Budget Friendly Studio Headphones for Under $100

Budget Friendly Studio Headphones for Under $100

Last Updated on October 1, 2020 by Editor Futurescope

There are thousands of inexpensive studio headphones sold in music stores. However, most of these low-end studio cans cannot last long, deliver studio-grade sound quality, as well as keep you comfortable when using them for an overlong period.

Even so, it is not impossible to find an affordable, durable, and comfortable studio headphone that provides a professional-grade sound signature from the array offered in the marketplace. Are you looking to purchase such a studio headphone?

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If yes, we have endorsed some ideas that would help you select the best studio headphones from the thousands of brands in music stores. Besides, we have hand-picked the best studio headphones under 100 you would need to include in your buying list.

Ideas to help you choose the right studio headphones

  • Get a studio headphone with the right impedance(ohms)

Impedance is the amount of power that a studio headphone requires to deliver its highest volume. If you will be using the headphone on low voltage devices like your smartphone or tablet, get a headphone with low impedance. On the other hand, you would want to purchase a studio headphone with high impedance if you intend to use it on a dedicated DJ mixer or amplifier.

  • Invest in a headphone with robust drivers

Drivers determine the quality of sound you will get from your cans. As a rule, headphones with large drivers (measured in millimeters) deliver excellent sound quality and volume than their counterparts with small drivers.

  • Get a headphone with the right design

Do you intend to use your studio headphones for professional audio purposes? If yes, get the type with an open-back design. The open back design delivers neutral audios that sound the way the producer wanted them to sound.

If you need a headphone for casual purposes, get a closed-back brand with excellent noise isolation ability. Such headphones would save you from distracting background noises, as well as minimize sound leakage to the background.

  • Buy comfortable headphones

Do you intend to use the studio cans for a long listening period? Look around for a headphone with cushioned ear pads and headband. The cushion will shield your head and ears from unnecessary compression and discomfort.

  • Purchase sturdy studio cans

If you need studio headphones that can serve you for years to come, go for those designed from sturdy plastic, plated wood, or metal. These durable materials can withstand regular use for a sensible number of years.

Best Studio Headphones Under 100 to Purchase

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Key specs

  • 250 Ohms
  • Spacious open design
  • Weighs 250 grams
  • Has a frequency response of 5Hz to 35000 Hz

Have you been looking for good studio headsets for mastering and mixing? If yes, Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro would be the best investment for you. These headphones have the open-back design that lets you capture the purest form of sounds from your dedicated amplifier, DJ mixer, and or your Hi-Fi sound system.

While the open-back ear cup design provides a neutral sound signature, it might not be ideal for use in places with distractive background noises. Moreover, you cannot use the headphones in situations where noise is prohibited since they exude a lot of sound to the external surrounding.

Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro ear cups and headband are constructed from sturdy plastic and metallic materials to survive regular use and abuse in the studio. Both the headband and earcups have memory foam padding to keep your ears and head comfortably throughout your listening or monitoring session.

Apart from the comfy memory foam padding, Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro headphones weigh a mere 0.64lbs. This lightweight saves your head or ears from the unnecessary fatigue associated with using bulky headphones. Beyerdynamic DT 990’s headband adjusts itself to fit securely on most people’s heads.

This best studio headphones for gaming has highly sensitive dynamic drivers to give you bright mids, crisp, clear highs, detailed treble sounds, and punchy bass response. They provide you with audio that is precisely what the producer wanted you to get. However, you would need a dedicated amplifier to get the most out of these headphones.

Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro comes in a standard package containing a drawstring bag to carry or store your precious gadget, a non-detachable coiled cable to use at home or the studio, and a 6.35mm jack adapter.

On the downside, Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro isn’t foldable. Therefore, the headphones might not be ideal for sound engineers, vocalists, or music lovers who need a foldable studio headphone that they can carry around.

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Key Specs

  • 64 Ohms nominal impedance
  • Closed-back design
  • Weighs 220 grams
  • Has a frequency response of 8-25,000Hz

Are you looking for portable studio headphones under $100? If yes, Sennheiser HD 280 Pro studio headphones would be an ideal investment. They have a foldable headband that takes up minimal space in your backpack.

Moreover, the headphones weigh just 220grams. They are light enough to carry around comfortably. As such, we would recommend them for highly mobile sound engineers looking for a portable type of headsets.

Sennheiser HD 280 Pro is constructed from a sturdy plastic material and some metallic parts. While plastic may not be as robust as metal, it can survive heavy use for a reasonable period. The headphones’ manufacturer sells replacement parts for worn out parts.

Design-wise, these studio headphones’ frame has an all-black finish that blends well with your attire, as well as your studio setting. The earcups have a white, less conspicuous Sennheiser branding.

Sennheiser HD 280 Pro headphones feature the closed-back design, which provides top-class noise isolation capabilities. You can use the studio headsets in quiet places without distracting people around you. Moreover, the closed-back design dampens background sounds to let you focus on the music coming from the headphone.

Soft synthetic leatherette covers the studio headphones’ headband and ear cans to keep your ears and head comfortable. Unlike the padding material used in cheap headphones, Sennheiser HD 280 Pro’s leatherette fabric is quite durable.

Nonetheless, some users who have tried these headsets say that the leatherette fabric isn’t breathable. So, it might warm up your ears during those hot days when you need to wear your headphones over a prolonged period.

Sennheiser HD 280 Pro comes equipped with a coiled cable to give you more freedom of movement while working at the studio. The cord measures 3.3 feet long when coiled, and it extends to almost 10 feet when uncoiled.

These studio headphones have dynamic drivers that deliver an exceptional sound quality, ideal for recording. The drivers produce moderate bass, balanced highs & mids, and clear treble sounds. Its somewhat low impedance makes it a perfect deal for audio professionals looking for headphones that they could use with their computer or laptop.

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Key Specs

  • 55 Ohms impedance
  • Semi-open design
  • Weighs 240 grams
  • Has an audio frequency of 15- 25000 Hz

Audio engineers describe AKG 240 as the best semi-open stereo headphones for monitoring and mastering. They have almost all the features you would find inexpensive studio headphones used by seasoned musicians, vocalists, sound engineers, and other professional audiophiles.

These stereo headphones’ earcups and headband are designed from high-grade plastic to withstand regular use and abuse. You would want to handle the headphones carefully since the plastic frame is not as sturdy as metallic frames.

While this best studio headphones for gaming appear relatively large, they are surprisingly light. Hence, they won’t fatigue your head and ears during those sessions when you need to use them for a prolonged period.

In appearance, these headphones have an all-black frame, with navy blue & silvery accents on the earcups. The color combination looks professional, and it can blend well with your studio settings. Though, the regular appearance may not be ideal for professional audiophiles who need something unique and stylish.

AKG 240’s earcups and headband have leatherette velvet that minimizes the compression force applied on your ears and head. The breathable leatherette velvet absorbs sweat quickly, and it keeps your ears cool. AKG 240 stereo headphones’ self- adjusting headband fits securely on most sizes and shapes of heads.

AKG 240 stereo headphones come with two cables to enhance your convenience while using the headphone at the studio or home. It has a 5-meter coiled cable that gives you more freedom of movement, and 3-meter straight cable to use on your desk whenever you don’t have to move so much.

These semi-closed headphones use innovative Varimotion 30mm transducers to deliver outstanding sound clarity. They have clear highs, moderately powerful bass, and accurate lows and mids. Its bass is similar to that provided by closed-end headphones.

The best studio headphones’ 55 Ohms impedance is ideal for your mobile phone, MP3 player, computer, and sound systems with nominal voltage.

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Key Specs

  • 63 Ohms nominal impedance
  • Closed-back design
  • 230 grams
  • Has a frequency response of 10-20000 Hz

Despite its affordable price, Sony MDR 7506 stands as one the best studio headphones under $100 with outstanding audio quality. It has a large diaphragm and innovative sound drivers that work synergistically to improve your studio monitoring, mixing, and recording experience.

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These headphones are designed from a durable black-colored plastic material. While the construction is durable, audiophiles who have tried the headphone say that it is a bit flimsy when compared to other headphones in this price range. For that reason, they might not survive demanding studio use and abuse.

Furthermore, the exposed wires which pass through the headband can easily break if you overstretch the headband. As such, you will need to refrain from overstretching the headband if you wish to use the headphones for long.

Sony MDR7506 studio headphones have an extra-long cable to enhance your mobility while using it on your desk. The coiled cable measures almost ten feet long when stretched out, and 6 feet long when coiled. Unfortunately, the cable isn’t detachable.

Sony MDR7506’s comes equipped with a padded headband that rests gently on your head, and cushioned ear cups that eliminates uncomfortable pressure from your ears. As a result, you can use the studio cans for an extended session. Sony’s self-adjusting headband fits snugly on small to large-sized heads.

The headphones’ closed-back design eliminates external noises, which could distract you while engaged in your professional monitoring, recording, listening, and or mixing projects. Furthermore, the closed-back ear cup design minimizes sound leakage while using the headphones next to your colleagues.

In regards to sound quality, Sony MDR 7506 ranks among the best. The headphones use 40mm drivers to deliver strong bass, balanced mids, bright treble, and clear highs. They might not be for you if you need a headphone with a neutral sound signature.

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Key Specs

  • 40 Ohms nominal impedance
  • Closed-back design
  • Weighs 272 grams
  • 10-22000 frequency range

Shure SRH440 studio headphones boast of a clean and balanced audio quality. They are ideal for audiophiles that have been looking for an affordable studio headphone that they could use for casual studio recording or general listening tasks like gaming.

The studio headphones have black-colored plastic earcups and headband. The construction looks decent, but it flexes a little bit. On that account, you would need to handle the headsets carefully if you wish to see them last longer.

Shure SRH440’s earcups have oblong-shaped vinyl ear pads to shield your ears from the uncomfortable pressure. You can flip the ear pads from the earcups whenever you need to clean or replace them.

Just like the ear cups, Shure SRH440’s headband has a vinyl padding that rests comfortably on your head. However, the headband’s padding is quite thin. So, it might not keep your head comfortable during those periods when you need to use the headphones for extended listening or recording sessions. You can adjust Shure SRH440’s headband to fit onto your head and ears securely.

If you wish to store the headphones or carry them in your backpack, you can fold the earcups flat to take up little space in your storage bag. For that reason, they are ideal for mobile audiophiles.

Shure SRH440 has a ten-foot coiled cable. The cable’s loose tension and generous length give you the freedom you need to move from one spot to another while using the headphones. You can replace the coiled cable with a straight one sold separately.

Shure SRH440 comes equipped with 40mm neodymium drivers to deliver an enhanced and precise sound signature. The drivers offer crisp jazz, a booming bass, and moderated highs &mids.

The closed-back earcups prevent excessive sound leakage to the background, and it provides a sensible amount of sound isolation ability. You can use them in settings with loud background noises.

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Key Specs

  • 55 Ohm impedance
  • Semi-open design
  • Weighs 240 grams
  • Has a frequency range of 15-25,000 Hz

Are you looking for the most affordable studio headsets for listening or mixing? If yes, AKG K240 headphones would be a phenomenal deal. Despite the low price tag, this semi-open headphone has innovative features to enhance audio quality, user comfort, as well as durability.

These studio-style headphones have large semi-open earcups that rest comfortably over your ears. The black-colored earcups are designed from high-grade plastic to endure regular abuse, and they have comfy padding to absorb excessive pressure from your ears.

Each earcup has Gold accents that give your headset an attractive high-end appearance. On that account, we would recommend them to audiophiles who wish to add a touch of style to their audio lifestyle.

AKG K240 headphones’ self-adjusting headband flexes easily to fit on most sizes of heads. The headbands’ leatherette material shields your head from unwanted discomfort. They weigh just 240 grams.

These affordable headphones come with a single, 10 feet cable that lets you move from one place to another while working on your mixing projects. You can replace the wire just in case it wears out.

AKG K240’s semi-open back design leaks less sound to the external environment while letting you hear whatever is happening at the background without much disturbance. This feature makes the headphones an ideal choice for audiophiles who want something that can provide the benefits of both the closed and open back earcup design.

The studio-style cans come with 40mm transducers and an extra-large Varimotion Diaphragm to give you the most accurate sound signature. The drivers deliver detailed highs, pure bass, and bright mids. The 3D audios let you enjoy every beat in your favorite soundtracks.

AKG K240’s 55 Ohms nominal impedance lets you use your headphones on moderate or low voltage sound systems like your iPod, smartphone, or your portable CD player. The headphone delivers a high-resolution sound signal.

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Key Specs

  • 32 Ohms nominal impedance
  • Closed-back design
  • Weighs 226 grams
  • Has a frequency response of 15-30000 Hz

Status-Audio CB-1 studio headphones stand as the most portable studio headphones on these best studio headphones under 100 list. You can fold the headphones into a low factor that occupies little space in your traveling bag. They weigh 226 grams. We would propose them to highly mobile musicians, sound engineers, and casual audiophiles.

Status-Audio CB-1’s earcups are made from a black-colored plastic. Each earcup has an attractive copper ring that lifts the headphones’ appearance. The black headband blends well with the earcups to bring up a sophisticated style that you may hardly find in competitor models. The frame does not have the generic logos and branding found on inferior studio headphones.

Status-Audio CB-1’s headband and ear cups have thick pads to keep your head and ears comfortably while using the headphones. The oval shaped pillows on the earcups provide enough room to engulf most if not all ear sizes.

Unlike the studio-style headsets with an adjustable headband, this affordable model self-adjusts itself to fit snugly on the user’s head. While the headband works efficiently, audiophiles who have tried these headphones complain that the headband exerts an uncomfortable amount of compression on their ears.

Status-Audio CB-1 comes equipped with two cables to enhance your convenience in the office or when moving about. It has a 10 feet coiled cable which extends without tangling, and a straight cable. You can use the straight cable when you don’t have to move around regularly and the coiled cable when you need to move from your working desk frequently.

They have 50mm drivers, and closed-back design offers an overwhelming bass and accentuated mids and lows. Status- Audio CB-1 would not be an ideal for audiophiles searching for a headphone with a neutral sound capability.

Our Final Thoughts

Studio style headphones are vital for sound engineers, musicians, vocalists, and any other professional audiophile looking for appropriate headphones for monitoring, mixing, recording, and or listening.

Unlike the ordinary best studio headphones under 50, studio headphones deliver a flat sound signature that is similar or close to what the audio producer wanted you to hear. Moreover, many studio headsets are comfortable to use for long periods, and they are sturdy enough to survive regular abuse at the studio.

While the cans are such essential, finding an affordable type can be a real struggle since there are multiple studio headphones under $100 in the market. Some work correctly, and others may not deliver the neutral sound signature required of studio-style cans.

Have you found it hard to pick the best studio headphones under 100? If yes, we wrote this article to help you invest in the best model. Our recommendations have a distinctive sound signature, and they are comfortable enough to use for long. Moreover, our best picks are built to endure heavy use and abuse in a studio.

If you want an affordable studio headphone to use on a dedicated amplifier, we propose that you go for Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro. These headphones have an impedance rating of 250 O9.8hms, which is ideal for specialized sound systems. DT 990 pro has a robust construction, and an admirable sound signature. There spacious open design is suitable for monitoring and mixing.

If you are a highly mobile professional audiophile, get Status-Audio CB-1 headphones. These headphones weigh a mere 226 grams, which is light enough to carry around. They fold flat for secure storage. Despite their lightweight, Status-Audio CB-1 delivers the studio-grade neutral sound.

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