In this article, we listed the 10 best studio headphones under $100. If you’re on a budget and want to purchase a pair of studio headphones, but can’t afford to pay more than $100 for them, then hopefully, this list will help you make the right choice.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from writing numerous blog posts about audio tech, there’s no such thing as one absolute system or universal type of headphones with top quality across the board.
Every brand and model of headphones will have its strengths and weaknesses, so this list will include plenty of recommendations designed to suit different types of listening environments while maintaining your overall budget without breaking the bank.
In a Hurry! Then this is My Recommendation
This year’s best studio headphone under $100 is Audio-Technica ATH-M40x. It offers the excellent sound quality, comfort, and durability in a package not much bigger than your average earbud. It has a 40mm driver, which is capable of producing crystal clear sound.
It comes with a detachable cable and a carrying case to ensure a perfect fit on your head and protect the headphones from dust, moisture and scratches. It also has a good price tag, which makes it one of the best headphones you can buy in this price range.
That is why I recommend this studio headphone. If you don’t have much time, you can go with this or read more information below.
Why would you need studio headphones?
The headphones you choose to listen to music will significantly affect your experience quality. The right pair of headphones can make all the difference in the world when it comes to sound quality and comfort.
Studio headphones are a must for musicians and audio engineers who want to create professional music. In fact, studio headphones are so important that some musicians will only use them in their home studios.
Studio headphones, also known as studio monitors or pro headphones, are the best way to get the most out of your music. They’re designed to be used in professional recording studios and on-stage, offering many features that make it easy for you to create amazing audio productions.
They have high-quality drivers that produce a clear, accurate sound that can be heard even at loud volumes.
Related Post: 10 Best headphones under 1000 dollars – Complete Guide
10 Best Studio Headphones Under $100 – Buying Guides
It can be hard to know where to start when looking for studio headphones. There are so many options out there, and it can be tough to narrow down what the best option is for you. Here are the things to consider when buying studio headphones under $100.
1. Sound quality
When it comes to headphones, there are a lot of factors that go into choosing the best ones for your studio. The first thing you should consider is sound quality.
The sound quality is directly related to how well you can hear what your mixing partner or engineer says in the studio.
Ensure the headphones have a good bass response and a neutral sound profile. This will ensure that your tracks are as good as possible in the mix and playback.
2. Build quality
The more expensive the product, the better it should be made. A good pair of studio headphones will last for years and can be used in any environment, including the studio or office.
A great pair of studio headphones will have durable materials that are built to last.
For example, if you’re looking for a pair of headphones for your home studio, you may want to consider ones with a hard case for storage or protection from dust and dirt.
The same goes for productions where you may want to travel with your equipment. If so, look for models that come with a hard case and ones with replaceable earpads so they can be cleaned when necessary.
The best studio headphones are not just about the sound quality but comfort.
Most of the time, you will wear them for long periods, and they must be comfortable.
The best studio headphones will have a padded headband and earpads made of memory foam or other soft materials that are breathable and easy to wear for extended periods. They should also have a lightweight frame to prevent fatigue while wearing them for long periods.
4. Noise isolation
Noise isolation is a crucial consideration when buying studio headphones. The more noise isolation, the better. Not only does this help you block out the external sounds, but it also helps your ears stay in tune with the music.
Some studio headphones offer excellent noise isolation, while others do not. The best way to find out if a pair of studio headphones offers good noise isolation is by testing them out in person, or you can see the review on Youtube.
If you don’t have time for that, try to find out if the manufacturer mentions any special features or materials used in their products.
When it comes to studio headphones, you need to consider your budget and what you want from the device you’re purchasing.
You will find that there are many different types of studio headphones on the market today, and each one has its advantages and disadvantages.
Any model will do the job if you’re looking for a simple pair that will give you excellent sound quality and durability.
However, if you want something with more features or better performance, then look for professional studio headphones. Many professional studios use high-end headphones that offer noise cancellation technology and other features not available on cheap models.
Consumer headphones vs. studio headphones
A consumer headphone is designed to wear casually in casual settings or activities. These headphones are often used for listening to music or watching TV on the go, although they can also be used for other purposes, such as listening to podcasts while at work.
Many consumer headphones have earcups that adjust to fit most head sizes, which makes them suitable for people of all ages. Some may even come with adjustable headbands so users can easily change the headband length if necessary.
Consumer headphones may also come with attached cables that allow users to plug them directly into their devices without worrying about tangled wires or adapters.
Studio headphones are designed for professional use, such as in music recording studios. They are typically used by musicians, sound engineers, and DJs who need to hear the audio from their studio monitors or headphones.
Studio headphones can be used with various devices, including computers and mobile phones. The most common types of studio headphones are dynamic and flat, but electrostatic and open-back models are also available.
Studio headphones have a higher sound quality than consumer headphone models because they have a more accurate frequency response and less distortion. This allows them to reproduce high-quality audio at lower volumes without causing damage to your ears.
Open-back headphones vs. closed-back headphones vs. semi-open headphones
Open-back headphones are not like closed studio headphones. Open-back headphones are open at the back but have a solid metal grill in front of the speakers to block out some sounds.
They’re great for listening to music or watching movies. Open-back headphones use a ventilated design that allows air to pass through them. This helps improve sound quality, which is important when using high-quality audio equipment.
The advantage of open-back headphones is that they provide a more realistic sound reproduction, giving you an idea of what the artist heard during the recording.
They also tend to have less bass than closed-back headphones, which makes them a good choice if you want to hear all the details in the music.
Closed-back headphones are the type of headphones to use if you want to enjoy your music without any outside noise.
They are called “closed” because they don’t let any outside noise in. Closed-back headphones will give you the best possible sound quality whether you’re listening to music in a quiet room or in public.
Closed-back headphones have a good amount of padding around the ears, which reduces outside noise and makes it easier for you to hear your music.
The padding also helps block out ambient sound from around you so that you can listen without distractions. They come in many different styles and colors, so it’s easy to find one that matches your style!
Semi-open headphones are typically made with a combination of closed and open-back designs. The semi-open headphone is one of the most sought-after models on the market today.
Semi-open headphones are popular because they provide excellent sound while avoiding closed-back headphones’ drawbacks.
Semi-open headphones are great for listening to music, watching movies, playing video games, and for people who like to hear what’s happening around them.
However, these headphones do not isolate you from other people in your surroundings like closed-back models do.
Over-ear vs. on-ear
Over-ear headphones are a style of headphones that fit around your entire ear rather than sitting on the ears. This means they cover more of your ears and generally have a larger footprint than other styles, such as in-ear and on-ear headphones.
Over-ear headphones are popular with DJs and musicians because they isolate sound from surrounding noise and reduce feedback when playing a loud track. This can make it easier to hear certain frequencies, giving you an advantage in mixing or recording.
On-ear headphones are the most popular type. These are also known as circumaural, which means they sit on your ear. They have no padding around the top of the ear, so they are designed to rest on your ear rather than over the entire ear. This model is more common and has a very high level of popularity.
The biggest advantage of this type of headphone is that they can provide great sound quality, especially for those who do not want to wear a lot of weight on their ears. On-ear headphones can also better fit those with large heads or ears. To learn more about different types of headphones, go here.
10 Best Studio Headphones Under $100 – Glance
|1||Audio-Technica ATH-M40x||View on Amazon|
|2||AKG Pro Audio K240||View on Amazon|
|3||Sennheiser HD 280 PRO||View on Amazon|
|4||Yamaha HPH-MT5||View on Amazon|
|5||Superlux HD 681||View on Amazon|
|6||Beyerdynamic DT 240 PRO||View on Amazon|
|7||Sennheiser HD 200 PRO||View on Amazon|
Let’s see the review of these studio headphones. I hope this may help you to choose a studio headphone.
The Audio-Technica headphones have a faux leather carrying case, some service documentation, and two cables. The interchangeable connection cables each have a length of three meters. However, the coiled cable is only under 1.20 m long when unstretched.
The headphones are mainly made of plastic, and the ear and head pads are made of synthetic leather, which feels very comfortable. The headband can be adjusted in length and snap into place in 16 different positions.
The flexibly adjustable ear cups allow be turned away in the studio and the headphones to be clamped between the head and shoulder, which is familiar in the DJ area.
The compact Audio-Technica is great fun to listen to. The basses are clear but not overemphasized, and the other sound ranges appear well coordinated.
Due to the balanced sound, it is suitable for all styles of music, but also speech or film sound. Its tonal properties are retained even when connected to a battery-powered player such as a smartphone.
The sensitivity also seems well adjusted: it plays loud enough on the smartphone but does not distort at the comparatively high levels of professional headphone amplifiers.
I have entrusted it with a wide variety of tasks in everyday life: for monitoring in the studio during recording at the control station and in the recording room, as well as for listening to music via notebook, tablet, or smartphone.
The ATH M40x was up to the demands everywhere. But it sits very tight on the ears, showing that some people no longer like to wear it. On the other hand, the contact pressure ensures good isolation from ambient noise and fewer emissions from the headphones into the environment.
Although the entire headphone is made of plastic, it still seems stable. The imitation leather elements on the ear cups and the ear pads feel pleasantly soft so that you like to put on the headphones.
At 241 grams, the ATH-M40x is not particularly heavy for headband headphones and is therefore also suitable for mobile use. It would have been nice if this application had had a shorter cable.
- Sound quality
- Sturdy build
- Balanced sound profile
- Good bass
- Quality detachable cables
- Good noise isolation
- Great value for money
- No buttons or audio controls
AKG has revised its classic K240 in some details over the years. However, the design has remained largely unchanged.
The headband made of two metal rods can be moved flexibly in all directions and always reliably returns to its original position. “Indestructible” is probably the right expression for this simple and effective construction.
After all, you can use it to hold just one side to your ear, even if the headphones are neither foldable nor do they have rotating ear cups. This is particularly helpful for DJs or quick checks of individual signals.
One of the detailed improvements mentioned is that the cable is now detachable. It is connected to the handset via a lockable connector. Another improvement is hidden inside the ear cups.
The 30-millimeter drivers, like the more expensive AKG K702, now have the in-house patented Varimotion technology, which is supposed to improve the sensitivity and high sound levels.
This classic AKG headphone occupies a special position in terms of sound. It shines with a fine resolution in the mids. This headphone allows a good assessment of certain mixing aspects such as compressor settings and frequency distribution of the instruments.
If you’re looking for closed-back headphones, the slightly more expensive AKG K271 MKII might be for you, or the cheaper closed-back version, the AKG K72.
However, as a monitor for singers and instrumentalists, the AKG K240 cuts a fine figure and is a lot of fun. And as a hi-fi fan, you will also find an affordable headphone that does not sound exhausting or tiring with any material.
The K240 is without a case, and it is neither foldable nor adjustable. Nevertheless, it is also robust enough for mobile use. Its low weight of only 240 grams and its semi-open design can also be worn for a long time.
The AKG is an excellent choice for the studio. Due to its semi-open design, it is a fine listening companion for all musicians except drummers who record their sound alone in the recording room, which transports the pressure from the instrument to the ears.
Again, things are looking good in the control room, and the 240 Studio, with the limitations mentioned above, does a very good job assessing the material.
- Comfortable design
- Replaceable parts
- Blocks out some external sound
- Generous 2-year warranty
- Quient bass
The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro are headphones designed for professional studio use. It is comfortable thanks to the ear pads’ padding and has excellent audio quality with a great low-frequency emphasis.
This closed headphone is designed for professional monitoring applications. However, their frequency response is reasonably flat. Their impedance is 64 ohms, and their high sensitivity makes them suitable for a wide range of listening activities.
The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro is above average for headphones. They are comfortable even though the quality of the materials is not high. They are mainly made of plastic.
In general, they are breathable enough, even if in summer you may sweat a little after several hours of use.
Despite this, I have been wearing them for several days now and can tell you that they fit securely and comfortably for long sessions.
The ear cups are rotatable, which allows an even more secure fit as they automatically adapt to the shape of the head, and as if that were not enough, the headband adjusts easily and stays in place.
Unfortunately, unlike some studio headphones, Sennheiser opted for fixed cable headphones, although it seems that a detachable cable could have significantly extended the headphones’ life.
The non-detachable cable has a thick coil and ends with a 3.5mm jack. The only accessory included in the package is a ¼-inch adapter for a larger headphone jack.
Being bulky enough to carry around, they offer the ability to fold into a more compact, easy-to-carry design.
Controls-wise, as is often the case with studio headphones, they don’t have any controls.
The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro is a headphone that offers outstanding sound and a deep, wide soundstage that makes music fantastic and accurate.
Its 64-ohm impedance means the melody doesn’t get too loud depending on the sound source, but that’s a good thing.
Combined with the excellent quality of the Sennheiser drivers, you won’t hear any sound distortion.
Even at very high volume levels and with different sound sources, such as a recording interface, stereo receiver, and even your Android and IOS smartphone, they can handle intense bass without a hint of distortion.
Modern pop, hip-hop, and rock tracks sound amazing. When producers throw in a little bass, the HD 280s handle it perfectly.
The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro has an excellent midrange. The response throughout the range is fairly even and flat. Even the treble performances are very good. Indeed the overall response is even and well balanced.
Sennheiser HD 280 also has decent noise isolation despite not being noise-canceling headphones. I have to say that it isolated well for my acoustic needs. I tried to be close to some people. Talking to each other and they didn’t bother me in the least.
Further enhancing the sound experience is the Sennheiser HD 280 closed circumaural design, making it an excellent choice for listening in noisy environments, in the recording studio, on the go, or at home.
- Comfortable design
- No sound leaks
- Cheap price
- Robust build
- Relatively neutral sound
- Great for monitoring at low volume
- Not the most isolating
- Cable is not detachable
Considering the purchase price, the simple headphones make a surprisingly elegant impression. Silver Yamaha logos subtly contrast its otherwise all-black appearance on the earcups and metal struts on the headband. In my opinion, the HPH-MT5 has what it takes to become a design classic in monitor headphones.
The Yamaha headphones are supplied with the HPH-MT5 detachable straight cable. This includes a 6.3 mm jack adapter. Its terminals are gold-plated to protect against corrosion. An unpadded transport bag made of polyester with a drawstring is also included with the headphones.
The headphones are excellently made and show neither negligence nor “predetermined breaking points.” For the asking price, the processing of the HPH-MT5 is simply exemplary.
The most remarkable feature of the HPH-MT5 is probably its folding mechanism. Because as fully-fledged, closed, circumaural headphones, it fills a gap in the headphone market that is not mainly occupied.
It can be folded up to a wonderfully small pack size, and its carrying case keeps the device and cable well organized. Thanks to the drawstring, the headphones can be packed/unpacked quickly.
One great thing is that the HPH-MT5’s headband isn’t rigid. As a result, the headphone fit can be easily adjusted to the head even when there is a lot of movement, regardless of whether only one or both earpieces are on the ears when used on stage.
A pleasant contact pressure enables the HPH-MT5 to sit securely, but not too tightly, despite its weight of 304g. The skin-friendly ear pads also make it so comfortable to wear over a longer period.
In addition, with a cable length of 3.10 m, it is made for the studio and stage, where the responsible headphone output cannot always be within reach, and great freedom of movement is essential. The exchangeable cable is fastened on one side, snaps into place when plugged in and thus easily withstands larger pulls.
The dynamic sound of the HPH-MT5 also makes it look good for home hi-fi use. Listening to music is fun with these headphones. Because the sound emitted by the HPH-MT5 always appears three-dimensional and has an excellent spatial resolution.
Although the deep bass range remains a little undifferentiated, the bass parts above it are reproduced sufficiently powerfully by the HPH-MT5.
With a maximum sound pressure level of 104.4 dB SPL, the HPH-MT5 is a relatively loud headphone that, combined with its circumaural and closed design, is wonderful for use on stage.
- Minimal design
- Great sound quality
- No buttons or audio controls
The headphones are held together by two plastic rods. Below is a leather strap with a rubber mount, which expands depending on the head size.
Therefore, no manual adjustment of the size is necessary. In terms of quality, the HD681 is better than you might expect for $40. Although these are made entirely of plastic, only the plastic rods seem to be made with metal on the inside, and the headphones radiate a certain professional quality.
I would almost describe the HD681 as a little “retro” with its black/dark red coloring. However, these headphones with which you probably don’t leave the house anyway, so the look is a minor matter.
The approximately 2-meter-long cable of the headphones is permanently connected to them. The quality of the cable seems to be okay. Maybe it could be a little more flexible.
The Superlux HD681 has an AKG-style headband. This means you have a headband that automatically adapts to your head and size, provided this has been implemented correctly.
And yes, it works! Just put on the Superlux HD681, and don’t worry if the headband fits or not. It does.
The ear cups tend to be less padded, easily compensated for by the low contact pressure and the good headband.
Therefore, the HD681 is a comparatively comfortable headphone.
The Superlux HD681 has an incredibly clear and brilliant sound. This has superbly detailed highs that have wonderful clarity. Many double or even more expensive headphones cannot keep up here!
The bass is also excellent. Important, these are not “warm Bass Head” headphones! The HD681 tends to have a rather light and bright sound. However, the Superlux’s bass has an incredibly good punch and depth when the music calls for it.
This strong contrast between clear highs and rich bass with good depth gives the HD681 a grandiose dynamic and joy to play.
I would describe the mids of the HD681 as unobtrusive. The focus is neither here nor are the mids too weak.
All in all, I would rate the coordination of the Superlux HD681 as almost perfect for me!
So far, I have not heard any headphones in the price range under $100 with a comparably light and airy sound, which at the same time brought about a similarly good dynamic.
So a clear thumbs up for the HD681! Small hint, the HD681 has hardly any attenuation of external noise! You still get almost 100% of your surroundings.
- Good sound quality
- Lightweight design
- Neutral frequency response
- Semi-open design means some sound leakage
- Bass lacks some control and definition
The Beyerdynamic DT 240 Pro is a dynamic, closed-back headphone with circumaural earcups and weighs 196 grams without a cable. There is no comprehensive folding mechanism of the housing to fold the headphones into a compact size for transport or storage purposes. However, the ear cups can be angled 90 degrees, which allows the DT 240 Pro to be stowed flat.
Using a coiled cable is a viable solution that suits many applications. The length is flexible, 1.25 to 3 meters when extended, and the cable ends in a gold-plated 3.5mm jack plug, which comes with a screwable adapter to 6.35mm.
Depending on the work situation or the device used, this can be an ergonomic advantage. The DT 240 Pro is also supplied with a thin cloth bag for storage or transport.
As headphones with a closed design and the associated insulation, the Beyerdynamic DT 240 Pro is suitable for use in a noisy environment. In addition to mobile music consumption and podcast applications, it is also ideal for recording as monitor headphones in the studio.
Thanks to the horizontally and vertically movable ear cups, the Beyerdynamic DT 240 Pro adapts perfectly to my ears, whereby the circular ear cups, which are declared circumaural, enclose my not particularly large ears very tightly at best.
The contact pressure is relatively strong, so the DT 240 sits very securely and stably. Still, the overall wearing comfort is compared to my Audio-Technica ATH-M50, Ultrasone Pro 580i monitoring headphones, and Superlux HD-660 noticeably limited.
In my opinion, the padding of the ear cups and the headband is also too sparse. The padding of the ear cups, in particular, has less substance on the inside than it appears on the outside, although the artificial leather on the body does not give any cause for criticism.
The frequency response of the Beyerdynamic DT 240 Pro can be described as balanced. In addition to a moderate and forgivable resonance in the bass range, there are no negative characteristics to be heard.
The treble band is noticeably covered compared to the comparison headphones mentioned. However, this is not a disadvantage for monitoring applications and even promotes listening loudly in a noisy environment.
Still, for supportive use during mixdown, headphones in the same price range are better suited for this task and provide a differentiated picture of the frequency spectrum.
As mobile headphones for music consumption, the Beyerdynamic offers satisfactory playback. In this category, significantly more expensive headphones with rather questionable frequency response.
- Detachable cable
- Sturdy build
- Crisp and balanced audio
- Replaceable parts
- Effective noise isolation
- The small size hurts long session comfort
The Sennheiser HD 200 Pro is a dynamic, closed-back headphone with circumaural earcups that weigh 184/199 grams (without/with cable). The comparatively compact studio headphones do not have a folding mechanism to fold the housing.
The mix of materials and the quality are rather sensible and testify without superficial showmanship that this is an inexpensive model.
Despite this price-related legitimate optical and haptic differentiation from more expensive Sennheiser headphones, I am not worried that the HD 200 Pro will withstand the daily stress in the studio, in the club, or on the go.
The Sennheiser HD 200 Pro is equipped with a permanently installed, left-hand cable (2m, smooth) without any additional accessories, whereby an adapter for the 3.5mm jack plug to 6.35mm is included.
This is designed as a (non-screwable) gold-plated plug adapter, which sits tight enough on the gold-plated mini jack plug so that it does not accidentally get stuck when pulled out of a connection socket.
The affordable HD 200 Pro is a real all-around talent! Its noise isolation makes it suitable for monitoring the recording room and DJing.
The sound quality of the Sennheiser headphones increases with the quality of the headphone amplifier used. While it still sounds flat and fabulous on my smartphone, the HD 200 Pro develops a natural sound and pleasant depth gradation on high-quality headphone amplifiers.
The oval, flexibly mounted ear cups completely enclose my ears and adapt to the shape of my head. The soft synthetic leather upholstery also fulfills its task satisfactorily, so Sennheiser’s little studio professional leaves a positive impression in this category.
The Sennheiser HD 200 Pro sounds natural and musical right from the first try. The rich reproduction of the bass range is convincing.
The middle frequency range fits into the overall picture homogeneously and well-balanced, free of noticeable characteristics and masking.
- Neutral frequency response
- Good sound quality
- Non-detachable cable
- Underwhelming build for the price
10 Best Studio Headphones Under $100 – FAQs
What are the best studio headphones under 100?
Audio-Technica ATH-M40x, AKG Pro Audio K240, and Sennheiser HD 280 Pro are the best studio headphones under 100. These are highly reliable headphones that will last for years to come. They have great sound quality, durable build, and comfortable design for a long session.
Which headphone is best for the studio?
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is best for the studio. These headphones are made for quality sound and comfort. They are lightweight and sturdy, and you can use them for hours without feeling any pain in your ears. The headband is also padded for extra comfort and reduces pressure on your head, so you don’t have to worry about headaches or ear fatigue.
What headphones do artists use in the studio?
Artists use studio headphones like Focal Listen Professional Studio Headphones, Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X, Sony MDR-7506, etc. These headphones are perfect for professional audio mixing and recording. These headphones are made of high-quality materials that ensure durability and comfort.
Which budget headphone is best?
Audio-Technica ATH-M40x is the best budget headphone. It’s not the best-sounding headphone on the market, but it’s certainly the best budget headphone. This over-ear headphone is comfortable, lightweight, and durable that provides excellent sound quality for its price.
Are studio headphones under $100 worth it?
Studio headphones under $100 are a great way to start your music career as a musician, producer, or engineer. The quality of the sound is not as good as higher-end models, but for the price, it’s hard to beat. Plenty of studio headphones under $100 are still good quality and provide an amazing audio experience.
Based on the information and research gathered, we would like to recommend Audio-Technica ATH-M40x headphones as the best choice for customers.
Not only are they relatively affordable, but they are also durable, comfortable, and offer sound quality comparable to many higher-priced models.
If these headphones become unavailable or too expensive, you can always consider switching to the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro headphones.
This model offers great value for money and is an excellent choice for those on a budget.
Simply put, we hope this article helps save you time searching for the ideal pair of studio headphones for your needs.