down the vast list of high quality headphones to a handful of the best for you to consider.

With so many different styles and brands on the market, it’s hard to know exactly which headphones or wireless earbuds are the best ones for you. In addition to showing you our picks for the best headsets within this price range, we also provided a detailed buying guide to help you determine which features are most important for your needs and which you can simply avoid.

From wired headphones to wireless in-ear monitors and Bluetooth headphones, we took a closer look at dozens of highly rated premium headphones within the price range and broke down their pros and cons, as well as special features and general offerings. If you’re in need of new headphones, but don’t know where to start on your search, you came to the right place!

Table of Contents
+

Comparison of the Best Headphones Under $600

Best Quality Open Back Headphones Under $600See On Amazon
photo of the Sennheiser HD 560SSennheiser
HD 560S
Most Comfortable Headphones Under $600See On Amazon
photo of the Sony MDR-1AM2Sony
MDR-1AM2
Best Overall Headphones Under $600See On Amazon
photo of the Sennheiser Momentum 4 WirelessSennheiser
Momentum 4 Wireless
Best Budget Headphones Under $600See On Amazon
photo of the Audio-Technica ATH-M40xAudio-Technica
ATH-M40x
Best ANC Headphones Under $600See On Amazon
photo of the Bose QuietComfort 45Bose
QuietComfort 45

Reviews of the Best Headphones Under $600

Outstanding sound quality and reproduction at a great value, Sennheiser made these open-back headphones for a variety of listeners.

See On Amazon

As one of the most well known names in the industry, Sennheiser didn’t cut corners on their HD 560S headphones. These open back cans provide a sleek and stylish look that can deliver a well balanced and immersive soundstage to a variety of listeners from casual music lovers to discerning audiophiles.

The driver in these headphones was created by Sennheiser specifically for the HD 560S and provides a wide frequency range with a balanced and smooth detail to every note. You’ll get the best performance from these headphones if you pair them with an external amp, which you can do with the included 3.5 mm headphone jack or standard 6.5 mm detachable cable.

Comfort was not ignored either. These headphones are lightweight and considerably smaller than other models Sennheiser offers. In fact, for being audiophile headphones, the smaller size can be rather misleading. The snug and secure fit keeps the drivers right over your ears so you can get the best sound, while the well padded ear cups and headband are covered in a velvet-feeling cloth with extra padding throughout.

What We Like

Extremely comfortable ear pads for long hours of use

Dynamic driver provides wide frequency range

Excellent option for serious audiophiles

Know Before Buying

Performs best when paired with an amp

Includes a 6 mm and 3.5 mm headphone jack

Open back design for expansive soundstage

See On Amazon

Extremely comfortable and high quality light-weight headset designed to produce premium quality sound for discerning audiophiles.

See On Amazon

Similar in build to the Sony WH 1000XM5, these lightweight and comfortable noise cancelling headphones were created by Sony to not only feel good, but to sound good as well. When you are looking for a new pair of headphones, those two things are probably very high on your list of requirements – and Sony delivered with their MDR 1AM2’s.

Using a nearly identical driver from their earlier MDR Z1R audiophile headphones, you’ll find massive 40 mm drivers with ultra light and flexible aluminum diaphragms in these cans, giving you an immersive and highly precise return on your music and vocals. In order to help improve the sound, Sony used a well vented grille to ensure proper airflow through these headphones to increase the resonance and balance out the deep bass.

These headphones are very versatile in their connect ability, including both a 3.5 mm mini headphone jack and a 4.4 mm headphone plug. The 3.5 mm can be adapted to fit larger jack ports as well, including 6.4 mm stereo or amp jacks. No matter which connection you prefer to use with your devices, Sony made sure the potential distortion was cut down to a minimum regardless of the style and volume you play your music at.

What We Like

Lightweight and highly durable construction inside and out

Versatile connection options including 4.4 mm plug

Very flexible aluminum diaphragm for precise audio

Know Before Buying

Massive 40 mm drivers on each ear

Extremely well vented exterior grille

Stylish design and soft earpads

See On Amazon

Sleek and modern Bluetooth headphones with an incredible 60 hour battery life for some of the best musical reproduction while on the go.

See On Amazon

Connecting wirelessly with Bluetooth 5.2, these Bluetooth headphones offer an incredible 60 hour battery life giving you almost unending freedom when it comes to when and where you want to enjoy your favorite music. Being the newer version of Bluetooth, you’ll be able to walk freely around your home or office without audio drop-off, even if you get several dozen feet away from your original audio device.

These studio headphones are extremely lightweight but also highly durable, giving you a great headphone for taking with you when commuting or vacationing. The fit is secure yet comfortable, with a well padded headband and thick padded soft earpads that are covered in a smooth designer fabric that won’t overheat your ears.

The large 42 mm drivers in each ear are very well balanced to provide a smooth and impactful audio experience. The bass from these Bluetooth headphones is deep and booming, but doesn’t overpower or distort. The highs are clear and have extensive detail in every note, but won’t seem shrill even when listening to the most lively music. If you want to fine tune the balance of each note, you can with the Smart Control app. This gives you the option of using presets or adjusting the EQ yourself, as well as the amount of noise cancellation you want.

What We Like

Incredible 60 hour battery life with Bluetooth 5.2

Very lightweight and comfortable for hours of use

Includes a Smart Control app for EQ balance

Know Before Buying

May feel flimsy due to lightweight construction

Large 42 mm drivers over each ear

Connects to most Android or Apple smartphones

See On Amazon

Extremely accurate sound and flat response which are perfect for DJs, studio professionals, and live musicians.

See On Amazon

Audio-Technica put a lot of focus on these studio headphones when it comes to what musicians, DJs, and studio professionals need most. Getting your hands on a high quality pair of professional headphones for this type of use can be costly, but you can pick these up for a fraction of what you would pay for some other brands. If you’re looking for a mid-level headset that can hold its own around much more expensive options, look no further.

The flat response tuning from each of the 40 mm drivers provides an extremely well balanced and accurate sound overall. This is outstanding for studio professionals working on mixing and sampling. The frequency range is vast reaching up to 24 kHz and provides a high level of detail so you never miss a note on the high or low end. This type of tuning and balance is almost perfect for DJs, live musicians, and sample artists.

For comfort, these closed-back headphones offer thick soft earpads on both of the ear covers as well as the headband, in addition to a swivel design on both ears to comfortably conform to the shape of your head. This gives you the option to slide one ear off and use them for single ear monitoring as needed in both the studio and at live performances.

What We Like

Vast frequency range from 15 Hz to 24 kHz

Includes 118 inch straight and coiled cables

Standard ¼ inch adapter for studio connection

Know Before Buying

Headphones fold for storage or transport

Each ear cup offers 90 degree rotation

Includes two detachable cables with 2.5 mm terminals

See On Amazon

Powerful noise cancellation technology makes these wireless headphones perfect for loud offices, commuting, and more.

See On Amazon

Coming from one of the most respected names in speakers and headphones, these Bluetooth headphones by Bose offer a powerful level of noise cancellation making them perfect for enjoying your music while commuting on the bus, train, or airplane, as well as in busy offices. Being wireless, you may think the noise cancellation will be a serious drain on the battery, but Bose has made these studio headphones to last a full 24 hours on a single charge even with full noise cancellation enabled.

Connecting via Bluetooth 5.1 and charging with a USB C cable, these Bluetooth headphones are perfect for enjoying your favorite music at home or on the go. Straight out of the box you will notice a clean, sharp, and stylish look typical to Bose products. Plug them in and you can really hear the difference in your favorite music with both the noise cancelling and sonic performance behind the large but lightweight drivers.

Bose took pride when it came to the noise canceling in these Bluetooth headphones putting their QuietComfort stamp of approval on it. Recharging these wireless headphones is quick and simple with the included charging cable. A full charge will get you around 24 hours of continuous use with noise cancellation on, and you’ll be given an audio voice prompt telling you how much battery life is left every time you turn these headphones on.

What We Like

Full 24 hours of battery life with quick charge ability

Outstanding noise canceling technology

Typical Bose design giving them a stylish look

Know Before Buying

Connects wirelessly or with 3.5 mm headphone jack

Voice prompt announces battery life when turning on

Ultralight feel might seem flimsy to some users

See On Amazon

How to Choose the Best Headphones Under $600

For Studio Usage

If you will be doing most or all of your audio sampling or recording in a controlled studio setting, don’t feel like you need to have the most expensive headphones (see also why are good headphones so expensive) on the market. In fact, some of the highest-priced headphones simply won’t offer the right balance of features that studio professionals and live recording artists need to succeed.

One of the most important considerations is sound isolation. The right audio isolation can be vital for tracking, sampling, and mixing drum solos, bass guitar pieces, and more. Powerful musical isolation on closed-back headphones is absolutely necessary at a range of at least 25 decibels if you will be working with drums (see also the best headphones for drumming here). Bass guitar focused professionals can get away with a bit less sound isolation, and can also alternate between open or closed back headphones depending on their preferences.

For vocal-focused work, open-back headphones are the general choice, as long as they are of high quality. Lower-quality open-back headphones simply won’t offer the frequency range you need for recording and sampling a lively and accurate vocal performance. This recommendation is also true for acoustic guitarists as well as a majority of other instruments commonly seen in a studio setting.

Comfort Level

If you will be wearing your closed or open back headphones for long amounts of time – and chances are, you will if you are a professional recording artist, studio mixer, or audiophile – comfort level should be one of your top considerations. A pair of closed or open back headphones that is too large or small, or too heavy, can become extremely uncomfortable over short periods of time leading to pressure pain, headaches, and ear fatigue.

Take a good look at the style of padding that is used on the ears. Padding on over-ear headphones should be thick and soft. Memory foam or gel foam is a very comfortable padding to consider, but various densities of regular foam can also be highly comfortable. The covers over the soft earpads is also important with velour, microfiber, leather, vinyl, and many other options being on the market.

Headbands can also be an important consideration, especially if you will be going for larger and bulkier over-ear headphones. The headband on the top of your scalp will be supporting the majority of the weight and if this area is uncomfortable, you can have headaches and potential scalp damage or maybe even hair loss after regular use.

people, technology and leisure concept - happy african american young woman sitting on sofa with headphones listening to music at home

Open or Closed Back

Closed back headphones are normally best for usage where background noise can be an issue. Closed headphones will often have a high level of vocal isolation by default, but can also have drivers that improve sound isolation technology as well. This is great for times when you want to get fully immersed in your listening experience without having it leak out to anyone sitting nearby.

Open back headphones can be better for audiophiles or anyone looking for an accurate balance of various frequencies. However, open back headphones won’t be able to offer anywhere near the same level of sound isolation as closed headphones do simply due to their construction. A decent balance would be in semi-open back headphones which provide a balanced and immersive soundstage along with relatively good isolation depending on the audio being played.

For professionals and serious gamers, closed headphones are probably the better option. These are also the better choice for anyone mixing or sampling as you won’t risk music leakage feeding back into a microphone. For audiophiles or anyone needing an extremely vast frequency range and balance, open back headphones are a better option but won’t hold up if you also need sound isolation and noise cancellation.

For Live Sound Usage

If you plan on doing a lot of live sound usage such as in a studio recording session, as a musician, or a stage professional, your headphones should have certain characteristics to better serve you.

For onstage use, most professionals will opt for IEMs or in-ear monitors. They are smaller, more discreet, and perfect for live musicians. These low profile and nearly invisible headphones are similar to earbuds, but offer a much higher quality sound reproduction ability and can even have advanced noise isolation technology.

Being a smaller single-driver monitor, the bass reproduction is not powerful enough for bass guitarists or drummers. If you are planning on doing a lot of live music that involves bass, an IEM would not be the best option for you. Instead, look for closed or open-back headphones that have multiple drivers and can handle much lower frequencies.

For professionals at the soundboard or in the studio mixing and sampling, closed-back headphones are an ideal option to consider. One of the biggest things to look for on high-quality studio headphones is sound pressure levels or SPL. In order to perceive your music clearly, even at extremely high volumes, you want a SPL that can reach 110 decibels which also offer premium levels of musical isolation to keep all of those vibrations and sound waves contained.

Extra Features

While most extra features added to over-ear headphones and earbuds are mostly for aesthetics, there can be some extras which will improve or decrease the overall quality of what you perceive when listening to various samples. Noise isolation and cancellation is one of the best examples of an extra feature that can improve source material quality, since good noise canceling technology will allow you to enjoy your music in a wide range of busy areas.

Other extra features may include built-in microphones. These are usually boom-style on larger over-ear headphones, but can also be in-line style on smaller headphones, earbuds, and IEMs. A high quality microphone on headphones is normally not needed for casual listening tasks, but can be vital for gaming headphones or if you will be using your headphones for making calls or participating in Zoom meetings.

Specific manufacturers will normally focus on certain types of extra features. Most will be purely aesthetic such as RGB lighting, elaborate logos, or replacement parts. Additionally, you can find different versions of the same headphone model which have various features. The original first version might be the basic offering, while version 2 and version 3 have extra features giving you a choice as to which headphones will work best for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need noise cancelling technology?

Noise canceling headphones can have their time and place, but is not always needed. If you will be listening to your music in a room that has background commotion such as people talking, rustling papers, phones ringing, children playing, or pets making noise, powerful noise canceling can reduce the amount of background noise that you hear while listening to your favorite music in your over-ear headphones.

The downside here is that good noise cancelling technology can completely immerse you in your listening experience and leave you unable to hear certain things in the background such as the doorbell, phone ringing, or other noises you normally want to keep track of. If staying aware of your surroundings is important, noise canceling technology is probably not the best option for you.

How do I choose a good headset for my needs?

Your specific needs will determine exactly which headset type and style will be the best for you, and there are a range to choose from. For example, gamers will have more directional needs than casual music listeners. This is so the gamer can accurately perceive the direction of footsteps, especially in PVP type games where other players can sneak up from any direction.

Casual music listeners won’t need directional listening capabilities, but may need a better tonal balance than a gamer would. If you are listening to your favorite music, you want to be able to distinguish easily between the highs and lows without having to deal with distortion, even if you play your music at a higher volume.

Audiophiles and studio professionals will need extremely precise balance and tone reproduction. They want to hear resonant and booming bass tones, along with crystal clear highs. Noise canceling technology may not be important for audiophiles, so they can opt for open-back headphones, but studio professionals and live music recording artists may prefer closed back headphones with powerful isolation technology to prevent audio leaking from the headphones into the microphone.

Do I need an amplifier for my headphones?

Amplifiers are an external device that can increase the power that goes to your headset or speakers. Some headphones have low impedance, so will benefit greatly from an external amplifier. In most cases, however, a headphone amp is not needed.

That’s not to say that you won’t benefit from having one. In fact, even if you are listening to your music very well without an amplifier, you may notice an improvement in overall listening quality, resonance, immersion, and more when pairing it with the right amp.

What makes one headset better than another?

A variety of features can make one headset better than another, but every headset can match to its perfect user. What might not work out for you could be the best match for someone else. Headphones come with a wide range of different standard features and extra features. This can be as trivial as some flashy RGB lighting on the exterior, to as useful as dynamic and powerful isolation technology.

In addition to different features, the brand of one headphone can make it seem better than another from a lesser or unknown brand name. Some of the biggest names in the industry include Sony, Bose, Sennheiser, and Audio-Technica. Audiophile headphones from these brands may be perceived to be better than others, simply due to the experience the manufacturing company has in making high quality audiophile headphones.

Customization options can also make one pair of over ear headphones better than another. Some over ear headphones are made to have replaceable or interchangeable ear cups and headband padding. This gives you a choice in which materials feel best on your head.

Leather and vinyl ear cup coverings can be stylish to look at on any over ear headphones, but also very hot when worn for long periods of time. Cooling mesh and microfiber can be extremely soft and won’t overheat your ears while still providing incredible amounts of comfort from over ear headphones even during long term use.

Conclusion

Best Quality Open Back Headphones Under $600
Most Comfortable Headphones Under $600
Best Overall Headphones Under $600

After thoroughly comparing the shortlisted headphones above, we have chosen the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless as our overall best headset within this price range for listening to a wide range of musical genres. Not only do these headphones offer incredible musical and vocal reproduction and versatile frequency response, but they are wireless too which gives you the freedom to enjoy your music while on the go.

The battery life is one of the longest we have seen as well, reaching an incredible 60 hours of battery life use. If that wasn’t impressive enough, the top notch headphones connect via Bluetooth 5.2 and include an Android and Apple compatible smart control app so you can easily adjust the EQ balance, sound isolation, and other detailed sound settings at the touch of a button.