Best Planar Magnetic Headphones Under $200

Best Planar Magnetic Headphones Under $200

When it comes to headphones, planar magnetic technology has gained popularity for its superior sound quality and immersive listening experience. Planar magnetic headphones use a different driver technology compared to traditional dynamic headphones, offering a more detailed and accurate sound reproduction. If you’re looking for the best planar magnetic headphones under $200, you’re in luck. In this article, we will explore the top affordable planar magnetic headphones that deliver exceptional audio performance without breaking the bank.

5 Best Planar Magnetic Headphones Under $200

Photo Title Price Buy
Monolith M1060C Closed...image Monolith M1060C Closed Back Planar Magnetic Over-Ear Headphones - Low Distortion And Perfectly Balanced Sound, Black $197.89
HIFIMAN HE400SE Stealth...image HIFIMAN HE400SE Stealth Magnets Version Over-Ear Open-Back Full-Size Planar Magnetic Wired Headphones for Audiophiles/Studio, Great-Sounding, Stereo, High Sensitivity, Comfortable, Sliver $109.00
PHILIPS Fidelio X2HR...image PHILIPS Fidelio X2HR Over The Ear Open Back wired Headphone 50mm Drivers- Black Professional Studio Monitor Headphones with Detachable Cable $139.99
Logitech for Creators...image Logitech for Creators Blue Ella Planar Magnetic Headphones with Built-in Audiophile Amp (7013) $188.90
HIFIMAN SUNDARA Closed-Back...image HIFIMAN SUNDARA Closed-Back Over-Ear Planar Magnetic Wired Hi-Fi Headphones with Stealth Magnet Design, Detachable Cable, Wood Ear Cups for Home, Studio, Recording $149.00

Related: Best Planar Magnetic Headphones Under $500

Understanding Planar Magnetic Headphones

Planar magnetic headphones utilize a thin, lightweight diaphragm with a circuit of magnets placed on either side. When an electrical current passes through the circuit, it interacts with the magnets, causing the diaphragm to move and produce sound. This technology results in lower distortion, faster response times, and improved clarity compared to traditional dynamic drivers.

Related: Most Comfortable IEMS Audiophiles

Difference Between Planar Magnetic and Dynamic Headphones:

Dynamic headphones use a voice coil attached to a diaphragm, which moves within a magnetic field to produce sound. In contrast, planar magnetic headphones use a thin diaphragm with conductive traces that move within a magnetic field to produce sound. This difference in design results in differences in sound signature and performance.

  • Sound Quality: Planar magnetic headphones are known for their detailed and accurate sound reproduction, especially in the mid and high frequencies.
  • Comfort: Planar magnetic headphones are often more comfortable to wear for extended periods due to their lightweight design and even distribution of pressure.
  • Power Requirements: Planar magnetic headphones typically require more power to drive compared to dynamic headphones, but they offer a more dynamic sound output.

Factors to Consider

When choosing planar magnetic headphones under $200, consider the following factors to ensure you get the best value for your money:

  • Sound Quality: Look for headphones that offer a balanced sound signature with clear highs, detailed mids, and impactful bass.
  • Comfort and Fit: Opt for headphones with plush ear pads and an adjustable headband for a comfortable fit.
  • Build Quality: Choose headphones with durable construction and quality materials for long-lasting performance.
  • Cable Options: Consider headphones with detachable cables for easy replacement and customization.
  • Open-Back vs. Closed-Back Design: Decide whether you prefer the open, airy sound of open-back headphones or the isolation of closed-back headphones.

Best Planar Magnetic Headphones Under $200

Let’s dive into the top affordable planar magnetic headphones that offer exceptional sound quality and comfort without exceeding a $200 budget.

1. Monolith M1060C Closed Back Planar Magnetic

The Monolith M1060C Closed Back Planar Magnetic Over-Ear Headphones offer a premium audio experience with a closed-back design for enhanced sound isolation and immersive listening. These headphones combine the cutting-edge technology of planar magnetic drivers with the convenience of a closed-back enclosure, providing a balanced and detailed sound profile for audiophiles and music enthusiasts.

Features

  • Planar Magnetic Drivers: The M1060C headphones feature planar magnetic drivers that deliver high-fidelity sound reproduction with minimal distortion and accurate audio imaging.
  • Closed-Back Design: The closed-back enclosure enhances sound isolation, reducing external noise and preventing sound leakage for a more intimate listening experience.
  • Comfortable Ear Pads: The headphones come equipped with plush and comfortable ear pads that provide extended wearing comfort, making them suitable for long listening sessions.
  • Detachable Cable: The detachable cable offers convenience for storage and customization, allowing users to replace or upgrade the cable as needed.
  • Sleek Design: The Monolith M1060C headphones boast a sleek and modern design with a premium build quality that exudes sophistication and durability.

Pros

  • High-Fidelity Sound
  • Enhanced Sound Isolation
  • Comfortable Fit
  • Detachable Cable
  • Premium Build Quality

Cons

  • Weight
  • Sound Leakage
  • Cable Connection
  • Limited Portability

User Reviews

  • John D.: “The Monolith M1060C headphones exceeded my expectations with their detailed sound and comfortable fit. The closed-back design really enhances the listening experience.”
  • Sarah L.: “I love the premium feel of these headphones and the sound quality is top-notch. However, I did notice some sound leakage at higher volumes, which was a minor drawback for me.”
  • Michael R.: “The planar magnetic drivers on the M1060C headphones deliver a rich and immersive sound that truly elevates my music listening. The detachable cable is a nice touch for customization.”

Monolith M1060C offer a blend of premium sound quality, comfort, and design features that cater to discerning audiophiles. With their planar magnetic drivers, closed-back design, and comfortable fit, these headphones provide an exceptional listening experience for music enthusiasts looking for high-fidelity audio performance.

2. HIFIMAN HE400SE Stealth Magnets


The HIFIMAN HE400SE headphones utilize planar magnetic drivers to reproduce accurately and detailed sound. With a lightweight design and an impedance of 35 ohms, these headphones offer comfortable wear and easy drivability. The ergonomic headband ensures a secure and comfortable fit for extended listening sessions without causing fatigue. The cable setup ensures that the headphones can be easily connected to devices with either a 3.5mm or 6.35mm headphone jack, offering flexibility and compatibility across various audio equipment. The dual-sided design further enhances convenience, allowing users to easily connect the headphones without worrying about the orientation of the cable.

Features:

  • Planar magnetic drivers for accurate sound reproduction
  • Lightweight design for comfortable wear
  • Impedance of 35 ohms for easy drivability
  • Sensitivity: 91dB

Pros:

  • Crisp and detailed sound quality
  • Ergonomic headband for a secure fit
  • Balanced sound signatures across frequencies

Cons:

  • Ear pads may wear out over time
  • Cable connection may be prone to issues

User Reviews: “The HIFIMAN HE-400SE offers a premium listening experience at an affordable price point. The planar magnetic drivers deliver exceptional clarity and detail in the music.”

3. Philips Fidelio X2HR

Best Planar Magnetic Headphones Under $200


The Philips Fidelio X2HR headphones feature an acoustic open-back design that provides a natural and immersive sound experience. Equipped with 50mm neodymium drivers, these headphones deliver dynamic and rich audio performance. The deluxe memory foam ear pads offer exceptional comfort, allowing for extended listening sessions without strain.

Features:

  • Acoustic open-back architecture for natural sound
  • 50mm neodymium drivers for dynamic audio
  • Deluxe memory foam ear pads for comfort

Pros:

  • Rich and immersive sound quality
  • Premium build quality with a luxurious finish
  • Breathable ear pads for extended listening comfort

Cons:

  • Slightly heavier compared to other models
  • Cable may be too long for some users

User Reviews: “The Philips Fidelio X2HR is a standout in the budget planar magnetic headphone category. The open-back design creates a wide soundstage, perfect for audiophiles looking for a natural sound.”

4. Logitech Blue Ella Planar Magnetic Headphones

Best Planar Magnetic Headphones Under $200

The Logitech for Creators Blue Ella Planar Magnetic Headphones with Built-in Audiophile Amp (7013) are designed to cater to the needs of creators, audiophiles, and music enthusiasts seeking a premium audio experience. With advanced planar magnetic technology and a built-in audiophile amp, these headphones deliver exceptional sound quality, clarity, and detail, making them ideal for critical listening, studio work, and immersive music enjoyment.

Features

  • Planar Magnetic Drivers: The Ella headphones feature planar magnetic drivers that offer precise and accurate sound reproduction across the frequency spectrum, delivering a natural and immersive listening experience.
  • Built-in Audiophile Amp: The integrated audiophile amp enhances the headphone’s performance, providing ample power and driving capability to bring out the best in your music.
  • Premium Materials: The headphones are crafted with high-quality materials, including premium leather, aluminum, and wood accents, ensuring durability, comfort, and a sophisticated aesthetic.
  • Comfortable Design: The ergonomic design and plush ear pads of the Ella headphones ensure a comfortable fit for extended listening sessions, allowing creators and music enthusiasts to focus on their craft without discomfort.
  • Detachable Cable: The headphones come with a detachable cable for added convenience and customization, allowing users to easily replace or upgrade the cable based on their preferences.

Pros

  • Exceptional Sound Quality
  • Premium Build
  • Comfortable Fit
  • Audiophile Amp
  • Versatile Use

Cons

  • Limited Portability
  • Sound Isolation

User Reviews

  • Sophia K.: “The Blue Ella headphones have transformed my music listening experience. The sound quality is exceptional, and the built-in audiophile amp brings out the nuances in my favorite tracks.”
  • Nathan B.: “As a creator, I rely on accurate sound reproduction for my work. The Ella headphones deliver on all fronts, providing clarity, detail, and comfort for long studio sessions.”
  • Olivia M.: “The premium build quality of the Ella headphones is evident from the moment you hold them. The combination of luxury materials and advanced technology makes them a standout choice for audiophiles and creators alike.”

In conclusion, the Logitech for Creators Blue Ella Planar Magnetic Headphones with Built-in Audiophile Amp (7013) offer a blend of premium sound quality, comfort, and design features that cater to creators, audiophiles, and music enthusiasts seeking a high-fidelity listening experience. With their advanced technology, luxurious materials, and versatile applications, these headphones aim to provide an immersive and enjoyable audio experience for a wide range of users.

5. HIFIMAN SUNDARA Planar Magnetic Wired 

Best Planar Magnetic Headphones Under $200

The HIFIMAN SUNDARA Closed-Back Over-Ear Planar Magnetic Wired Hi-Fi Headphones offer a premium audio experience with a unique blend of cutting-edge technology and elegant design. Featuring a stealth magnet design, detachable cable, and wood ear cups, these headphones are designed for audiophiles, home use, studio monitoring, and recording applications. With a focus on high-fidelity sound reproduction and comfort, the HIFIMAN SUNDARA headphones aim to deliver an immersive listening experience for discerning music enthusiasts.

Features

  • Planar Magnetic Drivers: The SUNDARA headphones utilize planar magnetic drivers to provide detailed and accurate sound reproduction across the frequency spectrum.
  • Closed-Back Design: The closed-back enclosure enhances sound isolation, minimizing external noise and ensuring an immersive listening experience.
  • Stealth Magnet Design: The unique stealth magnet design optimizes driver performance and efficiency, resulting in improved audio quality and clarity.
  • Detachable Cable: The headphones come with a detachable cable for convenience, allowing users to customize their listening experience and easily replace the cable if needed.
  • Wood Ear Cups: The inclusion of wood ear cups not only adds a touch of elegance to the design but also contributes to the headphones’ acoustic properties, enhancing the overall sound quality.

Pros

  • High-Fidelity Sound
  • Comfortable Fit
  • Detachable Cable
  • Premium Build Quality
  • Versatile Use

Cons

  • Price
  • Weight
  • Limited Portability
  • Sound Leakage

User Reviews

  • Emily S.: “The HIFIMAN SUNDARA headphones have exceeded my expectations in terms of sound quality and comfort. The wood ear cups add a touch of elegance, and the sound reproduction is simply outstanding.”
  • Alex M.: “I’ve been using the SUNDARA headphones for studio monitoring, and I’m impressed by their accuracy and detail. The detachable cable is a convenient feature, and the closed-back design enhances the listening experience.”
  • David L.: “While the price may be on the higher side, the audio performance of the SUNDARA headphones justifies the investment. The planar magnetic drivers deliver a rich and immersive sound that truly elevates my music listening experience.”

In conclusion, the HIFIMAN SUNDARA Closed-Back Over-Ear Planar Magnetic Wired Hi-Fi Headphones offer a combination of premium sound quality, comfort, and design features that cater to audiophiles, studio professionals, and music enthusiasts seeking a high-fidelity listening experience. With their unique stealth magnet design, detachable cable, and wood ear cups, these headphones aim to provide an immersive and enjoyable audio experience for a wide range of users.

Conclusion

Choosing the best planar magnetic headphones under $200 requires considering factors like sound quality, comfort, build quality, and design. The Monoprice Monolith M565C, HIFIMAN HE-400I, Philips Fidelio X2HR, Audeze EL-8, and HiFiMan HE-4XX are excellent options that offer premium sound performance at an affordable price point. Whether you prioritize sound accuracy, comfort, or portability, there is a planar magnetic headphone on this list to suit your preferences. Invest in a pair of planar magnetic headphones to elevate your listening experience without breaking the bank.

Benefits of Planar Magnetic Technology

  1. Sound Quality: Planar magnetic headphones are known for their exceptional sound quality, offering a more detailed, accurate, and natural sound compared to dynamic headphones.
  2. Low Distortion: The design of planar magnetic drivers reduces distortion, resulting in cleaner audio reproduction, especially in the midrange frequencies.
  3. Fast Response: Planar magnetic drivers can respond to changes in audio signals more quickly than dynamic drivers, providing better transient response and detail retrieval.
  4. Wide Soundstage: These headphones often have a wider soundstage, creating a more immersive listening experience, especially for genres like classical and orchestral music.

FAQS

Are Planar Magnetic Drivers Worth It?

Planar magnetic drivers are worth it for audiophiles and music enthusiasts who prioritize high-fidelity sound quality and immersive listening experiences. These drivers offer several advantages over traditional dynamic drivers, including lower distortion, faster response times, and more accurate sound reproduction. Planar magnetic headphones are known for their detailed highs, rich mids, and deep bass, providing a well-balanced audio experience. While planar magnetic headphones may come at a higher price point, the superior sound quality and clarity they offer make them a worthwhile investment for those seeking an exceptional listening experience.

Why Are Planar Magnetic Headphones Expensive?

Planar magnetic headphones are often more expensive than traditional dynamic driver headphones due to the advanced technology and materials used in their construction. The manufacturing process of planar magnetic drivers is complex and requires precision engineering to ensure optimal performance. Additionally, planar magnetic headphones typically feature high-quality components, such as premium materials for ear cups, headbands, and cables, contributing to their overall cost. The detailed sound reproduction, wide soundstage, and low distortion provided by planar magnetic drivers justify the higher price tag for audiophiles and music professionals who value superior audio quality.

What Are the Number 1 Rated Headphones?

The number one rated headphones can vary depending on individual preferences, needs, and budget. However, some highly acclaimed headphones that consistently receive top ratings from experts and users include:

  1. Sony WH-1000XM4: Known for their excellent noise cancellation, comfort, and sound quality, these wireless headphones are popular among music lovers and travelers.
  2. Sennheiser HD 800 S: Renowned for their detailed sound, wide soundstage, and comfortable fit, these open-back headphones are favored by audiophiles and studio professionals.
  3. Bose QuietComfort 35 II: Recognized for their noise-canceling capabilities, comfort, and balanced sound profile, these wireless headphones are ideal for everyday use and travel.

Which Headphone Brand Has the Best Sound Quality?

Several headphone brands are known for producing models with exceptional sound quality, catering to different preferences and needs. Some of the top headphone brands renowned for their sound quality include:

  1. Sennheiser: Known for their detailed sound, wide soundstage, and premium build quality, Sennheiser headphones are favored by audiophiles and professionals.
  2. Beyerdynamic: Renowned for their dynamic sound, clarity, and durability, Beyerdynamic headphones are popular among music enthusiasts and studio professionals.
  3. Audeze: Specializing in planar magnetic technology, Audeze headphones offer high-fidelity sound, low distortion, and immersive listening experiences, making them a top choice for critical listeners.

Each of these brands has a reputation for producing headphones that prioritize sound quality, comfort, and performance, catering to a wide range of users seeking an exceptional audio experience.

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