A carefully chosen pair of headphones would surely be of great value to your home studio. It is essential because you can use it for the difficult tasks of monitoring, isolating, and mixing sounds. Not all headphones, however, are suited for these types of tasks, and only those high-quality headphones are best for these undertakings. So, when choosing studio headphones, always go for something that will provide you a high level of detail, comfort, range, sensitivity, drivers, and impedance.
The high-end studio headphones, however, are not cheap. They can get very expensive. So, if you are an entry-level studio owner or musical producer, you may surely want to explore a range of budget studio headphones because the topnotch brands might be out of your budget’s reach.
As a tyro in music recording, you should refrain from going after the high-end studio headphones that may cause a huge dent on your budget. You can begin with less expensive budget studio headphones for honing your skills first before doting yourself with the expensive ones.
At the onset, you should know the important factors that you must consider when buying a pair of headphones. Some of these factors include design, flat frequency response, comfort, and even its replaceable parts. Design, of course, is essential because your choice of design may make or break your recording and mixing.
Closed-Back vs. Open-Back For Budget Studio Headphone
Design, of course, refers to the choice between closed-back headphones and open-back headphones. Open-back headphones have their earcups’ back open, while closed-back headphones have their ear cups’ backside closed. Closed-back headphones, of course, is preferred when doing recording and monitoring because it doesn’t leak sounds. Moreover, it bars external sounds from pressing through the headphones.
On the other hand, open-back headphones do not have barriers between the ambient surroundings and drivers. It leaks sounds, and, therefore, you will also hear external sounds while you do your mixing and recording. On the upside, its sound seems to be more natural. You may use this type of headphones for mixing, but you can’t surely use it for recording.
The frequency response, however, refers to how efficient the headphones in reproducing various frequencies. This means that the sound, you have inputted, should go out without any alterations or audio enhancements. This feature is important when you are mixing or monitoring. Comfort, of course, is self-explanatory.
Lastly, your choice of headphones should allow you to replace some of their damaged parts easily. This means your choice of headphones should not be a one-time deal that, when they are damaged, you got no choice but to discard them.
Recommended Budget & Affordable Studio Headphones
So, without further ado, let’s check on the 7 most recommended budget studio headphones in the market today:
1) Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone
The Sony MDR7506 Headphone is a high-end pair of headphones that inevitably gets the job done. It is a closed-back pair of headphones with a large diaphragm that offers great comfort when recording or mixing sound for a long duration of time. It is reliable when it comes to blocking outside sound and can surely provide you with an enhanced listening experience. Its frequency response is 10 Hz from to 20KHZ.
The Sony MDR7506 features the use of Neodymium magnets along with 40-millimeter drivers for a more detailed and powerful sound. As a closed-back pair of headphones, it surely provides great comfort and a remarkable reduction of outside noise. It also comes with a 9.8 cord that has a gold-plated end or plug that is not detachable. Plus, it comes with a 1/4 adapter.
The MDR7506 folds up easily so that you can conveniently store it away. It also comes with a soft case. Moreover, it features rugged construction that assures you that it is highly secure, durable, and very efficient. Lastly, it is affordable, which means it will not put so much dent on your budget when you buy it.
2) Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones
When it comes to affordability, the Audio-Technica ATH-M30x pair of headphones is a thing to beat. It is the cheapest among the series rolled out by Audio-Technica, and thus, it is surely within your budget range. It features a nice design that showcases advanced engineering and built.
This pair of headphones features 40-millimeter drivers that come with rare earth magnets as well as aluminum wire voice coils clad in copper. It is designed to deliver enhanced detail that you would surely love. Moreover, it features an excellent mid-range definition.
Audio-Technica ATH-M30x also features circumaural design contours for enveloping the ears to achieve excellent sound isolation, especially in a noisy environment. Additionally, it features a convenient single-side cable exit. It is also collapsible for easy portability and storage. Lastly, it is very much affordable.
3) Audio-Technica ATH-M40x Professional Studio Monitor Headphone
Audio-Technica ATH-M40x boasts of cutting-edge engineering and robust construction. It offers great sound isolation with its circumaural design that follows the contours of your ears for optimum sound isolation, even in a noisy environment. It also provides accurate sound for live and studio recording. This is because it is tuned flat for excellently accurate sound monitoring of the entire frequency range.
The ATH-M40x comes with 90° swiveling earcups to allow you to easily monitor the sound, using only one of your ears. It is also collapsible for great portability and easy storage. Moreover, it offers great fit and comfort when you use it even for several hours.
It has a professional-grade earpad along with excellent headband material for maximum durability and comfort. It also comes with great accessories such as two detachable cables—one is the coiled cable, and the other one is the straight cable. It also comes with a carrying pouch for protection and a 6.3-mm screw-on adapter.
After all, this is a pair of quality and affordable studio headphones that suitable for mixing.
4) Edifier H840 Audiophile Over-The-Ear Headphones
The Edifier H840 Audiophile Headphones features a nicely designed pair of headphones that produce optimum sound quality. It is calibrated by Pure Sound’s Phil Jones for an excellent acoustic experience. This pair of headphones is an over-ear pair of headphones that produces an excellent sound that you would surely appreciate if you are a true audiophile. It features a blend of ergonomic design, great sound, and stylish appeal.
It features an electro-acoustic unit that relies on the coil. It is known for its life-like sound with its high fidelity to sound. Moreover, it is carefully calibrated to provide a balance between the bass and treble. For this reason, this pair of headphones is an excellent entry-level headphone set for monitoring.
This headphone set fits nicely around your ears, for it is highly adjustable. You can wear it for several hours without necessarily causing discomfort to your ears and head. Its ear cups are also cushioned with soft leather for maximum comfort. It is solidly built with reinforced headband for durability and flexibility. It also comes with a quality connection along with a 3.5 gold-plated plug with a 6-feet long cable. Lastly, it is very much affordable.
5) AKG K240STUDIO Semi-Open Over-Ear Professional Studio Headphones
The AKG K240STUDIO Headphones consists of a set of high-quality headphones that you can use for mixing and recording. It comes with a classic design with a lower impedance of 55 Ohm. Thus, it can provide incredible volume when used with a studio gear or any instrument like drum machines and keyboards.
This pair of headphones features a semi-open design that allows for open sound quality that is naturally and accurately dynamic. Thanks to its XXL transducers, it becomes capable of producing more responsive sound. It also comes with a 3-m replaceable cable. Furthermore, it features a stereo plug audio interface with a 6.3 mm screw-on adapter.
The AKG K240STUDIO has a frequency range that is very clean, accurate, and flat and comes with a tighter response for the lows; hence, it is perfect for mixing or monitoring. The level of comfort afforded by this pair of headphones is high with its large ear pads that are soft, yet very durable. You can wear these headphones during long sessions of mixing and recording.
This pair of headphones is perfect for mastering, mixing, and monitoring, though I would not highly recommend it for recording because of its semi-open design.
6) Sennheiser HD 202 II Professional Headphones
The Sennheiser HD 202 II is perfect for listening to music and mixing. It is a very decent pair of headphones that offers a great quality of sound with clean bass. It is a great option for mixing because of its frequency response range (18 Hz to 18 kHz). It also features a 10-foot cable that allows you to move around while using it. Moreover, it also comes with a wind-up belt clip for securing the excess cable.
The Sennheiser HD 202 II comes with removable ear cups with whom some users are not quite fond of. However, if you are a DJ, you will surely find these removable cups advantageous and handy.
This set of headphones also provides good attenuation of surrounding noise. Its specifically designed damping perforation makes sure that it provides a powerful bass response. It also makes use of powerful neodymium magnets along with lightweight diaphragms for a high level of sound. Lastly, it is very much affordable.
7) LyxPro HAS-10 Closed-back Headphone
The LyxPro HAS-10 Closed-back Headphone is another great option if you want a headphone that lives up to the frequency requirement of DJs and home studios. This one comes with 45-mm Neodymium drivers for handling extended lows, required by many popular music styles. This makes this headphone a highly recommended headphone for beginners who are just learning the rudiments of managing a home studio.
It features a quality built with a leather headband and aluminum ear shells that come with comfortable leather pads. It also comes with a single-sided cable duct along with a screw-on jack for enhanced durability.
The LyxPro HAS-10 features various great features that work together to produce a balanced sound that professionals and ordinary listeners of music readily appreciate. It renders a nice and clean level of audio representation with a dynamic response for crisp-sounding instruments and vocals. Using this headphone, you can crank your volume knob up without its sound being distorted.
The amount of money you are willing to spend is usually commensurate to the quality of studio headphones that you can buy. You must remember that the high-end studio headphones may really get too pricey. Yet, if you are just a beginner in mixing, recording, or monitoring, you should instead first settle for the midrange priced headphones that have good quality and features. Choose any of the abovementioned entry-level mid-range priced headphones before you dive into the use of high-end headphones.