7 Best Studio Headphones under $100 | 2021 Studio Headphone Guide

Are you starting your musical career, you know the importance of clarity in audio quality, and are you in search for finding a studio mic that can be in a nominal budget, well we have done almost half of the work, by finding some best headphones under a budget of $100.

Although finding a good headphone is an easy as well as a tough job because as the price of headphones is getting dropped by the passing time, the quantity of headphones in a specific price range is increasing and because of that wide variety of headphones, it’s becoming tough for one to choose, which one to buy.

As the craze of electronic music is getting high by time, more and more people are bending towards this genre of music, and many among them are hell-bent on creating new numbers, studio headphones are becoming the next big thing in the audio industry. 

In previous years, not too many people were in seek for studio headphones, but rather than the aforementioned reason of electronic music and composer, as the price is getting low and the quality is good, many casual users are also switching to studio headphones too. Right now the market is flooded by different studio headphones and dominated by few companies as well.

Well, before jumping into the list we have prepared for you let’s look at our Studio headphone guide which will help you to understand every aspect which can help you to find out best headphone for yourself.

 

Our Guide to buying Studio Headphones

The biggest questions which come to mind of people are:

“ Will these headphones will work well, under this price range?”

The quality you will get is equally proportional to the amount you pay. But even you will get some mind-blowing headphones under this price range. There are two types of Studio Headphones:

  • Closed Back Headphones –  mostly used for recording vocal tracks.
  • Open Back Headphones  – Mostly used for mixing audio tracks.

“Closed Back or Open Back which one to buy?”

Let’s see every aspect: Closed-back headphones are easier to carry and they come with a casing that protects the component inside. This design is most versatile, as it is easy to carry them anywhere you want. They have good noise isolation which will not leak out your music in public. The only thing they lag is they find it hard to keep the audio realistic as they will have some automated boost in them. This is where Open back comes, it has a constant airflow through the grilles they are equipped with, it creates more realistic and spacious sound, and the drawback in them is they are heavy and can’t be carried anywhere easily. It’s totally upon you that you want something portable or something having amazing sound.

“Noise Isolating or Active Noise cancellation?”

The two most hyped-up features in today’s market for headphones. They may sound the same but are two separate things. Noise Isolation means that the product act as a barrier between your hearing and outside noise, and makes your hearing experience good. On the other hand, Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) has small microphones, which catch outside noise, and then that noise is carried to the processor of the headphone. After the sound reaches the processor, the headphone produces an adverse sound wave, which cancels out the noise, to make the hearing experience better, you may have gotten an idea of how hard a task will be. So it comes to your preference, what you will choose?

What are the basic features, need to look for?”

A well-researched and well-planned buy is the best.  Just keep this thing in mind and look for some features we are telling you so that you can compare and make the best purchase.

Impedance

You most likely have seen ohms written or Ω this symbol. This indicates the Impedance that the studio headphone has. The higher the impedance value, the greater the power the higher the volume, and the lower the power, the lighter the volume. 

Well if you are a high-volume listener, you need to take care of this feature, the amplifiers are also having impedance, which limits the number of power amplifiers use.

Sensitivity 

When it comes to sensitivity, studio headphones are more likely to be preferred with higher sensitivity, which leads the headphone to produce very detailed and clear audio.  The sensitivity is measured in decibels (dB). Generally, companies provide 120dB of sensitivity. 

According to the instruction of the American occupational safety health administration, people should not go beyond 85dB, for a long-term audio session. Sensitivity is a big consideration for musicians, as they need a headphone which can help them hear small details while recording or mixing audios. Higher sensitivity can be good but it also can be harmful to your ears.

Drivers

Drivers are responsible for converting electric signals into sound. It is made up of voice coils, a diaphragm, and a magnet. The bigger the driver you will have the better the sound you will be getting, for an instance, a 35 mm driver will not perform as well as a 45mm driver. Everything doesn’t depend upon the size, as the final output will depend upon the quality of products used to make the driver.

Frequency Response

The frequency of headphones is responsible for producing a range of bass and treble. Headphones are many times tweaked by companies to either emphasize or de-emphasize the frequency at a certain level so that they can get different types of listening experience.

Frequency response is always denoted with Hertz (Hz). The low frequency will produce bass and the high frequency will produce treble

Design and Comfort

Comfort plays the most crucial role when you are buying a headphone. You will not like to pay an amount for a thing, which you aren’t comfortable wearing. The design depends upon what you prefer, whether you like a simple or bold-looking design.

“Is Studio headphone needed to make music?”

There are no second thoughts if you make music in normal consumer headphones, you can make it. Since Studio Headphones are made for this work, they are much more accurate and more consistent than consumer earphones. The studio headphones will give you that sharp detail detection and reliability in the outcome which a consumer headphone can’t.

Our picks for 7 Best Studio Headphones under $100

A budget of $100 is moderate, as you can get some really good studio headphones to buy, which can give you optimum performance. In this list, we have not ranked our headphones, as everyone has their preferences and budget. The headphones we have brought are best in the price range and are value for money.

1.TASCAM TH-03

Pros

  • Comfortable for long usage
  • Well padded ear cups
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Sound is unbalanced
  • The build is not good

The TASCAM TH-03 is one of the best-sounding earphones in the market under the price range of $100.  Although it’s one of the cheapest headphones, yet it performed very well.

You should keep in mind that, you can not point out the minor sound unbalance quality, due to the price it is available in the market. Another matter to take care of is the build quality as it feels less sturdy.

After all the negative points let’s emphasize the positive ones too, The noise isolation is splendid, and it is well-padded as well. The headband feels comfortable for long usage. It also gives you the advantage of one-ear monitoring.

Our Verdict

They are a very good option if you are starting your journey in the audio industry. They sound enough perfectly to help you make a good musical number. It may have a slight un-balanced sound output, but it won’t affect the results.

2.Audio-Technica ATH-M40x

Pros

  • Balanced audio quality
  • Good noise isolation
  • Comfortable for long use

Cons

  • Get slightly hot
  • Ears are pressed due to strong clamp

Here come’s the sibling of the champion ATH-M50x. Having nearly as same features, design, and performance as its elder brother, it is an all-rounder headphone. 

ATH-M40x is a closed-back headphone, equipped with a strong body and exceptional noise isolation. It comes with a circumaural design. The noise isolation is really good as it cuts off you from the outside noise and makes your listening experience unmatched. This headphone is perfect for studio usage. It has a cushioned headband and large ear cups, they are comfortable for long-term usage. 

It comes with a 40mm driver, which is a robust performer and has balanced audio too. The frequency response is also reasonable at this price range. It is loud and clear even if you do not use any audio amplifier.

Some extra features you will get in these headphones are a detachable cable, a carrying bag, and a folding portable and sturdy design. The ear-cups are having a 90-degree swivel making them perfect for one-ear monitoring.

Our Verdict

If you are serious about a career in music production, this headphone is for you. The sound profile of the headphone is very well-balanced and it is comfortable and affordable as well.

3.AKG K240 Studio

Pros

  • Nice performance, vivid sound quality
  • The design is good and comfortable.
  • Good quality earpads 
  • Detachable cable

Cons

  • Semi-Open Design
  • Noise Isolation isn’t there

AKG K240 is a semi-open-back headphone. They are partially open, which helps them to deliver the best sound possible. It gives you a feel of both closed-back headphone intimacy and the freeness of an open-back one. 

The performance is excellent, but a down part is that it comes with slight sound leakage. The ear cups are roomier, which is ideal for audio mixing, because it has a lack of intimacy it can be a bit less accurate side.

These headphones will help you if you are mastering a track and need to get the mixing right. Coming on the build and comfort, this headphone is the lightest studio headphone you can use. It is comfortable in wearing for a minimum time. 

It is a performance freak headphone, as it gives a robust performance, it gives you more room, and is comfortable for usage. Although it lacks intimacy it can be a good choice for you to choose from.

4.Audio-Technica ATH-M20X

Pros

  • Consistent and balanced performance
  • Affordable; value for money
  • Good noise isolation

Cons

  • A bit glitch in high frequency
  • Cables are non-detacable
  • Average build

It may be not as high featured and performance master as its sibling ATH-M40x, but it has the potential to be one of the best headphones you can use in this price range. 

ATH-M20x comes with the same designs ATH-M40x but the difference is in the performance. It is a bit digestible because it comes at a low price point. The sound quality is also very good, although you may notice a bit of shakiness in the high tones.  

The difference between the two siblings comes in the build quality, although the ATH-M20x is made well and having a robust design. It is not durable as the M40x. The earpads are not so good in quality and the detailing can fade due to rough usage, but you can complain in this price range.

Our Verdict

It cost the same as the price, you will spend on a dinner for two. This is for the newbie who has just now started their journey. It may not be the master performer but it performs reasonably well at this price. 

5.Sennheiser HD280PRO

 

Pros

  • Balanced Sound
  • Good build and design
  • Comfortable earpads; replaceable cushion

Cons

  • Non-detachable cable
  • Less- portable
  • Runs bit hot

Even after so many years of launching, these HD 280 pro are one of the best you can have, they are reliable as well as a good performer. 

The sound profile in this headphone is very balanced and natural, the earcups are good and comfortable, the noise isolation is splendid, and they are durable and sturdy, they can handle rough usage.  At this price point, this headphone is just amazing.

There are some minor drawbacks too, there is no detachable cable you will be getting with this headphone, it doesn’t have one-ear monitoring as well. Apart from these flaws, it is one of the best picks for studio headphones.

Our Verdict

It is a reliable and sturdy headphone and fully lives up to the name of the manufacturer. With exceptional overall performance, you can take them home without any hesitation.

6.Koss Pro-4AA

Pros

  • Great looking and unique Design
  • Headbands and earcups are replaceable
  • Balanced sound quality

Cons

  • The retro design may not be liked by everyone
  • A little inaccurate.

Here is a legendary headphone, which came out in 1970. Koss Pro-4AA was a massively popular headphone at the time it was launched but after a decade it vanished from the market as the demand was dropped. Although Koss brought back this awesome headphone, the demand for retro audio gear increased.

It has a mixed opinion when it comes to reviews, it has a lo-fi, retro sensibility feel, with a vintage look, which will draw your attention. Koss calls them “studio-quality headphones”. These are high-quality headphones with a flat tone, which bothers me.

The 4AA will add its spices to the audio and gives it a mixed feel. The headphones are reliable and sturdy, the only thing they lack is audio accuracy.

Our Verdict

The Koss Pro -4AA is one of the greatest looking headphones, it has a robust performance, which is well-balanced too, it is suitable for a studio setting too. If accuracy isn’t a big matter to look for this is the headphone you can buy.

7.Presonus HD9 

Pros

  • Good performance
  • Impressive noise isolation
  • Good cushioning and build

Cons

  •  A heavy bass
  • The cable is nondetachable
  • heavy  

The Presonus Brand is more known for their Studio Monitors than the headphones. Although the HD9 doesn’t get that brand recognition it is one of the best all-rounder performers in the market. 

The sound quality is well balanced and loud as well. The earcups have nice cushioning on them for extra comfort. It comes with a circumaural design which gives decent noise isolation. 

The drawback is that it doesn’t come with a detachable cable, and it runs on slightly low-frequency, it could be flatter sometimes. 

As it has a very thick cushioning it becomes heavy and gets hot soon. If you wear them in hot weather, your ears will get sweaty soon.

Our Verdict

PreSonus HD-9 is a good pair of headphones at a reasonable price, although it bit heavy, it has a sturdy and strong build. It is comfortable for long-span usage. This can be a good option if you choose them to be your studio headphones.

Conclusion

Here is the list of 7 Best Studio Headphones under $100, along with a headphone buying guide. All the headphones under this price range aren’t made for professional music artists, because they require much more detailing than these headphones can provide. If you are a beginner or have an interest in making a career in the music industry, this list will help you out to find the best studio headphone for under $100.

 

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