Top 3 Best Earbuds Under $200 – A Whole Lot of Choice

If you’re preparing to spend somewhere in the region of $200 on a new pair of earbuds, chances are you have a specific set of priorities, a clear sense of the kinds of features that are must includes and those you can live without, and, of course, a particular use case in mind.

That being the case, you will be pleased to find that the ~$200 range provides a good deal of variety when it comes to both specialist and general use options. If you make sure to do the requisite research before pulling the trigger, you stand to walk away with a pair of in-ear headphones that will stay faithfully by your side for a good while.

Top 3 Best Earbuds Under $200

Bowers & Wilkins C5 S2 In-Ear Headphones

4.3 Stars
  • Bowers & Wilkins C5 S2 In-Ear Headphones Review
  • Bowers & Wilkins C5 S2 In-Ear Headphones Review
  • Bowers & Wilkins C5 S2 In-Ear Headphones Review

AudioRumble rating 86/100

The Bowers & Wilkins C5 S2 In-Ear Headphones are a strong choice. Despite a design which lies somewhere between ‘dull’ and ‘elegant’, the listening experience is immensely pleasurable and hard to find much fault with whatsoever even when dealing with tracks of a vastly different tonal nature. A solid choice for the sound-first, looks-later audiophile.

  • The secure loop system. It’s personal taste, but it works for us.

  • Full-featured, three-button remote and mic combo.

  • Nothing special to look at; minimal design upgrade from the previous model.

JayBird X3 Wireless In-Ear Headphones

3.8 Stars
  • JayBird X3 Wireless In-Ear Headphones Review – No Wires, No Worries
  • JayBird X3 Wireless In-Ear Headphones Review – No Wires, No Worries
  • JayBird X3 Wireless In-Ear Headphones Review – No Wires, No Worries

AudioRumble rating 76/100

If your primary concern is for a wireless listening experience, you can do far worse than the JayBird X3s. Decent battery life, good connectivity, and a solid featureset make a good argument against the only okay audio quality. If you’re prepared to tinker, you may be able to customize the sound profile to your liking via the MySound app.

  • Good battery life, although no improvement over the X2s.

  • The app is a nice addition and allows a good deal of customization.

  • They don’t look fantastic, and JayBird hasn’t changed much since the X2s.

  • Audio quality could be better.

Shure SE315 Sound Isolating Earphones

3.05 Stars
  • Shure SE315 Sound Isolating Earphones Review – An Audio Gamble
  • Shure SE315 Sound Isolating Earphones Review – An Audio Gamble
  • Shure SE315 Sound Isolating Earphones Review – An Audio Gamble

AudioRumble rating 61/100

It’s hard to know who the SE315s are aimed at. A sparse offering in terms of features, one would assume that these were designed for the audiophile market who have no need of remotes and microphones as long as the sound is out of this world. But it isn’t. It’s solid, but nothing more than that.

  • Decent, if utilitarian, aesthetic.

  • A replaceable cable is a nice idea.

  • Making the remote/mic cable a separate product is pretty bad.

  • Audio quality disappoints given the lack of anything else on offer.

The Good

One word: options. If you noticed that the jump into the circa $100 range (INSERT LINK TO ‘/best-earbuds/under-100’) had vastly opened up the world of choices, then you’re about to watch it open up even more. At this price range, brands are conscious of the fact that you have moved beyond the realm of a casual consumer of audio equipment. Someone willing to spend $200+ on a pair of earbuds knows what they want, knows what they’re looking for, and will generally put in the time to make sure that whatever they purchase perfectly fits the bill.

The big wide world of wireless earbuds becomes your playground at this price point, and there is no shortage of solid offerings across a broad spectrum of the industry. Of course, wireless is rarely the way to go if optimal performance is your main concern, but it’s always nice to have the option nonetheless.

The Bad

The good news is that there isn’t much to dislike here. You’ll be getting, for the most part, all the features you could hope for, plenty of choice and customization potential in terms of things like specialist functions (i.e. for sports earbuds) and visual design, and you should also be able to find a sound signature that works for you.

That said, there may be an element of minor frustration which plagues the ardent audiophile. For the most part, a $200 pair of earbuds has the potential to sound pretty great, but truly excellent audio carries with it a slightly more expensive price tag and companies want to ensure that their products cater to a broader spectrum of the population than just the audiophiles.

What to Look For

It’s time to start looking for what you want to find. At $200 and above, you should no longer be concerning yourself with major tradeoffs. If you want a fashionable, statement pair of earphones that can also deliver a solid audio experience, you can find it. If you want wireless earbuds with a myriad of options to customize the fit, it’s yours.

Unlike purchasing at a lower price point, there’s no sense in which you should have to settle for less than exactly what you’re looking for in terms of feature combinations, product specialities, and look.

Conclusion

While earbuds in the ~$200 price range probably will not net you the best listening experience money can buy, the key here is in their ability to suit your specific requirements across more than one area of performance.

So even though you will struggle to find a pair of earphones which have stripped back their feature list to the bare minimum and opted for a generic design so that they can solely prioritize audio quality to compete with significantly more expensive models, you will definitely come across several models for which their primary focus is on delivering above average audio quality.

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