It’s a common misconception that you have to spend hundreds of dollars before you can find a decent-quality pair of studio headphones.
Not everybody can afford the best of the best. If you’re more of a hobbyist when it comes to podcasting or mixing, you’ll want to find a good quality pair of headphones that give you the nuances in sound that you’re after.
It can still be difficult to choose the right studio headphones for your needs when there are so many different brands and models to choose from. How can you discern between them all? And what are you even meant to look for in a set of studio headphones, anyway?
I’ve done all the research for you so that you don’t have to. Below you’ll find detailed reviews for 5 of the best studio headphones under $100. I’ve reviewed hundreds of models to determine which are the best of the best.
So you can rest assured that these studio headphones will be perfect for your needs, regardless of what you need them for!
The Sony MDR7506 professional large-diaphragm headphones easily earn the spot of the top pick. These particular headphones come with a range of great features that make them worth the investment.
They feature neodymium magnets and 40mm drivers to give you the powerful, more detailed sound that you’re after.
What’s really great about these particular studio headphones is that they feature a closed-ear design. This helps to isolate the sound from the headphones, so you won’t have to worry about being distracted by outside noises.
This closed-ear design also makes the headphones more comfortable to wear than standard headphones.
These Sony studio headphones have been designed to last you for many years to come. They feature rugged construction to ensure that they are durable. They are also foldable so that you can protect the ear cups when the headphones aren’t in use.
This foldable design also makes the headphones easier to transport as needed.
You won’t have to worry about the cord being too short with these headphones. The Sony MDR7506 headphones come with a 9.8 foot long cord to give you plenty of room to maneuver around your home or studio. This cord isn’t removable, but the headphones do come with a ¼ inch adapter for you to use.
- Superior sound – gives you great sound isolation to avoid distraction from outside noises
- Durable – features a sturdy construction using quality materials
- Long cord – comes with a non-detachable 9.8 foot cord and ¼ inch adapter
- Long periods – headphones can be uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time
- Neodymium magnets and 40 millimeter drivers for powerful, detailed sound
- Closed ear design provides comfort and outstanding reduction of external noises
- 9.8 foot cord ends in gold plated plug and it is not detachable; 1/4 inch adapter included
The AKG Pro Audio K240 STUDIO professional studio headphones are another great choice. These are a more budget-friendly alternative to the Sony MDR7506 if you don’t want to spend your whole budget in one go. You’ll get a set of powerful headphones that come in at a much more competitive price.
These particular headphones have been designed for professional use. They are an over-ear semi-open design and are ideal for mixing, mastering, and playback.
No matter what you need these headphones for, they will be ideal. The semi-open design is able to give you a solid bass range as well as crystal clear highs. Perfect if you want to hear all the nuances in tone.
You won’t have to worry about these studio headphones wearing out after a couple of months. They feature a sturdy, durable design that has been designed to withstand the demands of hours in the studio.
The headphones are also able to give you a more comfortable fit so that you can wear them for hours on end without them becoming too uncomfortable.
Another great feature of these particular studio headphones is that they come with a detachable cable. This makes it easier to pack away the headphones when they’re not in use without damaging the cable itself.
The cable is also 3m long, so will give you more than enough room to move around your home or studio.
- Durable – designed to withstand countless hours spent in the studio
- Detachable cable – makes for easier transportation and protects the cable
- Professional quality – perfect for use with mixing, mastering, and playback
- Bass – some users felt the bass frequencies weren’t as clear as they could have been
- Professional studio headphones
- 3 m replaceable cable
The Audio-Technica ATH-M40x professional studio monitor headphones are a fantastic choice if you want to opt for the higher end of your budget. These particular studio headphones use cutting-edge engineering as well as robust construction to deliver solid results.
An interesting feature of these particular studio headphones is that they come with 90 degrees swiveling ear cup design. This means you can easily use them to listen through one ear while trying to multitask.
What’s really great about this is that it makes the headphones much easier to use, and you won’t have to worry about holding them at an awkward angle if you only want to use one earcup.
These studio headphones have been built to last. They feature professional-grade earpads as well as a professional-grade headband material. This makes the headphones more durable than cheaper headphones. It also makes them more comfortable to wear during long periods of time.
You won’t have to worry about hearing any pesky noises from your environment. The Audio-Technica ATH-M40x features a circumaural design that works to contour around your ears. This works to give you fantastic sound isolation so you can focus on the job at hand.
- High quality – features solid construction using durable materials
- 90 degrees swivel – you can swivel the ear cups by 90 degrees for easy one ear listening
- Sound isolation – effectively cuts out background noise from your environment
- Warm – some customers found the headphones could get warmer during extended sessions
- Cutting edge engineering and robust construction
- 40 millimeter drivers with rare earth magnets and copper clad aluminum wire voice coils
- Circumaural design contours around the ears for excellent sound isolation in loud environments
The Sennheiser Pro Audio HD280PRO headphones are an excellent choice in terms of quality. These particular studio headphones come with a range of great specs to allow you to focus on great sound quality.
They come with an extended frequency response as well as a natural, warm sound reproduction. The Sennheiser studio headphones come with a normal impedance of 64 ohms and a sound pressure level (SPL) or 113 decibels.
These particular studio headphones feature a dynamic closed-ear design. The design is also circumaural, which means they comfortably cup your ears to seal in the sound from the headphones.
This design allows you to better hear the sound from the headphones, and you won’t have to worry about any noisy environments distracting you.
You won’t have to worry about these studio headphones becoming uncomfortable to wear after long periods of time. The headphones themselves are lightweight and have been designed to be comfortable to wear.
The ear cups are of course padded, which makes them more comfortable to wear during extended plays.
What’s really great about these headphones is that several elements are easily replaceable. So you can easily replace the headband padding, ear pads, as well as audio cord. This will be great for ensuring the longevity of the headphones themselves.
It’ll certainly be much cheaper than replacing the headphones themselves!
- Closed ear design – helps to isolate the sound from the headphones and cut out background noise
- Comfortable – features a padded headband and ear cups for added comfort
- Replaceable elements – audio cord, ear pads, and headband padding are all replaceable
- Stiff cable – the cable of these headphones is on the stiffer side
- Dynamic, closed ear headphones.Weight w/o cable: 285 gram Ear coupling is circumaural
- Lightweight and comfortable, ergonomic design, Cord Length 3.3 9.8 feet Coiled
- Extended frequency response and warm, natural sound reproduction. Nominal impedance 64 ohm. Sound pressure level (SPL) 113 dB
The Audio-Technica ATH-M30x professional studio monitor headphones are another excellent choice if you want a pair of mid-priced studio headphones. These particular headphones are of advanced build quality.
They feature 40mm drivers as well as rare earth magnets and copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils.
These particular headphones will help you to hear all the nuances of tone that your normal headphones miss out on. They have been specifically tuned to give you the best details.
These particular studio headphones also have an excellent mid-range definition, so you won’t have to worry about missing out on the essential sounds.
Noisy distractions will be a thing of the past with these Audio-Technica studio headphones. The circumaural design will contour around your ears. This works to give you better sound isolation, so you can focus on the noise coming from the headphones themselves.
This will be especially useful during mixing. So you’ll be able to plug these headphones in while you’re in noisy environments to help you focus.
A unique feature of the Audio-Technica headphones is that they come with a collapsible design. This makes it easy to collapse the headphones down into a more portable size. Great if you want to bring them with you on the road.
These particular studio headphones also come with a soft case to protect them during journeys.
- High quality – manufactured to a high standard with an advanced build quality
- Sound isolation – you can use these headphones in even the noisiest of environments
- Collapsible design – makes for easier portability
- Long cable – the extra long cable may be too long for your needs
- Advanced build quality and engineering
- 40 millimeter drivers with rare earth magnets and copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils
- Tuned for enhanced detail, with excellent mid-range definition
Trying to find the best studio headphones for under $100 can be a challenge. Unless you have the money to shell out for expensive professional headphones, you will have to opt for something under this budget. The good news is that there are plenty of high-quality studio headphones to suit your budget.
I’ve put together a helpful list of all the features you should look for in a new pair of studio headphones. This is to ensure that you get the very best out of your headphones, no matter what you need them for.
Take a look at everything you will need to consider below or skip ahead to the frequently asked questions.
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing the best studio headphones is the amount of sound isolation they give you. This will be incredibly important if you want to focus on all the nuances of sound that normal headphones aren’t able to give you. This is particularly important during mixing.
Look for a set of studio headphones that gives you a closed-ear design. This should help to prevent any background noise from your environment from distracting you, so you can focus on the sound coming from your headphones. The better the sound isolation, the better the quality of the sound in general.
If you can still hear the noisy environment around you when you’ve got the studio headphones plugged in, you should opt for a different set of headphones. You won’t be able to concentrate on the sound from the headphones themselves if they don’t offer a great sound resolution.
Choosing a pair of comfortable headphones will be essential. Chances are that you’ll be wearing them for long periods of time when you’re mixing, mastering, or listening to playback. So you won’t want a set of headphones that will be uncomfortable to wear after an hour or two!
Ensure that you select a set of studio headphones that comes with comfortable padding. The ear cups should feel soft and comfortable around your ears. You should also opt for a set of headphones that comes with a padded headband.
Another factor to consider is how long you need the studio headphone cord to be. If the cord is too short, you won’t be able to maneuver easily between all of your equipment without taking them off.
However, if the cord is too long, it could get in the way if you need your studio headphones for other listening purposes.
The best thing will be to consider what you need your new studio headphones for, and how much cord you will need to use them efficiently. This should give you a better idea of which studio headphones are best for your needs.
Another factor to consider is whether you want a cord that you can detach or not. Not all cords will be detachable, but if you’re particularly worried about damaging the cord, a removable one might be best. A removable cord can also easily be replaced should it become damaged.
Choosing a set of studio headphones that is durable will be essential. Just because you opt for the higher end of your budget doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get the same high standard of headphones that you’re expecting.
You should ensure that the headphones feature a durable construction that has been designed to last. What materials have been used? Can elements be replaced if they get damaged over time?
The more sturdy the set of headphones you choose, the longer they will last you.
The size of the drivers in your new studio headphones will also be essential. Many people assume that the larger the drivers, the more bass you will hear. While this is true, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have a better sound quality if you opt for the set of studio headphones with the largest drivers.
Other factors will come into play in terms of your drivers. You will need to pay attention to the type of drivers that the studio headphones have used. It will also be a good idea to note the frequency range as this will typically affect the sound quality more than the size of the drivers will.
Another important factor to consider is the portability of your new studio headphones. If you want to use them for a variety of purposes, you may need to take them out of the studio with you. So you will need a set of headphones that can easily be packed away.
First, take a look at the design of the headphones themselves. Are they static or do they feature a collapsible design? A collapsible design will be easier to transport as they can be more easily packed away in your bag. You should also note whether the headphones come with a handy carry case.
This should help to protect the headphones when they’re not in use.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best studio headphones under $100?
The best studio headphones under $100 are:
- Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphones
- AKG Pro Audio K240 STUDIO Professional Studio Headphones
- Audio-Technica ATH-M40x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones
- Sennheiser Pro Audio HD280PRO Headphones
- Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones
How do I choose the best studio headphones?
There are a couple of factors that you will need to consider when it comes to choosing the best studio headphones.
These will include the amount of sound isolation the headphones give you, how comfortable they are to wear for long periods of time, the length of the cord, how durable the construction is, the drivers the headphones use, and how portable the studio headphones are.
All of these factors will help you to decide which are the best studio headphones for your needs.
Last update on 2021-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API