10 Best Open Back Headphones Under $500 – Consumer Reports


Finding the best open back headphones under 500 can be quite a task. That is the reason we have simplified it for you. Since you have already landed on this page, we can safely assume that you wish to stay connected with the world around you while listening to your favorite piece of music. That is why open back headphones would prove to be a better fit for you than their closed back counterparts. Their open back crossings won’t allow the sound to circulate in your head, but will disperse some of the ambient noise into the surrounding region, thus rendering a highly comfortable listening experience. Before we start browsing through the list of the best open back headphones under 500, let us take a look at the key factors involved in judging a headphone’s quality.

What to look for in a good open back headphone?

When you are searching for the best open back headphones under 500, you obviously will not be considering to purchase one for gaming purposes. That is because gaming headsets will require that you immerse yourself in the game. For instance, in FPS games, you will need to determine the direction from which the opponent is approaching you. Open back headphones won’t necessarily provide an ideal surround sound effect. Hence, it is critical to know the kind of use that you are going to put your open back headphones.

  • Avoiding the ‘In Your Head’ Experience:  Closed back headphones generally tend to get inside your head. They will cancel all the noise outside and make you concentrate on the sound emanating from the source. However, sometimes the sound gets too much into your head, making it unbearable to a great degree. While the rotary encoder may hold the key to the micro controller, eventually reducing the sound input, it may still sometimes go over the top. Open back headphones bring about a sense of peace to your listening experience.
  • Involvement of Nature:  Oftentimes, you may prefer to involve the organic harmony of nature into your listening experience. Open back headphones will help you do just that. Sit back, relax, and enjoy good music in the wild while immersing yourself in the melodic chirping of birds and the soft pitter-patter of raindrops.
  • Awaiting Someone:  Are you awaiting someone’s arrival? Do you tend to often while away your time waiting for someone special? Open back headphones might just provide the perfect opportunity for you to spend your time in listening to your favorite piece of music while surreptitiously trying to hear your loved one’s call.
  • Avoiding Ear Problems: Closed back headphones can sometimes impair your hearing or escalate an existing disorder, most often due to the improper facing of the vertical axis. So, if you are already faced with ear issues, then you would be better off purchasing open back headphones for everyday use.

Comparison Chart of the 10 Best Open Back Headphones under 500:

Headphones Type of Fit Dimensions Weight Unique Features
Beats Studio Wireless Over-Ear 4.52×9.57×7.28 inches 2.8 lbs. Volume Control
Bose Quiet Comfort 25 Over-Ear 5.88×2.5×9.38 inches 0.43 lbs. Noise Cancelling
Sony MDR1A Premium On-Ear 9.5×11.1×4.5 inches 2.4 lbs. Android Phone Control
Pioneer Pro DJ HDJ-2000MK2-S Over-Ear 8.98×4.92×8.98 inches 1.54 lbs. Light Weight, Affordable
Beats Executive On-Ear 9.14×6.86×5.28 inches 0.75 lbs. iOS Phone Control, Noise Cancellation
Sennheiser HD 650 Over-Ear 10×12.4×4.33 inches 0.57 lbs. Lightweight
Sennheiser HD 600 Over-Ear 0.39×0.39×0.39 inches 0.57 lbs. Lightweight
Oppo PM3 Planar Magnetic Over-Ear 0.71 lbs. Lightweight
Sony MDR-1RNCMK2 On-Ear 0.73 lbs. Universal Phone Control
Sennheiser RS 195 RF Supraaural 5.9×9.3×11.6 inches 3.5 lbs. Volume Control

10 Best Open Back Headphones Under 500:

Beats Studio Wireless Over-Ear Headphone

Technical Specifications:

  • Connect with any music playing device via Bluetooth. The maximum pairing distance is 30 meters.
  • The noise cancelling feature is a dual mode adaptive one.
  • The mic is built-in, so you don’t need to adjust the direction while speaking over it.
  • The headphones work for over 12 hours, after which you can recharge them. A fuel gauge is also provided.
  • Overview: Though the price may be on the higher side, these state-of-the-art headphones are more than worth the bucks shelled out. We arguably consider them to be THE best open back headphones under 500 in the market today. A simple yet classy design, the technological enhancements provided are numerous. You can literally feel the music coursing through your veins soon after you start listening. The contact angle can be spontaneously adjusted to render a surround sound experience. With the dual-mode adaptive noise cancelling feature, you can readily alter the inclusion of the surrounding sounds into your listening experience. A 12-hour battery capability enables you to listen to your favorite pieces of music for hours on end without worrying about the headset powering down. You can also determine the amount of power remaining in the device with the help of the in-built Battery Fuel Gauge. With the inclusion of the micro-USB charger, you can charge the device anywhere, anytime! The brand, Beats, founded by one of the most influential businessmen, Dr. Dre, in the year 2006, has flourished exponentially over the past few years. Needless to say, the Beats Studio is their best offering so far. Experience this wonderful phenomenon for yourself.


  • Controllable noise cancellation features.
  • Impeccable build quality.
  • Surprisingly comfortable given their comparative weight.
  • Exquisite sound and voice quality.
  • Best-in-class rechargeable batteries.


  • Poor customer service.
  • The quality of their additional accessories may not always be up to the mark.

Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic

Technical Specifications:

  • A master of noise reduction while commuting.
  • Can be connected to any iOS device. Also compatible with Android, Blackberry, and Windows devices.
  • ​An inbuilt mic that will allow you to take calls while listening to music.
  • It renders a surround sound experience.

Overview: If you have been a fan of Bose headsets for a long time, you will instantly realize that the QuietComfort 25 is the best of their lot. Not only is the sound quality amazing, but the portability is also top notch. Its overall size enables you to stuff it inside even the smallest of purses. The design is highly amicable for professional as well as casual use. Unlike the sound quality of most other headphones, that of Bose QuietComfort will exponentially improve with every use.

The noise cancelling feature is better than most headphones that promote it in their product. The ear cushions will last for several years without the snap of even a single strand. The ‘aware mode’ in these headphones provide an actual environmental feel that will leave you wanting for more. Noise cancellation at its best, you can always alternatively reduce the surrounding sounds to an exceptional degree, letting your earbuds enjoy the music to its finest.

The adjustments that need to be made in order to accommodate any kind of ears are minimal. With just a few good tweaks over the zhong xin axis, you can make the headphones snugly fit onto your head. Additionally, you can use the headsets for quite some time after the battery dies. How cool is that!


  • The noise cancellation feature is better than most of the best open back headphones under 500 out there.
  • A compact device that can fit into the smallest of purses.
  • Optimum use with iOS devices.
  • The sound quality is phenomenal.


  • The comfort level mildly decreases with the increase in the hours of use.
  • The quality of the sound substantially reduces after the battery powers down.

Sony MDR1A Premium Headphones

Technical Specifications:

  • 100 kHz sound reproduction capability.
  • ALCP driver units with a size close to 40 mm.
  • Kimber Kable engineering provides a high level of dependability on the 3 optional cables.
  • ​The main OFC cable has been coated with silver in order to prevent dispersion of the signal.
  • The pads are designed to provide absolute comfort for any ear shape.

Overview:  Sony products are well-known for their sound quality, and the MDR1A doesn’t disappoint. The audio performance is better than the best in its class. It combines the optimum combination of precise weight with sturdy comfort. On-ear headphones that don’t let the sound get into your head, they come with a sophisticated design that will enhance the characteristics of any headphone rack. Though they may be made of plastic, they are strong enough to withstand the steepest of falls. And the look and feel is as good as the most expensive headsets out there.

The quality of the sound surprisingly improves with use. Eventually, you will start feeling like you have ordered a surround sound system! The base output is something to watch out for. You will definitely be astounded by the total peculiar yet outstanding bass that will ring through your ears much after the song ends. One of the cheapest headphones on the list, they excel at quite a few of the features preferred by the elite class of listeners. Rest assured that you are bound to get the best musical experience out of these beauties. Some of the high-end headphones in the market will fall flat before the remarkable sound quality of the MDR1A.


  • Hi-resolution sound delivers an extraordinary quality of music.
  • Most reasonably priced headphones on the list.
  • The comfort level is superior.
  • The design is technologically advanced.


  • Though the build quality is above-par, the headphones are made of plastic. Hence, if they are not used carefully, they may wear out sooner than expected.

Pioneer Pro DJ HDJ-2000MK2-S

Technical Specifications:

  • Rotatable housing feature allows you to put the headphones to vigorous use without damaging them at all.
  • Though the build is tough and solid, the headphones provide a high level of comfort while listening.
  • Open back with sound isolation feature for multiple uses.

Overview: While the HDJ-2000MK2-S may be one of most expensive headphones in the Pioneer series, they are certainly more than worth the price. Their world-class sound quality is what helped them make the cut among the best open back headphones under 500. The quality never reduces after excess use; if at all, you will find that it improves. The build condition is at par with most of the headsets in its class.
The Pioneer headphones are known to be heavier than other brands, but the HDJ-2000 boasting a weight of just over 1.50 lbs. has proved to be a startling competition to the rest. The level of comfort has also substantially increased with this product. Any amateur headphone enthusiast will appreciate the ergonomic design that will render a perfect fit over the brainiest of heads. The magnesium fold mechanism provides the required flexibility along with excellent strength. Both the ear parts have the ability to turn a whopping 90-degree horizontal axis angle as measured by the most meticulous of laser goniometers. Thus, even if your ears are deformed beyond repair, this masterpiece of a headset can easily accommodate your alignment requirements.


  • Perfectly complements DJ monitors.
  • Top class sound quality.
  • Sturdy yet flexible design.
  • The best headphones released by Pioneer yet.


  • The price may be a concern for some buyers.

Beats Executive Headphones

Technical Specifications:

  • Built out of tough material, but still pretty lightweight.
  • It comes with an Active Noise Cancellation feature that allows you to listen to your music in peace.
  • Whenever the music is internally modified, the headsets easily respond to the type of sound requested, with a clarity so refined that you can easily point out the difference.

Overview: As the name suggests, these Beats headphones are specially manufactured to cater to the needs of the executive audience. Weighing just about 0.75 lbs. you would be hard put find the comfort level demanded by the rigors of professional use in any other headset. Whether you are traveling thousands of feet above sea level or cruising over gushing waters of the Amazon, the sound quality will always remain intact. The interference levels can be remotely adjusted with the Active Noise Cancellation feature, thus delivering the best quality of sound over any terrain.

Regardless of where you are or how fast you are traveling, the Beats Audio will always astound you the way it has pleasantly surprised several customers in its wake. If price has always been a cause of concern for you, we are very sure that you will dig these insanely classy headphones rated the cheapest ones on our list. Though they may be ridiculously cheap, the sound quality and the overall build are above par. The noise canceling feature is better than some of the headphones even beyond the $500 price range. The bass range is a bit on the higher side, but you will love it nonetheless.


  • THE most affordable headphone on the list.
  • The sound quality and noise cancellation better than most.
  • Lightweight and classy to behold.
  • Beats Audio as good as any.


  • Given the cheap price of the product, you will find that some of the features are not up to the mark.

Sennheiser HD 650 Professional

Technical Specifications:

  • Though they may be open back headphones, the Total Harmonic Distortion is reduced to a minimal, as low as 0.05% to be more precise.
  • The neodymium magnets fitted inside the product ensure the utmost efficiency.
  • The voice coils are lightweight, which ensure that your voice through the mic is delivered to the concerned person on the opposite line in the fastest possible time.

Overview: If you have always wondered how the S.W.A.T. team’s Kevlar vest feels like, this is your chance. This unique yet highly alluring headset is reinforced with Kevlar throughout, thus making it the most battle-hardened headphone in the series. The hardiest of all the products, it is known to withstand the most stringent conditions thrown at it, or thrown along with it. Thus, if you are known for your utter carelessness in handling tech products, this is the perfect headphone for you.

The HD 650 produces the most pure, unadulterated sound, thus making you experience every form of music in its natural state. And the comfort level for any set of head is so binding that you will even be able to differentiate the subtle inadequacies in some of the relatively stale music albums without pressing the pair against your valuable ears. And we haven’t even introduced its outstanding feature yet – the lightest headphone in our list! Weighing just over 0.50 lb. it will barely add to your baggage, and to the weight of your intelligent head when you put it on. Also, it being smaller in size than the average headphone, you can easily dump it into your bag without worrying about space issues.


  • It has everything that a true audiophile can ask for.
  • Comfort at its best. It can be adjusted to suit any head size.
  • Pure, unadulterated music quality.
  • Ability to discern even the faintest of anomalies.


  • The price might be a concern for some.

Sennheiser HD 600 Professional

Technical Specifications:

  • This model is similar to the 650. It is also equipped with lightweight aluminum voice coils and neodymium magnets.
  • The earpiece covers are made out of metal mesh.
  • The copper cable is induced with strong, Kevlar-like materials.

Overview: Kevlar features again in this apparent downgrade from the 650. The build quality of this model is the same as that of the 650. The quality of the music is also more or less similar to the 650. Possible aberrations in the music are audible crystal clear in the 600. You can listen to your favorite songs all day long with these headsets and you won’t find even the slightest difference in its output.

The subtle differences that we were able to discern between the two included the rigidity of head clamp. In case of the 650, you will find that the clamp is a bit tighter than that of the 600. So, abnormally large headed folks would be better off purchasing the 600 than the 650. Another notable difference lies in the quality of their cables. The 650 possesses a more rigorous cable quality than the 600. Thus, while neither may be prone to snapping apart, the cable of the 650 will definitely last longer than that of the 600.

Apart from these barely noticeable disparities between the two, there are also a couple of obvious technical variations. The frequency response is a tad higher in the 650 than in the 600. Also, the Total Harmonic Distortion is slightly lesser in the 650.


  • All the features of the HD 600 are almost similar to the HD 650.


  • Though the manufacturing price of the HD 600 is far lower than that of the HD 650, the huge discounts offered on the latter place the 600 at a huge disadvantage.

OPPO PM-3 Planar Magnetic

Technical Specifications:

  • The planar magnetic drivers render a magnificent quality of music.
  • The noise isolation is magnanimous.
  • The comfort level is simply outstanding.

Overview: The OPPO PM-3 headphones are the best in its class. And they are bound to be the best given the exorbitant price at which they are sold. One of the costliest and the best open back headphones under 500 on the list, these boasts of a wide range of features that certainly put them far ahead of their competition. They have a traditional yet elegant halo design that will appeal to all ages. Their noise isolation feature is one to watch out for – the refined and pristine flow of music is all that you will hear once cancellation has been appropriately set.

The stylish looks combined with the mesmerizing sound quality will more than make up for the depth in price. The build quality is equal to the best headphones in the range, and the natural clarity of music will simply transport you to another world. All you need do is sit back, relax, and let the absolute magic of music take over your senses!


  • The best in the price range, and among the best overall!
  • All features included. Lightweight. They would be perfect at saddle height.
  • The sound quality will make you go ‘Wow’!


  • The costliest headphone on the list.


Technical Specifications:

  • S-Master Amplifier technology allows the headphones to produce significant geologic feature signal separation, thus giving out a balanced sound on both sides of the product.
  • Digital Noise Cancelling along with Digital Sound Enhancement Engine renders an exceptional quality of music.
  • It comes equipped with a liquid crystal polymer film diaphragm.

Overview: The MDR-1RNCMK2 is one of the few headphones that is perfectly compatible with all the available phone operating systems. With an astounding 22 hours’ battery duration, these Bluetooth headphones will allow you to listen to your preferred genre of music for hours on end. The packing case and the USB cable are ones to watch out for. You can pull, push, tug, slap at the cable without producing a single scratch on it. The dynamic surround sound will let you experience a faultless audio for as long as it lasts. And needless to say, these headphones last for quite a while more than the designated average, thanks to the support column which is as sturdy as a rock.


  • Perfectly designed to accommodate any standard operating system.
  • The sound quality of Sony is well-known, and it simply gets better with these beauties.
  • One of the lightest headphones offered by the brand.


  • We were not able to find any flaw with the headset apart from the hefty price.

Sennheiser RS 195 RF Wireless

Technical Specifications:

  • 100-meter wireless transmission joint range. Standard bubble inclinometers have measured this range of motion with perfect accuracy.
  • Hearing power as recommended by your physical therapist can be boosted, and so can the voice transmission be enhanced.
  • ​Though the inputs may be digital, they come equipped with analog ones as well.
  • Manual Level Control technology that acts as a personalized docking station too.

Overview: THE most sophisticatedly styled headphones on our list of the best open back headphones under 500. You are bound to love their look on the stand regardless of your taste in fashion. Additionally, their unique design enables them to fit snugly around ears big and small. Are you a movie buff? If so, then you will be delighted with the feeling of surround sound produced by these headphones. And you won’t even experience any interfacial tension due to a prolonged hour of sitting, all thanks to the wireless output.

The RS 195 is not only technologically accurate but also scientifically precise. The manufacturers have literally analyzed the brain functions of an average individual to fabricate the epitome of trendy, comfortable, and highly advanced headphones for the current age and time. Are you worried about showcasing your headphones to the geeks in your group? We assure you that the RS 195 simply won’t fail to amaze them!


  • Are the extraordinarily loud sound effects hampering your ability to perceive the dialogue? These headphones will make it easier for you.
  • Music and TV, these things are perfectly suitable for both.
  • Hearing loss augmenting your comprehension woes? These headphones will fill the gap with the right adjustments.


  • These things are heavier than a filled ox cart, figuratively speaking.
These are our pick of the 10 best open back headphones under 500. Whether you are hearing impaired or highly sensitive, we have the perfect set of headphones for you. In order to ease the process of determining which set is the right one for you, we have come up with a simple plan. You only need to,

  • Think about your basic requirements. Are you a casual listener, an aspiring DJ, or a binge watcher?
  • Analyze your hearing pattern. Do you prefer to listen to the subtle variations in the note? Are your ears accustomed to solemnly savor the sweet taste of music alone? Or do you wish to combine the forces of nature with your hearing preferences?
  • Are you a technological geek? Are you a musical maestro? Are you a hardcore movie buff? Or do you simply immerse yourself in the music or the movie, preferring not to be distracted?
  • Are you handy with the buttons on your phone or do you wish to have the switches closer to hand?
  • Do you conduct voice calls over the internet quite often? How important is the bass power to you?
  • Are you in love with wires and cords or do you wish to be free from these material entanglements?
  • Do you face any physical issues while watching a movie over your desktop or laptop? For instance, does your greater trochanter hurt due to the awkward knee flexion while sitting in a set position over the desktop for long hours, all because the wire length of your current headsets is short? Do you have any skin infections that cause the accumulation of heat around your ears? Huang Lian Jie Du Teapills is the solution for the final problem!

Make a note of your answers to all these questions on a piece of paper, and compare those with the specifications mentioned in this article. We are very sure that there is a headphone in our list that accommodates all your requirements, no matter how rare they may be. If you still aren’t able to pick one, you can always reach out to us at <email ID or phone number>, and our profoundly educated executives will definitely help you out with any of your queries.