5 Best IEM under $200 (2024)

As we previously compiled a list of IEMs under Hundred, we’ve now responded to the increasing demand by creating a dedicated list of the best iem under $200. The surge in popularity for IEMs in recent years can be explored further in our article on why IEMs are gaining traction.

In this article, we’ve categorized IEMs under $150, primarily those without detachable cables, addressing budget concerns. However, we’ve included them for those seeking more economical options. Additionally, we’ve incorporated the best iem under 200 , featuring heavy bass, different sound stages as well as EQ settings.

Before delving into the recommendations, take a look at the key features to consider when searching for the best planar iem under $200 same for those looking for a best DD iem under $200.

Features to consider:

  • Sound preferences, catering to different tastes such as bass-heavy, neutral, etc.
  • Driver technologies, including dynamic drivers (DD), balanced armatures (BA), etc.
  • Responsiveness to EQ adjustments, an important factor in selecting in-ear monitors (IEMs).

Planar Vs. DD:

Planar IEMs stand out for their exceptional bass response, high-resolution vocal clarity, and lively treble reproduction. Operating on a principle similar to dynamic drivers, they utilize an ultra-thin flat diaphragm. This design results in lower distortion levels compared to other driver types.

On the contrary, dynamic driver IEMs are recognized for their impactful bass and warm sound signature. More prevalent and budget-friendly than planar counterparts, dynamic driver IEMs offer a widespread choice for audio enthusiasts.

Best IEM under 200 (Planar, DD and V-Sound)

Award Image Model Price
Priced at $199 TANGZU x HBB Wu Heyday TANGZU x HBB Wu Heyday See on Amazon
Best planar. Letshuoer S12 PRO Letshuoer S12 PRO See on Amazon
Best DD Moondrop KATO Moondrop KATO See on Amazon
Best iem for everyday use. Sennheiser IE200 Sennheiser IE200 See on Amazon
Good Option. Final A4000 Final A4000 See on Amazon

5 Best IEM under $200 (2024)

TANGZU x HBB Wu Heyday (Image credit: Amazon)

TANGZU x HBB Wu Heyday

Priced at $199

REASONS TO BUY

Noteworthy for its exceptionally clear planar sound.

Emphasis on mid-range in the tuning.

Detail resolution and impressive technical performance.

Excellent value for its price.

Comfortable and fit.

REASONS TO AVOID

Note hits are crisp but lack weight or density.

Expensive (Might be)

Review:

The Heyday earphones, also known as Tangzu Zetian Wu Heyday**,** have a unique sound that’s not easy to classify. Its sound depends on what device you’re using it with.

It tends to have a balanced sound, leaning slightly towards being cold or neutral and bright. The bass is there, but it’s not too warm, and the mid-range, where the vocals sit, is more prominent. The treble, which includes the higher tones, is on the brighter side but not overly so, making the overall sound well-balanced. The treble is clean but can be a bit sharp, especially in the lower frequencies.

When it comes to the bass, Heyday’s style is fast and punchy but lacks a bit of warmth that some people might prefer. The mid-range, where vocals and instruments like guitars and pianos shine, is clear but leans towards an analytical sound rather than a musical one.

Technically, Heyday does well with a wide soundstage, clear imaging, and good detail. However, the sound can be a bit too crisp and lacks weight in the notes. It’s important to pair Heyday with a warm and dark audio setup to get the best sound, as it can sound too metallic and sharp with brighter sources.

Comparing it to the 7HZ Timeless, Heyday has a cleaner sound, faster bass, and better detail. On the other hand, Timeless provides a warmer and thicker bass, more natural vocals, and brighter treble. Both have their strengths, with Heyday excelling in technical aspects and a mid-centric sound, while Timeless offers a more pleasant overall tone and richer vocals but lacks comfortable fit even compared to low price iem like S12.

Overall, Heyday is a good choice for those looking for versatile and technically advanced earphones with a wide soundstage and impressive layering.

Letshuoer S12 PRO (Image credit: Amazon)

Letshuoer S12 PRO

Best planar.

REASONS TO BUY

Pretty good build quality.

Comfortable fit.

Best cable quality.

Bass performance is solid.

Treble performance is solid.

REASONS TO AVOID

Not much upgraded (Compared to previous version)

Not the most natural sounding (Because of bass heavy)

Review:

The Letshuoer S12 Pro, priced at $170, boasts a 14.8mm planar driver and a commendable accessory package. Exhibiting a V-shaped tonality, it delivers a clean sound with top-end energy and sparkle, accompanied by a robust low end.

An evolution of the previous S12 (Priced at $149) this refined version features a smoother upper midrange and a subtle boost in the sub-bass region with blue color.

Built with precision, the CNC-machined aluminum shells offer a solid feel and a compact semi-custom IEM shape. The matte finish minimizes fingerprint issues, though scratch resistance remains a concern. Fit and comfort receive high marks, with a secure fit and good breathability, but passive noise isolation could be improved due to a shorter nozzle.

The cable, is a standout with 392 strands of silver-plated copper wire, aluminum connectors, and swappable terminations.

Sound-wise, the S12 Pro impresses with a planar driver delivering excellent bass performance, clean and neutral mids, and a musical, detailed treble. Technical aspects such as soundstage, imaging, dynamics, sound separation, and resolution score above average, making the Letshuoer S12 Pro a compelling option in the $170 price range, you can also see HiFiGo SeeAudio Yume which provides Smooth vocals and have the same price point.

Moondrop KATO (Image credit: Amazon)

Moondrop KATO

Best DD

REASONS TO BUY

Overall tonality is incredibly soothing, authentic, and seamlessly smooth.

Exceptional imaging and separation.

Vocals exhibit a natural and authentic quality.

Comfortable.

REASONS TO AVOID

Slightly less bass (necessary for natural sound)

Review:

The Moondrop KATO, priced at $190, consistently proves itself as a reliable choice, earning its place as my go-to pair of IEMs when exploring options within its price range. Comparisons with contender like the LETSHOUER S12s only reinforce its exceptional qualities.

While the mentioned IEM boast remarkable tuning, the KATO stands out by striking a perfect balance. Its relaxed tuning doesn’t compromise on delivering a rich and detailed audio experience. The ability to enjoy music for extended periods without auditory fatigue sets it apart.

One notable feature of the KATO is its interchangeable nozzles, allowing users to switch between a default silver nozzle and a brass nozzle, subtly altering the tuning for a warmer sound.

The all-metal body construction, resembling a work of art with its smooth facet theme, adds a touch of sophistication. The fit is comfortable, even during extended wear, although the provided Spring tips, while incredibly comfortable, may lose some snugness during movement.

Sonically, the KATO offers a mild V-shaped signature with a nuanced bass presentation. The sub-bass is present but not overpowering, with a polite boominess in kick drums and a quick, tight response in punchy bass moments. The mids showcase natural tonality, especially in vocals, offering a relaxed and smooth listening experience. The highs are sparkly without sharpness, providing an airy feel.

On the technical side, the KATO excels in detail retrieval, dynamics, imaging, and separation. Despite long listening sessions, auditory fatigue is kept at bay. While the soundstage is not the widest, the depth compensates, creating a balanced audio experience.

Sennheiser IE200 (Image credit: Amazon)

Sennheiser IE200

Best iem for everyday use.

REASONS TO BUY

Pleasing and balanced tuning for diverse preferences.

Non-offensive tonality ensures a comfortable listening experience.

Good technicalities enhance sound quality and detail retrieval.

Good for long life, value for money, non professional and everyday use.

REASONS TO AVOID

Imaging could be improved for a more immersive soundstage.

Not the highest level of detail and clarity in audio playback.

Review:

The IE200 single dynamic driver IEM houses a 7mm transducer in a lightweight plastic exterior that, despite its initial perception of cheapness, proves to be adaptable and comfortable.

The unique feature of the air pressure port allows for varied sounds with different eartips, although the included ones failed to provide a secure seal. The package includes a braided cable with mmcx connectors, foam, and silicone eartips, and a pouch.

In terms of sound, the IE200, weighing only 4 grams, offers a balanced and pleasing experience, resembling its big brother, the IE600, with a touch of tonal warmth and less resolving technicalities.

The treble is expansive, smooth, and detailed, presenting a rich response. The midrange is spacious, smooth, and melodious, while the bass, with emphasis on sub-bass, delivers good depth and warmth.

The technical performance is commendable, with a wide soundstage, clean imaging, and good separation. The resolving power, while not the best, offers fast-paced notes and accurate attacks, contributing to a natural overall feel.

Sennheiser’s IE200 excels in its price segment, providing an ecstatic and vivid presentation with a smooth flow of tonality.

Final A4000 (Image credit: Amazon)

Final A4000

Good Option.

REASONS TO BUY

Deep and wide soundstage.

Highest level of comfort.

REASONS TO AVOID

Notable shortcomings in bass, mids (Compared to all in this list but better then others)

Review:

The A4000 earphones come in a minimal package with a lightweight plastic housing that feels somewhat cheap. Despite its jagged design, the housing is remarkably comfortable, allowing for extended wear without discomfort. The thin cable may not suit everyone’s taste, and the included case might be overlooked.

In terms of sound, the A4000 has a neutral-bright tonality. The bass, while fast and precise, lacks body and weight, especially in the midbass region. The mids exhibit a strange characteristic, with vocals lacking heft and a thin overall profile.

The treble, boosted in the 4-10k region, takes the spotlight, offering a hot and vibrant performance with noticeable microdetails.

Technically, the A4000 showcases a wide and deep stage with decent imaging. However, the timbre doesn’t sound entirely natural. The earphones benefit from a more powerful source, and volume scaling is optimal at medium to medium-high levels. Despite the sound quality, some units may have reverse polarity, impacting staging.

It has a planar sound but because of some reasons that might prevent to buy it, it is good to either buy any from the above options or see Fanmusic Truthear Hexa a more budget friendly option having better features, but might compromise comfort slightly.

Conclusion:

In summary, these IEMs present a diverse range of audio experiences. The Moondrop KATO offers impressive build quality and a mild V-shaped signature, while the Heyday stands out for its technical prowess and versatile tuning. The A4000’s unique sound profile and treble-centric approach make it distinctive, and Sennheiser’s IE200 showcases German engineering with a warm and pleasing sound.

The comparison between the Heyday and 7HZ Timeless emphasizes the former’s cleaner sound and superior mid-range resolution. Lastly, Sennheiser’s IE200 emerges as a compelling choice, providing a balanced tuning, impressive technicalities, and smooth tonality for an enjoyable and detailed listening experience.

Oliver Dules
In the world of audio technology, there are individuals who not only understand the nuances of headphones and earbuds but also possess the expertise to solve a myriad of problems that users encounter. Oliver Dules is one such luminary in this field, armed with six years of valuable experience and a remarkable journey that has taken him through industry giants like JBL, Skullcandy, and Samsung. Oliver Dule's exceptional skills go beyond the realm of troubleshooting; he has also contributed to the design of headphones, and he currently holds a pivotal role at Samsung, where he continues to shape the future of audio technology.
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