Welcome to our round up of the best headphones under $300!. Headphones in this price range are generally known as mid-range headphones, but in fact they are my favorite type of headphones. They hit the sweet spot: they are a monumental improvement over the under-$100 range headphones. But the sound improvements you find in ‘high-end headphones’, which start at $500 and up, are incremental and usually require headphone amps and aftermarket cable upgrades to get the most out of them.

If you’re using your $300 headphones with your home computer, if you have a soundcard capable of 5.1 surround sound, then your set. But if you’re using these headphones with portable devices like laptops, smartphones and tablets, then you should get a portable headphone amp to help you get the most out of your headphones.

But most importantly, this is where music starts to come alive.

If you want more budget-friendly headphones, you can check out our rankings for best $100 headphones, as well as the best $200 headphones. If you want truly elite headphones, check out our rank for the 5 Best High-End Headphones.


1. Sennheiser HD598 Headphones

best-headphones-under-300-sennheiser-hd598

What We Like:

These open ended headphones offer a wide soundstage that recreates a brilliant sense of being there when the original recording was taking place. The sound is astonishingly clear: The soundstage attribute separates out each instruments just enough so you can appreciate the scope of a full orchestra playing for you.

The tan-and-beige color scheme stands out among headphones, as does the burl wood accents. Sennheiser based the look on high end European sports cars. It gives the HD598’s an ageless quality that will make these headphones stand the test of time.

Lightweight and comfortable, these headphones can be worn for hours without any worry of overheating.

Long and Durable Cord.

What We Don’t Like:

While the sound coming from an ipad or ipod is okay, an amp is truly needed to bring out the maximum potential of these headphones.

Doesn’t come with a travel case, so be extra careful when travelling with them.

The Takeaway:

The HD598’s have been the mid-range headphones to beat for quite some time, and there’s a reason. The clarity and depth of sound is astounding, and all the characteristics of classical music and live jazz are well represented here. You can also check out our full HD598 Review here.

Find the Best Price for These Headphones:

Newegg.com

$249.95

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Amazon

$204.63

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2. V-Moda Crossfade LP Headphones

V-Moda Crossfade - best headphones under 300

What We Like:

For those that will listen to club music, and R&B, these headphones faithfully reproduce all the fun and energy of the original recording.

The headphones also come with a cloth-covered detachable cable with an inline mic for your iPhone/iPod/iPad.

The urban industrial design is pretty. The three options: gunmetal black, chrome and white pearl are all awesome looking.

What We Don’t Like:

The strength of these Crossfades is definitely in the lower-end (bass), and has an echo-quality that sounds great with club music but sounds off with classical.

The treble is repressed. If you play with an equalizer you can easily compensate for that.

The Takeaway:

These are stylish, incredibly comfortable headphones that work great with portable listening devices. The design will definitely turn heads, and if you find yourself listening to mainly electronica and other high tempo music, these headphones will make it sound amazing. If you’re listening mainly to classical, then the HD598’s are better.

Find the Best Price for These Headphones:

Amazon

$141.24

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Amazon

$114.08

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Amazon

$125.15

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1. Bose Quietcomfort 15 Headphones

Bose QC15- best headphones under $300

What We Like:
Bose’s Noise Cancelling headphones still feature the best noise-cancellation technology available today. While other headphones manufacturers are gaining ground, Bose’s Quietcomfort headphones are able to cancel out jet engine noise better than any other set of NC headphones. Bose QC 15 are also incredibly lightweight, and come with a compact hard shell travel case to protect your headphones while travelling. Bose’s ear cups are also soft, luxurious and light on the ears. You can sleep on the plane with these on your ears and not worry about overheating.
What we Don’t Like:
Bose could do better than using plastic on the main body of the headphones. It looks cheap, especially when they are $300 headphones. I understand they want to make the headphones as light and airy as possible, but it makes them look cheap. It’s just as well that they offer a super-protective travel case otherwise it looks like they would break easily.
The Takeaway:
Other headphones makes like Sennheiser and AKG have made some pretty good noise-cancelling headphones, but Bose is still king, thanks to their patented noise-cancellation technology. For frequent travellers/commuters, being able to cancel out noise is an invaluable stress reliever.


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4. AKG K701 Headphones

best-headphones-under-300-AKG-K-701-Headphones

What We Like:

These headphones will bring out a breathtaking amount of details on your track. It does especially well with vocals, jazz, and classical music, giving the music great airiness and clarity.

Great build quality. It’s sturdy enough to take a few drops on the floor, as well as running over the cord with your chair. Admit it: you will do it at some point.

It has the largest soundstage of all the headphones on this list. However, some say it’s too big. This, however, makes them great for movies.

The top leather headband is quite comfortable, and the clamping force is strong but comfortable.

What We Don’t Like:

The large and bulky design can be uncomfortable to wear, especially for long periods. For a more comfortable pair of headphones with a comparable sound experience. I recommend going for the Beyerdynamic DT990’s featured below.

Listening to rock music with these is not recommended. The sound is very thin when listening to tracks like Metallica and Korn.

The Takeaway:

Like the Sennheiser HD598s, these headphones have terrific clarity and excel at bringing out the strengths of classical, jazz and any music with female vocals. Where the Sennheiser wins out is in comfort over long periods. However, that difference is very small, and the difference between 1 and 2 very tiny.

However, the HD598s require an amp to get the required auditory experience out of their headphones. With the AKG K701s, there was a slight improvement but overall it felt like there wasn’t a need for one.

In other words, if you subtract an amp, as well as the deep discount on Amazon, the K701s are easily the better deal right now.

Find the Best Price for These Headphones:

Amazon

$237.67

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5. Beyerdynamic DT990 Premium Headphones

headphones-under-300--beyerdynamic-990

What We Like:

Open-ear design creates greater sound reproduction.

Includes carry case and weighs in at a sparse 11 oz.(the best travel headphones on the list)

Excellent bass-line but doesn’t sacrifice sound quality in the highs and mids.

has great instrument separation

Most versatile headphones on the list: you’ll get everything you want want out of classical and jazz, but will also find electronic and rock well represented.

Comfortable earpieces feel great and are conducive to long periods of use.

What We Don’t Like:

Has a long burn in time. But good things come to those who wait

Definitely requires an amp to get great sound. The Beyerdynamics will sound muddy and distant with an ipod

The Takeaway:

Beyerdynamic DT990s are the most versatile headphones on this list

For those unhappy with the lack of bass-line in the Sennheiser HD598s and AKG K701s, you will find what you’re looking for here. The headphones can be worn for long stretches and will play any kind of music (provided you have an amp) you throw at it.

Find the Best Price for These Headphones:

Amazon

$292.67

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6. Sennheiser HD558

best headphones under 300 - sennheiser hd558 review

What We Like:
The earpieces are comfortable: the soft, fabric pads fit around your ears, not on top.
The open ended headphones give you the similar airy feel you get with Sennheiser’s HD598’s, and even has less sound bleed (so you don’t annoy people around you).
Sennheiser’s gift for creating an incredibly clear soundstage is represented in these HD558’s.
What We Don’t Like:
A little less luxurious and harder on the head than the HD598s, however it’s only slightly so.
Clarity and soundstage sound great, just slightly below the more expensive Sennheiser counterparts.
The Takeaway:

If you want the soundstage experience on a budget, these are your headphones.

The HD558s don’t quite give you that feeling of ‘being there’ that the HD598s do, but you will still get a great classical listening experience for a good price.

Find the Best Price for These Headphones:

Amazon

$119.95

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