$300 is a lot of money. It can get you a fantastic on-ear headphone, some genuinely outstanding over-ears, maybe even a perfect mid-range pair that could be the only pair of headphones you own for years to come.
The bar for what counts as “excellent” is pretty high here, and The Redwood Plan has outlined my specific expectations for headphones in the paragraphs below.
We’ll be looking at many different items divided into separate categories. You will find the best headphones under $300 for music, gaming and when you are exercising.
We’ll also be taking a look at the types of headphones you should focus on when you plan on spending less than $300.
If you are here to find recommended headphones, we recommend jumping to the right section by clicking on one of the links below:
- The best headphones under $300 for music
- The best headphones under $300 when working out
- The best headphones under $300 for gaming
Types of Headphones You Can Buy For Less Than $300
This section will discuss the three different types of headphones you can buy for less than $300. If you have read our article on the best headphones under $500, you will notice a big difference in which kind of headphones we recommend for people that want to spend less than $300.
This type of headphones has a closed ear cup which means the music doesn’t leak out and others can’t hear what you are listening to. They also offer better noise isolation. The downside is that they can feel a bit “claustrophobic” for some users. If you listen to your music at high volumes, the closed-back headphones that isolate noise best tend to be bigger and heavier.
This type of headphones is suitable for any music, games and movies where you want to feel immersed in sound with decent isolation from outside noise.
This type of headphone has an open ear cup which means that sound can leak in and out. Not ideal for noisy environments.
Open-back headphones offer a more natural listening experience as you feel in the room where the recording took place. Open-back headphones are best suited for home use, though they are not very practical for outdoor use.
User Intent Plays a Major Role
The way you intend to use the headphones plays a significant role in which category of headphones you should look for. This is important because each category caters to a different type of user.
If you use your headphones at home or in a studio, open-back headphones would be your best bet. If you plan on using them while exercising, noise-cancelling closed-back headphones are the way to go. For all other occasions (at home, studying in a library, using public transport), a pair of closed-back headphones would be your best bet.
Open-back headphones typically have a more airy and natural sound. They are also lighter than closed-back headphones as there is no need to produce a tighter seal around the ear cup to block outside sound.
In an attempt to make it easier for you to find the right headphone, we have divided our recommendations into the following three categories:
- Headphones for music
- Headphones for exercising
- Headphones for gaming
Headphones for Music
I’m sure you already have a certain standard for what makes good music headphones. We all listen to different genres, and we all want something that sounds “good.” What is “good”, though? It’s hard to define, but when you hear it, you know it.
In doing my research, I searched for headphones that appealed to audiophiles and casual listeners alike. I also wanted to stay away from the “fashion models” as much as possible, which meant staying away from over-priced headphones that look pretty but sound awful.
Sports and Exercise
In today’s world, we rely heavily on our gadgets. We just can’t get enough of them, and one of the most widely used ones is the Bluetooth headphones. Bluetooth earbuds are now trendy in all forms of exercise, from running to weightlifting. They allow us to listen to music without tangling up in wires and give us freedom of movement.
I also wanted to find a pair that would come with noise-cancelling because if you’re going to focus on your workout, you don’t need to be constantly aware of the surrounding noises. It can get pretty annoying when exercising, as gym machines are usually quite loud, and people tend to forget how much they talk.
Last but not least, what about gaming headphones? Yes, you can use your regular headphones for gaming. However, sometimes it is nice to have an extra level of detail or a better surround sound experience while we play games.
Like with music headphones, I also looked for a balanced sound experience that doesn’t emphasise any particular range of frequencies.
The Best Music Headphones Available Under $300
The music headphone market is the largest out of all three categories. There are so many low-quality options available that it’s tough to find a pair that sounds good while still being affordable. However, even though they might not be as well known as Beats by Dre, we dug deep and found some real gems.
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II has been praised for its excellent noise-cancelling capability and comfortable fit. The oval ear cups are huge, which means that they fully cover your ears. This prevents sound leakage because there is no air gap between your head and the headphones.
Most reviewers agree that these headphones have a very balanced sound and don’t emphasise any particular frequencies. They are also perfect for blocking out high-frequency sounds, so I would recommend them if you’re looking to use them in a loud city or public transport.
Bose SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones II
The Bose SoundLink are similar to the QuietComfort, but their design is slightly different. The ear cups look more like actual circles, which means they will not cover your ears entirely. On the other hand, this gives them a more open sound, and they leak less because there’s no air gap between you and the outside world.
There’s not much to say about these headphones because they’re pretty straightforward. Many reviewers agree that the sound quality is excellent, although some claim that their bass can be slightly overwhelming at times. Overall though, they are a solid choice for anyone looking for good sounding music headphones under $300
Jabra Elite 85h Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones
The Jabra Elite 85his an excellent choice for those of you that are more into the bass. These headphones have a fantastic, powerful beat, and every note can be heard loud and clear. They come with built-in intelligent sensors that allow you to control ambient noise depending on your preferences.
Additionally, they offer pretty impressive sound isolation, and the ear cups are very soft and comfortable. Another great advantage is their quick charging feature which gives you up to 5 hours of playtime from only 15 minutes of charging.
SENNHEISER Momentum 3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones
Sennheiser is a well-known brand in the audio industry. Professionals and musicians use their headphones, but they’re also great for recreational use. The Momentum 3s feature a taut headband that keeps them securely on your head without making you feel any discomfort or pain.
They have an extended bass range, and they’re also really sturdy and durable. If you’re looking for something sleek and stylish that is also very functional and practical, these would be a great choice.
SONY WH-1000XM3 Wireless Noise-cancelling Stereo Headset
Sony’s WH-1000XM3s are some of the most popular headphones available at the moment. They’re flashy, sleek and have a slight touch of luxury to them. The ear cups are large and comfortable so that you won’t feel any pressure on your head or ears.
They come with built-in intelligent sensors that allow you to turn on the noise cancellation feature only when needed. This is beneficial for your ears because otherwise, you would be listening to music at a loud volume for long periods.
They also have a great battery life: one charge gives you 30 hours of playtime, and they take only five minutes to reach total capacity.
Skullcandy Crusher ANC Personalized Noise Canceling Wireless Headphone
Skullcandy is one of those brands that deliver on its promises. The Crusher ANC Headphones look pretty ordinary and straightforward, but they’re surprisingly good for sound quality.
They have excellent noise isolation, and the battery life can reach up to 40 hours with just a single charge. They also come with built-in smart sensors, and you can find the ANC feature only when you need it.
Additionally, other than playing music, these headphones can act as a headset for your calls.
The Top Sports & Exercise Headphones Under $300
If you’re looking for headphones that would be specifically designed for sports and exercises, then the list below is ideal for you.
We have selected only the best products on the market so that they will fit your needs. It doesn’t matter if you prefer running or biking- there’s something on this list for everyone!
The first thing we took into consideration when creating this list is the sound quality. It’s pretty evidentYou that you will be increasing your heart rate and moving with intensity while exercising, so you don’t want a pair of earbuds that would keep falling out or have poor noise isolation. That’s why we selected only wireless earbuds in this category.
Another essential thing to have in mind is the comfort level that each pair of headphones provides. If you’re exercising for long periods, you want something that won’t be annoying to wear.
Bone Conduction Headphones Bluetooth Waterproof Open-Ear Earphones with 8G
If you’re into swimming, then these are the best earphones for you. They come with Bluetooth to connect them to your smartphone or any other device, but they also use bone conduction technology.
The headphones consist of two separate elements: one goes outside the water, and it has a loop design that keeps it in place while you move, while the other element stays inside your ear.
In case you’re wondering how they work- well, the part that’s outside your ear has a special membrane that allows sound to come through. Still, it simultaneously uses bone conduction technology so you can hear music even when both of your ears are underwater.
Swimming Bone Conduction Headphones Waterproof Mp3 Player- Open Ear Sport Wireless Bluetooth 5.0 Earphones
These earphones are very similar to the previous model, but they have a slightly different design. They also come with Bluetooth and use bone conduction technology, but instead of a loop design, they have an adjustable headband that keeps them in place while you’re exercising.
We particularly like this feature because it can fit any size of the head perfectly.
These earphones are also waterproof and have excellent sound quality. They provide you with all the necessary features to enjoy your favourite music while swimming or doing other exercises.
Bone Conduction Headphones Bluetooth Swimming Earphones IPX8 Waterproof
If you’re looking for a lightweight and comfortable pair of earphones, then these are ideal. They also use bone conduction technology, but they come with a straightforward design- they have no loops or wires whatsoever.
The cool thing about this model is that it has an IPX8 certification for water resistance. While the other models on our list can only be sweat-resistant, these can be completely submerged in water without any damage.
Amazon Price: $231.31
Neckband Bluetooth Headphones Wireless with Magnetic Earbuds 5.0 CVC 8.0 Waterproof
If you don’t like earphones that go into your ears, this model is ideal. It has a unique design with earbuds that magnetically attach to the neckband and stay in place even when doing intense physical activities.
This model also uses Bluetooth technology and has noise reduction features. The sound quality is pretty good as well, and you can use it for multiple purposes.
The Best Gaming Headphones You Can Buy for Less than $300
One of the most significant advantages of gaming headphones over regular ones is that they can provide you with surround sound and make you feel more immersed in the game.
There are many different types of these headphones, but it would be wireless headsets if we had to pick only one for this list. They usually come with noise-cancelling features, which means that you can hear all the sounds in your surroundings while still enjoying excellent sound quality.
This is why they’re usually used by professional gamers and players who participate in tournaments.
If you want to play any game without being interrupted by outside noise, then a pair of these headphones will make that possible.
Here are some examples of wireless gaming headsets you can buy on a $300 budget:
JBL Quantum ONE – Over-Ear Performance Gaming Headset with Active Noise Cancelling
These headphones come with a very sleek design and are very comfortable on your head. They also cancel outside noise pretty well, so you can entirely focus on the game without being interrupted by any external sound.
The ear cups can rotate 90 degrees, which makes them perfect for every size of the head. These headphones have an advanced microphone system that can reduce background noise and provide you with a clear voice.
Razer Opus – Active Noise Cancellation Gaming Headset
These headphones are very similar to the previous model. They also have a great design, with earcups that can rotate and provide you with a comfortable fit. The ear cups also have breathable cushions, so they won’t make your ears very sweaty if you use them for an extended period.
Another good thing about these headphones is that they have a foldable design with an auto-adjusting headband. This means that you can adjust them to your size and take them everywhere with you, whether you’re on foot or travelling by plane.
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