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Best Headphones 2017: 16 great headphones for any budget

Andrew Williams



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Reviewed by Andrew Williams

23 August 2016

Sennheiser HD 201

Over-ear and closed-back for less than £20

Key features:
  • Closed-back design
  • 21 - 18,000Hz frequency response
  • 3-metre cable
On a really tight budget? A while back we looked at a whole bunch of sub-£20 headphones, and the Sennheiser HD 201 came out comfortably on top in terms of sound quality.

These are full-size headphones, and have a nicely-balanced, detailed sound that a lot of more expensive pairs fail to match. It’s clear Sennheiser got a lot right with these ultra-long-standing headphones. Of course, being a very cheap pair they don’t feel anywhere near as ‘fancy’ as more expensive pairs, including Sennheiser’s own sets.

The frame is pretty light and a tiny bit creaky, and the pads’ fake leather is very basic stuff. Still, if money’s too tight to mention they’re a great pick.

Buy Now at Amazon.co.uk from £16.99 | Amazon.com from $16

At time of review the Sennheiser HD 201 was available for £16.99.

Our Score:



May 24, 2012, 2:05 am

Just ordered the SoundMagic E10. My usual CX500's just aren't lasting the pace these days. I am very hard on them though as I use them during training so I never want to spend that much on something that I'm lucky to get 6 months out of. I've gone through 3 CX500's in a year so time for a change.

While I basically abandoned this site after the redesign (it still sucks by the way) its good to see you are still the goto source for things like this :)


July 5, 2012, 1:59 am

Well thats the end of them, the left earbud just died. Shocking.

I was very impressed with the sound quality, especially for what is still low end. Much better than the CX500's. Such a shame then I only got about 6 weeks out of them. I shall try for a replacement pair and see how that goes.


January 3, 2013, 10:28 am


Simon Hodson

January 4, 2013, 4:46 pm

I will prefer a pair of over ear headphone, which harms your Auditory system the least, and better it is a wireless one so that i can enjoy my music wherever i want freely. like the iT7x.


March 10, 2013, 3:25 pm

What about AKG TIESTO?!?! They won the Red Dot Award for Product Design 2013..


June 27, 2013, 8:37 pm

Curry's? Don't make me laugh. They don't sell quality audio products, just bass-heavy junk for the ignorant, spotty yoof market (know wot I mean?).


August 27, 2013, 2:10 pm

doesn't matter... i saw momentum on top, and i'm happy!!!


September 1, 2013, 1:22 am

Use Ajax PLEASE!


September 19, 2013, 2:53 pm

It is Ajax


September 30, 2013, 3:58 pm

Hey what abut b&o headsets?they have some of the best headsets I ever used!

Bernie S. Abel

October 16, 2013, 12:49 pm

obviously, Bang & Olufsen is unknown to the person who did that review... well.. he can keep his bose and the rest.. i keep my B&O headphones..

Bernie S. Abel

October 16, 2013, 12:50 pm

so true.. they are fantastics... i 100% agree with you my friend

János Márk Fodor

October 16, 2013, 8:58 pm

what do you think about the noontec products? they worth for the value i think :)


October 17, 2013, 6:43 pm

The 'Ignorant, spotty yoof' shop via ebay and amazon. Curry's lmao.

RJ Jacobs

November 19, 2013, 2:51 pm

That doesn't mean they sound good. One could say the Mio Liquid bottle was well designed, but that doesn't make it a good pair of headphones.

RJ Jacobs

November 19, 2013, 2:56 pm

I agree. Out of the headphones I've tried, and I've tried quite a few, these are some of the best. Plus good on a budget. $150 at Amazon. AT makes some excellent products, especially, when price is a factor.


December 2, 2013, 12:08 am

Sony MDR-7506 will always reign supreme in my world.

Joris Van Schuerbeeck

December 20, 2013, 1:06 pm

Got the Bose Quietcomfort 20 and they are awesome. Put a quick review together too about them : http://www.routerjanitor.com/2... I mostly use them in a crowded office. Can't wait to travel now (nah, that's a joke)


January 20, 2014, 7:41 am

Can anybody tell me why the hell isn't B&W's P5 in this list? With all due respect to Sennheiser, I listened to both P5 and Momentum On-ear (which is quite overpriced for what they offer, but somehow made it into this list), there's absolutely no comparison.

Raymond Fry

January 22, 2014, 4:21 pm

The best guys to review headphones are music producers that have the ears that hear frequencies and nuances that most people are unaware of. Much of the reviews from the public are quite useless and to make things more difficult it depends on the music genre they listen to. My preference is the Sennheiser HD 800 reference headphones because they give as near to a true performance as is possible.


February 17, 2014, 4:50 am

Trying once again...Bernie...You seem to know your stuff....Any recommendations for a good set for listening to on the computer while I play cards on line..???
Don't want to spend over $100...maybe a little more...HELP


March 13, 2014, 4:09 am

At first I thought Sennheisers are just overpriced and overrated just like Dr.dre Beats. I've tried quite a few headphones already; ranging from shure, akg, ath and sennheisers camp. I've tried at least 8 pairs all up and I've found that most of them are either bass heavy or treble heavy. Sennheiser hd 25 (Amperior) has the right tonal balance and the best soundstage compared to the others. I'm sorry that I've cannot remembered every model I've tried on that day. But I've shortlisted 2 headphones, namely shure SRH440 and HD 25. These are just as good as the other but Hd 25 has a slightly (very slightly) better sound control at higher volume and soundstage than Shure. Plus Hd 25 had a 33% discount on that day, so I bought that instead. I've tried the Momentum on a different day and I've found that HD 25 matches it. Luckily for me, I got the HD 25 for $100 cheaper as they are retailed at $299 in the DJ store.


May 24, 2014, 12:57 pm

nad viso hp50's ????


June 1, 2014, 3:36 pm

Anyone looking for some quality earphones <£30 have a look at the Acorn Audio E1s


June 6, 2014, 2:09 pm

My friend is visually impaired and uses screen reading software for work and study. She works using a headphone for upto 8 hours a day. I want to buy good quality headphones that will not damage hearing and also is comfortable to use. Please suggest some brands. I can spend upto £100.

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