7 Best Budget Studio Headphones in 2023
Having reliable budget studio headphones is essential for various tasks such as recording sound, checking sound design, evaluating stereo imaging, and assessing the low-end and fine details in a mix. While experienced producers and engineers often utilize multiple monitoring systems, including headphones, Bluetooth speakers, and near-field monitors, it’s crucial to consider the best budget studio headphones when affordability is a concern. These headphones serve not only for mixing purposes but also for everyday music listening and travel.
1. Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 Headphones
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 wireless headphones combine exceptional performance with a sleek portable design. They boast touch control and voice assistant compatibility. With an impressive battery life of 60 hours, these headphones prioritize longevity over noise-cancellation features that tend to drain power. The over-ear design effectively blocks out surrounding noise, and the generously sized ear pads comfortably accommodate those with larger ears.
- Impedance: 38 Ohm
- Cable: 1.20 m
- Sensitivity: 99 dB
- Frequency range: 15 – 28000 Hz (Headphone) | 85 -15000 Hz (Microphone)
- Driver diameter: 45 mm
- Weight: 307 g
- Earcups: Enjoy the flexibility of 90-degree rotating ear cups, which provide a customizable fit and offer exceptional comfort for long listening sessions.
- Headband: The headphones feature durable metal sliders, ensuring increased reliability and stability, even during extended use.
- App: Enhance your headphone experience by downloading the A-T Connect app, which provides extensive control over your ATH-M50xBT2 headphones. With this app, you can effortlessly activate low latency mode, fine-tune the EQ settings, adjust the volume balance between left and right channels, choose your preferred voice assistant, locate misplaced headphones, switch between different codecs, and enjoy various additional features and functionalities.
- Sound quality: The ATH-M50xBT2 headphones provide a thrilling wireless listening experience by delivering the legendary M50x studio sound, characterized by exceptional clarity and precise, deep bass response.
- Microphone: Experience crystal-clear phone calls and reliable communication with the built-in Amazon Alexa voice assistant, thanks to the exceptional vocal pickup provided by dual microphones and beamforming technology.
- Battery life: When fully charged, you can enjoy free listening with the ATH-M50xBT2, which offers up to 50 hours of uninterrupted use.
- Accurate response level
- Great noise cancellation
- Limited bass sound
Available on Amazon at the price of USD 199.00
2. Sennheiser HD 25 Best Budget Studio Headphones
Sennheiser is a highly respected brand in the headphone and pro-audio industry, with a massive following among professionals and audiophiles. The Sennheiser HD 25 DJ headphones boast high sensitivity and exceptional sound quality, providing excellent performance in demanding environments. Additionally, these headphones are impressively lightweight and comfortable, making them a favorite among DJs. Their superior sound quality is not the only feature that sets them apart, as they also offer the option of a straight or coiled cable. We prefer the classic long straight cable.
- Impedance: 70 Ohm
Max power: 200 mW
- Cable: 1.50 m
- Sensitivity: 120 dB
- Frequency range: 16 – 22000 Hz
- Driver diameter: 50 mm
- Weight: 140 g
- Earpads: These headphones’ polyurethane leather ear pads and headband cushions are coated with a nano-coating, which grants them resistance against deterioration. This protective coating ensures their durability, allowing them to withstand the test of time. Additionally, it simplifies the cleaning process by effortlessly wiping off sweat and dirt, maintaining the pristine condition of your headphones.
- Headband: These headphones are meticulously crafted with flexibility and prolonged usage. Designed to deliver maximum comfort even during extended periods of wear, they prioritize your comfort. The swivel mechanism allows you to wear them most comfortably, according to your preference. This adaptable feature ensures a personalized fit catering to your comfort needs.
- Cable: these headphones have a detachable 1.2m coiled cable and a 1.5m straight cable. This allows you to choose the cable type that best suits your needs, providing more options and versatility in your audio setup.
- Noise isolation: These purpose-designed, closed-back professional monitoring headphones provide excellent noise isolation, ensuring high attenuation of background noise for a focused listening experience on the go.
- Sound quality: These headphones accurately represent audio with their outstanding sound reproduction. They can handle high sound pressure levels and boast an exceptionally sturdy construction, making them ideal for demanding environments such as ENG (Electronic News Gathering), sound reinforcement, studio monitoring, and audio equipment testing.
- Sensitivity: The lightweight aluminum voice coils contribute to the high sensitivity of these headphones.
- Durable and premium design
- Super comfortable
- Amazing audio quality
- Lack of some features
- Pretty inherent to being on-ears
Available on Amazon at the price of USD 145.95
3. HIFIMAN Deva-Pro Best Budget Studio Headphones
The HiFiMAN Deva Pro headphones fall below average compared to other wired planar-magnetic headphones in their price range. Although they offer higher resolution than most wireless, closed-back headphones, they lack the practicality and features such as ANC that consumers expect at this price point. The Deva Pro struggles to establish its identity and doesn’t excel as either Bluetooth or wired planar-magnetic headphones. Despite their innovative features, the headphones have a fatiguing sound signature and mediocre build quality.
- Noise cancellation: No
- Transparency: Yes
- Driver: Planar magnetic driver
- Battery life: 8 hours
- Codec code: SBC, AAC, LDAC
- Connection: Bluetooth® / USB Type A
- Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz
- Impedance: 18 Ω
- Sensitivity: 93.5 dB
- Weight: 365g
- Earcups: a perforated cloth material on the front, complemented by a solid pleather surround.
- Headband: made of aluminum and foam-padded, but I would have preferred the foam to be slightly softer.
- Connectivity: the Type-C port is both a charging port and a way to connect to a computer to act as a DAC-amp.
- Touch control: the module’s single button controls power, with a short press to disconnect from the current device and a long press to turn it on/off. A double press of the button initiates pairing mode.
- Bass sound: bass rises from 30Hz and becomes noticeable at 40Hz, remaining flatIn all three modes, sub-bass is emphasized in Bluetooth mode but rolls off after 35es. While punchy and fast, the bass lacks rumble and mid-bass texture. Planar drivers cause potential distortion at high volumes.
- Midrange: is excessively intense. The absence of a noticeable frequency dip between 2-5kHz creates an extremely forward midrange. This tuning adversely affects both the soundstage depth and microdynamics.
- Treble: is peaky, and the elevated upper-treble frequencies can cause listener fatigue during extended listening sessions.
- Soundstage: lacks depth in all modes, with compressed stage width in Bluetooth mode, although it fares better in wired mode
- Imaging: is average since it is challenging to determine the directionality of instruments.
- Super comfortable to wear
- Multi-device connection
- Limit soundstage width and depth
Available on Amazon at the price of USD 269.00
4. LyxPro HAS-10 Budget Studio Headphones
These headphones are the perfect option if your main priority is noise cancellation. A noteworthy characteristic of these headphones is the utilization of premium leather, which is present on both the headband and the ear cups. The leather offers a luxurious sensation on the skin and collaborates with the thick foam padding to establish a snug enclosure around your ears, effectively blocking external sounds.
- Driver Size: 45 mm
- Magnet Type: Neodymium
- Frequency Response: 10Hz to 26kHz
- Impedance: Not Specified
- Sensitivity: 98dB (±3dB)
- Max Input Power: Not Specified
- Weight: 294.84 g
- Connectivity: 3-meter Cable
- Headband: The premium leather extends to the headband and the ear cups, providing a delightful tactile sensation against your skin. Moreover, the leather, combined with the thick foam padding, collaborates effectively to form a secure and isolating seal around your ears.
- Built quality: The construction of these headphones is remarkably impressive. The stainless steel telescoping arms ensure a precise and comfortable fit. Additionally, the lightweight yet durable aluminum ear shells contribute to the overall sturdiness of the design. Despite incorporating high-quality materials, these headphones remain cost-efficient and surprisingly lightweight.
- Noise cancellation: If your primary concern is noise isolation, rest assured that these headphones will meet your needs. As soon as you experience them, one of the prominent features that will catch your attention is the luxurious leather material used throughout. It excels at effectively blocking out background noise and aiding in your ability to focus and immerse yourself in your chosen activity.
- Sound quality: With its expansive frequency response and exceptional sound clarity, these headphones are well-suited for various DJing scenarios. They deliver the performance and audio quality needed to excel in most DJing situations.
- Exceptional dynamic response
- Consistent use of leather material
- Solid construction and long-lasting durability
- Comfortable and effortless to wear
- Bass tends to lean toward the heavier side
Available on Amazon at the price of USD 39.99
5. KRK KNS 8402 Budget Studio Headphones
Regarding affordable monitors designed for home studios, KRK’s Rokit series is often considered the benchmark to beat. While the US brand is not as well-known, they have also been involved in the headphone market for over ten years. Recently, KRK upgraded their entry-level headphones and rebranded them as the 8402.
The KRK KNS 8402 headphones provide a distinct midrange that is very clear, with higher frequencies that are reasonably subdued and a balanced amount of bass. At first glance, this may not sound appealing, and it’s certainly not the type of sound profile you would desire for casual listening. However, in a tracking scenario where accuracy in pitch and timing is crucial, this frequency response is ideal.
- Impedance: 36 Ohm
- Cable: 2.50 m
- Sensitivity: 97 dB
- Frequency range: 5 – 23000 Hz
- Driver diameter: 40mm Neodymium
- Weight: 247 g
- Earpads: Indulge in exceptional comfort during extended listening sessions with the luxurious acoustic memory foam pads wrapped in premium leatherette covers. These pads are designed to provide a comfortable and pleasurable experience, allowing you to enjoy your music fully without discomfort or fatigue.
- Earcups: The earcups are adjustable, allowing you to customize the positioning of the speaker units according to your preference. This feature enables you to achieve the perfect fit for your headphones, ensuring personalized comfort and optimal audio delivery tailored to your individual needs.
- Headband: Designed with reinforced nylon, the headband is durable and incorporates full-grip silicone padding. This combination enhances traction and provides improved comfort during extended wear.
- Noise cancellation: they provide exceptional isolation of up to 30 dBA. This effectively reduces headphone “bleed” into the microphones during recording, ensuring clean audio capture. The outstanding isolation performance also allows you to fully immerse yourself in the music, enabling a focused listening experience without distractions from external sounds.
- Sound quality: With a maximum SPL of 124 dB, these headphones deliver ample volume while maintaining remarkable clarity and detail. They offer a clear and precise sound reproduction characterized by minimal distortion.
- Strong built
- Good sound quality
- Simple design
Available on Amazon at the price of USD 149.00
6. beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO Headphones
The DT 770 Pro headphones, manufactured by Beyerdynamic, a long-standing German family-owned company, are part of their renowned classic series, trusted by music professionals for years. Beyerdynamic asserts that these closed-back studio headphones excel in noise isolation and minimal sound leakage, making them suitable for vocal recordings.
The headphones are equipped with sensitive transducers, capable of reproducing the entire frequency range and delivering precise monitoring of audio production. The impedance can be adjusted to accommodate different devices, with lower Ohms for smartphones and laptops and higher Ohms for professional equipment. Featuring a sturdy steel headband, the headphones ensure a secure fit, while the soft and adjustable ear cups guarantee comfort during extended studio sessions.
- Driver: 45 mm dynamic
- Cable: 3 meter
- Connection: wired
- Frequency response: 5 Hz – 35,000 Hz
- Impedance: 250 Ω
- Sensitivity: 96 dB (1 V)
- Weight: 270g
- Earcups: The soft ear cups ensure comfort even during extended wear. The single-sided cable design allows easy and frequent putting on and removing the headphones without cable tangling issues.
- Headband: With a robust spring steel headband, these headphones provide a secure fit.
- Connectivity: The headphones offer versatile connectivity options with two included cables: a 3-meter straight cable and a coiled cable that can stretch up to 5 meters. Both cables feature a 3-pin mini XLR, a 3.5mm jack, and a screw-on 1/4-inch adapter for convenient compatibility.
- Sound quality: The beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO headphones are beloved by music producers, sound engineers, and broadcasters worldwide. They offer exceptional precision in reproducing the entire frequency range, including impressive detail in low frequencies.
- Frequency response: Designed for critical music and sound monitoring, these headphones offer a neutral listening environment with outstanding isolation and excellent impulse response. High frequencies are delivered with analytical and distinct clarity, while ultra-low bass sounds are precisely defined and reproduced.
- Bass quality: The DT 1770 PRO utilizes innovative Tesla technology from Heilbronn, resulting in enhanced resolution and precise, powerful bass. As the flagship model, it sets new benchmarks for comfort and craftsmanship, providing an exceptional listening experience.
- Exceptional comfort
- Breathable earcups
- Impressive soundstage
- Limited noise isolation
- Sound leakage
Available on Amazon at the price of USD 159.00
7. beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO Best Budget Studio Headphones
With outstanding sound quality and robust bass, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro headphones are among the best open-back headphones on the market. Typical of Beyerdynamic headphones, they are also durable and comfortable. Additionally, the large, velour-wrapped ear pads and lightweight frame make them suitable for extended use at a desk without neck fatigue.
- Noise cancellation: No
- Transparency: Yes
- Driver: 38 mm dynamic
- Connection: ¼ “adapter (6.35 mm)
- Cable length: 3.0 m (9.8′)
- Frequency response: 5 Hz – 35,000 Hz
- Impedance: 250 Ω
- Sensitivity: 96 dB @ 1mW
- Weight: 250g
- Style: over-ear, open-back headphones
- Earcups: made of plastic, and the vent allows air to go through and provide a natural sound.
- Ear cushions: made of high-quality materials foam, soft and highly cozy over your ear
- Headband: lightweight and durable, convenient to customize the length
- Cable: replaceable cable
- Connectivity: the high impedance allows one to connect with a wide range of devices
- Bass response: Great sound in bass response
- Frequency response: it has 5 – 35.000 Hz that produces a high range of audio frequency with noticeable accuracy
- Soundstage: impressive soundstage sound, meaning they are balanced and detail
- Sound quality: extremely high resolution and very transparency sound, which make them the mater in studio
- Stable and well fit
- perfect for audio production
- Not portable
- No noise cancellation
- Leak sound outside the headphone
Available on Amazon at the cost of USD 159.00
Currently, a vast range of affordable studio headphones in the market are well-suited for music production. It can be challenging to make a wrong choice when considering popular models from reputable brands like Sennheiser, beyerdynamic, Audio-Technica, and others. Unless you have specific preferences, the first step is to decide between open-back or closed-back designs, and then you can explore our list to find a pair that fits your budget. Investing in high-end studio headphones is a worthwhile decision if you are fully committed to recording sessions and music production. They ensure exceptional sound quality for all your mixing and mastering requirements, regardless of the music genre you work with.