Studio headphones allow you to hear your instruments more accurately. They enable you to hear the bass, highs and mids equally, unlike regular headphones that wash out the mids in an attempt to make the sound more powerful. You can achieve a very detailed, clear listening experience for far less than you might think.
The studio headphones below are all priced at less than $100. Don’t waste your money investing in the highest possible quality headphones you can find when there are so many choices that are almost as good but at a fraction of the price. Although going against the age-old rule “you get what you pay for” seems counterintuitive, trust us on this one. You can have very high quality studio headphones at an affordable price.
Here are the best budget studio headphones on the market today.
Sennheiser HD280 Pro Headphones
These are a very popular option in closed-back headphones. Praised by users all over the world, the HD280 Pros have certainly earned a name for themselves. They feature up to 32 dB attenuation of outside sound so you can hear your instruments without any interference. They offer an extended frequency response with impressively clean and accurate audio, and they use oxygen free copper cabling that helps produce very good sound quality.
The thick padded earcups and headband make them comfortable to wear. They have optimum impedance, and keep sound contained well. As a result, they are suitable to be used around others without annoying them. The cord is not detachable, but is sufficient in length at 3.3 ft, 9.8 feet uncoiled. The HD280 Pros are collapsible for easier portability, and they include a ¼” adapter for compatibility with stereo and studio equipment.
At less than $100, the Sennheiser HD280 Pros are a fantastic choice.Check Current Price on Amazon
Audio-Technica ATH-M40x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones
The ATH M-series is Audio Technica’s answer to what Sennhesier has to offer for the price. Their 40 mm drivers produce loud and crisp sound that is evenly balanced. The cord is removable and the earcups swivel, allowing easier maneuvering. Their build quality is very high and they are durable enough to withstand the test of time.
As far as sound quality is concerned, they’re practically the same as the M30s and the M50s, but the design differs a bit. The M40x have an improved headband and improved earcups.
The ATH-M40x keeps sound contained well. If you choose to use them for recreational use, you can listen to music at a very high volume without really disturbing anyone.
For around $80 dollars, the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x can be yours.Check Current Price on Amazon
Grado Prestige Series SR80e Headphones
Grado may be a less known company than the first two, but they offer a very quality sounding pair of headphones for $99. The large, thick ear cushions feel very comfortable on your ears, and the adjustable headband allows you to have the perfect fit. It includes a four conductor connecting cable with a ¼” adapter. Its non-resonant air chamber doesn’t provide the same sound containment that the previously mentioned closed-ear headphones do. You probably shouldn’t use them at the library.
The Grado Prestige Series SR80e utilizes high quality copper cables that contribute to their powerful but accurate sound. Their price is around $100 online. That’s a solid deal for these very high performance headphones.Check Current Price on Amazon
Sony MDRV6 Studio Monitor Headphones with CCAW Voice Coil
The Neodymium magnets of the MDRV6 and 40mm drivers provide power and very crisp sound with appropriately pronounced mids and well-balanced highs/bass. Evenness of sound is what you should be looking for in a pair of studio headphones, and these are a great example of that. These over-ear headphones keep the music being played contained well.
The Sony MDRV6’s 10-foot oxygen free copper cord is plenty long enough for studio use, but is non-removable. The MDRV6 include the typical ¼” inch adapter for their 3.5mm plug. The padded headband and earcups offer a comfortable fit. They also feature a wide frequency response of 5 Hz – 30 kHz.
The Sony MDRV6 studio headphones are roughly $80 online.Check Current Price on Amazon
Shure SRH440 Professional Studio Headphones
The Shure SRH440 come with the same basic accessories, such as a ¼” adapter. But there’s nothing basic about the SRH440’s sound. These headphones deliver incredibly accurate audio for less than $100. They made our list for being spot on and sounding very realistic. With an Impedance of 44 Ohm and large encompassing earcups, your sound will be crisp, clear and kept to yourself.
The Shure SRH440 Professional Studio Headphones go for about $90 online.Check Current Price on Amazon