7 Best Mixing Headphones Under 200

by Matthew David | Last Updated: June 3, 2020

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Having the best mixing headphones is a must for sound engineers and music producers. They greatly influence the overall audio quality. Deciding on the best mixing headphones under 200 is not an easy task. It is recommendable to look for a model based on its performance, sound quality, comfort, and durability.

Below is a list of 7 incredible open- and closed-back models of mixing headphones under 200. From it, you can select the perfect fit for your professional or home studio mixing.

1. Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO – Best for Quality

Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO is among the best open-back headphones for mixing. These headphones are a newer model from Beyerdynamic.

The good news is that this headphone is multi-purpose. You can use it to listen to music for pleasure. Alternatively, you can also use it in the studio when you need to make critical mixing decisions.

Beyerdynamic DT 990 PROs produces an enjoyable sound. Besides, its bass is pleasant, and its mids are very clear. This mixing headphone will offer you an excellent three-dimensional sound.

It is famous for its ability to reproduce every single detail of each instrument accurately. Moreover, its frequency range is quite extensive, 5 Hz to 35 kHz.

Although the design is quite rigid, this mixing headphone exerts very little pressure on your head. To enhance its comfort further, it is soft and padded. It also has soft ear pads that you can easily replace.

The DT 990 PROs come with a coiled cable. It also comes with compact and useful construction. It is of a material that gives it a premium finish.

The one major downside of this headphone is the sub-bass.

If you are looking for an affordable and comfortable mixing headphone, this is a right choice. It will offer you accuracy as well as ease of use.

What We Liked

What We Didn’t Like

2. AKG K 240 MKII Headphones – Best for comfort

The AKG K240 MKII comes as a pair of semi-open headphones. One of the features that make it popular is its longevity. It is made of solid materials that enhance its quality and make it very long-lasting.

Another great feature of this mixing headphone is the sound quality. It produces an evident and well-balanced sound.

The bass is also quite admirable in that it is rich and full. Moreover, the highs are also great in your ears. For the mids, maybe a little more detail could have made them better.

These headphones are among the best for mixing because of their ability to highlight the inconsistencies in a mix. Moreover, it also allows you to pick apart every component in the mix. You can, therefore, have a better critical listening.

You may also love these headphones because of their over-ear design that makes them very comfortable. As such, you can use them for long hours without any discomfort.

These headphones also come with a self-adjusting headband. With this, they make an ideal fit for you in the studio.

These headphones also allow you to connect them to any portable equipment easily. They come with a professional mini XLR connector and a straight cable. Moreover, they also feature a coiled cable and convertible jack plug.

The combination of ease of use, performance, reliability, and comfort makes them powerful tools for production.

What We Liked

What We Didn’t Like

3. The ATH-M50x Headphones – Best multi-purpose use

The ATH-M50x is another very popular mixing headphone. Although very appealing in physical looks, they offer excellent performance.

Another reason why they are so popular is that they are multi-purpose. You can use them comfortably studio headphones. Moreover, you can also connect them to your mobile phone and enjoy your music leisurely.

You will get theses pair of headphones together with short and long cables. One cable is for your use outside the studio.

The other two cables are straight and coiled. It is these two that you use for studio listening. They use a twist-to-lock mechanism.

These headphones are also famous for their exceptional sound quality. They will offer you a punchy bass that as no skewed sound.

The higher end of the mids come with an added boost. As such, they produce a bright quality sound.

The ATH-M50x is also exceptional when it comes to its price. It is affordable compared to other mixing headphones of similar quality.

However, one downside of these headphones is that it lacks an active noise cancellation. Moreover, it also lacks wireless functionality and an integrated DAC.

The other feature that you would love about these headphones is the circumaural design contours. They offer you the best isolation, especially in high noise environments.

They also come with 90 degree swiveling earcups. The earcups are crucial for easy, one-ear monitoring.

What We Liked

What We Didn’t Like

4. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO Headphones – Best in Durability

If you are looking for a sturdy headphone, the DT 770 Pro is your choice. It comes with a metal frame and dense ear cups.

Consequently, it can withstand tough conditions without any damage.

About its physical appearance, it looks more like the DT 990 Pro. These headphones also come with a removable cushion strap. Although they are a bit bulky, you can still put these headphones comfortably outside.

These headphones offer you an excellent mid-range performance. They also have a virtually flat response.

Concerning the treble range, it will offer you a sound that is quite bright. These headphones will also reproduce an almost flawless bass sound.

If you are looking for headphones for professional recording and monitoring, you can also consider the DT 770 Pro. They are very popular for studio and stage recordings.

They offer you a pure, high-resolution sound. Moreover, they are also very comfortable for long hours of use.

Again, these headphones come with a single-sided cable that is three meters long. The headband is both adjustable and soft padded, making them a comfortable fit.

What We Liked

What We Didn’t Like

5. Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Headphones – Best in Portability

Among the most attractive mixing headphones in the market, today are the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro. Although made of plastic, they come in a stylish design that would capture your attention.

These headphones also score very highly when it comes to portability. You can easily fold up and in the earpieces and carry them along with you.

If you want to have more convenience, you can swivel out the ear cups in one direction.

The earpads are also quite comfortable. However, you may have to replace them with time since they tend to crumble.

The other incredible feature of these headphones is the noise isolation. They offer you extremely splendid isolation. As such, if you operate in a very noisy environment, then these are ideal for you.

The noise isolation feature also makes them ideal for use in a studio. As such, they will be a good company when you are doing the mixing process.

These headphones also come in a lightweight and comfortable, ergonomic design. You can also replace their ear pads, headband padding, and the audio cord.

The one major downside of these headphones concerns comfort. After long use, the earcups tend to become very warm and stuffy. As such, it may not be very comfortable to have them on for a longer time.

What We Liked

What We Didn’t Like

6. Audio-Technica ATH-M40x – Best in Design

Audio-Technica ATH-M40x is another trendy pair of mixing headphones. They come with great designs and produce a very high-quality sound. They are also very pocket-friendly when it comes to the price.

These mixing headphones are also very durable. They come with a robust construction that makes them very sturdy.

These headphones are also excellent in noise isolation. They have circumaural design contours around the ears.

As such, you can use them comfortably in any noisy environment. Also, they are ideal for use in the studio.

Audio-Technica ATH-M40x is also a great tool for monitoring. It comes with 90 degree swiveling earcups. The earcups make it easy for you to do one-ear monitoring.

These headphones are also fabulous for comfort. They feature a professional-grade earpad as well as a headband material. They will offer you a comfortable fit for many hours of usage.

The other important feature that you may love about them is the accessories. They come with two detachable cables and a protective carrying pouch.

Although the headband is soft, it has one major downside. It may start to create pressure on top of the skull after long wear.

The other downside is that the material on the headphones is a poly-leather combination. As such, after using them for around one year, they tend to crack and flake off.

However, the good news is that you can replace the earcups at a very affordable price.

What We Liked

What We Didn’t Like

7. KRK ‘KNS 8400’ – Best for sound clarity

The KRK brand has been trendy and common in many studios around the globe. They have been popular in studio monitoring.

The KRK KNS 8400 is one of their top-of-the-line headphones. It is a great tool when it comes to clarity and impressive low-end.

One feature that makes them very popular is their comfy headband and earcups. You can use these headphones for hours on end without experiencing any discomfort.

The unique leather material allows them to take the shape of your head and ears, thus enhancing comfort. They also make us of acoustic memory foam to give you a comfortable fit for long hours.

The only small challenge that you may face is when using them in hot environments. In such an environment, the material may become a little stuffy if you use it for long.

You may also want to note that they have a detachable cord with in-built volume control.

In case you want to prolong the lifespan of the headphones, you can always replace the earcups.

The earcups also come in a closed-back circumaural design that offers you excellent noise isolation.

What We Liked

What We Didn’t Like

Buyer’s Guide for the Best Mixing Headphones Under 200

There are tons of mixing headphones in the market that claim to deliver excellent sound quality to users. Deciding on which one to buy can be very challenging, especially for beginners and low budget individuals.

Often, headphones are an asset that you wouldn’t want to buy now and then. Therefore, you should treat your selection with the utmost care. Below are key factors you should consider when selecting the best mixing headphones under 200.

1. Comfort

Comfort is the primary factor you need to consider when buying mixing headphones. In most cases, you will be wearing them for a couple of hours in a row.

The type and material of earcups determine the comfort of headphones. Headphones can either be circumaural or supra-aural.

The earcups of circumaural headphones cover the entire ear. As such, they have excellent sound isolation and comfort. On the contrary, supra-aural headphones are less comfortable and have less sound isolation since their earcups only rest on the ears.

As for the material, leather tends to be very sweaty while poly-leather cracks and wears out with time. We recommend fabric or foam padding since they help soften up the pressure on your ears.

Other features that help enhance comfort are lightweight, nice fit, rotating cup, and padded headband.

2. Durability

It is frustrating and annoying to see your mixing headphones fall apart several months after purchase. A well-built product can withstand negative impacts such as slamming, falling, bending, and being sat on.

However, a durable gear often comes with a heavier weight. Cables and cords are other essential factors that influence durability. Thin and delicate cables are likely to get damaged quickly. It is recommendable to go for headphones with thick, tangle-free cables.

Also, ensure that the mixing headphones you are buying have detachable cords/ cables. It is much easier and cheaper to replace a damaged cable rather than buying a new one. You can also check if there are replacements for other parts of the headphone such as headbands and earpads.

3. Open-back or Closed-back?

Both open- and closed-back headphones are fit for mixing depending on the surrounding external factors.

If you are using open-back headphones in a noisy room, you will have to deal with the external noise. The spaces on the earcups of these headphones allow ambient sound to leak in. However, these headphones sound wider and sound leakage does not affect mixing in any way.

Closed-back headphones are excellent at blocking external ambient sound in a noisy room. They also give roundness and fullness on the low-end sound and has a high bass frequency. The only downside of these headphones is that they don’t have a wider soundstage.

4. Wired or Wireless?

Most recording and mixing studios around the globe use wired headphones. Nonetheless, wireless headphones also do an excellent job of mixing.

Wireless headphones have an additional level of comfort since they don’t have cables. As such, they are ideal for long hours of mixing. High-end wireless headphones have fantastic noise-cancellation technology.

The only challenge with wireless headphones is that they are quite expensive if you want a high-quality set. Also, it is a bit tricky to connect a wireless headset to your audio interface.

In this regard, wired headphones are preferable due to their reliability, affordability, and sound quality. They have a high capability to amplify sound than the wireless models. Also, most pro-audio gears are mostly compatible with the wired versions.

5. Sound Quality/ Frequency Response

For you to get quality mixing, you need headphones that sound as natural as possible. Natural sound is equivalent to flat frequency response.

An ideal mixing headphone should cover a wide frequency range. However, it should produce minimal coloration for all the sound frequencies.

You should hear the exact sound you are feeding the headphone. A flat frequency helps you achieve this as it gives you cleaner mixes and a near-perfect representation of your music.

Go for a headphone that gives accurate sound production. Most consumer headphones tend to cover up mixing lapses. As such, the mix sounds good on the headphones, but it’s awful elsewhere.

6. Impedance (ohms)

Impedance is the amount of power that moves the drivers in the headphone’s earcup. Higher impedance means a more powerful headphone driver. In such a case, you need a more robust interface/ amplifier to move the drivers.

It is for this reason that companies make headphones that have different ranges of impedance. A good example is Beyerdynamic. With a 3.5mm jack (5-8 ohms), you can still get high-quality sound.

However, if you have a decent amplifier/ audio interface, a high impedance headphone will give you unbeatable sound quality.

FAQs

Is mixing with headphones a good idea?

Yes, mixing with headphones is excellent. It can even be better than mixing with a speaker. You can use it to mix your tracks exclusively or for mix referencing. When you are a newbie in mixing, headphones are a good option because of their value for money.

Why do I get ear fatigue when I use headphones for mixing?

Ear fatigue is prone to happen in any listening setup. Therefore, you need to take precautions to protect your ears. The leading causes of ear fatigue during mixing is when you mix too loudly, or you sit too close to the speakers.

Also, low-quality headphones can contribute to ear fatigue.

Are open-back headphones better for mixing?

Open-back headphones are excellent mixing and referencing. They are perfect for long hours of mixing since they allow air to pass through them, causing your ears to breath.

Open-back headphones don’t have any pressure build-up. As such, they give a more even sound and better representation of the original music. They also sound more natural with less compression.

What should I look at in the best mixing headphones?

The key factors to look for in mixing headphones are sound quality, durability, and comfort. Ensure that the set you are buying feels good on you, has top-notch sound quality, and is long-lasting.

Conclusion

The best mixing headphones will be great tools for your use in the studio. You will need them to get the best clarity of sound.

Other than clarity, they will need to offer you the best noise isolation. Without a noise isolation feature, you may not be able to hear each sound of the instruments.

In this review, Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO is our best pick. They produce an enjoyable sound. They will offer you an excellent three-dimensional sound.

The other reason they are our best pick is that they can reproduce every single detail of each instrument accurately. They are also very comfortable to use for long hours.