10 Best Earphones Under $200 for 2021

Do you want to know what the best earbuds under $200 are in 2021?  You came to the right place because we just updated our top 10 list with many amazing earbuds.  A lot has changed since we started this list back in 2015. The earphone market has been heating up, and there are more and more brands coming out with models that just a few years ago would cost 3-4 times the prices listed below.

The sub $200 range has now become one of the most competitive price categories in portable audio, there are so many earphones to choose from that getting the right ones has become seriously difficult.

In this price range, you are stepping into a varied world of designs and tuning as well as having lots of choices for driver configurations. As you can see in the list of the best earphones below we have IEM’s with planar drivers, hybrids, dynamic, wireless tech etc. We also include plenty of different tuning styles to suit your music in the best possible way.

This Top 10 will be in no particular order; all of these are great but read the description to find out if they are something you or a loved one is going to like.  If you need any more advice, don’t worry; simply leave a comment or question down below or drop us a message on Instagram, and I will get back to you ASAP with my recommendations.

Comparison Table:

Best Sound Quality
Linsoul 7HZ Timeless 14.2mm Planar HiFi in-Ear Earphone with CNC Aluminum Shell, Detachable MMCX Cable (3.5mm)
Best Wireless Earbuds
Beats Studio Buds Totally Wireless Noise Cancelling Earphones - Red (Renewed)
Best IEM for Musicians
Shure AONIC 3 Wired Sound Isolating Earbuds, Clear Sound, Single Driver with BassPort, Secure in-Ear Fit, Detachable Cable, Durable Quality, Compatible with Apple & Android Devices - Black
7hz Timeless
Beats Studio Buds
Shure Aonic 3
Wireless
Audiophile Sound Quality
The best earphones of the year in terms of price to performance. Sound quality from the planar driver is outstanding.
The best Beats Earbuds ever. True wireless design with strong bass and built in noise canceling. The price is amazing.
Best sound quality and fit from a big name brand with reliable customer support.
Best Sound Quality
Linsoul 7HZ Timeless 14.2mm Planar HiFi in-Ear Earphone with CNC Aluminum Shell, Detachable MMCX Cable (3.5mm)
7hz Timeless
Wireless
Audiophile Sound Quality
The best earphones of the year in terms of price to performance. Sound quality from the planar driver is outstanding.
Best Wireless Earbuds
Beats Studio Buds Totally Wireless Noise Cancelling Earphones - Red (Renewed)
Beats Studio Buds
Wireless
Audiophile Sound Quality
The best Beats Earbuds ever. True wireless design with strong bass and built in noise canceling. The price is amazing.
Best IEM for Musicians
Shure AONIC 3 Wired Sound Isolating Earbuds, Clear Sound, Single Driver with BassPort, Secure in-Ear Fit, Detachable Cable, Durable Quality, Compatible with Apple & Android Devices - Black
Shure Aonic 3
Wireless
Audiophile Sound Quality
Best sound quality and fit from a big name brand with reliable customer support.

 

Top 10 Earbuds Under $200


Timeless 7Hz Planar Magnetic IEM’s

In 2021 A company called Timeless released their 7hz earphones and instantly became a favorite of budget audiophiles around the world. Using a Planar magnetic driver well in an earphone is not easy but they pulled it off and the result is jaw-dropping. These are $200 IEM’s that can easily compete with sets in the $500 price range.

The Timeless has outstanding clarity and detail retrieval making them able to produce sound rivaling mid-priced tribrid earphones. The presentation is done in a way that makes your music sound 3D and holographic. Huge sweeps from left to right can be observed and the Soundstage appears massive.

Not only that but the tuning is phenomenal with a deeper low end than the excellent Tin Hifi P1 we discuss below. It’s a beefier earphone that is easier to drive which is why it finds itself a little higher up the list.

These earphones work well with a wide variety of music and with a good source and file they can produce fantastic levels of fidelity. One of the best earphones of the year.


Tin Hifi P1 – The best sounding!

Tin Hifi P1
Tin Hifi P1

Tin Hifi has traditionally made great cheap earphones.  However, the company has really stepped its game to compete at the higher end of the market. When they introduce the planar driver P1 earphone, they shocked the market. Why? Because they had managed to release an earphone with true audiophile pedigree at a budget earphone price.

The Tin Hifi P1 offers a whole lot of features you usually find on far pricier earphones. An all-metal body, braided cable, comprehensive accessory set make for a formidable sub $200 earphone.

However, it is the sound where the real value lies. There is an outstanding amount of retrieval detail going on and a fairly balanced and natural presentation.  Highs are smooth, mids a touch on the warm side, and the low end has just enough punch to make it a great all-rounder compatible with every genre.

The only reason this earphone isn’t number one on our list under $200 is that it does require a good power source to get the most out of it. If your device has a solid amp or uses a suitable amp/DAC, this is the earphone to get.

Click here to read our full Tin Hifi P1 review


Shure Aonic 3

Shure Aonic 3

The Shure Aonic 3 is the successor of the hugely popular Shure SE215. It may have taken Shure years to come up with a suitable replacement but it was well worth the wait.

The design of the earphones keeps the brand simple and functional styling. These earphones are designed first and foremost to be a professional tool for musicians who don’t want to spend too much money on expensive custom earphones. For that reason the build quality is excellent, the housing feels durable and strong, and it’s surprisingly comfortable in the way they have blended traditional barrel shaping with an over-the-ear design.

The sound is typically Shure. Just warm of neutral with punchy and hard-hitting bass. There is distinct smoothness across the midrange that makes vocals and guitars carry presence and authority.

Read the full Shure Aonic 3 Review


Shuoer Tape Pro – The Chifi Contenders

Shuoer Tape Pro
Shuoer Tape Pro

The Chinese Hifi market is aggressively attacking more established brands, and they are winning. It seems that every day new models of earphones are being churned out, and to be sincere, they are amazing.

Multi-driver earphones, hybrid earphones, electrostatic earphones. They keep coming, and they are put into a beautiful package and sold at 5-10x less than someone like Shure, or JH Audio would charge.

The pick under $200 right now is the Shuoer Tape Pro. It is a universal-fit earphone with an outstanding high-quality electrostatic driver. At this price, it represents unmatched value for those that want a lot of the characteristics of the Tin Hifi P1 listed above yet with the ability to be used with a wider variety of sources due to its lower power consumption.

Available in 2 colors, they have detachable braided cables, highly detailed sound, and a huge soundstage.

Full in-depth Shuoer Tap Pro Review


Beats Studio Buds

Ok so maybe you weren’t expecting to see a set of Beats headphones on this list but the fact is that the Beats Studio Buds are a really good set of true wireless earbuds. The fact that they cost under $200 but still manage to compete with and defeat many more expensive models is exciting to buyers.

The design is a departure from the bulkier sports model and these are nice and small with great ergonomic contouring allowing them to sit comfortably and securely in the ear. They last for 8 hours on a single charge and with the included carry case you can get up to 24hours of playback at moderate listening levels.

The sound quality is what you would expect from a pair of beats earbuds. They are energetic and fun-sounding with good extension in the bass. They work well with a wide variety of musical genres but excel with EDM, hip-hop, and pop.

The pairing was seamless and the built-in controls just work. A great earphone at a great price.


Sennheiser IE80s

Wait Sennheiser IE80s under $200? It’s hard to believe these one-time flagships can now be snagged for such a low price but if you check our links you can often find them coming in at an affordable price.

Just because they are a few years old doesn’t mean they lost any of their potency because despite their small size they pack a serious punch with hard-hitting low notes. That’s right the sub-bass is fantastic on these but that doesn’t outshine the rest of the tuning and Sennheisers engineers have done a fantastic job bringing energy to the mids and treble.

They are smooth and easy to listen making most genres sound very good. Soundstage is also on the large side making for a grand presentation that can wow you with the right tracks.

Really this is a value buy and they should be bought up whilst they are still available at such low prices.


Etymotic ER3SE – The Studio Earphone

Etymotic ER3XR earphones
Etymotic ER3XR earphones

If you are looking for a set of earphones for monitoring or critical listening, then the Etymotic ER3SE should be at the top of your shopping list.

This is an earphone designed for studio use, and it has over 30 years of pedigree behind it. These are trusted in the music industry and for excellent reasons.

They have a super-compact barrel design and deep depth insertion making them an excellent earphone set for noise isolation. The sound is flat balanced and uncolored with a visceral ability to retrieve micro detail. They are designed not to color the source material and remain as neutral as possible.

The other model in the line is the XR which stands for an extended response, and it misses the point and loses out to other earphones in this list. The SE is unmatched for what they can do at the price point and well worth every penny of the price tag if the sound matches your listening style.


Bose Sport Earbuds

The Bose Sport Earbuds are not class-leading. They aren’t the best true wireless earphone on the planet but they are one of the best for working out. So what do we like about them?

Well, let’s start with the secure fit that comes from the ergonomic styling of the earbuds along with an included ear hook. The ear hook stabilizes the fit making it easier to work out without worrying about the earphones coming out during jarring motions.

Next up is the inbuilt touch controls allowing you to easily control playback functions such as play and pause as well as answering and rejecting calls.

Then no sports earbud would be complete without a water and sweat resistance rating which these have making them a durable solution to feed your workouts.

The sound is natural and a little bassy, fun, and engaging to help fuel workouts, and with a price tag well under our $200 limit, they are damn good value and our choice for the best gym earbuds on the list.


Westone UM Pro AM10 – Westone Sound On a Budget

Westone’s much-needed refreshment to their line of universal stage monitor the W1 earphones was met with mixed reactions.  The AM Pro 10, however, are beasts.

A single driver over the ear detachable cable earphone that is as happy on stage as it is commuting on trains and planes.

An incredibly well-thought-out set of accessories plus the smooth presentation and solid bass have impressed a lot of people in the headphone community.

Whilst it doesn’t have the low-end kick to compete in the bass department with some of the other IEM’s listed here they are a nod to neutrality and balance.


Sennheiser IE60 – Sennheisers best sub $200 IEM

If you are looking to get a similar sound to Sennheisers extremely popular IE80 earphones the Sennheiser IE60 is the perfect substitute.

Overall the IE60 is fairly balanced but they do lend some extra grunt to the bass that can be extremely pleasing if you listen to a lot of electronic or mainstream music.

It’s a fun sound but remains true to the original recording material and displays ample sound staging and excellent imaging.

Build quality and housing design are vastly improved over the outgoing IE6 IEM’s and these are a set of earbuds that are built to last.


Audiophile Onhttp://www.audiophileon.com
Audiophile On is a website dedicated to high-end audio products. With over 15 years as a reviewer, all articles are hand-written by one person to allow the comparison of products. Headphones, earphones, speakers, amplifiers, or DAC's we cover here.

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