Best Headphones Under 500

by Alex Winnerman  - November 16, 2023

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We live in an era where the sound and audio quality of what we listen to is very important, hence the need to know how to find the best headphones under 500 that can do the job. 

If you're on the hunt for unparalleled sound without burning a hole in your wallet, you're certainly not alone. 

We live in an era where the sound and audio quality of what we listen to is very important, hence the need to know how to find the best headphones under 500 that can do the job.

The reason we want to hunt for headphones below 500 is to give allowance for people that are on budget to find headphone brands that are of good quality which can match individual's budgets. 

No matter the task you want to use the headphone to achieve — be it gaming, listening and enjoying your music on the go or you just want to drown out the noise of the world with style, you're bound to find your next epic audio companion on this carefully curated list. 

I will discuss everything you need to know in this article as you follow along.

How To Choose The Best Headphones Under 500

When choosing headphones under $500, it is important to consider things such as sound quality, comfort and fit, durability, and noise cancellation.

Sound Quality

Sound quality is pivotal when selecting headphones. Looking at the price range under $500, it's clear that the sound experience contributes majorly to their value. Our ears perceive audio differently, and personal preference plays a part, too.

Some prefer deep bass for hip-hop tracks, while others lean towards clear high notes for classical music rendition. Delving into over-ear headphone options in this category, models like RØDE NTH-100 and Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro stand out with superior sound quality.

They are not only about delivering beautiful tunes but also excel in presenting the tiny details of every rhythm section flawlessly - truly an essential feature for musicians striving for precision or any audiophile who values rich audio texture!

Comfort and Fit

Choosing the best headphones means prioritizing comfort and fit just as much as sound quality. Too tight or too loose, both can disrupt your listening experience extensively. The type of padding on the ear cups plays a big role in ensuring comfort during extended use.

Many high-quality wired headphones favor memory foam for its softness and ability to shape your ears.

Different styles cater to various preferences, including over-ear, on-ear, and in-ear designs. Each design has unique benefits; over-ear models often offer excellent noise isolation, while in-ear are lightweight and portable.

When choosing, consider your lifestyle needs and personal comfort preferences to find the most comfortable wired headphones or earbuds that suit you best.

Durability

Durability is a key consideration in selecting the best headphones under 500. As a tech-savvy music lover, I value my investment and prefer headphones that can withstand heavy use over time.

Quality materials and robust construction are marks of durable wired earphones that can offer long-term savings. High-end brands like Sennheiser, Audeze, or Bowers & Wilkins are renowned for their sturdiness as much as they're known for superior sound quality.

My professional headphones aren't merely gadgets; they invest in superb audio experiences that last years.

Noise Cancellation

I've tested and compared several noise-cancelling headphones under $500; some impressive options are available. The top 5 contenders in this category are the Sony WH-1000XM4, Shure AONIC 50, Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H9, Bose 700, and Bowers & Wilkins PX7.

These headphones excel at blocking out background noise, allowing you to immerse yourself in your music or podcast fully. Remember that not all of these models work in wired mode, with one pair specifically lacking noise cancellation.

A good pair of noise-cancelling headphones should cost around $200 to $300.

If you're looking for the absolute best in noise cancellation, look no further than the Apple AirPods Max. They have quickly become a favorite among audiophiles and critics alike.

Coming up right behind them is the highly acclaimed Sony WH-1000XM5. Both models offer exceptional sound quality and impressive noise-canceling capabilities.

Best Headphones Under 500

What I Recommend


Take a quick recommendation by checking out our product list, or feel free to scroll down for more detailed reviews.

  • Audeze Mobius Premium 3D Gaming Headset
  • Meze 99 Classics Walnut Silver
  • GRADO SR80x Prestige Series
  • Sony WH-1000XM5
  • Sennheiser HD 6XX
  • Sennheiser PC37X
  • 1. Audeze Mobius Premium 3D Gaming Headset

    Immersive surround sound and head tracking for the ultimate gaming experience.
    Audeze Mobius Premium 3D Gaming Headset

    (Images Credits: Amazon)

    Highlights

    • Hi-fi audio quality for an immersive gaming experience
    • Built-in lithium polymer battery for wireless convenience
    • Lightweight design for comfortable wearing during long gaming sessions
    • Compatible with PlayStation 4 and other gaming devices
    • Adjustable headband and ear cups for a customized fit
    • Positive customer reviews on its performance and functionality

    The Audeze Mobius Premium 3D Gaming Headset is a game-changer for PC gaming. It ranks second on our list due to its advanced features and overall comfort. 

    Designed with the user's experience as a priority, it boasts replaceable memory foam ear pads and an adjustable headband for maximum comfort during prolonged use.

    Its main attraction is the fully immersive 3D sound that rivals any cinematic experience you can find in theatres at home.

    Audeze goes above and beyond optimizing voice quality by including a Discord Certified flexible/detachable boom microphone featuring built-in noise attenuation and mute/unmute functionality - making communication while gaming or zoom calls crisp and clear.

    The headphone also offers three connectivity options, including high-rez Bluetooth audio, thanks to LDAC technology that triples data bandwidth.

    This provides lossless listening pleasure for music lovers and musicians alike, void of common issues such as latency, which is negligible with all processing done within the headset itself.

    In conclusion, the Audeze Mobius Premium 3D Gaming Headset stands out by pairing superior voice clarity during calls or chats and unrivaled surround sound for video games or multimedia playback.

    Simply put – this headset manages to cater skillfully to both tech aficionados' needs on PC gaming platforms like Xbox, PlayStation4 etc., as well as preferences of avid music listeners seeking top-shelf audio over Bluetooth, hence placing it rightfully at number two on our list.

    Features

    • Comfortable: The Audeze Mobius gaming headset is designed with replaceable, contoured memory foam ear pads and an adjustable, durable memory foam padded headband. This ensures a comfortable fit for long gaming sessions, preventing discomfort or fatigue.
    • Crystal-clear voice calls: With the flexible and detachable boom microphone in the Mobius headset, you can enjoy crystal-clear voice calls while gaming. It has built-in noise attenuation to filter background noise, ensuring your voice comes through clearly to communicate with teammates or friends.
    • 3 ways to connect: The Audeze Mobius offers three convenient ways to connect - USB, wireless via Bluetooth (with support for AAC and LDAC), and high-resolution audio over Bluetooth. This versatility lets you easily switch between devices or connection types based on your preference or gaming setup.
    • Fully integrated surround sound functionality: Immerse yourself in a cinematic experience with the Mobius headset's fully integrated surround sound functionality. It replicates the awe-inspiring 5.1/7.1 audio experience in theaters, delivering a heightened sense of realism and immersion during gameplay.
    • Head tracking technology: Thanks to WAVES Nx technology, the Audeze Mobius utilizes head tracking capabilities to enhance your gaming experience. This feature works seamlessly with high-end PC gaming, PlayStation 4, and Xbox consoles. Accurately tracking your head movements creates a more immersive audio environment where sounds feel like they are coming from specific directions relative to your position in-game.

    Pros

    • Enhanced comfort with replaceable memory foam ear pads and adjustable headband
    • Crystal - clear voice calls with flexible boom microphone and noise attenuation
    • Versatile connectivity options with USB, Bluetooth, AAC, and LDAC compatibility
    • Fully immersive 3D surround sound experience for high-end PC gaming

    Cons

    • Limited compatibility with gaming consoles other than PlayStation 4 and Xbox.
    • It is a relatively high price compared to other gaming headsets.
    • Limited color options are available for customization.

    The Audeze Mobius Premium 3D Gaming Headset is perfect for gaming enthusiasts who want to experience next-level audio and fully immersive 3D sound.

    With its optimized ergonomics, superior voice quality, and wireless connectivity options, this headset is designed to provide an exceptional audio experience—try it out today!

    Specifications

    • ASIN: B07JMNGSPB
    • Customer Reviews: 3.6 3.6/5 stars 250 ratings3.6 out of 5 stars
    • Best Sellers Rank: #66,220 in Video Games (See Top 100 in Video Games) #537 in PlayStation 4 Headsets
    • Pricing: The crossed price is the List Price. Savings are representative of a discount off the List Price.
    • Product Dimensions: 12.99x12.99x7.99 inches; 2.05 Pounds
    • Type of item: Electronics
    • Item Weight: 2.05 pounds
    • Manufacturer: Audeze
    • Batteries: 1 Lithium Polymer battery is required. (included)
    • Date First Available: January 3, 2019
    • Item Weight: 2.05 Pounds

    2. Meze 99 Classics Walnut Silver

    Superior sound quality and durability for music lovers.
    Meze 99 Classics Walnut Silver

    (Images Credits: Amazon)

    Highlights

    • Lightweight design weighing only 9.2 ounces
    • Features a built-in microphone for easy communication
    • On-ear form factor for a comfortable listening experience
    • Compatible with devices featuring a 3.5mm audio jack
    • The sleek silver color adds style
    • Manufactured by Meze Headphones, known for their quality and craftsmanship


    The Meze 99 Classics Walnut Silver Wired Over-Ear Headphones, matches the expectations of anybody that loves good sound.

    The craftsmanship is remarkable, with wooden earcups that look stunning and contribute to a superior natural acoustic experience you'd typically expect from audiophile-grade headphones.

    No glue was used in assembling these beauties - just nuts and bolts – meaning all parts are replaceable for longevity.

    Connecting these Classic Wooden Closed-Back headphones to my devices has been seamless; they pair effortlessly with computers and smartphones.

    I also tried them with a DAC (digital-to-analog converter) for enhanced sound quality, making me appreciate their low impedance (32 Ohm). This means they're power-efficient with any device, eliminating the need for extra amplification.

    What stands out most about these Meze Audio over-ear headphones is their comfort, even during extended listening sessions.

    Their self-adjusting PU leather headband fits all head sizes while evenly distributing weight—no more discomfort after hours of use!

    More importantly, thanks to the excellent sound isolation offered by their closed-back design, it's easier now than ever to focus on mixing tracks or recording podcasts without being disturbed by ambient noise—the sort of professional touch musicians would appreciate.

    Features

    • FULLY SERVICEABLE: Only nuts and bolts are used; no glue. We guarantee that all the 99 Classics consist of replaceable parts. These headphones are long-lasting.

    Benefit: With fully serviceable parts, you can easily repair or replace any component of the Meze 99 Classics, ensuring a longer lifespan for your investment.

    • INCLUDED ACCESSORIES: Portable pouch for better protection, detachable 1.2m thread Kevlar OFC cable with microphone and remote, detachable 3m thread Kevlar OFC cord, 3.5 mm to 6.3mm gold-plated jack adapter, airplane jack adapter, cable pouch.

    Benefit: The included accessories provide convenience and versatility for audio setups or traveling needs.

    • SELF-ADJUSTING PU Leather HEADBAND is a one-size-fits-all, making the Meze 99 Classics an exclusive high-end headphone.

    Benefit: The self-adjusting headband ensures a customized fit for anyone's head size while distributing weight evenly for extended comfort during long listening sessions.

    • LIGHTWEIGHT HI-RES HEADSET weighs only 9.2 ounces, with soft and comfortable earpads for long listening sessions without ear fatigue.

    Benefit: The lightweight design combined with plush earpads allows you to enjoy music without discomfort or fatigue, even during lengthy periods of use.

    • EQUIPPED WITH GENUINE WOODEN EARCUPS, providing excellent natural

    Pros

    • Fully serviceable with replaceable parts for long-lasting durability
    • Includes a variety of accessories for convenience and versatility
    • Self-adjusting headband for a comfortable fit for all head sizes
    • Genuine wooden earcups provide excellent natural sound isolation

    Cons

    • It can be slightly more pricey compared to other headphones on the market
    • Some users may find the self-adjusting headband to be uncomfortable or not fit their head shape properly
    • The wooden earcups may require extra care and maintenance to prevent damage or wear over time

    This product is perfect for music lovers and audiophiles who appreciate superior sound quality, convenience, and durability.

    The Meze Audio 99 Classics Walnut Silver headphones provide a comfortable listening experience with its self-adjusting PU leather headband and lightweight design.

    So, if you are searching for the ultimate sound experience without breaking your budget, try Meze Audio!

    Specifications

    • Product Dimensions: 9.45x8.67x4.33 inches
    • Item Weight: 9.2 ounces
    • ASIN: B01EJMYOHO
    • Item model number: M99C-WG
    • Customer Reviews: 4.6 4.6/5 stars 1,272 ratings4.6 out of 5 stars
    • Best Sellers Rank: #91,977 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics) #2,667 in Over-Ear Headphones
    • Special features: Microphone
    • Other display features: Wireless
    • Audio Jack: 3.5 mm Jack
    • Form Factor: On Ear
    • Color: Silver
    • Department: Unisex-adult
    • Manufacturer: Meze Headphones
    • Date First Available: April 20, 2016

    3. GRADO SR80x Prestige Series

    Ultimate sound quality and comfort for discerning audiophiles.
    GRADO SR80x Prestige Series

    (Images Credits: Amazon)

    Highlights

    • Wired connectivity for reliable and high-quality audio.
    • The over-ear form factor for a comfortable and immersive listening experience.
    • The sleek black color adds a stylish touch to your look.
    • Lightweight design, weighing only 240 grams, making it easy to carry around.
    • Grado Labs is a renowned manufacturer known for producing top-notch audio products.
    • High customer rating of 4.4/5 stars based on 692 ratings, indicating customer satisfaction.

    The GRADO SR80x Prestige Series headphones are a clear-cut choice for tech-savvy music enthusiasts and musicians seeking an immersive audio experience.

    Upgrades on this model include a synthetic, vegan-friendly adjustable padded headband that offers comfort during extended listening sessions.

    Furthermore, the 4th generation Grado-tuned 44mm drivers deliver rich sound reproduction with crystal clear highs, well-rounded mids and punchy lows.

    One of the SR80x’s most highlighted features is its open-back design, which provides a broader soundstage to immerse you in your favorite beats.

    Coupled with residential super annealed copper wiring, which ensures superior signal integrity and braided cables for durability, they are an ideal option for those who care about sound quality and product longevity.

    These wired stereo headphones also come with a one-year manufacturer's warranty within the United States from 4OurEars—the exclusive authorized US Amazon seller, adding extra assurance to your purchase.

    The easy-to-drive 38ohm impedance means they can be comfortably powered by a range of devices—from professional-grade amps to smartphones—making them versatile for various settings.

    Features

    • Exclusive Authorized US Amazon Seller: Purchasing the Grado SR80x from 4OurEars guarantees a genuine product backed by the manufacturer's warranty. You can buy confidently, knowing you're dealing with a trusted seller.
    • Padded Headband for Comfort: The adjustable headband of the GRADO SR80x is now upgraded with synthetic, vegan-friendly material. This means not only will it provide a comfortable fit on your head, but it also aligns with your ethical preferences.
    • Tangle-Free Cable: No more frustrating moments untangling your headphone cables! The GRADO SR80x features an upgraded braided cable that eliminates twisting and kinking. Enjoy hassle-free use and convenience when you want to immerse yourself in music or movies.
    • Premium Sound Quality: These headphones deliver exceptional audio performance thanks to the 4th generation Grado tuned 44mm drivers. Whether listening to your favorite tracks or watching movies, expect clear highs, rich mids, and deep bass for an immersive listening experience.
    • Easy-to-Drive Design: With an impedance of just 38ohm, the GRADO SR80x is easy to drive even without an external amplifier. You can enjoy high-quality sound directly from your phone or laptop without additional equipment.

    Pros

    • 1-year warranty for added peace of mind
    • Adjustable padded headband for a comfortable fit
    • Upgraded braided cable ensures durability and eliminates tangling
    • High-quality drivers provide exceptional audio performance

    Cons

    • Limited noise isolation due to open-back design
    • Not compatible with some devices that require a headphone jack adapter
    • It may not be as comfortable for extended periods of wear compared to headphones with thicker padding or cushioning

    The GRADO SR80x Prestige Series headphones are ideal for discerning audiophiles looking to experience the ultimate sound quality.

    With its upgraded design and superior materials, Grado's SR80x Prestige Series Wired Open-Back Stereo Headphones offer exceptional comfort and clarity of sound – perfect for music aficionados who appreciate crisp highs and deep lows.

    Try them now to experience the joys of high-fidelity audio!

    Specifications

    • Package Dimensions: 9.25 x 7.83 x 1.93 inches
    • Item Weight: 8.5 ounces
    • ASIN: B091G75MKL
    • Item model number: Grado SR80x
    • Best Sellers Rank: #31,550 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics) #934 in On-Ear Headphones #1,402 in Over-Ear Headphones
    • Date First Available: May 17, 2021
    • Manufacturer: Grado Labs
    • Brand: Grado
    • Color: Black
    • Form Factor: Over-Ear
    • Connectivity Technology: Wired

    Conclusion

    In conclusion, when it comes to finding the best headphones under $500, a wide range of options are available to suit every preference and need. Whether you're a music lover, musician, or simply looking for high-quality audio for gaming or work purposes, the Focal and Audeze headphones stand out as top recommendations.

    With their impressive features, such as seamless installation, enhanced sound quality, wireless convenience, and comfortable fit, these headphones offer an immersive listening experience that will satisfy even the most discerning audiophiles.

    Don't miss out on these exceptional choices – get the Focal and Audeze headphones today!

    FAQs

    1. Can I find good headphones under $500?

    Many high-quality headphones are available for under $500 and offer excellent sound quality and features.

    2. What factors should I put in mind when choosing headphones under $500?

    When selecting headphones under $500, consider factors such as sound quality, comfort, durability, wireless connectivity options, battery life (for wireless models), and any additional features you may desire.

    3. Are wireless headphones under $500 worth it?

    Wireless headphones under $500 can be worth it if you value the convenience of a wire-free listening experience and prioritize factors such as battery life and connection stability. However, wired options in this price range may offer superior sound quality.

    4. Can I use these headphones with my smartphone or other devices?

    Most headphones under $500 come with standard audio connectors like a 3.5mm jack or Bluetooth compatibility, making them compatible with smartphones, tablets, computers, and other devices with audio output capabilities.

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    Alex Winnerman

    Meet Alex Winnerman, a seasoned music director and mentor, dedicated to guiding aspiring artists, recommending top-quality instruments, and mastering the intricacies of studio engineering. With a wealth of expertise, his online coaching sessions are readily available for those eager to embark on a musical journey. Married and eternally youthful at heart, Alex's mission is to make music resonate in the lives of others.

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