The Best Studio Headphones under $50

The Best Studio Headphones under $50

There's no mistery the music industry is massive, statement which is further backed by the claims of "Indie US creators which earned a total of $6.8bn online in 2018." With the right studio equipment, you can wade into the same industry too.

Everyday, indie music artists emerge onto the stage. Music producers such as Apashe, MISSIO, Unlike Pluto or The Glitch Mob were once little as well, and they all started with minimum equipment. But today, you have a head start. By proceeding to the store and buying only the most reliable and effective headsets for making music out of hundreds of headphones we reviewed.

The subject of tracking and mixing came on when a good friend of mine, that could only consider the most affordable studio equipment, needed a suggestion regarding a set of headphones. And because of the occurrence, I decided to create an exclusive list of the best studio headphones under $50 in order to help his cause, but also help anyone else who’s in the same situation.

We've compiled a List of Top Rated Studio Headphones in 2019

Whether you are an indie music creator or just want to venture with a new hobby, the headphones presented in this article are suitable for studio monitoring, DJing, critical listening and even casual listening.

Audio-Technica ATH-M20x

Best Overall

Type: Closed-back Over-ear Studio Headphones | Frequency Range: 15 – 20.000 Hz | Impedance: 47 Ohms | Drivers and Magnets: 40 mm Neodymium | Weight: 190g | Sensitivity: 96 dB | Sound Quality: Subdued Bass, Neutral Mids, Dizzy Treble – Overall Neutral Sound

  • Sturdy and lightweight
  • Effective entry-level gear for monitoring
  • The bass feels slightly recessed

1.1 Sound Quality

The ATH-M20x is one of the best performing, affordable over-the-ear professional studio headphones for little under $50 which earned a lot of points for its cool looking black sleek design as well as its neutral sound and the thought-out ergonomics which make it comfortable for thorough audio monitoring sessions.

Although they are more intended for beginners, the over-ears are mainly conceived for studio environments and home recording, but not limited to audio mixing for music creators within a tight budget. They are characterized by a clear and impeccable pulse playback, which was expected from a great studio product from Audio Technica. The precise sound is a characteristic specific to monitoring headphones which is usually not found in the basic consumer headphone even at higher prices than ATH-M20x.

As a matter of sound quality, the lower end of the audio spectrum, the bass, feels kind of flat and low, however the mid range is pleasingly vivid for a good cheap hi-fi headphone purposed for monitoring and mixing. The vocals and melodies are properly introduced, sometimes lacking a bit of warmth in the lower end, but overall the good sound resolution and clarity sustain a positive argument for a top quality studio headphones.

Aside of sound quality, the headphones have a superior build compared to some found in the same price range, its robust build and material quality have the upperhand in this scenario which entails long-lasting use. The foldable, yet very flexible M20x are not constructed wholly with plastic, but also aluminum slider, and it comes with a 3 m hard wired cable, a 6.3mm snap-on adapter, and a user manual.

Key Features

  • Robust build with quality materials
  • Spatious audio spectrum
  • Low latency, and great sound performance even with Bluetooth
  • Comfortable for long sessions
  • Swappable battery system

Alternatives:

Upgrade:
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
Budget Version:

#2. AKG K-72

Bang for the buck

Type: Closed-back Over-ear Studio Headphones | Frequency Range: 16 – 20.000 Hz | Impedance: 32 Ohms | Drivers and Magnets: 40 mm | Weight: 200g | Sensitivity: 112 dB | Sound Quality: Subdued Bass, Neutral Mids, Dizzy Treble – Overall Neutral Sound

  • Super comfortable, lightweight and inexpensive
  • Compatible with low power devices
  • Not foldable
  • It lacks a bit of deep bass

3.2 Ergonomics

With the same motto of “black design is awesome”, the beautiful looking matte black AKG K72 is one of the cheapest closed-back, monitoring headphones with circumaural earcups under $50. With a weight of 200 grams, it uses the AKG typical self-adjusting headband, which provides a snug fit and exemplary level of comfort. A folding mechanism or something alike is not provided, but that’s the price of premium comfort in this case.

The low-priced studio headphones have a relatively low impendance (32 Ohms) for a proper set of cans for monitoring, which is satisfactory for best audio reproduction among mobile devices thus making them a great pair of recording headphones for music producers – It also has a nominal load capacity of 200mW. The “112 dB SPL/V” sound pressure is suitable to the purpose of these portable monitor headphones, which is definitely more than adequate.

As all studio monitoring headphones, the AKG K72s are designed to offer a wide range of frequencies (16 – 20000 Hz) to be able to hear the most detailed musical notes with the highest accuracy which is favorable for the correct reproduction of ones music. On the bad side, the sound response is flatter than most headphones for monitoring, however it still manages to render the sound well in the low range and treble. Ultimately, regardless the extremely affordable price tag, AKG’s K72 is more suitable for home use or less professional works.

Key Features

  • Robust design and comfy
  • Extremely high value
  • Resourceful sound spectrum with plenty of bass definition in the high-end
  • Wide and fairly precise sound

Alternatives:
SX
Upgrade:
AKG K-240 Studio
Budget Version:
AKG K-52

#3. Monoprice Premium Hi-Fi

Type: Closed-back Over-ear Studio Headphones | Frequency Range: 20 – 20.000 Hz | Impedance: 40 Ohms | Drivers and Magnets: 50 mm | Weight: 130g | Sensitivity: 100 dB | Sound Quality: Warm Bass, Pronounced Mids, Neutral Treble

  • Sturdy and lightweight
  • Effective entry-level gear for monitoring
  • The bass feels slightly recessed

4.1 Sound Quality

Monoprice Premium Hi-Fi is another one of those great mixing headphones with Bluetooth at a low price that won’t fade away rapidly from the scene. Its lack of wired cable is much liked by DJs and everybody who loves convenience more than anything while still retaining the best sound accuracy across the whole audio spectrum – While the sound quality is present through the wireless feature, a 3.5mm headphone jack is located at the bottom of the left earcup ready for use for even higher clarity and accurate sound reproduction.

The over-the-ears DJ style studio headphones offer excellent sound reproduction with the 50mm drivers which provide a good full range of frequencies: the low frequencies are very ahead as well as the midrange; although the highs feel well-balanced everything remains balanced, accurate, and boomy which is the most suitable sound profile for a DJ.

In the end, while they can be used in the studio for audio monitoring, the Monoprice 8323 Premium Hi-Fi DJ Style bestows with surprising detail and impressive sound signature as one of the best headphones for DJs.

Key Features

  • Sleek design and comfortable fit
  • Great for all-around situations
  • Beautifully balanced with Bluetooth
  • Best bassy DJ headphones

Alternatives:

Upgrade:

Budget Version:

 

#4. Superlux HD-681

Type: Closed-back Over-ear Studio Headphones | Frequency Range: 15 – 20.000 Hz | Impedance: 47 Ohms | Drivers and Magnets: 40 mm Neodymium | Weight: 190g | Sensitivity: 96 dB | Sound Quality: Subdued Bass, Neutral Mids, Dizzy Treble – Overall Neutral Sound

  • Sturdy and lightweight
  • Effective entry-level gear for monitoring
  • The bass feels slightly recessed

2.1 Ergonomics

The Superlux HD-681 does not sound, nor feel as the previously reviewed studio headphones as they have an open-back design with huge earcups which allows for a broader soundstage feeling and more vivid sound. The semi-open type of design is often used in studios specifically for the better and more authentic sound quality in exchange for the commonly closed-back design sound isolation.

Studio Headphones – Closed-back Vs Open-back Enclosure: The first type, the closed-back design, is the most common enclosure which is used to provide a decent passive sound isolation. A feature which is naturally enhanced by the material and thickness of earpads. Among closed-back headphones, the bass is produced within a closed room and is far heavier and plentyful than the bass evoked by the headphones with open-back design, however, it’s not superior in terms of quality.

The frequency reproduction of Superlux HD-681 can be described as a successful hi-fi tuning. The bass goes in-depth and plays with a powerful presence, without being too harsh or interfering with adjacent bands, same goes with the mid range, however the case is not similar with the treble which apparently is rather not that sustainable.

Key Features

  • Extraordinary bass and vocals
  • Rich sound spectrum with crystal clear sound
  • Fairly comfortable and airy
  • Excellent value for a pair of studio headphones for entry-level

Alternatives:

Upgrade:

Budget Version:
Superlux HD-668 B

5. Conclusion

The cord is made of durable material which is also tangle free. This makes it easier to carry in pockets without the mess of getting it tangled. The earbuds are designed ergonomically which makes it a comfortable fit in the ear.

Did you know ?

If you’re all for bass music and don’t care much about any other functionality, then you should buy SONY MDR-XB90EX. If you’re all for bass music and don’t care much about any other functionality, then you should buy SONY MDR-XB90EX.

The cord is made of durable material which is also tangle free. This makes it easier to carry in pockets without the mess of getting it tangled. The earbuds are designed ergonomically which makes it a comfortable fit in the ear.

6. Other products we considered

The cord is made of durable material which is also tangle free. This makes it easier to carry in pockets without the mess of getting it tangled. The earbuds are designed ergonomically which makes it a comfortable fit in the ear.

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