The Best Open-Back Headphone Under 150 [2020!]

Last Updated on: January 11, 2020

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The more you pay for a piece of music equipment (e.g a headphone), the better the equipment would be, right?

Fat No!

The truth is when you don’t know where to look, what a specification means (say an impedance or sensitivity of a headphone), or perhaps you are swayed by looks, then you are in a hot mess, you will always waste money on unnecessary and unworthy headphones.

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Sometimes, the cheaper headphones sound superb than the expensive ones, you just have to be careful when choosing, take a careful look at the specs and decide if it is worth the penny, which is what I would be focusing on when reviewing the listed headphones in this guide.

Since this guide is all about the review of the best open-back headphone under 150 bucks, let’s take a quick look at the meaning of an open-back headphone.

An open-back headphone is known for its transparency, clarity and the natural sound it can reproduce, unlike a closed-back headphone where you feel an in-the-box sound/non-transparency sound.

But,

If all you care for is high fidelity sound, then open-back design headphone is the best option, and on top of that, it causes less ear fatigue but there is a little hiccup about this headphone, it leaks sound and would let outside noise into the headphone, which makes them not ideal for use in a learning environment.

If you want to enjoy hi-fi sound, or you want awareness while using your headphones, then an open-back type is the right choice for you.

Pack your bags, saddle up, and let’s get cracking with the best open-back headphones under 150 dollars in 2020.

Quick Overview: Our Best 3 Picks

Product

Features

Editor's Score

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Sennheiser HD 599

  • Open-Back, Over-ear
  • Color: Ivory
  • E.A.R Technology (Ergonomic Acoustic Refinement)
  • Lightweight
  • Soft, replaceable ear pad for exceptional wearing comfort
  • Frequency Response: 14 – 26,000 Hz
  • Nominal Impedance: 50 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 106 dB/mW
Check Sennheiser HD 599 Price at Amazon

Philip Fidelio X2HR

  • Open-Back, Over-ear
  • Color: Black
  • Layered motion control driver
  • Self-adjustable hammock & an Ear shell that tilt to fit your ear's natural geometry
  • Frequency Response: 5 - 40,000 Hz
  • Nominal Impedance: 30 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 100 dB/mW
Check Fidelio X2HR Price at Amazon

GRADO SR80e Prestige

  • Open-Back, On-ear
  • Frequency Response: 20 - 20,000 Hz
  • Nominal Impedance: 32 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 99.8 dB/mW
  • Lightweight
  • An improved bass resonance
  • Larger ear cushions for a transparent/natural stage sound
Check GRADO SR80e Price at Amazon

 

1) Sennheiser HD 599 [Ivory]

Sennheiser HD 559 is an over-ear open-back headphone that is powered by the Sennheiser own 50-ohm transducers, which uses aluminum voice coils to deliver excellent dynamics and low inaudible distortion. One thing the HD 599 does differently is using E.A.R Technology (Ergonomic Acoustic Refinement) to improve the headphone experience by channeling the audio signal directly into the ears effectively, this way the listener enjoys a more pleasant and satisfying listening experience.

One thing audiophiles or anyone seeking to buy headphone should look out for is Comfort in using a headphone, thanks to the lightweight and robust design of the Sennheiser HD 599, it comes bundled with a luxurious velour covered ear cushions which helps to minimize fatigue even if used for a longer listening session, and on top of that, you enjoy comfort with the lightweight design.

We shouldn’t ignore the connectivity aspect of the HD 599, it comes with 2 detachable cables, the first one is a 1.2meter mini-jack (3.5mm) for use with a smartphones &laptops, and the second is a 6.3mm (quarter-inch jack) that is 3meter long which is suitable for a home system.

The Sennheiser HD 599 has a sensitivity of 106 dB per milliWatt of power and an impedance of 50 Ohms, which is considered lower impedance. If you looking for a headphone to use without an amp, then I’ll recommend you go with this one, you can still use an amp if you feel you aren’t reaching a desirable volume level, but honestly, you’ll be perfectly fine without one, plug and enjoy!

Features:

  • Open-Back, Over-ear
  • Color: Ivory
  • E.A.R Technology (Ergonomic Acoustic Refinement)
  • Lightweight
  • Soft, replaceable ear pad for exceptional wearing comfort
  • Frequency Response: 14 – 26,000 Hz
  • Nominal Impedance: 50 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 106 dB/mW

Check Sennheiser HD 599 Price at Amazon

2) LyxPro OEH-10

LyxPro 0EH-10 as been praised by many for its truly unique and a high-quality audio reproduction, this is the perfect choice for anyone willing to enjoy a natural/transparency sound, suitable for mixing and mastering engineers too.

Let’s look at some of its features…

Firstly, it employs a 90-degree rotating ear cups, which help to rotate the cups to a degree you feel it fits best to your use case, and on top of that, it also has an adjustable and stainless steel headband with leather cushion.

Secondly, LyxPro 0EH-10 isn’t only designed to be lightweight but delivers a truly transparent or perhaps a natural dynamic sound, this way you enjoy comforts plus a pristine quality sound.

Lastly, you can interchange the ear pads and plush, which let you enjoy your listening experience with great comfort even if worn for a more extended period.

With an impedance of 54 ohms and a sensitivity of 95 dB, you can rest assured that your headphone can be easily driven by lower voltage devices. No need for an amp!

Features:

  • Open-Back, Over-ear
  • Color: Black
  • Interchangeable ear pads and plush
  • Lightweight and delivers true dynamic sound
  • Frequency Response: 15 – 30 000Hz
  • Nominal Impedance: 54 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 95 dB/mW

Check LyxPro 0EH-10 Price at Amazon

3) GRADO SR80e Prestige

The GRADO SR80e Prestige series is an On-ear headphone in that it rests directly on the ear, so please don’t mistake on-ear for over-ear, with that cleared out of the way. SR80e utilizes a four-conductor cable, and on top of that, it has a new polymer to damp resonant distortion in the plastic housing which helps to virtually eliminate transient distortions.

Moreover, it comes with larger ear cushions for a more open and natural stage sound, lastly, the ear pads that come with GRADO SR80e is not too pushy, which makes them comfortable and lightweight.

With a nominal impedance of 32 ohms and a sensitivity of 99.8 dB, which is considered lower impedance, so, again no need to worry about buying an amp, this would perfectly with your smartphone or Laptops easily. You can still use an amp if you feel you aren’t reaching the desired volume level.

Features:

  • Open-Back, On-ear
  • Frequency Response: 20 – 20,000 Hz
  • Nominal Impedance: 32 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 99.8 dB/mW
  • Lightweight
  • An improved bass resonance
  • Larger ear cushions for a transparent/natural stage sound

Check GRADO SR80e Price at Amazon

4) Philips Audio Fidelio X2HR

One of the many advantages of using an open-back design headphone is the elimination of air pressure build-up behind the driver, it allows a free movement in the diaphragm. The Philips Audio Fidelio X2HR is built with this in mind, which greatly enhances sound smoothly and transparently.

With a 50mm high power drivers that utilize a high power neodymium magnets, X2HR can accurately reproduce all musical frequencies, from a precise audio dynamics to a well balanced crisp bass, and high quality reproduced frequencies.

One of the features I dig about the Philips Fidelio X2HR is the layered motion control driver, which forms a flexible boundary and cut off any exaggerated frequencies for a smooth listening experience.

This circumaural open-back headphone features a self-adjustable hammock, which is breathable and ensures a perfect fit. On top of that, X2HR is equipped with ear shells that are engineered to tilt at 15 degrees, fitting your ear’s natural geometry and pleasing sound performance.

With a nominal impedance of 30 ohms and a sensitivity of 100 dB, you can rest assured that your headphone can be easily driven by lower voltage devices (e.g smartphones and portable devices). No need for an amp!

Features:

  • Open-Back, Over-ear
  • Color: Black
  • Layered motion control driver
  • Self-adjustable hammock & an Ear shell that tilt to fit your ear’s natural geometry
  • Frequency Response: 5 – 40,000 Hz
  • Nominal Impedance: 30 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 100 dB/mW

Check Fidelio X2HR Price at Amazon

5) Philips SHP9500S

The Philips SHP9500S is powered by a 50mm high power neodymium driver, which not only accurately reproduce all musical frequencies, but delivers a well-tailored transparent sound.

One of the things I love about this is headphones is that it automatically fits the ear’s natural geometry, and on top of that, the ear-shells offer precise and accurate sound which is directly channeled into the ears dynamically.

SHP9500S is equipped with a comfortable double layered headband cushion, which is not only soft but breathable for longer listening sessions.

The Philips SHP9500S has a sensitivity of 101 dB per milliWatt of power and an impedance of 32 Ohms, which is capable of playing at a higher volume with lower voltage devices, avoid playing at louder volumes to save your ears from damage.

Features:

  • Open-Back, Over-ear
  • Color: Black
  • A precisely angled driver that is engineered to fit the ear’s natural geometry
  • Double layered headband cushion
  • Frequency Response: 12 – 35 000Hz
  • Nominal Impedance: 32 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 101 dB/mW

Check Philips SHP9500S Price at Amazon

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