7 Best Studio Headphones Under $100

by Matthew David | Last Updated: June 21, 2020

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Are you in search of the best studio headphones under $100 to add to your recording setup? But you are hesitant because you are on a budget, aren’t you? Well, in that case, you are precisely where you need to be! 

You will be surprised to find out how many options you have. There are some pretty fabulous headphones you can buy for less $100, with minimal compromise on audio quality. 

With the variety of options available to you, figuring out which pair suits, you best may not always be easy. There a several options you need to consider before you finally choose one.

To make your studio headphone shopping spree less of a headache, we have stepped in as your knight in shining armor!

With all the research and comparison required, we have reviewed the best studio headphones under 100 on the market today. We hope you find your perfect match by the end of this article!  

1. Audio-Technica ATHM40x- Close-back headphones 

Audio Technica is well-known for in the specialized audio solutions industry and manufactures some pretty incredible studio products. If you are a studio musician, these are headphones you cannot stay away from! Take your music production to another level with the Audio-Technica ATHM40x headphones. Get ready to enjoy all its fantastic benefits, at a mere $100!

These closed-back headphones can block off all kinds of external noise by combining excellent noise isolation and their circumoral design. They are probably not the ideal headphones to use if you are outdoors, but for an indoor studio set up, these are great! 

The 40mm drivers ensure a robust output with a well-balanced audio profile. Considering the price, the frequency response is satisfactorily flat, at a 15-24k Hz rating. You will not need to worry about purchasing an external amp because it is impressively loud.

They also feature cushioned headbands and large earcups that make them extra comfortable. The earcups can swivel at a 90-degree angle, which enables one-ear monitoring. These headphones come with a detachable cable and carrying bag. 

What We Liked

What We Didn’t Like

2. AKG K240 Headphones

If you are just starting and cannot invest in studio monitors yet, you have found one of the best studio headphones under 100 to add to your shortlist! These stand out on the list by being a semi-open back design. This means you can enjoy the benefits of both closed-back and open-back models. They are great to use in a studio for mixing, playback, and mastering.

They provide you with brilliant bass and clear highs, ranging from 15 to 25k Hz. You can enjoy a wide dynamic range, accurate frequency response, and excellent sensitivity with their XXL transducers with patented Varimotion 30mm diaphragms. This model is more affordable than some others that have the same transducer responsiveness.

The over-ear pads make you feel more comfortable when you are wearing them for long durations. Flexibility is no issue as the self-adjusting headband makes it possible for you to achieve maximum comfort. The thin padding of the headphones may cause you slight discomfort, but you can consider it an advantage as they feel airier during the hot weather.

Overall, these headphones are an excellent for mixing and mastering due to their neutral, balanced audio quality. They are exceptionally reliable for composing, necessary mixing, and monitoring. This is more than enough for those who are not looking for anything on an expert level.

What We Liked

What We Didn’t Like

3. Shure SRH440 Headphone    

 Shure is a widely known brand in the audio gear field. The microphones they manufacture have built a name for themselves. Coming to their headphones, they are no less either.

The Shure SRH440 headphones are some of the best studio headphones under 100 in the market today. They provide the required balance of performance, comfort, and weight. They have been designed to excel in infrequent studio use.

Shure SRH440 offers a clear sound experience for an extensive range of audio, which enables excellent monitoring and accurate listening.

They have a high-frequency response of a range 10-22k Hz, with reliable and crisp audio quality. It is capable of producing clean mids and highs at a professional-grade sound production.

You can efficiently use these headphones with professional audio devices like DJ mixers, mixing consoles, and headphone amplifiers. The closed-back, circumaural design offers remarkable audio isolation in loud surroundings.

These headphones provide you utmost comfort doe the most extended durations because of the earcup padding and flexible headband adjustments.

It comes with a detachable cable, and the earpads are replaceable if you ever want to switch when they wear out.

What We Liked

What We Didn’t Like

4. Sennheiser HD280PRO Mixing Headphones

Sennheiser is a renowned brand in the professional audio solutions business. They have some of the top-selling headphones that many famous musicians and music professionals use across the globe.

These do not let you miss out on the high-end headphones. They offer a flat response, which is what you want for professional audio monitoring.

Lucky for you, they also produce some quality products for those who have a budget to worry about. The Sennheiser HD280PRO is one such product that offers high-quality performance at an affordable cost.

The drivers that they have covered a frequency range of 8-25k Hz. These headphones are what you would want to invest in if you are looking for a low to a mid-level studio setup.

They are super comfortable to use because of their lightweight and ergonomic design. The padded earcups and headbands take your comfort level a step higher.

To your relief, the earcups, headband, and the coiled cable are all replaceable. This mainly improves the durability of your headphones.

What We Liked

What We Didn’t Like

5. Beyerdynamic DT 240 Pro Headphone

You can rely on the Beyerdynamic DT 240 Pro headphones to make all your studio needs come true. These headphones are suggested not only for those of you that are starting, but also the seasoned music professionals, filmmakers, etc.

They offer maximum studio recording accuracy, vivid midrange, defined treble, and clean bass. You are assured of producing some high-quality music content with these headphones! 

They are designed to be compact, and the collapsing headband makes it the perfect feature for busy musicians and producers that do not want to compromise on studio-quality performance.

You can enjoy remarkable noise isolation and minimal spillover effect. This enables it to overcome distractions in loud environments and mobile monitor applications.

Its powerful drivers will make sure you enjoy a high volume output on all of your devices and studio interfaces.

These headphones are sturdy and are built to last. The spring steel headband and strong cable making suits all your professional demands.

They are lightweight with an ergonomic headband that makes it comfortable to wear for long periods. The earpad helps you endure the long hours as well.

What We Liked

What We Didn’t Like

6. Sony MDR-7506 Closed-back headphones

While they work great for various activities, the Sony MDR-7506 headphones studio monitoring performance is something you just cannot overlook. Do not be fooled by their price.

They are as reliable as much as they are affordable! They offer fantastic sound quality and soundstage along with their mammoth drivers. 

The adjustable headband is tight enough and not too tight. They have a large, flexible diaphragm with a foldable feature that makes portability super easy.

The earcups are widely spaced, which will help reduce ear fatigue and give you excellent audio isolation instead. It comes with a 9.8-foot cable that makes your studio sessions more efficient.

If you are looking for a product that lasts longs, you have found it. These pairs have been built to last and will perform efficiently for the years to come.

These headphones have been around for so many years that you can recognize them in studios, classrooms, speech labs, etc.

What We Liked

What We Didn’t Like

7. PreSonus HD9 Headphones

PreSonus may be a brand that does not have much recognition, but the HD9 is not a pair of headphones you would want to overlook. The PreSonus HD9 headphones are closed-back with an over-ear design. 

It has a two-way 180-degree cup rotation feature, which makes them fantastic for studios and DJs who prefer single-ear listening.

The frequency range is 10-26k Hz, which produces precise mixing, clean sound, and remarkable bass. They have a circumaural design that fully covers your ears while delivering satisfactory sound isolation. 

Their padded earcups enable you to listen to your favorite music with excellent sound isolation and zero sound bleed.

The headband is padded so that you can prevent fatigue. Moreover, their collapsing feature makes portability a breeze.

It comes with a 10-foot, straight, single-sided cable and a carrying bag. This model has been built to last, lasting you for the ears to come.

What We Liked

What We Didn’t Like

8. CAD Audio Sessions MH510 Headphone

CAD Audio has built a reputation for itself for the last couple of decades. They manufacture some of the best products in the music industry, such as microphones, headphones, etc.

The MH510 closed-back headphones are excellent for professional sound monitoring in studios. These award-winning headphones are recognized for their remarkable technical accomplishment in headphone technology. This is enough to know that you can reply to the MH510.

Now talking about its internal features, each earcup has a 50mm high Guass driver with a frequency range of 10- 24k Hz.

These headphones offer a spacious headroom along with a transparent audio reproduction. This will significantly help you enhance your tracking and mixing studio experience.

If you are looking for an excellent choice for tracking and mixing needs, you are precisely where you need to be.

These headphones are so impressive that their performance can be compared to a live concert experience! They have a super-accurate audio output and excellent sound isolation.

They are exceptionally durable and offer utmost sturdiness. As sturdy as it is, they provide a lot of comfort due to the padded headbands and velvet-lined earcups.

These headphones come with two cables: 10-foot straight cable and 3.5-foot coiled one. It also comes with a carrying bag that makes portability easy.

What We Liked

What We Didn’t Like

What to Consider While Buying Studio Headphones 

Looking for headphones on a budget does not mean that you have to compromise on their quality. Some factors make some headphones better than others. Check out the following point to see which ones you want to make sure your new headphones have! 

1. Sound isolation 

Closed-back headphones have the best isolation features. This prevents sound from bleeding into the microphone while you record.

You can also avoid the perceived monitor signal to be affected by external noise. Hearing surrounding noises can come in the way of you focussing on your music. Make sure the pair you buy are capable of blocking out external noise.

2. Frequency Response 

We know studio headphones are used for critical hearing. It is essential to have a flat frequency response. the frequency response must be flat. This makes setting and comparing sound levels a lot easier to achieve accurate sound.

Generally, the frequency range of headphones is 20- 20k Hz, which is the range audible to the human ear.

Look for headphones that have a high range because they help produce more in-depth responses, better tones, and handle lows, mids, and highs. 

3. Mixing 

The isolation offered by your headphones may affect its audio quality. More the isolation, the lower the quality. If you are mixing, open-back headphones are fabulous to optimize audio quality over the separation.

On the other hand, closed-back headphones may not be as recommendable due to their sound build up at lower frequencies.

You need to have less sound accumulation and flat distribution of frequencies to achieve a precise and accurate mix for mixing and mastering.  

4. Audio Quality

One of the most important things that you need to consider while buying your studio headphones is the quality and accuracy of their audio reproduction. Accuracy is just as important as producing a loud bass or clear trebles. Make sure the frequency response is flat as well.

5. Build design 

The studio headphones that you purchase need to be capable of handling the hours of mixing and playback that you are going to put them through.

Make sure the quality and sturdiness of the materials that are being used to design the headphones. Durability is crucial if you want to get your money’s worth.

6. Comfort 

Recording, mixing, and mastering can be quite time-taking. This also includes wearing your headphones for long durations, which is why ensure that the headphones that you chose do not exert too much pressure on your head or your ears.

They must fit comfortably. Look for soft padding on the earcups and cushioned headbands. Also, make sure the headphones themselves do not feel too heavy on your head. They should fit you snugly without causing any discomfort.

7. Other Factors 

There are other extra features such as portability, detachable cases, swiveling earcups, and carrying cases that may add a slight edge to some headphones over the others, if not a lot. These factors can be the tie-breaker if you are stuck between two headphones.

What is the Difference Between Consumer and Studio Headphones?

When planning purchasing studio headphones, it is essential to understand why these are not the same as consumer headphones. 

Talking about consumer headphones, I am sure you figured out that they are designed for everyday consumers. You must have heard of Panasonics, Beats, JBL, Skullcandy, Bose, etc. All these brands are launching new products in the market, for everyday users to upgrade to.

The purpose of studio headphones is different. No one buys studio headphones just to listen to their new favorite album. People buy them for use in the studio, to produce music, mix tracks, and many other studio activities.

Not everyone requires studio headphones unless they play audio in studios, whereas consumer headphones are used by everyone.

As a result, you will find a lot more consumer headphone models than studio headphones. Some well-known studio headphones brands are the ones we discussed, such as Audio Technica, AKG, Shure, Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic, etc. And a lot of the best-selling models have not been changed for decades.

Let us look at the three characteristic features of studio headphones:

 1. Precision

Studio headphones are designed to produce music, not casually listen to music. For this reason, the user must know precisely what a note sounds like. So, most studio headphones have a flat frequency response range along with high accuracy and precision.

2. Durability

Since you will be wearing these headphones in the studio, manufacturers pay closer attention to build quality and design. Though studio headphones may not be the best-looking type of headphones out there, they can last you a WHILE. They will work efficiently for years to come.

3. Price

Studio headphones are produced by a couple of companies. They are only significantly higher in price because of more top quality. While you can find studio headphones under $50, we recommend you going a little higher to purchase headphones with more reliable quality and better performance.

Conclusion

This is precisely the list you require if you do not want your purchase to be hefty in your pockets. You will be amazed by the difference the right pair of studio headphones can make to your production.

These are especially important if you are a musician, producer, artist, or audio engineer. Without being too hasty, make a list of all your requirements. Make sure that the ones you pick offer you the audio enhancement you need.

The winner of this round-up article is….*drumroll*….Audio-Technica ATHM40x studio headphones! First, you have a brand that you can rely on. Next, the headphones themselves are fantastic!

 

You can hardly go wrong with this pair of headphones. After all, they are among the best-sellers for a reason, right? The benefits of these headphones overpower the downside of them unless you have your idea if otherwise.

Be it the sound isolation, lightweight, excellent audio quality, or the earcups; these are on the best studio headphones under 100 that will surely keep you content for the years to come.

Dollar for dollar, you will get to enjoy everything you paid for and more!

All the models that we have reviewed are capable of getting you started in your studio. You will notice a significant improvement in editing and sound mixing. Good luck with choosing to find the perfect headphones for your studio!