Unlike the devices used by millions of regular headphone-users, studio headphones are important pieces of tech made for artists and audio engineers mixing and mastering tracks. Sounding nice might be a concern for most, but even the most committed audiophiles won’t be as concerned as studio headphone buyers with whether their headphones reproduce sound as accurate (or ‘flat’) as possible. Before you know it, the price of the best studio headphones can get in the thousands, especially if you’re buying multiple pairs.
We don’t think price should be a barrier to making music, especially as bedroom pop and laptop produced hits now make (sound) waves the world over. A range of the best budget studio headphones are available within the highly accessible sub-$60 price bracket, and we’ve reviewed as many as we can to figure out this list of the best-est. So, let’s get started on presenting our five categories of the best budget studio headphones.
Product Comparison Table: Best Budget Studio Headphones
|Title||Price||Rating (Amazon)||Best in class||Buy|
|Hayner-Seek Studio Headphones with Microphone||$||4.5 stars||Best Around $20|
|OneOdio Wired Over Ear Headphones||$||4.5 stars||Best Around $30|
|MAONO MH601 Studio Headphones||$||4.5 stars||Best Around $40|
|LyxPro HAS-30 Closed Back Over-Ear Professional Recording Headphones||$$||4 stars||Best Around|
|Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones||$$$||4.5 stars||Best Around $60|
Seeing as the price of studio headphones can quickly exceed the thousand-dollar mark, the idea of the best budget studio headphones beginning with a $20 category might seem fanciful. Of course, you won’t get flat-as-a-pancake sound from headphones this cheap, but the Hayner-Seek Studio Headphones with Microphone almost achieve the impossible.
Hayner-Seek are a new brand, but they’ve produced the best budget studio headphones we found in the around $20 category. Although the noise-cancelling here is pretty rudimentary, the circumaural design of the ear cups is more than good enough to cancel out your average level of environmental noise. They’re not anything to write home about, but these headphones get the job done for practice or bedroom mixing.
- Lightweight and portable
- Competitively priced
- Good for first-timers
- Decidedly budget feel
- Not the most durable
Any first-timer or learner audio technician will find the Hayner-Seek Studio Headphones with Microphone more than agreeable, whatever their inadequacies; especially if you just want to give studio headphones a try for the first time. If you’ve only got $20 to spend, the Hayner-Seek Studio Headphones with Microphone are the best budget studio headphones for you.
OneOdio offer a range of the best budget studio headphones in terms of variety, but we like their $30 pair best: OneOdio Wired Over Ear Headphones. The big 50-mm speaker drivers combined with neodymium magnets deliver dynamic bass that works fantastically for mixing, even at this modest price point. Again, the noise isolation technology is mostly down to the shape of the padded ear cups, but it works surprisingly well due to the adjustable headband.
Unlike the Hayner-Seeks, the OneOdio headphones offer a few features specialised for audio technicians: a 9.5ft stretch DJ-style coiled cord, and 90° swivel ear cups for single-ear monitoring.
- Strong bass
- Comfortable wear
- Competitive price point
- Limited noise-cancelling
VerdictFor the $30 price tag, the OneOdio Wired Over Ear Headphones offer decent fidelity and a pretty flat sound. When you’re using them, it’s easy to believe that you’re using a piece of far more expensive studio equipment, which is the true mark of the best budget studio headphones. Once again, OneOdio retain their crown as the kings of low-budget audiophilia.
In the around $40 stakes, we’re starting to approach the pricier end of our list of the best budget studio headphones; at this mid-point we present the MAONO MH601 Studio Headphones. At the heart of this pair are 50mm large aperture drivers, which offer an extended range of frequencies and powerful bass.
Compatible with MAONO microphones like the PM422 and HD300T XLR, these headphones pair well with accessories, and feature the all-important 90-degree swivel ear cup for single ear monitoring. They also fold small, which is great for commuting, touring and travel; these are the best budget studio headphones to keep in your bag for a backup!
- Highs and lows sound good
- Breathable and comfortable
- Foldable design
- Analog noise cancelling
Foldable and ideal for on the go, the MAONO MH601 Studio Headphones are our best budget studio headphones in the $40 price bracket. These are a fabulous backup option if you already own a pair of studio headphones, and they’re also priced well if you’re wanting multiple pairs – they even have a multi-jack function to share sounds with a friend or collaborator.
Our best budget studio headphones in the $50 stakes, the LyxPro HAS-30 Closed Back Over-Ear Professional Recording Headphones offer stats that start to approach professional audio: 50mm drivers, 100+-3dB sensitivity and a 15Hz-26KHz frequency response range.
The sound, as a result, is better than our other best budget studio headphones in the lower price brackets. The sound that comes through these is flat and balanced with little need to mess around with the EQ, even when listening to a wide range. In-keeping with this increased professionalism, the LyxPro HAS-30 comes with a 1/4″ adapter and alternate coiled and straight 9.5ft cables included for wider equipment compatibility.
- Great sound for the price
- Multiple accessories included
- Professional vibe
- Sound quality can vary by cable
One other thing about the LyxPro HAS-30 Closed Back Over-Ear Professional Recording Headphones that clinched their spot as the best budget studio headphones around $40 is their dual functionality as studio headphones and casual listening headphones. We tried them out with music from all eras, and it all sounded great. Not bad for $50.
Is $60 still a pair of budget studio headphones? We’ve mentioned how high the price of studio headphones can get, so the Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones are still among our best budget studio headphones at $60. These closed-back monitoring headphones deliver on 15Hz-22kHz frequency response, reproducing crystal-clear audio.
Audio-Technica are a revered brand for a reason, and where these headphones really excel is podcasting. The Audio-Technica ATH-M30x utilize 40mm drivers tuned for critical dialog frequency range and midrange definition, isolating noise in the contoured circumaural swivelling ear cup. Add the single-side exit cable with permanently attached 1/8″ TRS connector, and the ¼” screw-on adapter, and you’ve got the podcaster’s dream.
- Unbeatable Audio-Technica performance
- Perfect for podcasting
- The best sound on the list
- Pricier than the rest
The Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones are not only our best budget studio headphones around $60, they’re probably our best budget studio headphones of all. What’s more, they come bundled with a few professional-grade freebies: a soft carrying pouch, a Blucoil 4-Channel portable headphone amplifier with 1/4″ & 3.5mm ports, an AC 12V 300mA external power adapter, and a Blucoil 6ft Premium extension cable with Stereo 3.5mm tips.