9 Best Headphones Under $300

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Wired or Wireless – For most headphones, wires can be a thing of the past. However, wired headphones do not require batteries, and cheaper wireless models will often sacrifice a lot when it comes to battery life. If you’re going to be using your headphones all day and you’re not frequently on the go, wired headphones might be an easier choice.

Scott Etan Feiner

Scott Etan Feiner FOR MUSIC CRITIC

Headphones Under $300 Buyers Guide

Choosing the best headphones under $300 doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s possible to buy some exceptional headphones in this price range. But to make sure that you choose the best available and the most suited to your needs, then look out for the features explained in this buyers’ guide and breakdown so that you make the right purchase.

Noise Cancellation Technology

Noise cancellation technology is an important aspect of quality headphones. Why? Because this feature will eradicate all unwanted background noises so that you can immerse yourself fully in what you’re listening to.

Your choice is between either active noise cancellation or passive noise cancellation.

A lot of the top manufacturers of headphones under $300 have their own proprietary technology for active noise cancellation. Of course, the leaders in this technology is Bose.

But companies like Cowin and Sony have developed some excellent alternatives. You want to choose a pair of headphones using this technology if you plan to use the headphones in very noisy environments, like on airplanes.

Passive or acoustic noise cancellation is more than sufficient for most headphone users, though, and this is basically created through the seal around the earcups, as well as through the choice of materials used for the ear cushions.

The benefit of this type of noise cancelation is that it doesn’t require any power, meaning that your wireless headphones will give you better battery life than those that use active noise cancellation.


Comfort should play a huge part in your choice of headphones, as choosing an uncomfortable pair will hamper your listening experience. Firstly, you should make sure that the ear cushions are ventilated and are not made from a material that can lead to overheating, if so then you might find yourself having to remove them every thirty minutes or so because you’re boiling up.

The ear cushions should also be soft, preferably made from a memory protein material. The headband should also feature padding with a soft cushioning. And the earcups shouldn’t be rigid and unmovable, but instead, they should be able to swivel thanks to pivoting technology so that they adjust to your movement while wearing them.

Battery Life

If your future headphones are wireless or if they include any form of active noise cancellation, then they will also have a rechargeable battery inside them. The range of battery life that you can get is very large, from 5 hours all the way to some offering 30 or even 40 hours.

The key is selecting a pair of headphones that suit your needs. If you’re planning to have your headphones on for long periods without having an opportunity to charge them – which is common with people who travel a lot – then battery life will be something that must be considered.

Make sure to check what battery life you can get from a short charge too, as some headphones can give you hours of playtime from a short five- or ten-minute charge too.

The best headphones under $300 are all designed differently with some including handy features like an in-built microphone offering high-definition sound quality, and others feature water resistance and sweat resistance so that the headphones can be worn during exercise.

Another feature of wireless headphones is the range in the distance that they offer you. If you plan to use the headphones at home, while being hooked up to a stationary device, such as a hi-fi system, then you want to have a good distance range.

Another handy Bluetooth-related feature is the ability to seamlessly switch between two devices. This means, for example, that you could be watching a film while connected wirelessly to your television, but then when your phone rings you can switch to the phone, the film will be paused until you finish the call and return to the TV. Bose includes this feature in some of its headphones.

Portability is something else that should be considered, as some headphones are rigid and inflexible. But the best headphones under $300 are often easily foldable, and they will come with a hard-shell case to make them stable and secure from damage too.

Is there a difference between the sound when the headphones are wireless or corded?

This is a point of contention between audiophiles, with many believing that corded equals higher quality. But people on the opposing side believe that the difference is minimal, and the people in the corded camp are simply reluctant to embrace the new technology.

The real answer lies somewhere in the middle. Wireless headphones give exceptional quality, but at some point, they reach a ceiling, and that’s where corded beats them. Only people seeking hugely advanced sound should care about this, though.

Is there a sound delay when wearing wireless headphones?

There can be a lapse in audio delivery when using wireless headphones, which shows up when playing games or watching movies, but the best headphones under $300 won’t have this latency.

Expert Tip

Don’t let outside noises ruin your listening experience. Pick a pair of headphones that include a form of active noise technology.

Did you know?

Wireless headphones use Bluetooth technology, but did you know that Bluetooth was the name of a 10th century Norwegian and Danish king?


The best headphones under $300 are proof that there are some astoundingly good headphones on the market that offer listeners sensational sound quality, considerable comfort, lengthy battery life, Bluetooth connectivity, and noise cancelation to destroy disturbing noises.

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