For under $100 you can still get some of the best studio headphones in the market for your home recording studio. Including one used be legend Mick Jagger.
If you came to this article from “the best studio headphones” post then you already have a general idea what to look for.
For those with a limited budget that hardly exceeds the $100, you can still purchase some quality pair of headphones that will get the job done in any recording studio. Most of the models we picked here are smaller siblings of the best studio headphones with over budget models.
What to look for when you buy studio headphones
- Durability: Unless you are planning to travel your studio a lot, portability is not a feature that effects our decision. Durability now is something you should look for.
- Comfort: It is important to wear headphones with comfortable design and ear-pads. Long hour sessions can be hurtful for your head and ears if you choose wrong.
- Headphone type (closed-back / open-back): The closed-back type of headphones provide excellent isolation from background sounds as well as absorbs well so you won’t pick up any noise when you record with a microphone. From the other hand an open-back type won’t provide such a good isolation but it will offer better sound quality.
- Frequency response: The most important feature of a studio headphone is the sound quality and the frequency range. When you are djing, you want headphones with loud and clear bass and hats that will help you achieve a perfect beat-match. In a studio you need to hear the sound in it’s natural state with FLAT balanced frequency response.
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Choices vary according to your brand preference, personal gradient to sound response, appearance and budget. All suggestions below are studio quality headphone pairs that can properly stand in any home recording studio.
5 BEST STUDIO HEADPHONES UNDER $100
1.SONY MDR 7506
SONY MDR 7506 is a studio standard headphone with thousands of nearly perfect reviews and also best seller at Amazon store. Since 1999 this pair has dominate the market of studio headphones.
The small brother of MDR 7510, might have outdate looks but it’s a pro pair used by legends in music industry (Mick Jagger, Linkin Park, Paul Van Dyk and more). With a nice detailed sound quality and a flat frequency response this pair is good for any studio.
This closed-back type headphone offers ideal isolation, along with an excellent build-quality, proven to be long-lasting. The design and the two cushioned ear pads make the pair quite comfortable for long last sessions. It also folds up for easy storage and travel in it’s provided soft case.
conclusion: SONY MDR 7506 is a solid pair of headphones,exactly what you need if you just start music production and you have a limited budget. If you are not conviced yet visit Amazon.com store and you will be surprised of the amount of excellent reviews. Consists a great headphone worth the first choice of the best studio headphones under $ 100.
Musicians who use it: Mick Jagger, Linkin Park, Paul Van Dyk, Helios
2.AUDIO TECHNICA ATH-M40X
The most popular series of studio headphones for electronic music producers is the ATH-M by Audio Technica. I personally own the ATH-M50X but you can’t go wrong with any of those models (ATH-M30X/M40X/M50X/M70X).
Audio Technica ATH-M40X is a closed back pair that offers good isolation from ambient sounds and a nice flat frequency response. The bass is heavy -exactly what an electronic producer needs- and the mids and highs are clear and dynamic.
It might look a bit bulky, like all the models, but in fact it is very comfortable and the built quality is durable with excellent materials. The cable is removable and the ear-cups are very soft and also 90 degrees rotable which helps for packaging and transferring.
conclusion: ATH-M40X is probably the “best value for money” option out there. The sound quality is very good (very close to ATH-M50X), the isolation is outstanding and available in a good price, certainly good enough reasons to go for it. Except your studio, this pair can used in a DJ booth, radio stations, news transmission or even movie productions.
The most affordable pair of headphones in our list comes from AKG. I will also add with the most nice appearance and design compare to the rest.
AKG K-240 is semi-open type of headphone that offers not a good isolation compare to a closed-back type. However on this pair you will find a tonal excellence with higher frequencies than the MDR 7506. The sound quality is powerful with accurate response at any listening level and thats because of AKG’s varimotion technology. The bass is heavy but accurate with detailed mids and highs.
Regardless the comfort K-240 provides, you will be satisfied with big ear-cups that will fit perfectly around your ear and very good resilience. Offers also a detachable input cable for easy replacement if ever necessary.
conclusion: If isolation is not an issue in your studio then the AKG K-240 is the perfect affordable choice for you. AKG is known for good manufacturing products but despite the many great reviews, it has also collect some complains concerning the built quality and durability. However you get sound quality impossible to find in this price range.
4.SHURE SRH 440
This classic designed pair of headphones can pretty much cover the needs in a home recording studio as well as a professional studio. A brand name that is seen in every recording studio in every corner of the world has an excellent market value.
Shure SRH 440biggest strength is it’s isolation to external sounds. As a closed-back type of headphones with circumaural design, it offers superior isolation in noisy environments. Furthermore Shure creates one the best build quality pairs that ensures a long life and endurance to travel and hardship. It also features foldable design for easy transportation.
SRH 440 offers great sound quality, overall flat and balanced, with deep punchy bass and clear and detailed mids. You will be thrilled with the high frequencies of these professional studio headphones.
conclusion: The pair by Shure is high durable and it will withstand the rigors of everyday use. In general this pair is very comfortable and even if there is a bit of hardship with the headband, you can still attach one of your own. The ear-cups are also replaceable to ensure long product life.
5.SENNHEISER HD 280 PRO
With years of experience, Sennheiser built a classic designed studio quality pair that is highly durable and according to user reviews, it can last for over 10 years. There are still a few affordable pairs but the HD 280 is right in our budget and ideal to close our list.
Sennheiser HD 280 PRO is not only for studio work but live performances and djing as well. This is due to the extended frequency response with sound pressure exceeding 100 decibels. The bass is heavy, clear with flat gain and acceptable the mids and high frequencies. HD 280 PRO is popular among electronic producers, dj’s and drummers because of it’s bass response.
This closed-back pair offer very good isolation from external sounds and is also designed to offer great comfort to listeners for many hours. The soft cushioned ear-pads helps also achieve great comfort.
conclusion:Sennheiser HD 280 PRO is the second most popular pair of studio headphones in the market with users praising it’s built-quality, the very good isolation and price range. This pair can stand in any recording studio for many years.