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If you are looking for a great headset you can buy for less than $500, you’ve come to the right place. It doesn’t matter how you want to use them. We’ve got you covered.
In this article, The Redwood Plan will not only present you with the best headphones you can buy for less than $500, but we will also give you information about the best headphones in this category, depending on what you intend to use them for.
Whether you love music or gaming, you will need high-quality sound to enjoy the experience. However, good sound for gaming isn’t necessarily good sound for music and the other way around.
You can even find different grades within each category. This is why you will find several lists featuring the best headphones under $500, each focusing on different user intent.
Headphone Categories (Under $500)
Types of Headphones You Can Buy Under $500
Before we present you with the best headphones under $500, let’s see what types of headsets there are.
It doesn’t matter if you want to use them for listening to music or playing games – there is a variety of headphones that will meet your needs. Here are some of the most popular ones:
Headphones for Music
If you just want to listen to some great music, you will need a decent set of headphones. The audio quality should be good enough so that you can enjoy the experience. However, it doesn’t have to be as good as what audiophiles might expect in their headsets.
You will find a lot of different types of headphones for people listening to music. Some will be very comfortable to wear, others will fit you better, and some will even cancel outside noise. However, if you want the best audio experience, a lot of these are not needed.
You can easily find good-quality over-ear headphones for less than $500 that still offer impressive sound quality and bass response. If you look close enough, you can find full-size headphones for under $100 that sound amazing.
They will give you a satisfying music experience, and at the same time, they won’t cost as much as more expensive headphones with better audio quality.
Headphones for Gaming
If you don’t have a headset for gaming, you need to invest in one. The sound experience will be way better than with your built-in laptop speakers or desktop monitor’s audio system.
As with headphones for music, various types of headphones, offering an impressive sound quality and excellent bass response to enhance the gaming experience.
Gaming headphones stand out in how comfortable they are to wear while playing and the added features. It’s much easier to immerse yourself into a game when you don’t have to worry about adjusting your headset or getting distracted by its design or weight.
Gaming headsets also come with additional features that make using them more accessible and more convenient.
You can also find some gaming headsets that come with microphones so you can use them for chatting with friends. However, the audio quality isn’t always the best, and it may not be as good as what is offered by dedicated gaming mics.
When choosing a headset for gaming, you will want to consider: level of immersion you desire; design, weight and comfort; built-in features; price.
Headphones for audiophiles are pretty different when compared to the ones mentioned above. They don’t necessarily offer a better sound quality. However, audiophile headphones cost more because they are lightweight, comfortable and isolate you from outside noise.
They can also be costly due to different technologies that enhance audio reproduction or lower frequencies (the bass response).
When choosing a good pair of audiophile-grade headphones, you will want to consider: audio reproduction, user comfort and weight; level of noise isolation; cost.
Studio (Monitor) Headphones
If you’re a sound engineer, producer, or mix music, you will need studio headphones for others to listen to. They are specifically designed for mixing audio to reduce the level of external sounds, so it’s easier to perceive what is going on in a song.
The most significant difference between audiophile and studio headphones is that studios headphones have a much more accurate sound reproduction and enable you to listen to audio details.
When choosing the best studio headphones for your needs, you will want to consider: level of noise isolation, user comfort and weight (there are heavy-duty headsets that can get quite uncomfortable); style is not an essential factor here; cost.
To summarise, if you’re an audiophile who needs headphones to listen to music, you will like the sound of most studio headphones. However, they are designed for mixing audio in a recording studio to be too bulky and uncomfortable for regular wear.
Another downside is that some models use significant drivers, which may result in low-frequency reproduction issues. This is not true for all studio headphones, but it’s a consideration to keep in mind.
How To Pick The Right Headphones Under $500
If you’re thinking about getting a high-quality pair of headphones built for audiophiles, look into the technology and how it works.
You also want to make sure they come with a guarantee if the headphones cause any discomfort or sound issues.
If you’re going to use the headphones mainly for gaming, then look at the design and comfort. Look for a pair that will allow you to play for hours without experiencing fatigue and discomfort.
The microphone is also essential because it lets you communicate with other players if your gaming headphones come with this feature. The last thing you need is to constantly take off your headset so that you can talk to your teammates.
The good news is that most gaming headsets come in various colors, and many brands also offer customisation options, which means you have more choices to fit your style. What’s even better is that some companies will allow you to add custom engraving depending on the type of headset you select.
Regardless of what you intend to use your Under $500 Headphones for, you need to decide whether you want open-back or closed-back headphones.
Open-back Headphones vs. Close-back Headphones
It doesn’t matter if you want to use them for listening to music or playing games – there is a variety of headphones that will meet your needs. Here are some of the most popular ones:
Buying a pair of headphones isn’t as easy as it might sound. You need to make sure they fit your needs and provide you with the level of sound quality that you want.
The first step is knowing what type of headphones to buy. There are several types, each targeting people listening to music or playing games in a specific way. Here are some options:
Open-back headphones have an open design that allows air to flow freely through the ear cups. This is why they have “open” in their name.
This design provides a better soundstage and allows the user to hear what’s going on around them without removing the headphones from their heads. However, open-back headphones aren’t as good for listening to music on public transportation or while you are simply walking down the street. They also tend to leak sound.
Closed-back headphones are completely sealed around the ear cups, which means you won’t be able to hear what’s going on in your surroundings when they are turned on. However, closed-back headphones block outside noise and provide a better listening experience when you are somewhere noisy or don’t want others to hear what you are listening to.
If you want a pair of headphones that will help improve your gaming experience, then here is some information on the most popular options:
These headsets come with cushioned ear cups and a thick headband that provides a comfortable fit for hours of gameplay. The cushions on the ear cups are usually made of memory foam, which means they will mold to the shape of your head, regardless of whether you wear glasses or not.
They also come with a microphone that lets you communicate with other players while playing different games, such as first-person shooters and online role-playing games. Most gaming headsets typically feature a digital microphone. However, this type of microphone will only be effective if you are in a quiet space or there isn’t much background noise.
Top 5 Best Music Headphones Under $500
If you are looking for a high-quality pair of headphones that will let you hear every sound in your favourite songs and movies, then you should keep reading. We have ranked the top 5 best headphones for music that you can buy for less than $500, and what a great list of headphones it is.
1. Sennheiser HD 660 S – HiRes Audiophile Open-Back Headphone
The Sennheiser HD 660 S is a pair of open-back headphones designed for audiophiles. These headphones are known for their exceptional sound quality, ideal for anyone who enjoys music regularly but can’t afford to invest in a home audio system.
This model has a unique design that puts the musician in the centre of a broad, open stage. It is also an acoustic product crafted to provide you with the type of sound quality that will make your music come alive.
The Sennheiser HD 660 S headphones are large and have an open-back design, making them ideal for use in a quiet environment or for listening to music while you are travelling. Most people who own this model either use it at home, on the go or both.
The HD 660 S headphones feature an extremely sturdy and reliable build that is ideal for daily use. They have open-back ear cups made of aluminium, which helps increase the sound projection of the headphones. You will also get a hard case when you buy these headphones, and they are backed by an extensive warranty so that your investment is protected.
2. Sennheiser Pro Audio HD 650 Open-Back Headphones
If you are looking for a solid pair of headphones that will provide you with superb sound, then the Sennheiser Pro Audio HD 650 Open-Back Headphones could be perfect for your needs. This model was designed to deliver extended frequency response and enhanced signal-to-noise ratio without adding any harshness or sibilance to the sound.
The Sennheiser Pro Audio HD 650 headphones are lightweight and comfortable, making them suitable for use while travelling or at home. These headphones have a unique design that is ideal for listeners who enjoy music while on the go. The ear cups of this model rotate 90 degrees so that you can hear the sound more clearly.
The Sennheiser Pro Audio HD 650 headphones are well-constructed and come with high-end parts, including copper wires that run inside the cable for improved audio signal transmission. The model also has a sturdy aluminium chassis, which helps deliver superior acoustic performance. These headphones offer spectacular value for money and are perfect if you look for headphones with excellent audio quality.
3. Audio-Technica ATH-R70x Professional Open-Back Headphones
If you are looking for an open-back headphone that will deliver superior sound quality, then you should check out the Audio-Technica ATH-R70x Professional Open-Back Headphones. This model is designed to minimise unwanted resonances and provide accurate audio reproduction so that you can enjoy your music.
You can use the Audio-Technica ATH-R70x headphones in various applications, including studio monitoring and listening to music. These headphones have an open structure that provides precise high-end performance with accurate mid-range reproduction.
These headphones have a lightweight design and are easy to manoeuvre, so they are perfect for use while travelling or sitting at home. The earpads of the Audio-Technica ATH-R70x headphones are comfortable and made from soft leather that encourages extended use without causing fatigue.
The Audio-Technica ATH-R70x headphones are well-constructed and offer a wide variety of features, including 53 mm drivers with rare earth magnets for high-quality audio reproduction. You will get a carrying pouch, 6-foot coiled cord and 1/4″ adapter when you buy these headphones. The model comes with an extended warranty and is backed by excellent customer service from Audio-Technica, so your purchase is protected from defects in quality or materials for one year.
4. Master & Dynamic MW65 Active Noise-Cancelling (Anc) Wireless Headphones
If you are looking for headphones with premium audio quality, then the brand new Master & Dynamic MW65 Active Noise-Cancelling (Anc) Wireless Headphones could be a good choice. These headphones feature an aircraft-grade aluminium design that is both lightweight and durable. The ear cups can be rotated to listen to music from any angle if you find this is more comfortable for you.
If you are looking to buy new headphones, then the Master & Dynamic MW65 Anc wireless headphones would be a great choice as they offer high audio fidelity and superior design. These headphones have an excellent battery life of 24 hours when powered on and 18 hours in wireless mode. The battery charges to total capacity very quickly, and the overall design is lightweight, so you can comfortably wear them for hours.
The Master & Dynamic MW65 Anc wireless headphones come with a compact flight case that includes an optional carrying strap so that you can pick up and go without any hassle. You will also get a high-quality cable when you buy these headphones.
The sound quality of the Master & Dynamic MW65 Anc wireless headphones is excellent. It provides excellent value for money, as it can be used in various situations, including listening to music while travelling or working out at the gym. These headphones are comfortable to wear and come with a lightweight design that will not cause fatigue.
The active noise cancelling (Anc) feature of the Master & Dynamic MW65 Anc wireless headphones ensures that you only hear your music and no ambient background noise. This helps you to focus on your work or enjoy your favourite tunes in peace. This feature also operates efficiently for up to 16 hours after a 10-minute charge, so you do not have to worry about running out of battery during a long journey. The headphones turn on and off automatically when worn, so they can conserve battery power even if the unit goes dead. These active noise-cancelling headphones will operate for 20 hours once charged fully so that you can enjoy your favourite tunes in complete peace without having to worry about running out of battery power.
5. AKG Pro Audio K702 Over-Ear, Open-Back, Flat-Wire, Reference Studio Headphones
If you are looking for high-quality headphones that feature a rich audio reproduction, then the AKG Pro Audio K702 Over-Ear, Open-Back, Flat-Wire Reference Studio Headphones would be a great choice. These headphones have a comprehensive frequency response, so they can capture every note and nuance of your music and allow you to hear everything as if you are listening to the original performance.
The AKG Pro Audio K702 Over-Ear, Open-Back, Flat-Wire Reference Studio Headphones have an ergonomic design that is comfortable and makes them easy to wear for long periods. They also feature a lightweight design with incredibly soft earpads, so they do not cause any discomfort. These headphones have a detachable cable system, so you can easily replace the cables if they become damaged or lost.
The AKG Pro Audio K702 Over-Ear, Open-Back, Flat-Wire Reference Studio Headphones come with three interchangeable cables: one 9.8ft coiled cord for recording and playback; one 3m straight line that is ideal for DJing; and one 1.6m straight cable that is suitable for home use. You will also get a leather carrying case so you can easily transport the headphones from one location to another without damaging them.
These headphones’ rich and detailed sound makes listening to music an unforgettable experience as the vocals, instruments, and other elements sound distinct. The ear cups on these headphones have a soft leather finish for comfort, and they also come with an adjustable headband to find the most comfortable fit.
Top 4 Best Gaming Headphones Under $500
Clean and crisp sound is a must for every serious gamer. As you plan to spend up to $500 on a gaming headset, we take it you love gaming and want the best sound possible – if so, we don’t blame you.
High-quality sound can significantly better your gaming experience. Being seasoned Call of Duty players ourselves, we know the value of hearing our opponent and hearing what direction they are coming from.
You can purchase all of our top 5 best gaming headphones for less than $500, and they are all guaranteed to enhance your gaming experience. Be one step ahead of your opponents and find a high-quality gaming set of headphones today.
1. Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal Gaming Headset
If you are looking for high-quality, stylish gaming headphones that offer superior sound quality and comfort, the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal Gaming Headset will be a great choice. These headphones deliver powerful bass and clear trebles so you can enjoy high-quality audio without any distortion or buzzing sounds.
The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal Gaming Headset features passive noise-cancelling technology so they can block out unwanted sounds from the outside world. This helps you focus on your gaming session without being distracted by noises like cars honking, people talking, or construction workers operating heavy machinery.
The time to charge these headphones is significantly reduced as they have a battery life that lasts up to 40 hours. This makes them an ideal pair of headphones for long flights and train rides. They also come with built-in controls so you can easily pause your game or adjust the volume without having to take out your smartphone or change settings on the console.
2. HyperX Cloud Orbit S Gaming Headset
The HyperX Cloud Orbit S Gaming Headset is a comfortable fit with an ergonomic design that ensures you can wear them for hours without your ears or head feeling fatigued. They fit perfectly over the ear, so they do not handle heavy when worn and offer excellent sound quality. The noise-cancelling support feature means you can focus on your gaming session without being distracted by external noises.
The HyperX Cloud Orbit S Gaming Headset features a sleek and sporty design that you can use to stand out in the crowd if you are participating in LAN events or tournaments. They come with an adjustable headband for a secure fit regardless of how long or short your hair is. They also come with a swivel to allow you to share them with someone else.
You will get a one-year limited warranty as well as 24/7 technical support from Kingston if any issues arise with your headphones.
3. The Haymaker Noise-Cancelling Bluetooth Wireless Headphones
If you have ever felt as if the sound from your TV or computer was not loud enough, then the Haymaker Noise-Cancelling Bluetooth Wireless Headphones may be a great solution for you. These headphones produce crystal clear sound at any volume level, and they also stay comfortably on your ears no matter how long you wear them.
The Haymaker Noise-Cancelling Bluetooth Wireless Headphones have an average battery life of up to 12 hours, which means you can play your favourite games on the go and still enjoy long listening sessions. If you are planning a day trip or vacation, we recommend that you carry a charging cable with you, so you don’t miss out on any part of your gaming experience.
The Haymaker Noise-Cancelling Bluetooth Wireless Headphones come with built-in controls so you can adjust the volume or songs on your smartphone without having to take them out of your pocket. You will also get a one-year warranty and lifetime customer support if any technical issues arise.
4. Audio-Technica ATH-G1WL Premium Headset with Detachable Mic
If you are looking for a pair of headphones with a compact design, then we recommend the Audio-Technica ATH-G1WL Premium Headset with Detachable Mic. These headphones are very comfortable to wear and feature an adjustable headband that fits all head sizes and hair lengths. You can wear them for as long you want without experiencing any ear fatigue or discomfort.
For high-quality audio, we recommend the Audio-Technica ATH-G1WL Premium Headset with Detachable Mic. They deliver deep bass tones and crystal clear trebles for a realistic listening experience in all musical genres. The noise isolation feature also reduces external noises, so you can focus on your gaming session without adjusting the volume.
You will also get a 1-year warranty and lifetime customer support from Audio-Technica if you experience any issues with your headphones.
Top 5 Best Audiophile-Grade Headphones Under $500
If you are an audiophile, you understand the importance of getting headphones with a rich and robust sound profile. We have reviewed some of the best audiophile-grade headphones that come in under $500 and should satisfy all music lovers. These headphones deliver excellent sound quality with minimal distortion while offering a comfortable fit for long listening sessions.
1. Sennheiser HD 660 S – HiRes Audiophile Open Back Headphone
With an open back design that allows more air to pass through, the Sennheiser HD 660 S HiRes Audiophile Open Back Headphones to deliver a wide audio stage with high sound detail and clarity. The large, soft ear cups also provide maximum comfort for long listening sessions without causing any physical discomfort.
If you are looking for headphones that deliver uncompromised sound quality, we recommend the Sennheiser HD 660 S HiRes Audiophile Open Back Headphones. These headphones produce an immersive sound stage with detailed highs and lows to create a realistic listening experience in all music genres. The open-back design also reduces outside noises, so you can listen to lower volume levels and still enjoy crisp trebles and deep bass notes.
The Sennheiser HD 660 S HiRes Audiophile Open Back Headphones are made with the highest quality materials to deliver a comfortable fit for all head sizes. They also offer an adjustable headband that is flexible enough to fit any size, so these headphones should still fit nicely if you have a small head or long hair.
2. Audeze LCD-1 Audiophile Headphones
If you are looking for a pair of headphones made with the best components, we highly recommend the Audeze LCD-1 Audiophile Headphones. These headphones feature an open-back design for a wide sound stage and eliminate all distractions from outside noises. The leather headband is also very comfortable and provides long-wearing comfort so you can get lost in your music for hours.
The Audeze LCD-1 Audiophile Headphones come with a separate amplifier, not dependent on other devices to deliver high-quality audio. Analogue input and 3.5mm-to-6.3mm adapter cables are also included in the package to connect to all your devices, from home audio systems to portable music players and gaming consoles.
3. HIFIMAN SUNDARA Over-ear Full-size Planar Magnetic Hifi Stereo Wired Headphones
The HIFIMAN SUNDARA Over-ear Full-size Planar Magnetic Hifi Stereo Wired Headphones have a large and comfy design with long earpads that provide all-day comfort for extended gaming sessions. The plush ear pads also do not cause any sweating or discomfort even after hours of continuous use.
We recommend the HIFIMAN SUNDARA Over-ear Full-size Planar Magnetic Hifi Stereo Wired Headphones for audiophiles looking for durable headphones that can withstand the test of time. These headphones come with high-quality components and are well-engineered to deliver crisp highs and deep bass notes. High impulse magnetic systems also enable these headphones to provide a dynamic and clear sound with minimal distortion.
4. Meze 99 Classics Walnut Gold Wired Over-Ear Headphones
The Meze 99 Classics Walnut Gold Wired Over-Ear Headphones are a great pair of high-quality headphones that produce clear and detailed sound with minimal distortions. The walnut veneer complements the gold accents for an elegant design, making the Meze 99 Classics Walnut Gold Wired Over-Ear Headphones fit well in any office or home audio setup.
If you are looking for a pair of high-quality headphones that look elegant and stylish, then the Meze 99 Classics Walnut Gold Wired Over-Ear Headphones will be a great choice. These sleek headphones can also help reduce any road noise while driving, so you can focus more on your music and less on the traffic. Moreover, the Meze 99 Classics Walnut Gold Wired Over-Ear Headphones are also comfortable for extended periods.
5. Blue Mix-Fi Powered High-Fidelity Headphones with Integrated Audiophile Amplifier
We recommend the Blue Mix-Fi Powered High-Fidelity Headphones with Integrated Audiophile Amplifier if you are looking for a pair of headphones integrated with an audiophile-grade amplifier to deliver detailed and dynamic audio. The high-quality components also make these headphones very durable so that they will last you for years.
The Blue Mix-Fi Powered High-Fidelity Headphones with Integrated Audiophile Amplifier are made with premium leather that is very comfortable to wear while also looking stylish. The padded ear cups and headbands are designed to provide comfort even after hours of continuous use, so you can enjoy your favourite music every day without feeling any physical discomfort.
Top 5 Best Studio (Monitor) Headphones Under $500
If you are looking for the best studio headphones that deliver clear audio with minimal distortions, then we recommend reading through this list of the best studio headphones available under $500. The following models are some of the best-reviewed studio headphones on the market for under $500 and produce crystal clear sound with balanced bass, mids, and highs.
1. Phonon Subtonic Monitor Basic Headphones Smb-02
If you are looking for a pair of studio headphones that can deliver clear highs and deep bass notes, we recommend the Phonon Subtonic Monitor Basic Headphones Smb-02. These over-ear headphones have an appealing design with red accents and a foldable design that makes them easy to carry around.
The Phonon Subtonic Monitor Basic Headphones Smb-02 are ultra-durable and very comfortable to wear as the earcups and headband have padding for long hours of continuous use. The padded design also ensures that you can comfortably wear these headphones at any time, including when you want to relax after a long day at work.
The Phonon Subtonic Monitor Basic Headphones Smb-02 deliver excellent sound quality with balanced highs and deep bass notes. The powerful neodymium magnets in these headphones also offer a dynamic and clear sound for an immersive listening experience.
2. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones
Audio-Technica is a leading manufacturer of professional audio equipment, and the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones are one of its most popular models. These headphones have a simple design that makes them very easy to use as you only have to turn on the headphones to listen to your music or podcasts.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones also provide noise isolation with their closed-ear design. This makes these headphones a good choice for people in open offices as the sound quality is not affected by any outside noises. These headphones also have padded ear cups and headbands that make them comfortable to wear for long hours.
3. Audio-Technica ATH-PRO500MK2BK Professional DJ Monitor Headphones
If you are a professional DJ, we recommend the Audio-Technica ATH-PRO500MK2BK Professional DJ Monitor Headphones. These headphones have an excellent sound quality that makes them great for ensuring you get the best mix possible at all times. The closed-ear design also provides effective noise isolation for monitoring your mix, even in very loud spaces.
These headphones have a simple design with black accents and a foldable design that allows users to carry them around easily. The earcups are padded for maximum comfort even after hours of continuous use.
The Audio-Technica ATH-PRO500MK2BK Professional DJ Monitor Headphones feature an integrated cable with a locking 3.5mm connector that allows users to mix in the headphones without any tangling issues easily. The long line also makes it easy for DJs to move around freely while mixing their music tracks.
4. JVC Victor Studio Monitor Headphones HA-MX10-B
For studio headphones with a simple yet elegant design, look no further than the JVC Victor Studio Monitor Headphones HA-MX10-BK. These over-ear headphones have an attractive black and silver design that looks very professional when you wear them in your office or home studio. The smooth faux leather finish on the earcups also makes them comfortable to wear at all times.
The JVC Victor Studio Monitor Headphones HA-MX10-BK also deliver excellent sound quality for an immersive listening experience. The closed-ear design of these headphones provides noise isolation for monitoring your mix in loud environments without compromising the sound quality. With a frequency response of 20Hz to 25kHz, these headphones also reproduce bass notes accurately for a deep and punchy sound.
The JVC Victor Studio Monitor Headphones HA-MX10-BK feature an acoustic seal design that ensures the maximum possible protection against outside noise. The closed-ear design also prevents your ears from overheating after hours of continuous use. These headphones also come with a detachable coiled cable for easy mobility.
5. Audio-Technica ATH-A990Z Art Monitor Closed-Back Dynamic Headphones
For studio headphones that deliver a smooth listening experience on a budget, look no further than the Audio-Technica ATH-A990Z Art Monitor Closed-Back Dynamic Headphones. These stylish over-ear headphones have a unique design with translucent earcups and detachable earpads. This allows users to customise these headphones for their specific needs easily.
These headphones also feature 50mm, drivers for accurate bass reproduction and sound clarity across all frequencies. The Audio-Technica ATH-A990Z Art Monitor Closed-Back Dynamic Headphones have a 437 Hz / 1 kHz frequency response that allows users to enjoy their music without any distortion, even at high volumes. The closed-ear design of these headphones also keeps outside noise out for an immersive listening experience. This makes them a good choice for professionals and students who want to block out distractions while working at their desks during the day.
The earcups are padded with soft foam earpads that make these headphones very comfortable to wear even after long hours of continuous use. The Audio-Technica ATH-A990Z Art Monitor Closed-Back Dynamic Headphones also come with a detachable coiled cable for easy mobility.