Are you looking for headphones that don’t cost a fortune but still have decent sound quality, comfortable ergonomic design and modern features like noise canceling and Bluetooth? We have selected for you six models in the price range from two to six and a half thousand rubles — various types that are suitable for various tasks.
In terms of price, the headphones are somewhat reminiscent of works of art: true connoisseurs can spend a fortune on them, but for most people, the sound quality of mid-budget models will be more than enough.
You will find a list of selected devices below, after which we will turn to the pros and cons of each model.
Inexpensive liners: RHA MA390 (Universal).
Budget wireless earbuds: OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2.
Inexpensive invoices: Grado SR60e.
Budget wireless bills: Audio Technica ATH-S200BT.
Inexpensive noise canceling headphones: Taotronics TT-BH040.
Budget studio monitors: Beyerdynamic DT 240 Pro.
RHA MA390 (Universal): Cheap earbuds with good sound and decent build.
Price: 1990 rub.
Rating on Yandex.Market: 4.5
- High build quality.
- Wide soundstage.
- Low cost.
- Some noise from the cable.
Although everyone is talking about wireless headphones lately, there are still some good reasons to buy wired ones. Two main arguments: audio quality and cost. Although you can find cheap wireless devices on the market, they usually sound much worse than wired ones for the same price.
In the budget in-ear headphones category, you usually sacrifice sound and build quality for price. However, there are a few rare examples where fairly cheap earbuds sound good and have good build quality. The RHA MA390 (Model Universal) is one such example.
The Hoyat RHA MA390 is the company’s cheapest device, but it hasn’t sacrificed assembly, design, or audio: the headphones received a nice aluminum case, a braided cable, and a universal remote control (on the cable) that works with both Android and iOS. Although the RHA M390 is not ideal, in terms of price-quality ratio they are among the best in the budget category.
OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2: excellent wireless “ears” in the mid-budget price segment
Price: 6000 rub.
Rating on Yandex.Market: –.
- Magnetic on/off switch.
- Good sound visualization.
- Inconvenient carrying case and remote control.
OnePlus is well known for its flagship killer smartphones like the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro. However, the company also makes some very high-quality headphones, one of the best examples being the new Bullets Wireless 2, which features in-ear reinforcing/dynamic ears on a neck strap.
In terms of audio quality, they boast good sound imaging with a very accurate soundstage, but bass fans might want to look for something with deeper lows.
In Russia, the model appeared relatively recently and so far only conditionally fits into the category of “budget” devices — it is almost two thousand more expensive than the first generation, but the audio quality and increased battery capacity, in general, justify the price increase.
Grado SR60e: Best value for money on-ear headphones.
Price: 6120 rub.
Rating on Yandex.Market: – (similar but earlier model SR60i rated 5.0).
- Very comfortable.
- Excellent sound clarity for the price.
- Lack of controls and microphone.
For the money, the Grado SR60e is one of the most interesting devices on the market. This version of the third generation of the Prestige Series is by far the best and most developed.
The SR60e is a mid-range model that sounds much more expensive. The back of the ear cups is open, which provides better air circulation than most over-ears, but in particularly noisy environments, this can be more of a minus.
However, in terms of sound quality, they are truly the gold standard for affordable on-ear headphones.
Audio-Technica ATH-S200BT: Wireless on-ear headphones with decent sound.
Price: 3890 rub.
Rating on Yandex.Market: 4.5.
- Decent sound.
- Excellent price.
- A little tight.
- The plastic looks pretty cheap.
The Audio-Technica ATH-S200BT is that rare example of an inexpensive wireless headphone that combines great design, convenient features, and at the same time has a very good sound.
Their functionality outweighs a very modest price, and 40-hour operation on a single battery charge, in general, is one of the best indicators in the class. At the same time, the ATH-S200BT has some drawbacks, which relate mainly to design features: they sit quite closely on the head, which can cause some users to get tired quickly, and besides, they do not fold completely, which somewhat limits their portability. The plastic case doesn’t look premium either, but overall the build quality is top notch. Therefore, the ATH-S200BT can be safely recommended to anyone who wants to purchase inexpensive wireless on-ear headphones.
Taotronics TT-BH040: good noise cancellation and decent sound.
Price: ~ 3000 rub.
Rating on Yandex.Market: -.
- Reliable wireless connection.
- Difficult to find in Russia.
The TT-BH040 model from Taotronics has not yet been officially introduced to the Russian market, however, among budget noise-cancelling “ears”, this is one of the most interesting options.
If you want big, full-size noise-canceling headphones, but don’t want to splurge on premium models from Beats, Sennheiser, or Bose, the Taotronics TT-BH040 is worth checking out. They look more expensive than most competitors in the class, have good noise cancellation, and boast some pretty decent sound.
The Beyerdynamic DT 240 Pro are affordable studio headphones.
Price: 6600 rub.
Rating on Yandex.Market: 4.5.
- Clear, balanced sound.
- Strong build.
- Minimum soundproofing.
Beyerdynamic makes a lot of products for audiophiles and audio professionals, some of which are really expensive. The DT-990 PRO and DT-770 PRO have gained almost cult status among sound engineers, but not everyone is ready to shell out 11+ thousand rubles for a pair of headphones (especially for beginners).
This is where the DT 240 Pro comes into play, where Beyerdynamic manages to achieve a very good balance between professional audio, excellent design, and a low enough price for monitor headphones (they compete with some models from Audio-Technica, such as the ATH-M40X).
The main plus of 240 Pro is the audio quality. They don’t color the frequencies too much (as monitor headphones should), while the sound is very clear and perfectly balanced. The bass stands out well, but does not stick out, although a slight punch is heard at high volumes. All frequency ranges are clearly audible, without any serious amplification of individual frequencies.
These are neutral headphones that are suitable for professional work with sound, including as a device for monitoring audio during video shooting, while they are much cheaper than most studio models.
If you’re looking for decent-sounding and build-quality headphones, but aren’t willing to pay a premium, there are a number of very decent devices on the market in a variety of form factors, suitable for everything from listening to music while jogging to professional studio work.
Among wired in-ears, we chose the RHA MA390 for its excellent sound quality and good build, it is also the cheapest device on our list. In terms of wireless earbuds, we recommend checking out the new Bullets Wireless 2 from OnePlus. Among over-ear headphones, the Grado SR60e is a truly versatile model with excellent sound, while Audio-Technica offers a very budget wireless option with the ATH-S200BT. If you’re looking for an inexpensive model with good noise cancellation, the Taotronics TT-BH040 offer some pretty good value for a very small price. And among the monitor models, Beyerdynamic managed to achieve an excellent combination of price and quality with their DT 240 Pro.
* when preparing the article, materials from the resources techradar.com, market.yandex.ru were used