Are you looking for the best headphones for under 500 dollars? With that kind of budget, you’re guaranteed a top-quality pair.
There are many headphones on the market today, from top bass headphones to wireless and Bluetooth headsets, and many more. With so many great options and excellent features to choose from, it can sometimes be a little disheartening and overwhelming – to say the least.
Whether you’re after the precision and clarity of a well-crafted audio experience with long-lasting battery life – or simply the ability to drown out any background noise to focus on your top tracks. You’ll find it on this list, along with all the big brands.
If you’ve found yourself pining after a top-of-the-range headphone, we’ll fret not. In this post, we’ll uncover the best 500 dollar headphones and under, why we like them, and what their downsides are.
Best Headphones 500 Dollars & Under
Before you get into the best 500 dollar headphones list, take a look at the list of options available in their top categories.
- Overall Best $500 Headphones – Sony WH-1000XM4 Over-Ear Headphones
- Best Over-Ear Headphones Under 500- Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
- Best Closed-Back Headphones Under 500 – Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBTGM Headphones
- Best Audiophile Headphones Under 500 – Sennheiser HD 660S Open Back Headphone
- Best Open Back Headphones Under 500 Dollars – Philips Fidelio X2HR Open-Air Headphones
- Best Headphone Under 500 for Luxury Listening – Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Bluetooth Headphone
- Best Over-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones Under 500 – Sennheiser Momentum 3 Noise Cancelling Headphones
- Best Music Headphone for Under $500 – Beats Studio3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-Ear
Our Top 3 Picks – Best Headphones for 500 Dollars & Under
With an array of top choices to choose from, or if you’re feeling a little frazzled with choices, nonetheless, take a look at the best 500 dollar headphones and under-top picks below.
|Sony WH-1000XM4 Overhead Headphones||– Excellent Noise cancellation
– Bluetooth multipoint is super convenient
– Up to 30 hours battery life
– Excellent sound
– Bluetooth 5.0
– Auto-pauses when you remove the device
|Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700||– Excellent ANC
– Battery life lasts up to 20 hours
– One-touch listen
– Sleek design
– Alexa voice control
– Wireless, Bluetooth
|Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBTGM Over-Ear Headphones||– Excellent sound
– Bluetooth 5.0
– AptX Support
– Excellent battery life
– Voice assist sensitivity with 99 dB/mW impedance
Best $500 Headphones & Under – Reviewed
From the best-closed headphones under 500 to open back and everything in between, let’s take a look at the top headphones reviewed.
1. Sony WH-1000XM4 Overhead Headphones
Overall Best $500 Headphones
The Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones boast awesome circumaural (over-ear) closed-back headphones with Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. With advanced active noise-cancellation (ANC) technology, these headphones transmit three times the data. This provides users with an enhanced wireless listening experience and superior audio quality.
Enjoy up to 30 hours of battery life with Bluetooth and ANC engaged, ideal for long-haul trips and extended jamming sessions. These headphones boast touch sensor controls and an active voice assistant to pause, skip tracks, play again, volume control, and more.
The headphones’ 40 mm dynamic dryers are designed to provide users with superb bass sound, with clear mids and crisp highs. Other features include automatic pause/play as the headphones are removed or put back on, the quick attention to touch control, and ambient sound.
There isn’t much these headphones can’t do, and that’s why these would make the overall best headphones under $500.
Why these – The Sony WH-1000XM4 boasts high-quality Bluetooth connectivity, great sound, good battery life, and improved noise cancellation. These headphones are a top-tier pair of headphones, excellent for modern-day use.
2. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 Review
Best Over-Ear Headphones Under 500
The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are considered top-of-the-range when it comes to producing powerful noise cancellation technology. With a 33-foot range of Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity and 11 levels of ANC, users can enjoy music, podcasts, videos, and more, without any distractions from the outside world.
Slip on your over-ear headphones and immerse yourself in the exciting world of clear, crisp bass and life-like sound. Keep your hands free with easy access to voice control using your assistants (Alexa and Google) for changing music, navigation, the weather, and more.
Enjoy wireless connectivity of up to 20 hours of battery life on a single charge, with a premium lightweight design. And a quick 15-minute charge, you’ll get an additional 3.5 hours of battery life. Overall, the renowned Boise 700 headphones are a delight to use.
Psst… if you’re looking for a top pair of headphones for movies, this headset may be the crème de la crème for watching flicks.
Why these – If you’re looking for an excellent pair of noise-canceling headphones, the Bose 700 is a solid choice. They’re ideal for users looking to block out any unwanted sound, whether that be traveling by train, plane, or simply home disturbances.
3. Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBTGM Over-Ear Headphones Review
Best Closed-Back Headphones Under 500
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBTGM Over-Ear Headphones are a popular choice amongst many cost-conscious audiophiles. These closed-back headphones provide a good sound over many competitors, including Beats.
Enjoy easy touch control that provides access to voice assist sensitivity. The mic and button controls are built into the ear cup to allow easy handling of calls, music playback, and adjusting the volume. Enjoy large 45-millimeter aperture drivers that deliver exceptional clarity throughout their frequency range. Moreover, listeners will be rewarded with deep, accurate bass responses.
You may find the padding on these headphones to be a little thin, but then again, it’s not uncomfortable. Contrarily, the headband is well-padded, and it’s unlikely to break under force thanks to the metal skeleton.
With aptX codec and Bluetooth 5.0, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT boasts fast data transmission from your smartphone – making it super fast and using low energy. However, Bluetooth may provide some issues that could frustrate you. This may include quality and connection errors that may occur with certain phones or certain codecs that aren’t supported.
Why these – The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBTGM Headphones are the perfect pair for anyone looking for no-nonsense headphones that provide excellent sound. They are a gold standard of what’s on the market today.
4. Sennheiser HD 660S Open Back Headphone Review
Best Audiophile Headphones Under 500
The Sennheiser HD 660S Open Back Headphone is, without a doubt, considered one of the most successful audio headphones on the market. These headphones boast an open-back, dynamic design featuring lower (150 ohms) impedance transducers to produce reference-class sound when connected.
The newly designed transducers feature lightweight aluminum voice coils and stainless steel fabric in the diaphragm. This produces exceptional transient response and improved diaphragm movement to reduce any distorted sound.
Because of their open-back design, these headphones have a wide soundstage that offers intimate, clear sound. There’s excellent richness to the midrange that’s also backed by a bass thump.
These headphones are designed to be enjoyed at home and not out in the crowds. Moreover, they’re wired, and you won’t want to be carrying thick cable wires with you.
Why these – The Sennheiser HD 550S are considered the best hi res headphones on the market today. If you have a quiet place in your home, then these headphones are a solid choice.
5. Philips Fidelio X2HR Headphones Review
Best Open Back Headphones Under 500 Dollars
The Philips Fidelio X2HR Open-Air Headphones are considered the best audiophile over-ear headphones. They come fully equipped with high-resolution audio, a built-in microphone, noise cancellation, and echo cancellation technology.
These headphones are accredited with high res audio to produce a bandwidth of 40 kHz. Enjoy Layered Motion Control (LMC) that helps dampen any exaggerated frequency, resulting in a smooth response. Users will also appreciate the double-layered ear shells for maximum comfort, high-definition music, and great sound.
Their acoustic sound profile is well-balanced, making them suitable for a wide range of content and genres. Contrarily, some may find their sound to be a little dull, with some frequencies and others piercing. However, given they are less pricier than others on this list, overall, they’re fairly sleek, produce great sound, and are a premium-looking pair of open-back headphones.
Why these – If you’re looking for the best open-back headphones under $300 with an LMC diaphragm to listen to high-quality audio sound waves, then these are a great choice.
6. Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Bluetooth Headphone Review
Best Headphone Under 500 for Luxury Listening
The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Headphones are an oh la luxury over-ear closed-back headphone with Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connectivity. Enjoy adaptive active noise-cancellation technology that can connect to two devices simultaneously.
The Px7’s battery life can last up to 30 hours using Bluetooth and ANC at a time. Do a 15-minute quick charge to boost your time for an additional 5 hours extra. Simply plug your headphones into a charging adapter with the USB-C charging cable that’s included.
In addition to Bluetooth, these headphones can connect to audio sources directly using the supplied 3.5 mm audio or cables. As one of the best headphones under $400, these headphones feature ambient pass-through, meaning they pass external sounds from the environment.
Customize your headsets sound using the Bowers & Wilkins Headphone App. They also boast wear sensing technology that can be set to stop and start audio.
Why these – The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 headphones are an excellent pair of wireless noise cancellation headphones, producing crisp audio performance.
7. Sennheiser Momentum 3 Noise Cancelling Headphones Review
Best Over-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones Under 500
The Sennheiser Momentum 3 are excellent wireless headphones for under $500. It’s yet another fantastic over-ear, closed-back wireless headphone that provides Bluetooth 5.0 technology and features three different active noise cancellation modes.
Enjoy active noise cancellation and transparent hearing to adapt to your environment wherever you may find yourself. Use the Sennheiser Smart Control app to switch between making calls and your music.
Rated as one of the best circumaural headphones with customizable noise cancellation, easy touch, and intuitive controls. Listen to tunes for hours in exceptional comfort thanks to the headphones’ super-soft ear pads and headband made from genuine leather.
Although their battery life may not be up to standard as the others on the list, these headphones have built-in lithium rechargeable batteries that provide up to 17 hours of operation time while using ANC. The USB-C port on the headphones is used for easy charging as well.
Why these – If you’re on the hunt for a quality pair of over-ear headphones – with fantastic sound quality, warm bass, and neutral highs – then the Sennheiser Momentum 3 may be a good choice for you.
8. Beats Studio3 Noise Cancelling Headphones Review
Best Music Headphone for Under $500
The Beats brand is renowned for its audio quality, and the Beats Studio 3 Headphones are no exception. With up to 22 hours of continuous audio-play, active noise canceling features, and Bluetooth technology, these headphones produce some incredible sound.
With the W1 chip, these headphones provide excellent coverage of up to 100 feet. The Studio 3 headphones are compatible with iOS and Android devices. Use your multi-function on-ear controls to skip songs, control volume, activate Siri and take calls.
In addition, they provide a wider resonant bass than other devices on this list. These Beats by Dr. Dre headphones are made of matte plastic, which is super soft to touch. They also produce a clear and crisp sound, making these headphones ideal for listening to music, movies, podcasts, etc., for long periods of time.
Why these – These Beats by Dre Studio 3 headphones are ideal for die-hard Beats fans that are looking for some sweet bass tunes.
Best $500 Headphones & Under – Buyers Guide
When you’re deciding on the best headphones under $500 to choose from, there are a couple of design features to take into consideration. Take a look at some of the top factors to look for when you’re on the hunt to find your top-of-the-range headset.
Noise Cancellation and Isolation Technology
Some people prefer to have headphones that completely block out any background noise. In comparison, others would love to have high-quality headphones that allow some background noise to hear what’s going on around them.
This is where noise cancellation or noise isolation provides different options. Take a look at their different functions below:
- Noise Cancellation (aka Active Noise Cancelling or ANC) uses microphones and speakers to reduce any surrounding or background noises. These headphones are mostly used in over-ear headphones. However, they can often be worn in many types of true wireless in-ear earphones. ANC neutralizes any outside nose by creating an opposite or equal noise.
- Noise isolation (aka Passive Noise Cancellation), on the other hand, is produced by blocking noise through the use of physical barriers. These types of headphones feature a secure-like seal using foam pads in the ear cups. So, just as you hear less sound when you cover your ears using the palms of your hands, these headphones achieve the same result.
Open-Back vs Closed-Back Headphones (Pros & Cons)
While this design feature is pretty self-explanatory, the reason you may choose either or is up to you and your own individual preferences.
Open-back headphones allow air to circulate through the ear cups, preventing excessive heat and pressure from accumulating. Pressure can create small echos or affect the sound inside the earcups, which open-back headphones eliminate and instead create a more natural, clear sound with a wider soundstage.
A downside to this design is that they aren’t suited to be used in loud environments. These headphones offer little background noise reduction, giving out greater sound leakage. So, if you want to use these headphones in a library or an office, these headphones may not be the best option.
Closed-back headphones include ear cups that cover the ear and only allow sound to pass through when it reaches the ear. These headphones are perfect for listening in noisy environments where you want more noise isolation and less sound leakage.
However, a drawback here is that these headphones reduce the size of the soundstage, which may create less natural-sounding audio. They also don’t provide airflow like the open-back headphones, and wearing them for a long time can make them stuffy and hot.
Depending on your individual listening preference, battery life certainly does come in handy. You don’t want to be stuck on the subway or in the airport without any power left in your headphones.
So, picking a headphone with a battery life that can last anywhere from eight to 24 hours or more would be most ideal here.
Wired vs Wireless Headphones
When it comes to finding which one works best, there are no ‘better’ or ‘worse’ options when you’re searching for good ol’ wired or Bluetooth headphones.
Generally speaking, wired headphones provide better sound quality than wireless. They’ve been around since 1910, can connect to almost any audio source (as long as there’s a 3.5 mm input), and don’t require batteries for charging (except ANC headphones).
A downside to these types of headphones is the cable itself. They’re great for anyone who is stationary. However, if you’re exercising, cleaning the house, or simply being mobile, these chords may put a damper on things.
Wireless headphones are becoming the go-to listening devices. They provide freedom to move around, ideal for commuters, gamers, joggers, and, of course, make top cycling headphones. These headphones provide added features with the latest Bluetooth technology.
A drawback to wireless headphones is often to do with price. With their cool features, these headsets also come with a hefty price tag that reflects these features. Moreover, you can add ‘wireless headphones’ to your growing list of things to charge.
A Footnote on the Best Headphones Under $500
While several options are available in this price range, finding the best headphones below 500 can be a little difficult. With the vast range of brands and cool features each one has to offer, from voice assistant control to noise-canceling, you’ll find an excellent pair for this range.
So, now that we’ve covered the selection of best HD headphones for under 500 dollars, what’s your favorite pair? Please share your thoughts; we’d love to know.